These beautiful blood red roses showed up
in front of this statue on the first day
of our Novena to our Holy Founder
Well, the eve of our great Solemnity is upon us. Perhaps you are wondering…”why do those Americans (and Canadians) celebrate the Feast of St. Paul of the Cross on October 20th? Even the universal breviary lists his feast being on October 19th.” Well, you see, here in North America we observe those holy North American Martyrs as a “Memorial” on October 19th. Therefore, our Holy Founder gets bumped. Actually, he died on October 18th but that is already celebrated as the Feast of St. Luke the Apostle.
This evening we come to the end of our Solemn novena of prayer and a little extra silence and penance in preparation for this great Feast. During Vespers our Mother Superior read to us the Spiritual Testament left to us by St. Paul of the Cross. It is a very moving account. Special thanks to those early Passionist companions of our Founder who made sure it was not lost. Also, special thanks to Msgr Michael Palud for doing such an excellent job on his blog preparing our readers for St. Paul of the Cross’ Feast.
The following are some excerpts from Fr. Bennet Kelley, CP’s book Spiritual Direction According to St. Paul of the Cross. (By the way, this is a “must read” for all serious devotees of St. Paul of the Cross and the Passionist charism.)
“Paul thinks of the Passion, though, not merely as a past even, but as a present sign which we need to contemplate and allow to penetrate us…he wants them to see the Passion as a present sign of God’s love. Paul looked deeper than the wounds of Jesus to see the love beneath the wounds. Each event and each wound had for Paul its own particular significance. It was a sign of some love-attitude in the heart of Christ.
“Walking in the footsteps of Jesus meant for Paul imitating the love-attitudes of the heart of Jesus which he saw in thePassion; the virtues and values of Jesus; the humility, courage, patience, confidence, compassion for others, obedience to the Father and many other virtues. Here are some examples of what the Passion meant for Paul:
‘The world lives unmindful of the sufferings of Jesus which are the miracle of miracles of the love of God. We must arouse the world from it slumber. His Holy Spirit will teach us how.’
‘God can work in us only when we pass through the door which is Jesus Christ and his most holy Passion, which is the greatest and most stupendous work of his love.'”
Let us live wholly immersed in God, according to our state in life, so as to arouse the world from its slumber!
Happy Feast Day!