St. Paul’s Characteristic Gift

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“Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Cor. xii. 9.

All the Saints, from the beginning of history to the end, resemble each other in this, that their excellence is supernatural, their deeds heroic, their merits extraordinary and prevailing. They all are choice patterns of the theological virtues; they all are blessed with a rare and special union with their Maker and Lord; they all lead lives of penance; and when they leave this world, they are spared that torment, which the multitude of holy souls are allotted, between earth and heaven, death and eternal glory. But, with all these various tokens of their belonging to one and the same celestial family, they may still be divided, in their external aspect, into two classes.

A Short Road to Perfection

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GardenIt is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well. A short road to perfection-short, not because easy, but because pertinent and intelligible. There are no short ways to perfection, but there are sure ones.

Sanctity – True religion is a hidden life in the heart

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Newman's Private Room at LittlemoreBut there are others who look just the same to the world, who in their hearts are very different; they make no great show, they go on in the same quiet ordinary way as the others, but really they are training to be saints in Heaven. They do all they can to change themselves, to become like God, to obey God, to discipline themselves, to renounce the world …

Providence – God beholds thee individually, whoever thou art

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Newman's rosary at LittlemoreHe “calls thee by thy name.” He sees thee, and understands thee, as He made thee. He knows what is in thee, all thy own peculiar feelings and thoughts, thy dispositions and likings, thy strength and thy weakness. He views thee in thy day of rejoicing, and thy day of sorrow. He sympathizes in thy hopes and thy temptations. He interests Himself in all thy anxieties and remembrances, all the risings and fallings of thy spirit.

Resurrection – Christ is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon!

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O blessed day of the Resurrection, which of old time was called the Queen of Festivals, and raised among Christians an anxious duty, nay contentious diligence duly to honour it! Blessed day, once only passed in sorrow, when the Lord actually rose, and the disciples believed not; but ever since a day of joy to the faith and love of the Church! In ancient times, Christians all over the world began it with a morning salutation. Each man said to his neighbour, “Christ is risen;” and his neighbour answered him, “Christ is risen indeed, and hath appeared unto Simon.”

Assumption – No one has access to the Almighty as His Mother has.

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This is why the Blessed Virgin is called Powerful-nay, sometimes, All-powerful, because she has, more than anyone else, more than all Angels and Saints, this great, prevailing gift of prayer. No one has access to the Almighty as His Mother has; none has merit such as hers. Her Son will deny her nothing that she asks; and herein lies her power.