Friday, April 24, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Every revealed truth is to be believed

     St. Mark, also called John Mark, cousin of Barnabas, was baptized by St. Peter who loved him as a son.  
     After being with St. Paul for some time, Mark accompanied St. Peter as a faithful disciple.  St. Jerome says, "Mark, disciple and interpreter of Peter, while in Rome was prayed over by the brethren, wrote a short gospel narrating what he had heard from Peter.  Peter examined this gospel, approved it, and gave it to the Church so that it could be read."
     St. Mark founded the Church at Alexandria in Egypt where he died.  His body was brought to Venice.
     The purpose of St. Mark's gospel is to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God" (Mk 1:1).
     The divinity of Jesus is a fundamental truth of Christianity.  If Jesus Christ is God, all his teachings are truth to be believed.  All his examples show the perfect way to act and live; each of his institutions, like the primacy of Peter, the Church, the Sacraments are to be accepted with veneration and with the certainty of salvation.

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

     St. Mark is one of the four Evangelists.  It is said that he was the youth who left the sheet, in which he was wrapped, in the hands of the soldiers and fled naked, the night that Jesus was captured.  He was one of the seventy-two disciples and became St. Peter's beloved disciple.  He was sent by Peter to Alexandria in Egypt, where he was martyred after having governed the Church of Egypt for many years.
     Let us resolve to always be on the side of Christ, no matter the cost.

The Gospel of Mark

     The purpose of St. Mark's Gospel is to prove that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  The divinity of Jesus Christ is the fundamental truth of Christianity.  If Jesus Christ is God, every one of His teachings is a truth we must believe; every one of His examples illustrates a perfect way of working and living; every institution of His, such as the primacy of Peter, the Church, and the sacraments, should be accepted with veneration and regarded as a guarantee of eternal salvation.
     When I read the Gospel of St. Mark I will stir up my faith in Jesus Christ, the God-Man.  I will make acts of adoration in recognition of His omnipotence which nothing can resist.  I will especially pay homage to the dominion of Jesus Christ over evil spirits and over death.  I will ask Him to move the minds of all men by His grace, so that all may adore Him and follow Him as devoted sons and disciples.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Actually, Blessed Alberione already said what strikes him most in the last paragraph above, so I think I  won't try to add anything to it.

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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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!