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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


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…)

The Wisdom of the Cross

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The spiritual victory of the church has always been proportionate to her application of the wisdom of the cross. Whenever her members have depended on worldly wisdom, they have failed spiritually. When they have acted on the wisdom of the cross, they have marked up one victory after another. This is vividly illustrated in the Saints, who have chosen poverty rather than riches, humiliation rather than honor, self denial rather than pleasure, death rather than a life characterized by betrayal of God and His truth.

None but unbelievers would question the victory that the Saints have achieved through the application of the wisdom of the cross. Their triumph is decisive and eternal. If the evil forces of injustice and hate have had a series of passing victories, it has been because the cross has been ignored as the symbol of divine wisdom, justice, and love. 

The essential fact about the cross is brought out by St. Paul when he says that Christ was obedient, even to death on a cross. Thus on Calvary, our divine Master was exemplifying the one teaching that summed up his whole doctrine: that the entire purpose of life on earth is to carry out God’s will.

Here Mary could not have better fulfilled her role as co-teacher. The supreme achievement of Christ was the saving of the human race from eternal doom by means of His redeeming cross. As His cooperator par excellence in this tremendous work, His Mother shared in His achievement. So important and intimate was Mary’s participation in the saving of mankind from eternal perdition that the church has never hesitated to give her the title of co-Redemptrix. 

(And yet) The passion of Christ, without His resurrection, would have availed us nothing. St. Paul make this evident when he says “And if Christ is not risen, vein is your faith, for you are still in your sins.” Nothing could show better than these words how important for our understanding of the faith, and our spiritual progress, is the association in our thinking of our Lord’s death and resurrection. All this is paramount for a growth in the virtue of hope, a virtue which, along with faith and love, is necessary for salvation.  

+Fr. Bertrand Weaver C.P.

“I Thirst”

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Blessed Mother Teresa lived her life seeking to assuage the thirst of Jesus for souls. Her feast day is September 5th.

Why does Jesus say “I Thirst”? What does it mean? . . . If you remember anything from Mother’s letter, remember this—‘I Thirst’ is something much deeper than just Jesus saying ‘I love you.’ Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you—you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for Him…

At this most difficult time (on the Cross), He proclaimed, ‘I thirst.’ And people thought He was thirsty in an ordinary way and they gave Him vinegar straight away; but it was not for that thirst; it was for our love, our affection, that intimate attachment to Him, and that sharing of His passion. He used, ‘I thirst,’ instead of ‘Give Me your love’… ‘I thirst.’ Let us hear Him saying it to me and saying it to you…

Just put yourself in front of the tabernacle. Don’t let anything disturb you. Hear your own name and “I Thirst.” I thirst for purity, I thirst for poverty, I thirst for obedience, I thirst for that wholehearted love, I thirst for that total surrender. Are we living a deeply contemplative life? He thirsts for that total surrender.


Seeking the Intercession of St. Monica for our Children

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In this day and age, many tearful parents and grandparents are so greatly concerned over the loss of faith among their dear family members…

Prayer to St. Monica

Exemplary Mother of the great Augustine, you perseveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.

Intercede for all parents in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray.

St. Louis the King: Patron of Franciscan Tertiaries

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

St. Louis, King of France (1214-1270)   Feast Day is August 25th

from a spiritual testament by King Saint Louis IX to his son:

My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin. If the Lord has permitted you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you well deserved it.

If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts. Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can.

Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth. Be devout and obedient to our mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father.

In conclusion, dearest son, I give you every blessing that a loving father can give a son. May the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and all the saints protect you from every evil.  And may the Lord give you the grace to do his will so that he may be served and honored through you, that in the next life we may together come to see him, love him and praise him unceasingly. Amen

Our Dear Mother and Queen

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In giving ourselves to Jesus through Mary’s hands, we imitate God the Father, who gave us his only Son through Mary, and who imparts his graces to us only through Mary. Likewise we imitate God the Son, who by giving us his example for us to follow, inspires us to go to him using the same means he used in coming to us, that is, through Mary. Again, we imitate the Holy Spirit, who bestows his graces and gifts upon us through Mary. “Is it not fitting,” remarks St. Bernard, “that grace should return to its author by the same channel that conveyed it to us?” 

In going to Jesus through Mary, we are really paying honor to our Lord, for we are showing that, because of our sins, we are unworthy to approach his infinite holiness directly on our own. We are showing that we need Mary, his holy Mother, to be our advocate and mediatrix with him who is our Mediator. We are going to Jesus as Mediator and Brother, and at the same time humbling ourselves before him who is our God and our Judge. In short, we are practicing humility, something that always gladdens the heart of God. 

Consecrating ourselves in this way to Jesus through Mary implies placing our good deeds in Mary’s hands. Now, although these deeds may appear good to us, they are often defective, and not worthy to be considered and accepted by God, before whom even the stars lack brightness. 

Let us pray, then, to our dear Mother and Queen that having accepted our poor present, she may purify it, sanctify it, beautify it, and so make it worthy of God.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Aug 20 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Man of the 12th Century

Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150820n ( 04min) Play – St. Bernard stands out as the “man of the 12th century”. Father gives us a short biography of his vocation and the effect he had in the Cistercian order and also in the knowledge of and devotion to Mary. Father shares with us the admonition of St. Bernard: “In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.”
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Bernard of Clairvaux – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Thursday 20th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: jdg 11:29-39
Resp: psa 40:5, 7-8, 8-9, 10
Gsp: mat 22:1-14

Audio (MP3)