October 28, 2011
Last week, on
Oct. 20, the Universal Church celebrated the memorial of
St. Paul of the Cross. He was born in the town of Ovada
in Genoa, Italy on Jan. 3, 1694, and was educated in a
school for boys run by a local priest. From an early age
he developed an ardent love for Jesus in the Blessed
Sacrament while attending Mass daily with frequent
visits and time spent in front of the Eucharist in
adoration. Once during time in front of the tabernacle
as a young boy, a heavy bench fell onto his foot causing
a wound serious enough to cause considerable bleeding.
He responded by thanking the Lord for "the rose sent
As a young man he turned down an inheritance from
an uncle along with a marriage proposal and decided to follow his calling to
the priesthood. He went on to start a religious order, called the
Passionists, which exist today with more than 2,200 members. It is said the
only book he used during his long life of over eighty years was the cross.
Did not St. Paul say, "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus
Christ and him crucified" (1 Cor 2:2)?
I love to point out that when gazing upon a
crucifix, one can see all of the virtues. What humility it took for the God
made man to allow Himself to mount the cross. What patience it took to
remain silent as a lamb sent to the slaughter. We can see perfect obedience
to the Heavenly Father. It would be beyond the scope of this brief column to
elaborate further, but what love it took for love incarnate though innocent,
to die for guilty adoptive brothers and sisters. Jesus said, "If any man
would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow
me" (Mk 8:34). Dying to self for the benefit of others was the example that
countless men and women have followed since that horrific but salvific death
on a Friday afternoon.
I am edified and most grateful to our many
benefactors who continually share with us their time, talent, and treasure.
Only students of the cross step out of themselves to make time to volunteer,
and to donate funds to ease the sufferings of the members of the mystical
body of Christ. Whenever I get on my knees and ask for help, God sends me
someone or a group of people who respond to the need at hand, "Ask and it
will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be open to
you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who
knocks it will be opened" (Mt 7:7-8).
Please let me take this opportunity to thank once again those who support
us with your prayers and penances, those who volunteer with their time and
talent and those who support us monetarily for without you, there would not
be a Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska. Next year, we will be
celebrating our 80th year as an agency which was started during the Great
Depression by Bishop Kucera. We are only here because of 80 years of love
and support of those who read, study and live the textbook of the cross! May
the souls of our deceased patrons rest in peace and may God bless you all!
Father Christopher Kubat
Catholic Social Services