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Devotional

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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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)

Jul 17 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Mass, Sacrifice of the Cross

Friday, July 17th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150717n ( 06min) Play – In the first reading, we see the institution of the Passover sacrifice. This was a rite which was to be repeated by the Israelites as a symbol of the past Passover event and as a prefigurement of Christ’s sacrifice. However, when Jesus came, He fulfilled this rite on the Cross, and instituted it as an enduring sacrifice. When we celebrate Mass, the sacrifice of the Cross is made present again, and we are at the foot of the Cross with the same exact reality as Mary and John were. Let us remember this, and live it.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Friday 15th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: exo 11:10-12:14
Resp: psa 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Gsp: mat 12:1-8

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 16 – Homily – Fr Joachim: History of the Carmelites and the Scapular

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
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Homily #150716n ( 07min) Play – Father tells us of the tradition that there was a company of hermits which gathered on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land after Elijah destroyed the priests of Baal and prayed for rain to come down after three years of complete drought. These hermits were devoted to praying for the coming Messiah and the woman who would become his mother. When Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth after their exile in Egypt, they stopped and revealed the Messiah to the monks, who were there after devoted to Jesus and His Mother Mary, and are know known as the Carmelite Order. Today we also remember the giving of the Brown Scapular to the Carmerite Order, and Father encourages us all to wear it faithfully, for it reminds us that we are Children of Mary, and that we wear the “yoke of Christ”.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: Thursday 15th Week of Ordinary Time

Audio (MP3)

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Prayer Petition to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

A PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN: OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me this my necessity. Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother. 

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this necessity; there are none that can withstand your power.  O, show me herein you are my Mother.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3 times) 

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands…

Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is July 16th

On the Love of God

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

François,_Claude_(dit_Frère_Luc)_-_Saint_Bonaventure

“When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth.”
-St. Bonaventure, the “Seraphic Doctor”

1. Let us give our thoughts to what the Seraphic Doctor says on the love of God. He tells us that it should be the aim of our lives, according to the words of our Lord: “This is the greatest and the first commandment: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind” (Matt 22:387-38). Not as though the love of God were the only virtue and that we need not concern ourselves about any other, but without the love of God the other virtues are not true virtues and cannot lead to salvation. Moreover, the other virtues derive their luster and strength from the love of God, as material things do from the sun. — Unless your industry, temperance, charitable activity, and even your piety are enlivened and filled with the love of God, they are worthless. Have you given this sufficient consideration in the past?

2. Consider that the love of God is of such inestimable value because it excludes all sin. “To love God,” says the Seraphic Doctor, “means to wish God well. But every sin is something evil, an offense against God. Hence, sin cannot co-exist with the true love of God.” The more perfect your love of God is, the more you will abstain from sin. It is, of course, true that the perfect love of God, which implies that all our acts and desires are directed towards God alone, is not possible here upon earth; it will constitute our bliss in eternity. Nevertheless, even here on earth the love of God must exclude everything that is displeasing to God. — If you still fall into many sins, is it due to the fact that you do not love God enough?

3. Consider whence St. Bonaventure derived his ardent love of God. It was from keeping his eyes on the crucifix and meditating on the sufferings of Christ. “The wounds of Jesus,” he said, “are arrows that wound the hardest hearts, and flames that kindle the coldest souls.” Whoever truly contemplates our suffering Savior on the cross can hardly yield to sin. The love of Him who loved us to such great lengths must of necessity fill us with zeal to avoid whatever displeases Him and to make our hearts agreeable to Him. May the powerful intercession of the great Doctor of the Church assist us in following his words and example.

from July 15: St. Bonaventure, The Franciscan Book of Saints, Habig.

A Prayer to Our Lady from St. Bonaventure

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

 I shall call upon you, Mother of God, and you will hear me; your praises will gladden my heart. I have called to you in trouble, and you have heard me at your throne in heaven. Take up my cause, Mother, for I have departed from my innocence; but because I have hoped in you, I shall not lose my soul.

To you, Mother, have I pleaded after having wandered from God, and I was saved by the power of your intercession. In you, Mother, I place all my hope, because of your most loving compassion.  

Into your hands I entrust my souls and body, my whole life and the hour of my death. Intercede for us, Mother of God and Mediatrix, who have brought salvation to mankind.

St. Bonaventure (Franciscan Doctor of the Church, Feast Day July 15th)

On Martyrdom

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

1. There are times when martyrdom is a sacred duty. Thus the martyrs regarded it. They testified to the words of our Savior: “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt 16:26). In order to save our soul for eternity, we, too, must be ready to sacrifice blood and life rather than separate ourselves from God and our Faith. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us” (2 Tim 2:12). — Have you always taken eternity into account?

2. Martyrdom is a great grace. Many of us shudder when we hear an account of the gruesome tortures inflicted on the martyrs, and we ask in fear, “How could they endure it?” But why should we be afraid? On the one hand, God never asks the impossible of us. On the other, when the decisive moment comes, the same good God raises the soul to such heights of love that it cries out with St. Paul: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or persecution, or the sword? But in all these things we overcome because of Him who has loved us” (Rom 8:35-37). — No one, including yourself, has reason to become fainthearted or to despair.

3. Martyrdom brings a superabundant reward. Christ has assured us: “Greater love than this no man has than that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Therefore, making the sacrifice of our life for our best Friend, Jesus, cancels all our sins and all the guilt of sin and takes us at once to heaven. That is why the martyrs said to their torturers, in the words of the Machabees: “You indeed destroy us out of this present life; but the King of the world will raise us up to life” (2 Mac 7:9). — Always keep eternity and the bliss of eternity in mind, and everything will be easy.

from July 8: St. Gregory Grassi and Companions, The Franciscan Book of Saints, Habig.

St. Gregory Grassi friars nunsSt. Gregory Grassi and Companion Martyrs with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.  All from the 120 Martyrs of China.

Advice for the Spiritual Life

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Your inconstancy ought not to alarm you, but inspire you to keep very near to him who is all your strength. He loves to see that we are making efforts to be pleasing to him, even when these efforts are not always as happy as we would have them. It is not an illusion to think that one has the desire to belong entirely to Our Lord, even when one has failings at the same time. Even if we happened to fail fifty times a day, we must still each time get back immediately to Our Lord and make acts of love. The desire to love is already an act of love.

To correct yourself of vanity, of the desire to please men, of self-consciousness, the best means is:

– To do everything directly to please God. The more you look at God, the less you will look at your­self; 

– To thank God, he is the source of all good, for all the good you do, for your successes, etc.; 

– Not to be astonished, nor troubled, when you happen to fall into imperfections, but to ask forgive­ness and, immediately, sursum corda, lift up your heart …  (more…)

A Litany to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations.

July is the month dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ 

 

Litany to the Most Precious Blood:

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.           

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.  Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the eternal Father, save us.

Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word or God, save us.

Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.

Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in Agony, save us.

Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.

Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.

Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.

Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.

Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.

Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.

Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.

Blood of Christ, VICTOR over demons, save us.

Blood of Christ, COURAGE of Martyrs, save us. (more…)

A Prayer for Freedom

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

O God, our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

from the USCCB Website

Life in Abundance

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

As we end the month dedicated to the Precious Body and Blood of Christ, here is a Eucharistic Meditation from Ven. Conception Cabrera de Armida (Conchita):

Jesus speaks: “I am the Life”: supernatural, Divine, celestial life, the life of grace, true life as compared to earthly life that is but a shadow. I have remained in the Eucharist to give you this Life, that is, to give you Myself, Who am Life, because I want to live in you, in your facul­ties, your soul, the senses of your body, in each drop of your blood. 

Stroke by stroke I want to imprint in your being my humility, zeal, obedience, abnegation, simplicity, patience, and love of the cross. “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.” And what better way to communicate it than through Holy Communion? Therefore, drink, fill yourself with him who is life.  (more…)

Difficulties in Prayer

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

From a Spiritual Director to his Directee:

You seemed to be troubled that you cannot love God when trials come and all is darkness. But that is just the moment when you love Him most and prove your love the best. If only, when you are in desolation and dryness, you force yourself to utter an act of love or an oblation of yourself without a particle a feeling, you make an offering which is of the surpassing value in His eyes and most pleasing to His Sacred Heart. A dry act of love is a real act of love, since it is all for Jesus and nothing for self. Therefore welcome the hard black days as a real harvest time.  

+Fr. Willie Doyle