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Penance

Preparing for Lent in the Jubilee of Mercy

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Ave Maria Meditations

This infinite mercy of the Heart of Jesus appears in a very touching manner in two incidents of the Gospel. Mary, the sinner of Magdala, repentant, and truly humble, comes into the house of the Pharisee to offer to Jesus the pious homage of her love and adoration. The Divine Master, Who ordinarily rejects such testimonies, this time willingly accepts the tokens of love; it is because He wishes to rehabilitate her publicly. And with what exquisite delicacy and with what divine tact does He not show to Simon how unjust was his opinion about her! 

Our Savior loves repentant souls, and He declares of Magdalen: “Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much” (Lk 7:47).
 
Another time, a woman caught in the act of sin was brought to Him. The Law ordered that such people be stoned. Does not Jesus always wish that people obey the law? Is not He Himself faithful to its prescriptions? What is He then going to do ?
 
Ah! fear not; His mercy will know how to suggest to Him a means to make mercy prevail over justice: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her ” (Jn 8:7). All, one by one, have left the place. There remains no one but Jesus and the sinful woman. Great misery, and mercy greater still: “Hath no man condemned thee?”   “No man, Lord.”  ” Neither will I condemn thee. Go now, and sin no more” (Jn 8:10-11).
 
Nothing, however, is more capable of conveying to us an idea of the inexhaustible fund of the mercy of Jesus than these two (other) adorable parables, real pearls of love, encased in the precious jewel-case of the Gospels: the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son…
 
+Mother Louise Margaret Claret de la Touche

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…)

Jul 29 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: It is Worth Everything

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
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Homily #150729n ( 04min) Play – The Kingdom of Heaven is worth every work, sacrifice and suffering we are called to. It takes everything, this one thing only is necessary. And is it through this sacrifice, being “violent” to our self-centeredness and passions, that we grow closer to God, preparing for the day we will be called to spend eternity with Him in heaven.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Martha, 2nd Option – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wednesday 17th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 34:29-35
Resp: psa 99:5, 6, 7, 9
Gsp: mat 13:44-46

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 27 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Penance or Hell

Monday, July 27th, 2015
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Homily #150727n ( 04min) Play – Blessed Mary Magdalene of Martinengo was a noble woman who became a Poor Clare at seventeen. However, even as a child she delighted in penance and austerity out of love for Jesus. Jesus tells us that we cannot expect to save our souls unless we do penance in this life (Luke 13:3). As it said above the front door of the friary where Padre Pio did his novitiate: Penance or Hell.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Bl. Mary Magdalene of Martinengo – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Monday 17th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 32:15-24, 30-34
Resp: psa 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
Gsp: mat 13:31-35

Audio (MP3)

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Go and Sin No More

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, Lord.”

“Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again!”

(Chapter 8 of St. John’s Gospel)

In the Sacrament of Penance it is Christ who forgives.

They placed her in the midst, says the Gospel. They have humiliated her and shamed her in the extreme, without the slightest concern for her. They remind Our Lord that the Law imposed the severe penalty of death by stoning for this sin. “What do you say?”, they ask him, disguising their ulterior motives so that they might have some charge to bring against him. But Jesus surprises them all. He does not say anything; He bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

The woman is terrified by them all. The Scribes and Pharisees go on asking questions. Then, Jesus stood up and said to them, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”. And once more He bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

They all went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest. Not one of them had a clear conscience and they were trying to set a trap for Our Lord. All of them went away. And Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

(more…)

Jul 22 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Mary Magdalene, the Gospel, and Us

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
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Homily #150722n ( 06min) Play – The parable of the sower and the seed is read in today’s Gospel and as we remember Saint Mary Magdalene, Father Maximilian tells us that we may know the Gospel, but do we live it? Or are we withered by the sacrifices it calls for and choked by the distractions of the world. For an example, he presents St. Mary Magdalene who had lived a life of sin, but came out of it and loved Our Lord so much that His first recorded appearance after the Resurrection was to her. If she can go from a life of sin to being a great saint, we also can go from sin and mediocrity to great sanctity. In both her and us, Jesus casts the seed of the Gospel, but it is we who must respond. Let us respond with a love and generosity like Mary Magdalene’s, go to the Cross, search for Jesus at the Tomb, and here Him call us by name.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Mary Magdalene – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wednesday 16th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 16:1-5, 9-15
Resp: psa 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28
Gsp: mat 13:1-9

Audio (MP3)

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On Martyrdom

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

1. There are times when martyrdom is a sacred duty. Thus the martyrs regarded it. They testified to the words of our Savior: “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt 16:26). In order to save our soul for eternity, we, too, must be ready to sacrifice blood and life rather than separate ourselves from God and our Faith. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us” (2 Tim 2:12). — Have you always taken eternity into account?

2. Martyrdom is a great grace. Many of us shudder when we hear an account of the gruesome tortures inflicted on the martyrs, and we ask in fear, “How could they endure it?” But why should we be afraid? On the one hand, God never asks the impossible of us. On the other, when the decisive moment comes, the same good God raises the soul to such heights of love that it cries out with St. Paul: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or persecution, or the sword? But in all these things we overcome because of Him who has loved us” (Rom 8:35-37). — No one, including yourself, has reason to become fainthearted or to despair.

3. Martyrdom brings a superabundant reward. Christ has assured us: “Greater love than this no man has than that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Therefore, making the sacrifice of our life for our best Friend, Jesus, cancels all our sins and all the guilt of sin and takes us at once to heaven. That is why the martyrs said to their torturers, in the words of the Machabees: “You indeed destroy us out of this present life; but the King of the world will raise us up to life” (2 Mac 7:9). — Always keep eternity and the bliss of eternity in mind, and everything will be easy.

from July 8: St. Gregory Grassi and Companions, The Franciscan Book of Saints, Habig.

St. Gregory Grassi friars nunsSt. Gregory Grassi and Companion Martyrs with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.  All from the 120 Martyrs of China.

Jul 04 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Analogy of the Bridegroom

Saturday, July 4th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150704n ( 04min) Play – Father Maximilian speaks on the analogy Our Lord uses in today’s Gospel reading, the analogy of the Bridegroom.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Elizabeth of Portugal – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Saturday 13th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: gen 27:1-5, 15-29
Resp: psa 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Gsp: mat 9:14-17

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 03 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Believe, Understand, and Practice

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

 

Click to Play

Homily #150703n ( 06min) Play – Father gives us some insights from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI about St. Thomas, who moved from doubting Thomas to believing Thomas. Let us listen to these words, and be willing to be wounded for Him who was wounded for us.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Thomas the Apostle – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: eph 2:19-22
Resp: psa 117:1, 2
Gsp: joh 20:24-29

Audio (MP3)

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Jun 26 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Pope Francis and Mercy

Friday, June 26th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150626n ( 07min) Play – Several weeks ago, Pope Francis used the passage of Jesus healing the leper, the Gospel of today’s Mass, to speak of the mercy of God. He said that God meets us where we are at, in our sin and selfishness, but does not leave us there. Accepting God’s mercy also means moving towards Him, and God gives us the strength as we step out to follow Him. Jesus is not cruel, and to leave a sinner in their sin is cruel. If we don’t see this, it is because we don’t understand what sin is. Let us all walk that path that leads from the Bad to the Good, from the Good to the Better, and from the Better to the Best, that is, to loving union with God Himself.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Friday 12th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: gen 17:1, 9-10, 15-22
Resp: psa 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Gsp: mat 8:1-4

Audio (MP3)

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Jun 25 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Lay the Foundation NOW

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
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Homily #150625n ( 03min) Play – Today Gospel reading is a wake-up call, Fr. Joachim tells us, that we must not replace God with doing things for God, but continue in relationship with Him, and make Him the foundation of our lives through prayer, scripture reading, the sacraments, penance, and works of mercy. We must lay this foundation now, for when the storms of life come, it will be too late.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thursday 12th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: gen 16:1-12, 15-16
Resp: psa 106:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
Gsp: mat 7:21-29

Audio (MP3)

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Jun 20 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: First the Soul

Saturday, June 20th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150620n ( 06min) Play – Today’s gospel (from the Sermon on the Mount) reminds us to take care of our souls before our bodies. There will only be two choices in the end, God or not-God, Heaven or Hell. We need to prepare ourselves now, that is why we are here. Which will we choose?
Ave Maria!
Mass: Saturday 11th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2co 12:1-10
Resp: psa 34:8-9, 10-11, 12-13
Gsp: mat 6:24-34

Audio (MP3)

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May 28 – Homily – Fr Joachim: The Lily of Quito

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
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Homily #150528n ( 09min) Play – Father gives us an overview of the life of St. Mariana of Jesus de Paredes, also known as the Lily of Quito. Her life of continual prayer, penance, and self-sacrifice culminated when she offered herself in reparation for the sins of the city, and her offering was accepted. Father also quotes from the Pope Pius XII’s homily at her canonization, telling us of the importance of penance and mortification.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Mariana of Jesus de Paredes – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Thursday 8th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: sir 42:15-25
Resp: psa 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Gsp: mar 10:46-52

Audio (MP3)

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May 25 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Suffering as a Grace

Monday, May 25th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150525n ( 06min) Play – Today we honor St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, a Carmelite saint, and highlights her as an example of the role of suffering in the Christian life.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Monday 8th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: sir 17:19-27
Resp: psa 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
Gsp: mar 10:17-27

Audio (MP3)

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May 22 – Homily – Fr Matthias: St. Rita and the Greatest Evil

Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150522n ( 07min) Play – Father Matthias presents the story of St. Rita of Cascia, and focuses on her prayer after her husband was murdered. Her prayer was that God would prevent her sons from sinning by exacting revenge on their father’s killer, even if it meant taking their lives. Her prayer was answered, and both sons soon died from dysentery. St. Rita understood that the greatest evil is sin, that the effects of every sin are eternal, and that death is to be preferred to sin. Father then speaks of that which is necessary for the forgiveness of sin, contrition, and then tells us some traits of that real contrition which we must have for our sins.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Rita of Cascia – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Friday 7th Week of Easter
1st: act 25:13-21
Resp: psa 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
Gsp: joh 21:15-19

Audio (MP3)

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