Vocation Discernment Retreat Weekend

St. Paul of the Cross: Thoughts on Mortification

"I wish, however that your instruments of penance be great humility of heart...what a fine foundation this is to build a high edifice of sanctity! Above all, be mortified in your opinions, especially with your tongue and yes, keeping them well guarded. A true servant of God...goes always recollected in God in the company of Jesus Christ. Pay attention to mortification of your passions, especially when you feel resentment. Keep silent, never complain, do not justify yourself ever, and never harbor resentment." (From a letter of Saint Paul of the Cross to Teresa Palozzi December 7, 1755)

Feast of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

"I recommend to you a strong, constant devotion to Mary, our most holy and sorrowful virgin.  Think often of her and sympathize with her in her sufferings.  Then, this loving mother, who is never outdone in kindness, will in turn comfort you.

Pour out your heart to her.  Speak to her of your trials and your needs.  Commend your family to her, and the important concern of your soul. . . . We should have more confidence in this tender mother of ours . . . . She chose that her beloved Son should die bleeding on the cross rather than that we should be forever lost.

Therefore, let us love Mary, not merely by practicing some little devotion, but with genuine dedication.  Let us sacrifice ourselves, even greatly, to avoid displeasing her.  Let us be faithful to her and thus be assured of our eternal salvation." (From the letters of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows)

Solemn Commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Today, Passionists around the world celebrate the Titular Feast of the Passionist Congregation!

We are commemorating the infinite love of the Father Who gave us his only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  "He loved us to the end, even to death on a cross . . . [and] gave us his own Mother to be our Mother also . . . . He revealed to us [the Father's] infinite love for us and, in the power of his resurrection, gave us the gift of everlasting life" (From the Preface for the Mass during the day).

"I beg you, . . . , to profit by that divine knowledge which the sovereign teacher Jesus Christ teaches you in the school of his holy passion while you meditate on it with faith and charity. . . . You will be a good disciple if you put on the virtues of Jesus Christ.  He will surely clothe you with them if you will be very humble, detached from whatever is not God and so hidden from  creatures that no one can steal the treasure from you.  I recommend interior recollection.  Recall that you are a living temple of the Most High; remain within yourself; close the door to all creatures.  Remain in interior solitude, clothed with the most holy sufferings of Jesus, and rest in his divine side which is the furnace of holy love" (From a letter of St. Paul of the Cross).

St. Paul of the Cross and the Word of God

"I must first tell you that to draw greater fruit from our Lord's teaching, you must listen to the Word of God, either oral or written, as if Jesus Christ Himself were speaking to you.  He Himself left this record for us in the holy Gospel" (St. Paul of the Cross, a letter to Marchioness Donna Marianna Della Scala Del Pozzo, January 3, 1729).

"Read not through curiosity, nor for mere gratification, nor in haste, but quietly and slowly, imitating the bee which lights on a flower and gently draws sweet nourishment from it" (St. Paul of the Cross, Primitive Regulations)

Solemnity of Mary the Holy Mother of God

"Humble yourself, but gently, for if Mary Most Holy sees that your heart is tiny and infant-like in humility, she will allow you to embrace the dear Divine Infant" (From a letter of St. Paul of the Cross to Agnes Grazi, December 20, 1737).
"For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
(Luke 2:11)

Advent is:

. . . the silent slumber of the Infant
         within the Virgin Mother's womb
. . . the silent Heartbeat
         within every Consecrated Host

. . . the mystery of the Treasure
         revealed in Time . . .
       yet Hidden until
            the End Times . . .

. . . the Magnificent cry of the Church:
         "Come Lord Jesus!"
       to be fulfilled and completed
           His Second Coming

Advent is . . .

      His Infant slumber in Her womb . . .
      His Eucharistic Heartbeat . . .

  The Mystery and Magnificence
      of:    Emmanuel . . . God with us!

Advent: Mary Our Model

"The Virgin Mary pregnant with Jesus, the Redeemer of the world, becomes the model for Christians and especially for contemplatives who devote their entire lives to living hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3).  Being quietly present to this mystery of Christ dwelling and growing within us is a simple yet profound path to living Advent in a deepened spirit of prayer.  No matter what we are doing throughout the day, Christ is living within us . . . We work, we pray, we recreate, we rest, and all the while we are 'Christbearers' who carry hidden deep within us the life of Christ who by grace is growing more and more in our hearts.  Being mindful of this great truth spontaneously draws our scattered minds and hearts into prayers.  'The life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me,'" says the Apostle Paul (Gal 2:20).  
(From the Advent 2019 Circular Letter of Mother Catherine Marie, CP, Mother President of the Congregation of the Nuns of the Passion of Jesus Christ)


A most precious gift for which to be thankful . . .


"the greatest and most overwhelming work of God's love!"

(St. Paul of the Cross)

November 21--Feast of the Presentation of Mary: A blessed day for Passionists

"My heart will no longer be mine, because I am not my own anymore.  My heart will belong only to God: He is my love!" (St. Paul of the Cross)

"Paul used to say that this feast was the blessed anniversary of that day on which he took leave of the world and wore the habit of the Passion for the first time.  It was the day on which, in the flower of his youth, he offered himself to the Divine Majesty.  Thus, he imitated the heavenly Queen who presented herself in the temple as a sacrifice most pleasing to the heart of God."  (From the Life of Venerable Paul of the Cross by Saint Vincent Mary Strambi, bishop)

The Contemplative Passionist Life