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Benedict XVI

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
Click to Play

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.

To Be Worthy of Suffering

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

The successors of the Apostles must also expect to be repeatedly beaten, by contemporary methods, if they continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that can be heard and understood. Then they can rejoice that they have been considered worthy of suffering for him. Like the Apostles, we naturally want to convince people and in this sense to obtain their approval. Naturally, we are not provocative; on the contrary we invite all to enter into the joy of that truth which shows us the way.

The approval of the prevailing wisdom, however, is not the criterion to which we submit. Our criterion is the Lord himself. If we defend his cause, we will constantly gain others to the way of the Gospel. But, inevitably, we will also be beaten by those who live lives opposed to the Gospel, and then we can be grateful for having been judged worthy to share in the passion of Christ.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from talk given in January 2013

Feb 22 – Homily – Fr Elias: Peter’s Chair and Throne

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Click to Play

Homily #130222b ( 11min) Play – Fr. Elias preaches on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter and how it relates to Pope Benedict’s abdication to take place next week. The chair is a symbol of the pope’s temporal power as well as his spiritual, pointing to the fact that the Church is established in the world as the teaching authority in order to point the way for the Lord’s flock to get to  heaven.
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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Pray for the Courage of Bishops

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

One Minute Meditation

I am reminded of an episode at the very beginning of Christianity which Saint Luke recounts in the Acts of the Apostles. After the speech of Gamaliel, who advised against violence in dealing with the earliest community of believers in Jesus, the Sanhedrin summoned the Apostles and had them flogged. It then forbade them from preaching in the name of Jesus and set them free. Saint Luke continues: “As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonour for the name of Jesus. And every day… they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah” (Acts 5:40ff.).

The successors of the Apostles must also expect to be repeatedly beaten, by contemporary methods, if they continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that can be heard and understood. Then they can rejoice that they have been considered worthy of suffering for him. Like the Apostles, we naturally want to convince people and in this sense to obtain their approval. Naturally, we are not provocative; on the contrary we invite all to enter into the joy of that truth which shows us the way. The approval of the prevailing wisdom, however, is not the criterion to which we submit. Our criterion is the Lord himself. If we defend his cause, we will constantly gain others to the way of the Gospel. But, inevitably, we will also be beaten by those who live lives opposed to the Gospel, and then we can be grateful for having been judged worthy to share in the passion of Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI

Epiphany Homily of January 6, 2013

Pope Benedict on the Year of Faith

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Ave Maria Meditations

An excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Letter on the Year of Faith.

During this time we will need to keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus Christ, the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2): in Him, all the anguish and all the longing of the human heart finds fulfillment. The joy of love, the answer to the drama of suffering and pain, the power of forgiveness in the face of an offence received and the victory of life over the emptiness of death: all this finds fulfillment in the mystery of his Incarnation, in his becoming man, in his sharing our human weakness so as to transform it by the power of his resurrection. In Him who died and rose again for our salvation, the examples of faith that have marked these two thousand years of our salvation history are brought into the fullness of light…

By faith, across the centuries, men and women of all ages, whose names are written in the Book of Life (cf. Rev 7:9, 13:8), have confessed the beauty of following the Lord Jesus wherever they were called to bear witness to the fact that they were Christian: in the family, in the workplace, in public life, (and) in the exercise of the charisma and ministries to which they were called.

By faith, we too live: by the living recognition of the Lord Jesus, present in our lives and in our history.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Proposes Serenity of Mary as Model for Peace | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Ave Maria! The Holy Father asks us to go to the Holy Mother to find the model of Serenity and Peace.

The Holy Father said that Mary shows ‘the interior peace which we ought to have amid the sometimes tumultuous and confusing events of history.’

– Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY — Presiding at the Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica on the occasion of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Pope Benedict XVI proposed Mary’s serenity as the source of interior peace and as the foundation for world peace.

In the first day of the year, in which the Church also commemorates the World Day of Peace — established by Pope Paul the VI in 1975 — the Holy Father said that Mary shows “the interior peace which we ought to have amid the sometimes tumultuous and confusing events of history, events whose meaning we often do not grasp and which disconcert us.”

Pope Benedict’s full homily follows:

Dear brothers and sisters,

“May God bless us and make his face to shine upon us.” We proclaimed these words from Psalm 66 after hearing in the first reading the ancient priestly blessing upon the people of the covenant. It is especially significant that at the start of every new year God sheds upon us, his people, the light of his Holy Name, the name pronounced three times in the solemn form of biblical blessing. Nor is it less significant that to the Word of God — who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) as “the true light that enlightens every man” (1:9) — is given, as today’s Gospel tells us, the name of Jesus eight days after his birth (Luke 2:21).
Read more

Pope Proposes Serenity of Mary as Model for Peace | Daily News | NCRegister.com.

 

Our Eucharistic Lord

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Ave Maria Meditations

Jesus makes himself truly present in the Eucharistic Mystery, which is renewed on every altar. His is a dynamic presence that takes hold of us to make us his, to liken us to him. He attracts us with the force of his love, bringing us out of ourselves to be united with him, making us one with him. 

The Real Presence of Christ makes each one of us his “house” and all together we form his Church, the spiritual building of which Saint Peter speaks. (more…)