Blog Post - October 20th
S. John Cantius (Kanty)| S. Paul of the Cross| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. John Kanty
John was a country lad who made good in the big city and the big university of Kraków, Poland. After brilliant studies he was ordained a priest and became a professor of theology. The inevitable opposition which saints encounter led to his being ousted by rivals and sent to be a parish priest at Olkusz. An extremely humble man, he did his best, but his best was not to the liking of his parishioners. Besides, he was afraid of the responsibilities of his position. But in the end he won his people’s hearts. After some time he returned to Kraków and taught Scripture for the remainder of his life.
He was a serious man, and humble, but known to all the poor of Kraków for his kindness. His goods and his money were always at their disposal, and time and again they took advantage of him. He kept only the money and clothes absolutely needed to support himself. He slept little, and then on the floor, ate sparingly, and took no meat. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, hoping to be martyred by the Turks. He made four pilgrimages to Rome, carrying his luggage on his back. When he was warned to look after his health, he was quick to point out that, for all their austerity, the fathers of the desert lived remarkably long lives.
John of Kanty is a typical saint: He was kind, humble and generous, he suffered opposition and led an austere, penitential life. Most Christians in an affluent society can understand all the ingredients except the last: Anything more than mild self-discipline seems reserved for athletes and ballet dancers. Christmas is a good time at least to reject self-indulgence.
St. Paul of the Cross (1694-1775)
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 whre 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."
Patron Saint of:
What did all the saints have in common? They feared sin more than even physical death. Sin is the worst kind of death.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
If you want to sow seed, then sow seed in a good field.
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 293: Reduced to Nothingness
Do you see value in being reduced to nothingness in your own eyes? Perhaps not. The reason this language is difficult to accept is that humility is only fully understood by a special gift of God’s grace. Some ancient philosophers even hold up pride as a great virtue, discounting humility as weakness. Sadly, there are few souls that obtain the actual virtue of humility. Some may obtain a certain semblance of this virtue, but few actually become humble to a great degree. Again, humility can only be understood and embraced by a special grace of God. Naturally speaking, we are drawn to those things we deem to be beneficial to us. Therefore, the first step in growing in humility is to see it for what it is and to discover its true value. When we understand humility, we will desire it. And when we desire it, we will be drawn to it. And when drawn to it, we will more easily embrace it (See Diary #1436).
Do you understand humility? Do you understand the value of being reduced to nothingness in your own eyes? If not, ponder this idea for some time. Don’t give up on it thinking it is out of date, weak or misguided. You must become reduced to nothingness in your eyes if you are to discover grace in the Heart of Christ. Only by the discovery of your nothingness will you understand that God is everything and provides everything you need. You will find, in this discovery, that you begin to choose God over yourself and, thus, you become transformed into God’s grace rather than living by your own strength. God must possess you completely, live within you and live through you. In this way, your humble soul becomes Christ to the world.
Lord, make me humble. Help me to see my nothingness and to see Your greatness. I choose You, dear Lord, over myself and invite You to possess me completely, transforming me into Your grace. Jesus, I trust in You.