Sunday, April 12, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day, 
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Martin I
Pope and Martyr

     Pope St. Martin I suffered greatly at the hands of a powerful group who propagated the heresy that Christ had no human will.  Frustrated in their plans to murder the Holy Father, they had him dragged to prison and then exiled, where he died in the year 656.  Because of the tremendous sufferings he bore for the love of Christ, Pope St. Martin is considered a martyr.
     Let us ask ourselves:  how do I react when the inevitable sufferings of everyday living come my way?

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Jesus Christ desired to redeem everything in His person

     Jesus Christ desired to redeem everything, including the body, in and through His person.
     So he assumed a body and a soul.  He took the physical body of a baby, a child, a man, and of a victim.
     He was like us in everything save sin.  Like us he had his senses, the natural needs, blood, heart, and the emotions.
     Contemplate Him as a baby in the crib, a worker at Nazareth, worn out in the apostolate, pierced by crowning with thorns, fallen under the cross, on His way to Calvary, given gall and vinegar to drink, nailed to the cross and hanging there for three hours, breathing with bowed head, His side pierced by a lance, His body prepared with anointing for burial and resting three days in the tomb.
     "For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors.  It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold.  It was a costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw" (1 Peter 1:18-19).

What Strikes Me Most Today

I am very impressed by the second to last sentence above, starting with, "Contemplate Him...". where Blessed Alberione summarizes the entire Gospel in one sentence --- impressive!  I also found it interesting that the second writing is about how Christ was like us in all things but sin, which would include having a human will.  The heresy that God did not have a human will was the main reason Pope St. Martin I suffered and died (in defense of Christ, who is Way, Truth, and Life).  I did a little homework and that particular heresy is called  Monothelism.   Pope St. Martin I died feeling deserted and alone, and his cause of death was starvation.  He is also listed as the last martyred Pope.  
     So in response to the first readings question, "How do I react when the inevitable sufferings of everyday living come my way," the next time I feel sorry for myself for missing lunch because of a busy day at work, I'll think of Pope St. Martin I dying alone from starvation to stand up for the truth of a Catholic doctrine, and the Church's right and responsibility to proclaim these Christian doctrines.

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

1 comment:

  1. Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks.
    -- Phillips Brooks


"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!