New Spring of Water Series: A Year With The Saints

New Spring of Water Series: A Year With The Saints

During this new series of Spring of Water meditations, we will live “A Year with the Saints”. We will look at each saint we have chosen as an “Apostle” of some particular virtue: joy, trust, love, etc. Meditating on their lives, we will seek to learn from them in our own journey towards holiness. Join us as we embark on “A Year with the Saints”.

St. Cecilia, Apostle of Love

St. Cecilia, Apostle of Love

St. Cecilia is one of those great saints who receives a great amount of devotion, especially from musicians. As a matter of fact, I chose her for my confirmation saint because I played the piano! She was born in Rome in the 2nd or 3rd century to a noble family. After having made a vow of virginity to God, she was given in marriage by her parents to a pagan nobleman named Valerian. On the evening of their wedding, she shared with him that an angel was guarding her virginity, and that if he was baptized, he would be able to see the angel. At this, Valerian was converted and went to be baptized by Pope Urban I. At his return, he witnessed the angel, and shortly after, Valerian’s brother Tibertius also converted. Cecilia, Valerian and Tibertius were dedicated to...

St. Paul, Apostle of Freedom

St. Paul, Apostle of Freedom

In 1993 during my last year of studies at the Lateran, I was struck by the course on New Testament exegesis, particularly the writings of St. Paul. Prof. Romano Penna, an internationally acclaimed expert on Paul, fascinated us with this man who untiringly proclaimed the Gospel. One student stood out above the rest: Giuseppe Pulcinelli, who became Prof. Penna’s successor. The friendship that the Lord gave me in these years with Msgr. Pulcinelli has led me to read many of his theological writings and to admire evermore Paul whose name is found on 13 of 27 books in the New Testament. Fr. Salvatore, our founder, has also had a particular interest in Paul for his apostolic fervor. If we Apostles are not “Paulists” we can’t be “infected” with Paul’s zeal. What is the...

St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Apostle of Trust

St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Apostle of Trust

“I rejoice to be little, because only children and those who are like them will be admitted to the heavenly banquet.” This quote from St. Thérèse of Lisieux sums up her whole life and her teaching. The “Little Flower”, as she is known, spent her brief but full life striving to be little. This message of “littleness” is so important that she was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope St. John Paul II. Her teaching goes to the very heart of the Gospel and has something to say to each one of us today. What is the greatest characteristic of a little child? Why are we called to turn and become like little children? The key boils down to one fundamental attitude: trust. We can learn so much from little children because they teach us how to trust in our Heavenly...

Like Clay in the Hand of the Potter

Like Clay in the Hand of the Potter

I was born and raised in a culture, a country and in a family that not only honor, but rewards those who are assertive, independent, and self-sufficient. My family is large and warm, but also loquacious and direct. To make your voice heard you must compete, in some way, with those who are already talking so as to steal the attention, if only for a moment. I was an expert at being the center of attention and of convincing others to follow suit. I was an active volcano, full of energy and ideas, always ready to erupt and diffuse lava wherever it seemed fit. Then, I met the Apostles. I believed to possess all that I needed to achieve both happiness and sanctity: conviction, courage and constancy, but I didn’t truly know how to live alongside others, how to see and...

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

When I was a kid, my mom used to set up an empty cradle for Baby Jesus on our dining room table at the beginning of Advent every year, and each time someone in the house did a good deed, they added a piece of straw to the cradle. The idea was to build a soft bed for the Baby Jesus with our offerings. My mom started this tradition the first year I was old enough to understand and participate, and I still remember her explaining the importance of it to me: “If we’re going to do this, we have to do enough good deeds to give Baby Jesus a comfy bed for when He’s born on Christmas. If we don’t do enough good deeds, His bed will be hard and uncomfortable. Are you ready to do it?” As an adult, I continue to use the season of Advent to...

Holy Initiative

Holy Initiative

From the time I started discerning with the Apostles of the Interior Life, and even to this day, two words have always intimidated me a little bit about our mission: “holy initiative”. For me, they described that which I did not naturally have. I never considered myself one to take the first step, always too shy and concerned with my own reputation or image to risk making a mistake. Everything had to always be planned out word for word when approaching a stranger, and I needed to feel decently confident about a positive outcome of the encounter in order to act. I still remember that beautiful sunny Friday morning on the Texas A&M campus about three years ago. I was in my first year of formation with the community. Three times a week I would venture out on...