Monday, May 4, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Mary:  A Heart Which Knows How To Love

     Side by side with the heart of Jesus, the Church honors and prays to the heart of Mary.  Hers is an immaculate heart:  from the moment it was formed, it was always possessed by God.  The devil could never even draw near it!  It is a most humble heart.  The expression, "I am the handmaid of the Lord," came from Mary's heart.  Likewise, the most humble life of the Virgin was always the expression of the sentiments of this heart.  It is a most pure heart.  It loved God and God alone; and in God it loved St. Joseph, sinners, afflicted souls, and the people in her circle of acquaintances.  In heaven Mary lives of love for God and of love for all her children.

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Mary mother of the Church
     Mary is the only person who had the most privileged relationship and knowledge of Jesus.  This knowledge made Mary better prepared than anyone else to unite us to Jesus Christ.
     Eternal life consists in knowing God and his incarnate Son.
     Mary is our spiritual mother, truly, really, and actually.  Jesus Christ, God-made-man is the Saviour.  "He will save his people from their sins." 
     Jesus had a physical body and a mystical body, that is the community of those redeemed by him.  Mary became the mother of both the heads as well as of the members:  Mother of the Church.
     And she looks after the Church, all men and women, according to her heart patterned on the merciful heart of Jesus.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I picked today's picture because I like this artist's view of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I love the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, anyway, but I also thought it fit in well with today's writings and Cinco de Mayo!
     Yesterday I heard on EWTN a nun telling Father Benedict Groeschel how she would love to see a new devotion to the unborn Jesus.  The Annunciation, the Visitation, and Our Lady of Guadalupe were mentioned as examples of devotions which involve the unborn Jesus, but she would like to see a singular devotion just to the unborn Jesus.  What I liked most, though, was when the nun pointed out how this devotion could also serve as a reminder of how we are loved by God even before we are born.  He created us, he knows us, and he loves us individually - certainly NOT because of anything we do (in the womb we haven't had much time or ability to do much of anything!) - he just loves us for BEING.  This devotion to the unborn Jesus would serve as a reminder of the saving sacrifice of God humbling Himself to become human for us, the sacredness of God's gift of life from conception to natural death, and the awesome love God has for us because we are His creation - each of us a unique creation known and loved individually by the God who wanted us to be born!  Wow!  Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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

1 comment:

  1. "He created us, he knows us, and he loves us individually...each of us a unique creation known and loved individually by the God"
    That speaks volumes.
    -Good Catholic in Orange County


"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!