Try to find time today to remember and to invoke Our Lady of Pompei. You can get all the details here from Dom Mark.
Archive for the ‘Saint of the day’ category
Today the Church remembers St Albert the Great. Back in March, Pope Benedict devoted one of his General Audience teachings to St Albert. Albert was extremely gifted intellectually, and did not allow his gifts to go to waste.
Prior to his detailed account of St Albert’s life, our Holy Father highlighted some reasons why Albert was able to achieve excellence in the different areas of his life:
God often speaks to us in the years of our youth and points out to us the project of our life. As it was for Albert, so also for all of us, personal prayer, nourished by the Lord’s word, frequent reception of the Sacraments and the spiritual guidance of enlightened people are the means to discover and follow God’s voice.
I was reading a snippet from “The Seven Storey Mountain” today, and couldn’t help but see myself reflected in the words:
“Becasue of the profound and complete conversion of my intellect, I thought I was entirely converted. Becasue I believed in God, and in the teachings of the church and was prepared to sit up all night arguing about them with all comers, I imagined that I was even a zealous Christian.
But the conversion of the intellect is not enough. And as long as the Will did not belong completely to God, even the intellectual conversion was bound to remain precarious and indefinite. For although the will cannot force the intellect to see an object other than it is, it can turn it away from the object altogether, and prevent it from considering that thing at all.
Where was my will? “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” and I had not laid up any treasures for myself in heaven. They were all on earth. I wanted to be a writer, a poet, a critic, a professor. Of course, as far as my ambitions went , their objects were all right in themselves. There is nothing wrong in being a writer, or a poet — at least I hope there is not: but the harm lies in wanting to be one for the gratification of one’s own ambitions, and merely in order to bring ones self up to the level demanded by his own internal self-idolatry. Becasue I was wrting for myself and for the wordl, the things I wrote were rank with the passions and selfishness and sin from which they sprang. An evil tree brings forth evil fruits, when it brings forth fruit at all.
I went to Mass of course, not merely every Sunday, but sometimes during the week as well. I was never long from the Sacraments — usually I went to confession and Communion if not every week, every fortnight. I did a fair amount of reading that might be called ‘spiritual,’ although I did not read spiritually. I devoured books making notes here ad there and remembering whatever I thought would be useful in an argument — that is, for my own aggrandizement,, in order that I myself might take these things and shine by their light, as if their truth belonged to me. And occassionally I made a visit to a church in the afternoon to pray or do the Stations of the Cross.
It took me time to find it out: but I write down what I have found out at last, so that anyone who is now in the position I was in then may read it and know what to do to save himself from great peril and unhappiness. And to such a one I would say: Whoever you are, the land to which God has brought you is not like the land of Egypt from which you came out. You can no longer live here as you lived there. Your old life and your former ways are crucified now, and you must not seek to live any more for your own gratification, but give up your own judgement into the hands of a wise director, and sacrifice your pleasures and comforts for the love of God and give the money you no longer spend on those things to the poor.
Today is the Memorial of St John Neumann. Read about him — and his connection to our diocese — here.
Today is the anniversary of the Death of one of my favorite (soon to be official I hope) Saints. Dorothy Day, died 29 years ago today. A one time radical communist, anarchist, courageous pacifist, two common law marriages, an abortion, oh yeah — and a conversion.
You can google her to read more, I find her to be very challenging to my own concept of what it means to be a Christian in Western Society. I have radically bucked against most of her views on society and labled her a radical leftist — but she is so compelling I keep coming back to learn more.
She is the author of my favorite quote about our faith — “Christianity is not just about comforting the afflicted, but also about afflicting the comfortable.”
I read a story, I think in Father Martin’s ‘My Life with the Saints’ where in the early 1970’s a priest came to her Catholic Worker House in NEw York, and celebrated Mass on the Kitchen table using a coffee cup for a Chalice. After Mass while everyone was socializing with the priest, Dorothy was in the back yard, burying the cup to ensure that it would not be profaned by drinking from it again.
If you enjoyed watching “Into Great Silence” or reading “An Infinity of Little Hours,” then you’ll doubtless enjoy reading this brief but inspiring account of the life of a holy Carthusian, St Hugh of Lincoln.