My Daily Bread: The Last and Highest Goal 

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Conversion

CHAPTER 6

The Last and Highest Goal

CHRIST: 

MY CHILD, My true friends refuse to pursue things simply because they are pleasant. They do not want anything which has only temporary value. All their hopes and ambitions aim at the success which I give, the success which will never pass away. They know that too much love for earthly things can draw them away from the only lasting joy and glory. So in all their daily activities, they keep an eye on Me and My commandments.

2. Among all the wonders of heaven and earth, there is no one like Me. My works are supremely good and My judgments are perfectly true. By My providence the universe is ruled.

3. Let others seek whatever else they desire besides Me. As for you, let nothing please you except Me alone, your Hope, your Eternal Salvation.

4. Daily look for Me above all things. Try to find Me in all things. I alone am the Giver of true peace and lasting happiness.

THINK:

No tongue can describe the peace which God gives to those who sincerely want His Will above all else. Many never find this peace because they lack the trust and courage to live entirely God’s way. They try to obey God’s law only in part. God loves the man who is honest enough to want first things first.

PRAY:

My loving Saviour and merciful God, can I be so foolish as to think that I can find happiness without You? Can sin ever bring me true joy when it separates me from You, the Fountain of lasting joy? No. I hope, with Your help to keep my eyes fixed on You throughout my daily life. I hope to avoid whatever displeases You, and to live as You wish me to live each hour of the day. Your Will shows the way to undying peace and happiness. Let me love Your Will in all things. Amen.

St. Paschal Baylon

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St. Paschal Baylon, Confessor

St. Paschal Baylon, a lay-brother of the celebrated Franciscan Order, was born in Spain, in the kingdom of Valencia, on Pentecost Sunday, 1340. He had hardly reached boyhood, when he was already employed in watching the herd, as his parents were too poor to allow him to learn a trade. In this occupation, so looked down upon by the world, Paschal remained until he took the habit, but so innocent and pious was his life, that he never stained his soul with a mortal sin. He was such an enemy to cursing, lying, unchaste conversation, and licentious songs, that he would not endure these sins in others, but most earnestly endeavored to reform those addicted to them. He took the utmost care that the cattle entrusted to him should not damage the fields and meadows of others, and when he perceived that, withou his fault, such had been the case, he made good the damage out of his own wages, or by his labor. He never took the least thing out of the gardens or vineyards, as was so frequently done by others of his station. One day the chief herdsman requested Paschal to bring him some grapes from a neighboring garden that he might appease his thirst. The pious youth refused to do so on account of its being a sin, an offence done to God. When the chief herdsman pressed him with threats, he said fearlessly: “The grapes do not belong to us, and I will sooner let myself be torn to pieces than take the least of what belongs to another, as it is a sin,” so great was the Saint’s horror of sin. Continue reading

St. Simon Stock

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St. Simon Stock, Confessor

HE was descended of a good family in Kent. From his infancy he turned all his thoughts and affections to attain to the most perfect love of God, and studied to devote all his moments to this glorious pursuit. In this earnest desire, in the twelfth year of his age, he retired into a wilderness, and chose for his dwelling a great hollow oak tree; whence the surname of Stock was given him. Whilst he here mortified his flesh with fasting and other severities he nourished his soul with spiritual dainties in continual prayer. His drink was only water; and he never touched any other food but herbs, roots, and wild apples. Whilst he led this course of life, he was invited by a divine revelation to embrace the rule of certain religious men who were coming from Palestine into England. Albert, the holy patriarch of Jerusalem, having given a written rule to the Carmelite friars about the year 1205, some brothers of this Order were soon after brought over from Mount Carmel by John Lord Vescy and Richard Lord Gray of Codnor, when they returned from the Holy Land. These noblemen some time after settled them, the latter in the wood of Aylesford, near Rochester in Kent, the former in the forest of Holme, near Alnewick in Northumberland; which houses continued the two most famous convents of this Order in England till their dissolution in the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry VIII. But we are assured by Bale, who before his apostacy was himself a friar of the English province of this Order, 1 and by Lambert, 2 and Weaver 3 in their accurate descriptions of the Antiquities of Kent, that the first or most ancient convent of these friars in England was that of Newenden in Kent, which was founded for them by Sir Thomas Archer or Fitz-Aucher, whose family flourished for many centuries upon that manor. The first arrival of these friars in England is placed in the Annals of the Order, quoted by F. Cosmos de Villiers 4 in 1212. 5 Simon who had then lived a recluse twenty years, imitating the Macariuses and Arseniuses in the most heroic practices of penance and contemplation, was much affected with the devotion of these servants of God to the Blessed Virgin, their edifying deportment, and their eremitical austere institute, and joined their holy company before the end of the year 1212. Continue reading