Blog Post - November 15th
S. Albert the Great| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Albert the Great
Albert the Great was a 13th-century German Dominican who influenced decisively the Church's stance toward Aristotelian philosophy brought to Europe by the spread of Islam.
Students of philosophy know him as the master of Thomas Aquinas. Albert’s attempt to understand Aristotle’s writings established the climate in which Thomas Aquinas developed his synthesis of Greek wisdom and Christian theology. But Albert deserves recognition on his own merits as a curious, honest and diligent scholar.
He was the eldest son of a powerful and wealthy German lord of military rank. He was educated in the liberal arts. Despite fierce family opposition, he entered the Dominican novitiate.
His boundless interests prompted him to write a compendium of all knowledge: natural science, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, astronomy, ethics, economics, politics and metaphysics. His explanation of learning took 20 years to complete. "Our intention," he said, "is to make all the aforesaid parts of knowledge intelligible to the Latins."
He achieved his goal while serving as an educator at Paris and Cologne, as Dominican provincial and even as bishop of Regensburg for a short time. He defended the mendicant orders and preached the Crusade in Germany and Bohemia.
Albert, a Doctor of the Church, is the patron of scientists and philosophers.
An information glut faces us Christians today in all branches of learning. One needs only to read current Catholic periodicals to experience the varied reactions to the findings of the social sciences, for example, in regard to Christian institutions, Christian life-styles and Christian theology. Ultimately, in canonizing Albert, the Church seems to point to his openness to truth, wherever it may be found, as his claim to holiness. His characteristic curiosity prompted Albert to mine deeply for wisdom within a philosophy his Church warmed to with great difficulty.
"There are some who desire knowledge merely for its own sake; and that is shameful curiosity. And there are others who desire to know, in order that they may themselves be known; and that is vanity, disgraceful too. Others again desire knowledge in order to acquire money or preferment by it; that too is a discreditable quest. But there are also some who desire knowledge, that they may build up the souls of others with it; and that is charity.
Others, again, desire it that they may themselves be built up thereby; and that is prudence. Of all these types, only the last two put knowledge to the right use" (St. Bernard, Sermon on the Canticle of Canticles).
We Are Called:
To say that we travel toward God with God and in God is to make clear that prayer is not first a human initiative, but a divine one. On life's journey, it is God who first calls us.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God's heart.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 319: Dealing with Loneliness
Loneliness is a deep suffering that many endure. One reason it is so painful is that the lonely person obviously suffers alone with few people, if any, to help ease their hurt. If this were not the case, they would not be lonely. Interestingly, even those who are surrounded by others all day every day can be lonely. Even the most popular and outgoing person in the community can sometimes struggle with great loneliness. This may not be easily noticed because they often “wear a mask” covering the loneliness they experience. Loneliness is real and comes as a result of one particularly deep need we all have. And this is the need to be known by another. We want to be known and understood. We need people who will listen to us, care, understand and love us at our deepest core. Simply being popular or being surrounded by many people does not meet this need since the “popular” person may not truly have revealed what is inside to anyone. The best answer to loneliness is the intimate presence of God in your life. An authentic and deeply personal relationship with your Lord enables you to be at peace, knowing that God knows you, understands you and loves you. This gift also opens the door for you to find people to whom you can share your joys and struggles. Seek intimacy with the Lord. This is the greatest help to a lonely heart (See Diary #1542).
Be honest today and ponder the question of loneliness in your own life. No matter if you are the life of the party or a quiet bystander, loneliness can affect everyone. Reflect, also, upon the fact that intimacy with our Lord is the primary cure. Look at your relationship with Him and open your heart to His love.
Lord, I invite You into my heart. Come dwell there and reveal Your tender love. Help me to understand that You know and love me through and through. I give my heart to You, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.