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Devotional

Desire to be a Saint

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

holiness1-3[1]On the Desire to be a Saint:

“When I spoke of you as a “chosen soul”, or words to that effect, I did not mean to imply that you were a saint–you have a long way to go yet. What I intended to imply was that I thought God had special designs on your soul and very great graces in store for you if only you will co-operate with Him in the work of your sanctification.
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With the record of much want of courage and generosity there is running through your life an undercurrent of earnest desire to be a saint. Not that desires alone will do the work: barren desires are most dangerous to a soul, making one content with intentions only; yet without a big ardent desire nothing will be done.
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“If thou wilt be perfect,” Our Lord once said, implying that sanctification is largely a question of good will. This, then, is the first grace you must pray for: the desire to be a saint.”
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Fr. Willie Doyle (1917)

 

Reparation

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

jesus-mary-magdalene[1]Ave Maria Meditations

It is easy to understand that we must make reparation for our own sins, but sometimes we do not see as clearly that reparation should also aim at consoling the Heart of Jesus. “But indeed, can acts of expiation console Christ who now reigns happily in heaven?” asks Pius XI. “‘Give me a lover and he will understand what I say’”, replies the great Pope in the words of St Augustine.

In fact, a soul who lovingly penetrates the mystery of Jesus will realize that when, in Gethsamane, He saw all our sins, He also saw the good works we would do in order to comfort Him. What we do today with this intention consoled Him then in reality. This thought spurs us on to further acts of reparation, so that Jesus finds no reason to complain sorrowfully to us: “My Heart hath expected reproach and misery … I looked for one that would comfort Me, and I found none” (Mass of the Sacred Heart).

The idea of reparation brings to mind that of “victim of reparation” well-known to lovers of the Sacred Heart, and officially recognized by the Church in the Encyclical of Pius XI on reparation. (more…)

The Rosary and Adoration with Our Lady

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Pope+in+Argentina[1]

Pope Francis: “This evening I am united to all of you in praying the Holy Rosary and in Eucharistic adoration under the gaze of the Virgin Mary. s gaze! How important this is! How many things can we say with a look!
Affection, encouragement, compassion, love, but also disapproval, envy, pride and even hatred. Often a look says more than words; it says what words do not or dare not say.
 
At whom is the Virgin Mary looking? She is looking at each and every one of us. And how does she look at us? She looks at us as a Mother, with tenderness, mercy and love. That was how she gazed at her Son Jesus at all the moments of his life – joyful, luminous, sorrowful, glorious – as we contemplate in the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, simply and lovingly.

(more…)

Prayer to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

olc[1]Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.

O 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 my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother.

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

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.(3 times)

This is My Blood…

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Conduct yourselves reverently during your sojourn…Realize that you were delivered not by any diminishable sum of silver or gold, but by Christ’s Blood beyond all price: the Blood of a spotless unblemished Lamb.” (1 Pet 1:17b-19)

body-and-blood

And the Monastery of the Precious Blood notes that Jesus spoke dynamic words at the Last Supper: “This is My Blood of the new and eternal covenant which shall be shed for you and for many so that sins may be forgiven…”

Jesus Himself has told us that it is through His Blood that we are reconciled to His Father. The Church, realizing that Jesus meant what He said has always held devotion to the Precious Blood in high esteem. It is a devotion of life and joy! Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we know of no possible means of reconciliation with God when we have sinned.

That is why the Blood of Jesus is a cause of joy to the whole world…we are redeemed by His Blood! Because Jesus shed His own life-giving Blood for me on Calvary, I am saved, I can find peace with God.  At any moment of the day or night, I have the merits of this redeeming Blood at my disposal. It is so easy and meritorious to say: “Blood of Jesus, help me!”

When I give honor to His Blood, I am in fact honoring the Person of Our Lord. His Precious Blood is the pledge, the sign, the symbol of what He has done for me. Daily I can renew my personal acceptance of salvation by attending Mass and by receiving the Blood of Jesus in Communion. The world today is so much in need of hope and peace and joy…what better time to spread devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus…our Hope, our Peace, and all our Joy!

from the Monastery of the Precious Blood, Watertown, NY

 

 

 

 

For the Love of Christ

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

love_jesus_web[1]“Christ says:  “If you love me … ”  Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract truths about the mysteries of God, of man, of life and death, of future realities.  Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:11), even to the total offering of himself. 

love_image[1]What other response can we give to a love so great, if not that of a heart that is open and ready to love?  But what does it mean to love Christ?  It means trusting him even in times of trial, following him faithfully even on the Via Crucis, in the hope that soon the morning of the Resurrection will come.  Entrusting ourselves to Christ, we lose nothing, we gain everything.  In his hands our life acquires its true meaning.  

Love for Christ expresses itself in the will to harmonize our own life with the thoughts and sentiments of his Heart.  This is achieved through interior union based on the grace of the Sacraments, strengthened by continuous prayer, praise, thanksgiving and penance.  We have to listen attentively to the inspirations that he evokes through his Word, through the people we meet, through the situations of daily life.  To love him is to remain in dialogue with him, in order to know his will and to put it into effect promptly.

(more…)

Litany to the Most Precious Blood

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

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

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.

(more…)

Bl. Junipero Serra

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Lord Jesus Christ, reward the apostolic zeal of Your Seraphic son, Blessed Junípero Serra, who leaving home and fatherland, labored for the salvation of souls in Spain, Mexico and California. By Your Most Holy Name may he be raised to the full honors of the altar. Through the intercession of Blessed Serra, look with favor on our special prayers which have no earthly answer (mention request). This we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Junipero Serra

(1713-1784)

A priest in the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church, Junipero Serra was a driving force in the Spanish conquest and colonization of what is now the state of California. (more…)

Most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

It is possible for a priest to penetrate His Heart (The Sacred Heart of Jesus) even more deeply if he also enters the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. From the moment of her Immaculate Conception, her response to God, who gave her existence in this pure state, was the total gift of herself to the Creator for whatever He should ask of her. At the moment of the Incarnation, this gift became priestly.
 
She knew the doleful mission of the Messiah from having read of the Prophet Isaiah. She understood that in becoming the Mother of the Man of Sorrows, she would become the Mother of Sorrow. Her response was simply, Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word (Lk 1: 38). From then on, her life was one of indescribable suffering because of her union with the Christ-Priest. Apart from Jesus, she might enjoy a serene existence, but she would have no existence apart from Jesus.   (more…)

Behold This Heart…

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

 
“Behold the Heart which has so loved men that  it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and  consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love.
 
The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary:
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

Corpus Christi

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

On Prayer

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

“Teach me, O Lord, how to meditate; teach me to pray, for I can do neither the one nor the other as I should, and You alone can teach me. Give me ears to hear You in the reading and in the meditation; give me a tongue to speak with You in prayer. Inspire me with your divine Spirit, so that He may enable me to know the subject on which I should reflect, what I should say and ask, and how I should ask in order to obtain it.
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Let the Holy Spirit teach me to groan in Your presence; or rather, may He Himself form in me those holy groanings which You always hear and never reject. Inspire me, O Lord, with a great love for Your divine truths and doctrines, so that when I read of them, I shall understand and relish them. Open my mind and my heart; make me faithfully believe what You teach and practice what You command.”
(an ancient author)

Reading the Gospel Fruitfully

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (cf Jn14:6) for each person…in knowing Him, we know the purpose of life and of all things; our life is an ongoing journey towards Him.  It is in the gospel we must learn the supreme knowledge of Jesus Christ, how to imitate Him and follow in His footsteps. And to learn from Him, you must try to know His life –reading the Gospel and meditating on the scenes of the New Testament– in order to understand the divine meaning of His life on earth.  In our own life we must reproduce Christ’s life. We need to come to know Him by reading and meditating on Scripture.

 
We want to identify ourselves with Our Lord, our daily living to be a reflection of Him. But to be Christ Himself, we must ‘see ourselves in Him’.  It’s not enough to have a general idea of the spirit of Jesus’ life; we have to learn the details of His life and through them, his attitudes.  Especially we must contemplate His life, and from it derive strength, light, serenity and peace.  When you love someone, you want to know all about him, his life, and his personality, so as to become like him. That is why we have to meditate on the life of Jesus, from His birth in a stable right through to His death and resurrection.
 
We should read the Gospel with a longing to know Him so as to love Him. We can’t read Scripture as though it were just another book. In the sacred books the Father who is in Heaven comes lovingly to meet His children, and talks with them.  Prayer has to accompany our reading… (more…)

Prayer to St. Anthony, Franciscan Doctor of the Church

Friday, June 13th, 2014

One Minute Meditation

“Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints”
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O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me ( my request).
 
O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.
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St. Anthony’s Feast Day is June 13th

Prayer and Penance

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

We have in the Jewist teachings all the necessary preparation for the Christian Gospel, which is a Gospel of Penance.  Penance in the borad sense is a process that reverses the habit of sin in individuals and moves one toward a deeper conversion to God. Penance also reverses the consequence of sin, which is separation from God. Penance  consists ofprayer, sacrifice, and suffering, all done with a amind to Christ
 
Sacrifice refers to substituting God’s will for mine, and suffering consists of accepting all suffferings that come in the course of fulfilling my God-given duty in life. Prayer may be:1) adoration of praise, 2) thanksgiving, 3) repentance, and 4) petition.  Prayer may use words or be the silent prayer of a simple and pure love of God. 
 
All types of prayer reverse the habit of sin.  For example, praising and thankng God are expressions of love for God, precisely the reverse of sin, which is the exclusion of God and God’s will  out of self-love.
 
In this view of penance our eye is on God: I am praying to God, making little sacrifices of my will ot God, and accepting my sufferings with an eye on God without dwelling on those sufferings. More and more, I am forgetting my selfish interests and falling in love with God. Penance yields a deeper and deeper conversion of heart.
 
 Br.  Anthony Josemaria FTI