Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

Take hold of good things liberally

God not only created us but also destined us to a supernatural end. With God's grace, and the use of all our energies, it is easy to achieve.

Hence the sayings, "Work as if everything depends on you, hope and pray as if all depends on God." "God who created you without you, will not save you without you." "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' without the help of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor 12:3).

How can we cooperate? Three rules:

1.) Avoid the things we find are obstacles.

2.) Make use of amoral things as long as they are helpful.

3.) Make use of the good things as much as we can.

What Strikes Me Most Today

OK, did anybody else read #2 above more than once. When I first read it I guess I was thinking amoral was "without morals" or "immoral." That would make life easier, but I'm pretty sure that's not Blessed Alberione's advice. I think he's telling us that some things in life are intrinsically neither moral nor immoral. I tried to think of an example in my life, and travelling came to mind; I love to travel. (The picture above is me riding a motorcycle around Key West; Cuba is directly behind me!)
Now travelling seems like it is not intrinsically moral or immoral, so I guess that would make it "amoral." If travelling makes us appreciate God and His created world more, it is helpful. If travelling is used as a means to separate ourselves from God, it is not helpful. Trying to think of an example, I thought of a married man with a gambling problem flying to Vegas to gamble his children's college fund and have an affair --> this would NOT be helpful.
On the other hand, maybe I still don't fully grasp what Blessed Alberione was trying to say. I did have trouble with this one.
If you have other ideas about what he meant, or a better example, PLEASE, for all our sakes, click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts!


  1. #2 struck me too. I like your reflection about some things being neither moral or immoral, but neutral and I liked your example too. This makes sense. I also found myself wondering if something about this passage was "lost in translation." Sometimes, I've read passages from Bl. Alberione in English and another Sister who can read the original Italian has helped me to understand its context and the nuances of the words that sometimes get lost in translations. I'd like to study Italian!

    Great photo!!

  2. Thank you, Sr. Emi! I knew you could help! The subtle differences in translation certainly make sense. I would love to study Italian, too. Thanks for helping us out!

  3. What strikes me most today is that in less than 4 months you've had over 2,700 hits. That's awesome!


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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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Evangelizing the World!

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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!