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.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

What strikes you most today?  

Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what might have been.
    -- George Eliot


"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!