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Benedict XVI

Mary Immaculate, Our Mother and Advocate

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Mary’s look is God’s look on each one of us. She looks at us with the very love of the Father and blesses us. She behaves as our “advocate” — and we invoke her thus in the Salve, Regina: “our advocate.” Even if everyone spoke evil of us, she, the Mother, would say the good, because her immaculate heart is attuned to God’s mercy.

Thus she sees the city:  not as an anonymous agglomeration, but as a constellation where God knows everyone personally by name, one by one, and calls us to shine with his light. And those that in the eyes of the world are the first, for God they are the last; those who are little, are great for God. He recognizes in each one the likeness with his Son Jesus, even if we are so different! But who more than she knows the power of Divine Grace? Who better than she knows that nothing is impossible for God, capable in fact of drawing good from evil?
 
Dear brothers and sisters, the message we receive here, at the feet of Mary Immaculate, is a message of trust for every person of this city and of the whole world. A message of hope not made of words, but of her own history: she is one of us, who gave birth to the Son of God and has shared all her own existence with him! And today she says to us: this is also your destiny, yours, the destiny of all: to be saints as our Father, to be immaculate as our Brother Jesus Christ, to be loved children, all adopted to form a great family, without limits of nationality, color, language, because God is one, Father of every man.
 
Thank you, O Mary Immaculate, for always being with us! Always watch over our city: comfort the sick, encourage young people, sustain families. Infuse the strength to reject evil, in every form, and to choose the good, even when it costs and entails going against the current. Give us the joy of feeling loved by God, blessed by Him, predestined to be his children.
 
Immaculate Virgin, our sweetest Mother, pray for us!

Pope Benedict XVI (December 8, 2010 audience)

May 01 – Homily – Fr Matthias: An Ecology of Man

Friday, May 1st, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150501n ( 09min) Play – Father Matthias comments on the purpose of the created world, and why we should take care of it. As Pope Benedict XVI said, we need an “Ecology of Man,” and understanding the purpose of human activity will help us to better understand the whole purpose of life: To become Saints! The comments from Pope Benedict may be found here: http://www.catholic.org/news/international/europe/story.php?id=42957
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Joseph the Worker – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: Friday 4th Week of Easter
1st: act 13:26-33
Resp: psa 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
Gsp: joh 14:1-6

Audio (MP3)

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Happy Birthday, Pope Emeritus!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Birthdate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:  April 16, 1927

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.

from “Benedictus” by Pope Benedict XVI

Light and Christmas and Easter

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

During the two great holy nights of the church year, Christmas and Easter, the symbolism of light fuses with the symbolism of night. On both locations the church uses the interplay of night and light to show in a symbolic manner what the content of the feast in question is: the encounter of God and the world, the victorious entry of God into a world that refuses him room and yet in the end cannot prevent him from taking it.

This Christ-centered drama of light and darkness, God and the world, as they encounter each other, begins on Christmas when God knocks on the door of a world that rejects Him even though it belongs to Him. (Jn 1:5,11)  But the world cannot prevent His coming.  He Himself becomes “world” in becoming a human being.  His coming seems a defeat of the light, which becomes darkness, but at the same time it is the first hidden victory of the light, since the world has not been able to prevent this coming, however carefully it may have barred the doors of its inns.

No, on Easter, the drama reaches its central act and climax. The darkness has used its ultimate weapon, death…but the Resurrection effects the great reversal. Light has won the victory and now lives on unconquerably…it has made a bit of the world its own and transformed it into itself.  

Of course, this is not the end of the drama.  The end is still awaited; it will arrive with the second coming of the Lord. At present, night continues, but it is a night in which a light has been lit. When the Lord comes again, the day will dawn and last forever.

Pope Benedict XVI from “Benedictus”

 

 

Preparing for the Coming of the Holy One of God

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

 “Mary wrapped the child in swaddling cloths. Without yielding to sentimentality, we may imagine with what great love Mary approached her hour and prepared for the birth of her child. Iconographic tradition has theologically interpreted the manger and the swaddling cloths in terms of the theology of the Fathers. The child stiffly wrapped in bandages is seen as prefiguring the hour of his death: from the outset, he is the sacrificial victim (…). The manger, then, was seen as a kind of altar.

Augustine drew out the meaning of the manger using an idea that at first seems almost shocking, but on closer examination contains a profound truth. The manger is the place where animals find their food. But now, lying in the manger, is he who called himself the true bread come down from heaven, the true nourishment that we need in order to be fully ourselves. This is the food that gives us true life, eternal life. Thus the manger becomes a reference to the table of God, to which we are invited so as to receive the bread of God. From the poverty of Jesus’ birth emerges the miracle in which man’s redemption is mysteriously accomplished.”
(Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, p. 68.)

The Son of God was lovingly carried by His holy virgin Mother for nine months as an unborn child.  When He came into this world a tender and helpless baby, He was laid in a manger of straw–prickly straw.  The One who was to redeem mankind began immediately and the life He was to live was not one filled with comforts or luxury.  But He would know the love of a mother and father, a family.  Mary and Joseph prepared as best they could within their means for the coming child, both spiritually and materially.  Often we prepare materially but spiritually is more difficult for busy-ness and obligation seem to choke out the time we need for quiet, to prepare our hearts and souls for a new dawn in our spiritual lives.  May we find time these remaining days of Advent for extra Masses, for confession, for times given to adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Our faith tells us that He, the Lord, is truly present in the Holy Eucharist; it was faith that brought souls to believe that the Baby, the Boy, the Man Jesus was the Son of God.  Marantha!

Sep 29 – Homily – Fr Matthias: St. Michael and the Popes

Monday, September 29th, 2014
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Homily #140929n ( 11min) Play – Father Matthias shows us the importance of having recourse to St. Michael by pulling from the words and actions of the modern Popes. Let us call upon St. Michael to defend us from sin and evil, from that which is outside of us and especially that which is inside of us. We cannot overcome evil with evil, but only with good!
Ave Maria!
Mass: Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (alt Reading) – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: rev 12:7-12
Resp: psa 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5
Gsp: joh 1:47-51

Audio (MP3)

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For the Love of Christ

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

love_jesus_web[1]“Christ says:  “If you love me … ”  Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract truths about the mysteries of God, of man, of life and death, of future realities.  Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:11), even to the total offering of himself. 

love_image[1]What other response can we give to a love so great, if not that of a heart that is open and ready to love?  But what does it mean to love Christ?  It means trusting him even in times of trial, following him faithfully even on the Via Crucis, in the hope that soon the morning of the Resurrection will come.  Entrusting ourselves to Christ, we lose nothing, we gain everything.  In his hands our life acquires its true meaning.  

Love for Christ expresses itself in the will to harmonize our own life with the thoughts and sentiments of his Heart.  This is achieved through interior union based on the grace of the Sacraments, strengthened by continuous prayer, praise, thanksgiving and penance.  We have to listen attentively to the inspirations that he evokes through his Word, through the people we meet, through the situations of daily life.  To love him is to remain in dialogue with him, in order to know his will and to put it into effect promptly.

(more…)

May 04 – Homily – Fr John Joseph: Resurrection of Hope

Sunday, May 4th, 2014
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Homily #140504b ( 15min) Play – Fr. John Joseph on the remedy for the sorrow in our life which is the hope that is enshrined in the resurrection where Our Lord rises from the grim shadows of the crucifixion to the bright light of Easter, shining a light on the promise of eternal life for those who believe in Him. This dawning of great joy in the midst of despair is what the disciples on the road to Emmaus experienced when the resurrected Christ made Himself manifest to them. He bases these reflection on the writing of Pope Benedict XVI.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Sunday 3rd Week of Easter – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 2:14, 22-28
Resp: psa 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
2nd: 1pe 1:17-21
Gsp: luk 24:13-35

Audio (MP3)

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Vatican Insider Interview of FFI General Secretary

Friday, September 20th, 2013

“The Franciscans of the Immaculate under attack by outside lobbies”

Interview with the new secretary general Father Alfonso Bruno, accused of “treason” by some traditionalist groups

Vatican Insider

Andrea Tornielli
Rome

Controversy is yet to subside after the appointment of a Commissioner for the Franciscans of the Immaculate. In this interview, the new secretary general explains why.

Father Alfonso Bruno, is your appointment as Secretary-General by the Commissioner a choice in favor of friars critical of the founder?

“The Secretary-General, in accordance with the Constitutions of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, art. 100, ‘assists the Common Father in his personal contacts and correspondence with those outside the Institute; he redacts the acts of the Council; he takes care of the General Archives; he keeps up-to-date the records and statistics on the friars, houses and projects.’ It is a technical role and one of service for the benefit of the whole community, far removed therefore from any factionalism or partisanship. During the first weeks of his mandate, the Apostolic Commissioner spoke first personally, and then on August 30, 2013 in a recorded meeting, with all members of the former government of which I also was a part. After this meeting he insisted that I accept the appointment. His judgment was made after having prayed and thought about it, although I cannot enter into his ‘mens’. Aware of the ongoing tensions and conscious of my apostolic commitments, I did not want to assume this burden, which is challenging as regards both the time and energy required to carry it. Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, who took over the authority of the institute, told me: ‘It is the will of God, you have to help the Church … it is for the good of your religious family.’ I am a religious priest and as such in the Rule of St. Francis have professed obedience to and reverence for the Pope. I embraced my cross with the courage of faith, certain that the grace of God will support me in carrying out the mission entrusted to me.” (more…)

Faith Brings Light into our Darkness

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

From the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis: Lumen Fidei:

A light to be recovered

There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God.

Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfillment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us. Faith, received from God as a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time. (more…)

Video – Marian Shrines of the World #18: Our Lady of Aparecida

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Click to Play Video
Marian Shrines of the World #18 – ( 7 min) >>> Play

Ave Maria!

In this episode of “Marian Shrines of the World” Fr. Andre takes us to the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil.

Audio (MP3)

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Video – Madrid Spain – World Youth Day

Monday, July 8th, 2013
Click to Play Video
Variety #233 – ( 02min) >>> Play

Ave Maria!

The last World Youth Day of Pope Benedict.

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Benedict XVI: ‘I’m fine. I live like a monk’ – YouTube

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Benedict XVI: ‘I’m fine. I live like a monk’ – YouTube.

German journalist, Manfred Lütz visited Benedict XVI at the Vatican for about 30 minutes. In an article published in the ‘Bild Zeitung’ newspaper, he wrote that the former Pope told him: “I live like a monk and I’m fine. I pray and I read.”

The Supper and the Garden

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: address at the Basilica of St John Lateran, Holy Thursday, 5 April 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Holy Thursday is not only the day of the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, whose splendour bathes all else and in some ways draws it to itself. To Holy Thursday also belongs the dark night of the Mount of Olives, to which Jesus goes with his disciples; the solitude and abandonment of Jesus, who in prayer goes forth to encounter the darkness of death; the betrayal of Judas, Jesus’ arrest and his denial by Peter; his indictment before the Sanhedrin and his being handed over to the Gentiles, to Pilate. Let us try at this hour to understand more deeply something of these events, for in them the mystery of our redemption takes place.

Jesus goes forth into the night. Night signifies lack of communication, a situation where people do not see one another. It is a symbol of incomprehension, of the obscuring of truth. It is the place where evil, which has to hide before the light, can grow. Jesus himself is light and truth, communication, purity and goodness. He enters into the night. Night is ultimately a symbol of death, the definitive loss of fellowship and life. Jesus enters into the night in order to overcome it and to inaugurate the new Day of God in the history of humanity. (more…)

Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Ave Maria!

[Updated] – Pope Francis meets with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI today, a truly historic event. Benedict’s frailty was quite evident.

This meeting continues many gestures of respect that Pope Francis has made to the retired pontiff  starting with his appearance for the first time on the loggia.  At a meeting with world diplomats yesterday Pope Francis gave prominent attention to the main theme of Benedict’s pontificate, the “tyranny of relativism,” relating it to the very choice of his name:

It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the “tyranny of relativism,” which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples.

And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth!

By uniting his exemplary charity towards the poor (the main reason for choosing the name Francis) with the need for all such charity to be rooted in truth, he clearly is aligning the very core of his pontificate to the both/and theme of charity and truth that Benedict expressed so well in his 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (English: Charity in Truth). Here is a good summary.

http://en.romereports.com On Saturday afternoon, Pope Francis met with Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI for the very first time. The meeting was both moving and historic.