Author Topic: St Paul of the Cross  (Read 2610 times)

paul

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St Paul of the Cross
« on: September 01, 2014, 04:15:57 AM »
St Paul of the Cross is an Italian saint who lived between the years 1694 and 1775.

His body is preserved at the basilica of Saints John and Paul in Rome.

St Paul of the Cross is notable for his fervent love for God and his special devotion to the Passion of Jesus.

I was unsure of what the Passion of Jesus meant and so had to look it up. It is the story of Jesus Christ's arrest, trial, suffering and crucifixion. St Paul saw the Passion of Christ as being the most overwhelming sign of God's love and at the same time the door to union with him.

I found a book that is collection of letters of St Paul called "Flowers of the Passion -Thoughts of St Paul of the Cross".
Here are some of his words.

The Passion and the Way of Perfection.

The passion of Christ is the door which opens into delicious pastures of the soul. Our divine Saviour has said: ?I am the door. By Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved? (John X 9.)

Imagine yourself seriously indisposed, and that I, who love you tenderly, call to see you. After saying a few words of sympathy and consolation, I should certainly look at you with compassion and, through love of you, make your sufferings my own. Thus when we meditate on the Passion of Christ, seeing him in such affliction, we ought to compassionate Him, and then to remain looking upon Him in so great torments, and through  compassionate love, make His sufferings our own.

Suppose that you had fallen into the river, and that a charitable person threw himself into the water to save you. What would you say to such kindness? Moreover, suppose that, hardly drawn from the water, you had been attacked by assassins, and that your rescuer again came to your assistance, and saved your life at the risk of his own. What would you do in return for such friendship? It is certain you would do all in your power to heal the bruises he received on your account. So ought we act towards Christ: we must contemplate Him engulfed in an ocean of sorrows to save us from the eternal abyss; consider Him all covered with wounds and bruises to purchase for us eternal life. Then let His pains our own, sympathise with His sorrows, and consecrate to Him all our affections.

Keep a continual remembrance of the sufferings of your heavenly Spouse. Endeavour to fathom the love with which He endured them. The shortest way is to lose yourself completely in the abyss of sufferings. Truly does the prophet call the Passion of Christ a sea of love and of sorrow. Ah! Therein lies the great secret is revealed only to humble souls. In the vast sea the soul fishes for the pearls of virtues, and makes her own the sufferings of her Beloved. I have a lively confidence that your Spouse will teach you this divine method of fishing; He will teach it to you if you keep yourself in interior solitude, your mind free from all distraction, from all earthly affection, from every created thing, in pure faith and holy love.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 03:30:59 AM by paul »

paul

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 04:23:04 AM »
There are a number of paintings of St Paul of the Cross. I've attached one of them.

Jewell

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 07:29:39 PM »
Dear Paul,

These words of Saint Paul of the Cross are so reassuring,sweet and profound. They touched my heart...


Thank You so much for posting this!!!

With love and prayers,

paul

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 03:26:15 AM »
Dear Jewell, I?m very happy that those words of St Paul of the Cross meant something to you. There are a couple of other paragraphs from the book that have meaning to me.
Paul.

In the section on The Passion and Faith he wrote:

Let us always seek God by faith in the interior of our soul.

Let a drop of rare perfume fall on a ball of cotton, and a delicious odor will be emitted from the entire ball; thus an aspiration of the heart to God embalms our soul with His divine spirit and causes her to emit a sweet odor in His presence.

Like infants let us rest on the bosom of God by faith, that we may enjoy his divine communications, and we will be fully satisfied.

To some there are those whose devotion leads them to visit holy places and the famous basilicas. I do not condemn this devotion; however faith tells us that our heart is a great sanctuary, because it is the living temple of God and the abode of the Blessed Holy Trinity. Let us enter this temple frequently, and there adore, in spirit and truth, the august Trinity.

What a sublime devotion!

The kingdom of God is within you. Reanimate your faith often when you study, work, or eat; when you retire to rest, or rise in the morning. Make some loving aspirations to God, such as: ?O Infinite Goodness!? or other prayer, and let your soul be penetrated by these pious sentiments as by a precious balm. This great God is nearer to you, so to speak, than you are to yourself.

As for me, I cannot understand how it is possible not to be always thinking of God

The just live by faith. You are the living temple of God. Visit this interior sanctuary often, and see that the lamps, - that is faith, hope, and charity ? are burning.


Jewell

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 02:20:23 AM »
Dear Paul,


This is so true,so true! Faith is the most precious,most important and sweetest thing. It is the Love and Life itself. Nothing is possible without it,and everything is possible with it. Absolutely everything! I believe in this with All my heart and soul,with whole my being.

So many things to be said about sweet Faith,and yet,i stand mute...

These are so beautiful and gentle words You have posted,dear Paul. Thank You from All my heart for sharing these!!!

With love and prayers,
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 02:22:46 AM by Jewell »

paul

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 03:20:45 AM »
Dear Jewell, I have known of the name St Paul of the Cross for most my life and it has just stayed like that until recently. I never bothered to find anything out about him until about 12 months ago it crossed my mind to find out a little bit more. I recently purchased a little book that contains a collection of some of his letters called Flowers of the Passion, Thoughts of St Paul of the Cross. Some of his words are very practical. I have now tried to bring this practical advice into my life as well as all that Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi has brought to me.

I?ll add a few more extracts from the book. They mean so much to me.

From: The Passion and the Holy Will of God.

Be resigned to the Holy will of God in all things; make frequent acts of submission; regard with the eye of faith all interior and exterior troubles as coming from God; do not think of the future ? that is, of its misfortunes, its trials, and other occurrences which the imagination may conjure up, but dispel them in the will of God.

To continue my spiritual prescription: grind all your sufferings in the mill of patience and silence; knead them with the balm of Our Saviours Passion into a little pill; swallow it with faith and love, and let the heat of charity digest it.

Lord, dispose of me as Thou willest; let me be tormented as much as Thou pleases; I will never, on any account, separate myself from Thee. Do with me according to Thy good pleasure; I wish to draw nearer and nearer to Thee.

Lord, Thou fliest from me, but I will suffer this trial as long as it is Thy good pleasure. I will always be thine; although Thou wilt fly from me, I will yet follow Thee.

When shall we be dead to all things that we may live for God? Ah! Yes, when will this time arrive? O precious death! More desirable than life, death which through love, transforms us into God!

St John Chrysostom said: Silentium, quod lutem praebet figulo, idem ipse praebe conditori tuo. Oh, what a sentence! He would say, ?As the clay is silent in the hands of the potter, so do you be silent in the hands of your Creator.? The clay remains silent whether the potter forms it into a vessel of honor or of ignominy, whether he breaks it or flings it among the rubbish; it is content to be cast aside or to be placed in an art gallery. Impress this lesson on your memory


Jewell

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 04:38:55 AM »
Dear Paul,

Yes,so very true! To endure all the sufferings,all the trials,and to endure them in silence,is what is most important. Not to lose hope,not to lose faith.
And i can truly say that with each day,and every trial,i see that it is only Love behind everything. So we can know Her,in all Her Glory. It is always pulling us toward Light only.

How sweet is His will! We march toward darkness,in these vain pursuits and wantings,and these sufferings are always,Always,only wake up call,only a lesson to be learned. How many times i saw this. This is how trust become more and more stronger. And it is relaxing too,letting its play,seeing only Ultimate Goodness behind it.

Than,again,i see Him behind these pursuits and wantings too,how He plays,how molds us indeed. What a wonder! He is indeed a true alchemists.

Seeing this all,like Saint Paul said,thinking about it,indeed,what can be more important than God,than our Very Self,Heart of the Heart?!

Yesterday, i have stumbled upon one beautiful poem of Saint Hadewijch i did not read before,which is carrying the same spirit. I wanted to post it,here in the forum. Here it is:



LOVE: The Paradoxes of Love, by Hadewjich


What is sweetest in Love is her tempestuousness;
Her deepest abyss is her most beautiful favor;
To lose one?s way in her is to touch her close at hand;
To die of hunger for her is to feed and taste;
Her despair is assurance;
Her sorest wounding is all curing;
To waste away for her sake is to be in repose;
Her hiding is finding at all hours;
To languish for her sake is to be in good health;
Her concealment reveals what can be known of her;
Her retentions are her gifts;
Wordlessness is her most beautiful utterance;
Imprisonment by her is total release;
Her sorest blow is her sweetest consolation;
Her ruthless robbery is great profit;
Her withdrawal is approach;
Her deepest silence is her sublime song;
Her deepest wrath is her dearest thanks;
Her greatest threat is pure fidelity;
Her sadness is the alleviation of all pain.

We can say yet more about Love;
Her wealth is her lack of everything;
Her truest fidelity brings about our fall;
Her highest being drowns us in the depths;
Her great wealth bestows pauperism;
Her largess proves to be our bankruptcy;
Her tender care enlarges our wounds;
Association with her brings death over and over;
Her table is hunger; her knowledge is error;
Seduction is the custom of her school;
Encounters with her are cruel storms;
Rest in her is unreachable;
Her revelation is the total hiding of herself;
Her gifts, besides, are thieveries;
Her promises are all seductions;
Her adornments are all undressing;
Her truth is all deception;
To many her assurance appears to lie ?
This is the witness that can be truly borne
At any moment by me and many others
To whom Love has often shown
Wonders by which we were mocked,
Imagining we possessed what she kept back for herself.
After she first played these tricks on me,
And I considered all her methods,
I went to work in a wholly different way;
By her threats and her promises
I was no longer deceived.

I will belong to her, whatever she may be,
Gracious or merciless; to me it is all one!

« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 05:53:25 AM by Jewell »

Ravi.N

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 07:23:57 AM »
Paul/Jewel,
Inspirational quotes from Saint Paul.I warmly recommend 'The Practice of the Presence of God' by Brother Lawrence.

Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman in H?rim?nil, near Lun?ville in the region of Lorraine, located in modern day eastern France. As a young man, Herman's poverty forced him into joining the army, which guaranteed him meals and a small stipend. During this period, Herman claimed an experience that set him on a unique spiritual journey. He considered it a supernatural clarity into a common sight, more so than as a supernatural vision.
During the winter, Herman looked at a barren tree, stripped of leaves and fruit, and realized it awaited the sure hope of a springtime revival and summer abundance. Gazing at the tree, Herman grasped deeply the extravagance of God's grace and the unfailing sovereignty of divine providence. Like the tree, he felt seemingly dead, but held hope that God had life waiting for him, and the turn of seasons would bring fullness. At that moment, he said, that leafless tree "first flashed in upon my soul the fact of God," and a love for God that never ceased. Shortly after, an injury forced his retirement from the army, and after a stint as a footman, he sought a place where he could suffer for his failures. He thus entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Paris as Brother Lawrence.
He was assigned to the monastery kitchen where, amidst the tedious chores of cooking and cleaning at the constant bidding of his superiors, he developed his rule of spirituality and work. In his Maxims, Lawrence writes, "Men invent means and methods of coming at God's love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God's presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?"
For Brother Lawrence, "common business," no matter how mundane or routine, could be a medium of God's love. The sacredness or worldly status of a task mattered less than motivation behind it. "Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God."

Brother Lawrence felt having a proper heart about tasks made every detail of his life possess surpassing value. "I began to live as if there were no one save God and me in the world." Brother Lawrence felt that he cooked meals, ran errands, scrubbed pots, and endured the scorn of the world alongside God. One of his most famous sayings refers to his kitchen:

"The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees before the Blessed Sacrament."

You may read/download the wonderful book which is a compilation of letters and conversations of Brother Lawrence-It is called 'The Practice of the Presence of God':
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/lawrence/practice

Namaskar

Ravi.N

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 07:28:17 AM »
Paul/Jewel,

Here is the wonderful poem 'Rabbia':

Rabbia, sick upon her bed,
By two saints was visited-
Holy Malik, Hassan wise -
Men of mark in Moslem eyes.

Hassan said, "Whose prayer is pure
Will God's chastisements endure."
Malik, from a deeper sense
Uttered his experience:
"He who loves his master's choice
Will in chastisement rejoice."

Rabbia saw some selfish will
In their maxims lingering still,
And replied "O men of grace,
He who sees his Master's face,
Will not in his prayers recall
That he is chastised at all !"


« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 07:38:27 AM by Ravi.N »

paul

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 03:40:49 AM »
Dear Jewell, I was wondering where the poem by Saint Hadewjich was going finish or how it would finish ( :)  ) but when I read the last line it tied it all together and could see how it was in the same spirit.

Dear Ravi, thank-you for recommending Brother Lawrence's books. I've downloaded it and intend to read it soon.

Paul.

paul

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Re: St Paul of the Cross
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2014, 03:27:20 AM »
 From the "Flowers of the Passion -Thoughts of St Paul of the Cross".

The Passion and Humility.

Imagine yourself a great nobleman, who, while at the table with his friends, hears a loud knock at the door. He sends a servant to see who knocks, and learning that it is a beggar, grows angry at the beggar?s impertinence, and dismisses him without an alms.

A little later another beggar knocks, but very humbly and modestly. The master then says to his servants: Let charity be given to this poor man who so humbly asks for it.

A third knocks, but so softly as to be scarcely heard. The master gives him a good sum of money.

Finally a poor leper comes, who has not the boldness to knock, and who throws himself on the ground near the door, and waits for the master to perceive him. The master going out for a walk, observes the poor leper. ?what are you doing here?? he inquires; ?why do you not ask for charity??

?Ah! Sir,? replies the mendicant, ?you are a great and nobleman, and I am a poor and ragged man, covered with leprosy. I dare not even open my mouth.? At these words the nobleman summons his steward, and says to him: ?See that this poor man is cared for and clothed, and supply him with a generous annuity for the rest of his days.?

It is thus that Our Lord acts towards us. The more we humble ourselves in His divine presence, the more will He enrich us with His graces. When we experience dryness, desolation, abandonment in prayer, we must greatly humble ourselves before God, acknowledging our demerits, imploring the aid of His grace, and suffering in humble resignation whatever affliction He may be pleased to send us.