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Catholic Culture

Compassion that Cures

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Ave Maria Meditations

 In Haiti just as in England, Spain, Italy, or India there are unhappy people everywhere. Not only because they don’t have any bread to eat. No, they hunger for love, understanding, and companionship. They suffer from loneliness, the feeling of being unwanted and rejected, a poverty of the soul. These are the things that can be far worse than being hungry or not having enough material goods….
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Let’s not live distracted lives. Let us know ourselves so that we can better understand our brothers and sisters. lf we want to understand those with whom we live, we need to understand ourselves first of all. Sometimes we see how joy returns to the lives of the most destitute when they realize that many among us are concerned about them and show them our love.
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Even their health improves if they are sick, after all, was it not Christ himself who said, “Every time you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me?” You are not to be indifferent to the suffering of others, but it is meant to affect you deeply.
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Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Prayer for the Unborn

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Ave Maria Meditations

Pope Benedict’s Prayer for the Unborn: 

Lord Jesus, You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence the Church and the history of men; You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood render us participants in divine Life and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life; We adore and bless you.  Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life, truly present and alive among us, we beg you: Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life, make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb the miraculous work of the Creator, open our hearts to generously welcoming every child that comes into life.
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Bless all families, sanctify the union of spouses, render fruitful their love. Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies with the light of your Spirit,so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect the sacred nature of life, of every human life.

(more…)

An Epiphany Blessing for the Home

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Ave Maria Meditations 

(Here is one form of the blessing):

+Epiphany Blessing Of A Home+

All make the Sign of the Cross.
Head of Household: “Peace be to this house and: to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Reader: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things come to be through him, and without him nothing came to be….. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3.14)

Using chalk, write on the outside of your house, above or next to an entrance (or all entrances):
write the first half of the current year and the first letters of the prayer for blessing followed by the second half of the year date:
+20+C+M+B+16+

(which stands for “may Christ Bless this House”: Christus  Mansionem Benedicat)

or optionally you may use the first letter of the names of the Magi:   +20+C+M+B+16+
(Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar)

All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Slaughter of the Innocents: Then and Now

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The jealously of a king brought about the murder of innocents even as the death of the One sought was evaded.  In this day, there is still many innocents killed,  often by force, but even sadder by the decision of parents as they find the unborn child inconvenient…

We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents Of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Prayer to end abortion, the present day slaughter of Innocents:

O Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and earth and all things, You create today millions of human beings who are never permitted to see the light of day because of the sin of abortion. Grant to mankind the wisdom to respect human life at every stage of development.

You infuse souls into innocent babies even while still in their mothers’ wombs, their temporary homes. Grant that no one deprives your most innocent ones the privilege of your holy Baptism whereby they may be born again to Your supernatural life by grace. One soul in Your eyes, Almighty God, is of more value than the whole created universe.

Accept the precious blood of Your Son Jesus Christ, present on our altars and in our tabernacles, throughout the world in reparation for the sins of abortive murder. Even before Your Divine Son was born of Mary, dear God, when Your holy Mother greeted Elizabeth shortly after the conception of the Divine Child. Elizabeth asked, “How am I worthy that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” Long before the birth of the Divine Child the Holy Spirit inspired Elizabeth to call Mary “Mother” and the unborn Child, her “Lord.”

Almighty God, remove the scourge of abortion from the face of the earth. Amen. (more…)

Dec 27 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Which He Himself Formed…

Monday, December 28th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #151227n ( 16min) Play – When God came into the world, he came “in a family which he himself had formed” as Pope Francis recently said. This shows how important the family–mother, father, and children–is in God’s eyes. Our Lady of Fatima warned us against the “errors of Russia”, and the fundamental error is the abolition of the family. And how can we best combat this error? By faithfully praying the Rosary as a family!
Ave Maria!
Mass: Holy Family – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: sir 3:2-6, 12-14
Resp: psa 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
2nd: col 3:12-21
Gsp: luk 2:41-52

Audio (MP3)

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Dec 04 – Homily – Fr Peter: Spiritual Blindness

Friday, December 4th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #151204 ( 03min) Play – Blindness is a reminder of the spiritual blindness we come into the world with. The cure of the two blind men of the reminds us of more miraculous cure we receive in baptism and our need to deepen our awareness of  the presence of Jesus, especially in the Holy Eucharist.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. John Damascene – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Friday in the 1st Week in Advent
1st: isa 29:17-24
Resp: psa 27:1, 4, 13-14
Gsp: mat 9:27-31

Audio (MP3)

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Marital Imagery

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In the beginning, in Genesis, we are told that God made man in His image, “in the image and likeness of God”, and that He made us male and female. For most of us, it is clear to us that our spiritual souls are in the image of God but we forget that so also are our bodies. In creating man, male and female in His likeness, the image of God is also in our sexuality. For God said, “Let us make man in our image. Let us make them male and female.”

God is Trinity, and it has been revealed to us that in God, there is paternity. There is one who begets and there is, Jesus Christ, the One who is begotten. And the love of the One who begets, for the One who is begotten, is the third Person of the holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. When the Word took flesh; when God, in the person of Jesus Christ, took on our human nature from the blessed virgin Mary, He gave to that human nature His own existence. Christ and His Person brought together the union of the human and the divine. This union in His Person we call the Hypostatic Union.

God came into our midst, not simply to proclaim who He is; not simply to communicate truth to us; but the ultimate purpose why Jesus came, was that He wanted to enter into a mystical union of life and of love with God’s people. Through all the Scriptures this mystical union is expressed in marital terminology, namely, God being called the Groom and Israel being the bride. In the new covenant, this union of life and love of Christ with the people of God, we called the Mystical Body of Christ. The marital couple makes present in a very special way the Church, namely the union of Christ with the bride.

Msgr. Philip Reilly

A Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

One Minute Meditation

Let us pray daily for the poor souls in Purgatory that they may every more quickly be released to the beatitude of heaven!  We can offer our Holy Masses and Communions and indulgenced acts. It is a work of mercy to pray for the holy souls.  Here is one small prayer:

O gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on them.  Be not severe in Your judgments, but let some drops of Your Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames. And, Merciful Savior, send Your angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace.  Amen.

Father St. Francis: What is Perfect Joy?

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

CHAPTER VIII : HOW ST FRANCIS, WALKING ONE DAY WITH BROTHER LEO, EXPLAINED TO HIM WHAT THINGS ARE PERFECT JOY

One day in winter, as St Francis was going with Brother Leo from Perugia to St Mary of the Angels, and was suffering greatly from the cold, he called to Brother Leo, who was walking on before him, and said to him: “Brother Leo, if it were to please God that the Friars Minor should give, in all lands, a great example of holiness and edification, write down, and note carefully, that this would not be perfect joy.”

A little further on, St Francis called to him a second time: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor were to make the lame to walk, if they should make straight the crooked, chase away demons, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and, what is even a far greater work, if they should raise the dead after four days, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

Shortly after, he cried out again: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor knew all languages; if they were versed in all science; if they could explain all Scripture; if they had the gift of prophecy, and could reveal, not only all future things, but likewise the secrets of all consciences and all souls, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

After proceeding a few steps farther, he cried out again with a loud voice: “O Brother Leo, thou little lamb of God! if the Friars Minor could speak with the tongues of angels; if they could explain the course of the stars; if they knew the virtues of all plants; if all the treasures of the earth were revealed to them; if they were acquainted with the various qualities of all birds, of all fish, of all animals, of men, of trees, of stones, of roots, and of waters – write that this would not be perfect joy.” (more…)

September 24th: Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The story of Our Lady of Ransom is, at its outset, that of Saint Peter Nolasco, born in Languedoc about 1189. He conceived the idea of establishing a religious order for the redemption of captives seized by the Moors on the seas and in Spain itself; they were being cruelly tormented in their African prisons to make them deny their faith. On August 1, 1218 the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Peter, to his confessor, Raymond of Penafort, and to King James I, and through these three servants of God established a work of the most perfect charity, the redemption of captives. Its members would undertake to deliver Christian captives and offer themselves, if necessary, as payment.

Word of the apparition soon spread over the entire kingdom, and on August 10 the king went to the cathedral for a Mass celebrated by the bishop of Barcelona during which Saint Raymond narrated his vision with admirable eloquence and fervor. The king besought the blessing of the bishop for the heaven-sent plan, and the bishop bestowed the habit on Saint Peter, who emitted the solemn vow to give himself as a hostage if necessary.

The Order, thus solemnly established in Spain, was approved by Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy and spread rapidly. Eventually a feast day was instituted and observed on September 24, first in the religious order, then in Spain and France, and on February 22, 1696 Innocent XII extended it to the entire Church. To this day, the Mercedarians keep this day as a first class feast, with a vigil, privileged octave, and proper Office under the title: Solemnitas Descensionis B. Mariæ V. de Mercede(more…)

From Evangelium Vitae as the 40 Days for Life begins Nationwide

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The 40 Days for Life runs from September 23rd-November 1st, 2015

1. The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as “good news” to the people of every age and culture.

At the dawn of salvation, it is the Birth of a Child which is proclaimed as joyful news: “I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11). The source of this “great joy” is the Birth of the Saviour; but Christmas also reveals the full meaning of every human birth, and the joy which accompanies the Birth of the Messiah is thus seen to be the foundation and fulfilment of joy at every child born into the world (cf. Jn 16:21).

When he presents the heart of his redemptive mission, Jesus says: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10)…

The incomparable worth of the human person …

The Church knows that this Gospel of life, which she has received from her Lord,  has a profound and persuasive echo in the heart of every person-believer and non-believer alike-because it marvelously fulfills all the heart’s expectations while infinitely surpassing them. Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the recognition of this right, every human community and the political community itself are founded.

In a special way, believers in Christ must defend and promote this right, aware as they are of the wonderful truth recalled by the Second Vatican Council: “By his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being”. This saving event reveals to humanity not only the boundless love of God who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16), but also the incomparable value of every human person.

St. John Paul II

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

Fall River Pro-Life Boot-camp – Variety 275

Monday, August 24th, 2015
Balloon with "life" written on it


Variety #275 – ( 10min) >>> Play

Ave Maria!

Several interviews with the organizers of the 2015 Pro-Life Boot Camp in the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. The video was filmed at the prayer vigil across the street from the Four Women Health Services (the local abortion clinic) in Attleboro, Massachusetts, on June 18th, 2015.

Audio (MP3)

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