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Persecution

Mar 18 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Catechism and Homosexuality

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
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Homily #140318n ( 13min) Play – Father Matthias undertakes the task of explaining the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and homosexual acts by pulling from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and recent statements by Pope Francis. Finally, he emphasizes that those with homosexual attractions have the same call we all do–be holy.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Tuesday 2nd Week of Lent – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 1:10, 16-20
Resp: psa 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Gsp: mat 23:1-12

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 08 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The UN and Child Abuse

Saturday, February 8th, 2014
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Homily #140208n ( 22min) Play – Fr. Matthias tells us today’s homily is not a defense of the Catholic Church’s response to the child abuse crisis nor an intellectual analysis of the subject at hand, but a pastoral sermon, one warning the sheep of the wolves. The subject at hand is the volley of “recommendations” from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and Fr. Matthias fires back by first examining the incredible suggestions from the Committee, and then examining what exactly the Committee itself is promoting in the name of “protecting children.” Ave Maria! Mass: Saturday 4th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF Readings:  1st: 1ki 3:4-13 Resp: psa 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Gsp: mar 6:30-34 Audio (MP3) +++

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…)

Jan 16 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Despise All for the Love of God

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
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Homily #140116n ( 10min) Play – Today we remember the first Franciscan martyrs, and Father reminds us we can love God or love ourselves, but not both. If we love God, we must be willing to sacrifice even our lives for the His sake. This is folly to the world, but precious in the eyes of God. Father reminds us that violence has no place in the work of God; rather, we must be ready to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. The spread of Christianity has always been at personal cost, but Islam has been, and is today, spread and enforced by violence. Let us beseech Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, for the strength to be faithful in the face of persecution, whatever form it may take.

Ave Maria!
Mass: Sts. Berard and companions – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Thursday 1st Week of Ordinary Time
1st: 1sa 4:1-11
Resp: psa 44:10-11, 14-15, 25-26
Gsp: mar 1:40-45

Audio (MP3)

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Jan 09 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Victory That Conquers the World

Thursday, January 9th, 2014
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Homily #140109n ( 09min) Play – Father Matthias comments on the passage “the victory that conquers the world is our faith.” This, he says, is most evident in the lives, and deaths, of the saints who spurned this life for life everlasting. Let us follow their example and beg Our Lady to teach us how to be “more than conquerors”.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thur post Epiphany  - Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1jo 4:19-5:4
Resp: psa 72:1-2, 14 and 15bc, 17
Gsp: luk 4:14-22

Audio (MP3)

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Dec 26 – Homily – Fr Angelo: Sacrificial Nature of Christmas

Thursday, December 26th, 2013
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Homily #131226n ( 08min) Play – Fr. Angelo comments on the seeming paradox of how the  liturgical celebration of Christmas is extended through an entire week, the  Octave of Christmas, but the individual days are dedicated to martyrs. It seems strange that the day following Christmas, today, is dedicated to the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen. However, as Father shows us, sacrifice and Christmas are intimately linked, Christ came into this world to sacrifice Himself for our salvation, and the liturgy is showing us we are to imitate His example of self-sacrifice as the 37 Christians killed yesterday in Iraq did. (story here)
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Stephen – The Protomartyr – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 6:8-10, 7, 54-59
Resp: psa 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21
Gsp: mat 10:17-22

Audio (MP3)

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Nov 24 – Homily – Fr Angelo: The “Middle Coming” of Christ

Sunday, November 24th, 2013
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Homily #131124n ( 21min) Play -

The Liturgical Year ends with a reminder of the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time, and begins in Advent, which is preparation for the First Coming of Christ, Christmas. Today, Fr. Angelo reminds us that we are in the “Middle Coming” of Christ when he reigns as King in our hearts, and that we must be willing to risk everything in our fidelity to Him.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Christ the King – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2sa 5:1-3
Resp: psa 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
2nd: col 1:12-20
Gsp: luk 23:35-43

Audio (MP3)

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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

Nov 19 – Homily – Fr Matthias M. Sasko: Don’t Deny Your Faith By Silence

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
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Homily #131119n ( 07min) Play – Ave Maria!

 

Father reminds us that we must all profess our faith; explicitly by prayers traditionally called “Acts of Faith,” and implicitly by the way we live. However, there are also times we must profess our faith when silence would be a denial of it, even it it means we will have to suffer for it.

Mass: St. Agnes of Assisi – Opt Mem – Form: OF

Readings: Tuesday 33rd Week of Ordinary Time 1st: 2ma 6:18-31 Resp: psa 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-8 Gsp: luk 19:1-10

Audio (MP3) +++

The Cross of a true Christian

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

Our Lord warns us :”Woe to you when all men speak well of you! In the self-same manner their fathers used to treat the prophets.”  Faith, when it is authentic, brings down into opposition with itself many selfish interests so as not to cause scandal.  It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to be a good Christian and not find oneself in conflict with a bourgeois and comfortable atmosphere that is frequently pagan.  We have to ask continually for peace in the Church and for Christians of every country, but we should not be surprised or frightened if there is resistance from our surroundings to the teaching of Christ that we want to spread, a resistance in the shape of defamation, calumnies, etc. God will help us to receive abundant results from these situations.

The opposition from the good usually shows itself in antipathy towards some brothers in the Faith, in a more or less masked opposition to their work, and a criticism that is as destructive as it is ill-informed. In any case, the position of the Christian who wants above all to be faithful to Christ has to be one where he can pardon, make amends and act with rectitude of intention, all the time looking toward Christ. Don’t expect people’s applause for your work. What is more, sometimes you mustn’t even expect other people and institutions, who like you are working for Christ, to understand you.  Seek only the glory of God, and while loving everyone, don’t worry if there are some who do not comprehend what it is you are doing.

(more…)

Religion and war in Syria: A sonorous appeal | The Economist

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Ave Maria!

This article is a bit old but I thought it spoke so eloquently of Our Lady and a call for peace in a troubled land that we could do well to reflect on it.

IN THE shimmering air of an arid mountainside, a graceful animal can suddenly speak with a human voice of succour; and a beast that seems to offer its own flesh to a hungry traveller turns out instead to be a provider of water, which is even more desperately needed. That, at any rate, is the story of what happened to the eastern Roman Emperor Justinian as he was marching across Syria with a thirsty army. Spying a lovely gazelle in the distance, he chased the animal until it led him to a cool, refreshing spring. Before he could slay the animal, it transformed into an (more…)

Follow the Baptist!

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

Do not be afraid of telling the truth, follow the Baptist!

Today, in many parts of the world, there are martyrs: man and women who are imprisoned, killed for the sole reason of being Christian. And they exist in a larger number than in the first centuries of the Church.

But there is also daily martyrdom, that does not include death but is also a “losing of life” for Christ, accomplishing one’s own duty with love, according to the reasoning of Jesus, the reasoning of the gift [of oneself], of sacrifice. …

But, in the end, … [John the Baptist] was killed because of the truth, when he denounced the adultery of king Herod and Herodias. How many people pay a steep price for allegiance to truth! How many upright men prefer to walk against the current, other than denying the voice of conscience, the voice of truth!

Franciscus:  Angelus address, June 23, 2013

July 17th: Feast of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

Blessed Teresa of Sf. Augustine and Companions (1794)

Blessed Teresa and fifteen other Carmelite nuns were guillotined during the “Reign of Terror” of the French Revolution. Two years earlier they had made an Act of Consecration by which they offered themselves as a holocaust to bring peace to the Church and the country.

When they were arrested Sister Henriette exclaimed, “Let us rejoice in the joy of the Lord, that we shall die for our Holy Religion.” As each Sister ascended the guillotine, her companions sang the Veni Creator Spiritus. The normally noisy crowd was strangely silent, and a witness remarked, “They looked as if they were going to their wedding.” Within ten days of their death, the Reign of Terror ended.

Veni, Creator Spiritus

1. Veni, creator Spiritus mentes tuorum visita, imple superna gratia, quae tu creasti pectora.

I die for the love of my Lord Jesu

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

St. Margaret Clitherow, martyr.  Feast Day is March 26th.

Despite the risk of discovery, Margaret had a “priest hole” built in her home, where visiting clergy could hide if a raid should occur. She further built a hidden cupboard to hide vestments, missals, Eucharist and blessed wine. In Margaret’s attic, still preserved for the visiting faithful to see, a hole was cut between her home and the neighbor’s home, to allow an escape route for priests, should it come to that. Margaret stated, in defiance of the laws of the time, “by God’s grace all priests shall be more welcome to me than ever they were, and I will do what I can to set forward God’s Catholic service.” She organized celebrations of Mass, and hired a Catholic tutor for neighborhood children of the faith. It was through this tutor that she came to be discovered.

One afternoon, while the tutor was instructing the children, the police raided the house. The tutor escaped, and the authorities found children studying, but convinced of treason, they questioned the children until one broke down in tears, revealing the cupboard of hidden items. Margaret was immediately arrested, and the children were removed from their homes, placed with devout Protestant families. Margaret would never see her children again. Moved by her life, however, her younger son became a priest, and her daughter, a nun. (more…)