Volume I, Issue 1

1502–1539

2007

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ear Readers!

I thank you for the interest you have shown in spending time reading, or perhaps just browsing through our first issue of Anthony Alive. When I mentioned to a friend of mine the idea of starting a publication on St. Anthony, she posed to me these questions: “Which St. Anthony?” “Why Anthony Alive now in 2007?” “Is there some sort of anniversary of St. Anthony in the coming months?” And many other “whys” and “hows” were asked. I must say that these questions were very profitable, in that they helped me formulate in my heart a sound raison d’être of the publication’s birth. The answer to these questions is found in the birth of a noble son, Anthony Zaccaria, many centuries ago, in the city of Cremona in Lombardy, Italy. You are probably wondering what the connection is between what took place in such a remote time and place and my current life. Let me explain. It’s a vital spiritual (cont.) connection. Jesus is Alive! Alleluia!
Jesus’ Resurrection is not merely a historic event that took place over two thousand years ago, but is the everliving reality that ought to be experienced in our hearts. In other words, Jesus lived, suffered, died, and was raised from the dead so that He might live forever in the heart of each one of us, and we in Him. Yes, He came down from heaven to make us alive forever by his eternal life. MAY YOU HAVE A BLESSED EASTER
From The Barnabite Fathers and the Staff of Anthony Alive.

This Issue
April 2007 INTRODUCTION by Father Robert Kosek, CRSP ST. ANTHONY’S DOCTRINE • The Life of a Saint… • The Spiritual Treasures • The Teachings on PRAYER • The Famous Sayings • The Constitutions of 1539 REFLECTIONS & MEDITATIONS… • Walking with St. Anthony by Fr. Tony Sarno • You Could Have a Life… by Mary Grace • Prayer and Suffering… by Fr. Anthony Bianco, CRSP • Prayer Without Ceasing by Mary Gambino • Anthony’s Lift to God by Sr. Rorivic P. Israel, ASP • Make Your Home in Me… by Fr. Speranza • Prayer Is Placing Oneself… by Fr. R. Delzingaro, CRSP • Kids Page by Elizabeth, Peter, & Matthew Gambino OUTSTANDING BARNABITES • A Servant of the Orphans: Fr. Giovanni Semeria, CRSP • Peace and Peace by Fr. Giovanni M. Semeria, CRSP OBLATES OF SAINT PAUL St. James Parish, Oakville, Ont.

Introduction St. Anthony’s Doctrine

“Do not think that my love for you or the good qualities you are endowed with, may have me desire that you be just little saints. No, I greatly desire that you become great saints, since you are wellequipped to reach this goal, if you will it. All that is required is that you really mean to develop and give back to Jesus Crucified, in a more refined form, the good qualities and graces He has given you.”
(Zaccaria, Letter XI)
ing to us! On many occasions we even call this person an “angel,” to indicate their heaven-like qualities. The people of Cremona in the 1500’s had their own “Angel of God” in the person of Anthony Zaccaria. This “Angel of God” was granted a power to bring others to Christ and so empower them to be ever alive in God. That “whoever is in Christ is a new creation” (2 Cor 5,17). How and why was Saint Anthony blest with this amazing ability to love? There is a simple and yet profound answer to these queries. Anthony Zaccaria earned his reputation of “Angel of God” by his lifestyle, and witness to the love of Christ, in prayer, poverty, preaching, and charity. With time, people realized that his spirit was not of this world. His spirit was much more

“Love alone is worth everything.” What a bold statement for Saint Anthony Zaccaria to make! How does this statement fit today’s society where our love for Christ has become somewhat indifferent—no prayers allowed in schools, the commandments taken out of government buildings, people trying to get “In God We Trust” off currency, etc., and, many times, it seems as if love has lost all its worth. I thought that perhaps now is the time to find once again the love of God, which St. Anthony Zaccaria was so zealous about. Can you imagine encountering a person who not only made such a statement, but at the same time was willing to live by it? I can, because I have known more than one. For instance, a friend of mine related a story to me recently about a few incidents which occurred after returning from a pilgrimage. People would come up to her and ask: “Did you lose weight, or did you do something to your hair? There is something different about you. What is it?” After this happened time and again, she arrived at the fact that nothing physical had changed. So it must be that she fell in love with Jesus in an all-consuming way. She was, and continues to be, on fire with the Spirit. I must admit that she just glows with the light of it as it burns bright within her. The person who lives by love alone is able to channel to us this power, and such a person is a bless-

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Introduction St. Anthony’s Doctrine

powerful. It was the Spirit of the living God which empowered Zaccaria to make people authentically “alive” in Christ. His spirituality was like a magnet, drawing people towards him to learn how to live by God’s love while still living in the world. To these faithful followers his message was very intriguing and, at the same time, very appealing. From whom did Anthony Zaccaria, this young holy man, learn to love? From God. For God “love alone is worth everything,” and has always been everything. This is because “God is LOVE” (1J 4, 16). Love is God’s language par excellence, through which He communicates Himself to us. It is God’s desire that we humans learn His language of love. “That is why God came down from heaven to earth: ... O infinite love! God humbled Himself so much in order that man might love Him back, and through this love be saved” (Sermon IV). Anthony would continuously teach that “without God’s love nothing can be accomplished, whereas everything depends on His love” (ibid.). He was speaking from his experience of an ardent life of prayer. It was during these long hours in the presence of the Divine teacher and Friend, Jesus Crucified, that Anthony came to grasp that one’s relationship with Jesus ought to be characterized by love. However, for Anthony just to love God was not enough. For him, it had to be a love to the point of being called “crazy,” – like the love of someone who is so madly in love, that it would last until death, death on the cross. Who can love like that? Are all people equipped to love God in such a passionate fashion? Or is this love just for the special elite? In his wisdom, Anthony understood that reaching the summit of love – holiness as the primary object of spiritual life – is not less binding for laity than it is for priests and religious. Moreover, he strongly believed that the laity has been given by God all that it takes to reach this summit of love. “Do not think that my love for you or the good qualities

you are endowed with, may have me desire that you be just little saints. No, I greatly desire that you become great saints, since you are well-equipped to reach this goal, if you will it. All that is required is that you really mean to develop and give back to Jesus Crucified, in a more refined form, the good qualities and graces He has given you” (Letter XI). You may think “That was then, but now it’s a different story. Let’s face it. I am not as blessed as they were!” Think again. It is true that during his short life Anthony was only able to be present in a limited number of places and to talk and write to a restricted number of people. Yet, it is hard to believe that despite these constraints present in the 1500’s, Zaccaria’s message surmounted them all, and since then his message has been soaring high above any limits of time and space reaching people everywhere. This publication is clear proof of this unwavering fact. It is my wish and prayer that by reading Anthony Alive, your heart may be enkindled with the flame of that blazing holy fire of St. Anthony. May you reach “the peak of holiness to which [God] wants to lead you” (Letter XI) and so become alive in Christ.
Yours in Christ, Fr. Robert B. Kosek, CRSP Holy Thursday, 5 April, 2007

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Life of a Saint…

nthony Mary Zaccaria was born in 1502, in Cremona, a city of Lombardy, fifty miles southeast of Milan, Italy. His patrician family probably originated in Genova. His father, Lazzaro, died when Anthony Mary was two years old. His mother, Antonia Pescaroli, a widow at eighteen, devoted herself completely to the education of her son. Little is known of Anthony Mary’s childhood. However, his biographers have handed down a significant episode. One day, on his way home from school the boy gave his cape to a destitute man. It is not clear whether he studied the humanities in Cremona or in Pavia. What is certain is that in 1520 (incidentally, the year of Exsurge Domine, the papal bull that condemned Luther), he went to Padua to study philosophy and medicine. Before leaving for Padua, he irrevocably bequeathed his whole inheritance to his mother. After graduation, he returned to Cremona, but never practiced medicine. A historically shadowy Dominican friar, Fra Marcello, became his spiritual director. The twenty-two-year old university graduate deliberately opted for an uncompromising and active Christian lifestyle. Contiguous to the Zaccaria residence, there was a small church, St. Vitalis. Here, Anthony Mary, still a layman, began to gather on Sundays, first, children to teach them catechism; then, adults for Scripture reading and meditation. Later on, his spiritual director steered him toward the priesthood. Under Dominican guidance, Anthony Mary’s theological studies were thoroughly based on the Bible and Church Fathers and Doctors, particularly St. Thomas Aquinas. In January 1529, he was ordained to the priesthood. Surrounded by a few close relatives and friends and without the customary solemnity, he celebrated his first Mass in the church of St. Vitalis. According to a charming tradition, angels were seen around the altar. His priesthood enabled him to refine and enhance his previous work in St. Vitalis. His audience evolved into a structured Oratory, possibly styled "Amicizia." To this group Anthony Mary preached his Sermons. One of his spiritual disciples was Valeria degli Alieri, a distant relative and a member of Anthony Mary’s Oratory. Under his

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The Life of a Saint— Anthony Mary Zaccaria

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Life of a Saint…

guidance she gathered a group of young women in her house and Anthony Mary became their spiritual director. After his death, they obtained the authorization to become a convent of the Angelic Sisters. In addition to his work of spiritual direction and formation, Anthony Mary engaged in active apostolate among the poor and the sick, particularly during the plague of 1528. This exertion earned him the name "Father of the City" from his townsmen. Meanwhile, Anthony Mary chose a new spiritual director from the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Fra Battista Carioni da Crema (1460-1534), a disciple of Sebastiano Maggi and a confrere of Gerolamo Savonarola. A few years earlier, Fra Battista persuaded Cajetan Thiene to leave Vicenza and go to Rome to engage in the work of reform. At this time the Dominican friar was the confessor of Ludovica Torelli (1500-1569), Countess of Guastalla. Quite probably, it was at his urging that Ludovica chose Anthony Mary as her chaplain. Accordingly, at the direction of Fra Battista, Anthony Mary took up residence in Ludovica’s castle. In 1531, Ludovica, Anthony Mary, and Fra Battista went to Milan where they joined the Oratory of Eternal Wisdom. Here Anthony Mary met two

Milanese noblemen, Giacomo Antonio Morigia (1497-1546) and Bartolomeo Ferrari (14991544). Toward the end of 1532, he brought to maturity their common project of transforming that waning oratory into a new and original religious community, consisting of three families: priests, sisters, and lay people. The priests’ family, Sons of St. Paul, was quickly approved by Clement VII on February 18, 1533 with the brief Vota per quae. It was highly unusual to have a new religious family approved before it started functioning. On July 24, 1535, with the bull Dudum felicis recordationis, Paul III accorded them a second approval and their new religious name of Clerics Regular. After they took over the church of St. Barnabas in Milan in 1545, they were given the popular name of Barnabites. In Milan, Countess Torelli began gathering in her house young women inclined to the spiritual life. Anthony Mary became their confessor and spiritual director. In this role, he steered them toward becoming the female family of his foundation. On January 15, 1535, Paul III, with a bull, Debitum pastoralis, authorized them to organize as a religious congregation under the Rule of St. Augustine. The new religious were briefly guided by some Dominican Sisters and adopted their habit. They chose

the name Angelics to which Anthony Mary added "of St. Paul." In October 1535, they settled in their first convent named after St. Paul, located in Milan. The formal name of Angelics of St. Paul was approved by Paul III on August 6, 1545. At this time, the Angelics were not cloistered because they shared in the apostolate of the Barnabites. The third family of Anthony Mary’s foundation consisted of lay people and was named Married of Saint Paul. They shared the same spirituality of the Barnabites and the Angelics. These three families soon became known throughout Milan

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Life of a Saint…

because of their lifestyle, their penitential practices, their way of dressing and their preaching which was, at times, provocative. Some of their initiatives later became customary in Milan, such as the ringing of bells at 3 p.m. on Fridays to commemorate the death of the Lord on the cross. They also actively promoted the solemn exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament by touring various city churches (the socalled Forty Hours). Not everyone in Milan was pleased with the zeal of this new spiritual family. Its members were threatened. They were accused of Pelagianism and of being followers of controversial Fra Battista (d. January 1, 1534). They were also suspected of embracing the heresies of the Beguines and the Poor Men of Lyons. Milanese civil and Church authorities intervened. Two trials ensued. The first one, against the Sons of St. Paul, was held on October 5, 1534. It shelved the whole matter and issued no verdict. The second one, against the Sons of St. Paul and the Angelics of St. Paul, began in June 1536 and was concluded on August 21, 1537 with full acquittal. It was a bracing experience for the Sons of St. Paul. On the eve of the first trial, October 4, 1534, in what could be termed his finest hour, Anthony Mary addressed a crucial talk to his religious. "Here we are," he impassionately intoned, "fools for the sake

of Christ, who can boast about our sufferings, because those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones God has chosen to show up those who are everything. Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who endured the cross, disregarding its shamefulness, and we shall prove that we are servants of God by great fortitude in times of suffering, prepared for honor or disgrace, taken for impostors while we are genuine." It was after this bruising experience that the Sons of St. Paul, who had begun common life in the summer of 1534 but without the rule of poverty, now embraced it without hesitation. Similarly, in 1537, in the course of the second trial, Anthony Mary promptly accepted a request from the bishop of Vicenza, Cardinal Nicola Ridolfi, and sent a group of his priests, sisters, and married couples to reform the monasteries of that city. In May 1539, Anthony Mary was back in Guastalla. The reason for his return is controverted. In any event, he was already in poor health, and his exertions in Guastalla and the hot and humid climate of the lower Po Valley aggravated his condition. The last week of June, he felt so ill that he requested to be taken home to his mother in Cremona. Surrounded by his family and

closest friends, he spoke his last words and, comforted by the Church’s sacraments, died, as he had predicted, on the octave of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, July 5, 1539. A pious tradition holds that, before expiring, Anthony Mary was granted a vision of St. Paul. After a Cremona funeral, his body was taken to Milan and buried in St. Paul’s Convent of the Angelics. His saintliness was instantly recognized, and he was venerated as a Blessed until 1634, five years short of a century, which would have automatically given him the title of Saint. Instead, when Urban VIII issued new canonization rules in 1634, Anthony Mary lost the popular title of Blessed. In 1802 his cause was reintroduced. By 1888 three miracles were about to be approved for his official beatification. An alert Barnabite cardinal, Giuseppe Granniello, close to Pope Leo XIII, obtained that Anthony Mary be beatified as a result of the previous 95 years of popular devotion (1539-1634). The three miracles approved on February 14, 1897 finally led to his canonization on May 27,1897.

Copyright © 1998 Barnabite Fathers. Used by permission of Barnabite Fathers USA . All rights reserved.

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Spiritual Treasures…

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The Spiritual Treasures of Saint Anthony

Introduction by Mary Grace, Edited by Fr. Robert Kosek and Bernard Freitag

ith all the hype of today’s pirate movies, and Johnny Depp’s on his ghostly pursuit of earthly treasures, isn’t it refreshing to learn of the spiritual treasures of St. Anthony Zaccaria? In the movies you see Johnny Depp searching for these lost treasures only to find them lacking his needs; He is going through eternity without the faintest idea that these treasures he seeks simply cannot fulfill his needs; they cannot enable him to reach his goals or protect him from the evils of his mortal and immortal life. In effect, he is going through eternity with an empty chest.

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As I read the treasures of St. Anthony presented by the Barnabite Fathers, I was struck with the thought that these treasures were indeed endless. Each time I go to the treasure chest, it is still full to the brim with spiritual gems that will enrich me even into eternity. Indeed, each time I share a jewel of wisdom from St. Anthony’s treasure, I am assured that instead of depleting the chest, I am actually increasing the treasure by perpetuating it. I cannot believe that I was blessed enough to find this treasure that has been buried for so long, and that it is truly endless in the knowledge and peace that fills me as only our Lord’s bounty can do. These treasures of St. Anthony are most certainly the treasures of heaven for they are more valuable than any earthly possession. These treasures can never be disposed of because they live in my heart. They cannot be stolen or lost because they reside in the core of my spiritual self, making them the most precious of all treasures. These treasures teach of the true and only way to achieve the everlasting gifts of God. He gave us the most precious treasure of all time when He sent His son, our Lord Jesus, to redeem us. How could any earthly treasure compare to that? St. Anthony shares his insights of his many blessings, and teaches us how to love God with our whole being. He shows us how to pray constantly and with great joy. He teaches us of God’s treasures within our reach, if only we give of ourselves. So I say to you, run like a crazy person away from sin and towards God’s open arms. I know that as I use these treasures in my everyday life, I become richer in spirit, and love. I have been blessed, praise God!

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Spiritual Treasures…

Saint Anthony Zaccaria, what moved you to write these suggestions to me? Love! Yes, love inspired me to write these words of wisdom and courage to you. I don’t want you to fall victim to half-heartedness, but rather to become ever more centered in the love of Christ. I must tell you this, so that you will become a follower and believer of the Holy Spirit, and not fall victim to the corruption of today’s society. To allow yourself to lapse into the wickedness of this world would be wrong and unchristian.

Suggestions for living in a busy world and still living spiritually in God’s love.
witness to the one living pattern of Christ (Gal 2:20). As a result one can say with the Apostle, “be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 4:16), as if he were saying, “Are you looking for a living model of Christ? Well, look at me.”

you’re doing. While still dealing with the interruption, you might say: “I’m almost done.” You can also do this in relating to God during your daily activities, and you’ll see that your activities are not affected at all. What’s even more significant is that your friendship with God will grow deeper and become more real. Then, and only then, will you be praying continually, even while drinking, eating, acting, talking, studying, writing, etc.; and the external actions will not hinder the interior ones and vice versa.

What practical commitments will help me find time to pray during my numerous daily activities? If you want to maintain an everclose relationship with God and, at the same time, continue working, talking, thinking, reading, and taking care of your affairs as usual, make a habit of frequently thinking of God. This can be for a long or a short time as you would do while spending time in the presence of your best friend. How do you do this? Let us say that you are in the company of your friend, and something comes up. You might say, “Excuse me while I deal with this. If you can wait, I’ll be back as soon as I’m done.” Then, even though you’re dealing with the interruption, you pause, look at him and say something about what

How do I develop a habit to begin all my activities with prayer? Before starting any activity, offer Jesus a few words of your choosing; then during your work often lift up your mind to God. First and foremost watch how anything concerning yourself, or others, is begun. Whether at work or at play, first go to God with a short prayer with which He may inspire you. Do this mentally or in words that express your thoughts and wishes, or things that are comfortable for you. Then while working, thinking, or planning, frequently lift up your mind to God. Should your activity be tedious or long, break it up, perhaps by taking time to say a “Hail Mary,” or as it may seem convenient to you, following God’s inspiration.

What is the true nature of the spiritual life? True spiritual life consists of this: that one keep his eyes on God all the time, long for nothing but God, keep nothing in mind but God, begin every single action in the Lord’s name, and direct it to Him (Col 3:17). In short, that one unifies his whole being— mind, will, memory, senses, and actions—to God. In the spiritual life the soul is led by the Spirit of God as the body is led by the soul. The Spirit Himself bears

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The Spiritual Treasures…

Dear friend in Christ, since your professional activity is quite binding, taking much of your time and energy, necessity suggests choosing a suitable method of prayer. That’s why I would like you to practice, as much as you can, the following suggestions: First, give yourself “IC XC+,” to prayer in the Notably, on top of each handwritten page, Anthony Mary penned an morning and at invocation. Usually, it was the monogram “IC XC+,” the initial night, as well as and last letters of IHSOYC XRISTOC, Greek for Jesus Christ, at any other hour a graphic symbol from Byzantine tradition. The adwithin a set schedule How do I deal with disditional cross means CRUCIFIED. or not, at any time, that tractions during prayer? is, day or night, in any position, that is, in bed or out of By nature we find it difficult to it, kneeling or sitting or as you be focused and, much more so, think best, and most of all beto be united with God while fore you start your professional praying. Why? Because our work, usually without any set spirit is naturally pulled in dif- How do I grow in love with order, for a short or a long time, ferent directions and one is un- God? as God may grant it to you. able to focus on a single thing. The exercise of lifting up one’s In order for you to grow more Then, discuss with Christ everysoul to God (through prayer) is, deeply in love with God, it is thing that may be happening to of course, more difficult for the necessary, first, to love your person who has gotten into the neighbor. That is why we have you: your doubts and your difficulties, especially the hardest bad habit of being distracted. It to run like crazy not only toward is my contention that the most God but also toward our neigh- ones. Present to Him your reasons, thoroughly but as briefly difficult thing for anybody is to bor. If we live according to the as possible. Then, only propose find oneself involved in activi- corporal acts of mercy, that is to Him the solution you think ties that, by their very nature, are clothing the naked, feeding the is the right one or, even better, not conducive to union with hungry, etc., we will love as God ask for His opinion; for He will God, and which can be distract- loves and as He desires us to love not refuse if you gently insist. I ing. Who would think it pos- Him. can assure you that He will let sible to stand in the rain and Himself be compelled to give it not get wet? Yet what seems to to you, if, again, you really want be impossible in itself becomes to have it. very easy with God’s help if only we do not refuse Him our coop- What is the best way, and the eration and that diligent practi- best place where I can continue cal commitment with which He to develop my relationship with Barnabite Spiritual Center • Bethlehem, PA has endowed us. the Lord? Depending on the length of your activity, you can interrupt your work more than once. If you follow this practice you will be praying incessantly, even while drinking, eating, acting, talking, studying, writing, etc.; and the external actions will not hinder the interior ones and vice versa.

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Teaching of St. Anthony…

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The Teachings on…
Translated by Fr. Frank Papa, CRSP. Abridged by Sr. Rorivic P. Israel, ASP

rayer

“For anyone seriously concerned about becoming proficient in the spiritual life, mental prayer is a must. You can, in fact, affirm without any shadow of a doubt that no one will ever make any progress if he does not dedicate himself to and delight in it, no matter how many psalms and other prayers he may mechanically recite all day long.” [Constitutions, (Cs) X; 168]

to “active life and contemplative life.” Vocal prayer is “imperfect”; mental prayer is “perfect”. They are two “means” which must be “seasoned one with the other”, and their aim is to lead us to a full communion with God (Dialogo, 66).

B. Mental Prayer
Mental prayer is called “interior prayer and true prayer”. St. Anthony Mary affirms that “mental prayer is the food and the nourishment of the proficient” (Cs X, 168), assuming in this way that meditation is the food of the beginners, and contemplation of the perfect. If prayer is food, it means that it is needed to make progress in spiritual life: “Mental prayer is so necessary that ... one could undoubtedly conclude that he who does not dedicate himself to it and does not find delight in it—I say—will inevitably make no progress... Therefore, if you do not nourish yourselves with it, without doubt you will feel losing your strength.” (Cs X, 168).

Kinds of Prayer Vocal Prayer and Mental Prayer
St. Anthony Zaccaria distinguishes vocal prayer and mental prayer. There are “four kinds of prayer and of spiritual nourishment of the mind” (Cs X, 171): prayer in its truest sense, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving. a. Prayer Prayer is simply a dialogue with God: “Let each one strive, though with closed lips, to pray to God and reveal to Him all his thoughts, as a friend is accustomed to do with another friend” (Cs X, 168). St. Anthony Mary recommends this exercise: “(I wish for you) to talk with Christ about all your present happenings, even doubts and difficulties, especially tough doubts, exposing to Him all possible reasons.... Talk and chat in a familiar way, as you would with me, with Christ Crucified, and ask Him for advice” (Letter III, 23).

A. Vocal Prayer

Vocal prayer, known also as exterior prayer, “has been devised in order that we, inspired by its taste and meaning, may at last begin to learn interior prayer. If it is done right, that is, if one captures its taste (affective dimension), and its meaning (intellectual dimension), vocal prayer is not an end in itself, but subordinated to the interior one. Vocal prayer alone, especially if it does not lead us to mental prayer, or does not partake of the latter, only make us feel good superficially and is only a counterfeit of true prayer and true spiritual food” (Cs b. Petition X, 168). On the relationship between vocal prayer One of the traditional definitions of prayer sounds and mental prayer, they go together as compared as: “petitio decentium a Deo -- request from God of

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Teaching of St. Anthony…

169). The second condition is the reading and the meditation of devout things: “Take care to nourish your mind with thoughts of compunction, for example, thoughts of the Passion of Christ, on the sorrows of the Blessed Mother, and the like.... If you want to acquire easily the habit of praying mentally, read pious subjects, think of them, and find delight in pondering continuously over holy things. Examples of these devout things c. Intercession Intercession corresponds to the obsecratio in Vul- are: ‘the marvelous variety of created things,’ the gata. “The intercession takes place when the pray- ‘different beauty’ of creatures, ‘God’s infinite Proviing soul appears malevolent towards God, like Mo- dence,’ ‘Christ moving Passion’ “ (Cs X, 170-171). ses” (Famous Sayings, XIX,14). Anthony Mary says: “In order that God may easily hear your prayer, offer to Him the precious Blood of Christ and the The Fruits of Prayer merits of the Saints, and the very love He has for The fundamental effect of prayer is the interior enlightenment of the one who practices it: “Prayer and mankind” (Cs X, 169). meditation enlighten the soul” (Cs XVIII, 199). To be enlightened is the essential condition for the one d. Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is the highest prayer, the “perfect level who wants to become a master and guide for others. of prayer.” “It can be assumed then that a person “The one who lacks (it) should not presume to lead must go beyond the various ways of prayer and others!... Let no one think that he can lead someone dwell in continuous thanksgiving” (ibid., XIX, 20). else if he himself is blind; otherwise, both of them These words indicate that thanksgiving , more than will fall in a pit.” an act, is a “state.” As St. Anthony Mary says, “By doing so, you will finally be able to reach the state Prayer indicates to man, first of all, what to do: of prayer which has its origin in intention, devo- “Prayer and meditation keep one steady before the presence of God; that is why one knows what is tion, and experience. And profitable to do or leave aside.” Secondly, “prayer this is the state of prayer teaches man how to carry on what he originally was which consists in always told to do: continuous meditation and the spirit of giving thanks to God” (Cs prayer will teach you after a while to begin to do X, 169). something so as to lead others where you are going. Prayer does not permit anyone who wants to walk Conditions for Prayer to fall into error and successfully leads anyone who wishes to make progress” (ibid, 198-199). “If you want to pray well, first detach yourself from things of the world, purify yourself from your passions which deprive the soul In his sermon, St. Anthony Mary indicates another efof trust in prayer, then prepare yourself for prayer fect of prayer: the divinization of man. “You talk and converse with God; and without lying you can call through meditation” (Famous Sayings, XIX,4). yourself a god on earth” (Sermon II, 85). Among the conditions for prayer, St. Anthony Mary Published in Italian under the titled “Prontuario Per Lo Spirito: Insegputs silence above all. “Do you want to learn (to namenti ascetico-mistici di sant’Antonio Maria Zaccaria” by Antonio M pray)? Restrain your tongue from superfluous or Gentili & Giovanni M. Scalese. Editrice Àncora Milano, 1994. even necessary talk, and in this way you will begin Used with permission: Roberta Negroni, Ufficio Diritti Àncora Editrice to talk with God as you talk with a friend” (Cs X, useful things” (John Damascene, De fide orthodoxa, 3, 24; cf Summa Th, II. II, 83, 1.5.17). In prayer, the request is essential: “Therefore, show and ask God in your words what you need and what you would like to have in abundance; what He judges to be more useful to your dear friends, and to the Universal Church” (Cs X, 169).

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Famous Sayings…

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The Famous Sayings on…
Translations: introduction by Fr. Frank Papa, CRSP The Famous Sayings by Mary Grace & Fr. Robert B. Kosek, CRSP

rayer

INTRODUCTION

In 1583, a collection of Famous Sayings, listed in alphabetical order by key terms, was published in Venice under St. Anthony M. Zaccaria’s name. This collection is attributed by the scholars to his spiritual director, Fra Battista da Crema. Without excluding the role of Zaccaria in the least, its editor not only gives a glimpse of his doctrine, but has constituted the source from which the disciples of Anthony Mary have absorbed his spirit until the beginning of the last century, when the Zaccarian writings became available. We can classify these sayings into two categories: those with an ascetical flavor, and those with a mystical flavor. The ascetical part offers an excellent and profound psychological analysis, and many theologians have admired the sublimity of the concepts expressed in so few phrases. The author has powerful insights into the mystery of the human heart. In a few strokes of his pen, he offers us a vivid and fearful picture of the condition of some religious communities of his time. This allows us an easier understanding of the deplorable condition of decadent religious congregations. Especially in the chapters on lukewarmness, discretion, and the Religious, the author reminds, and warns, the reader about numerous false Religious animated by diabolic hate for followers of the Rule. The language is careful but energetic and truthful. St. Anthony does not want the religious to be satisfied with meditation, instead before the end of prayer he wants the religious to petition and obtain the effects in the heart. No one could fault him for this, since St. Anthony Zaccaria is not satisfied with affective prayer, but demands mystical prayer for one’s own satisfaction.

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Famous Sayings…

Prayer
1. Prayer is the elevation of the mind to God. However, one who does not elevate the mind does not pray but stammers and falls asleep. Can you imagine that any such prayer would have much value? 2. The one who, in prayer, thinks about himself and other things is distracted. He has not obtained any fruit and has not yet tasted the virtue of prayer. 3. Prayer is a bond [of love] through which the loved soul unites itself to the beloved Christ, unaware of itself or anyone else. 4. If you want to pray well, first detach yourself from things of the world, purify yourself from your passions which deprive the soul of trust in prayer, then pre pare yourself for prayer through meditation. 5. The prayer through which we honor God is good, but the breath of life which God prays within us is much better. 6. The aspiration prayer is not known to the Demon. It is useful and as praiseworthy as a long prayer. 7. Often a truly prayerful person will approach Christ to ascertain his own state as being pleasing or dis pleasing to Him. 8. Usually the beloved does not deny anything from his loved one except, perhaps, unless it allows him more abundant graces. Hence, our petition must be placed in the hands of Christ; in this way it will have better success than if done according to our will. 9. Our petition is just and dis creet when it is entrusted to tally in the hands of our beloved Christ.

10. If one would honestly know himself, how could he petition God for any reward? 11. What good thing could God deny us, when He is the One who invites and spurs us to ask? 12. In an effort to obtain what you pray for, adapt yourself to your petition because you will not obtain humility if you avoid humiliations. 13. Prayer consists in the spirit present in your heart. So, do not use lack of understanding writ ten prayer as an excuse for not praying. 14. A supplication takes place when the praying soul appears malevolent towards God, like Moses, without any consider ation for self or for convenience. 15. When God induces the soul to supplication, first He lowers it through perfect humility, then He raises it with the hope for obtaining what is desired. 16. If the imperfect petitioner is not granted his prayer, he complains against God, even if it is to his detriment if that be granted. 17. Some, in their petitions, say, “Lord, grant me what you would grant to yourself if you were in me and I in you.” They should be aware that this is dangerously presumptuous and self-centered.

The first cover page of The Famous Sayings of St. Anthony, Venice 1583

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Famous Sayings…

18. Some people think to pray, saying, “I absolutely want this, and I want it now.” This is very displeasing to God. 19. The one who receives more than he asks is afraid of suffo cating by the abundance of the gifts, just as the body chokes on the abundance of food. 20. It can be assumed then that a person must go beyond the vari ous ways of prayer and dwell in continuous thanksgiving. 21. It is not a surprise that St. Dominic always had his prayers answered, since he always thanked God. 22. Older and experienced people sometimes ebb from their prayers, petitions, and supplications to pass to a more

noble exercise because when the soul feels its prayers are always granted, the petition diminishes, but the experience of heavenly graces increases. 23. The one who has reached this level recognizes the antici pated divine favors, yet he does not thank God less in his abun dance than in his want, or less when He grants them than when He denies them. 24. The most pleasing thanksgiv ing to God, either for the thing granted or for the thing denied, occurs when one has intensely acknowl edged what he has been granted. 25. God usually grants this grace to His beloved who understand

that they have been granted more by the denied favor than by the granted one. The one who has reached this level knows the divine goodness and providence in himself. 26. When bad things happen, the soul gains more by thanking God than by making constant re course to good petitions. 27. The one who complains for not receiving, or wants to tell God how to grant, or is disturbed by some doubts, or feels his pe titions are not always answered, does not deserve to reach this perfect state. 28. If you desire to reach this perfect level of prayer, then you must obtain the breaking of your will, either on your own or through others. Then abandon yourself completely and joyfully to the will of God, respectfully trusting His great gen erosity. 29. If you want to reach this level, you must have perfect victory over every passion and over your very self. 30. If through perfect humility will you be able to objec tively know yourself, then you will be able to reach this level.
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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Constitutions…

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The Constitutions of 1539 on…
by St. Anthony Zaccaria

rayer

Chapter X On Prayer
For anyone seriously concerned about becoming proficient in the spiritual life, mental prayer is a must. You can, in fact, affirm without any shadow of a doubt that no one will ever make any progress if he does not dedicate himself to and delight in it, no matter how many psalms and other prayers he may mechanically recite all day long. You must know, my brothers, that mental prayer is the food and nourishment of those progressing on the way to perfection. Therefore, if you do not feed your spirit with it, you are inevitably going to fail on the way. Vocal prayer alone, especially if it does not lead us to mental prayer or does not partake of the latter, only makes us feel good superficially and is only a counterfeit of true prayer and true spiritual food. And you can understand this by observing that, when you neglect mental prayer, you remain the very ones you were before, namely, shallow in your conversation, negligent in your works, and imperfect in everything. Prayer Therefore, let everybody endeavor, with tight lips, to pray mentally to God, and present Him one’s thoughts as a friend to a friend. But, note that exterior, or vocal, prayer has been devised in order that we, inspired by its taste and meaningfulness, may at last begin to learn interior prayer. Petition Mentally ask God for what you need and for what you would like to have more abundantly; and for what He judges to be more useful to your dear friends and to the Universal Church. Supplication In order that God may more easily hear your prayer, offer to Him the precious Blood of Christ and the merits of all the saints and the very love He has for mankind. Thanksgiving By giving thanks, you will finally be able to reach that state of prayer

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St. Anthony’s Doctrine

The Constitutions…

which has its origin in intention, devotion, and experience. This is the state of prayer which consists in always giving thanks to God. When you have reached this point, you will know that you are granted your requests even before making them. You will know that you have received much more than that which you have asked for. You will know that your prayers are always heard. Certainly, my brothers, there would be reason to wonder if someone among you should say: “I do not know how to pray mentally.” Do you want to learn how? Refrain your tongue from superfluous and even necessary talk, and then you will begin to be able to talk with God as you talk with a friend. Someone else will perhaps say: “I feel no delight at the beginning of my mental prayer.” My answer is: Take care to nourish your mind with thoughts of compunction as, for example, thoughts on the Passion of Christ, on the sorrows of the Blessed Mother, and the like. But, if even in this way you do not succeed to concentrate on remorseful thoughts, do persist in prayer and do not turn away from it even with just the intention of your spirit. Sooner or later you will obtain what you desire, on condition, though, that you always humble yourself and recognize yourself unworthy of such a state. And again you will say: “We would like to receive what we ask for.” And I reply: Believe so, and you will receive that and greater things besides. And never stop asking, for no one will ever obtain what he wants if he fails to persist in his petitions. Furthermore, do you want your petitions granted? Conform your souls to your petitions, as for instance: you wish to have compunction. Cherish recollection. You wish to have humility. Willingly

bring humiliations upon yourselves; find delight in being mocked; rejoice in inferior things. You wish to have patience. Desire tribulations and sufferings; for where there is no tribulation or pain, there is no patience either. You might ask: “On what subjects can our spirits dwell during mental prayer?” I would answer: on the marvelous variety of created things, their different beauty, God’s infinite Providence, Christ’s moving Passion; and, in short, on a thousand and one things which are there challenging the minds of those willing to consider them. Mark this, though, my brothers: If you want to acquire easily the habit of praying mentally, read pious subjects, think of them, and find delight in pondering continuously over holy matters. Now then, if you wish to understand why some of you are unable to carry the burden of religious life without the aforementioned fourfold prayer—the soul’s spiritual nourishment—look at those who neglect mental prayer, and see how easily they fail in their duties and are full of defects. Therefore, we want and establish that, for at least two hours between morning and night, we give ourselves to prayer, without getting involved in any other activity. Besides those hours, we earnestly beg you to have your minds constantly concentrated on God, entertaining positive thoughts as you eat or do something else. You might ask: “How can the mind and the hand simultaneously do different things?” And I answer you: Do you wish to understand this? I do not say, “Look at it,” but, “touch it with your own hands.” When you lived in the world, even while eating or working, your minds were at times thinking of how to make some material gain, or how to take revenge, or to think of some friends, or of something else. Well then, you have no other alternative but to do out of ingenuity and good will what you, at other times, used to do out of bad habit or negligence.

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Reflections and Meditations

Walking with…

Walking with St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

plan to give a brief meditation based upon a quote from the writings of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria. The quote will be in bold letters. After each quote, I will list where it can be found in his writings. The words in italics are the meditation. Read it carefully and slowly. Ruminate upon it. The last part consists of some questions based upon the meditation for you to examine in the secret of your heart. “God destroys all the sophistic stratagems” by disentangling all the intrigues (mysteries) of the sophisms (trivial inconveniences and shortcomings) of modern men, which seem “intent in separating man from God” (Letter III). Think of the word “disentangle.” Have you ever had wires, especially from Christmas decorations, that are all knotted up together? It really is frustrating getting them apart. They have become tangled. Separating these wires is the disentangling. St. Anthony Zaccaria is saying that somehow God takes apart, disentangles, those things that bind us all up, those things that do not allow us the freedom to be who we are supposed to be. We are chained. “Intrigues” denotes mystery taking place in the darkness of the night with the fog slowly coming in. God is able to take these mysteries and separate them and free us, so that we can be with God. It is the intrigues of all those little trivial things (sophisms) that together have bound and chained us so that we cannot get to God. Let us get rid of all that does not lead us to God. Only with God’s help can this be done. God

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by Fr. Tony Sarno, CRSP

helps us to see each trivial inconvenience and figure out the mystery behind it so it can be eradicated. We then are capable of overcoming and correcting our trivial faults because we can now see them clearly as they are individually. Being on a cell phone or our computers, or what we call soft pornography, can actually take us away from God and our addiction makes it difficult to break away. We need God to help us to stay always on track with God and to disentangle those things that keep us away from God.

Questions for Examination: 1) In what ways are you tangled so that you are bound and chained in your own sinfulness? 2) How has God helped you in the past to overcome your shortcomings and failings? 3) Is there anything (some obsession you may have) that is fogging your vision in order for you to see your spiritual state clearly?

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Reflections and Meditations

You Could Have…

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You Could Have a Life of Prayer Rather Than a Prayer Life
by Mary Grace

hen I was approached to write this article, I was at first apprehensive. I thought that anyone who read it would think that I was crazy. However, after reading some of St. Anthony Zaccaria’s letters, I felt assured that I was living as he did in his prayer life. I now know that I am “running like a madman towards Christ” (Letter II). If that makes me crazy, so be it because I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I have found such peace that I want to share it with others. Let me start by sharing a little about myself. I am a 54 year-old woman. I am now a stay–at–home caretaker of a 90 year-old mother, (24/7), and a six month-old child, (60 hrs per-week). In the past year, I have given up a very successful business that I ran for 32 years. I sold my home, and moved almost 600 miles to a new life. I did this because I felt it was what God intended; it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, and definitely out of my “comfort zone.” What motivated me was most assuredly the will of God. His plan is not always clear, but through prayer I was able to let go and let God. My Lord has always been a guiding light but I recently found that if I am to live as He wills I must listen more and pray incessantly.

I say, you have every minute that God gives you in a day to pray. You could have a life of prayer rather than a prayer life. I say, God is everywhere, especially with us, in all that we do, through partaking of the Eucharist when we bring Him into our very selves. Certainly, there are times and places more conducive to contemplative prayer but, if we wait until we “have the time” or are in just the “right place” we miss so many opportunities God gives us for prayer. So much emphasis has been put on “quality time” that we think that any time not planned for a certain task is not good enough. Do we really have to make a “play date” with Christ to feel His presence? Can we only pray in allotted places and times? St. Anthony Zaccaria offers unmistakable answers in his letter to Mr. Carlo Magni, dated July 28, 1531 in which he writes: “Give yourself to prayer in the morning and at night, as well as at any other hour within a set schedule or not, at any time, that is, day or night, in any position, that is, in bed or out of it, kneeling or sitting or as you think best, and most of all before you start your professional work, usually without any set order, for a short or a long time, as God may grant it to you.” Let me share with you how I live my life of prayer. This took a conscious effort on my part in the beginning, but is now so ingrained that it is automatic. In all things you do, lift them up to the Lord. When I awaken, before my feet hit the floor, I thank God for bringing me through the night and ask Him to bring me through the day if it His will. As I put things in order, I pray that I may put order into my spiritual life. When I dust, I ask God to make my

I say, you have every minute that God gives you in a day to pray. You could have a life of prayer rather than a prayer life.

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Reflections and Meditations Reflections and Meditations

You Could Have…

heart and head free of the cobwebs that could cloud my purpose in life. As I vacuum, I ask that my life does not become a vacuum for sins and mediocrity, but that I suck up all the blessings sent my way, and be thankful for them. While I am doing the laundry, I thank God for washing my sins clean with the blood of Christ. As I remove the clothes from the dryer, I think of the warmth of God’s love and give Him thanks and praise. As I prepare meals, I always feel close to our Lord because of the Eucharist. This is a powerful one for me as I feel His presence in my kitchen. I give Him thanks and praise for His abundant Grace, for the food I am about to cook, for the people in my life that I share the meal with, for our health and well-being. I ask His continued presence in our home and hearts. In all things, I ask His guidance. We are a society of multitasking people. Let’s put this gift to use in a godly fashion. Do not be afraid to take God to work with you. Make every day “a bring God to work day,” and you will see a big difference in how you approach your work. As I end this article, it is my most fervent prayer that it brings an idea to some of those reading it how to incorporate prayer into their lives. Through living a life of prayer, we bring life into our faith, and faith into our lives.

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Reflections and Meditations

Prayer and Suffering…

few days ago, I was 79 (22 February), which makes me the fourth oldest in a group of 20 priests here at the Holy Family Villa for Retired Priests in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (USA). It reminds me of the Erasmus adage, ipsa senectus morbus est, “old age itself is equal to infirmity.” I do feel the limitations of age, the inability to move around, to do priestly ministry as I used to up to two years ago. A bout with depression, combined with the preexistence of diabetes that is difficult to control even now, has slowed me down considerably. However, I still do some ministry for priests and laity. Although, what remains without interruption is prayer. Here there is no limitation! Listening and talking to God. God, the center of creation, the Lord of history, the Lord and center of my personal life. Here, I have plenty of time to remember, and see the merciful, encouraging, and joy-giving hand of God in my childhood and youth, and during my 56 years of priesthood and my 63 years of religious life as a Barnabite. When I see so many vocations gone sour, I am extremely grateful to God for keeping His mighty hand ever over my head. And I look at the future—whatever it may be—with confidence and hope. I could say with St. Paul, “Cupio dissolvi et esse cum Christo,’’ “my desire is to depart and be with Christ“ (Phil 1, 23), but I can also pray for patience and not rush into anything. Patience saves me from monotony. First of all, there is the prayer of the Church: The Holy Eucharist , and the Divine Office. I concelebrate Mass every day and I pray the Divine Office faithfully every day as well. The Real Presence and the example of the Saints fill my every day. Every week we have a Holy Hour in our chapel. Through EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network—a Catholic TV Channel), I have the opportunity to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Holy Rosary, and to listen to the inspiring meditations of Fr. Leo Clifford. I should say that meditation becomes my favorite form of prayer, thinking of the past and projecting into the future, into the most loving hands of the Father. Prayer and suffering—any kind of suffering—must never be separated. They go hand in hand.

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Prayer and Suffering Must Never Be Separated
by Fr. Anthony Bianco, CRSP

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Reflections and Meditations

Prayer Without Ceasing

n the midst of our modern lives, how do we heed St. Paul’s advice to pray without ceasing? There are many easy and beautiful ways to fill our days with prayer so that our days themselves can become prayer. St. Teresa of Avila describes prayer as nothing more than a conversation between friends: a lifting of the mind and heart to God. Saint Josemaria Escriva tells us, “It is clear that to seek sanctity in the middle of this world does not consist simply in doing or multiplying devotions or pious practices. It lies in an effective union with the Lord which such actions promote and to which they are ordained. And when there is an effective union with the Lord, this affects the whole of one’s activity. These practices will lead you, almost without your realizing it, to contemplative prayer. Your soul will pour forth more acts of love, aspirations, acts of thanksgiving, act of atonement, spiritual communions and this will happen while you go about your ordinary duties, when you answer the telephone, get on a bus, open or close a door, pass in front of a church, when you begin a new task, during it and

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Prayer Without Ceasing
by Mary Gambino

when you have finished it.” The routine of several practices throughout our busy hours can easily make prayer become a habit. A lovely way to begin the day is to enter into quiet prayer before the world is awake. We can set the tone for the hours before us with a morning offering prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours, spiritual reading or Lectio Divina. Perhaps a combination of several methods, as time allows. We should ask our Guardian Angel to help us throughout the day, and then we should remember to depend on and thank our angel for favors received. As the world wakes we can greet each other and, silently, the Guardian Angel of each person we meet. We should ask the Lord’s blessing on the first meal of the day. Whether at home or in a restaurant, we should always give thanks at mealtime. Our public witness serves as a visual prayer for others. In seeing us pray, others lift their minds and hearts to God. If we have children, and they attend school, we should pray together as a family, before they leave for the day. If the children are home schooled, we should begin each day with prayer and reflection on scripture, feast days, or spiritual reading. Throughout the day, we try to remember and reflect on the morning prayers. While we move about our busy

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Reflections and Meditations

Prayer Without Ceasing

day, whether at work or at home, it is easy to re- We can ask Saint Paul, who came up with this member to lift our minds and hearts to God if we idea of ceaseless prayer, for help. The saints each have several “reminders” placed where we are sure struggled for sanctity and won the battle. They to see them (e.g. some holy cards tucked into a are pleased to help us in our struggle as well. My desk drawer and wallet; several statues and holy favorite saint, and an extremely powerful intercespictures placed around sor, is Saint Martha. the home and car). She is well-known for When we see these imher struggle for holiages, we “pray” simply ness amid a busy doPrayer of St. Gertrude the Great mestic life. The loving by mentally saying, “Jesus, I love You”, reproach of her dear “Mary, Mother of God, friend Jesus was earned use me this day”, or Eternal Father, I offer you the not because she was ac“Jesus, Mary and Jotively doing too much, most precious blood of Your seph, save souls”. A but because she had quick mental “hello”, Divine Son, Jesus, in union with become anxious about “thank you” or “help depend on the masses said throughout the doing it. I to help me me” is also prayer. St. Martha reflect on Jesus in my world today, for all the holy We can also use our busyness and offer my souls in purgatory, for sinners surroundings to reweariness to Him. She mind us to pray. helps me to befriend everywhere, for sinners in the Whenever we pass a her Dear Friend. She Universal Church, those in Catholic church, we knows His friendship can greet Our Lord by and is eager to share my own home and within my making the sign of the it. I enjoy seeing her family. Amen. cross to acknowledge image on my kitchen His presence there and windowsill where (We can add “and within this mentally say, “Jesus, I’m reminded of her cemetery.”) I love you”, or “Jesus, privileged place in Our I believe in Your Real Savior’s Heart. Presence in the Blessed Sacrament”. Likewise, when we pass a cemetery, we A temptation of our modern society is to be too can say a prayer for the Holy Souls. Our Lord gave busy most of the time. In order to grow in our St. Gertrude the Great a prayer which will release prayer and spiritual lives, we must not give in to 1,000 souls from purgatory each time it is said. this temptation. We can only listen to the Lord When we hear an ambulance or pass a hospital, we in silence. Therefore, it is wise to set aside some can say a prayer for the souls inside. What a com- quiet time during the day for prayer and recollecfort it would be if we were inside and knew there tion. At this time, we might continue the Liturgy of were people praying for us! the Hours with Evening Prayer, pray the rosary or perhaps spend some time intimately with the Lord We should depend on the saints to help us to pray.

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Reflections and Meditations

Prayer Without Ceasing

before the Blessed Sacrament. Remember that the Blessed Mother “pondered all things in her heart”. We can imitate her when we allow quiet into our lives. We can practice being quiet by turning off the television, radio, iPod, computer, and cell phone. Simply being quietly available to the Lord, and listening for Him, is prayer. Some days, of course, there just isn’t time to draw away with the Lord. On those days, the rosary can be said while driving home from work, or we could listen to a recording of spiritual reflections in the car. When our schedules won’t allow for daily mass, we should make a spiritual communion so that Jesus knows that we want to receive Him. Finally, we can help the children with their nightly prayers so that their slumber will be filled with holy thoughts. A peaceful habit to conclude the day is similar to the way we began: in quiet prayer and recollection. Now is the time for an examination of conscience, concluding the Liturgy of the Hours with Night Prayer and spiritual reading. We can ask ourselves where and when we felt the Lord’s presence during the day. Perhaps the rosary can be said if we hadn’t time for it before. We can always say our rosary in parts throughout the day: One decade in the morning, two or three more in the car, a decade in the afternoon and the last decade at night. The more we consciously strive for prayer in our lives, the easier it becomes. It is the Lord who inspires us to desire Him more and more. All we need to do is to dispose ourselves to receive Him worthily. We do this by frequent reception of the sacraments, praying and practicing “quiet.” By including several “holy habits” in our daily routines, we will find that we begin to live in union with the Lord, with Saint Paul’s help, to pray without ceasing.

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Reflections and Meditations

Anthony’s Lift…

“Can I give you a lift?”

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God to Lift Anthony’s by Sr. Rorivic P. Israel, ASP

he many doubts and uncertainties we experience often make us ride on in life, no matter what the consequences may be. We get along with anything, making us apathetic of what may befall. It is likely a disconcerting moment when we lose any sense of perception and right judgment to what is occurring in our life. Certainly, such kind of “ride” does not lead us to a better end. However, how many of us do choose it? We know in the deepest recesses of our hearts that the “safer ride” we could take is to let God be part of our life. God is the Master Planner, and we are confident that He will never cause us woes or misfortune. For some of us, life is yet a long journey. For others, it may only be a few days. Nonetheless, are we willing to let God be part of our life?

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, in his teachings, delineates to us an ever-practical way of letting God be God in our life. Truly, his “lift” goes far beyond taking a ride on any means of “human transportation”. It assuredly is relevant and thought-provoking. Lift up your heart to God. “It is necessary to unite ourselves with God by lifting up our hearts. “ (Sermon III) Our heart naturally beats, and it throbs for something. It throbs either for life, for love, for God, or for things that captivate it. The Gospel of Matthew re-echoes once more its message: “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (6:21) Where is our treasure? Where is our heart? What or for whom does it beat? Our heart belongs to God. It is in it that He sits on His throne. It is the most intimate place where we can freely converse with Him about anything. They may be our successes or setbacks. They may be our consolations or desolations. It is in our heart where we can earnestly say, “God, it’s just between you and me.” And we know God keeps secrets. By lifting up our hearts, we unite ourselves more closely to the God who senses our every sigh and

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Reflections and Meditations

Anthony’s Lift…

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.” (Mt 22:37)
comprehends our every desire. We thus recognize that God alone can satisfy our human longing. Lift up your soul to God. “The exercise of lifting up one’s soul to God is, of course, more difficult for the person who has gotten into the bad habit of being distracted. Yet what seems to be impossible (difficult) in itself becomes very easy with God’s help.” (Letter III) It is not surprising that God fades away most often when we are distracted. Our life is “clouded” with our innumerable interests. The distractions of daily life make us less sensitive to the presence of God. Yet, in the Old Testament, we console ourselves that the cloud itself is the very presence of God among the Israelites in the desert. So God is there in our distractions. We don’t get disquieted in whatever way, for seemingly forcing God out of our concerns. It may be in this that God communicates with us. God undoubtedly uses any means to unite Himself to us. He invites us to offer our worries and anxieties to him, “for he cares” (1 Pt. 5:7). What is left for us to do is to respond to such an invitation so lovingly and generously offered. It may not come easy, especially when we tend to believe that we can handle things ourselves, or when uniting to God becomes a taxing experience. However, St. Anthony says: “What seems to be impossible itself becomes very easy with God’s help, if only we do not refuse Him our cooperation and that diligent spiritual commitment with which He has endowed us.” Lift up your mind to God. “If you want to maintain an ever close relationship with God. ... simply and often lift up your mind to God. “ (Letter III)

Our mind gets entangled with our daily affairs. Its focus turns too often to merely human concerns, setting us into the danger of becoming passive to the demands of the Spirit. St. Anthony tells us how we can make God present in our day to day activities. Amidst the hustle and bustle, we can always “lift up our minds to God, whether we are working, talking, thinking, reading, and taking care of our affairs”. (ibid) There is nothing that would hinder us from having God the very inspiration of our every action. God is omnipresent. Wherever we may be, whatever we may do, and at whatever time, God is there. Creating that close relationship with God is only a matter of turning our attention to Him, from time to time, while accomplishing our tasks. God will not deny us his company if we allow him to be there. He is a Friend who would be willing to spend time with us without making a fuss, thus causing us disturbance. St. Anthony stresses, “Lift up your mind to God... . If you practice this way of prayer, I can assure you that little by little you will derive from it both great spiritual profit and an ever greater love relationship with [God].” In sole truth, our relationship with God depends mostly on how much we love Him. If we love God, we take every “lift” no matter how our life goes. “I am not going to add anything else, for I want experience to speak for itself.” (ibid.) What do you say? “I’ll take the lift.” “Do you think that the straight road to heaven is to have possessions, to have honors, to have delights, to have favors? It is nothing else but the love of God, this is the road we have to ascend. “ (Sermon IV)

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Reflections and Meditations

Make Your Home…

or most of my adult life, I have suffered from depression, and I have not always chosen healthy ways of dealing with it. Twenty years ago, it seemed that my life was falling apart and that my dependency on alcohol was increasing. I started drinking to help me feel better and, when that made me feel worse, I drank more. Friends had noticed and had tried an intervention, but I interpreted their care and concern as meddlesome and I readily dismissed what they were saying to me. One Sunday morning, I was standing outside the church where I assisted on the weekends and some of the people came over and congratulated me on what they described as “a beautiful homily” then I remembered nodding my head and thinking that if they knew what I was really like, they wouldn’t be saying that to me. “If they knew what I was really like”—those words kept on repeating in my mind over the next several days. I concluded that if they did know what I was like, they would not speak to me at all. Taking my thoughts a step further, it seemed to me that God knew what I was really like. God knew what a mess I had become. I was flooded with shame, and the little prayer I

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Make Your Home in Me, As I Make Mine in You
by Fr. Speranza

had been doing soon stopped. How could I pray when I was so bad? I accused myself of hypocrisy. I refused to let God in on my pain. As a matter of fact, I refused to let anyone in on my pain -even those I loved. I knew that attempting to close myself off was a mistake. I knew that continuing to drink was a mistake. I knew that not praying was a mistake. I knew so many things. Everything was DARK. The bishop called and asked to see me. He had received a couple of reports, and he inquired about my drinking. I told him that I did not have a problem, but that if I did in the future, I would call him. Thanks be to God, I developed a bleeding ulcer and had to go into the hospital. The friends who had attempted the intervention and a priest friend visited me, and their silent tears spoke volumes. The first thing I did, when I returned to the rectory, was to telephone the bishop and tell him that I needed help. He arranged for me to go for an

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Reflections and Meditations

Make Your Home…

evaluation at a treatment center for clergy and religious. There I was told that I was a good candidate for their program. There was a catch, however. They were full and had a waiting list. I could not be admitted for six months.

My last drink was the night I entered the hospital. I promised the bishop that I would not drink, and Later that day in our small group therapy session, I I kept my word with the was invited to share. I read help of Alcoholics Anonythe letter from my friend. Jesus said: mous. During those six When I got to the words “Come to me, all you who labor and are months, I went to meet“I am offering my pain burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my ings regularly. I continued for your healing”, I broke yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am my ministry and started to down completely. As I was meek and humble of heart; and you will find enjoy it again. I opened up crying and sobbing in my rest for yourself. For my yoke is easy , and my a little to the Lord and othanguish and pain, I beburden light.” ers and shared what was came aware that I was be(Mt 11 28-30, NAB) going on in my life. Those ing held just as my Mom six months of waiting were used to hold me when I Saint Anthony Zaccaria said: almost like a dream. was a little boy. I was be“You can be sure that, before you speak and ing held by God, the therin the very moment of speaking, Jesus CruciI entered treatment in June apist, and the members of fied will anticipate and accompany, not only of 1986. Saying goodbye my group. They continued every word of yours, but your every holy into those with whom I minto hold me while I poured tention. St. Paul said that he would push foristered and to my family out everything that was ward but stay within the limits of the work and friends was a jolt of within me. that Christ had set for him. As for you, Jesus reality. It wasn’t a dream Crucified has also set a limit when he promanymore. My leaving was I don’t remember too ised that you would get enough strength to difficult for me, and I faced much more about that pierce to their marrow the hearts of people. the unknown with great day. I know that it was an Don’t you see that He Himself has opened fear. I was unsure of everyending and a beginning the doors for you with His own hands? Who, thing, and I closed down for me. then, will hinder you from entering …” again. I went through the (A. Zaccaria, Letter VI) motions and spoke to my The next morning, I awoke primary therapist and the with a prayer of praise on spiritual director. I was placed in various therapies. my lips. Later that day, it was my turn to be the I was present, but I was not engaged. principal celebrant of our Mass. When I entered the chapel, I was home. I celebrated Mass every day, but I was empty. Every time I entered the chapel, God seemed so very far THE JOURNEY CONTINUES… away. I said prayers, but didn’t pray.

After a couple of months, I received a letter from a dear friend, a Franciscan sister. She wrote that she had been diagnosed with cancer and had begun treatments. Then she really blew me away. She wrote that she was offering her pain for my healing.

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Reflections and Meditations

Praying is Placing Oneself…

Prayer Is Placing Oneself in the Presence of God
by Fr. Richard Delzingaro, CRSP

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray….’ He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.’”

(Lk 11, 1-2)

rayer, any prayer, is placing oneself in the presence of God. Prayer is both a psychological activity and a spiritual attitude. It is a subjective reality, i.e. the one who is praying and an objective reality, i.e. the one to whom one is praying. For me, then, prayer is nothing more, nothing less than being in an I – Thou inter-personal relationship with God, a God rooted in human tradition and revealed in sacred scripture, the inspired word of God – a God who communicates vis á vis the incarnate WORD, Jesus Christ. Since prayer is both a verbal and mental relational exercise with a God who reveals, it also implies a willingness to serve.
Image by R. Kosek

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Reflections and Meditations

Praying is Placing Oneself…

“‘But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD’” (Josh 24,15). Thus, to serve the LORD is to place oneself intentionally in the sacred moment; and to be expressly in the presence of a personal God is a form of prayer that is both basic and expansive. Consequently, prayer is something we do (a psychological reality) with someone who is (a spiritual reality). Moreover, the desire to pray comes from an attendant God who loves each of us unconditionally and who desires to be in a caring love-relationship with us. For me, prayer is intrinsically a daily journey linked to the redemptive activity of God, an activity that is revealed as salvation history and sustained in the tradition of the Church, the people of God. And so, if prayer turns my mind and thoughts to Godwherever I am, whatever I am doing, it begins with the notion of thanksgiving: the Lord my God has created me to know, to love, and to praise him with joy and gratitude. For me, prayer is God’s universal call to holiness, a call to follow Jesus Christ, the WORD, and to strive daily to discover God’s presence and to dwell there. Prayer helps me to understand, “what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps 8, 4) To follow Jesus, hence, to grow in the knowledge of God’s love, is an awesome yet attainable concept. Prayer, both verbal and mental is a conceptual bond that unites me to the love of God in Christ – so that each day I can say and believe, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 118, 24).

Following the intent of our Founder, St. Anthony Zaccaria and the tradition of our religious congregation, the Barnabites, my formal prayer is grounded in The Liturgy of the Hours, reciting the Breviary either in private or in community. This formal prayer is rooted in scripture and is enhanced by other writings, all of which serve to inspire me to be in a dialogue with God who is transcendent and Christ who is immanent. Jesus invites and encourages me to enjoy the intimacy of a personal relationship with a self-defining God of love. The inspiration to be in God’s presence through formal prayer also engenders the desire to seek God and to be sought.
“With what shall I come before the LORD? (….) And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic 6, 6,8).

Therefore, if following the faith draws me to God’s sacred presence, then prayer invites me to be drawn into the hallowed space of God who is calling me to engage Him relationally in the serenity of the Holy Spirit as well as in the struggles of life. Prayer is the opportune moment to resonate in the good news of Christ who renews our gratitude for the gift of life itself, to savor the moments we have been on earth, and to share God’s love with others. Let us praise God together for the inestimable gift of the SON, Jesus, our hope, our joy. Prayer, especially for the poor and needy, expands our faith so that we can live in the fullness of God’s love both here and now and forever in heaven.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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Reflections and Meditations

Kids Page

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When I think of…

“When I think of the sunset it makes me think of God who created the earth and painted the skies with a paintbrush.”
Elizabeth Gambino—age 11

“Snow makes me think of the Transfiguration of Jesus.”
Peter Gambino—age 9

“Scars remind me of Jesus.”
Matthew Gambino—age 6

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Outstanding Barnabites

A Servant of…

I

A Servant of the Orphans

n 1967, Pope Paul VI wrote, “We love to see in him [Fr. Semeria] one of the most noble and known figures of the past generations, for his simplicity and humility as a religious, for his vast culture, for his powerful eloquence, but especially for his exemplary attachment to the Catholic faith; and we wish his memory and his example would encourage total fidelity to the Church, a love which sacrifices itself for our neighbor, and the spreading of good studies.” Fr. Semeria was born on the Ligurian coast in 1867. At the age of fifteen, he decided to dedicate his life to Christ by becoming a Barnabite. He attended the novitiate in Monza. He studied philosophy and theology in Rome where he was ordained a priest in 1890. In 1895, he was transferred to St. Bartholomew’s, in Genoa, which became the center of his future activities. Many of the young people of Rome, already captivated by the young Semeria’s energetic spirit, sent their good wishes with him when he departed. The 18–year old Eugenio Pacelli, future Pius XII, wrote that Fr. Semeria was thought of as a “most beautiful, noble, sincere, loyal soul, and of high intelligence.” Fr. Semeria spent the next twelve years with the young people in Genoa. “Oh, the beautiful time spent with the young people of all ages! I never got bored with them. And as I remember them and gladly see them again, so also it seems to me they are not unhappy when they encounter me.” He became director of the “St Alexander Sauli Club,” where he supervised the teaching of religion as well as sport and theater activities for the young. At that time, these activities were looked upon with suspi-

Fr. Giovanni Semeria, a Barnabite (1867–1931)
cion. He founded the Superior School of Religion, and initiated many charitable activities. The people of higher society in Genoa were drawn to the church “Alle Vigne” to hear his Sunday sermons. In 1897, the 30 year-old Semeria traveled back to Rome to deliver the Lenten sermons in St. Lawrence in Damaso. Every day a crowd of people, Romans and visitors, including Queen Marguerite and the future Benedict XV, would pack the church two hours before the sermon. This stupendous success was Fr. Semeria’s baptism as a great sacred orator. From that point on, he did not restrict himself to preach solely in Italy. He traveled to France, Belgium, Switzerland, England, Asia, Africa and America to deliver his powerful messages. He gained fame for his sermons before the International Eucharistic Congress at Cartage. He spoke on every event, happy or sad, Church or State related, interpreting the feelings of the Church or of the civic community. Someone once wrote: “The only sermon he lacks is on the devil’s horns!” In 1912, this naturally gifted orator was forced into a silent exile in Brussels. The battle against Modernism spared no one. Fr. Semeria’s heart was broken, but he obeyed. He spent two years of forced silence and inactivity, helping the Italian immigrants. In 1915, World War I brought him back to Italy. At the personal request of General Louis Cadorna, Fr. Semeria became the chaplain of the Italian Supreme Command. A new page was opening in his life. Homilies, conferences, conversations, Masses on the front, confessions, visits to the wounded...

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Outstanding Barnabites

A Servant of…

He was going through piles and piles of correspondence for those who were asking him the most unexpected requests. He would run where the danger was the thickest to encourage men to duty. In the full fury of the war he wrote: “I, and others like me, had the delicate task to face the soldiers who were carrying on that horrible duty, summarized in two words, of which I do not know which one is more atrocious and repugnant: kill and die. It was a duty, it was a need. At more length I shared this ministry with Fr. John Minozzi, a nice fellow from Abruzzi, an incomparable animator. We promised to ourselves and to the soldiers—I with my speeches, he with his conversations—that we would not forget their children. We made that promise often and with more insistence to those of the South. At the conclusion of the Armistice, it was our duty to keep the promise.” By 1919, two orphanages were in the planning stages, one in Amatrice (Rieti) and the other in Gioia del Colle (Bari). Yet the financing of these projects was insufficient. Fr. Semeria left for the United States to appeal to the hearts of the Americans. With his tremendous sense of adaptation, he immediately felt at home. He spoke in churches, theaters, halls, and at town meetings. Many were astonished by this bearded figure with such a picturesque style. “When – Fr. Semeria wrote – after a summary description of heroic gestures of Italy and its soldiers during the three years of the colossal war, I would plead for the orphans, children of our fallen soldiers, tears would wet their cheeks; and when,

shortly after, I would come down to extend my hand, dollars would rain in my hat – that historical hat – which has seen in it inside thousands of dollars, and I am ready to give it as a gift to anyone who would give me a thousand liras for my orphans.” Fr. Semeria returned to Italy retired, but happy, with thousands of dollars for his orphans. He did not force his orphans to study. Instead, he directed them toward vocational traits, so much needed at that time. In only five years, nine shelter-laboratories in Calabria, eleven in Basilicata, four in Campania, and three in Abruzzi flourished. Fr. Semeria also founded fourteen summer camps in the Alps and one on the shore in Monterosso (La Spezia). Today, under the direction of the Disciples of Don Minozzi, there are about one hundred centers with schools, laboratories, and shelters. From this time on, Fr. Semeria’s theology of the “heart” was replacing the theology of the “mind.” The books, conferences, homilies, publications, and everything he worked on was directed towards his orphans. He was constantly on the move to “sell himself,” as he was fond of saying. His last speech was in Monte Casino. When he was taken back to his orphans in Sparanise, he collapsed with exhaustion. Fr. Semeria, father of the orphans, or better the humble “Servant of the Orphans,” died in their midst on March l5th, 1931. As he lay in bed, his final words were: “I do feel that I should have done more and better. I ask God’s forgiveness for not having done it. I exhort you to charity. Live in charity.” When his mortal remains were brought back to Rome to his Barnabite house in Via Chiavari, they were wrapped in the Italian flag to honor him as a national hero. This exemplary man of religious life showed in life and in death what it means to truly live as a man of God and as a Barnabite.
Reprint from Clerics Regular of St. Paul – Barnabite Fathers “A Tradition of Holiness and Scholarship”, Marikina, Philippines: 1998, pp.59-60.

Image by R. Kosek

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Outstanding Barnabites

Peace and Peace

In 2007 we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God, Giovanni Semeria (1867-1931), who is now in the process of being canonized. We would like to present to our readers the following short, but thoughtful, reflection by him written in 1925. This famous Barnabite typifies prophetic vocation and charism, and was unjustly accused of Modernism. Long before Vatican II, he promoted dialogue between the Church and the world, in all fields: science, philosophy, sociology, history, theology, politics, popular religion, biblical criticism and feminism. He called for the modernization of the liturgy, ecumenism, the democratic system, the autonomy of the Catholic laity in non-dogmatic matters and the study of the relationship between authority and freedom in the church. In the following words, I hear an echo of Semeria’s personal struggle during the Modernist Crisis (1900-1914), when he became the target of pitiless and overzealous “defenders of the faith.” This reflection is taken from The Gospels for the Feast Days (Evangeli della Festa, 1936), and was written as a commentary to the Gospel of the Second Sunday of Easter (John 20:19-29).
Translated by Fr. Tony Bianco, CRSP

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Peace and Peace
by Fr. Giovanni Semeria, CRSP

ertainly, brothers, there is peace and there is peace. This must be said right at the outset to avoid any misunderstanding of the habitual greeting given by the Risen Lord. “Peace be with you,” Jesus invariably tells the apostles, and the other disciples when he appears to them after his Resurrection. The angels sang peace over his cradle, the lullaby of the newborn Babe. Likewise, peace is the lullaby of the Risen One. However, this time not the angels, but He himself announces and brings peace as the Victor, because true peace, a peace worthy of the name, is the conclusion of a struggle, a victorious conclusion.

Surely we may have what looks like peace, but actually it does not deserve the name. The peace of the desert, the peace of the ashes that hide a smoldering fire, the peace of the vegetation spread over a crater, ready to erupt at any time. All these images reflect historical situations… A nation squashes another and then proclaims peace. What an illusion, what a falsification… War is over, cannons cease to thunder, but people are still full of hatred, eager for revenge, yet peace is proclaimed! Far too soon. All these kinds of peace are false, a mere sham. They are superficial and fictitious. This is not Jesus’ peace. His peace is not something static, the peace of stagnant and putrid waters, a lifeless peace, without struggle or without victory. Politically speaking, this is the peace of nations closed in on themselves, who abhor getting involved. Economically

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Image by R. Kosek

Outstanding Barnabites

Peace and Peace

“True peace must be conquered every day, every hour, every moment. It must be attained for others and for ourselves. Peace is equilibrium, but not equilibrium of lifeless things. These, once put in a place, never move; they are inert. Peace is the equilibrium of living things. It is the peace of the strong who do not look for conflict or a fight, yet are not afraid of it.”
Fr. Giovanni Semeria speaking, this is the peace of sluggish and fearful people, who remain in their poverty because they dislike risk and do not want to experience the hardships of fruitful work. Morally speaking, this is the peace of the weak who fear every form of struggle, every effort: it is the peace of pacifists, not of peacemakers. We imagine that these kinds of peace come about automatically, whereas true peace cannot but come from our will dynamically. The Gospel itself may seem, in turn, an idyll of peace or a war song. Doesn’t our Lord himself, at one point, say, “It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword?” (Mt 10:34). Wasn’t he a powerful fighter, a fighter unto death, even death on the cross? His enigmatic words do seemingly contrast with his repeated offers and announcements of peace. But the enigma is readily solved when we recall St. Augustine’s fine definition of peace: “Peace is tranquility, but not tranquility pure and simple; it is the tranquility of order and within order.” The original and principal ingredient of peace is then, not tranquility, but order. Tranquility, at all costs, eludes those who seek peace at all costs, that is, by compromising order, trampling on justice, warring against others and bringing war upon themselves, precisely because they are cowards and are selfish in their search for peace. Those who seek justice must fight for it, and they may appear as troublemakers. In reality, since they fight for order, they are advancing the cause of peace, and may, ultimately, bring it about. Pacifists are not the same as peacemakers. It is the latter that Jesus proclaims blessed.
This article appeared in The North American Voice of Fatima in May-June issue 1986 ©Barnabite Fathers.

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The Oblates of Saint Paul

The Oblates

ST. JAMES PARISH

231 Morden Road Oakville, Ontario L6K 2S2, Canada

Phone (905) 845-3603

E-mail St. James Parish

www.stjamesparish.ca

Who are the Oblates?
During the Catholic Reform of the early 1500’s, there existed in Milan the Oratory of Eternal Wisdom. One of its spiritual guiding forces was St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria. He formed three different groups from the oratory: the Barnabite Fathers, Angelic Sisters, and the Married of St. Paul. Around the time of the Council of Trent the Married of St. Paul fell to the wayside. Since Vatican II there has been a rebirth of various lay spiritual movements. In the 1990’s this third group has been reborn as the Oblates (Laity) of St. Paul. For many centuries the term “OBLATE” has been defined as “one offered to God.” Thus the oblate has been one linked in some way to a religious institute or as a member of a religious institute. In recent times lay men and women have been seeking to express their faith with regard to the first definition of the Barnabites and the Angelics. In the North American Province of the Barnabite Fathers, the Oblates of St. Paul began on March 5, 2000 with their first meeting at St. James Parish in Oakville, Ontario. The Oblates meet monthly with an open sharing of ideas on topics connected with St. Anthony Mary, the Barnabite Fathers, or St. Paul. These members of the laity (single or married) wish to grow spiritually within the Zaccarian family. Each Oblate community (cenacle) has a Barnabite as its spiritual director to guide all in their spiritual journey with and through the Barnabites. The Oblates also are involved in some form of Barnabite ministry connected with a Barnabite community.

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From The Oblates of St. Paul
by Michael & Angie Rooney

ith the permission and blessing of our Pastor Father Frank Ruzza, CRSP, the Oblates of St. Paul organized a twenty-four hour exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. For security reasons, it took place over two, 12–hour days. The Chapel was open Friday, March 2nd from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and again Saturday, March 3rd from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Organization of the event consisted of: • Prayer for a successful program. • The Adoration theme was Jesus’ question to the Apostles in the garden of Gethsemane, “Could You Not Spend One Hour With Me?” • Prominent signs asking this question were displayed in the Church lobby, along with: Two sign-up books, one for each day. Parishioners were requested to enter their name, phone number and times they would be in the Chapel. • All parish organizations were contacted: Eucharistic ministers, Lectors, and Commentators, Catholic Women’s’ League, Choir, Knights of Columbus, the Parish Council and St. James school. • It was determined that at least fifty-eight parishioners were required, two for each hour plus ten to stand by, if needed to fill in. • Volunteers monitored the Chapel to insure that the

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The Oblates of Saint Paul

The News

Blessed Sacrament would not be left unattended. • A week prior to the Exposition, parishioners were reminded from the pulpit, that sign-up was next weekend and that they were invited to take part in the Adoration program. • The following weekend our Pastor and assistants encouraged parishioners to make time to spend in silent contemplation with our Lord. They were 24 Hours With Jesus In directed to use the forms The Eucharistic Adoration in the pews. (Pencils and sign-up forms had previously been placed there). The Adoration program was very successful. Well over a hundred attended. The Chapel had many more parishioners per hour than was anticipated, and the monitors reported that they were never needed. We thank God for all those who so generously contributed their time to make this Adoration program a success. We are reminded that our Holy Father Pope John Paul II, prayed that “Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration would take place in every Catholic Church in the world.” On behalf of the Oblates of St. Paul Michael & Angie Rooney Through my exposure to various Barnabite Fathers, I have experienced the founding charism of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, i.e., the need to share spiritually and in the apostolate with the laity, the charism of the Barnabites and of the Angelics.

I first encountered the charism with Fr. Paul Marconi, CRSP and later with Fr. Mike Mancusi, CRSP. I became an Oblate in March 2000. Following the model of Jesus, who worked and taught, we are invited to build the Kingdom of God with words but even more so with the testimony of our lives, each according to the gifts received and the tasks entrusted to each in the Church and in society. To this end, under the guidance of Father Ruzza, and with great satisfaction and growth in the Spirit, the Oblates at St. James Parish, Oakville, Ontario conduct adult faith enrichment programs Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings with themes corresponding to the Liturgical Year. Together with the Barnabites and the whole Church we strive to bring forth a new incarnation of Christ. Programs include Alpha, CaFE, Questions of the Soul (Father Michael Himes), and a Lenten Series (Father Raniero Cantalamessa). Yours Sincerely,
John Caplette, (An Oblate of St. Paul, St. James Parish)

1502–1539

2007

The Clerics Regular of Saint Paul • BARNABITES
4301 Hecktown Road • Bethlehem, PA 18020 • USA

Barnabite Spiritual Center Newsletter

Director: Father Robert B. Kosek, CRSP Editorial Staff: Sr. Rorivic P. Israel, ASP, Fran Stahlecker,
Mary Grace & Fr. Richard Delzingaro, CRSP

Design: Greg T. Gambino &
Jacob Culichia

Email: robert.kosek@gmail.com
www.AnthonyAlive.com

Design by Greg Gambino greggam@rcn.com

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