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Catholic Culture

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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Aug 23 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Importance of the Eucharist

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
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Homily #150823n ( 10min) Play – The subject for the past few Sundays has been John 6, which is all about the Eucharist and how essential is it in order to have the life of Christ within us. Father covers the whole chapter, and observes that many disciples left after this teaching (Father notes this verse is John 6:66), and many Christians still refuse to accept this teaching and its implications for our moral lives. Let us receive this hard teaching of Jesus with faith, saying with Peter, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Ave Maria!
Mass: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: jos 24:1-2, 15-17, 18
Resp: psa 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23
2nd: eph 5:21-32
Gsp: joh 6:60-69

Audio (MP3)

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Aug 15 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Mary, Scripture, and Spiritual Warfare

Saturday, August 15th, 2015
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Homily #150815n ( 10min) Play – Father asks if the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is scriptural, is it found in the Bible? Is it explicitly in there? No, but neither is the Trinity, the Hypostatic Union, nor the inerrancy of Scripture. This are all inferred from Scripture. Father points out where we find this scriptural backing for the Assumption in Luke and Revelations. He focuses on chapter 12 of Revelations which speaks of the battle between the Blessed Virgin Mary and Satan, and tells us that this spiritual warfare is still going on today, in fact, it is particularly intense today. If we are with Mary, we will triumph over the dragon, but if we are not, we will be consumed.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: rev 11:19, 12 1-6, 10
Resp: psa 45:10, 11, 12, 16
2nd: 1co 15:20-26
Gsp: luk 1:39-56

Audio (MP3)

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Aug 14 – Homily – Fr Matthias: St. Maximilian’s Greatest Work

Friday, August 14th, 2015
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Homily #150814n ( 06min) Play – Saint Maximilian Kolbe did many great things, but all of them were means to his driving goal: to become more and more the Immaculate’s. Father quotes from a letter of St. Maximilian to prove this, and asks if we are to take this as mere empty spiritual rhetoric? No, he says, this really is the truth, “All good things come to us with Her”. We must never forget this, and become more and more Her’s every day. This is the greatest thing St. Maximilian did, let us seek to do the same.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Maximilian Kolbe – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: Friday 19th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: jos 24:1-13
Resp: psa 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22, 24
Gsp: mat 19:3-12

Audio (MP3)

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Aug 12 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Say Yes Every Day

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
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Homily #150812n ( 04min) Play – Father gives us a short biography of today’s saint — wife, mother, foundress, religious — and speaks of her teaching on the “martyrdom of love” that we are all called to, where we say ‘yes’ to God every day and allow Him to work in us. Let us follow St. Jane Frances de Chantal and say yes every day.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Jane Frances de Chantal – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wednesday 19th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: deu 34:1-12
Resp: psa 66:1-3, 5, 8, 16-17
Gsp: mat 18:15-20

Audio (MP3)

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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…)

Aug 04 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Pray for Our Priests

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
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Homily #150804n ( 06min) Play – After a biography of St. John Vianney, Father Matthias tells us how he was a “martyr of the confessional” spending about 15 hours in the confessional a day. Sometimes he was overwhelmed by his responsibilities, knowing his own weakness. Three times he fled from his parish, each time to return by obedience to his . He knew that the bishop’s call showed that, despite his unworthiness, this ministry was the will of God for him. Father tells us how essential it is for us to pray for our priests that they may be faithful to the grave responsibilities they have before God.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. John Vianney – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Tuesday 18th Week of Ordinary Time (Opt 2)
1st: num 12:1-13
Resp: psa 51:3-4, 5-6, 6-7, 12-13
Gsp: mat 15:1-2, 10-14

Audio (MP3)

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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

Jul 26 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Eucharist and Practical Comments

Sunday, July 26th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150726n ( 17min) Play – Today’s Gospel reading is a prefigurement of the Eucharist, Father Matthias tells us. Our Lord taught that He is really present in the Eucharist, and didn’t back down when challenged. Likewise, the Church has never backed down on her teaching of transubstantiation, that after the consecration, only the appearance and physical attributes of the bread and the wine remain. The Eucharist is like spiritual food, it sustains and heals us much like physical food sustains us physically, but much more profoundly. A dead body cannot eat normal food, likewise, someone in a state of separation from God (mortal sin) cannot benefit from receiving the Eucharist, but must first receive the Sacrament of Penance. Two practical conclusions of this consideration is that it is better to receive on the tongue and not to receive communion in the hand. The Church’s preference is for communion on the tongue, and communion on the hand is only a concession to widespread disobedience. Also, we should make a thanksgiving after Holy Communion of, preferably, at least 15 minutes, for until the host dissolves, Jesus is really and truly within us. Let us not invite Him in only to ignore His abiding presence.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2ki 4:42-44
Resp: psa 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18
2nd: eph 4:1-6
Gsp: joh 6:1-15

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 22 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Mary Magdalene, the Gospel, and Us

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150722n ( 06min) Play – The parable of the sower and the seed is read in today’s Gospel and as we remember Saint Mary Magdalene, Father Maximilian tells us that we may know the Gospel, but do we live it? Or are we withered by the sacrifices it calls for and choked by the distractions of the world. For an example, he presents St. Mary Magdalene who had lived a life of sin, but came out of it and loved Our Lord so much that His first recorded appearance after the Resurrection was to her. If she can go from a life of sin to being a great saint, we also can go from sin and mediocrity to great sanctity. In both her and us, Jesus casts the seed of the Gospel, but it is we who must respond. Let us respond with a love and generosity like Mary Magdalene’s, go to the Cross, search for Jesus at the Tomb, and here Him call us by name.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Mary Magdalene – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wednesday 16th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 16:1-5, 9-15
Resp: psa 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28
Gsp: mat 13:1-9

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 20 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Following Jesus is Risky

Monday, July 20th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150720n ( 06min) Play – St. Apollinaris is a martyr from the early Church–he was martyred in 79AD–and Father Joachim tells us about his life and sufferings for Christ. Following Jesus involves risks, even of our lives, but, as Father reminds us, we will all die and appear before the Lord. Remembering the sufferings of the Martyrs will give us the courage and strength to make the small, daily sacrifices of the Christian life.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Apollinaris – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Monday 16th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 14:5-18
Resp: exo 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Gsp: mat 12:38-42

Audio (MP3)

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