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...

Friendship

Friendship

I had just joined the community and I was filled with joy and enthusiasm, learning my way through the daily schedule of prayer, community time, chores, studies, and apostolate. The call from Jesus had touched and transformed my heart, making it burn with the desire to give myself to him, and to go out and bring him to many others. I wasn’t really looking for anything more, since I felt I had everything, but our God is a God of abundance. One Sunday afternoon, taking advantage of some free time, I and another young woman in formation decided to go out for a walk and to play at one of the parks in Rome. We didn’t really know each other that well, but we found ourselves spending those hours talking, sharing, and enjoying each other’s company as if we had been...

Freedom of Heart

Freedom of Heart

Have you ever tried to grasp a handful of sand? It slowly escapes from the crevices of your hands. You are attempting to hold onto it, but in the act of grasping, you lose it. This is what happens when our heart is pulled down by an attachment. Being able to identify any attachments in our hearts is important for any kind of discernment so that we receive fully His abundant graces and have the freedom of heart necessary to say “yes” to God’s will, as Mary did. Though the thought of attachment might inspire aversion, it’s not as foreign to our human nature as we might think. In the story of original sin, for example, we see Adam and Eve trying to grasp at the good things in the Garden. However, attachment is more than simply experiencing pleasure in something,...