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Saints

Compassion that Cures

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Ave Maria Meditations

 In Haiti just as in England, Spain, Italy, or India there are unhappy people everywhere. Not only because they don’t have any bread to eat. No, they hunger for love, understanding, and companionship. They suffer from loneliness, the feeling of being unwanted and rejected, a poverty of the soul. These are the things that can be far worse than being hungry or not having enough material goods….
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Let’s not live distracted lives. Let us know ourselves so that we can better understand our brothers and sisters. lf we want to understand those with whom we live, we need to understand ourselves first of all. Sometimes we see how joy returns to the lives of the most destitute when they realize that many among us are concerned about them and show them our love.
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Even their health improves if they are sick, after all, was it not Christ himself who said, “Every time you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me?” You are not to be indifferent to the suffering of others, but it is meant to affect you deeply.
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Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

A Prayer to St. Joseph

Friday, January 15th, 2016

One Minute Prayer

Petition Prayer to St. Joseph:
 
O glorious Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favor we now request…
 
(State your request here.)
 
O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.  O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.   Amen.

Sweet Child, Sweet Eucharist

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Jesus speaks: I was born, born for you in a cave in December, in the cold, homeless, in the middle of a winter’s night, in the unheard-of poverty of the extremely poor, in solitude, in an abandonment unique in this world.

What, my children, do I want you to learn from my birth? To believe in My love, to believe that I have loved you until now. To hope in Me, who have loved you so dearly. I want to teach you to despise the world, which was so unimportant to Me. I want to teach you poverty, lowliness, soli­tude, humility, penance.

I want to teach you to love me, for I was not content with giving Myself to the world in the Incarnation, sanctifying it invisibly in the visitation; no, that did not satisfy My love. From the moment of My birth onward, I showed myself to you, giving myself wholly to you, putting myself in your hands. From then on, you could touch Me, hear Me, possess Me, serve Me, console Me. Love Me now; I am so close to you. (more…)

From St. John of the Cross

Monday, December 14th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

‘If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road pregnant with the Holy, and say, “I need shelter for the night, please take me inside your heart, my time is so close.” Then, under the roof of your soul, you will witness the sublime intimacy, the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever, as she grasps your hand for help, for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us. Yes there, under the dome of your being does creation come into existence eternally, through your womb, dear pilgrim – the sacred womb of your soul, as God grasps our arms for help: for each of us is His beloved servant, never far. If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the street pregnant with Light and sing.’

 

–St. John of the Cross, an Advent prayer~

Thoughts on the Eucharist and on Martyrdom

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Blessed Charles de Foucauld, priest and martyr

(1858-1916)  Feast Day is December 1st

PRAYERS OF CHARLES DE FOUCAULD  AT THE TABERNACLE:

Lord Jesus, You are in the Holy Eucharist. You are there a yard away in the tabernacle. Your Body, your Soul, your human nature, your divinity, your whole Being is there in its twofold nature. How close you are, my God, my Savior, my Spouse, my Beloved! You were not nearer to the Blessed Virgin during the nine months that she carried you than you are to me when you rest on my tongue in Holy Communion. You were no closer to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph in the caves at Bethlehem or in the flight into Egypt or at any moment of that divine family life than you are to me at this moment – and so many others- in the tabernacle. Mary Magdalene was no closer to you when she sat at your feet at Bethany than I am here at the foot of this altar. You were no nearer to your apostles when you were sitting in the midst of them than you are to me now, my God. How blessed I am I!

Bl. Charles’ thoughts ON MARTYRDOM: To prepare oneself constantly for martyrdom, and accept it without a shadow of reluctance, like the Divine Lamb-in Jesus, through Jesus, for Jesus- I must try and live as if I were to die a martyr today.  Every minute I must imagine I am going to be martyred this very evening.

OUR LORD’S RESPONSE ON HIS WISH TO BE A MARTYR:This life will be followed by death.  You wish for a mar­tyr’s death. You know how cowardly you are, but you know too that you can do all things in Him who gives you strength, that I am all powerful in My creatures. Ask day and night for it but always with this condition, that it be My will, and for My glory and My pleasure which I know you desire and pray for above all things. And have confidence; I will grant what you ask, that which is for My greater glory.  It is good to ask for this, for  ‘there is no greater love than to give your life for the beloved,’” and it is right to wish to give Me this ‘greatest love of all’ “

St. Francis’ Prayer of Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

All-powerful, most holy, most high, and supreme God Holy and just Father; Lord, King of heaven and earth, we thank You for Yourself for through Your holy will and through Your only Son with the Holy Spirit You have created all things spiritual and corporal and, having made us in Your own image and likeness, You placed us in paradise. And through our own fault we have fallen.

And we thank You for as through Your Son You created us so also, through Your holy love, with which You loved us You brought about His birth as true God and true man by the glorious, ever-virgin, most blessed, holy Mary and You willed to redeem us captives through His cross and blood and death. And we thank You for Your Son Himself will come again in the glory of His majesty to send the wicked ones who have not done penance and who have not known You into the eternal fire, and to say to all those who have known You and have adored You and have served You in penance: ‘Come, you blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom, which has been prepared for you from the beginning of the world.’

And because all of us wretches and sinners are not worthy to pronounce Your name, we humbly ask that our Lord Jesus Christ Your beloved Son in whom You were well pleased together with the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, give You thanks as it pleases You and Him for everything, Who always satisfies You in everything through Whom You have done such great things for us. Alleluia!

And through Your love, we humbly beg the glorious Mother, the most blessed Mary ever-Virgin, Blessed Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, and all the blessed choirs of seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations, principalities, powers, virtues, angels, archangels, blessed John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Peter, Paul, and the blessed patriarchs, prophets, the Innocents, apostles, evangelists, disciples, martyrs, confessors, virgins, the blessed Elijah and Henoch, and all the saints who were, who will be, and who are to give You thanks for these things as it pleases You, the supreme and true God eternal and living with Your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

St. Francis of Assisi

 

A Word of Warning from St. John Paul II

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.

We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ. With your and my prayers, it is possible to mitigate the coming tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed.

How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from the shedding of blood? This time, too, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong and prepared and trust in Christ and His holy Mother and be very, very assiduous in praying the holy rosary.

St. John Paul II

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…)

Peace in Jesus

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Peace is the simplicity of spirit, the serenity of conscience, the tranquility of the soul and the bond of love. Peace is order, it is the harmony in each one of us, it is a continual joy that is born of witnessing a clear conscience. It is the holy joy of a heart wherein God reigns. Peace is the way to perfection or, even better, in peace dwells perfection.

And the devil, who knows all this very well, does everything possible to cause us to lose our peace. The soul need to be saddened but only one thing: an offense against God. But even on this point one must be very prudent. One must certainly regret one’s failures, but with a peaceful sorrow and always trusting in divine mercy. One must be aware of certain reproaches and remorse against oneself which most of the time come from our enemy who wants to disturb our peace in God.

If such reproaches and remorse humble us and make us quick to do the right thing, without taking away our confidence in God, we may be assured that they come from God. However, if they confuse us and make us fearful, distrustful, lazy, or slow to do the right thing, we may be sure that they come from the devil and we should consequently push them aside, finding our refuge and confidence in God.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

From the “Beatitudes” of St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Where there is love and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.

Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation.

Where there is poverty with joy, there is neither greed nor avarice.

Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.

Where the fear of the Lord stands guard, there the enemy finds no entry.

Where there is mercy and moderation, there is neither indulgence nor harshness.

Blessed is the servant who stores the favors that God has shown him as treasure in heaven and has no wish to disclose them to others in the hope of some advantage, for the Most High will reveal divine workings to whomever the Most High pleases.

Blessed is the servant who keeps the secrets of the Lord locked away in the heart. For whatever a man is in the sight of God, that he is and no more. 

St. Francis of Assisi

It is Still Good Advice!

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa of Avila

To Act out of Love

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

To Act out of Love:

Seek in all things to give pleasure to Our Lord; do all with a great purity of intention. Before each action say to our Lord, “My Jesus, I wish to do this solely for love of You; and if this action did not please You, I would not do it.” If we do everything solely for love of Christ, it is impossible for Him to fail to unite Himself to us. Our Lord will keep us ever united to Himself if we do all things with the sole intention of pleasing Him.

In the course of the Christian life there are deserts to be traversed and days of darkness and obscurity when we feel powerless and forsaken. Without that, your love would never be deep nor strong. But if you are faithful and abandoned to Him, Jesus will always hold you by the hand. (Remember:) “Though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will see no evil for Thou art with me”.

Bl. Columba Marmion

Father St. Francis: What is Perfect Joy?

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

CHAPTER VIII : HOW ST FRANCIS, WALKING ONE DAY WITH BROTHER LEO, EXPLAINED TO HIM WHAT THINGS ARE PERFECT JOY

One day in winter, as St Francis was going with Brother Leo from Perugia to St Mary of the Angels, and was suffering greatly from the cold, he called to Brother Leo, who was walking on before him, and said to him: “Brother Leo, if it were to please God that the Friars Minor should give, in all lands, a great example of holiness and edification, write down, and note carefully, that this would not be perfect joy.”

A little further on, St Francis called to him a second time: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor were to make the lame to walk, if they should make straight the crooked, chase away demons, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and, what is even a far greater work, if they should raise the dead after four days, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

Shortly after, he cried out again: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor knew all languages; if they were versed in all science; if they could explain all Scripture; if they had the gift of prophecy, and could reveal, not only all future things, but likewise the secrets of all consciences and all souls, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

After proceeding a few steps farther, he cried out again with a loud voice: “O Brother Leo, thou little lamb of God! if the Friars Minor could speak with the tongues of angels; if they could explain the course of the stars; if they knew the virtues of all plants; if all the treasures of the earth were revealed to them; if they were acquainted with the various qualities of all birds, of all fish, of all animals, of men, of trees, of stones, of roots, and of waters – write that this would not be perfect joy.” (more…)

St. Therese to her Guardian Angel

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

St. Therese of Lisieux (Feast is Oct. 1) had a wonderful devotion to her Guardian Angel (Feast of Guardian Angels is Oct. 2)  Enjoy her poem!

To My Angel Guardian:

O glorious guardian of my frame!

In heaven’s high courts thou shinest bright,

As some most pure and holy flame,

Before the Lord of endless light.

Yet for my sake thou com’st to earth,

To be my brother, Angel dear;

My friend and keeper from my birth,

By day and night to me most near.

Knowing how weak a child am I,

By thy strong hand thou guidest me;

The stones that in my pathway lie,

I see thee move them carefully.

Ever thy heavenly tones invite

My soul to look to God alone;

And ever grows thy face more bright,

When I more meek and kind have grown. (more…)

September 24th: Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The story of Our Lady of Ransom is, at its outset, that of Saint Peter Nolasco, born in Languedoc about 1189. He conceived the idea of establishing a religious order for the redemption of captives seized by the Moors on the seas and in Spain itself; they were being cruelly tormented in their African prisons to make them deny their faith. On August 1, 1218 the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Peter, to his confessor, Raymond of Penafort, and to King James I, and through these three servants of God established a work of the most perfect charity, the redemption of captives. Its members would undertake to deliver Christian captives and offer themselves, if necessary, as payment.

Word of the apparition soon spread over the entire kingdom, and on August 10 the king went to the cathedral for a Mass celebrated by the bishop of Barcelona during which Saint Raymond narrated his vision with admirable eloquence and fervor. The king besought the blessing of the bishop for the heaven-sent plan, and the bishop bestowed the habit on Saint Peter, who emitted the solemn vow to give himself as a hostage if necessary.

The Order, thus solemnly established in Spain, was approved by Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy and spread rapidly. Eventually a feast day was instituted and observed on September 24, first in the religious order, then in Spain and France, and on February 22, 1696 Innocent XII extended it to the entire Church. To this day, the Mercedarians keep this day as a first class feast, with a vigil, privileged octave, and proper Office under the title: Solemnitas Descensionis B. Mariæ V. de Mercede(more…)