Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

St. Joseph

Husband of Mary

After the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph is our most powerful intercessor before God. St. Joseph faithfully cared for his little family, Jesus and Mary. No sacrifice was too great for him. Now Jesus shows him His gratitude by granting our requests through St. Joseph's intercession. Pope Pius IX proclaimed him patron of the universal Church in 1870.

Let us go to St. Joseph in all our needs, and especially ask him for the grace of a holy death.

The Great Silent One

Joseph is called the man of deep silence. He came and went, did his work, and gave orders in his home in a kindly way, with a purpose which had matured in him after he had learned the divine will, after he had tried to study what the Lord wanted. His way of giving orders was to make a slight sign, to give a slight hint of what seemed to him to be the will of God. This man of deep silence occupies the first place among the saints, and what an amount of wisdom his mind contained!

In an inexpressible manner, St. Joseph was and is a faithful cooperator in the redemption of the world. He is the foster father of Jesus and His provider, the defender of the Virgin Mother of God, the rescuer of the threatened life of the Savior, the protector of the universal Church, the confidant and hope of innumerable souls who have recourse to him. Let us feel ourselves as living and active members in the Mystical Body of the Church, which Jesus Christ conquered with His blood. As the Father sent His beloved Son into the world as an apostle, so we were appointed to the apostolate. Everyone should feel the responsibility of saving souls.

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

Hearty cooperation between father and son

Education is not mere instruction or concern for discipline or preparation for a profession.

It is the formation of a totally new person.

St. Joseph represented on earth the paternity of God the Father to the Word incarnate. He was full of respect, esteem and love for his foster Son; he was conscious of his duties towards him.

And on his part, Jesus had for Joseph a profound sense of reverence, devoted love, serene trust and constant docility.

St. Joseph, with Mary, had to prepare for the world the unique Master, the Priest, and the Host. And Jesus with perfect dedication aimed at the perfect fulfillment of the will of His Father: both had thus only one aim: hearty cooperation.

What Strikes Me Most Today

What strikes me most today is the depiction of St. Joseph in the movie "Nativity," as seen in the film clip above. St. Joseph is portrayed as a young, vibrant husband to Mary and Stepfather to Jesus. For all he did to protect and raise Jesus, this depiction seems more fitting than the elderly Joseph at the nativity sometimes depicted.

St. Joseph, Pray for us! (and forgive me if you were older when Jesus was born... if so, I'm even more impressed with all you did!)

What strikes you most today?

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Pauline Prayer Book for our Haitian Brothers and Sisters

Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid
"Fear not, I am with you. From here I want to enlighten. Atone for sin."

Daughters of St. Paul

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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!