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Devotional

Apr 16 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Obedience is Essential

Thursday, April 16th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150416n ( 05min) Play – Father tells us that we were redeemed by the obedience of Jesus to God the Father, and that our obedience to God’s will is essential for us to to experience that redemption. We must deny ourselves daily, let go of what we want, and make an act of the will to trust that what God wants for us is the best we could possibly hope for.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thursday 2nd Week of Easter – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 5:27-33
Resp: psa 34:2, 9, 17-18, 19-20
Gsp: joh 3:31-36

Audio (MP3)

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Apr 15 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: God First Loves Us

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150415n ( 05min) Play – Father comments on the Gospel, and tells us that God loves us before we love Him. It is only fitting then that we return this love first by believing in Jesus, the God-Man, and living that belief out. For if we don’t live out our faith, do we really believe? Let us turn towards the light of Christ, and allow Him to dispel the darkness of sin in our lives.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Wednesday 2nd Week of Easter – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 5:17-26
Resp: psa 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Gsp: joh 3:16-21

Audio (MP3)

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Divine Mercy

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

From the Diary of Saint Faustina:

Speak to the world about My mercy…It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. (848). Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice is near. (965) Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (1588) I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (1160)

While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (848)…He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (1146)

O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You. (73)

Announcement of a Year of Jubilee!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

There will be many special graces available during a Jubilee Year…(Dec. 8, 2015- Nov. 20, 2016)

WHAT IS A HOLY YEAR?

In the Roman Catholic tradition, a Holy Year, or Jubilee is a great religious event. It is a year of forgiveness of sins and also the punishment due to sin, it is a year of reconciliation between adversaries, of conversion and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and consequently of solidarity, hope, justice, commitment to serve God with joy and in peace with our brothers and sisters. A Jubilee year is above all the year of Christ, who brings life and grace to humanity.

The origin of the Christian Jubilee goes back to Bible times. The Law of Moses prescribed a special year for the Jewish people: “You shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim the liberty throughout the land, to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family. This fiftieth year is to be a jubilee year for you: you will not sow, you will not harvest the un-gathered corn, you will not gather the untrimmed vine. The jubilee is to be a holy thing to you, you will eat what comes from the fields.”(The Book of Leviticus 25, 10-14) The trumpet with which this particular year was announced was a goat’s horn called Yobel in Hebrew, and the origin of the word jubilee. The celebration of this year also included the restitution of land to the original owners, the remission of debts, the liberation of slaves and the land was left fallow. In the New Testament, Jesus presents himself as the One who brings the old Jubilee to completion, because he has come to “preach the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61: 1-2). (more…)

Light and Christmas and Easter

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

During the two great holy nights of the church year, Christmas and Easter, the symbolism of light fuses with the symbolism of night. On both locations the church uses the interplay of night and light to show in a symbolic manner what the content of the feast in question is: the encounter of God and the world, the victorious entry of God into a world that refuses him room and yet in the end cannot prevent him from taking it.

This Christ-centered drama of light and darkness, God and the world, as they encounter each other, begins on Christmas when God knocks on the door of a world that rejects Him even though it belongs to Him. (Jn 1:5,11)  But the world cannot prevent His coming.  He Himself becomes “world” in becoming a human being.  His coming seems a defeat of the light, which becomes darkness, but at the same time it is the first hidden victory of the light, since the world has not been able to prevent this coming, however carefully it may have barred the doors of its inns.

No, on Easter, the drama reaches its central act and climax. The darkness has used its ultimate weapon, death…but the Resurrection effects the great reversal. Light has won the victory and now lives on unconquerably…it has made a bit of the world its own and transformed it into itself.  

Of course, this is not the end of the drama.  The end is still awaited; it will arrive with the second coming of the Lord. At present, night continues, but it is a night in which a light has been lit. When the Lord comes again, the day will dawn and last forever.

Pope Benedict XVI from “Benedictus”

 

 

Crux Fidelis: Faithful Cross

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

CRUX fidelis,
inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,
dulce pondus sustinens!

 
FAITHFUL Cross!
above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!

 
Flecte ramos, arbor alta,
tensa laxa viscera,
et rigor lentescat ille,
quem dedit nativitas,
ut superni membra Regis
miti tendas stipite.

 
Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.

 
Sola digna tu fuisti
ferre saeculi pretium,
atque portum praeparare
nauta mundo naufrago,
quem sacer cruor perunxit,
fusus Agni corpore.

 
Tree, which solely wast found worthy
the world’s Victim to sustain.
harbor from the raging tempest!
ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.

 

The Blessed Sacrament

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The time for the institution of the august Sacrament had come. What a moment! The hour of love had struck. The mosaic Pasch was about to be consummated, the true Lamb to take the place of its figure in the old law, and the Bread of Life, the Bread from heaven, to be substituted to the manna of the wilderness. Jesus sat down at table with grave simplicity. They had to eat the new Pasch sitting down, in the repose of God. A deep silence came over them all; the apostles looked on very attentively.

Jesus became meditative. He took some bread it His holy and venerable hands, raised His eyes to heaven, gave thanks to His Father for this hour He had so desired, stretched out His hand, blessed the bread…

And while the apostles, filled with respect, dared not ask the meeting of symbols so mysterious, Jesus pronounced these beautiful words, as powerful as the creative word of God: Take ye and eat. This is my Body… drink ye all of this. This is my Blood.

The mystery of love was consummated. Jesus had fulfilled his promise. He had nothing more to give but His mortal life upon the cross. He would give it and would rise again to be our perpetual Host of propitiation, the Host of our communion, the Host of our adoration.

(more…)

Our Lady Coredemptrix

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Jesus and Mary: these are the two dear names with which the entire plan of our salvation is entwined. This was the will of God, that as a man and the woman were the authors of our ruin, so a man and a woman should bring the salvation. As Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of mankind, Mary was destined to be that co-redemptress, for to use the phrase of Albertus Magnus, Adjutorium redemptionis.

Jesus Christ is verily the Redeemer of mankind, but He has been given to us by Mary. She is therefore of necessity our Co-redemptress. When we speak of redemption, we picture to ourselves the Divine Victim on the cross. And yet the mystery of the cross is not to be separated from the mysteries of the crib, for the evening Sacrifice of Calvary was but the completion of the morning Sacrifice of the Incarnation.

The priceless Victim offered on the cross had been prepared and fashioned in Mary’s womb. The heroines of Israel, Abigail who saved her husband, Judith who saved a city, Esther who saved her people, we’re but faint images of her who brought into the world the Savior not of a man, not of a city, not of a nation, but of the whole race: Adjutorium redemptionis.   

+Fr. Luigi Lanzoni

Hail, Full of Grace!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Meditation on Luke 1:26-38: The Angel Gabriel was sent….


“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Lk 1:26f.). In the first place, the annunciation of the birth of Jesus is linked chronologically with the story of John the Baptist by the reference to the time that has elapsed since the archangel Gabriel’s message to Zechariah, that is to say “in the sixth month” of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. The two events and the two missions are also linked in this passage by the indication that Mary and Elizabeth, and hence their offspring too, are blood relatives.

 Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, made as a consequence of the dialogue between Gabriel and Mary (cf. Lk 1:36), occasions an encounter in the Holy Spirit between Jesus and John even before they are born, and this encounter at the same time makes visible the relationship between their respective missions: Jesus is the younger of the two, the one who comes later. But he is the one whose proximity causes John to leap in his mother’s womb and fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 1:41). So in Luke’s annunciation and nativity narratives, what the Baptist was to say in John’s Gospel is already objectively present: “This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me’” (1:30).

Now, though, it is time to look more closely at the story of the annunciation to Mary of the birth of Jesus. First let us consider the angel’s message, then Mary’s answer.

(more…)

Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Prayer: (Recite one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be after each number)

  1. St. JOSEPH, Chaste Spouse of the Holy Mother of God, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the thought of a cruel separation from Mary, and by the deep JOY that thou didst feel when the angel revealed to thee the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation, obtain for us from Jesus and Mary, the grace of surmounting all anxiety. Win for us from the Adorable Heart of Jesus the unspeakable peace of which He is the Eternal Source.
  2. St. JOSEPH, Foster-Father of Jesus, by the bitter SORROW which thy heart experienced in seeing the Child Jesus lying in a manger, and by the JOY which thou didst feel in seeing the Wise men recognize and adore Him as their God, obtain by thy prayers that our heart, purified by thy protection, may become a living crib, where the Savior of the world may receive and bless our homage.
  3. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the sight of the Blood which flowed from the Infant Jesus in the Circumcision, and by the JOY that inundated thy soul at thy privilege of imposing the sacred and mysterious Name of Jesus, obtain for us that the merits of this Precious Blood may be applied to our souls, and that the Divine Name of Jesus may be engraved forever in our hearts.
  4. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW when the Lord declared that the soul of Mary would be pierced with a sword of sorrow, and by thy JOY when holy Simeon added that the Divine Infant was to be the resurrection of many, obtain for us the grace to have compassion on the sorrows of Mary, and share in the salvation which Jesus brought to the earth.
  5. St. JOSEPH, by thy SORROW when told to fly into Egypt, and by thy JOY in seeing the idols overthrown at the arrival of the living God, grant that no idol of earthly affection may any longer occupy our hearts, but being like thee entirely devoted to the service of Jesus and Mary, we may live and happily die for them alone.
  6. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW of thy heart caused by the fear of the tyrant Archelaus and by the JOY in sharing the company of Jesus and Mary at Nazareth, obtain for us, that disengaged from all fear, we may enjoy the peace of a good conscience and may live in security, in union with Jesus and Mary, experiencing the effect of thy salutary assistance at the hour of our death.
  7. St. JOSEPH, by the bitter SORROW with which the loss of the Child Jesus crushed thy heart, and by the holy JOY which inundated thy soul in recovering thy Treasure on entering the Temple, we supplicate thee not to permit us to lose our Savior Jesus by sin. Yet, should this misfortune befall us, grant that we may share thy eagerness in seeking Him, and obtain for us the grace to find Him again, ready to show us His great mercy, especially at the hour of death; so that we may pass from this life to enjoy His presence in heaven, there to sing with thee His divine mercies forever.

(more…)

Prayer of a Penitent

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

My Lord Jesus behold me defiled by sin. Again I have stained the holy garment of grace in my soul that Your Blood has cleansed so often. O, Father of mercy, hear my prayer. Give me a true spirit of penance that through the humble supplication of a contrite heart I may again receive pardon.

Since my last confession I have fallen more frequently than usual. My Jesus, I have gone back. But do not for sake me, though I richly deserve to be rejected as obstinate and incorrigible. Behold me prostrate before You, O my God. My sinfulness weighs me down. Alas, Jesus my God and Savior, I do not raise my eyes to you. How can I who have so often violated my past resolves presume to ask pardon again?

O my soul, crushed by the load of sin, take courage: your Redeemer will console you in your desolation. Reject me not, though I have miserably broken my promise of amendment. Cast not off Your wretched child or I shall be forever lost. From my heart I grieve for having offended you.

O holy Mother of God, my guardian angel, my holy patrons: intercede for me with my Judge and obtain for me the pardon of my sins. O Jesus, grant me a true spirit of penance. My Jesus, have mercy on me.

+St. John Neumann

Humility will Praise

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The Fruit of Praising: 

As love grows stronger, so does the desire to praise increase. It is always a sign of the weakening of love when we have less taste for praising a loved one. This is a good point of spiritual examen. lf our love for God is growing less fervent and ardent, we have an inbuilt barometer to warn us. it registers less concern for praising Him. No, it is definitely not a rather bleak activity for all eternity, simply to praise.
 
For one thing, the more we love a human being, and certainly the more we grow in the love of God, the more do we see to praise. The person who loves very little does not see much to praise in the other: Again, this is a test of our charity. lf we do not observe much to praise in our neighbor; one thing is certain: we do not know him well enough, love him well enough. lf we come to love him more, we shall have our own reward of seeing more and more to praise. The heart that loves little always sees little or perhaps even nothing to praise. The heart that loves much will see something to praise where others may not. But there are qualities and characteristics of praise.
 
Praise is always humble. This is prominently its very first attribute because in praising another we in some way situate ourselves below that person. Praise of its nature exalts the one praised, sets this respected person or this dear God or this loved friend above the one praising. By the mere act of praising, we assume a position of humility. We take a willing stance beneath another person.
 
+ Mother Mary Francis p,c.c.

Humbling Ourselves

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Humbling Ourselves:   Only the truly humble shall! be exalted, says the Blessed Virgin. The haughty, proud, and presumptuous shall be brought low and sunk to the lowest deep. Let us then humble ourselves, not serving God negligently, but striving to employ vigorously all our strength to acquire true humility of heart and submission. Let us examine ourselves continually before God if we can say with truth that we arc submissive to all that is wished of us, receiving all as coming from the hand of God Most High, who sees the depths of our hearts. To put on a fair exterior and not to be submissive within is not to have humility. Though it seem to creatures who see only the outside that such souls are humble it is not so and God, who sees all, takes no account of that. We must submit the understanding and the will if we are to be humble. 

Let us humble ourselves greatly before this great God, because he looks only to the humble takes account only of the humble. Upon whom shall my spirit rest, he says by the prophet, but upon the humble and contrite of heart, who fears my words? The prayer of the humble shall be heard. These are the words of Holy Scripture which ought to excite us strongly to become little and to love our littleness.
 
+Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

Humility is the Safe Path

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

Humility is always safe. 
There is one thing we need never be afraid of, namely, that the devil will ever attempt us to be humble. He may delude us in the practice of other virtues: indiscreet zeal, for instance, or the desire to devote our time solely to prayer. But we need never be in doubt as to whether it would be better to humble ourselves or not. There can be no doubt about it: it is always safe to do so.
 + Father William Doyle

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