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Spiritual Life

St.Michael, the Archangel: Defend Us in Battle!

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

606px-Le_Grand_Saint_Michel,_by_Raffaello_Sanzio,_from_C2RMF_retouched[1]

Original Prayer to St. Michael by Pope Leo XIII: “O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan.

“Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage.

Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. “These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. (more…)

Sep 24 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Our Lady of Ransom

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
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Homily #140924n ( 04min) Play – Today, Fr. Maximilian celebrated the votive Mass in honor of Our Lady of Ransom, and he reflected on this title of Mary.  The Blessed Virgin is the one creature through whom Christ chose to come to us, and She is the one through whom He has ordained that we should return to Him.  While our Lord is the one Mediator between God and man, He chooses to save us through the creature He perfectly redeemed, and who participated in His work of Redemption in a totally unique way as Coredemptrix.  It is only by joining ourselves to Mary that we can help change the world for the better, even in today’s dire situation; but apart from Her, we will accomplish nothing.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Wednesday in the 25th Week in Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: pro 30:5-9
Resp: psa 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163
Gsp: luk 9:1-6

Audio (MP3)

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Sep 18 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Simplicity and Humility

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
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Homily #140918n ( 07min) Play – The Gospel for today’s Mass underscores simplicity and humility, the two outstanding virtues of St. Joseph of Cupertino.  This holy 17th century friar showed an aptitude for neither his studies nor for almost anything else, and he had many difficulties in entering religious life, but he finally attained to great heights of holiness.  A man of intense prayer, God endowed him with mystical gifts, particularly that of being raised above the ground by supernatural means.  Many trials and persecutions came his way, but the lowly friar always preserved that simplicity and humility which enabled him to bear all with serenity.  St. Joseph of Cupertino is a great example to us of the meekness and humility we should exhibit in carrying the daily crosses which come our way.  Let us follow his lead.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Joseph of Cupertino – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1co 12:31, 13:1-10, 13
Resp: psa 25:1-3, 4-5, 8-9, 10
Gsp: mat 11:25-30

Audio (MP3)

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Sep 14 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: The Humility of Christ

Sunday, September 14th, 2014
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Homily #140914n ( 10min) Play – Father Maximilian comments on the theme of humility as it is present in today’s liturgy. Jesus, who is God, was humble enough to become a man and die on the cross for the sins of humanity, we too must be humble. An example of this comes from the historical event behind today’s feast. The Persians captured Jerusalem in 614 and took the relics of the Cross with them, and in 628 Emperor Heraclius recaptured it and restored it to Jerusalem. As he processed with it up to Calvary, it became so heavy he couldn’t keep going. The bishop of Jerusalem told him to strip himself of royal regalia and carry the Cross dressed in poor and humble clothing, for it was in humility and poverty that Our Lord ascended Calvary. After having of done this, he proceeded to the top of the hill with ease. This shows us that by humbling ourselves before the Cross, and only through the Cross, do we share in the victory of Christ.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Triumph of the Holy Cross – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: num 21:4-9
Resp: psa 78:1-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
2nd: phi 2:6-11
Gsp: joh 3:13-17

Audio (MP3)

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Sep 13 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Much Prayer and Profound Suffering

Saturday, September 13th, 2014
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Homily #140913n ( 07min) Play – Father comments on the foundation of a spiritual life: faith, much prayer, and profound suffering. In order to be saints, we must be in an intimate relationship with God and self-sacrifice, giving all to God and for God. With this foundation, we are constructed into a spiritual temple, the New Jerusalem.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. John Chrysostom – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Saturday in the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
1st: 1co 10:14-22
Resp: psa 116:12-13, 17-18
Gsp: luk 6:43-49

Audio (MP3)

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Sep 11 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: A Plan of Life

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
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Homily #140911n ( 06min) Play – Father comments on today’s Gospel, telling us that our recent Gospel readings give us a plan of life for living a union of love with God and neighbor. He focuses on the Christian call to be generous with all and love even our enemies, a love which demonstrates to others the love of God for humanity. It is not an easy path, but possible with grace, and the only path which leads to eternal life and true fulfillment.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thursday in the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1co 8:1-7, 11-13
Resp: psa 139:1-3, 13-14, 23-24
Gsp: luk 6:27-38

Audio (MP3)

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Sep 07 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Second Plank of Salvation

Sunday, September 7th, 2014
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Homily #140907n ( 20min) Play – Pulling from a plethora of sources, Father Matthias goes over the essential characteristics of the Sacrament of Penance, the five necessary things on the part of the penitent, and the two necessary traits of a good confessor. Father encourages us to pray for our confessors, and to heed their directions, for “He who hears you, hears me.” (Luke 10:16)
Ave Maria!
Mass: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: eze 33:7-9
Resp: psa 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
2nd: rom 13:8-10
Gsp: mat 18:15-20

Audio (MP3)

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Aug 23 – Homily – Fr Louis Maximilian: Good and Bad Example

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
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Homily #140823n ( 12min) Play – Father Louis Maximilian takes two points from today’s Gospel. First is the need for good example, both to ourselves (i.e. a sincere and consistent life) and to others. If we don’t have this, not only will we not sweeten the message of the Gospel with our deeds, but we will embitter it. Second is how to react to bad example, especially by those in authority over us.  We are not excused from living the faith, rather we can look to the teaching of the Holy Father as a dependable guide even in murky times. We also must not be quick to condemn, but seek first the Kingdom of God, even if it feels like we are alone. Let us imitate the Blessed Virgin, ponder the Word of God, and be docile to the inspirations of the Spirit.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Rose of Lima – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Saturday in the 20th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: eze 43:1-7
Resp: psa 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Gsp: mat 23:1-12

Audio (MP3)

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Our Lady: Throne of Grace

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Our Lady is the throne of grace, in a very profound way. To her we can apply these words from the epistle to the Hebrews: Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. The throne is a symbol of the authority which belongs to Christ, Who is the King of the living and the dead. But the throne is a throne of grace and mercy, and we can apply it to Mary according to ancient liturgical texts; through her all graces come to us.

Mary’s protection is like a spiritual river which has been pouring down upon all men for nearly two thousand years.It is a tree that keeps giving fruit, a tree that God willed to plant with so much love. It is the immense treasure of Mary who is constantly caring for her children. What better way to obtain divine mercy than by having recourse to the Mother of God, who is also our Mother?

The plenitude of grace with which God wished to fill her soul is also an immense gift for us. Let us give thanks to God for having given us his Mother as our own, for having made her so exquisitely beautiful in her whole being. And the best way to thank him is to love her very much, to deal with her throughout each day, to learn to imitate her in her love for her Son – and in her complete availability for whatever refers to God. (more…)

A Call to Love

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Each one is called to fullness of life through the love of Jesus. He came to make all things new, to restore all things in Him, that our humanness, though weak, might be strong in Him. The Father sent His Son to take on a human nature to share with us the power of His Spirit that our inner nature might grow to the full stature in Christ. The only thing that can make us complete and whole is the love of God given to us through the Heart of Jesus.  Only when we are free can we be completely human. We are freed through the love of Jesus and His suffering humanity. 

The freedom gained in the love of Jesus unshackles the mind and empowers the spirit of man to expand to his full stature. Through his strengthening of our our humanness we grow in the love that makes us whole.  We can be completely human only when we give ourselves completely in love.  Only love makes our actions human. Our call to bea new man is essentially dependent on our ability to love with Christ’s love.
 
Humans are able to speak, but if we speak with tongues of angels and men but do not have love, we are nothing. Humans are able to believe, but if we have faith to move mountain but have not love, it is worthless. As humans we can make  sacrifices, even our own bodies; but if we have not love, we are nothing at all. We need love to be completely human. Our call to humanness is a call to love.
 
from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Aug 17 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Prayer: A Sign of Faith

Sunday, August 17th, 2014
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Homily #140817n ( 09min) Play – Father speaks of today’s theme, fidelity and perseverance in prayer. He tells why, sometimes, God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers, and emphasizes that God is constantly reaching out to us; the question is: are we reaching out to Him? Do we have faith in him like the Canaanite woman from today’s Gospel reading? In prayer we confess our need for God, and demonstrate our faith in Him. We can see how much the world needs prayer, Our Lady at Lourdes, Fatima, and other places has asked for prayer and penance. God is asking us, “Turn to me in persevering prayer, show Me your faith.”
Ave Maria!
Mass: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 56:1, 6-7
Resp: psa 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
2nd: rom 11:13-15, 29-32
Gsp: mat 15:21-28

Audio (MP3)

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Aug 16 – Homily – Fr Matthias: To Be Like Jesus–Be a Child of Mary

Saturday, August 16th, 2014
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Homily #140816n ( 04min) Play – On this Saturday morning, Fr. Matthias tells us that, while it is not absolutely necessary to have a devotion to Mary in order to be saved, it is practically necessary, because in for the life of grace to fully bloom in our hearts, we need to imitate the God-man, the source of this life, and that means imitating His filial devotion to Mary. Let us strive for this, and ask for the grace to be better Children of Mary.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Stephen of Hungary – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Saturday in the 19th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: eze 18:1-10, 13, 30-32
Resp: psa 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
Gsp: mat 19:13-15

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St. Maximilian: a Short Guide to a Holy Life

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

maxkolbecrowns[1]

In any case, those who on this earth have had a chance to taste in advance a little bit of heaven can get some idea of what it will be like. Now everyone can have this experience. All he needs to do is:
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1) Go to confession with sincerity, diligence, a deep sorrow for his sins and a firm resolve to amend his life. He will suddenly feel a peace and happiness compared with which all the fleeting, unworthy pleasures of this world are really an odious torment.
2) Let everyone seek to come and receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist with proper preparation.
3) Let him never permit his soul to remain in sin, but let him purify it immediately.
4) Let him do his duty manfully.
5) Let him address humble and frequent prayers to God’s throne, especially through the hands of the Immaculate Virgin.
6) Let him welcome his brethren with a charitable heart, bearing for God’s sake the sufferings and difficulties of life.
7) Let him do good to all, even his enemies, solely for the love of God and not in order to be praised or even thanked by men.
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Then he will come to understand what it means to have a foretaste of paradise; and perhaps more than once he will find peace and joy even in poverty, suffering, disgrace, or illness.
 
+ St. Maximilian Kolbe

Aug 12 – Homily – Fr Matthias: From the Good to the Better

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
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Homily #140812n ( 03min) Play – Father Mattias comments on the Collect prayer for St. Jane Francis de Chantal, and points out that she moved from vocations of less perfection to higher perfection, for it is a teaching of the Church that the religious life is objectively more perfect than married life, for it is an anticipation of heaven while still on earth. We must always seek out the most perfect thing we can, and we cannot turn back nor stay as we are in the spiritual life. Let us learn from St. Jane Francis, and move from what is good to what is better, and what is better to what is best.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Jane Frances de Chantal – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Tuesday in the 19th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: eze 2:8-3:4
Resp: psa 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
Gsp: mat 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

Audio (MP3)

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Aug 10 – Homily – Fr Giles: To Know God Is To Love God

Sunday, August 10th, 2014
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Homily #140810a ( 10min) Play – This is a reflection given by Fr. Giles M. Atherton on the readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1ki 19:9, 11-13
Resp: psa 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14
2nd: rom 9:1-5
Gsp: mat 14:22-33

Audio (MP3)

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