Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
Priest and Martyr

     St. Fidelis was born in Sigmaringen, Germany, in 1578.  He was at first a magistrate, but then his love for the poor led him to become a priest.  He entered the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor a year after his ordination.  He was sent as a missionary to evangelize the people and was assassinated by an unruly group of  "Church haters" while preaching a sermon in 1622.
     Let us never be afraid to do "too much" for the Lord Jesus and His Church.

A Prayer for Our Resurrection

     In the first glorious mystery we ask God for the grace of a real resurrection.  We are like those people who have come safely through dangerous seas and reached the shore.  We have come through a sea of sorrows because we have been considering the agony of our Savior, His death, and the swords which pierced the heart of His Blessed Mother.  These sorrows have passed and, in His mercy, the heavenly Father has made a new day, the day of glorification.  "This is the day which the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it."  This is the day we prostrate ourselves at the feet of Jesus and say to Him:  "Lord, you have the words of eternal life."

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

     "Meditation is the application of our thinking mind to a supernatural truth in order to have an evermore profound conviction, and as a result, to love it and practice it with the help of grace."
     It is discursive reasoning to arrive at a profound persuasion, and thus to experience it and love it.  It is tiring work, and it requires effort; the lazy do not meditate, even if they may have some good thoughts.
     The main purpose of meditation is to strengthen the mind:
     1.)  With profound and lasting convictions which are firm and objective.  Only with such convictions can one resist the contrary external influences such as the spirit of the world, the flesh and Satan.
     2.)  And together with prayer one will obtain the necessary interior strength to practice virtues, carry out one's duties, and journey to holiness.

What Strikes Me Most Today

"Meditation is tiring work, and it requires effort; the lazy do not meditate, even if they have some good thoughts."  I really have to get used to the idea that meditation is just as important, if not more important, than reading and actively studying.  I am used to learning from books, from movies, from TV and the internet.  I hate to admit it, but if I am meditating even before the Blessed Sacrament at Eucharistic Adoration, it isn't long before I start feeling anxious like I should be reading something, saying the Rosary, or DOING something.  Maybe because my mind wanders so much, and I'm just not good at REALLY meditating.  I try to focus on one thing, and my mind goes to my wife, children, friends, relatives, people I work with, patients, where I have to be at what time tomorrow and who has to be driven to practices and games and who has been fighting with whom, and have I even made my mortgage payment and paid utilities and tuition bills, and I wonder if it really is hurting my car that I've gone so long without changing the oil, and I wonder if my two oldest are maintaining the car they share - I really should check it out, but I don't want them to think I don't trust them since they say it's all fine --- sorry, I started doing it again!  
     I think the world today is a tough place to meditate.  We don't have much quiet; we are always doing something.  Maybe doing more meditating is the thing I need to be spending more time doing - that's the only way I'll ever get better at it.  I'll try, since Blessed Alberione makes it clear that this is the best way to be able to handle "contrary external influences such as the spirit of the world, the flesh and Satan" and "the strength to practice virtues."   God knows that's exactly what I need!

What strikes you most today?  
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

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

Daughters of St. Paul
Evangelizing the World!

New faith and family friendly video sharing

New faith and family friendly video sharing
Great Pauline Video Sharing Site


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!