Blog Post - May 17th
S. Paschal Baylon| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Paschal Baylon
In Paschal’s lifetime the Spanish empire in the New World was at the height of its power, though France and England were soon to reduce its influence. The 16th century has been called the Golden Age of the Church in Spain, for it gave birth to Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Peter of Alcantara, Francis Solano and Salvator of Horta.
Paschal’s Spanish parents were poor and pious. Between the ages of seven and 24 he worked as a shepherd and began a life of mortification. He was able to pray on the job and was especially attentive to the church bell which rang at the Elevation during Mass. Paschal had a very honest streak in him. He once offered to pay owners of crops for any damage his animals caused!
In 1564, Paschal joined the Friars Minor and gave himself wholeheartedly to a life of penance. Though he was urged to study for the priesthood, he chose to be a brother. At various times he served as porter, cook, gardener and official beggar.
Paschal was careful to observe the vow of poverty. He would never waste any food or anything given for the use of the friars. When he was porter and took care of the poor coming to the door, he developed a reputation for great generosity. The friars sometimes tried to moderate his liberality!
Paschal spent his spare moments praying before the Blessed Sacrament. In time many people sought his wise counsel. People flocked to his tomb immediately after his burial; miracles were reported promptly. Paschal was canonized in 1690 and was named patron of Eucharistic congresses and societies in 1897.
Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament occupied much of St. Francis’ energy. Most of his letters were to promote devotion to the Eucharist. Paschal shared that concern. An hour in prayer before our Lord in the Eucharist could teach all of us a great deal. Some holy and busy Catholics today find that their work is enriched by those minutes regularly spent in prayer and meditation.
"Meditate well on this: Seek God above all things. It is right for you to seek God before and above everything else, because the majesty of God wishes you to receive what you ask for. This will also make you more ready to serve God and will enable you to love him more perfectly" (St. Paschal).
Patron Saint of:
When it seems to you that you are alone and abandoned, do not complain that you are without a friend to whom you can open your heart.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Knowledge of God's loving plans for you must serve as an incentive to lay aside all fear...
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188
We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.
You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.
Reflection 137: Power in the Cross
When you pray, do you ever sit and gaze upon the crucifix? From an outside perspective, the crucifix is a puzzling reality. Why would we lift high and honor such a horrific event? The brutal murder of the Son of God may not be, at first, something we are attracted to. Yet, the crucifix has a power and a draw for those who gaze upon it in faith because it is not only a horrific and brutal murder, it is, first and foremost, the complete victory over sin and death. The Crucifixion of our Lord was the greatest act of love ever known, because in that act, He destroyed death and sin forever for those who turn to Him with complete abandon. The crucifix is also a sign to us of the self-giving we are called to live. We are each called to enter upon that cross and die with Christ, giving ourselves to others. For in dying with Him, our sins are atoned for and we are able to share in the victory of His Resurrection. Gazing upon the Crucifixion of our Lord transforms us as it opens the doors of the Mercy won by this selfless act of love (See Diary #681).
Try praying before the crucifix. Try sitting in silence and gazing upon it. To “gaze” is more than to simply “look.” When we gaze we seek to look beyond the image we see and to peer into the love that brought Jesus to that moment. We see a God of infinite love who was willing to go all the way to save us from our sins and love us with a perfect love.
Lord, I do desire to gaze upon Your perfect act of love and to see Your Heart, bursting forth with Mercy upon me and upon the whole world. Help me to understand the unfathomable gift of Your Sacrifice and to enter into an eternal gratitude for this gift. Jesus, I trust in You.