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Faith

No Greater Love

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Jn. 15:13)   

I dare say that God in His omnipotence could not give more; in His wisdom, He knew not how to give more; in His riches He had not more to give(than Himself).–St. Augustine

Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down; Fix in us thy humble dwelling; All thy faithful mercies crown! Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure unbounded love Thou art; Visit us with Thy salvation; Enter every trembling heart.

The Heart of Christ is the clearest image of the fullness of God embracing all things. By this we mean the fullness of mercy which is the special characteristic of the New Testament.  (Pope Pius XII

Devotion to the Sacred Heart is the most excellent form of religion. (Pope Leo XIII)

Lord Jesus Christ, I believe in You as my God and Savior. Make me more faithful to Your Gospel by sharing in the Eucharist often. May I come to live more fully the life of grace You have given me. Keep Your love alive in my heart that I may become worthy of You. Teach me to value Your gifts and ever be grateful for them. Help me to strive for eternal life.+

The font of life which spills over the whole world flows from the wounded Heart of Christ.(Latern Baptistry) (more…)

Apr 13 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: The Cup of Suffering

Sunday, April 13th, 2014
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Homily #140413n ( 15min) Play – Having read the Passion according to Matthew, Fr. Maximilian asks us what caused Jesus to suffer so much in the Garden? He tells us that it was because He saw the sins and rejection mankind would respond to His love with. This started at the Last Supper with the rejection by Judas, and continues today in our sins. However, Jesus didn’t falter under this heavy load, but turned what seemed like defeat into victory. Father encourages us to never stop reflecting on this, even doing so every day. Will we only acknowledge Jesus as “Rabbi” like Judas did, or will we call Him “Lord” and accept Him into our lives, allowing His victory over sin on the Cross to be repeated again in us.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Palm Sunday – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 50:4-7
Resp: psa 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
2nd: phi 2:6-11
Gsp: mat 26:14-27:66

Audio (MP3)

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The Mercy of God to a Penitent

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

from St. Maximus the Confessor

healingGod’s will is to save us, and nothing pleases him more than our coming back to him with true repen­tance. The heralds of truth and the ministers of divine grace have told us this from the beginning, repeating it in every age. Indeed, God’s desire for our salvation is the primary and preeminent sign of his infinite good­ness. It was precisely in order to show that there is nothing closer to God’s heart that the divine Word of God the Father, with untold condescension, lived among us in the flesh, and did, suffered, and said all that was necessary to reconcile us to God the Father, when we were at enmity with him, and to restore us to the life of blessedness from which we had been exiled.

He healed our physical infirmities by miracles; he freed us from our sins, many and grievous as they were, by suf­fering and dying, taking them upon himself as if he were answerable for them, sinless though he was. He also taught us in many different ways that we should wish to imitate him by our own kindness and genuine love for one another.

So it was that Christ proclaimed that he had come to call sinners to repentance, not the righteous, and that it was not the healthy who required a doctor, but the sick. He declared that he had come to look for the sheep that was lost, and that it was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel that he had been sent. Speaking more obscurely in the parable of the silver coin, he tells us ‘that the purpose of his coming was to reclaim the royal image, which had become coated with the filth of sin. You can be sure that there is joy in heaven, he said, over one sinner who repents. (more…)

Father, Why do I Need Lent?

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

I had just placed ashes on his head. I was looking at him – with his dirty forehead lying there on the white sheets of the hospital bed – when he said, “Father can I ask you a question?”

“Yes,”, I replied, realizing full well there was an ashen cross on this sinner’s forehead too.

Then he asked: “Why do I need Lent?”

I thought for a moment and answered: “Lent confronts the horror of my sin before the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who knew no sin (See 2 Cor. 5:21). Without coming to grips with my sin, I can’t see how much I need God’s love. I need to see His love for me in the cross of Christ and the glory of Easter.”

Sins really do matter. We deceive ourselves into thinking we are not really that bad compared to everyone else – God is not really concerned about my little sins. We have an eternal soul and Lent is a mini-purgatory. In purgatory the soul stands before God Almighty, helpless, stripped, naked just like the Lord has always seen us. We can’t dress up our sin to hide it from God. We stand like our Lord Jesus stripped of His garments before He was nailed to the cross. (more…)

Mar 02 – Homily – Fr Giles – “You cannot serve two masters”

Saturday, March 1st, 2014
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Homily #140302a ( 00min) Play – This is reflection given by Fr. Giles on the readings for the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 49:14-15
Resp: psa 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
2nd: 1co 4:1-5
Gsp: mat 6:24-34

Audio (MP3)

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Feb 24 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: An Exhortation to Faith

Monday, February 24th, 2014
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Homily #140224n ( 05min) Play – Father Maximilian demonstrates that today’s gospel with the possessed boy the apostles couldn’t deliver is an exhortation to faith. He emphasizes that with faith, we can accomplish God’s will for us, regardless of how impossible it may seem. Let us be assiduously pray “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” and go to Jesus and Mary for the graces we need to be docile instruments in their hands.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Monday 7th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: jam 3:13-18
Resp: psa 19:8, 9, 10, 15
Gsp: mar 9:14-29

Audio (MP3)

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Feb 23 – Homily – Fr Giles: “Love your enemies”

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
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Homily #140223a ( 10min) Play – This is a reflection given by Fr. Giles M. Atherton on the readings for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: lev 19:1-2, 17-18
Resp: psa 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13
2nd: 1co 3:16-23
Gsp: mat 5:38-48

Audio (MP3)

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Feb 22 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Dogmas on the Papacy

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
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Homily #140222n ( 14min) Play – Many Catholics and non-Catholics have been confused by some of the things Pope Francis has said about the future of the papacy. Fr. Matthias reminds us that, as the Holy Father knows and says, the essence of the papacy is not subject to change. In particular, Father goes through the three dogmas proclaimed by the First Vatican Council, and reminds us that the papacy is under the mantle of our Lady, and that the Church is Marian before it is Petrine. Finally, he share a prayer with us from Servant of God Father John Hardon SJ.

Lord Jesus, You gave us the papal primacy as a continuation of the exercise of Your own authority on earth until the end of time. But we know, Dear Savior, how this papal authority has many enemies. Give us, we beg, the courage to defend the authority of the Bishop of Rome. But above all, give us the humility to obey the teachings of Your Vicar on earth, Pope Francis, being sure that by obeying him, we are obeying You and by obeying You, we are loving You here on earth as a prelude to our everlasting love of You and by You in Heaven. Amen

Ave Maria!

Mass: Chair of St. Peter – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1pe 5:1-4
Resp: psa 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
Gsp: mat 16:13-19

Audio (MP3)

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Feb 09 – Homily – Fr Giles: “You are the light of the world”

Monday, February 10th, 2014
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Homily #140209a ( 10min) Play – This is a reflection given by Fr. Giles on the readings for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary time.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 58:7-10
Resp: psa 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2nd: 1co 2:1-5
Gsp: mat 5:13-16

Audio (MP3)

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Persecution unto Martyrdom: now as in years past

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

 ”These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;  they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev 7: 14)

As we celebrate some martyrs this week we see that these holy ones can include anyone from a young girl to the Holy Father and all in between.  The 20th century had more martyrs, it is said, that all the centuries before.  All the faithful will know persecution to some extent although mostly of the “white martyrdom” kind and not unto the shedding of blood in the red martyrdom. Here is a meditation on this thought from Fr. Francis Fernandez:

The Church wants to make us realize that the Cross is always very close to Jesus and His followers. As he struggles for perfect righteousness–sanctity–in this world, the Christian will meet difficult situations and attacks from the enemies of God. Our Lord has warned us:  If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you…remember the word that I said to you; a servant is not greater than his master:  if they persecuted Me, they will persecute you. (Jn 15:18-20).  Since the very beginning of the Church this prophecy has been fulfilled.  (more…)

Why Give Your Love to the World?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

From a sermon on man’s mortality by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr:

Our obligation is to do God’s will, and not our own. We must remember this if the prayer that our Lord commanded us to say daily is to have any meaning on our lips. How unreasonable it is to pray that God’s will be done, and then not promptly obey it when he calls us from this world! Instead we struggle and resist like self-willed slaves and are brought into the Lord’s presence with sorrow and lamentation, not freely consenting to our departure, but constrained by necessity. And yet we expect to be rewarded with heavenly honors by him to whom we come against our will! Why then do we pray for the kingdom of heaven to come if this earthly bondage pleases us? What is the point of praying so often for its early arrival if we should rather serve the devil here than reign with Christ.

The world hates Christians, so why give your love to it instead of following Christ, who loves you and has redeemed you? John is most urgent in his epistle when he tells us not to love the world by yielding to sensual desires. Never give your love to the world, he warns, or to anything in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. All that the world offers is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and earthly ambition. The world and its allurements will pass away, but the man who has done the will of God shall live forever. Our part, my dear brothers, is to be single-minded, firm in faith, and steadfast in courage, ready for God’s will, whatever it may be. Banish the fear of death and think of the eternal life that follows. That will show people that we really live our faith. (more…)

Dec 31 – Homily – Fr Matthias: An Adult Faith

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
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Homily #131231n ( 07min) Play – Fr. Matthias shows how today’s 1st reading relates to the sensus fidelium, a topic about which there are many errors in the Church today. He stresses we need to have an “Adult Faith” which is, as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “ is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ.” Finally, Father shows that the way to hold onto our faith in these times is by holding onto the teachings of the Church, by living our faith in concrete ways, and by asking Our Lady to strengthen us with Her Faith.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 7th Day in Octave of Christmas – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1jo 2:18-21
Resp: psa 96:1-2, 11-12, 13
Gsp: joh 1:1-18

Audio (MP3)

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The Real Presence: From Advent to the Host

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

advent

Neither Advent nor the tomb is Christ’s final rest in the world. He rests in the midst of the world now, in the Host. He is as silent, as secret and hidden, in the Host as He was in Advent or in the tomb. He trusts Himself to His creatures in the Host as He trusted Himself to our Lady in Advent; only then He gave Himself into the keeping of the one human creature who was sinless and in whom He could have His will, and now He gives Himself into the keeping of sinners.

In the Host He is immobile, dependent. He rests in the priest’s hands, on the paten, in the tabernacle. He remains with us, resting in all the cities and all the lonely and unexpected places of the world. Wherever human creatures are, He rests in their midst.

Christ could show His power and glory; He could show that the Host is God; He could break down the pride of those who have no fear of God. He does not. While injus­tice and arrogance prevail, He remains silent and helpless, and seems to do nothing at all. It has always been Christ’s way to come first in secret, to come in a hidden way, to be secret even in those in whom He abides, whose life He is, to be known first by His love, gradually becoming known by the quickening of His life

On Calvary Christ is set between two thieves; in Bethlehem He is set between two animals.

On Calvary He is poor, with the poverty of destitution; in Bethlehem He is poor, with the poverty of destitution. He is deprived of his home in Nazareth; the cradle made ready for Him is empty: (more…)

There are Martyrs even Today

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

Martyrdom is not something from the past as evidenced by St. Cecilia (Feast Day November 22nd) but is ongoing.

When I hear that so many Christians in the world are suffering, am I indifferent or is it like one of my family is suffering? When I think or hear that so many Christians are persecuted and even give their lives for their faith, does it touch my heart or not at all? … I will ask you a question, but do not answer in a loud voice, but in your hearts: how many of you pray for the Christians who are being persecuted? How many of you? Each one of you answer in your heart. ‘Am I praying for that brother, for that sister, who is facing hardship for professing and defending his faith?’

Franciscus
General Audience
September 25, 2013

The Apostolate to Evangelize

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

“And he said to them, Go out all over the world and preach the gospel to the whole of creation.” (Mk 16:15)

All of life’s circumstances are good for apostolate

Every Christian is called to extend the Kingdom of Christ. Every social circumstance is a good opportunity for bringing this about. However God opens a door for the word in order to declare the mystery of Christ, then the living God and He whom He has sent for the salvation of all, Jesus Christ, are confidently and perseveringly proclaimed to all men. In the face of cowardliness, laziness, or excuses, we have to keep in mind that many people depend on our word and example if they are to receive the grace to follow Christ more closely. We can never stop doing apostolate with the people whom God has placed by our side. The means used may differ, but the end is always the same.

There are many, many different ways for people to be drawn to the Lord.  Let us maintain, therefore, our fervor of spirit. Let us preserve the sweet and heartfelt joy of evangelizing even when we have to sow in tears. We cannot give in to thinking that adverse circumstances are an obstacle to the apostolate. Difficulties can serve as a means for extending Christ’s teaching as was shown by the first Christians and by so many others who have suffered for the Faith. St Paul wrote to the Philippians from his prison cell: Most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear. Even though some had been preaching out of envy, with a lack of right intention, the Apostle exclaims: “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.” Yes, and I shall rejoice.

Our most important goal is that we draw closer to Christ from day to day. The Lord invites everyone to this work. (more…)