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Fr. Joseph Michael McShane
No Apologies
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Roving Reporter
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Dr Mark Miravalle
Month of Mary
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Fr Maximilian Dean
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Aussie Friars



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)


Aug 16 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Conditions For Communion

Sunday, August 16th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150816n ( 16min) Play – At the start of the 19th century, the conditions placed upon receiving Communion were overly rigid and almost impossible to regularly meet. This wasn’t according to the desires of the Church, and Father quotes from the Council of Trent to show this, but due to the widespread influence of a Calvinistic stress on the depravity of man. However, Saint Pope Pius X clarified and defined what the needed conditions to receive the Eucharist frequently were, and encouraged frequent, even daily, communion. Father gives us these conditions from the sainted pope, stressing the need for preparation and thanksgiving, and closes with a quote from St. Therese, whose influence lead Pius X to promote frequent communion, about how to make a good preparation and thanksgiving for communion. Ave Maria!
Mass: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
1st: pro 9:1-6
Resp: psa 34:2-3, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
2nd: eph 5:15-20
Gsp: joh 6:51-58

Audio (MP3)


The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

You are glorious, Mother, and most worthy of praise in the City of our God and in the Church of His elect. 

You were assumed into heaven accompanied by angelic choirs, borne up by archangels and crowned with glory. 

Have pity on us, Queen of glory and honor, and keep our souls from all danger.   As our prayer rises up to your throne, hear our humble pleas.

 +St. Bonaventure

Aug 14 – Homily – Fr Matthias: St. Maximilian’s Greatest Work

Friday, August 14th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150814n ( 06min) Play – Saint Maximilian Kolbe did many great things, but all of them were means to his driving goal: to become more and more the Immaculate’s. Father quotes from a letter of St. Maximilian to prove this, and asks if we are to take this as mere empty spiritual rhetoric? No, he says, this really is the truth, “All good things come to us with Her”. We must never forget this, and become more and more Her’s every day. This is the greatest thing St. Maximilian did, let us seek to do the same.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Maximilian Kolbe – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: Friday 19th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: jos 24:1-13
Resp: psa 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22, 24
Gsp: mat 19:3-12

Audio (MP3)


St. Maximilian writes about The Immaculate

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“My dear little children, when it comes to the Immaculate, we do not think about ‘small parts’ or ‘fractions’ but we rather run a race all together and, by doing so, every increase in love for her in one of us will produce an even greater increase of love in the others. Our heart is so small, so weak: we never offer her the love with which she is worthy, the loves with which she loves us…
An unlimited love for the Immaculate, what does that mean? The Immaculate is so united to God through love that she rises not only above all saints, but also above the angels, the cherubim and seraphim. Therefore an unlimited love towards the Immaculate raises us up to her and joins us to her through love…
What is the Immaculate’s unlimited love? Since she is very close to God, and we are very close to her, consequently, we are very close to God Himself through her. God has give us this white stairway and He wants us to reach Him by climbing it, or rather that she, after having clasped us to her maternal heart, may lead us to Him.


Aug 12 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Say Yes Every Day

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150812n ( 04min) Play – Father gives us a short biography of today’s saint — wife, mother, foundress, religious — and speaks of her teaching on the “martyrdom of love” that we are all called to, where we say ‘yes’ to God every day and allow Him to work in us. Let us follow St. Jane Frances de Chantal and say yes every day.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Jane Frances de Chantal – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wednesday 19th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: deu 34:1-12
Resp: psa 66:1-3, 5, 8, 16-17
Gsp: mat 18:15-20

Audio (MP3)


A Prayer to St. Clare

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

O glorious Saint Clare!

God has given you the power of working miracles continually, and the favor of answering the prayers of those who invoke your assistance in misfortune, anxiety, and distress; we beseech you, obtain for us from Jesus, through Mary, His Blessed Mother, what we beg of you so fervently and hopefully, if it be for the greater honor and glory of God and for the good of our souls.

Saint Clare Pray For Us