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Spiritual Life

Our Will/ God’s Divine Will

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Thy+will+be+done[1]

Try to grasp the fact – a very hard thing to do – that in the spiritual life ‘feelings’ count for nothing, that they are no indication of our real state; generally speaking they are just the opposite. . . You are perfectly right when you say that the first thing to do is ‘to give up your own will.

Why not aim at making God’s will alone yours in every detail of life, so that you would never desire or wish for anything except what He willed, and look on every detail as coming from His hand, as it does? Such a one is never ‘put out’ by anything — bad weather, unpleasant work, annoying incidents, they are all His doing and His sweet will. Try it, though it means high perfection.

+Fr. Willie Doyle

 

 

 

Jul 28 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Nurturing Grace

Monday, July 28th, 2014
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Homily #140728n ( 06min) Play – Father compares the Gospel parable of the leaven kneaded into the dough with the spiritual life, and how we have to constantly nurture the life of grace in us, or else we may loose everything. Finally, he introduces us to today’s Franciscan blessed, and shows how she nurtured the grace implanted into the soul at baptism until it filled the whole of her life. Let us to never neglect to nurture the life of grace in us, and strive to begin living heaven, which is union with God, while we are still in this life.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Bl. Mattia Nazarei – Form: OF
Readings: Monday in the 17th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: jer 13:1-11
Resp: deu 32:18-19, 20, 21
Gsp: mat 13:31-35

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 27 – Homily – Fr Giles: Treasure hidden in a field

Saturday, July 26th, 2014
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Homily #140727a ( 12min) Play – This is a reflection given by Fr. Giles M. Atherton on the readings for the 17 Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1ki 3:5, 7-12
Resp: psa 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
2nd: rom 8:28-30
Gsp: mat 13:44-52

Audio (MP3)

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Desire to be a Saint

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

holiness1-3[1]On the Desire to be a Saint:

“When I spoke of you as a “chosen soul”, or words to that effect, I did not mean to imply that you were a saint–you have a long way to go yet. What I intended to imply was that I thought God had special designs on your soul and very great graces in store for you if only you will co-operate with Him in the work of your sanctification.
 +
With the record of much want of courage and generosity there is running through your life an undercurrent of earnest desire to be a saint. Not that desires alone will do the work: barren desires are most dangerous to a soul, making one content with intentions only; yet without a big ardent desire nothing will be done.
 +
“If thou wilt be perfect,” Our Lord once said, implying that sanctification is largely a question of good will. This, then, is the first grace you must pray for: the desire to be a saint.”
 +
Fr. Willie Doyle (1917)

 

Jul 25 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Are You Ready to be a Martyr?

Friday, July 25th, 2014
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Homily #140725n ( 08min) Play -The first of the Apostles to be martyred was St. James the Greater whom we celebrate today. Fr. Maximilian reflects on a question his mother asked him as he was preparing to enter religious life: Are you ready to be a martyr? While St. James won the crown of a red (a.k.a. bloody) martyrdom, all Christians are called to be martyrs, which means witnesses, and can take the form of the daily “white martyrdom.” A primary way this martyrdom is lived, and which the Holy Father  lives it and is calling us to live it, is selfless service to those around us, especially those under us, for when we lower ourselves, we draw close to Jesus who came to serve and not to be served.
P.S. Let us keep in prayer our brothers in the Middle East as they face the red martyrdom as well.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. James – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2co 4:7-15
Resp: psa 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Gsp: mat 20:20-28

Audio (MP3)

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Reparation

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

jesus-mary-magdalene[1]Ave Maria Meditations

It is easy to understand that we must make reparation for our own sins, but sometimes we do not see as clearly that reparation should also aim at consoling the Heart of Jesus. “But indeed, can acts of expiation console Christ who now reigns happily in heaven?” asks Pius XI. “‘Give me a lover and he will understand what I say’”, replies the great Pope in the words of St Augustine.

In fact, a soul who lovingly penetrates the mystery of Jesus will realize that when, in Gethsamane, He saw all our sins, He also saw the good works we would do in order to comfort Him. What we do today with this intention consoled Him then in reality. This thought spurs us on to further acts of reparation, so that Jesus finds no reason to complain sorrowfully to us: “My Heart hath expected reproach and misery … I looked for one that would comfort Me, and I found none” (Mass of the Sacred Heart).

The idea of reparation brings to mind that of “victim of reparation” well-known to lovers of the Sacred Heart, and officially recognized by the Church in the Encyclical of Pius XI on reparation. (more…)

Jul 20 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Art of Prayer

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
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Homily #140720n ( 14min) Play – St. Paul speaks to us in the second reading about our weakness in prayer, and the Holy Spirit’s role in it. Father Matthias takes this theme up and gives an overview of the “Art of Christian Prayer”, pulling from the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the teachings of St. Alphonsus Ligouri. Firstly he speaks of prayer as a battle, secondly, of why some prayers are granted but others are not, thirdly, the necessity for true Christian meditation and what we should meditate upon (meanwhile differentiating between true Christian prayer and faddish forms of Eastern Meditation). He emphasizes with St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church on Moral Theology, who teaches: “Those who pray will be saved and those who do not will be damned!”
Ave Maria!
Mass: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: wis 12:13, 16-19
Resp: psa 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
2nd: rom 8:26-27
Gsp: mat 13:24-43

Audio (MP3)

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The Rosary and Adoration with Our Lady

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Pope+in+Argentina[1]

Pope Francis: “This evening I am united to all of you in praying the Holy Rosary and in Eucharistic adoration under the gaze of the Virgin Mary. s gaze! How important this is! How many things can we say with a look!
Affection, encouragement, compassion, love, but also disapproval, envy, pride and even hatred. Often a look says more than words; it says what words do not or dare not say.
 
At whom is the Virgin Mary looking? She is looking at each and every one of us. And how does she look at us? She looks at us as a Mother, with tenderness, mercy and love. That was how she gazed at her Son Jesus at all the moments of his life – joyful, luminous, sorrowful, glorious – as we contemplate in the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, simply and lovingly.

(more…)

Jul 20 – Homily – Fr Giles: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of man”

Saturday, July 19th, 2014
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Homily #140720a ( 15min) Play – This is a reflection given by Fr. Giles M. Atherton on the readings for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: wis 12:13, 16-19
Resp: psa 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
2nd: rom 8:26-27
Gsp: mat 13:24-43

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 19 – Homily – Fr Matthias: They That Work By Me, Shall Not Sin

Saturday, July 19th, 2014
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Homily #140719n ( 05min) Play – Father Matthias quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, showing that while in today’s Gospel, we see the Pharisees seeking to kill Jesus, the real blame for His death falls not on the Jews, but upon you and me, and He did it out of love for us. However, a True Devotion to Mary is opposed to sin, so let us cultivate a devotion to Her so that She may expunge sin from our lives, for as the liturgy quotes the book of Sirach in relation to Our Lady, “They that work by me, shall not sin.”

Quoted text from CCC 598:
We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for he is in them) and hold him up to contempt. And it can be seen that our crime in this case is greater in us than in the Jews. As for them, according to the witness of the Apostle, “None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” We, however, profess to know him. And when we deny him by our deeds, we in some way seem to lay violent hands on him. (Roman Catechism I, 5, 11; cf. Heb 6:6; 1 Cor 2:8)

Ave Maria!

Mass: Saturday in the 15th Week in Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: mic 2:1-5
Resp: psa 10:1-2, 3-4, 7-8, 14
Gsp: mat 12:14-21

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 15 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Sixth Wing of the Seraph

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
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Homily #140715n ( 09min) Play – Today the Franciscans celebrate the Feast of St. Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor. To illumine today’s Gospel, Fr. Mattias quotes St. Bonaventure that the savor of the salt is contemplation and devotion. These the Seraphic Doctor calls the sixth and most important “Wing of the Seraph.” Father finishes by looking at more detail to St. Bonaventure’s teaching on this most important part of the spiritual life.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Bonaventure – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: wis 8:2-7, 16-18
Resp: psa 16:5-5, 7-8, 9, 11
2nd: 1co 2:6-13
Gsp: mat 5:13-19

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 13 – Homily – Fr Giles: “A sower went out to sow…”

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
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Homily #140713a (13min) Play – This is reflection given by Fr. Giles M. Atherton on the readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ave Maria!
Mass: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 55:10-11
Resp: psa 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
2nd: rom 8:18-23
Gsp: mat 13:1-23

Audio (MP3)

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This is My Blood…

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

Conduct yourselves reverently during your sojourn…Realize that you were delivered not by any diminishable sum of silver or gold, but by Christ’s Blood beyond all price: the Blood of a spotless unblemished Lamb.” (1 Pet 1:17b-19)

body-and-blood

And the Monastery of the Precious Blood notes that Jesus spoke dynamic words at the Last Supper: “This is My Blood of the new and eternal covenant which shall be shed for you and for many so that sins may be forgiven…”

Jesus Himself has told us that it is through His Blood that we are reconciled to His Father. The Church, realizing that Jesus meant what He said has always held devotion to the Precious Blood in high esteem. It is a devotion of life and joy! Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we know of no possible means of reconciliation with God when we have sinned.

That is why the Blood of Jesus is a cause of joy to the whole world…we are redeemed by His Blood! Because Jesus shed His own life-giving Blood for me on Calvary, I am saved, I can find peace with God.  At any moment of the day or night, I have the merits of this redeeming Blood at my disposal. It is so easy and meritorious to say: “Blood of Jesus, help me!”

When I give honor to His Blood, I am in fact honoring the Person of Our Lord. His Precious Blood is the pledge, the sign, the symbol of what He has done for me. Daily I can renew my personal acceptance of salvation by attending Mass and by receiving the Blood of Jesus in Communion. The world today is so much in need of hope and peace and joy…what better time to spread devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus…our Hope, our Peace, and all our Joy!

from the Monastery of the Precious Blood, Watertown, NY

 

 

 

 

Jul 11 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Prayer and Work

Friday, July 11th, 2014
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Homily #140711n ( 09min) Play – Father Maximilian introduces us to St. Benedict, the father of monasticism. The motto given to the Benedictines is “Prayer and Work” and Father shows that by founding our daily lives with time set aside for prayer,  that lifting of the heart to God will extend throughout the whole day.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Benedict – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Friday 14th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: gen 46:1-7, 28-30
Resp: psa 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Gsp: mat 10:16-23

Audio (MP3)

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For the Love of Christ

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

love_jesus_web[1]“Christ says:  “If you love me … ”  Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract truths about the mysteries of God, of man, of life and death, of future realities.  Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:11), even to the total offering of himself. 

love_image[1]What other response can we give to a love so great, if not that of a heart that is open and ready to love?  But what does it mean to love Christ?  It means trusting him even in times of trial, following him faithfully even on the Via Crucis, in the hope that soon the morning of the Resurrection will come.  Entrusting ourselves to Christ, we lose nothing, we gain everything.  In his hands our life acquires its true meaning.  

Love for Christ expresses itself in the will to harmonize our own life with the thoughts and sentiments of his Heart.  This is achieved through interior union based on the grace of the Sacraments, strengthened by continuous prayer, praise, thanksgiving and penance.  We have to listen attentively to the inspirations that he evokes through his Word, through the people we meet, through the situations of daily life.  To love him is to remain in dialogue with him, in order to know his will and to put it into effect promptly.

(more…)