Monday, May 25, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Ephrem
Deacon and Doctor
St. Ephrem was born in Nisibis in Mesopotamia (now Turkey) of a pagan family. When Ephrem became a Christian at the age of eighteen, he was cast out of his paternal home by his father who was a pagan priest. Ephrem then became a monk and was ordained a deacon. His humility caused him to decline to be ordained a priest. He passed most of his life as a solitary, and practiced severe penances. He refuted several heretical errors by writing poems and Christian hymns; for this he is called "the harp of the Holy Spirit."
Let us help to lead others to our Catholic-Christian Faith by our own joyful witness.
What Strikes Me Most Today
I always love to hear conversion stories. St. Ephrem was the son of a pagan priest; his conversion caused him to be kicked out of his parents' home. How difficult that must have been. But St. Ephrem would settle for nothing less than the Truth, and as we know, Jesus is the Truth (and the Way and the Life). There is no real controversy or drama to me proclaiming my Catholic faith - I would like to think I would be as vocal in my faith if they would produce difficulties like St. Ephrem faced.
What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Faith, Hope and Charity

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
The Work of the Spirit in Us
Faith, Hope and Charity

What are the effects which the Holy Spirit produces? First of all He gives us grace which makes us friends and sons of God, substantially holy and sharers in the divine nature. There are the three theological virtues: faith, by which we believe in God and in revealed truths; hope, which leads us to look to heaven and to work with the hope of reaching it; charity, through which we love God and our neighbor. The Holy Spirit inclines us to practice the Gospel beatitudes, a foretaste of our reward. He gives us the twelve fruits mentioned by St. Paul in his Letter to the Galatians (chapter 5). When the Holy Spirit penetrates the soul, He makes it like a living plant, and renders it fruitful for eternal life. It is commendable to ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit often.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
The Spirit of Christ
The Holy Spirit made Jesus holy in His humanity. In fact our Savior was born through the action of the Holy Spirit and He grew in holiness and wisdom as well as in age. Again, it was the Holy Spirit who led Him into the desert and descended on Him in baptism. And just as the Holy Spirit made holy the Head of the Mystical Body, so He makes the members holy. With His coming the Church became a vital organism. Through the Holy Spirit the Chruch was made infallible and indefectible. Through Him the apostles preached all over the world, the martyrs bore the most atrocious torments, the virgins blossomed and the religious state came into being.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Norbert
Bishop
St. Norbert was born near Cologne. He dicided to change his careless ways and to dedicate his life to God. After having been ordained to the priesthood, he founded the Order of Premonstratensians, who were dedicated to advancing the holiness of priestly life. Later, as Archbishop of Magdegurg, he worked to help remove the schism of the anti-pope Anacletus, and defended the doctrine of the Real Presence. He died in 1134.
Let us pray for a true devotion to the Real Presence.

Friday, June 5, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Boniface
Bishop and Martyr
St. Boniface, a Benedictine monk, was born in England toward the end of the sevent century. He was sent by Pope Gregory II to evangelize the pagans in Germany and was made legate to the Holy See. Boniface called together several synods and when he was nominated Archbishop of Mainz, he anointed Pepin king of the Franks. He and thirty of his monks were massacred by a pagan mob in 755. Boniface is called the Apostle of Germany.
Le us, too, be diligent in our daily duty, meeting each task with joy in spite of tiny "martyrdoms" for the love of God.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Under the Guidance of the Spirit
Once the soul has abandoned itself to the care of its heavenly Father, to the care of Jesus, once it has given itself over to the action of the Holy Spirit, let it believe and trustfully allow the Blessed Trinity to work, following Them with great docility.
Let it abandon itself to infinite wisdom, to infinite goodness, to the infinite love of God, and then, without being upset, agitated or feeling lost, let God arrange things, guide and operate. Nothing must ever disturb the soul which has given itself completely to God, to belong entirely to Him.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Charles Lwanga and Companions
Martyrs
The first black martyrs of Uganda in Africa, St. Charles Lwanga, chief of the royal pages, and his companions, died in a fierce persecution of the Church in 1886. They were canonized saints by Pope Paul VI in 1964.
Let us be truly Caholic or "universal" in ourlook and pray for Christ's Church in every corner of the globe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


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

Sts. Marcellinus and Peter

Martyrs

St. Marcellinus, a priest, and St. Peter, and exorcist, were decampitated in a forest during the persecutions under Diocletian. They were martyred around 304 or 305. The family of Constantine built a large basilica in their honor.

Following the examples of these courageous martyrs, let us pray for the strength to be firm in our faith.

Monday, June 1, 2009


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

     St. Justin was a pagan philosopher at first.  Not satisfied with the philosophical system of the pagans, he studied the teachings of Jesus Christ and became a Christian.  Justin then went to Rome and opened the first school of Christian philosophy.  He died for the Faith under Emperor Murcus Aurelius in about 165.
     In imitation of St. Justin, let us study our Lord's teachings which show us how to become better Christians.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I think we truly are lucky to have the Church, the Magisterium, and the examples of the Saints to help us learn to become better Christians.  I just need to take better advantage of these in my life.

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


Sunday, May 31, 2009

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

     This feast was instituted by Pope Urban VI in 1389.  The feast reminds us of our Blessed Mother's visit to St. Elizabeth and Jesus' sanctification of John the Baptizer.
     Let us cultivate the virtue of charity which brings God's peace to us and to our neighbor.

The Fruits of Mary's Visit

     The Virgin's visit to her cousin Elizabeth was an extraordinary one, completely holy.  Let it be a model for our visits, both those we pay to our relatives, acquaintances and friends and those we receive from them for any reason whatsoever:  help, comfort, sympathy, instruction, relaxation, business, social reasons, friendships, etc.
     In the Visitation, the one who visited was most holy.  Her action was inspired by humility and charity.  The person visited was holy and the fruits of the visit were admirable:  the sanctification of John the Baptizer, the infusion of the Holy Spirit into Elizabeth, and Zechariah's regaining of his speech.  We, too, should make our visits holy.

What Strikes Me Most Today

My visits in Quebec City have required quite a bit of "help" and "instruction" from people I'm trying to speak French with.  My high school French needs quite a bit of help and instruction, but it's been fun trying, and most people with whom I try to speak French seem to appreciate my efforts, and have been very helpful (which is very charitable if you would hear my French!)

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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

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

Apostolic work

     The most noble and useful work for society is apostolic work:  "How beautiful are the footsteps of those who evangelize peace, of those who evangelize the good!"  This was the great work done by Jesus Master in His public ministry:  "I came so that they might have life and have it abundantly."  Jesus associated collaborators to Himself:  Mary and Joseph - in their respective positions - were the first and principal cooperators in the Redemption.  They prepared for humanity the Divine Master, the eternal Priest, the Victim of expiation.  The apostle is a cooperator.  With Christ, in Christ and for Christ, he works for the salvation of men and brings them the great benefits of faith, holiness and grace.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Foggy, but no rain today.  We went to a beach just north of Halifax in Lawrencetown - absolutely beautiful.  The water was freezing, but people were actually surfing.  Heading to Quebec City in the morning.  God bless!

Friday, May 29, 2009

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

Charity - Love of Neighbor

Following the example of the Virgin, who served her cousin, St. Elizabeth, for three months, let us ask of Mary charity towards our neighbor, and charity for our "first" neighbor, our family.  Let us have confidence in Mary, our Mother.  She was constituted by the heavenly Father as treasurer, mediatrix and distributrix of grace; she was associated with Christ in the Redemption and in the acquisition of grace.

What Strikes Me Most Today

It is cold and rainy in Halifax.  We are planning on visiting the Citadel and driving to one or two beaches this afternoon, so hopefully it will clear up.  Actually, it still hasn't been a bad day.  We went out to breakfast, swam in the hotel pool for a little while, and now everyone is drinking hot chocolate, coffee, or tea and reading.  I really like that today's reading remind us that our "first" neighbor is our family.  I think I'll log off now and spend time just being with mine.  Have a Blessed day!  I already am!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


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

The Vocational Problem

Everywhere the problem of vocations is the most difficult.  We read in the Gospel that the Divine Master, model of every apostle, or rather the Apostle par excellence, concerned Himself about this problem in the first place, with the greatest zeal, making every sacrifice.  Before manifesting Himself, He had already called James, John, Andrew, Peter, etc.  God has prepared vocations everywhere.  He saves men through the work of men, as the Son of God became man in order to save man:  "For us men and for our salvation."  God blesses in every way new houses that immediately set to work to recruit vocations.  Of course, we mus be prudent; there are small differences from one place to another.  But substantially it is always the same.  

What Strikes Me Most Today

We went to Peggy's Cove today - absolutely beautiful!  The day was perfect.  Appropriate that we have fishermen in today's blog.  Food is great.  People here just couldn't be nicer.  Hope you all are well wherever you are today.  Will be back soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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

St. Augustine, a Roman monk of the Benedictine Order, was sent to England as a missionary.  His sermons, accompanied by numerous miracles, soon converted many to the Faith.  At his death, twelve bishoprics had already been established.
     Let us always pray for those who do not know and love the Lord Jesus and His Church.

What Strikes Me Most Today

OK, weather was terrible leaving St. Louis, we had an even longer delay in Chicago, and arrived in Nova Scotia at 2A.M.  The car rental place had closed already, so we had to rent a van to take us to our hotel, then take a cab back to the airport the next morning to get our car.  So it is taking us a little longer to settle in - but everyone has been very nice and Halifax is absolutely beautiful.  Hope everyone is well.  I'll try to get back to the blog soon!
Jeff

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Philip Neri
Priest

     "Saint with a joyful heart," Philip was born in Florence, Italy.  He founded the Congregation of the Oratory.  His great love for God and for young people made him exclaim:  "Amuse yourselves, but do not offend God."  He died in 1595.
     Let us, too, lobe God and obey His commandments cheerfully.

Be Happy and Holy

     Alleluia!  Happy and holy!  I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I believe in the final resurrection of all mankind.  I believe in the duty to rise every day to a new life and a new hope.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Today is the day we leave for Canada!  It'll be the first time there for everyone in my family.  I think it is absolutely perfect that the Saint with a joyful heart has his feast day today!  I am hoping we will have an awesome time visiting more of God's awesome created world, and hopefully not offending God at all during the trip, but remembering to glorify Him as all creation comes from Him!  Please keep my family in your prayers - I'll do my best to write from Canada when I can!

What strikes you most today?  
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day, 
by Blessed James Alberione
Venerable Bede
Priest and Doctor

     St. Bede became a Benedictine monk and spent his life in prayer and study.  He became the first English historian.  The great Benedictine is know as "Venerable Bede," a title he was given while still alive because of his profound religious writings.  He died in 735.
     Let us imitate him in his fervent application to prayer and to study.

What Strikes Me Most Today

The painting above is "Venerable Bede Translating the Gospel of John," by JD Penrose.  It's hard to imagine in this little cell 1300 years ago St. Bede was making progress for the English speaking Catholic Church.  He is another example of someone who had no idea what a profound effect his work would have on the world.

What strikes you most today?  
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

The Apostolate of Suffering


We can consider suffering in three ways:

  1. as mortification to prevent sin
  2. as sanctification to do good
  3. as supplication that the apostolate may be fruitful and efficacious
Every apostolate is good;  but it is the cross and passion of Jesus that redeemed the world.
     When the apostolate of publication is united with the apostolate of suffering, then the redemption is complete.  "And now I am happy about my sufferings for you, for by means of my physical sufferings I am helping to complete what still remains of Christ's sufferings on behalf of his body the Church" (Col 1:24).


What Strikes Me Most Today


The Meaning of the Year of St. Paul Logo

 

  • The chain represents the imprisonment of Paul in Rome.
  • The sword is symbolic of his martyrdom.  As a Roman citizen, Paul could not be crucified nor stoned, the two most common means of execution, but rather was accorded the "honor" of beheading by sword.
  • The book represents his epistles.
  • The cross is emblematic of Christ, of whom Paul said, "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23).
  • The tongue of flame refers to the Holy Spirit.
  • 2008-2009 are the dates of the Pauline year.
  • 29 VI represents June 29, the ending day of the Pauline celebration and the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul.

What strikes you most today?  
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

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

Let our lives reflect the most holy life of the Holy Family of Nazareth.  Let us ask that all families follow it and imitate it.  Civil and Christian life are the outcome of family life.  Let us ask that parents live a holy life and educate their children in a Christian manner; that children obey and follow the directives of their parents; that parents be of good example and love their children with parental care; that children, in turn, love their parents, be of consolation to them, and help them according to their needs; and that all the members of the family pray and attend church.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Our family is preparing to go on a 12 day trip to Eastern Canada (Nova Scotia, Quebec City, Toronto and Niagara Falls).  We are planning on bringing no cell phones with us.  The fact that we will be in a different country, where we would have to pay roaming charges for calls and texts and data, gives us a good excuse to leave the phones at home.  I'm hoping it will result in more face-to-face time and actual talking.  My teenagers text an awful lot.  I know we can communicate better as a family - we did last year on vacation.  It's too bad we have to travel so far to get closer as a family.  

What strikes you most today?  
Click on "COMMENTS" below to let us know.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

"The Visitation"  
Watercolor by Lois Giorgis

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Mary Makes Christ Known

When we speak of spreading the Good News, we should always remember the second joyful mystery:  the visit of Mary to St. Elizabeth.  This was the first time anyone made Jesus known.  Mary carried Him in her womb and brought Him to that family, to be its health, salvation and sanctification.  She walked many miles to bring the Good News.  Her visit paid to this family must be our model for apostolic visits to families.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Unfortunately, I often find myself looking for reasons not to be outspoken or not to witness to my faith.  When I read today's writing, I thought of all the good excuses Mary could have given not to be an active witness, but fortunately she didn't make excuses like I do!  First of all, Elizabeth is family; often it is more difficult to talk to family about spiritual issues.  Then, too, Mary was pregnant, with the Son of God!  She could have easily thought she should stay home and rest.  She walked a long way to visit Elizabeth and her family, but she never thought twice about going to visit Elizabeth.  Mary never ceases to amaze me - God once again shows He knew what He was doing when He asked her to be the Mother of God!

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




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Feel with the Pope in the apostolate

     In the apostolate feel with the Pope always, to repeat that which he teaches, with the means the Lord has given us, the means Vatican II has indicated:  the press, cinema, radio, TV, and all the technical means of social communication in general.
     Collaborate with the Pope and be at his service; cooperate with bishops and priests; be of service, that is, work in dependence on and in collaboration with the Church.
     Thus like Mary, you will stay close to the Church.  This principle should guide and inspire the apostolate.

What Strikes Me Most Today

     Pope John Paul the Great!  What a Pope he was!  He was certainly very Pauline in his approach to his work - what an awesome use he made of the means of social communication!  How fitting that he was the Pope who beatified Blessed James Alberione!
     Pope Benedict XVI is doing a great job, too - I'd love for him to be the one to canonize St. James Alberione one day soon!  

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Bernardine of Siena
Priest
St. Bernardine was a Franciscan friar who traveled and preached extensively about the limitless mercy of Jesus. He propagated the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus and died in 1444.
Let us cultivate a sincere respect for and devotion to the sacred name of Jesus.
Confidence
Let us put our trust in Mary, Queen of Apostles, and in St. Paul the Apostle. "He who began the good work in you will also perfect, strengthen, and establish it." According to St. Bernardine of Siena, whoever is destined for a particular duty will receive the grace to accomplish it holily and with greater merit for eternal life.
What Strikes Me Most Today
The last line above, "whoever is destined for a particular duty will receive the grace to accomplish it holily and with greater merit for eternal life," reminds me of a quote I heard recently attributed to Mother Theresa of Calcutta, that no one will receive apostolic zeal for a particular apostolic work without the graces needed to accomplish it. This thought reminds me of one of my favorite John Paul the Great quotes: "Be not afraid!"
What strikes you most today?
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
The Presence of Woman
For the mission of woman, Jesus conserved her most characteristic aspect; with her penetrating, loving gaze, woman perceives the infinite little things that fill the course of life, that bring enjoyment or sadness to man; that might make him good or might irritate him and lead him off course without his realizing it. Women finish and refine things and they smooth over many difficulties, giving a moral contribution. They create an atmosphere that is intangible but real and indispensable for the spirit.
From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Form a new mentality
Your apostolate does not only aim at the progress of individual persons, but it aims also to form a new mentality in society, which means to give it a new spirit and direction.
Often one may fall in the error of seeing the fruit only in one single person. But the greater fruit is the mentality that is being created in the society: a Christian mentality, fear of God, and all that facilitates personal holiness and promotes Christian life in society.
What Strikes Me Most Today
I like the idea of forming a new mentality in society, giving it a new spirit and direction. Recently I have been encouraged by news articles reporting that the majority of Americans now consider themselves pro-life, and seeing the intelligent, articulate defense of human life by students at Notre Dame being interviewed on prime time news. Even CNN and other news sources seem to be reporting the pro-life side in a more balanced manner. Years ago I feared the pro-life movement would fade; I am thrilled and thankful that respect for life seems to be increasing in our society.

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

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

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

     St. John governed the Church for three years and he was a strong defender of the Faith.  The Arian King Theodoric had Pope John thrown into a dungeon in Ravenna and there he died of starvation in 526.
     How do I "measure" the daily crosses that come my way?  Am I willing to carry them for love of God?

The Ideal Man and the Ideal Woman

     There was a man who is the ideal to draw inspiration from:  Jesus Christ.  There was a woman whom we can look at to admire and imitate:  Mary.  She is the Woman, the masterpiece of creation, of grace and of glory.  She is "the most sublime of all creatures," privileged at her entrance into the world because of her Immaculate Conception and privileged at her passage to eternity because of her bodily assumption into heaven.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I've been talking recently about how hectic my life has been.  I made a point to get caught up on a list of things that were making me most anxious not getting done - catching up on bills and e-mails and making plans for our upcoming family vacation (to Canada - we leave in 8 days, yeah, I should start getting organized).  I didn't get everything done, but I got enough done that I took 10 minutes to sit outside, alone and quiet, and talked to God.  It may not sound like much, but it was awesome.  I really need to make some time for that every day - the days that are most hectic and I'm most stressed I am most likely to not pray - and those are the days I need it most!

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

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vatican City at Night

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

The Pauline mission is universal with regard to people.  Using technical means, it is addressed to all in some measure:  to every class, group, age, condition, nation and continent, and with reasonable preference to the masses.  The mission is to bring to all the message of salvation contained in the Bible, the Tradition and the teachings of the Church.  It is universal as to its object because it strives to Christianize everything:  philosophy, the arts, literature and music, sociology and morality, history and law, government and legislation, education and labour.
     St. Paul writes, "May the peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding keep your heart and thought in Christ Jesus."
     In conclusion, "Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable" (Phil 4:8).

What Strikes Me Most Today

I like the idea of the Pauline mission being universal.  Many of the Daughters of St. Paul I have met are fluent in at least two languages, some more (Sr. Carmen Christi comes to mind first when I think of people who have a gift for languages).  The music of the Daughters of St. Paul is universal.  The 52 countries where the Daughters of St. Paul live the Gospel are a testament to the universal nature of the Pauline family.  The Daughters of St. Paul "Christianize" our world by bringing Christ to every area of our life, as Blessed Alberione described above - they are faithfully living out the Pauline mission.  Let us imitate the Daughters of St. Paul, thus we will be imitating Blessed Alberione and Mother Thecla imitating St. Paul imitating Christ!

What strikes you most today?  
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Friday, May 15, 2009

St . Paul's Home in Rome

Fr. Jeff Mickler of the Society of St. Paul gives a great 2 1/2 minute talk about St. Paul from the church built on the site of St. Paul's home in Rome. He mentions 2 Timothy (as does Blessed Alberione in today's writing) and provides the idea for us becoming "a living letter to the world." I believe this is another way of describing a Pauline Cooperator, which I hope to be one day.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
We are all missionaries

     "Fulfill your duty as an apostle" (2Tim 4:5).  St. Paul was not writing this to one of the apostles; he was referring to all those who have the mission of evangelizing the world, to all people.  For as the apostle says in another passage, the Lord has established not only doctors and bishops in the Church, but also apostles.  All:  priests, brothers, aspirants, sisters, should walk in the same direction, in the same spirit:  evangelization.
     And everyone can say:  the Lord has sent me to evangelize (cf Lk 4:18).
     Let's cooperate to make both the separated brethren and the Catholics better Christians.  We shall contribute with our prayers, penance, sacrifices and apostolate.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Father Jeffrey Mickler's video above is perfect for today's blog.  I'll let him do the talking today!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
True apostolate is self-gift

The true apostolate consists in self-gift in contrast to egoism, self-interest, vainglory and the foolish desire to assert oneself. Zeal for the apostolate is born of the intensity of love. Loving deeds are practical results of loving dispositions.
Apsotolate therefore presupposes the spirit of sacrifice, sacrifice of money, time, health, and esteem.
It will bring criticism, opposition, often even from those for whose eternal salvation we are working, or those who have benefited from our work.
We should have a clear understanding of mortification. There are positive as well as negative mortifications. We should not weaken ourselves with privations, rather we sould keep ourselves healthy for works of apostolate. Apostolate done well is a positive mortification. Rather than suppressing, we should develop our energies and use them for the glory of God and the good of human beings.
What Strikes Me Most Today
I have heard before that mortification is not the same as suffering. Even fasting, although it can be beneficial, could have the effect of weakening us and making us less effective in our work and family life and our apostolate, whatever our apostolate may be. So, to be sure I keep my strength up to do my best in all these areas, I'm going to have Kentucky Fried Chicken and a beer for dinner tonight. (I really am not good at fasting, so I'm glad Blessed Alberione makes me feel better for not fasting or overdoing negative mortifications - I knew I liked him!)
What strikes you most today?
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009






From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

St. Matthias

Apostle


St. Matthias was one of Jesus' first disciples. In today's First Reading we read an account of how, after the Ascension of our Lord, St. Peter proposed to the faithful that a disciple of Christ be chosen to fill the place of Judas among the Twelve. When the lots were drawn, the choice fell upon Matthias. According to an ancient tradition, this zealous Apostle labored to spread the Faith in Ethiopia and was martyred there.

Let us invoke St. Matthias when in doubt as to which state of life to select, and be prompt in the fulfillment of God's will.


Recourse to Mary


St. Bernard wrote, "The Lord wills that every grace should pass through Mary." In any need, always and everywhere, one can have recourse to the rosary. The rosary is a universal supplication of individual souls, of the community, of the Church and of all mankind. Rather than feeling alone, the soul feels itself to be a member of a universal body. Said John XXIII: "The Church... lives amid hardships, adversities and tempests of social disorder, which often turn into frightening threats. But its gaze is fixed, and its energies of nature and grace always tend toward the supreme destiny of the eternal goals."


What Strikes Me Most Today


I have to tell you why I picked the picture above. I used to see this image of St. Matthias frequently. When I was young, my older brother would sometimes have the job of taking me to mass if my parents were working or taking younger siblings to games. We were in Most Precious Blood Parish, but he told my parents he really liked the priest who said mass at St. Matthias Parish, so we would go there. Sort of.

My brother would pull up at St. Matthias and have me run in to get a bulletin. Then we would drive to the Electric Groove Arcade, where my brother would bring me out a Coke, then he would go back in and play pinball and foosball with his friends, while I stayed in the car reading the St. Matthias bulletin. At first I thought this drawing on the St. Matthias bulletin was Jesus, but later learned it was actually St. Matthias. After an hour, my brother drove me home, and he would make sure we left the bulletin on the countertop so my parents would know we had been to St. Matthias. I later learned my parents didn't know anyone at St. Matthias, and I don't think my parents ever learned that we never actually set foot inside the church on those days.

Sorry for the random/rambling story, but this story is what strikes me most whenever St. Matthias is mentioned.


What strikes you most today?

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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

It is obvious that holiness and apostolate go hand in hand in the life of a person. St. Thomas has beautifully explained this in his writings. However let us note that the work, the apostolate acquires great value if it springs from contemplation, that is, from prayer, from the love of God and of one's neighbour.
The heart that is full of God, full of love for the Lord is an upturned vase that spreads around its contents.
You give Jesus Christ to persons who surround you because your heart is full. You want to be saved, and you want to save others, you want to give glory to God, and you want that the whole people give glory to God.
What Strikes Me Most Today
OK, 2 days in a row now I waited until I prayed for 5 minutes before I got ready for work. I was hoping God would reward me with a smooth, easy, stress-free day - that didn't happen. But I really didn't get down during tough parts of the day. I have to remember that prayer is not just a time for relaxing for a few minutes - it should be a focused conversation which has the ability to strengthen my relationship with God. There are supernatural benefits - some of which I may see or feel now, but some I won't. But it is important whether or not I am aware of any benefits. As Blessed Alberione says above, any apsostolate springs from contemplation, from prayer. I know yesterday and today were only 5 minutes of prayer each, but it is something, and even that little bit I know is helping me. Praying for one another will be even more helpful, so I'm going to pray today for everyone who reads this - and please pray for me!

What strikes you most today?
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione


Martyrs


Nereus and Achilleus were Roman officers. They suffered martyrdom together in the year 304 under the Emperor Diocletian.

St. Pancratius

Martyr


St. Pancratius, a boy of fourteen, suffered martyrdom at the same time as Sts. Nereus and Achilleus - perhaps even on the same day - because he refused to deny Christ.

Let us ask these martyrs to help us love and live our Christian-Catholic heritage.


Mary Leads Us to Heaven


After the death of her Son, Jesus, Mary took care of the apostles, especially of St. John, the youngest. She used to accompany them with her prayers, good example and maternal comfort. Thus, Jesus willed that Mary be with them during theri first years of evangelization as she had accompanied Him. After her earthly pilgrimage, her mission fulfilled, she was assumed into heaven. Let us think about the last day of the world. All the elect will gloriously enter heaven, body and soul; thus they will have the eternal reward.


What Strikes Me Most Today


I was not thrilled when the alarm clock went off this morning. I hit the snooze bar as many times as I could, but then I had to get up. But before I did I imagined Blessed Alberione talking about how vital our prayer life is. Even though I was going to be a little late for work, I prayed for just 5 minutes before I started getting ready for work. What a difference that made! I still wound up having a busy day, but it hasn't been overwhelming or overly stressful - I did what I could about all that I could, kept in heavenly communication more with short prayers of petition and thanks throughout the day, and I'm trying to shake off the feeling that I have to take care of and fix all problems myself. I did what I could, asked for help with things I couldn't, and prayed about the rest. Overall, for a busy Monday, I really have been having a great day! And I mean these are little adjustments in my approach to the day. I need to remember that I really should never have a day that I feel too busy to pray - those are the days I need prayer the most!


What strikes you most today?

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Mary Generates Us in the Spirit

     Through His prayers and His merits, Christ brings it about that the Holy Spirit works in us as in His own soul.  We live in Him because we are incorporated in Him.  He impresses a new life upon us and develops it in us - the life which grafts good olives onto a wild olive tree.  Being our Mother, Mary shares with Christ in our regeneration; and we, being members of the Mystical Body, share in all the good belonging to the saints of heaven and earth.  This is because of the dogma of the communion of saints, and this is eternal life.  "O God, grant that we may partake in the divinity of Him who deigned to be partaker of our humanity, Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Lord."

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

     It is easy to say an enthusiastic yes in the prime of youth when one has not gone through hardships, when life has been blessed with a series of favourable situations, and the difficulties on one's way are overcome easily.  But there will come a time when we will be made aware of our insufficiencies.  Whereas once we thought capable of achieving and building up something, now we have instead discovered our inadequacies.  Once we thought that we would be encountering trust and that everything would be very simple.  Instead we have met very complicated persons.
     Suddenly we experience a sense of tiredness.  It is the Lord purifying us even to 99 degree.
     The Lord will remove your presumption and the sense of self-sufficiency you had instead of trust in him.
     He will shatter the idea that good can be achieved very easily and he will make you learn that the good requires much sacrifice, many tears and at times, even bloodshed.  The Lord will leave only one percent, but with this you can achieve marvels.
     If you wish to bear fruit, remember that the heavenly Father will prune you  The branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off; the fruitful branch will be pruned:  it is the gospel teaching.

What Strikes Me Most Today

       The second passage really speaks to where I'm at right now.  I have been incredibly stressed and tired.  I often feel like I just can't quite get my head above water, getting behind in so much in life.  I feel less idealistic about plans for what I want to do with my life, but I read Blessed Alberione's writings, and I feel like maybe I'm not the only one feeling that.  (And the "complicated persons" in our lives... he had to throw that one in there just for me!)  
     But to handle it, I am trying to be more and more self-sufficient.  I am very often way too presumptuous that I know how to handle all the details of my life.  I have a hard time just letting go and trusting in God.  I feel like I always have to be doing things to make life work out like it should.  
        Wondering how I should handle daily problems differently, the Serenity Prayer comes to mind: 

God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

What strikes you most today?  

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Madonna Sewing,

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Mary, Woman of Work

During the public ministry of Jesus, when the apostles were in the Cenacle waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit or when they were preaching, when she was living in the house of the apostle John, Mary, together with the pious women, worked as an ordinary, industrious woman - preparing food, cleaning house, washing and mending clothes.... She is the model of working women. 

What Strikes Me Most Today

Happy Mother's Day to all those who are mothers to children!  And Happy Mother's Day to all who are spiritual mothers, especially nuns living a life as a Bride of Christ and spiritual mother to a world desperately in need of spiritual nurturing and the dedication, sacrifice, and daily work you offer for the salvation of each and every sinner like me - Thank You!

What strikes you most today?  
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Friday, May 8, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

North American Martyrs

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

The apostolate and the apostle

The apostolate is the flowering of true love for God and for souls. It is the fruit of an intense interior life.

Imagine an inflamed heart, which being unable either to contain or to suppress the fire within, expands and expresses in so many forms which are in conformity with the Church.

An apostle is one who carries God in his heart and irradiates him all around himself.

An apostle is a saint who gathers treasures and from his overanbundance shares it with others.

An apostle has a heart aflame with love of God and God's people; he can neither suppress nor suffocate what he feels and thinks.

An apostle is a vase of election through which flows the life of God and people flock to him for nourishing themselves.

An apostle is a temple of the most Holy Trinity who is supremely active in him. He, as a writer says, exudes God from his every pore: in words, deeds, prayer, gestures, the attitudes in public as well as in private. He communicates God from his total being.

Live by God! And give God.

What Strikes Me Most Today


When I read the above description of apostles, I thought of many Paulines I know and of the Pauline founders. I also thought of the North American Martyrs. The high school I attended and my son now attends (St. Louis University High School) has an awesome North American Martyr Chapel. It is one of my favorite places in the world to spend time. There are statues of each of the North American Martyrs in the Chapel. They were obviously way beyond where I am in living my faith life, but as far as the description "an apostle has a heart aflame with love of God's people; he can neither suppress nor suffocate what he feels and thinks," I understand the North American Martyrs even better.
Click on the picture above of the North American Martyrs for more information about them.



"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?

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!