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Ave Maria Meditations

A Prayer for the Year for Consecrated Life

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

One Minute Meditation

As we continue on in this dedicated year:

Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life:

Oh God, throughout the ages You have called women and men to pursue lives of perfect charity through the Evangelical councils of poverty, chastity, and obedience. During this Year of Consecrated Life, we give You thanks for these courageous witnesses of faith and models of inspiration. Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to You.

Continue to enrich Your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who, having found the pearl of great price, treasure the kingdom of Heaven above all things. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Seeking the Intercession of St. Monica for our Children

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In this day and age, many tearful parents and grandparents are so greatly concerned over the loss of faith among their dear family members…

Prayer to St. Monica

Exemplary Mother of the great Augustine, you perseveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.

Intercede for all parents in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray.

St. Louis the King: Patron of Franciscan Tertiaries

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

St. Louis, King of France (1214-1270)   Feast Day is August 25th

from a spiritual testament by King Saint Louis IX to his son:

My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin. If the Lord has permitted you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you well deserved it.

If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts. Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can.

Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth. Be devout and obedient to our mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father.

In conclusion, dearest son, I give you every blessing that a loving father can give a son. May the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and all the saints protect you from every evil.  And may the Lord give you the grace to do his will so that he may be served and honored through you, that in the next life we may together come to see him, love him and praise him unceasingly. Amen

Our Dear Mother and Queen

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In giving ourselves to Jesus through Mary’s hands, we imitate God the Father, who gave us his only Son through Mary, and who imparts his graces to us only through Mary. Likewise we imitate God the Son, who by giving us his example for us to follow, inspires us to go to him using the same means he used in coming to us, that is, through Mary. Again, we imitate the Holy Spirit, who bestows his graces and gifts upon us through Mary. “Is it not fitting,” remarks St. Bernard, “that grace should return to its author by the same channel that conveyed it to us?” 

In going to Jesus through Mary, we are really paying honor to our Lord, for we are showing that, because of our sins, we are unworthy to approach his infinite holiness directly on our own. We are showing that we need Mary, his holy Mother, to be our advocate and mediatrix with him who is our Mediator. We are going to Jesus as Mediator and Brother, and at the same time humbling ourselves before him who is our God and our Judge. In short, we are practicing humility, something that always gladdens the heart of God. 

Consecrating ourselves in this way to Jesus through Mary implies placing our good deeds in Mary’s hands. Now, although these deeds may appear good to us, they are often defective, and not worthy to be considered and accepted by God, before whom even the stars lack brightness. 

Let us pray, then, to our dear Mother and Queen that having accepted our poor present, she may purify it, sanctify it, beautify it, and so make it worthy of God.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Mary’s Simplicity

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Mary’s Simplicity

Three most precious fruits of the virtue of justice are simplicity, humility, and gratitude. Simplicity is the sincere love of the pure and simple truth. Humility is the honest confession of one’s own nothingness. Gratitude is the loving acknowledgment of benefits received. First let us consider our Blessed Lady’s simplicity.

Once only is it recorded of our Lord in the gospel that He expressed pleasure and satisfaction during His life on earth. It was when He rejoiced in spirit and gave thanks to His Father because the mysteries of God had been disclosed not to the wise and prudent, but to the little ones, such as are simple souls.

“Jesus rejoiced in spirit and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them onto little ones.” (Lk 10:21)

But who can say how often, while dwelling in the little cottage at Nazareth, He rejoiced in heart to see the child-like simplicity of His dear Mother, the guilelessness of mind and heart with which she work and prayed, and the noble sincerity of her motives, of her deeds, of her words, of her silence? In that dear cottage at Nazareth all lead a life of innocence and holiness. Their food was the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. They cared and sought for God alone. They spoke with the simple truthfulness of childhood. Their speech was “yea, yea, nay, nay.” They thought and spoke well of all men, with loving dove like simplicity.  (more…)

The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

You are glorious, Mother, and most worthy of praise in the City of our God and in the Church of His elect. 

You were assumed into heaven accompanied by angelic choirs, borne up by archangels and crowned with glory. 

Have pity on us, Queen of glory and honor, and keep our souls from all danger.   As our prayer rises up to your throne, hear our humble pleas.

 +St. Bonaventure

St. Maximilian writes about The Immaculate

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“My dear little children, when it comes to the Immaculate, we do not think about ‘small parts’ or ‘fractions’ but we rather run a race all together and, by doing so, every increase in love for her in one of us will produce an even greater increase of love in the others. Our heart is so small, so weak: we never offer her the love with which she is worthy, the loves with which she loves us…
 
An unlimited love for the Immaculate, what does that mean? The Immaculate is so united to God through love that she rises not only above all saints, but also above the angels, the cherubim and seraphim. Therefore an unlimited love towards the Immaculate raises us up to her and joins us to her through love…
What is the Immaculate’s unlimited love? Since she is very close to God, and we are very close to her, consequently, we are very close to God Himself through her. God has give us this white stairway and He wants us to reach Him by climbing it, or rather that she, after having clasped us to her maternal heart, may lead us to Him.

(more…)

A Prayer to St. Clare

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

O glorious Saint Clare!

God has given you the power of working miracles continually, and the favor of answering the prayers of those who invoke your assistance in misfortune, anxiety, and distress; we beseech you, obtain for us from Jesus, through Mary, His Blessed Mother, what we beg of you so fervently and hopefully, if it be for the greater honor and glory of God and for the good of our souls.

Saint Clare Pray For Us

Amen.

St. Dominic and the Rosary

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

It was only in the year 1214 that the Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.  

Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.

At this point our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said,

“Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?”

“Oh, my Lady,” answered Saint Dominic, “you know far better than I do, because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation.”

Then our Lady replied, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”   (more…)

Love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations encore

St. John Vianney Loved the Blessed Sacrament: Quotes from St. John Vianney (Feast Day August 4th), Patron of Priests:

“All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.”

“The many wonders of creation can only fill us with astonishment and admiration. But when we speak of the most holy Eucharist we can say that here is to be found the miracle of divine love for us…. Has there been, or will there ever be, a nobler or more magnanimous love than that which He has shown us in the Blessed Sacrament?”

“When we go before the Blessed Sacrament, let us open our heart; our good God will open His. We shall go to Him; He will come to us; the one to ask, the other to receive. It will be like a breath from one to the other.”

“Jesus Christ, after having given us all he could give, that is to say, the merit of his toils, his sufferings, and bitter death; after having given us his adorable body and blood to be the food of our souls, willed also to give us the most precious thing he had left, which was his holy Mother.”

“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist? It is God who, as our Savior, offers himself each day for us to his Father’s justice. If you are in difficulties and sorrows, he will comfort and relieve you. If you are sick, he will either cure you or give you strength to suffer so as to merit Heaven. If the devil, the world, and the flesh are making war upon you, he will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist, and to win victory. If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and eternity. Let us open the door of his sacred and adorable Heart, and be wrapped about for an instant by the flames of his love, and we shall see what a God who loves us can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”

“A mortal man, a creature, feeds himself, satiates himself, with his God, taking him for his daily bread, his drink… O miracle of miracles!…O love of loves!… O joy of joys!”

+St. John Vianney, Cure d’Ars

A Priest Meditates about the Holy Mass

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The month of July has traditionally been consecrated and devoted to the Precious Blood of Jesus. To learn the telos (the ends) of the Mass would be a great resolution for this month.  To reveal those goals, I want to show the prayer that every priest (before Vatican II) would pray before the Mass.   It’s in Latin, traditionally, but with the English there, too.  I give here my translation a bit more word-for-word:   I will to celebrate Mass and to confect the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the rite of the Holy Roman Church, unto the praise of the omnipotent God and all the Triumphant Church, for my good and the good of the entire Church Militant, for all who have commended themselves to my prayers—in general and specifically, and for the happy state of the Holy Roman Church.  May the omnipotent and merciful Lord grant us joy with peace, amendment of life, space for true repentance, consolation of the Holy Spirit and perseverance in good works.

Jesus offers Himself in the re-presented sacrifice of Calvary in the Mass. The prayer tells us, in order of importance, the telos of the Mass, taking the italics below from the prayer above.

Here’s the top seven goals of the Mass according to that prayer:

1) The Blessed Trinity: Unto the praise of the omnipotent God.

2) The priest: For my good.

3.) All the Saints: All of the Triumphant Church.

4) All the Catholics on earth: The good of the entire Church Militant.

5) Those who have generally given themselves to the prayers of the priest:  For all who have commended themselves to my prayers—in general.

6) Those who have commended themselves specifically to that priest’s prayers at Mass:  For all who have commended themselves to my prayers…specifically.

7) For the happy state of the Holy Roman Church.

In the last part of the prayer before Mass, I ask God to “grant us joy with peace, amendment of life, space for true repentance, consolation of the Holy Spirit and perseverance in good works.” (more…)

Keeping the Commandments

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Keeping the Commandments

The Decalogue, the “Ten Words” or Ten Commandments, which comes from the Torah of Moses, is a shining star of faith and morals for the people of God, and it also enlightens and guides the path of Christians. It constitutes a beacon and a norm of life in justice and love, a “great ethical code” for all humanity. The Ten Commandments shed light on good and evil. on truth and falsehood, on justice and injustice, and they match the criteria of every human person’s right conscience…

The Ten Commandments require that we recognize the one Lord, against the temptation to construct other idols, to make golden calves. In our world there are many who do not know God or who consider Him superfluous, without relevance for their lives; hence, other new gods have been fabricated to whom man bows down. Reawakening in our society openness to the transcendent dimension, witnessing to the one God is a precious service…

The Ten Commandments call us to respect life and to protect it against every injustice and abuse, recognizing the worth of each human person, created in the image and likeness of God. How often, in every part of the world. near and far, the dignity, the freedom, and the rights of human beings are trampled upon! Bearing witness together to the supreme value of life, against all selfishness, is an important contribution to a new world where justice and peace reign, a world marked by that “shalom” which the lawgivers, the prophets, and the sages of Israel longed to see.

The Ten Commandments call us to preserve and to promote the sanctity of the family, in which there personal and reciprocal, faithful and definitive “Yes” of man and woman makes room for the future, for the authentic humanity of each and makes them open, at the same time, to the gift of new life. To witness that the family continues to be the essential cell of society and the basic environment in which human virtues are learned and practiced is a precious service offered in the construction of a world with a more human face.

 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Santiago de Compostela: Feast of St. James

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

A El Camino Prayer of a Pilgrim on the Way to St. James

A Pilgrim’s Prayer to St. James

This is an ancient prayer that comes at the end of the Pilgrim Mass said along the Camino de  Santiago:

O God, who brought your servant Abraham out of the land of the Chaldeans, protecting him in his wanderings, who guided the Hebrew people across the desert, we ask that you watch over us, your servants, as we walk in the love of your name to Santiago de Compostela. 

Be for us our companion on the walk, our guide at the crossroads,  Our breath in our weariness,  Our protection in danger,  Our albergue on the Camino,  Our shade in the heat, Our light in the darkness, Our consolation in our discouragements,  And our strength in our intentions.

 So that with your guidance we may arrive safe and sound at the end of the Road and enriched with grace and virtue we return safely to our homes filled with joy.


In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Apostle Santiago, pray for us.
Santa Maria, pray for us.

 

 

 

 

Go and Sin No More

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, Lord.”

“Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again!”

(Chapter 8 of St. John’s Gospel)

In the Sacrament of Penance it is Christ who forgives.

They placed her in the midst, says the Gospel. They have humiliated her and shamed her in the extreme, without the slightest concern for her. They remind Our Lord that the Law imposed the severe penalty of death by stoning for this sin. “What do you say?”, they ask him, disguising their ulterior motives so that they might have some charge to bring against him. But Jesus surprises them all. He does not say anything; He bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

The woman is terrified by them all. The Scribes and Pharisees go on asking questions. Then, Jesus stood up and said to them, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”. And once more He bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

They all went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest. Not one of them had a clear conscience and they were trying to set a trap for Our Lord. All of them went away. And Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

(more…)

The Glory of Jesus’ Humanity

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

When Christ decided to give site to a man blind from birth, He placed mud on the man’s eyes, an action that was much more suited to blinding those who see then to giving sight to the blind who could not see. So, too, the passion and death of Christ was more likely to destroy the faith of those who believed that He was the only begotten son of God, as was clear in the case of the apostles and disciples, then to command faith to nonbelievers. And yet He says: “when I lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.” (Jn 12:32) 

…After the cross, after the suffering, after the disgraceful, shameful, repulsive death of the cross, I shall turn the world to faith in Me, so that the world will believe that I am the Son of God, the true Messiah…

We see with other clarity that this is what has happened. Christ came into this world to do battle against satan, to do away with idolatry, and return the world to faith and piety and the worship of the true God. He could have accomplish this by using the weapons of His might and coming as He will come to judge in glory and majesty just as He manifested himself and His Transfiguration. Who would not then had believed in Christ? 

But in order that His victory might be more glorious, He willed to fight satan in our weak flesh. It is as if an unarmed man, right hand bound, where to fight with his left hand alone against a powerful army; if he emerged victorious, his victory would be regarded as all the more glorious. So Christ conquered satan with the right hand of His divinity bound and using against him only the left hand of His weak humanity.

St. Lawrence of Brindisi  (Doctor of the Church, Feast Day is July 21st)