Archive for March, 2014

What’s this Passionist reading ………

30 March, 2014


…  I took a good walk in the woods, watching the pattern of water in my favourite creek. Then walked up and down in the sheltered place where we used to go for Christmas trees, thinking about life and about death – and how impossible it is to grasp the idea that one must die. And what to do to get ready for it! When it comes to setting my house in order, I seem to have no ideas at all. [Thomas Merton]

… Try to exclude the possibility of suffering and you find that you have excluded life itself. [C.S. Lewis]

… In the beginning, you tend to think that God really cares about your exact posture, the exact day of the week for public prayer, the authorship and wordings of your prayers, and other such things. Once your life has become a constant communion, you know that all the techniques, formulas, sacraments, and practices were just a dress rehearsal for the real thing—life itself—which can actually become a constant intentional prayer. Your conscious and loving existence gives glory to God. [Richard Rohr]

… I am not a saint. Unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying. [Nelson Mandela]

God will do what is best for us ….

30 March, 2014


Don’t think that you can overcome in a day the bad habits of a lifetime, or enjoy perfect spiritual health after years of inattention. Be patient. As long as we live we will bear the burden of ourselves, the limitations of our humanity. Perfection will have to wait for another life, another world. Of course, God has cured some people instantly; leaving no trace of their former failures. Think of Mary Magdalene. In an instant Jesus brought her from a life of sin to a life of holiness. But that same God left many of his most loyal disciples weakened by their past. Think of Peter who fell often. On one occasion he went fo far as to deny the Lord. God will do what is best for us. Most likely he will lead us little by little, one small step at a time. So we need to be patient with everyone, with everything, but especially with ourselves and with God.

[Set Your Heart Free, the Practical Spirituality of Francis de Sales, John Kirvan, p. 71]

Imitate this child ….

26 March, 2014


If you hope to succeed in whatever you do, place your trust totally in God’s providence. Cooperate with him, then rest secure that whatever happens, will be best for you. Think of a little child walking with her father. One hand clings tightly to his, but with the other she gathers fruit from trees along the way. Imitate this child. With one hand go ahead and gather what you need of the world’s good things, but with the other hold on to your heavenly Father, checking regularly whether or not he approves of what you are doing with your life. Above all, beware of letting go of your Father to free up both your hands to gather more of the world’s goods. You will find that by yourself you will stumble and fall. And when your gathering does not require all your attention, turn your mind to God as often as you can. Like a sailor returning to port, look to the sky and not just to the waves that carry you.

[Set Your Heart Free, the Practical Spirituality of Francis de Sales, John Kirvan, p. 47]

The biggest mistake ….

24 March, 2014


Fr. Martin Bialas, C.P., writes, “The author who had the most decisive influence on the thinking of Paul of the Cross and one whose works Paul read throughout his life was St. Francis de Sales. Hence it is he who is designated here as Paul’s favourite author. ”   [cf. Martin Bialas, The Mysticism of St. Paul of the Cross, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1990, p. 110]


“The biggest mistake that most of us make about God, the one that most consistently undermines our peace of soul, is the idea that God demands lots of us, more than a fragile being like ourselves could ever give.  Such a God is frightening. But God in reality in content with the little we can give, because God knows – and accepts – the little that we have. We need to do just three things – Do the best we can to find and honour God in everything we do. Do whatever – however little – we can to live this way. Let God do the rest. If we follow these simple rules, we will possess God. And possessing God we will not be disturbed, we will not be anxious, for we will have no need to fear a God who never asks of us more then we can give.”

[Set Your Heart Free, the Practical Spirituality of Francis de Sales, John Kirvan, p. 77]

During the month of April

23 March, 2014

2nd April 1722 – St. Paul of the Cross and his brother, Ven. John Baptist, arrive at Monte Argentario

4th April 1694 – Birth of Ven. John Baptist of St. Michael the Archangel, brother of St. Paul of the Cross

10th April – St. Paul of the Cross elected first Superior General of the Passionist Congregation

12th April 1727 – St. Paul of the Cross and Ven. John Baptist receive subdiaconate at St. John Latern Basilica in Rome

13th April – Palm Sunday

16th April 1755 – Father Fulgentius Pastorelli died in the Grazi House in Orbetello and is buried on Monte Argentario. He is one of the first Passionists and a faithful friend of St. Paul of the Cross

17th April – Holy Thursday

17th April 1695 – Baptismal Day of Ven. John Baptist of St. Michael the Archangel

18th April – Friday of the Passion of the Lord

18th April 1746 – Approval of the Passionist Rule by Pope Benedict XIV

19th April – Holy Saturday

20th April – Sunday of the Resurrection

23rd April 1719 – Confirmation Day of St. Paul of the Cross and his brother, Ven. John Baptist of St. Michael the Archangel in Castellazzo by Bishop Gattinara