Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

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

Some people know thousands of news items, a thousand and one anecdotes and jokes, a thousand gossip items and faults of others. They have thousands of pieces of advice and corrections to give to everyone in sight: to mothers, to youth, to those who govern, to the clergy, to the Pope and... Almost to God Himself! They have seen so much, heard so much, and read so many scraps of news here and there! These are people who often do not know themselves or God. They are always distracted when it comes to their duties; they stumble into every ditch because they are too busy looking to see if somebody else is falling in. Of such souls our Lord could complain thus: the son knows his father, the ox knows his stable, the dog knows his master's voice, but these people do not know the voice of their heavenly Father. While they are praying, studying or listening to a sermon, their mind is far, far away... Sometimes such people are very intelligent, but they waste their minds in trifles, extremely busy doing nothing. It makes you think of trees with foliage and flowers in abundance but no fruit; or of broken tanks that can hold no pure, healthy water.

What Strikes Me Most Today

OK, when Blessed Alberione described the know-it-all-busy-body always trying to "catch" their neighbor doing something wrong, I thought of Gladys Kravitz! That made me wonder if Blessed Alberione knew Gladys Kravitz. Consider the fact that "Bewitched" aired from 1964 to 1972. Blessed Alberione died in 1971. Perhaps he was thinking of Gladys Kravitz when he wrote the above. For me, it is another reminder of just how contemporary Blessed James Alberione is; what a tremendous modern day example of sanctity for all of us (and I still wonder if he ever saw an episode of Bewitched!)
And, for the record, "Wasted Talents" does not refer to the actress who played Gladys Kravitz - she did a great job of portraying the know-it-all-busy-body-neighbor (actually, there may have been 2 different Gladyses over the years, I'm not sure).

What strikes you most today?
Click on "COMMENTS" below to share your thoughts (or your favorite "Bewitched" character!)


  1. Using Gladys is such a GREAT way to show a clear example of what Blessed James Alberione was saying. It also made be smile.
    PS, there were two. Alice Pearce was Gladys for the first 2 years then died. She was replaced with Sandra Gould pictured above.
    Yes, I know my TV trivia.

  2. Sorry, it appears my Sandra Gould picture didn't post with my text.


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"Fear not, I am with you. From here I want to enlighten. Atone for sin."

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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!