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Devotional

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

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Pray for Us!

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

(June 13: Feast of St. Anthony of Padua and also the Immaculate Heart of Mary this year)

And as the moon at its full she shines. The blessed Mary is said to be the full moon, because in every way perfect. The moon is imperfect when a half-moon, because it is stained or horned. But the glorious Virgin neither in Her birth had any stain, because sanctified in Her mother’s womb, guarded by angels, nor in Her days had She the horns of pride. Hence, She shone fully and perfectly. She is said to be light because She dispels the darkness.

We beseech You, our Lady, that You who are the morning star, cast out the cloud of diabolical suggestion shrouding the land of our minds; that You who are the full moon fill our emptiness, dispel the darkness of our sins, that we might merit to come to the fullness of eternal life, to the light of unending glory. May He grant this who made You our light… To Him be the glory and honor for ever. Amen.

St. Anthony of Padua

The Blessed Sacrament/ the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“Most loving Jesus, kneeling before You in the Blessed Sacrament, I solemnly consecrate myself to Your Sacred Heart by vow. I vow always to be Your faithful lover and to strive every day to grow in Your love.

In imitation of the oblation which Blessed Margaret Mary made of herself, I now wish to give myself up absolutely and entirely, without any reserve whatever, to Your most Sacred Heart, that You may be free to do with me, to treat me, as You wish, to send me whatever suffering or humiliation You wish. I desire to put no obstacle to the action of grace upon my soul, to be a perfect instrument in Your divine hands, to be Your victim should You so desire.

I want to make this oblation and immolation of myself to Your Sacred Heart as completely as possible, and in the manner which You wish me to make it, O my Jesus. Therefore, again, by this vow, I make a complete surrender of myself and all I have to You. Do with me as You will, for from this hour I am wholly Yours”.  Amen.

 +Fr. Willie Doyle

O Sacrament Most Holy!

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Is it any wonder the Church calls the Eucharist, Myterium Fidei, the mystery of faith? Those who accept the Real Presence accept by implication all the cardinal mysteries of Christianity. They believe in the Trinity, in the Father who sent the Son and in the (proceeding) of the Holy Spirit. They believe in the incarnation, that the Son of God became man like one of us. They believe in Christ’s divinity since no one but God could change bread and wine into His own Body and Blood. They believe in the holy Catholic Church which Christ founded and in which through successive generations is communicated to bishops and priests the incredible power of making Christ continually present among us in the Blessed Sacrament.
+Fr. John Hardon SJ

LITANY OF REPARATION FOR SACRILEGES AGAINST JESUS IN THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT:

Lord, have mercy on us;
Christ, have mercy on us;
Lord, have mercy on us;
God the Father of Mercy, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Mediator between God and man,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, the Enlightener of hearts,
Have mercy on us.
Holy and undivided Trinity, Have mercy on us.

O Sacred Host! Victim of reparation for the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Annihilated on the altar for us and by us, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Despised and neglected, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Neglected and abandoned in Your temples, Have mercy on us.
Be merciful unto us: Spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful unto us: Hear us, O Lord. (more…)

On the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, part three

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

consecration
The Holy Mass, center of the life of the Church and of every Christian.
As it is essentially identical with the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Sacrifice of the Mass has an infinite value. In each Mass there is offered to the Father an infinite act of adoration, thanksgiving and reparation, quite independent of the specific dispositions of the people attending, or of the celebrant. This is because Christ is at once the principal Offerer and the Victim who offers Himself.
 +
Thus there is no more perfect way of adoring God than by offering the Mass, in which his Son, Jesus Christ, is offered as the Victim, and at the same time acts as High Priest. There is no more perfect way of thanking God for everything that He is and for his continual mercy towards us: there is nothing on earth that is more pleasing to God than the Sacrifice of the altar.
 +
Each time Holy Mass is celebrated, reparation is made for all the sins of the world, because of the infinite dignity of the Priest and of the Victim. The Holy Mass is really the heart and center of the Christian world. We have here the only perfect and adequate reparation, to which we must unite our acts of sorrow.
 +
It is the only adequate sacrifice that we men can offer, and through it our daily occupations; our sorrows and our joys can take on in it an infinite value. It is in this way that man’s life becomes inserted, by means of the Eucharist, into the mystery of the living God. The fruits of each Mass are infinite, but in us they are conditioned by our personal dispositions, and thus limited. Our union with Christ at the moment of the Consecration will be the more complete the greater our identification with God’s will; the greater our dispositions of self-giving.
 +
In unity with the Son we offer the Holy Mass to the Father, and at the same time, we offer ourselves through Him, with Him, and in Him. This act of union must be so profound and true that it permeates the whole of our day and has a decisive influence on our work, on our relations with others, on our joys and failures: in fact, on everything we do.
+
From “In Conversation with God”
Lenten book by Fr. Francis Fernandez

On the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, part two

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The Holy Mass, a renewal of the sacrifice of the Cross.
 
To help us to meditate today on the unity that exists between the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Holy Mass, let us fix our attention on the interior oblation that Christ makes of himself, with a total self-surrender and loving submission to his Father.
+
The Holy Mass and the Sacrifice of the Cross are one and the same sacrifice, although they are separated in time. There is made present once again, not the sorrowful and bloody circumstances of Calvary, but the total loving submission of Our Lord to his Father’s will. This internal offering of himself is identical on Calvary and in the Mass: it is Christ’s oblation. It is the same Priest, the same Victim, the same oblation and submission to the Will of God the Father.
 +
The external manifestation of the Passion and Death of Jesus goes on in the Mass, through the sacramental separation, in an unbloody manner, of the Body and Blood of Christ through means of the transubstantiation of the bread and the wine. In the Mass, the priest is only the instrument of Christ, the Eternal and High priest. Christ offers himself in every Mass in the same way as he did on Calvary, although now he does so through a priest, who acts ‘in persona Christi’.
+
This is why every Mass even though celebrated privately by a priest, is not a private action, but the action of Christ and of the Church. In the sacrifice that she offers, the Church learns to offer herself as a universal sacrifice, and applies the unique and infinite redeeming virtue of the sacrifice of the Cross for the salvation of the whole world.
 +
Christ himself, in each Mass, offers himself up, thus manifesting his loving surrender to his heavenly Father. This is expressed now in the Consecration of the bread and, separately, in the Consecration of the wine. This is the culmination,the essence, the very nucleus, of the Holy Mass.
 +
Our prayer today is a good time to examine how we attend Mass and how we take part in it. Are you at Mass with the same dispositions that Our Lady had on Calvary? Do we realize that here it is present the same God and the consummation of the same sacrifice? Perfect Love, a total identification with God’s will, will demand an offering of oneself, a desire to co-redeem.
to be continued…
 

Most Holy Trinity prayer

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Come, Holy Spirit, live in us

With God the Father and the Son,

And grant us Your abundant grace

To sanctify and make us one.

May mind and tongue made strong in love

Your praise throughout the world proclaim,

And may that love within our hearts

Set fire to others with its flame.

Most blessed Trinity of love,

For whom the heart of man was made,

To You be praise in timeless song,

And everlasting homage paid.

The Visitation

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Our Lady, pondering the words spoken unto her by the angel concerning her cousin Elizabeth, resolved to visit her, that she might congratulate with her and render her service.  She, therefore, together with Joseph her spouse, set out from Nazareth for the house of Elizabeth, which might perhaps be fourteen or fifteen miles distant from Jerusalem.  Neither the roughness nor the length of the journey discouraged her; but she walked with haste, forasmuch as she wished to be little seen in public.
+
She was not like other mothers, burthened by her Child, nor was it to be thought that the Lord Jesus would be a burthen to His Mother.  See, therefore, how the Queen of Heaven and earth takes this journey alone, with none but her spouse Joseph; not riding, but walking; neither is she escorted by troops of soldiers and barons, nor attended by handmaids and fine ladies. Her train is poverty, humility, modesty, and the beauty of all virtues.  The Lord Himself, too, is with her; and He verily hath a numerous and honorable suite, but it is not that of the world, vain and pompous.
 
Now, when she had entered the house of Elizabeth, she greeted her saying: “Hail! my sister Elizabeth!” But she, exulting, and full of joy, and inflamed by the Holy Spirit, rises and most tenderly embraces Mary, exclaiming for joy: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And whence is this to me, that there should come unto me the Mother of my Lord!”  

(more…)

May 29 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Miracles Through Mary

Friday, May 29th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150529n ( 08min) Play – Father Matthias tells us God works miracles and prodigies in order to strengthen our faith, and He especially delights in working them through the Virgin Mary. In particular, he relates a miraculous healing involving the Miraculous Medal from Servant of God John Hardon.

To read the original account from Fr. Hardon: http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Miracles/Miracles_002.htm .
Ave Maria!
Mass: Friday 8th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: sir 44:1, 9-13
Resp: psa 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
Gsp: mar 11:11-26

Audio (MP3)

+++

Thoughts on the Visitation

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary he gave her a sign to win her trust. He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman to show that God is able to do all that he wills.

When she hears this Mary sets out for the hill country. She does not disbelieve God’s word; she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign. She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.

Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights? The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, laborious efforts. Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear: as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice, but John is the first to be aware of grace. She hears with the ears of the body, but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence, but he is aware of the Lord’s: a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation. The women speak of the grace they have received while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons. (more…)

Spouse of the Holy Spirit

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Through Her [Mary] the Holy Ghost Produces the Elect

As the Holy Ghost has espoused Mary, and has produced in her, by her and from her, His masterpiece, Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, and has never repudiated His spouse, so He now continues to produce the elect, in her and by her, in a mysterious but real manner.

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE HOLY SPIRIT,        MAY 9, 1897.

 

 

Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father!
Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son!
Hail Mary, faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost!
Hail Mary, my dear Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign!
Hail my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul!
Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am all thine by justice.
But I am not yet sufficiently thine.
I now give myself wholly to thee Without keeping anything back for myself or others.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Redemptoris Mater

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

 Ave Maria Meditations

From the Introduction to the Encyclical Letter of St. John Paul II: Mother of the Redeemer

The Mother of the Redeemer has a precise place in the plan of salvation, for “when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Gal. 4:4-6)

With these words of the Apostle Paul, which the Second Vatican Council takes up at the beginning of its treatment of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I too wish to begin my reflection on the role of Mary in the mystery of Christ and on her active and exemplary presence in the life of the Church. For they are words which celebrate together the love of the Father, the mission of the Son, the gift of the Spirit, the role of the woman from whom the Redeemer was born, and our own divine filiation, in the mystery of the “fullness of time.”

This “fullness” indicates the moment fixed from all eternity when the Father sent his Son “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16). It denotes the blessed moment when the Word that “was with God…became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:1, 14), and made himself our brother. It marks the moment when the Holy Spirit, who had already infused the fullness of grace into Mary of Nazareth, formed in her virginal womb the human nature of Christ. This “fullness” marks the moment when, with the entrance of the eternal into time, time itself is redeemed, and being filled with the mystery of Christ becomes definitively “salvation time.” (more…)

Meditation on Our Lady from St. Bernardine of Siena

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

 

Ave Maria Meditations

“From the fact of there being no mention made in the Gospel of the visit wherewith Christ consoled His Mother after His Resurrection, we are not to conclude that this most merciful Jesus, the source of all grace and consolation, Who was so anxious to gladden His disciples by His presence, forgot His Mother, Who He knew had drunk so deeply of the bitterness of His Passion. But it has pleased Divine Providence that the Gospel should be silent on this subject; and this for three reasons.

“In the first place, because of the firmness of Mary’s faith. The confidence which the Virgin-Mother had of Her Son’s rising again had never faltered, not even by the slightest doubt. This we can readily believe, if we reflect on the special grace wherewith She was filled, She the Mother of the Man-God, the Queen of the Angels, and the Mistress of the world. To a truly enlightened mind, the silence of Scripture on this subject says more than any affirmation could have done.

We have learned to know something of Mary by the visit She received from the Angel, when the Holy Ghost overshadowed Her. We met Her again at the foot of the Cross, where She, the Mother of Sorrows, stood nigh Her dying Son. If then the Apostle could say: As ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation (2 Cor. 1: 7), what share must not the Virgin-Mother have had in the joys of the Resurrection? We should hold it as a certain truth that Her most sweet Jesus, after His Resurrection, consoled Her first of all. (more…)