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Saints

Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Christus vincit, regnat,  imperat; ab omni malo plemem suam defendat.

Christ conquers, He reigns, He commands. May He de­fend His people from all evil.

Pope Sixtus V had these words engraved on the obelisk which stands in the center of Saint Peter’s Square at Rome. These magnificent words are in the present tense, and not in the past, to indicate that Christ’s triumph is always actual, and that it is brought about in the Eucharist and by the Eucharist.

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CHRISTUS vincit. Christ conquers.

Our Lord has fought; He has won control of the field of battle, on which He has planted His flag and pitched His tent: the Sacred Host and the Eucharistic tabernacle. He conquered the Jew and his temple, and He has a tabernacle on Calvary where all the nations come to adore Him beneath the sacramental Species.  He conquered paganism and has chosen Rome, the city of the Caesars, for His capital.

He conquered the false wisdom of the sages; the divine Eucharist rose on the world and shed its: rays over the whole earth, darkness withdrew like the shades of night at the coming of day. The idols have been knocked down and the sacrifices abolished. Jesus Eucharistic is a conqueror Who never halts but ever marches onward; He wants to· subject the universe to His gentle sway.

Every time He takes possession of a country, He pitches therein His Eucharistic royal tent. The erection of a tabernacle is His official occupation of a country. In our own day He still goes out to uncivilized nations; and wherever the Eucharist is brought, the people are converted to Christianity. That is the secret of the triumph of our Catholic missionaries and of the failure of the Protestant preachers. In the latter case, man is battling alone, in the former, Jesus is battling, and He is sure to triumph. (more…)

The Mercy of God to a Penitent

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

from St. Maximus the Confessor

healingGod’s will is to save us, and nothing pleases him more than our coming back to him with true repen­tance. The heralds of truth and the ministers of divine grace have told us this from the beginning, repeating it in every age. Indeed, God’s desire for our salvation is the primary and preeminent sign of his infinite good­ness. It was precisely in order to show that there is nothing closer to God’s heart that the divine Word of God the Father, with untold condescension, lived among us in the flesh, and did, suffered, and said all that was necessary to reconcile us to God the Father, when we were at enmity with him, and to restore us to the life of blessedness from which we had been exiled.

He healed our physical infirmities by miracles; he freed us from our sins, many and grievous as they were, by suf­fering and dying, taking them upon himself as if he were answerable for them, sinless though he was. He also taught us in many different ways that we should wish to imitate him by our own kindness and genuine love for one another.

So it was that Christ proclaimed that he had come to call sinners to repentance, not the righteous, and that it was not the healthy who required a doctor, but the sick. He declared that he had come to look for the sheep that was lost, and that it was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel that he had been sent. Speaking more obscurely in the parable of the silver coin, he tells us ‘that the purpose of his coming was to reclaim the royal image, which had become coated with the filth of sin. You can be sure that there is joy in heaven, he said, over one sinner who repents. (more…)

Safe in Our Mother’s Arms

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Facing the Storms of Life in the Arms of Our Mother: 

May Jesus fill you with his holy love and grant you all those graces your beautiful soul desires, and I incessantly ask for you from our heavenly Father!. . . May the Lord continue to possess your heart always, rendering it holy to the degree established with eternal designs….

Do not fear the storm that roars about you, because in proportion to the rigidity of the winter, the spring will be more beautiful and richer in flowers, and the fruits more abundant. No matter what the tempter may say or do,  God is working out in you his admirable purpose, which is your sanctification. Don’t believe the murmurings and promptings of the enemy….

To be afraid of being lost while you are in the arms of divine goodness is stranger than fear on the part of a child in its mother’s arms. Banish all doubt and anxiety which are, however, allowed by infinite love for the purpose already mentioned. Be patient and don’t become discouraged if you see yourself still full of imperfections. Remember what I said to you in this regard, and make every effort to put it into practice.

When you are unable to take big steps on the path that leads to God, be content with little steps, patiently waiting until you have the legs to run.

+St. Padre Pio

The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us. 

The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life. 

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race. 

Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.  (more…)

Mar 19 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Solemnity of St. Joseph

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140319n ( 06min) Play – For the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Father Maximilian reflects over Joseph’s reaction to the pregnancy of Mary, and advises us to imitate his faith and obedience to the will of God.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Joseph Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2sa 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Resp: psa 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
2nd: rom 4:13, 16-18, 22
Gsp: mat 1:16, 18-21, 24

Audio (MP3)

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Shield of St. Patrick

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Lorica of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation. (more…)

Mar 03 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Will We Turn Away Sad?

Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140303n ( 07min) Play – Father comments on today’s Gospel, and counsels us to remember first three commandments, that is, our relationship with God. It takes sacrifice to follow these, and many “turn away sad” when faced with the requirements. Let us take as our example today’s saint, St. Katharinie Drexel, who sacrificed her wealth ($80 million by today’s standards) and eventually her whole life to the evangelization and betterment of the Native Americans.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Katharine Drexel – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Monday 8th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: 1pe 1:3-9
Resp: psa 111:1-2, 5-6, 9, 10
Gsp: mar 10:17-27

Audio (MP3)

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A Prayer to the Mother of God

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations 

O Immaculate and all-pure Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Queen of the Universe, our own good Lady, you surpass all the saints; you are the only hope of the patriarchs, the joy of the saints. Through you we have been reconciled with our God. You are the only advocate of sinners, the safe port of the shipwrecked. You are the consolation of the world, the ransom of captives, the joy of the sick, the comfort of the afflicted, the refuge and salvation of the whole world.

O great Princess, Mother of God, cover us with your wings of mercy and have pity on us. No other hope is given us but you, O most pure Virgin. We have given ourselves to you, and have consecrated ourselves to your service. We are your servants. Do not then, permit Lucifer to drag us into hell.

O Immaculate Virgin, we are under your protection, and therefore we have recourse to you. We beseech you to prevent your beloved Son from being angry at our sins and abandoning us to the power of the devil.

O you who are full of grace, enlighten my understanding, loosen my tongue that it may sing your praises, and especially the angelic salutation, which is so worthy of you. I salute you, O peace and joy, O salvation and consolation of the world. I salute you, O greatest of miracles, O paradise of delights, O safe haven for those in danger, fountain of graces, mediatrix between God and men. 

+ St. Ephrem the Syrian

Feb 10 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: She Loved More

Monday, February 10th, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140210n ( 07min) Play – Fr. Maximilian recounts a touching story from the life of today’s saint, St. Scholastica, the sister of St. Benedict, and then shows how it encourages us to put love of God about all other things, even though this can only be obtained through sacrifice and suffering.

Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Scholastica – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Monday 5th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: 1ki 8:1-7, 9-13
Resp: psa 132:6-7, 8-10
Gsp: mar 6:53-56

Audio (MP3)

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Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

PRAYER OF SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS:

I give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, who have been pleased to nourish me, a sinner and your unworthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: this through no merits of mine, but due solely to the graciousness of your mercy.

And I pray that this Holy Communion may not be for me an offense to be punished, but a saving plea for forgiveness. May it be for me the armor of faith, and the shield of good will. May it cancel my faults, destroy concupiscence and carnal passion, increase charity and patience, humility and obedience and all the virtues, may it be a firm defense against the snares of all my s course.

And I beseech you to lead me, a sinner, to that banquet beyond all telling, where with your Son and the Holy Spirit you are the true light of your Saints, fullness of satisfied desire, eternal gladness, consummate delight and perfect happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Jan 25 – Homily – Fr Matthias: That I May Gain Christ

Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140125n ( 07min) Play – On the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Fr. Matthias muses on St. Paul, who formerly prided himself because of his works of the law, but after encountering the Risen Christ he writes: “Whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss  because of Christ. More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” But then Father reminds us that in this life our relationship of faith and love with Jesus means “taking up our cross”, “conforming ourselves to Christ Crucified”, and persevering until death for “to me life is Christ, and death is gain”.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Conversion of St. Paul (Alt Readings) – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 9:1-22
Resp: psa 117:1, 2
Gsp: mar 16:15-18

Audio (MP3)

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A Pro-Life Prayer to St. Gerard

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Against the Forces of Anti-Life:

O great wonder-worker of our day, St. Gerard, powerful protector of a mother and her unborn child:  beg God, we beseech thee, to crush the mounting forces of anti-life and to enlighten those who work in this deadly way, that they may see the enormity of their sin and return to the  generous observance of the divine law.  Pray, too, for mothers that they may prize the great privilege of motherhood and that they may bring up their children in the holy love and fear of God, so saving their own immortal souls and furthering the honor and glory of their Maker: through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

 

Jan 21 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Virgin Martyrs, A Reproach To Our Age

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140121n ( 06min) Play – St. Agnes vowed her virginity to Christ, spurning other suitors, and joyfully paid for that choice with her life. She reminds us that the soul is the “Spouse of God,” and that in heaven we will be “like the Angels” completely absorbed in God alone. But the state of consecrated virginity allows us to live “like the Angels” even in this life, and as such is objectively superior to the married life. Finally, she also is a reproach to the impurity of our age, may her example and prayers inspire us repent and do penance for our sins, so we too may live only for God in this life and the next.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Agnes – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Tuesday 2nd Week of Ordinary Time
1st: 1sa 16:1-13
Resp: psa 89:20, 21-22, 27-28
Gsp: mar 2:23-28

Audio (MP3)

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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…)

Why Give Your Love to the World?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

From a sermon on man’s mortality by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr:

Our obligation is to do God’s will, and not our own. We must remember this if the prayer that our Lord commanded us to say daily is to have any meaning on our lips. How unreasonable it is to pray that God’s will be done, and then not promptly obey it when he calls us from this world! Instead we struggle and resist like self-willed slaves and are brought into the Lord’s presence with sorrow and lamentation, not freely consenting to our departure, but constrained by necessity. And yet we expect to be rewarded with heavenly honors by him to whom we come against our will! Why then do we pray for the kingdom of heaven to come if this earthly bondage pleases us? What is the point of praying so often for its early arrival if we should rather serve the devil here than reign with Christ.

The world hates Christians, so why give your love to it instead of following Christ, who loves you and has redeemed you? John is most urgent in his epistle when he tells us not to love the world by yielding to sensual desires. Never give your love to the world, he warns, or to anything in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. All that the world offers is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and earthly ambition. The world and its allurements will pass away, but the man who has done the will of God shall live forever. Our part, my dear brothers, is to be single-minded, firm in faith, and steadfast in courage, ready for God’s will, whatever it may be. Banish the fear of death and think of the eternal life that follows. That will show people that we really live our faith. (more…)