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Father St. Francis: What is Perfect Joy?

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations


One day in winter, as St Francis was going with Brother Leo from Perugia to St Mary of the Angels, and was suffering greatly from the cold, he called to Brother Leo, who was walking on before him, and said to him: “Brother Leo, if it were to please God that the Friars Minor should give, in all lands, a great example of holiness and edification, write down, and note carefully, that this would not be perfect joy.”

A little further on, St Francis called to him a second time: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor were to make the lame to walk, if they should make straight the crooked, chase away demons, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and, what is even a far greater work, if they should raise the dead after four days, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

Shortly after, he cried out again: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor knew all languages; if they were versed in all science; if they could explain all Scripture; if they had the gift of prophecy, and could reveal, not only all future things, but likewise the secrets of all consciences and all souls, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

After proceeding a few steps farther, he cried out again with a loud voice: “O Brother Leo, thou little lamb of God! if the Friars Minor could speak with the tongues of angels; if they could explain the course of the stars; if they knew the virtues of all plants; if all the treasures of the earth were revealed to them; if they were acquainted with the various qualities of all birds, of all fish, of all animals, of men, of trees, of stones, of roots, and of waters – write that this would not be perfect joy.” (more…)

St. Therese to her Guardian Angel

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

St. Therese of Lisieux (Feast is Oct. 1) had a wonderful devotion to her Guardian Angel (Feast of Guardian Angels is Oct. 2)  Enjoy her poem!

To My Angel Guardian:

O glorious guardian of my frame!

In heaven’s high courts thou shinest bright,

As some most pure and holy flame,

Before the Lord of endless light.

Yet for my sake thou com’st to earth,

To be my brother, Angel dear;

My friend and keeper from my birth,

By day and night to me most near.

Knowing how weak a child am I,

By thy strong hand thou guidest me;

The stones that in my pathway lie,

I see thee move them carefully.

Ever thy heavenly tones invite

My soul to look to God alone;

And ever grows thy face more bright,

When I more meek and kind have grown. (more…)

The Wisdom of the Cross

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The spiritual victory of the church has always been proportionate to her application of the wisdom of the cross. Whenever her members have depended on worldly wisdom, they have failed spiritually. When they have acted on the wisdom of the cross, they have marked up one victory after another. This is vividly illustrated in the Saints, who have chosen poverty rather than riches, humiliation rather than honor, self denial rather than pleasure, death rather than a life characterized by betrayal of God and His truth.

None but unbelievers would question the victory that the Saints have achieved through the application of the wisdom of the cross. Their triumph is decisive and eternal. If the evil forces of injustice and hate have had a series of passing victories, it has been because the cross has been ignored as the symbol of divine wisdom, justice, and love. 

The essential fact about the cross is brought out by St. Paul when he says that Christ was obedient, even to death on a cross. Thus on Calvary, our divine Master was exemplifying the one teaching that summed up his whole doctrine: that the entire purpose of life on earth is to carry out God’s will.

Here Mary could not have better fulfilled her role as co-teacher. The supreme achievement of Christ was the saving of the human race from eternal doom by means of His redeeming cross. As His cooperator par excellence in this tremendous work, His Mother shared in His achievement. So important and intimate was Mary’s participation in the saving of mankind from eternal perdition that the church has never hesitated to give her the title of co-Redemptrix. 

(And yet) The passion of Christ, without His resurrection, would have availed us nothing. St. Paul make this evident when he says “And if Christ is not risen, vein is your faith, for you are still in your sins.” Nothing could show better than these words how important for our understanding of the faith, and our spiritual progress, is the association in our thinking of our Lord’s death and resurrection. All this is paramount for a growth in the virtue of hope, a virtue which, along with faith and love, is necessary for salvation.  

+Fr. Bertrand Weaver C.P.

Triumph of the Holy Cross

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Ave Maria Mediations

“I slipped His fingers, I escaped His feet,  I ran and hid, for Him I feared to meet.  

One day I passed Him, fettered on a Tree,  He turned His Head, and looked, and beckoned me. 

Neither by speed, nor strength could He prevail.  Each hand and foot was pinioned by a nail.  

He could not run or clasp me if He tried,  But with His eye, He bade me reach His side. 

For pity’s sake, thought I, I’ll set you free.  ‘Nay — hold this cross,’ He said, ‘and follow me.  This yoke is easy, this burden light,  Not hard or grievous if you wear it tight.’ 

So did I follow Him Who could not move,  An uncaught captive in the hands of Love.”

Elizabeth Cheney

And  a meditation from Venerable Fulton J. Sheen:

We are at the end of a tradition and a civilization which believed we could preserve Christianity without Christ, religion without a creed, meditation without sacrifice, family life without moral responsibility, sex without purity, and economics without ethics. We have completed our experiment of living without God and have proven the fallacy of a system of education which calls itself progressive because it finds new excuses for sins.


The Holy Name of Mary

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Feast of the Holy Name of Mary: September 12th

On the Hail Mary, the Angelic Salutation:

Whenever I say Hail Mary the court of heaven rejoices…

And the earth is lost in wonderment and I despise the world…

And my heart is brim full of the love of God.

When I say Hail Mary, all my fears wilt and die and my passions are quelled.

If I say Hail Mary, devotion grows within me and sorrow for sin awakens.

When I say Hail Mary, hope is made strong in my breast and the dew of consolation falls on my soul more and more…

Because I say Hail Mary.

And my spirit rejoices and sorrow fades away…

When I say Hail Mary.

by Blessed Alan de la Roche

O Holy Child Mary, Pray for us!

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Novena to the Infant Mary

Holy Child Mary of the royal house of David, Queen of the angels, Mother of grace and love, I greet you with all my heart. Obtain for me the grace to love the Lord faithfully during all the days of my life. Obtain for me, too, a great devotion to you, who are the first creature of God’s love.
Hail Mary…

O heavenly Child Mary, who like a pure dove was born immaculate and beautiful, true prodigy of the wisdom of God, my soul rejoices in you. Oh! Do help me to preserve the angelic virtue of purity at the cost of any sacrifice.
Hail Mary…

Hail, lovely and holy Child, spiritual garden of delight, where, on the day of the Incarnation, the tree of life was planted, assist me to avoid the poisonous fruit of vanity and pleasures of the world. help me to engraft into my soul the thoughts, feelings and virtues of your divine Son.
Hail Mary… (more…)

“I Thirst”

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Blessed Mother Teresa lived her life seeking to assuage the thirst of Jesus for souls. Her feast day is September 5th.

Why does Jesus say “I Thirst”? What does it mean? . . . If you remember anything from Mother’s letter, remember this—‘I Thirst’ is something much deeper than just Jesus saying ‘I love you.’ Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you—you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for Him…

At this most difficult time (on the Cross), He proclaimed, ‘I thirst.’ And people thought He was thirsty in an ordinary way and they gave Him vinegar straight away; but it was not for that thirst; it was for our love, our affection, that intimate attachment to Him, and that sharing of His passion. He used, ‘I thirst,’ instead of ‘Give Me your love’… ‘I thirst.’ Let us hear Him saying it to me and saying it to you…

Just put yourself in front of the tabernacle. Don’t let anything disturb you. Hear your own name and “I Thirst.” I thirst for purity, I thirst for poverty, I thirst for obedience, I thirst for that wholehearted love, I thirst for that total surrender. Are we living a deeply contemplative life? He thirsts for that total surrender.


A Prayer for the Year for Consecrated Life

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

One Minute Meditation

As we continue on in this dedicated year:

Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life:

Oh God, throughout the ages You have called women and men to pursue lives of perfect charity through the Evangelical councils of poverty, chastity, and obedience. During this Year of Consecrated Life, we give You thanks for these courageous witnesses of faith and models of inspiration. Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to You.

Continue to enrich Your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who, having found the pearl of great price, treasure the kingdom of Heaven above all things. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Seeking the Intercession of St. Monica for our Children

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In this day and age, many tearful parents and grandparents are so greatly concerned over the loss of faith among their dear family members…

Prayer to St. Monica

Exemplary Mother of the great Augustine, you perseveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.

Intercede for all parents in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray.

Video – Variety #276: Legion of Mary

Friday, August 28th, 2015
Click to Play Video

Variety #276 – Legion of Mary ( 28min) >>> Play

Ave Maria!

A summary of the origins and the Rule of the Legion of Mary, by Canon Francis J. Ripley. (The article is taken from “Christ to the World”, Vol. 38 (1993), Number 3-4, pp.238-246)

Audio (MP3)


St. Louis the King: Patron of Franciscan Tertiaries

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

St. Louis, King of France (1214-1270)   Feast Day is August 25th

from a spiritual testament by King Saint Louis IX to his son:

My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin. If the Lord has permitted you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you well deserved it.

If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts. Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can.

Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth. Be devout and obedient to our mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father.

In conclusion, dearest son, I give you every blessing that a loving father can give a son. May the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and all the saints protect you from every evil.  And may the Lord give you the grace to do his will so that he may be served and honored through you, that in the next life we may together come to see him, love him and praise him unceasingly. Amen

Our Dear Mother and Queen

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In giving ourselves to Jesus through Mary’s hands, we imitate God the Father, who gave us his only Son through Mary, and who imparts his graces to us only through Mary. Likewise we imitate God the Son, who by giving us his example for us to follow, inspires us to go to him using the same means he used in coming to us, that is, through Mary. Again, we imitate the Holy Spirit, who bestows his graces and gifts upon us through Mary. “Is it not fitting,” remarks St. Bernard, “that grace should return to its author by the same channel that conveyed it to us?” 

In going to Jesus through Mary, we are really paying honor to our Lord, for we are showing that, because of our sins, we are unworthy to approach his infinite holiness directly on our own. We are showing that we need Mary, his holy Mother, to be our advocate and mediatrix with him who is our Mediator. We are going to Jesus as Mediator and Brother, and at the same time humbling ourselves before him who is our God and our Judge. In short, we are practicing humility, something that always gladdens the heart of God. 

Consecrating ourselves in this way to Jesus through Mary implies placing our good deeds in Mary’s hands. Now, although these deeds may appear good to us, they are often defective, and not worthy to be considered and accepted by God, before whom even the stars lack brightness. 

Let us pray, then, to our dear Mother and Queen that having accepted our poor present, she may purify it, sanctify it, beautify it, and so make it worthy of God.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Mary’s Simplicity

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Mary’s Simplicity

Three most precious fruits of the virtue of justice are simplicity, humility, and gratitude. Simplicity is the sincere love of the pure and simple truth. Humility is the honest confession of one’s own nothingness. Gratitude is the loving acknowledgment of benefits received. First let us consider our Blessed Lady’s simplicity.

Once only is it recorded of our Lord in the gospel that He expressed pleasure and satisfaction during His life on earth. It was when He rejoiced in spirit and gave thanks to His Father because the mysteries of God had been disclosed not to the wise and prudent, but to the little ones, such as are simple souls.

“Jesus rejoiced in spirit and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them onto little ones.” (Lk 10:21)

But who can say how often, while dwelling in the little cottage at Nazareth, He rejoiced in heart to see the child-like simplicity of His dear Mother, the guilelessness of mind and heart with which she work and prayed, and the noble sincerity of her motives, of her deeds, of her words, of her silence? In that dear cottage at Nazareth all lead a life of innocence and holiness. Their food was the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. They cared and sought for God alone. They spoke with the simple truthfulness of childhood. Their speech was “yea, yea, nay, nay.” They thought and spoke well of all men, with loving dove like simplicity.  (more…)

Aug 16 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Conditions For Communion

Sunday, August 16th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150816n ( 16min) Play – At the start of the 19th century, the conditions placed upon receiving Communion were overly rigid and almost impossible to regularly meet. This wasn’t according to the desires of the Church, and Father quotes from the Council of Trent to show this, but due to the widespread influence of a Calvinistic stress on the depravity of man. However, Saint Pope Pius X clarified and defined what the needed conditions to receive the Eucharist frequently were, and encouraged frequent, even daily, communion. Father gives us these conditions from the sainted pope, stressing the need for preparation and thanksgiving, and closes with a quote from St. Therese, whose influence lead Pius X to promote frequent communion, about how to make a good preparation and thanksgiving for communion. Ave Maria!
Mass: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
1st: pro 9:1-6
Resp: psa 34:2-3, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
2nd: eph 5:15-20
Gsp: joh 6:51-58

Audio (MP3)


The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

You are glorious, Mother, and most worthy of praise in the City of our God and in the Church of His elect. 

You were assumed into heaven accompanied by angelic choirs, borne up by archangels and crowned with glory. 

Have pity on us, Queen of glory and honor, and keep our souls from all danger.   As our prayer rises up to your throne, hear our humble pleas.

 +St. Bonaventure