St. Paul of the Cross
THE eighty-one years of this Saint's life were modelled on the Passion of Jesus Christ. In his childhood, when praying in church, a heavy bench fell on his foot, but the boy took no notice of the bleeding wound, and spoke of it as "a rose sent from God." A few years later, the vision of a scourge with "love" written on its lashes assured him that his thirst for penance would be satisfied. In the hope of dying for the faith, he enlisted in a crusade against the Turks; but a voice from the Tabernacle warned him that he was to serve Christ alone, and that he should found a congregation in His honor. At the command of his
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bishop he began while a layman to preach the Passion, and a series of crosses tried the reality of his vocation. All his first companions, save his brother, deserted him; the Sovereign Pontiff refused him an audience; and it was only after a delay of seventeen years that the Papal approbation was obtained, and the first house of the Passionists was opened on Monte Argentario, the spot which Our Lady had pointed out. St. Paul chose as the badge of his Order a heart with three nails, in memory of the sufferings of Jesus, but for himself he invented a more secret and durable sign. Moved by the same holy impulse as Blessed Henry Suso, St. Jane Frances, and other Saints, he branded on his side the Holy Name, and its characters were found there after death. His heart beat with a supernatural palpitation, which was especially vehement on Fridays, and the heat at times was so intense as to scorch his shirt in the region of his heart. Through fifty years of incessant bodily pain, and amidst all his trials, Paul read the love of Jesus everywhere, and would cry out to the flowers and grass, "Oh! be quiet, be quiet," as if they were reproaching him with ingratitude. He died whilst the Passion was being read to him, and so passed with Jesus from the cross to glory.
Reflection. —We are not all called to the sacrifice of martyrdom; but we are all bound to make our lives a continued sacrifice of ourselves to God, and to perform every action in this perfect spirit of sacrifice. Thus we shall both live and die to God, perfectly resigned to His holy will in all His appointments.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Gal. 2, 29, 20
With Christ I am nailed to the cross: but I live, now not I: but Christ liveth in me: I live in the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and delivered Himself for me. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 40, 2. Blessed is he that understandeth concerning the needy and the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the evil day. Glory be …
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst endow St. Paul with exceeding charity to preach the mystery of the Cross, and didst will that through him a new family should spring up in Thy Church, grant us, by his intercession, that, constantly venerating Thy passion on earth, we may be worthy to partake of its fruits in heaven. Who livest.
Epistle • 1 Cor. 1, 17-25
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[He reproveth their dissensions about their teachers. The world was to be saved by preaching of the cross, and not by human wisdom or eloquence.]
Brethren, Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent I will reject. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world, by wisdom, knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of our preaching, to save them that believe. For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness: But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Alleluia, alleluia. 2. Cor. 5, 15. Christ died for all: that they also who live may not now live to themselves, but to Him who died for them, and rose again. Alleluia. Rom. 8, 17 And if sons, heirs also: heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ; yet so if we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him. Alleluia.
Tract. 1 Peter 4, 1
Christ therefore having suffered in the flesh, be you also armed with the same thought for He that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sins. 2 Cor. 4, 10. Always bearing about in our body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies. Heb. 12, 2. Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Who having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God.
Gospel • Luke 10, 1-9
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ sends forth and instructs his seventy-two disciples. The good Samaritan.]
At that time, the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house.
And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house, remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein, and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Offertory • Eph. 5, 2
Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God, for an odor of sweetness. Alleluia.
May these mysteries Thy passion and death, O Lord, obtain for us that heavenly fervor by which St. Paul, when he offered the same, presented his own body as a living sacrificed, holy and pleasing unto Thee. Who livest.
Communion • 1 Peter 4, 13
If you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, that when His gory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. Alleluia.
We have received, O Lord, Thy divine sacrament, the perpetual memorial of Thine infinite love; grant, we beseech Thee, that, by the merits of St. Paul and by imitation him, we may draw from Thy fountains the water that gusheth out unto life eternal, and may by our life and actions bear Thy sacred passion deep graven upon our hearts. Who livest.