Friday, July 31, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Bishop and Doctor

St. Alphonsus was born near Naples in 1696. He was the founder of the Order of the Redemptorists. During his ninety-one years of life, Alphonsus never committed a mortal sin. He was very devoted to the Blessed Virgin, and greatly emphasized the importance of prayer: "He who prays is saved; and he who does not pray is damned."
Let us imitate St. Alphonsus' love and devotion to the Blessed Mother.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Blessed Alberione usually finds the characteristics he can relate to, and prays to imitate those. I noticed today's prayer did not mention "Let me never commit a mortal sin." Although I would love to say I never committed a mortal sin, and never will, I know the former is a lie and the latter is not going to happen; I think Blessed Alberione felt the same. I have to admit that Saints who never ever committed a mortal sin are awesome, but I can relate to and love Saints who struggled with sin a lot easier!

What strikes you most today?
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Animated clip lasts less than a minute

Friday, July 31, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Ignatius of Loyola
Priest

St. Ignatius was born at Loyola in Spain, in 1491. At the age of thirty, Ignatius abandoned his military career to serve the King of kings. He founded the Society of Jesus, and died in Rome on July 31, 1556, with the name of Jesus on his lips.
Let us imitate St. Ignatius, and serve the Divine Master well in our state of life.

"Thirty-Thousandfold"

Good literature did not produce a mere hundredfold in St. Ignatius; it produced some thirty-two thousand for him - counting the number of members in his Order. A Pope says that St. Ignatius has made more saints with his book of Spiritual Exercises than the number of letters needed to print it!

What Strikes Me Most Today

When I read that St. Ignatius has made more saints with his book of Spiritual Exercises than the number of letters needed to print it, I think of all the books written, printed, and distributed by the Daughters of St. Paul since their founding. It would be impossible to count how many letters or words or even pages they have printed, and only God knows how many have been made saints as a result of the tireless work of evangelization by the Daughters of St. Paul!

What strikes you most today?
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Peter Chrysologus
Bishop and Doctor

St. Peter was born near Ravenna, Italy. In 433, by divine disposition, he was chosen Archbishop of Ravenna. He spoke so eloquently against the Monophysite errors that he earned the title of "Chrysologus" or "Golden-Worded." He was declared a Doctor of the Church because of the more than one hundred and sixty learned dogmatic homilies which he wrote. One of his famous sayings is: "He who amuses himself with Satan cannot rejoice with Christ."
Let us, in imitation of St. Peter, defend our Faith with words and, above all, with actions.


What Strikes Me Most Today

I am so impressed by someone who could be so knowledgeable about the Catholic faith over 1500 years ago! Today we have over 20 centuries of learning and clarification, with the entire wealth of knowledge the Magisterium offers us. It makes me think much of St. Peter Chrysologus' wisdom was truly a grace - a gift directly from God - to benefit the entire Church, and it has!

What strikes you most today?
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

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

St. Martha, sister of Mary Magdalene and Lazarus, received the Divine Master into her home in Bethany and offered Him dinner. She waited on Him joyfully. Martha lived an exemplary life and died a holy death.
Are we able, like St. Martha, to find Christ in the "humdrum" and drudgery of everyday life?

What Strikes Me Most Today

The following is an awesome prayer to pray while meditating on today's picture:

A Prayer to St. Martha
Feastday July 29th

O blessed St. Martha, your faith led Jesus to proclaim, “I am the resurrection and the life”; and faith let you see beyond his humanity when you cried out, “Lord I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” With firm hope you said, “I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him”, and Jesus called your brother Lazarus back from the dead. With pure love for Jesus you welcomed him into your home.
Friend and servant of our Saviour, I too am “troubled about many things”. (Pause for silent prayer.) Pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love, and that Jesus, who sat at your table, will hear me and grant me a place at the banquet of eternal life. Amen. (Luke 10:38-42 / John 11:1-54)

What strikes you most today?
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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

St. Joseph is a wonderful model of interior life. He is great before God and before men, not because of his knowledge, power, or human riches, but because of his innocence, his delicacy, his abandonment in God, his docility in letting himself be guided by divine Providence. In heaven he shines with the highest glory after that of the most holy Virgin Mary, because God exalts the humble, because Joseph was always faithful to his very delicate mission, because he loved God without reserve, even in his silence.

What Strikes Me Most Today

The last phrase, "because he loved God without reserve, even in his silence." Being a Dad has taught me to love without reserve. I don't know that I fully understood unconditional love until I became a parent. To think God loves me even more than that --- I cannot imagine it, but I am forever grateful --- especially since He loves my children with that same unconditional love without reserve!

What strikes you most today?
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mathews Children on Maid of the Mist
Niagara Falls, Canada
June 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

Family Duties

Family is the first place of sanctification for human beings. It is the first society instituted by God and sanctified by Jesus. For Christians it is the result of a sacrament.

Ordinarily, a person begins his life, lives it and terminates it in a family. For most, the greatest graces are obtained in the family.

Fidelity to family duties is an indication of the true goodness of a person.

According to one's condition everyone in the family has a place: there is the husband, the father, the son; there is the wife, the mother, the daughter; there is the adult, the teenager, the child, the brother and the sister.

The duties are according to each one's position. In the family there should be religious instruction, good mutual example, constant love, an atmosphere of piety and assiduous work. In the family everyone should find food, shelter, comfort, peace and happiness.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I like Blessed Alberione's reminder that the family starts as the result of a sacrament. I know this, but with the day to day challenges, worries, struggles, battles (especially with teenagers!), it's nice to take a step back and remember that one simple, but awesome and vital, detail.

What strikes you most today?

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Sts. Joachim and Anne
Parents of Mary

St. Joachim was the head of a holy family wich was composed of St. Anne, his spouse, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The holiness of this couple must have been very great if they merited to be the parents of the Mother of God.
St. Anne, "grandmother" of Jesus, is glorious among the saints becasue she is the mother of the Mother of God, but even more so because she dedicated Mary to the service of God. In her we see the model of Christian mothers - model of diligence, of love of God, of modesty and justice.
Let us imitate the fidelity to God's call and great generosity that marked the lives of Joachim and Anne.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I wonder when Sts. Joachim and Anne realized how special Mary was. I have to imagine it was at the Immaculate Conception - I can't imagine something that awesome going unnoticed. I wonder what Mary was like as a child, having been preserved from Original Sin. I'll add these to my list of questions to ask in the next life (if, God willing, I make it to heaven!)

What strikes you most today?
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

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

St. James the Apostle, called the "Greater" because of his status, was the brother of St. John the Evangelist. St. James preached the Gospel in Judea and Samaria, and then went to Spain. Upon his return to Jerusalem, Herod Agrippa I had James beheaded in 43 or 44 (Acts 12:2). He has been especially honored at Compostella, in Spain, since the ninth century.
Let us ask St. James to implant in us the desire for true "greatness," to be genuine followers of Christ!

The Tongue

St. James writes in his letter (3:2-5): "If anyone does not offend in word, he is a perfect man.... The tongue is a little member, but it boasts mightily." May the tongue praise the Lord, preach the Gospel, instruct one's neighbor, spread a healthy happiness. May it be used for good and necessary social relations....

What Strikes Me Most Today

"The tongue is a little member, but it boasts mightily." Isn't that the truth! I can't begin to count the number of times I have said something I later regretted, always surprised at how much trouble a few words can cause. And it's often very subtle - but how many times I have spoken bad about other people or passed on things I heard about others - almost always in an attempt (consciously or not) to make myself look better or feel better about myself in comparison. It always has the opposite effect!

What strikes you most today?

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

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

Life must be ruled by basic principles. Consider life in the full sense, that is, a small portion to be lived on this earth and an eternal portion to be lived when this life is over. The short duration of the present life prepares us - according to our own free choice - for eternal happiness or eternal unhappiness. Man is composed of soul and body; together they do good or evil, then death separates them and on the day of resurrection they will be reunited again, for either eternal reward or eternal punishment. Let us love ourselves with true love, that is: loving God, the Supreme Being and Eternal Happiness.

What Strikes Me Most Today

It is fitting that this writing comes on the morning after the webcast: www.stoptheabortionmandate.com/
What an awesome testimony of so many people of various faiths committed to the protection of the unborn. Last I heard, 34,000 people listened to the webcast, and hopefully most will call and write their elected officials (I already have) - to show the world how grateful we are to God for the incredible gift of life he gives to us - and our dedication to live out the Gospel value of cherishing life from conception to natural death.

What strikes you most today?
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Compiled by J. Maurus
St. Bridget
Religious

After the death of her husband, blessed Ulf, St. Brideget of Sweden founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior. In 1350 Bridget came to Rome for the Holy Year and spent the rest of her life there in poverty and prayer. One of her eight children is St. Catherine of Sweden. St. Bridget died at Rome in 1373.
Let us ask St. Bridget to help us learn that God is personally directing each of our lives and guiding events so as to lead us closer to Him.

Love for the Cross

Patience has many degrees. Great is the distance between one who barely resigns himself to suffering and one who, instead, thirsts for it. For example, St. John of the Cross had suffered much in spirit and in body; he was calumniated, persecuted, held as though a prisoner, reduced to hunger, cold and consequent sickness. Asked by Jesus: "John, what reward do you desire?" his answer was: "To suffer more and to be despised for You." What we have to suffer is always little in comparison to the great reward we will receive in paradise, says St. Paul.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Talk about a holy family! St. Bridget is a saint, married to Blessed Ulf, and mother of St. Catherine of Sweden! I am imagining the great example of faith St. Catherine's parents were to her. It is a good reminder how important is the example we set for our children.

What strikes you most today?
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saint Mary Magdalene.

By El Greco. 1580-85

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,


by Blessed James Alberione


St. Mary Magdalene



St. Mary Magdalene is believed to be the sister of Martha and Lazarus. She is the sinner who, touched by God's grace, threw herself at the feet of the Master. She wept for the Lord at the foot of the cross and spoke with the glorified Risen Christ. After the death of our Savior, it is believed that Mary Magdalene, together with Lazarus and Martha, found refuge in France. She died a peaceful death after living a life of penance and love.

Let us repent of our sins and love Jesus with our whole heart.

Humility

The effort not to be proud will not make us humble. Humility is vital and positive; it is not merely the absence of pride.

In the most improtant decisions of our life we have to be guided, sometimes blindly, by the hand of God, through our spiritual director and through those wise people whom we love and trust. Don't we also find this true of St. Paul? Won by Christ, Paul asked Him what he was to do. But the Divine Master did not tell him what to do. He said instead: "Go to Damascus and it will be told you what you must do." From then on, St. paul started to submit himself to the authorities of the Church. And from the waters of Baptism he was born as a new man: "A new creature in Christ Jesus."

What Strikes Me Most Today

My ignorance - - - > I have to admit I had no idea that the Mary of Mary and Martha was Mary Magdalene. I know Blessed Alberione says she "is believed to be," but if he believes it to be, I have to be on his side. I'm going to have to read that over again in the Bible with that in mind. And I always wondered if Lazarus did anything special after being raised from the dead --> he protected and took care of Mary (Magdalene) and Martha for the rest of their earthly lives. This is great!

What strikes you most today?

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Lawrence of Brindisi
Priest and Doctor

St. Lawrence was born at Brindisi in Italy and entered the Capuchin Franciscans in 1575 at the age of sixteen. Lawrence lived during the turbulent times of the Reformation. He was a great speaker and used that talent to draw people closer to God. Fra Lawrence possessed a "gift" for learning languages and preached eloquently in Italian, French, German, Greek, Syriac, and Hebrew. His goodness, simplicity, and prudence made him a powerful influence throughout all of Central Europe.
Let us often ask: How do I use my talents for Christ?

What Strikes Me Most Today

I am always so impressed with people who are fluent in many languages - I wish I were that "gifted." Imagine the opportunities for communicating with more of God's world! I have been very impressed watching several of the Daughters of St. Paul who have this gift. I especially love to watch them simultaneously translate (Sr. Raymond, Sr. Carmen Christi, Sr. Anne - I know there are more, but I have seen these three in action!) The best part is not that they have this gift, but that they use it to spread the Gospel!

What strikes you most today?
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Psalmist, by Sr. Elaine Penrice, fsp

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

The three concupiscences are sensuality, avarice, and pride: "All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 Jn. 2:16). If these concupiscences are dominated and directed according to the Gospel, the soul becomes free and takes wing towards God, loving Him with the observance of the two commandments: "You shall love the Lord with all your mind, all your heart, all your strength, all your soul"; and, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

What Strikes Me Most Today

Blessed Alberione is not only succinct in his words; he is right on target. His words are usually so timeless that I sometimes forget that he lived in the 20th Century. Today's words remind me most of the importance of avoiding sin - sin separates us from God; purposefully dominating these concupiscences give us true freedom and joy. What an awesome and necessary reminder!

What strikes you most today?
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Patience to accept the inevitable

     What gain is there to be restless, agitated, vexed, to be furious and cursing when it is not in our power to change events?
     Mind gets disturbed, the spirit becomes miserable, character is deformed, tempers rise, the moral stature declines, and health is damaged.  And, in spite of all these, the facts do not change.  We have succeeded only to add to our physical suffering a moral affliction as well.  
     "Patience!" It is a tiny word, a bitter one for the non-believer, says an author, and it is so true, because a person without faith does not find patience sweet and necessary.
     Patience is at once the strength of the weak and the privilege of the truly great who in the sudden outburst of the tempest know how to wait calmly the return of the serene moment, because time is for the wise and the wise for God.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Patience is difficult in the fast pace of life these days.  I found it helpful to read Blessed Alberione's words about all the bad effects of becoming upset and impatient - it doesn't help; it only makes matters worse.  I have to admit I don't make it to Eucharistic Adoration as often as I would like, but time with the Blessed Sacrament is time that I can relax and can just "be" without feeling like I have to be doing something.  At times I have tried to read during Adoration, but I actually get more out of it if I just allow myself to be in the Lord's presence, not trying to check off items on a "to do" list or multitask.  I think it helps me practice being patient.

What strikes you most today?  
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

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

There is no true prayer if it is not followed by action.  Prayer, therefore, and action.  Action proceeding from prayer.  To bear fruit, the seed must first of all, be good, alive, vital; then it must be put deep into the earth, so the roots may receive nourishment; it must be covered with good soil, fertilizer and water.  Thus, it will germinate and grow; it will bear leaves, flowers and fruit.  The meaning is clear:  let us be alive and fervent for our sanctification; let us have deep humility.  If gossip, calumnies, suffering will come even from our most faithful friends, let us wait for the help of God obtained through our prayer and generous self-surrender... nothing should stop us... and let us wait until God's time will come.  We shall receive the reward in the future life:  heaven!  It is beautiful and lasts forever!

What Strikes Me Most Today

"There is no true prayer if it is not followed by action."  This line made me think of many people, one of whom is Sr. Helen Prejean, pictured above.  Sr. Helen has a tremendous respect for human life, from conception to natural death.  She is also a woman of prayer.  These combined led her to action - she could not see human life be purposely taken for any reason.  Obviously her outspoken stance is not always popular, but she has to stand up for the intentional destruction of any God-given life.

What strikes you most today?  Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts, especially other examples of people who put their prayer life into action!

Friday, July 17, 2009

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

     Liturgical life consists of prayers and ceremonies with which the Church, Jesus Christ's Mystical Body, expresses, through the voices of her ministers, the prayer proper to the beloved Son of the Father and causes the Spirit, Sanctifier of souls, to descend.  No prayer, no practice, can substitute for this.  Its center is the Mass, from which flow the seven channels of grace, the sacraments.  The liturgy is the life of the Spirit of Christ; it is first of all the prayer of Christ, Head and Mediator.  It is not merely a source of ascetical emotions or pious sensation.

What Strikes Me Most Today

"The liturgy is the life of the Spirit of Christ."  No matter how we feel when we go to mass, it is the center of liturgical life, and the source of sacraments.  What an awesome gift!

What strikes you most today?   
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Today the Church invites us to celebrate the praises of the Mother of God, patroness of the contemplative life.  In the twelfth century, hermits withdrew to Mt. Carmel and later founded the order devoted to contemplation, dedicated to the Blessed virgin.  In 1251, our lady gave to St. Simon Stock, Superior General of the Carmelites, the familiar scapular which the Church recommends to all the faithful.
     Let us have recourse to the Blessed Virgin and wear her scapular with faith and devotion.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I have seen more patients wearing scapulars recently.  I wonder if this is becoming popular again.  I used to see them on the very old, but many younger people have been wearing them.  I hope this and other devotions continue to grow in popularity again, because, as Blessed Alberione reminds us today, the Church recommends the scapular to all the faithful.

What strikes you most today?  
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Bonaventure
Bishop and Doctor

     Bonaventure was born in Tuscany, North Italy, in 1221.  As a young man he was attracted to the Franciscan ideal and joined the new Order.  He became a professor at the Univerisity of Paris and taught and wrote profoundly about theology and philosophy.  Later he was appointed General of his Order, and then cardinal of the Church.  He died in 1274, during the general Council of Lyons.  Bonaventure is called the "Seraphic Doctor" because of the sublimity of his life and works.
     Let us imitate the Seraphic Doctor's purity.

Imitators of St. Paul

     In the great image of St. Paul, his most distinguished disciples and interpreters were purposely placed around him.  St. Paul, master and model of the apostolate of social communications, is shown with those who imitated and followed him.
     Among them is St. Bonaventure, cardinal of the Church, bishop of Albano, and illustrious Doctor of the Church, who completed the teachings of St. Thomas.  Besides human reason and will, he also considered the sentiments of man.  Many things we find today in the writings of mystical theology and psychology were already explained in the writings of this Doctor.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Today I am struck by the phrase "he completed the teachings of St. Thomas."  You can't get much more impressive than that!  The teachings of St. Thomas can be challenging enough.  Blessed Alberione is not saying St. Bonaventure read or studied or understood well the teachings of St. Thomas - he completed them!  I look at his picture and see a normal guy, and I wonder how he became such an awesome Saint. It's because he imitated St. Paul!

What strikes you most today?  
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Camillus de Lellis
Priest

     This apostle of Christian charity, son of a soldier of the Kingdom of Naples, was born in 1550.  At first Camillus, 6 feet, 6 inches tall, lived as a soldier; then, repenting for his undisciplined past, he was converted to Christ at the age of 25.  Camillus served the sick and dying at the Incurables Hospital in Rome.  He also founded a congregation of priests, the Servants of the Sick, who promise to tend the sick - even those stricken with the plague.  He died in 1614.  St. Camillus is the patron of hospitals, patients, and of all those who nurse them.
     Let us have a tender care for the sick and pray for their recovery.

Strength for Action

Prayer guarantees success.  Without prayer let us not test our strength; adverse forces are superior to us; we need God's armor to be able to win.

Live To Give

The tree is known by its fruit.  Strong parents have healthy sons.  Spiritually, everyone communicates the life which he possesses.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I am struck today by the Strength for Action section above.  We may think we are strong in avoiding certain sins, but without prayer, we are setting ourselves up to fail.  We should remind ourselves that God and Satan are by no means equals.  God is God; Satan is a fallen angel.  I know whose side I want to be on.  So, if I want to please God (especially by avoiding sin), I need to pray more and avoid the near occasion of sin.  At my last confession, the priest said the key is to avoid the near occasion of sin, and to make the decision ahead of time to choose not to pursue sin when that first subtle notion to sin arises.  If we wait, we are giving it a chance to take hold and make it harder to avoid whatever sin is tempting us at the time.

What strikes you most today?  
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

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

     Henry II, born in 973, was king of Bavaria and later emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  He defended the rights of the Church, restored destroyed churches, founded monasteries, and distributed alms to the poor.  He and his Queen, St. Cunegunda, agreed to make Jesus Christ their only heir.  They observed absolute virginity in marriage.  Henry founded the bishopric of Bamberg, to which he left all his wealth.  He died in 1024 and was canonized in 1146.
     How often do we ponder the words of Christ:  "Seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be given you besides"?

What Strikes Me Most Today?

The last line above is from Matthew 6:33.  It has always been one of my favorites, but I need to live it so people would believe that I have read it and that it is one of my favorites.  I often find it difficult to not worry about mortgage payments, tuition, and other financial matters that impact my family.  But then I remember my dad giving money every Sunday in his Sunday envelope, even when it was all the money he had for the week.  But he said if he gave what he could to God, God would always take care of him - and He did until the day my dad died.  I need to live that kind of faith!

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


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Prudence

Piero del Pollaiuolo 

1469-1470

Tempera on panel, 167 x 88 cm

Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi 


Piero painted six Virtues (Temperance, Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence and Justice) for the Guilt of "Mercatanzia" in Florence.

 

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,

Compiled by J. Maurus

Prudence

 

     Prudence is a moral and supernatural virtue which inclines the mind to choose the better means to reach salvation and to do good.

     Prudence examines with maturity, decides wisely, and executes faithfully.

     It requires first of all examining well the end.  Many fail in this essential point:  Why am I created?  Why do I exist?  The seriousness of the problem to be solved requires a mature examination.

 

What Strikes Me Most Today

 

I am struck by the words in the first line, "which inclines the mind to choose the better means to reach salvation and to do good."  For me, it's not so much trying to figure out what is best for my salvation, it's more a matter of me being honest with myself and acting how I know I should.  Too often I find myself doing what I know is wrong, rather than the way I really want to act (I am living Romans 7:15 too often!)

 

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

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Benedict
Abbot

     St. Benedict was born at Nursia in Umbria, Italy, in 480.  Educated in Rome, Benedict was tormented by the situation at that time.  The rich wallowed in easy living and the poor hungered at their gates.  Benedict "hungered" too, for peace of mind and lasting wealth.  He fled from the pleasures of decadent Rome and chose to live as a hermit in the solitude of the hills of Subiaco.  After three years, the renown of his virtues drew many men to him, and they became his disciples.  For his monks, he founded several monasteries at Subiaco, and later the great Abbey of of Monte Cassino.  His monastic motto was:  Ora et labora:  pray and work.  Benedict died on March 21, around 547.
     The offspring of our work to God is prayer.  Let us do our best to make it pleasing to God.

Recollection

     Let us avoid useless thoughts:  novels, conversations, films, magazines, and news that have no true use... let us avoid them!  How can we reach recollection in prayer?  Let us avoid judging others.  When it is not our duty or obligation of office to attend to others, let us take care of ourselves - our religious or scientific instruction, improvement in carrying out our obligations, the practice of charity.  Let us neither judge nor condemn our neighbor.

What Strikes Me Most Today

     I like the last line by Blessed Alberione, "Let us neither judge nor condemn our neighbor."  I believe we have an obligation to share the Gospel, and to promote Christian values in our world, but we should neither judge nor condemn.  I'm glad; I don't want to judge and I don't want to condemn.  
     Also, as a practical matter, judging and condemning are NOT the ways to get anyone to listen to what you want to share with them.

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

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
The Formation of the Mind

     First and foremost, take care of your mind.  Love the Lord with your mind.  Above all, let your piety be wise, proceeding from reason and dogma.  "I will pray in spirit, and I will pray with my mind."  Piety which does not flow from faith does not last.  Without religious instruction and faith, there will be no virtue.  Faith, hope, charity and piety are on the same supernatural plane, but the root is faith, which will make the plant strong and rich in fruit.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I thought the above picture was appropriate for "The Formation of the Mind."  Bookstores are great for this, and none better than a Pauline Books and Media Book Center.  The picture above is two of my sons and I at the Toronto PB&M, during our recent trip to Canada.  Everyone at the book center was incredibly nice and hospitable to us.  We had coffee and toured the book center and prayed in the chapel.  Thank you, Toronto PB&M, for being so gracious!

What strikes you most today?  
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

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

To leave idle the greatest talent given man by God, is to bury the gift of God.  "Why did you not put my money in a bank, so that I, on my return, might have gotten it with interest?... Cast him forth into the darkness outside" (Lk. 19:23; Mt. 25:30).  No sin of the heart, of speech or of action is possible without the mind, without knowledge.  For example, no sin is committed in sleep.  Neither is any merit possible without the mind, without knowledge.  A sleepwalker saying the rosary would gain no merit.

What Strikes Me Most Today

I like how Blessed Alberione points out what a great gift we have in our mind, the gift of knowledge.  I think that is why we enjoy books and movies and discussions and just getting to talk to others to share their life stories and adventures - we use our minds.  And how awesome when the media moves more toward the "Good Press" rather than the bad that is also possible.  This is another example of why the Pauline Family founded by Blessed Alberione is so important in today's world - I hope to see more and more Paulines on the internet and throughout our world sharing their lives with others for the sake of Jesus Master, Way, Truth, and Life.  Don't bury your talents!

What strikes you most today?  
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

St. Paul
Original Artwork
by 
Sr. Elaine Penrice, FSP


From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
We are imitators of Saint Paul the Apostle

     The goals we set are:
     1.  To show our gratitude to the father who has protected, guided, and enlightened us during           the long years of our life.
     2.  To know St. Paul better:  much has been written on his human and spiritual personality,             his teaching and his power with God.
     3.  To imitate better his virtues.  He was truly a man of God:  a man filled with grace, an                   exceptional man, a man to whom were entrusted in a particular way the things of God; a             man who in a special way owes much to God, a man who could say:  "the grace of God has           not been in vain in me."

     St. Paul is the singer of God, a herald of the glory of God, promoter of worship of God, exponent of the laws of God, one set apart by God, the prisoner of Christ, one who lived in Christ.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Today, a picture is worth more than a thousand words!  Sr. Elaine's image of St. Paul has become my favorite depiction of my favorite Saint.  I can add no words to what her art has captured for me.

What strikes you most today?  
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

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

     Life is not meant to be a burden for many, nor a feast for a few, but for all a commitment to personal perfection and the good of the neighbour.  Hence the need for sociability.
     God has ordained human beings to live in society.  Being unable to achieve by oneself physical, moral, and intellectual perfection, human beings in fact cannot live in isolation.  God has given to each one the tendency to complement his/her insufficiency by association with others in family life as well as in civil and religious life.  This is a natural law, which no one can violate.
     Society is a group of individuals taken from different social classes, united for a common purpose to be pursued with the union of efforts, under the direction of a legitimate authority.  It is an organic unity (not mechanical) matured with reasoning and faith, grown under the guidance of Providence for the good of individuals.

What Strikes Me Most Today

Sociability.  The next several days will be writings of Blessed Alberione's on this important topic.  As I read them, I think how timeless sociability is, and how many more opportunities are available to us using modern means of communication.  And anywhere we can be social, Christ's love is what I hope to communicate most clearly and most often!

What strikes you most today?  
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009


From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Small virtues lead to great virtues

     Small virtues lead us to great ones because one advances in the way of perfection  only step by step.  It is so much so that in the evening we may have to say:  "Today I have done almost nothing."
     Once, St. Therese of Child Jesus wrote:  "See, Mother, I am only able to do small acts of virtue."
     To be able only to do small acts of virtue, and to be persevering, will bring us even to heroism.  This is the distinctive mark of saints.  For we need heroism in faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.
     The habit of endurance will make one patient, not to be easily troubled because one is always united with God and accepts everything from the Lord.  

What Strikes Me Most Today

Today's writing by Blessed Alberione makes me think of the use of the internet in evangelization today.  Blessed Alberione wanted to use all means of social communication to spread the gospel to the world.  When he discusses small acts of virtue done in perseverance, I think of the many truths of the faith I have read from websites, blogs, facebook, tweets, etc. from the Daughters of St. Paul.  Each item they type may seem like "a small act of virtue," but they have profoundly affected my relationship with Jesus Master, Way, Truth, and Life!
     My opinion is that Blessed Alberione, founder of the Pauline Family, would love the means of the internet with its many communication opportunities, to spread the gospel.  It has definitely been a blessing in my life.
     I have to say I also love spending times in their Pauline Books and Media Book Centers. I love to talk with the Sisters; I especially love to discuss books and movies with them, and spend time in their chapel.
     I know the Daughters of St. Paul represent the future of evangelization through all means of social communication.  Their own website is under construction, but on Facebook you can go to "Daughters of St. Paul on Facebook."  You can keep checking back at Pauline.org, as their site is under construction, or you can stop in one of their many bookstores.  
     I don't know how likely this is, but wouldn't it be awesome if each Sister had an iPhone to keep evangelization right at their fingertips?  I envision "Pauline Online" so we can constantly benefit from their evangelization through this incredible internet means of reaching the world.  I bet St. Paul and Blessed Alberione would love this incredible tool to reach the world, which is in such desperate need of the Daughters of St. Paul evangelizing the world!  And you can even become a Pauline Cooperator (www.paulinelaity.blogspot.com) as I am studying to do, to help with their mission of evangelization even as a member of the laity.

What strikes you most today?  
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria
Priest

     St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born at Cremona in North Italy in 1502.  After having received his degree of Doctor of Medicine at Padua, he left all and founded the Order of Clerks Regular whose members are called Barnabites.  He gave them St. Paul the apostle as their model and protector, and was himself a great devotee of the apostle.  He died at the age of thirty-seven in 1539.
     Let us imitate St. Anthony's generosity with God.

The Kingdom of God

     "Glory to God!"  May His name be glorified, His kingdom come, His will be done!  May God be known, served, loved!  May all peoples one day belong to that kingdom which Jesus Christ conquered on this earth and which He will offer to His heavenly Father.  May God be loved first of all by us , and may we make Him known and loved, as Jesus did in coming from heaven to reveal His Father.  "This is eternal life:  that all men know God and the One sent by God:  Jesus Christ."

What Strikes Me Most Today

I love when Blessed Alberione shows us Saints that he particularly likes, especially ones I don't know.  St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria is one I really like - he was a medical doctor who had a great devotion to St. Paul.  I would really like to imitate St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria (well, except for the dying at age 37, but I've made it past that already!)

What strikes you most today?  
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

From Saint and Thought For Every Day,
by Blessed James Alberione
St. Elizabeth of Portugal

     Daughter of Peter II, Elizabeth was not unlike her great-aunt, St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary.  When she became a widow, Elizabeth distributed her riches among the poor, and took the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis.  She died in 1336 and was canonized in 1626.
     Do we cheerfully say "no" to ourselves and reject little comforts at times to help others who are in need?

What Strikes Me Most Today

I didn't realize until I read up on St. Elizabeth of Portugal how similar her life stories and miracles were to those of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.  Her feast day is a holiday in Portugal, so I also learned that there are 4th of July celebrations throughout Portugal, but they are for this great saint.  (Spain loves her, too, as she started as a Spanish princess).  Actually, the world loves her, since she is a Saint of the universal (Catholic) Church!

What strikes you most today?  
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Know and live your faith

     It becomes clear from the gospel that we should know, believe, and confess our faith.
     One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
     Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
     A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them.  The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."  Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and look at my hand; then stretch out your hand and put it in my side.  Stop doubting, and believe!"
     Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
     Jesus said to him, "Do you believe because you see me?  How happy are those who believe without seeing me!"  (Jn 20: 24-29).

What Strikes Me Most Today

I like Blessed Alberione's first line, that we should know, believe, and confess our faith.  It seems obvious at first, but the believing part can be hard.  We can read the Bible and study, and we can tell others truths of the Catholic faith.  But believing in the reality of Jesus, True God and True man, is vital.  It sounds obvious, but believing the truths of our faith is essential, and it is difficult when we have never actually seen the Father, Son or Holy Spirit.  "How happy are those who believe without seeing me."

What strikes you most today?  
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

From A Year With Blessed James Alberione,
Compiled by J. Maurus
Jesus:  the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is everything

     Jesus was the Way:  by giving example for every virtue, also for those virtues ignored till then in the pagan world.  He was perfect in his duties towards God, towards the neighbour, and towards self; he was perfect in the observance of the commandments and the evangelical counsels, which later he preached to others.
     He was the Truth:  during the three years of his public life he taught the crowds as well as the apostles the truths of faith which the Church gathered and explained in the dogmatic, moral, ascetic, and pastoral theology.
     He was the Life:  Jesus restored to humanity the lost grace; he gave it to souls through the sacraments and prayers, making himself the door to a happy eternity.

What Strikes Me Most Today

It seemed so strange to speak of Jesus in the past tense, but I really like what Blessed Alberione did in this writing - he focused strictly on Jesus' life on earth as examples of Way, Truth, and Life.  I usually picture the glorified Christ as Way, Truth, and Life - but throughout his earthly life, even (and especially) during His passion, Jesus was pure Way, Truth, and Life.  I greatly appreciate Blessed Alberione's ability to get me to see these truths in another way, deepening my love for the Divine Master and strengthening the call to evangelization.

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

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!