Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,

by Blessed James Alberione

St. Matthias


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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"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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Daughters of St. Paul
Evangelizing the World!

New faith and family friendly video sharing

New faith and family friendly video sharing
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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!