Blog Post - May 5th
Pope S. Pius V| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Pius V
This is the pope whose job was to implement the historic Council of Trent. If we think popes had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after Trent than four centuries earlier.
During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet. The family of God had been shaken by corruption, by the Reformation, by the constant threat of Turkish invasion and by the bloody bickering of the young nation-states. In 1545 a previous pope convened the Council of Trent in an attempt to deal with all these pressing problems. Off and on over 18 years, the Church Fathers discussed, condemned, affirmed and decided upon a course of action. The Council closed in 1563.
Pius V was elected in 1566 and was charged with the task of implementing the sweeping reforms called for by the Council. He ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests. He published a new missal, a new breviary, a new catechism and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes for the young. Pius zealously enforced legislation against abuses in the Church. He patiently served the sick and the poor by building hospitals, providing food for the hungry and giving money customarily used for the papal banquets to poor Roman converts. His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit led to the custom of the pope wearing a white cassock.
In striving to reform both Church and state, Pius encountered vehement opposition from England's Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor Maximilian II. Problems in France and in the Netherlands also hindered Pius's hopes for a Europe united against the Turks. Only at the last minute was he able to organize a fleet which won a decisive victory in the Gulf of Lepanto, off Greece, on October 7, 1571.
Pius's ceaseless papal quest for a renewal of the Church was grounded in his personal life as a Dominican friar. He spent long hours with his God in prayer, fasted rigorously, deprived himself of many customary papal luxuries and faithfully observed the spirit of the Dominican Rule that he had professed.
In their personal lives and in their actions as popes, Pius V and Venerable Paul VI (d. 1978) both led the family of God in the process of interiorizing and implementing the new birth called for by the Spirit in major Councils. With zeal and patience, Pius and Paul pursued the changes urged by the Council Fathers. Like Pius and Paul, we too are called to constant change of heart and life.
"In this universal assembly, in this privileged point of time and space, there converge together the past, the present, and the future. The past: for here, gathered in this spot, we have the Church of Christ with her tradition, her history, her councils, her doctors, her saints; the present: we are taking leave of one another to go out toward the world of today with its miseries, its sufferings, its sins, but also with its prodigious accomplishments, values, and virtues; and the future is here in the urgent appeal of the peoples of the world for more justice, in their will for peace, in their conscious or unconscious thirst for a higher life, that life precisely which the Church of Christ can give and wishes to give to them" (from Pope Paul's closing message at Vatican II).
Holy Spirit, renew our hearts. let our actions preach eloquent sermons that draw people to Christ far better than our poor words can.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
May Jesus be thanked, loved and blessed by heaven and earth. And may this most sweet God of ours always smile on your heart...
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 125: The Victim Soul
Do you know that our Lord chooses certain people for a specific mission of suffering? He picks certain people, who are few in number, to more fully resemble His innocent suffering here on Earth. These holy souls suffer in many and varied ways. They are the continuation of the innocent suffering of Jesus Himself. They have a very specific mission on Earth and it is a mission requiring the greatest sacrifice imaginable. The good news, for these chosen few, is that the crown of glory that awaits them in Heaven makes every act of suffering here on Earth worth it. Through their suffering, completely embraced in joy, and offered to the Father through the Son, they make up that which is “lacking in the sufferings of Christ” as St. Paul explains to us (Colossians 1:24). Though this unique vocation is only given to a few in a profound way, we are all called to share in Christ’s sufferings so as to also share in His glorification (See Diary #604).
What do you do with your daily sufferings? Do you “offer it up?” This invitation from Jesus, to unite our sufferings with His, is a true calling that has more potential for grace than anything else. It’s what makes us most like Him. It is the greatest sacrifice we can offer and the most powerful prayer we can pray. Think about the sufferings you encounter in your life. No matter what they are, do not run from them. Try to embrace them and offer them up, joyfully, to our Lord.
Heavenly Father, I give to You, this day, all my joys, works and sufferings. I especially offer You the sufferings I endure. I offer You all the small and great ways in which I experience suffering, hardship and pain in my life. May these become a sacrifice of love, offered in union with the one and perfect sacrifice of Jesus, Your Son. Transform this offering and make it a source of grace in this world. Jesus, I trust in You.