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Faith

A Thought on Mercy

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Ave Maria Meditations

(Mercy) seems to be more particularly His, His Virtue, His own inclination…Yes, mercy is truly the attribute of the Heart of Jesus. Holy Scripture, and especially the immortal songs of David, resound with the praises of the mercy of God, exalt it, and magnify it in a thousand ways. It was, however, only when Our Savior had been given to us, that divine mercy appeared to us under a sensible form, palpable, so to speak, to the intellect of man and to his love. Under the law of fear, people got a glimpse of mercy; under the law of grace, it has been seen and touched.

“Love was God; and Love was with God; and It has come into the world” (John 1:1,14); and when It covered Itself with the veil of humanity, when It descended upon the earth, It remained Love, but It took a new name and a new form. It took the name and the form of Mercy; It became Jesus or Mercy. Mercy or Jesus is the same adorable form of Love! (more…)

A Sword Shall Pierce…

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Ave Maria Meditations

Sing of the blessed Mother
Who received the angel’s word,
And obedient to the summons
Bore in love the infant Lord;
Sing we of the joys of Mary
At whose breast that child was fed
Who is Son of God eternal
And the everlasting bread.
 
Sing we, too, of Mary’s sorrows,
Of the sword that pierced her through.
When beneath the cross of Jesus
She His weight of suffering knew,
Looked upon her Son and Savior
Reigning from the awful tree,
Saw the price of our redemption
Paid to set the sinner free.
 
Sing again the joys of Mary
When she saw the risen Lord,
And in prayer with Christ’s apostles,
Waited on His promised word:
From on high the blazing glory
Of the Spirit’s presence came,
Heav’nly breath of God’s own being,
Tokened in the wind and flame.

Winter in the Soul

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Ave Maria Meditation

Now it is Christ’s will to grow in us, gradually, gently, assimilating our lives to himself. There will be seasons in which we feel no stir of the life within us and see nothing but the earth’s hard crust. Then the daily conquest of sin will be as exacting as the daily pulling up of weeds that grow as fast as they are pulled.
 +
Every honest Catholic knows how useless it sometimes feels to go on day after day finding the same sins cropping up in the examination of conscience, week after week confessing the same sin the same number of times! He feels it is useless, but knows that he does it so that when at last the supernatural life pierces the hard ground, it will not be choked.

(more…)

On the Subject of Merit

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

Ave Maria Meditations

Merit is the right to a reward because of the works we do, and literally all of our works can be meritorious, enabling us to turn our whole life into a time of merit. Theology teaches us that merit in the proper sense is that by which a recompense is owed in justice, or at least by virtue of a promise. Thus in the natural order, the worker merits his salary…

In the supernatural order we seek merit, a recompense which far exceeds all the honor and glory which the world can offer. By fulfilling his duties in his ordinary life the Christian in the state of grace gains more grace in his soul and merits eternal life. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us and eternal wait of glory beyond all comparison.(cf Lk 6: 20-26)

The works we do each day are meritorious if we do them well and with an upright intention, if we offer them to God at the beginning of the day and in the holy mass, when we with the right intention start some task as well as when we finish it. Our works will be especially meritorious if we unite them to the merits of Christ and to those of our Lady. In this way we gain possession of those graces infinite value which our Lord won for us, principally on the cross, and which our Lady also won for us, co-redeeming with her Son in an exceptional manner. God our Father then sees our works invested with a new and infinite character, for we have become shares in the merits of Christ. (more…)

Holy Mary, Mother of God

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

One Minute Prayer:

Heavenly Father, through the motherhood of the Virgin Mary, You gave the human race eternal salvation. May we feel the powerful help of her prayers in our lives, for through her we received the very source of life, Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.

Sweet Child, Sweet Eucharist

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Jesus speaks: I was born, born for you in a cave in December, in the cold, homeless, in the middle of a winter’s night, in the unheard-of poverty of the extremely poor, in solitude, in an abandonment unique in this world.

What, my children, do I want you to learn from my birth? To believe in My love, to believe that I have loved you until now. To hope in Me, who have loved you so dearly. I want to teach you to despise the world, which was so unimportant to Me. I want to teach you poverty, lowliness, soli­tude, humility, penance.

I want to teach you to love me, for I was not content with giving Myself to the world in the Incarnation, sanctifying it invisibly in the visitation; no, that did not satisfy My love. From the moment of My birth onward, I showed myself to you, giving myself wholly to you, putting myself in your hands. From then on, you could touch Me, hear Me, possess Me, serve Me, console Me. Love Me now; I am so close to you. (more…)

Awaiting the Savior

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Wait when the seed is planted,

Wait for the rain to fall;

Wait for the restless green sprout,

Wait while the plant grows tall.

Wait for the coming Savior,

Wait through the heart’s slow race;

Wait for the kingdom’s dawning,

Wait till we see his face! 

Hope when the sun is setting, Hope through the dark of night;

Hope though the moon is waning, Hope as we long for light.

Hope for the coming Savior, Hope through the heart’s slow race;

Hope for the kingdom’s dawning, Hope till we see his face!

Trust in the new spring’s promise, Trust through the summer’s heat;

Trust in the dying autumn, Trust through the winter sleet.

Trust in the coming Savior, Trust in the heart’s slow race:

Trust in the kingdom’s dawning, Trust till we see His face!

The King of Love

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The King of Love My Shepherd Is
By: Henry W. Baker

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow,
My ransomed soul He leadeth
And, where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me
And on His shoulder gently laid
And home rejoicing brought me. (more…)

A Prayer after Confession from St. Mother Cabrini

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

My dearest Jesus, I have told all my sins as well as I could. I tried hard to make a good confession. I feel sure that you have forgiven me.  I thank You. It is only because of all Your sufferings that I can go to confession and free myself from my sins. Your Heart is full of love and mercy for poor sinners. I love You because You are so good to me. My loving Savior, I shall try to keep from sin and to love You more each day.

My dear Mother Mary, pray for me and help me to keep my promises. Protect me and do not let me fall back into sin. Almighty God, kneeling before Your Divine Majesty, I adore You and because You command me, I dare approach Your divine Heart. But what shall I say if You do not enlighten me with a ray of Your divine light?

Speak to my soul, O Lord, and command me to listen to Your voice. Enlighten my will to put Your words into practice. Pour Your grace into my heart; lift up my soul weighed down by my sins; raise my mind to heavenly things, so that earthly desires may no longer appeal to me. Speak to my soul with Your divine omnipotence, for You are my salvation, my life, and my peace, in time and in eternity. Strengthen me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit and give Your peace to my soul that I may be free from all needless worry and care. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You so that Your Will may be my will, Grant that I may rid myself of all unholy desires, and that for Your love I may remain unknown in this world, and be known only to You.

Do not permit me to attribute to myself the good that You perform in me and through me, but rather, referring all honor to Your majesty, may I glory only in my weakness, so that  renouncing sincerely all vain glory which comes from the world, I may aspire to the true and lasting glory which comes from you. Amen. (more…)

Graces Lost by Missing One Holy Communion

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

We have access to the greatest Gift in the world, even every day!

Graces lost by missing one communion:

1: visit to our soul of Jesus the Author of every Grace and holiness 

2: increase of sanctifying grace

3: sacramental grace which gives the right to actual graces needed to avoid sin, discharge duties a state, etc.

4: remission of every venial sin

5: remission of mortal sin if forgotten

6: preservative from sin; extinguish fire of passion

7: entire or partial remission of temporal punishment

8 spiritual joy and sweetness

9: special glory of the body at the resurrection

10 merit greater degree of glory

11 indulgences lost or possible graces lost. In one communion lost through one’s own fault may depend: complete victory over a fault or passion; some particular Grace long prayed for; conversion, salvation of some soul; deliverance of a soul in purgatory; graces for others.

+Fr. William Doyle

Peace in Jesus

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Peace is the simplicity of spirit, the serenity of conscience, the tranquility of the soul and the bond of love. Peace is order, it is the harmony in each one of us, it is a continual joy that is born of witnessing a clear conscience. It is the holy joy of a heart wherein God reigns. Peace is the way to perfection or, even better, in peace dwells perfection.

And the devil, who knows all this very well, does everything possible to cause us to lose our peace. The soul need to be saddened but only one thing: an offense against God. But even on this point one must be very prudent. One must certainly regret one’s failures, but with a peaceful sorrow and always trusting in divine mercy. One must be aware of certain reproaches and remorse against oneself which most of the time come from our enemy who wants to disturb our peace in God.

If such reproaches and remorse humble us and make us quick to do the right thing, without taking away our confidence in God, we may be assured that they come from God. However, if they confuse us and make us fearful, distrustful, lazy, or slow to do the right thing, we may be sure that they come from the devil and we should consequently push them aside, finding our refuge and confidence in God.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Accepting all from the Hand of God

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

All the sufferings, all the humiliations and annoyances that may come upon you, come from the hand of your Father who knows what is most expedient for you. He knows by what road, by what winding paths, He will bring you to beatitude; He knows the form and the measure of your predestination. 

Do not then let us be afraid of the sufferings, humiliations, temptations and desolation so that come upon us; let us try to “support God”: that is to say, to accept everything, absolutely everything, that He would have you accept. 

The Father is the vinedresser who purges the vine, says Christ Himself, so that it may bring forth more fruit. He wishes to enlarge our capacity; He wishes to sound the depth of our weakness, our insufficiency, so that convinced of our powerlessness to pray, do work, or to advance, we may place all our trust in Him. Only let us remain docile, generous, and faithful. The hour will come when having emptied ourselves of ourselves, God will fill us with His own fullness. 

Bl. Columba Marmion

Veritatis Splendor

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The light of God’s face shines in all its beauty on the countenance of Jesus Christ…

From the Introduction of Veritatis Splendor by St. John Paul II:

Jesus Christ, the true light that enlightens everyone

1. Called to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, “the true light that enlightens everyone” (Jn 1:9), people become “light in the Lord” and “children of light” (Eph 5:8), and are made holy by “obedience to the truth” (1 Pet 1:22).

This obedience is not always easy. As a result of that mysterious original sin, committed at the prompting of Satan, the one who is “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44), man is constantly tempted to turn his gaze away from the living and true God in order to direct it towards idols (cf. 1 Thes 1:9), exchanging “the truth about God for a lie” (Rom 1:25). Man’s capacity to know the truth is also darkened, and his will to submit to it is weakened. Thus, giving himself over to relativism and scepticism (cf. Jn 18:38), he goes off in search of an illusory freedom apart from truth itself.

But no darkness of error or of sin can totally take away from man the light of God the Creator. In the depths of his heart there always remains a yearning for absolute truth and a thirst to attain full knowledge of it. (more…)

God of the Unexpected

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

God has a great plan also in what we call the unexpected. It isn’t unexpected to God! He planned it from all eternity. There is no happenstance in life, certainly not in the spiritual life. So often we say, “Oh, I didn’t expect that to happen!” Well God did.

We could think, “Oh, that is what caused everything to go wrong,” but actually that is what is supposed to make everything go right. There is nothing unexpected in all of creation.

There is a plan in what we would call the unexpected. Wasn’t the incarnation the most unpredictable thing that could ever have happened? God has His whole master plan for each of our lives, for the community, and for the church. We should delight to remember that nothing should ever take us by surprise, expect the wonder of God’s plan.

Our Lady was certainly not expecting the annunciation, and the whole plan of redemption was most unexpected to humanity: the whole idea of it, that the Father’s Divine Son, Himself God, should become a man, should be incarnated through the agency of this young, unknown girl in a city of which someone was to say, “Can anything good come out of that little place?” What was more unexpected? This was the whole plan.

+Mother Mary Francis P.C.C.

It is Still Good Advice!

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa of Avila