St. Paul of the Cross
Born in northern Italy in 1694, Paul Daneo lived at a time when many regarded Jesus as a great moral teacher but no more. After a brief time as a soldier, he turned to solitary prayer, developing a devotion to Christ's passion. Paul saw in the Lord's passion a demonstration of God's love for all people. In turn that devotion nurtured his compassion and supported a preaching ministry that touched the hearts of many listeners. He was known as one of the most popular preachers of his day, both for his words and for his generous acts of mercy.
In 1720 Paul founded the Congregation of the Passion, whose members combined devotion to Christ's passion with preaching to the poor and rigorous penances. Known as the Passionists, they add a fourth vow to the traditional three of poverty, chastity, and obedience, to spread the memory of Christ's passion among the faithful. Paul was elected superior general of the Congregation in 1747, spending the remainder of his life in Rome.
Paul of the Cross died in 1775, and was canonized in 1867. Over 2000 of his letters and several of his short writings have survived.
Paul's devotion to Christ's passion must have seemed eccentric if not bizarre to many people. Yet it was that devotion that nurtured Paul's compassion and supported a preaching ministry that touched the hearts of many listeners. He was one of the most popular preachers of his day, known for both his words and his generous acts of mercy.
Paul wrote that God's love "penetrates the inner core of one's being, changes the lover into his beloved. And on a higher level where love is merged with sorrow and sorrow mingled with love, there results a certain blend of love and sorrow that is so complex that the love can no longer be distinguished from the sorrow nor the sorrow from the love."
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Daily Prayer - 2015-10-20
Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence.
Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
How do I find myself today?
The Word of God
Reading 1 Rom 5:12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21
Brothers and sisters:
Responsorial Psalm PS 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17
R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Alleluia Lk 21:36
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:35-38
Jesus said to his disciples:
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Meditation: Luke 12:35-38
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Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. (Luke 12:37)
"Lord Jesus, I know who you are speaking about. You are the master in this parable. And I am blessed to be one of your servants. I am in awe, Lord, that you, the King of kings, would wait on me!
"Jesus, you are more exalted than the master you spoke of in this parable. He was just a man, like me. You, however, sit on heaven's highest throne. Saints and angels bow down before you in a continual expression of honor. You hold the very universe together with the power of your word. And still, you humbly stoop to serve and attend to me.
"Master, you promise that if I am vigilant, a day will come when you will serve me. But you've already served me more than I could dare to dream! You traded heaven's glories for earthly humility. You submitted yourself to a body like mine that thirsts, grows weary, and suffers pain. You lowered yourself to the company of sinners and tax collectors, even to being crucified between thieves just so that you could bear my guilt and shame.
"Thanksgiving wells up within my heart as I reflect on all the ways that you've served me. Every day, you listen carefully as I tell you about my needs and desires, and you answer each prayer. You carry my burdens and invite me to recline at your table of grace. Thank you, Jesus!
"Lord, today I pray to be clothed with the garment of service that you wear so gracefully. Give me your heart of meekness and patience so that I can wear it gracefully, too—in my home, at work, and everywhere I go. Help me to quench any flickers of pride that arise as I go about serving your people today. Instead, light my heart with the flame of your love. May it burn brightly so that I can see your beautiful countenance in the faces of my neighbors. And may all who feel its warmth be drawn to you."
"All glory and honor to you, Jesus, the servant King!"
Romans 5:12, 15, 17-21
The Lord wants us ready. Hot or cold. Not lukewarm. Ready for the groom, and He says Master. Are you ready for the Master? Are you? Or do you fall asleep at the wheel? Falling asleep is to fall into temptation. That temptation that feels so good to give into, that self induldgence where sacrifice and mortification are forgotten. That is where the giving stops. That is where love stops. So the question is, are you ready? Are you ready for the second coming? Am I talking about the end of the world, or simply the end of your life? Because either and both are coming, one, in your lifetime and the other in the culmination of God's time, because time does not exist outside this earth, where we measure everything in our terms, where its all about me, or us, on this earth. That is how meager and feeble our attempts are for eternal understandment. We can not fathom eternity, how can we dare try? And so the question is, are you ready? Are you ready for what He has in store? Are you ready to work? Are you ready to serve, are you ready to love, are you ready to love God? How hard or easy is it? It's as hard or as easy as you allow. Make life hard and make it hard to love Christ. And now we are speaking about grace. Living in His Grace means you are unshakable, your joy is unbeatable, your holiness is remaining steadfast. Remain. Ready, let the temptations subside and let Him reside, the Master is coming, what are you wearing? Work clothes? Wedding clothes? Or Servant clothes for the feast!?
He is on watch for His lover. Be ready to open.
He is on watch for You!!!
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