Friday, March 20, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day, 
by Blessed James Alberione

Meditation moves our whole being: mind, memory, will, heart. It is the soul of the day; it is the heart, the blood circulating in all our actions and exercises. Our life should not be compartmentalized, so to speak, with the meditation book being used and put away without giving it any more thought until one takes it up again the next morning. Rather, according to one's thoughts, resolutions and sentiments, the soul often lifts itself towards God. It revives itself, becomes joyous, evaluates itself in a spirit of faith. What happiness, what generosity, how many merits! And, above all, one feels that he or she is building day by day!

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione, 
Compiled by J. Maurus

     In the way of the Lord, not to progress is to regress.
     In what sense does one regress?  In the sense that our responsibility is proportionate to the graces we have received.
     Everyone has the responsibility, that is, everyone has to give an account of the graces received.  The Lord will never ask an account of what He has not given.  When the servant who received only one talent was telling: "Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvest where you did not sow and you gather crop where you did not scatter seeds.  I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground.  Look!  Here is what belongs to you."  What reply did he receive?  "You bad and lazy servant!" his master said.  "You knew that I reap harvest where I did not sow and gather crops where I did now scatter seeds?  Well, you should have deposited my money in the bank and I would have received it with interest when I returned" (Mt:14-30).
     Where there are talents, there is responsibility as well.  And as the talents grow day by day, that is, increase of grace, so too our responsibility grows.  And thus it becomes imperative:  to progress and not stagnate.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the phrase, "not to progress is to regress."  This is a good reminder to me that I should try to make some effort each and every day to progress in my relationship with the Lord.  Along those same lines, the idea that our life should not be compartmentalized tells me that my goal should be not just to increase time set aside for prayer, meditation, and spiritual endeavors, but to also work on incorporating my spiritual life into my daily walk.  

What strikes you most today?  
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"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

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Evangelizing the World!

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New faith and family friendly video sharing
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Why a blog? Why St. Paul? Why do I think I have any business doing this?
We are all on a spiritual journey. We all want that journey to lead us to heaven, to eternity with God. For this journey, we need one another.
The journey so far has led me to read and learn about so many forms of authentic Catholic spirituality - Ignatian, Benedictine, Carmelite, Dominican, Franciscan, etc. My biggest problem was that I came to love each one tremendously. I began reading more and more, spending more and more time at the Daughters of St. Paul bookstore on Watson Road here in St. Louis. Who would have thought my greatest conversion story would take place in a bookstore? Mine was not quite as sudden or dramatic as St. Paul on the road to Damascus, but getting to know the Daughters of St. Paul affected me no less significantly.
The sisters are Eucharistic by nature. The first time I entered the chapel in their bookstore, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and one of the sisters was on her knees, gazing at Christ, with an indescribably beautiful smile on her face. I had a glimpse of heaven. I knelt at one of the other kneelers and noticed on the wall behind the monstrance the words: "Fear not, I am with you. From here I want to enlighten. Atone for sin." I had that brief moment of absolute certainty that I was on the right path.
Over the last several years I have worked my way through as many books, CD's, DVD's and conversations with the Daughters of St. Paul that time has allowed. Time is at such a premium for all of us. Years ago we were told that with advances in technology we would have much more free time on our hands. We all know this has not been the case. Our lives are busier and more hectic than ever. Even if we are unable to find time to read good books, see enlightening movies or attend lectures and discussions, maybe we could all spend a little time on the internet supporting one another on our faith journeys. Many of you know more about many aspects of Catholic spirituality than I do.
Pope John Paul the Great called us all to a New Evangelization, to share the Gospel with the world. I am hoping we can all be St. Paul in this blog space by sharing Christ with one another and with others. St. Paul travelled to many foreign and often hostile regions to evangelize the world; we are fortunate to be able to use the internet to reach even farther and more quickly.
The idea of using today's means of social communication to spread the Gospel was given to Blessed James Alberione on the night between the centuries (December 31, 1900 - January 1, 1901). He was a 16 year-old seminary student adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament when a special light came to him from the Host. Following this, Blessed James Alberione became the founder of the Society of St. Paul priests, the Daughters of St. Paul, the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd, Sisters of the Queen of Apostles, and numerous institutes that are also part of the Pauline family.
So what is Pauline spirituality? In my experience, Pauline spirituality encompasses all the teachings of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and love of all the other spiritualities and Saints of the Church. It is the members of the Pauline family who are the happiest people I know! It is loving God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit with all our hearts and souls, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and St. Paul.
So why St. Paul? I can relate to St. Paul. We first meet him in the New Testament as a sinner. He has a thorn in his side that God decides is best not to take away. I sometimes wish I knew what that thorn was, but it's probably better I don't know. I like to pretend it is one of my many weaknesses or faults. If St. Paul could go from persecuting Christ and His Church to becoming the person responsible for spreading the Gospel and establishing the Church in foreign lands, the least I can do is start a blog. I have been especially inspired by my two favorite bloggers, Sr. Margaret Charles Kerry, fsp, and a Pauline Cooperator named Rae Stabosz. I believe Sr. Margaret and Rae are doing just what St. Paul and Blessed James Alberione would be doing with the internet.
In future blogs (which will be shorter than this first post!), I would like to share writings of St. Paul, Blessed James Alberione, and many others. I look forward to others sharing writings from other Catholic spiritualities and writers. An especially Pauline way of sharing is to point out to one another what aspects particularly speak to each of us.
Another Pauline trait is to pray for one another. My prayer is that we support one another on our path to holiness. Our goal is to glorify God in all that we do - so let's do it!