Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
Pope Paul VI was born Giovanni Battista Montini on 26 September 1897 in the village of Concesio, in the province of Brescia, Lombardy. He was ordained priest on 29 May 1920 and worked in the Roman Curia, the Vatican civil service, until he was made Archbishop of Milan in 1954. He was elected Pope on 21 June 1963, successfully saw the Vatican Council through to its completion, promoted the renewal of the Church’s life and especially of the liturgy. He also promoted ecumenical dialogue and the proclamation of the Gospel to the modern world. He died on 6 August 1978. He was canonized by Pope Francis in 2018. Credit: Universalis.
The example of Nazareth
From an address given at Nazareth by Pope Paul VI
The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus – the school of the Gospel.
The first lesson we learn here is to look, to listen, to meditate and penetrate the meaning – at once so deep and so mysterious – of this very simple, very humble and very beautiful manifestation of the Son of God. Perhaps we learn, even imperceptibly, the lesson of imitation.
Here we learn the method which will permit us to understand who Christ is. Here above all is made clear the importance of taking into account the general picture of his life among us, with its varied background of place, of time, of customs, of language, of religious practices – in fact, everything Jesus made use of to reveal himself to the world. Here everything is eloquent, all has a meaning.
Here, in this school, one learns why it is necessary to have a spiritual rule of life, if one wishes to follow the teaching of the Gospel and become a disciple of Christ.
How gladly would I become a child again, and go to school once more in this humble and sublime school of Nazareth: close to Mary, I wish I could make a fresh start at learning the true science of life and the higher wisdom of divine truths.
But I am only a passing pilgrim. I must renounce this desire to pursue in this home my still incomplete education in the understanding of the Gospel. I will not go on my way however without having gathered – hurriedly, it is true, and as if wanting to escape notice – some brief lessons from Nazareth.
First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us, besieged as we are by so many uplifted voices, the general noise and uproar, in our seething and over-sensitized modern life.
May the silence of Nazareth teach us recollection, inwardness, the disposition to listen to good inspirations and the teachings of true masters. May it teach us the need for and the value of preparation, of study, of meditation, of personal inner life, of the prayer which God alone sees in secret.
Next, there is a lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character. Let us learn from Nazareth that the formation received at home is gentle and irreplaceable. Let us learn the prime importance of the role of the family in the social order.
Finally, there is a lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the ‘Carpenter’s Son’, in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work; here I would restore the awareness of the nobility of work; and reaffirm that work cannot be an end in itself, but that its freedom and its excellence derive, over and above its economic worth, from the value of those for whose sake it is undertaken. And here at Nazareth, to conclude, I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern, their brother who is God. He is the prophet of all their just causes, Christ our Lord.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; Feast of the Holy Family; https://divineoffice.org/welcome/ Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
The moments of a sincere Confession may well be amongst the sweetest, the most comforting and the most decisive moments of life.”
Saint Pope Paul VI
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy.”
Saint Pope Paul VI
“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” — Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the whole People of God. In it, Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office either with the priests, among themselves, or individually. The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper “understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms.” The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours integrate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, expressing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Credit: https://divineoffice.org/liturgy-of-the-hours/
Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”
Saint Francis de Sales
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Holy Spirit, Light and Life of my Soul, enliven my prayer life.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.