Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Climb higher; Be not afraid!

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

     All the baptized have the call to a higher level of prayer, and this is a universal call, normal for all:  to arrive at infused contemplation because it is only and always the development of the initial grace.
     This primarily depends on the grace of God.  It also depends on the dispositions on account of which God can infuse this grace, give us even greater spirit of prayer, desire to accomplish things always in a better way, to fulfill one's duties.
     Don't think of only small things, but aim at holiness, aim at imitating Jesus, aim at imitating Mary.  As the saints say:  aim at the sublime and big graces.
     Don't be satisfied with small things.
     At times some persons take some small steps and stop.  But if we have a higher horizon before us, then one breathes better spiritually, really one breathes better.

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

     Anybody who wants to reach paradise must share in the fruits of the Redemption, in the fruits of the cross.  Jesus says:  "I am the Good Shepherd and I give my life for my sheep."  This is charity.  How much love did Jesus have for us?  The Gospel says:  "Having loved those who were his own in the world, he loved then to the end."  The final sign of His love is that which impelled Him to die for us on the cross, and to leave Himself as food for our souls.
     We had a Jewish Pasch; we have a Christian Pasch; we shall have an eternal Pasch when we will be called to eternity.  To get ready for this, lit us live our mystical Easter, and we do it by stepping from a good life to a better and a holy life.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Blessed Alberione often speaks in "threes," so even though today's readings sound like a tall order for how to live our lives, I thought I would look for 3 things I could do:
  1. aiming high is always good - I can work on that.  I just have to be prepared for the imperfect person I know I am, and not be discouraged at times when I fail.
  2. contemplate eternity more often - thinking about eternity has to be important since it does last for eternity
  3. take full advantage of Jesus in the Eucharist - He left Himself as food for our souls.
Jesus makes all the above possible for us.  I could do none of this on my own.

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

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!