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Devotional

There are Crosses in our Lives

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

 I want to assure you of my profound compassion in the painful crisis that you are going through. I understand it thoroughly. But if the waves of suffering and bitterness are violent, do not let yourself go under, especially under the influence of a physical and emotional depression that is very natural after such a shock. Do not let harmful imaginings and debilitating thoughts invade your heart…. 

Having come to Jesus to share in his sacrifices and his Passion, you have experienced this and continue to go through an agony similar to the one the Savior knew in Gethsemane. Do you know that these anxieties, these dilemmas are not unknown even in the world? It is enough to have received these choice graces and to know at the same time the deep call, the mysterious vocation of suffering….
 
You cannot relive your life in your mind and imagine that all would have been easier and better in another direction. No, the cross is planted everywhere, in the world…. And if the cross plunges more deeply into God’s chosen ones it is because he has himself prepared favorable soil….
 
A priest said about a woman who was struggling with her feelings: “There are times when you have to take your heart, throw it at God’s feet…and step on it.” How hard that is, but how mysterious! At that moment, miracles of grace take place, and one hour of such suffering is equal to a life given over simply to doing the good.
 
+ The Servant of God, Elisabeth Leseur

Misery: Mercy

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

St. Francis de Sales tells us that when we have committed some fault or have taken a fall from grace this is what we should do:    

“When your heart sinks, raise it gently, humbling yourself quietly in God’s presence with the knowledge of your misery, without surprise at your fall. For it is no cause for marveling that sickness may make us ill, that weakness tends to diminish our strength, and that misery will cause us to be wretched. But hate with all your heart the offense you have committed against God, and filled with courage and confidence in His mercy, get back on board to resume of the voyage to virtue, which you had abandoned. 

Between misery and mercy there is such a great link that the one cannot exist without the other. Certainly our miseries and our weaknesses, however grievous they may be, must not discourage us; they must, rather, make us humble and lead us to throw ourselves into the arms of divine Mercy. This mercy will be glorified in us in proportion to our miseries, provided we rise out of them. We should hope to be able to do this with the grace of our Lord.”

Do It For God

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

God is in the midst of us, or rather we are in the midst of Him; wherever we are He sees us and touches us at prayer, at work, at table, at recreation. We do not think of this; if we did, with what fervor and devotion we should live. Let us often make acts of faith, saying to ourselves: God is looking at me; He is here present.

Keep yourself as much as possible in the presence of God, humbly tasting the sweetness you will find there. Do not fear illusion. Despise troublesome thoughts and bear their importunity with resignation. A soul that fears God is not troubled by her fear of committing faults; she goes to her good Master with great liberty of spirit and with childlike confidence. When we only desire to please Him, we must not fear that He is offended by things that we believe to be well done… The only secret for accomplishing your actions well is to do them only to please God and to avoid anxiety and discouragement at your faults; this comes merely from self-love, because you think more of yourself than of God; yet we should think only of Him.

St. Claude de la Colombiere

A Heart Made for God

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Look at your heart. It tells the story of why you were made. It is not perfect in shape and contour, like a Valentine heart. There seems to be a small piece missing out of the side of every human heart. That may be to symbolize a piece that was torn out of the Heart of Christ which embraced all humanity on the cross. 

But I think the real meaning is that when God made your human heart, He found it so good and so lovable that He kept a small sample of it in heaven. He sent the rest of it into this world to enjoy His gifts, and to use them as stepping stones back to Him, but to be ever mindful that you could never love anything in this world with your whole heart because you have not a whole heart with which to love.
 
In order to love anyone with your whole heart, in order to be really peaceful, in order to be really wholehearted, you must go back again to God to recover the piece He has been keeping for you from all eternity.
 
Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

Feb 17 – Homily – Fr Johannes: Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150217m ( 14min) Play – In today’s homily, Fr. Johannes stresses the importance of the devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows and the role of the seven founders of the Servite order  on spreading this devotion. He also elaborates on the seven promises made to St. Bridget of Sweden for those whose practice this devotion daily.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 7 Founders of Servite Order – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: 

1st: gen 6:5-8, 7:1-5, 10

Resp: psa 29:1-2, 3-4, 8, 9-10

Gsp: mar 8:14-21

Audio (MP3)

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Acting on Inspirations

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

No human being can be as close to us as the Son of God in the Spirit that dwells in our souls. All we have to do, therefore, is act on our belief and open our minds in prayer. The moment we begin to pray our minds are open. And as long as we remain in the posture of prayer, whether we are conscious of it or not, whether we realize it or not, the Spirit of Christ is speaking to our spirit, we make ourselves aware of God and He pours in His divine wisdom.

 
Once thus enlightened, we must act on what we believe is God’s way of teaching us. Do not let these divinely inspired ideas remains sterile on the mind. They are there to be fructified in action: to be put into practice. Those who believe this and act on their belief achieve great things for the extension of the kingdom of Christ, as witness those great men and women who never doubted they were following Christ when they follow the illuminations He inspired in their minds during prayer.
 
+The Servant oF God, Fr. John Hardon SJ

Revealing Our Lady

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

God wishes therefore to reveal Mary, his masterpiece and make her more known in these latter times:

  • ·       Because she kept herself hidden in this world and in her great humility considered herself lower than dust, having obtained from God, his Apostles, and evangelists the favor of not being made known.
  • ·       Because, as Mary is not only God’s masterpiece of glory in heaven, but also his masterpiece of grace on earth, he wishes to be glorified and praised because of her by those living upon earth.
  • ·       Since she is the dawn which precedes and discloses the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ, she must be known and acknowledged so that Jesus may be known and acknowledged.
  • ·       As she was the way by which Jesus first came to us, she will again be the way by which he will come to us the second time though not in the same manner.
  • ·       Since she is the sure means, the direct and immaculate way to Jesus and the perfect guide to him, it is through her that souls who are to shine forth in sanctity must find him.
  • ·       He who finds Mary finds life that is, Jesus Christ. 
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

Importance of Gratitude

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

We know so well the gospel account of the 10 lepers made clean, only one of who returns to thank Christ. How much is revealed in this instance of the human heart of Christ and the human soul of Christ. He let us know that he was hurt by ingratitude: “Were not 10 made clean? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

We can say that Christ’s memory was assaulted by the sorrow evoked in him by the ingratitude of the nine but he chose not to “remember” after that one revelatory cry of this human heart, surely enough to break the ungrateful hearts of us all. He let us know how He felt and about the struggle with the hurt of this human heart; but then he made a human decision not to “remember” (the hurt). Instead he chose to remember that one was grateful.

We find decisions like that quite difficult sometimes. It is so easy to remember the hurt, the misunderstanding, so tempting to rehearse to ourselves the ingratitudes. Christ elected to remember what what would humanly enable Him to go on doing good. He did not allow His memory do enfeeble His soul but humanly disciplined His human mind to serve His human soul.

And there was Peter, with saint not quite yet prefixed to his name. When Jesus after his resurrection asked the famous triple question, was He not telling us that what He would choose to remember about Peter? He gave his poor, weak, but so loving disciple, Peter, the opportunity to present him with what He would choose to remember. Jesus could have remembered only the denials. He chose to remember the love, and gave us our first pope.

+Sr. Mary Frances PCC

Sanguis Christi, Inebria Me!

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Sanguis Christi, inebria me!

Blood of Christ, inebriate me!

It is the spilled Blood of Christ that through the ages has inebriated souls to the point of martyrdom. One has to be enlivened and beyond one’s own possibilities to be a martyr. One has to be, in the mystical and profoundly spiritual sense, quite “drunk” with God. The martyrs were the outstanding inebriates, enlivened and exhilarated beyond their nature, their potential.

Nature claims fiercely to life. The spiritual inebriate runs singing to martyrdom. All the saints of God were inebriated by the Blood of Christ. And if we are to excel our own meager possibilities, we must also be made drunk with that most Precious Blood. It is the Blood of Christ alone that can enliven us to respond with service beyond ourselves, that can achieve the overextension of ourselves without harm and, in fact, with glory…we are enabled to do the impossible when we are inebriated with the blood of Christ.

+Sr. Mary Frances PCC

A Prayer After Communion

Monday, January 26th, 2015

One Minute Meditations

 

 

 

Silence leads to Prayer

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditation

“O my God, teach me the secret of the silence which reaches unto interior silence.” 

“I have often had this experience: when I pour myself out on creatures and waste my time in long, useless conversations, my spirit becomes dry, dissipated and empty; and then, if I want to be recollected in prayer, I am unable to silence that little world of impressions, talk, imaginings, and idle thoughts which continually brings me back to creatures.” 

“O Lord, I know that You want greater fidelity to silence and more care to avoid spending myself on creatures. Yes, O God, I will be silent with creatures so that I can hear Your voice which speaks in silence.” 

“But whenever I dally with my ‘self’, preoccupied with my sensitiveness; when I pursue useless trains of thought or any sort of useless desire, I am wasting my strength, and my soul is not perfectly ordered toward You, O Lord. My lyre is not in tune, and when You, my divine Master, strike it, You cannot bring forth the divine harmonies. It is still to human and there is discord.” 

+Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity OCD

Help me, O Lord, to attain this beautiful interior unity which unites all my faculties in silence in order to concentrate them on You, which makes my soul attentive to every one of Your words, capable of perceiving the slightest inspiration and motion of the Holy Spirit. 

+Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene OCD

More On Prayer

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Prayer is the secret of nurturing the Christian life. Do not believe in someone who performs a miracle but does not pray. Are you surprised that there are many people who have lost the grace of God, lost their faith, or have turned against the church? There are many reasons for this, but there will always be one main reason: lack of prayer.

Do not neglect vocal prayer. When the apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He replied, “Pray like this: our Father who art in heaven” (Mt 6:9); Jesus taught them vocal prayer. You are taught to recite prayers in order to help you to pray, but prayer itself is the encounter and conversation between Father and child. “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door; pray to your Father who is hidden, and your Father who sees what is hidden will reward you” (Mt 6:6).

There is no need to be formal; simply pray from the heart as a child speaks to his or her father. A seemingly holy person who does not pray is not a saint. Wait and see, the mask will crumble before long. You can judge the effectiveness of a person’s ministry by looking at his or her prayer life. If you are not a person of prayer, no one will believe that you work for God alone.

+Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

St. Pio teaches

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In the Boat with Jesus

Whatever can I say in order to stop the multitude of your thoughts? Don’t try, excessively, to heal your heart, as your efforts would only make it more infirm. Don’t make too great an effort to overcome your temptations, as this violence would only make them stronger. Despise them and don’t dwell on them too much.
+
Keep Jesus Crucified present to your imagination; in your arms and on your breast and, kissing his side, say a thousand times: ‘This is my hope, the living source of my happiness; this is the heart of my soul; nothing will ever separate me from his love. I possess him and will not leave him, until he places me in a safe place.”
+
Often say to him: “What can I have on earth, or what can I expect in heaven, if not you, oh my Jesus? You are the God of my heart and the inheritance I desire for all eternity.”
 +
Whom should we fear, therefore? Listen to Our Lord who says to Abraham and to you also: “Do not fear, I am your protection.” Therefore, be steadfast in your resolutions. Stay in the boat in which he has placed you and let the storm come. Long live Jesus! You will not perish. He may sleep, but at the opportune time he will awaken to restore your calm.
 +
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Mother of the Eucharist

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The simplest way to express what Christ asks us to believe about the Real Presence is that the Eucharist is really He.  The Real Presence is the real Jesus! We are to believe that the Eucharist began in the womb of the Virgin Mary, that the flesh which the Son of God received from His Mother at the incarnation is the same flesh into which He changed bread at the Last Supper; that the blood He received from His Mother is the same blood into which He changed wine at the Last Supper. Had she not given Him His flesh and blood there could not be a Eucharist.
 
+Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon

Holy Mary, Mother of God

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed

  
St. Anselm