Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Romans 8:35,37

35What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

What strikes me most today

My thoughts and prayers have been with the Chileans who are suffering from the earthquake and its aftermath, and especially for friends in Hawaii who have been at risk for a tsunami. My thoughts and prayers have been especially directed toward a fellow Pauline Cooperator named Easter Almuena and her family. Today's passage is the one I planned to post today anyway, but it is so appropriate while thinking about and praying for Easter and her family. Easter is a role model for me - an awesome parent, a Catholic publisher, and someone unafraid to let the world know of her love for Jesus, the Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life. She is certainly St. Paul to me and many others in the world today. As nervous as I have been for Easter and her family, the thought came to me that "what shall separate us from the love of Christ?" For Easter, even the world's biggest tsunami couldn't come close to touching her faith!
God Bless Easter and her family, and all the other members of the Pauline Family in Hawaii, all the family members of Pauline Family members, and everyone who may be in harms way. I picture God keeping the Hawaiian Islands safe in the hollow of His hand!

Any thoughts or prayers you would like to post,
please click on "COMMENTS" below.


  1. Jeff,

    Our Great God be praised!!! It is no wonder the Lord spared Hawaii from what could have been a destructive calamity. You and so many others have stormed heaven for us. I am very grateful!

    I thought I'd share with you that a priest from Venezuela was here for a week to film scenes of a decade of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It was a great honor to schedule his stay and filming here in Hawaii, and be his own personal driver.:-) I got to know a beautiful priest and a holy man.

    Jeff, thanks again for your prayers and for your kind words. God bless you and your family abundantly!

  2. I forgot to mention to you that because of this priest I mentioned - his name is Fr. Luis Eduardo Rodriguez - I now have a devotion to the Divine Mercy.

    Many blessings to you, Jeff and wonderful family!

  3. Beautiful picture, Jeff, and beautiful post. Praise God for His mercy towards Easter and all of those in Hawaii and in the path of the tsunami. God is good!

    Easter, I am glad to hear the origins of your new devotion to the Divine Mercy. I was somewhat surprised when you asked us to pray the Divine Mercy prayers, because it seemed to come out of nowhere. How serendipitous that you met Fr. Rodriguez and were influenced by that meeting to have a devotion to the Divine Mercy. I first came to know the devotion when someone gave a Divine Mercy pamphlet to my husband when he was hospitalized several years ago. We posted the slim pamplet by his bed, within eye range. Over the next few months, as he battled pancreatitis and its accompanying shut-down of his systems, he took comfort in the image of Christ with the two streams of light from his Heart, and the words, "My Jesus, I trust in You." He still has that now-battered pamphlet. We did not know much about Sr. Faustina at the beginning, but discovered that she was Polish, like my husband.

    I pray the chaplet sometimes outside of the abortion clinic where I walk, when others who have this devotion lead us in prayer. And I prayed it yesterday, in intercession for all of you that Hawaii be spared.

    My husband came in as I was writing this comment, and said, "Type, type", so I told him what I was writing. He smiled, and reminded me that the pamphlet had come from Margaret, the Catholic wife of his Muslim friend Mossad.

    God is good. His Mercy is from age to age.


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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!