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Spiritual Life

Jun 27 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Keep Faith and Carry On

Saturday, June 27th, 2015
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Homily #150627n ( 04min) Play – Father speaks of the faith of the centurion in today’s Gospel, and encourages us to hold on to this faith as the western world is abandoning it (particularly clear in yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on gay “marriage”). We must pray and sacrifice for the Church as she prepares for the Synod on the Family this fall, and remember that in the end, God wins, or, as Mary said at Fatima, “My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Cyril of Alexandria – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Saturday 12th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: gen 18:1-15
Resp: luk 1:46-47, 48-49, 50, 53, 54-55
Gsp: mat 8:5-17

Audio (MP3)

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Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

An icon is not simply an artistic representation. Once it is blessed, it becomes a window to heaven, a point of contact, “so that in praying before it, one is in the spiritual presence of the person represented. Reverently kissing the icon, one kisses the personage; bowing before it, one bows before the personage”   June 27th is the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

 Our Lady’s Golden Crown was placed on the icon by order of the Vatican in 1867; it is a symbol of the many miracles performed by Our Lady while invoked under the title of “Our Lady of Perpetual Help”.  The child Jesus’ crown was also placed on the original icon by order of the Holy See in 1867. The star in the center of Mary’s Veil is indicative that she is the “Star of the Sea” who bore the light of Christ into our darkened world.  This star leads us to the safe port of Heaven.

The primary initials on either side of Our Lady’s Crown are the Greek initials for “Mother of God” The initials above the angel on the left are the Greek initials of St. Michael the Archangel The angel on the left, St. Michael, is depicted holding the lance and gall-sop, foreshadowing Christ’s Passion and death. Our Lady’s Blue Garment is the color worn by mother’s in Palestine, symbolic that Mary is both Virgin and Mother. Mary’s red tunic underneath is the color worn by Virgins during the time of Jesus.

Both Mary and Jesus’ Clothing are colors of royalty. Our Lady’s face is peaceful, serene, and contemplative of her son Jesus’ future sufferings. Our Lady’s mouth is tiny and silent for prayer, meditation and recollection. Mary’s eyes are large to see our troubles and needs; they are always turned toward us.  They also tenderly plead for us to avoid sin and remain faithful to and love her son, Jesus.  (more…)

Jun 26 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Pope Francis and Mercy

Friday, June 26th, 2015
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Homily #150626n ( 07min) Play – Several weeks ago, Pope Francis used the passage of Jesus healing the leper, the Gospel of today’s Mass, to speak of the mercy of God. He said that God meets us where we are at, in our sin and selfishness, but does not leave us there. Accepting God’s mercy also means moving towards Him, and God gives us the strength as we step out to follow Him. Jesus is not cruel, and to leave a sinner in their sin is cruel. If we don’t see this, it is because we don’t understand what sin is. Let us all walk that path that leads from the Bad to the Good, from the Good to the Better, and from the Better to the Best, that is, to loving union with God Himself.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Friday 12th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: gen 17:1, 9-10, 15-22
Resp: psa 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Gsp: mat 8:1-4

Audio (MP3)

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Jun 25 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Lay the Foundation NOW

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
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Homily #150625n ( 03min) Play – Today Gospel reading is a wake-up call, Fr. Joachim tells us, that we must not replace God with doing things for God, but continue in relationship with Him, and make Him the foundation of our lives through prayer, scripture reading, the sacraments, penance, and works of mercy. We must lay this foundation now, for when the storms of life come, it will be too late.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thursday 12th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: gen 16:1-12, 15-16
Resp: psa 106:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
Gsp: mat 7:21-29

Audio (MP3)

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Jun 24 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Nativity of John the Baptist

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
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Homily #150624n ( 07min) Play – Father Maximilian comments on the reading and themes of today’s liturgy, telling us that only in the case of St. John the Baptist, Our Lady, and Our Lord do we celebrate their birthday into this world. St. John has a unique place of being the last prophet of the Old Testament and the first herald of the New.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Birth of St. John the Baptist – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 49:1-6
Resp: psa 139:1-3, 13-14, 14-15
2nd: act 13:22-26
Gsp: luk 1:57-66, 80

Audio (MP3)

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St. Thomas More: Franciscan Martyr

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Sir Thomas More would not compromise on two tenets of the Catholic faith: the primacy of the papacy and the dignity of marriage.  When imprisoned before his martyrdom, he would write. The following are just a few quotes from these writings, particularly from a book called “A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation”:

Now those without patience can have no reward for their pain, but when pain is patiently taken for God’s sake, and the sufferer’s will is conformed to God’s pleasure, God regards the sufferer in proportion to the pain. But never have I found any place in Scripture where Our Lord promised a wealthy person, even if that person did thank God for his gifts, any reward in heaven for having taken his ease and pleasure here. (“We do not go to heaven in featherbeds”)…in Scripture much commends tribulation as a more profitable circumstance than wealth and prosperity.

We shall consider tribulation a gracious gift from God, a gift that He specially gives His special friends…if God does not send it, people need to seek out and put upon themselves by penance, a thing that helps purge our past sins; a think that preserves us from sins that we would otherwise commit; a thing that causes us to attach less importance to the world; a thin that incites us to draw closer to God; a thing that greatly diminishes our pains in purgatory; a thing that greatly increases our final reward in Heaven…if we reflect on these things and remember them well, we shall not murmur or complain in a time of tribulation. Instead we shall first of all take our pain patiently and see it as something of worth.  And then we shall realize that God has sent if for our own good and so be moved to thank God for it.  As a consequence, our grace shall increase and God shall give us the comfort of realizing that He is, in the midst of our trouble, always close. (more…)

Jun 22 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Stop Judging!?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
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Homily #150622n ( 07min) Play – Father speaks on today’s Gospel, and further explains what Jesus did and did not mean when he told us “Judge not.” We can judge actions, we must. But when it comes to the person doing those actions, we do not have the competence to judge, and we ought to give the most lenient interpretation to the sins and faults of others, loving and serving them regardless.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Paulinus of Nola – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Monday 12th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: gen 12:1-9
Resp: psa 33:12-13, 18-19, 20, 22
Gsp: mat 7:1-5

Audio (MP3)

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Difficulties in Prayer

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

From a Spiritual Director to his Directee:

You seemed to be troubled that you cannot love God when trials come and all is darkness. But that is just the moment when you love Him most and prove your love the best. If only, when you are in desolation and dryness, you force yourself to utter an act of love or an oblation of yourself without a particle a feeling, you make an offering which is of the surpassing value in His eyes and most pleasing to His Sacred Heart. A dry act of love is a real act of love, since it is all for Jesus and nothing for self. Therefore welcome the hard black days as a real harvest time.  

+Fr. Willie Doyle

Jun 20 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: First the Soul

Saturday, June 20th, 2015
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Homily #150620n ( 06min) Play – Today’s gospel (from the Sermon on the Mount) reminds us to take care of our souls before our bodies. There will only be two choices in the end, God or not-God, Heaven or Hell. We need to prepare ourselves now, that is why we are here. Which will we choose?
Ave Maria!
Mass: Saturday 11th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2co 12:1-10
Resp: psa 34:8-9, 10-11, 12-13
Gsp: mat 6:24-34

Audio (MP3)

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Jun 18 – Homily – Fr Joachim: The Church is Guided by God

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
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Homily #150618n ( 03min) Play – In the first reading St. Paul makes it clear God is guiding him. This should be reprinted in every Catholic newspaper today, for many Catholics embrace a Gospel different from the one St. Paul preached. Father tells us that we tell people uncomfortable things because we love them, and since God has revealed His mind to us through the Church, we are not speaking from our own opinions.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thursday 11th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2co 11:1-11
Resp: psa 111:1-2, 3-4, 7-8
Gsp: mat 6:7-15

Audio (MP3)

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A Prayer for Priests

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Divine Savior Jesus Christ, Who has entrusted the whole work of Your redemption and the welfare and salvation of the world to priests as your representatives and through the hands of Your most holy Mother: for the sanctification of your priests and candidates for the priesthood, I offer You this present day wholly and entirely with all its prayers, works, joys, sacrifices, and sorrows. Give us truly holy priests who, inflamed with the fire of Your divine love, seek nothing but Your greater glory and the salvation of our souls. 


And you, Mary, good Mother of priests, protect all priests in the danger of their holy vocation and, with the loving hand of a mother, also lead back to the Good Shepherd those poor priests who have become unfaithful to their exalted vocation and have gone astray. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Pray for Us!

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

(June 13: Feast of St. Anthony of Padua and also the Immaculate Heart of Mary this year)

And as the moon at its full she shines. The blessed Mary is said to be the full moon, because in every way perfect. The moon is imperfect when a half-moon, because it is stained or horned. But the glorious Virgin neither in Her birth had any stain, because sanctified in Her mother’s womb, guarded by angels, nor in Her days had She the horns of pride. Hence, She shone fully and perfectly. She is said to be light because She dispels the darkness.

We beseech You, our Lady, that You who are the morning star, cast out the cloud of diabolical suggestion shrouding the land of our minds; that You who are the full moon fill our emptiness, dispel the darkness of our sins, that we might merit to come to the fullness of eternal life, to the light of unending glory. May He grant this who made You our light… To Him be the glory and honor for ever. Amen.

St. Anthony of Padua

The Blessed Sacrament/ the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“Most loving Jesus, kneeling before You in the Blessed Sacrament, I solemnly consecrate myself to Your Sacred Heart by vow. I vow always to be Your faithful lover and to strive every day to grow in Your love.

In imitation of the oblation which Blessed Margaret Mary made of herself, I now wish to give myself up absolutely and entirely, without any reserve whatever, to Your most Sacred Heart, that You may be free to do with me, to treat me, as You wish, to send me whatever suffering or humiliation You wish. I desire to put no obstacle to the action of grace upon my soul, to be a perfect instrument in Your divine hands, to be Your victim should You so desire.

I want to make this oblation and immolation of myself to Your Sacred Heart as completely as possible, and in the manner which You wish me to make it, O my Jesus. Therefore, again, by this vow, I make a complete surrender of myself and all I have to You. Do with me as You will, for from this hour I am wholly Yours”.  Amen.

 +Fr. Willie Doyle

O Sacrament Most Holy!

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Is it any wonder the Church calls the Eucharist, Myterium Fidei, the mystery of faith? Those who accept the Real Presence accept by implication all the cardinal mysteries of Christianity. They believe in the Trinity, in the Father who sent the Son and in the (proceeding) of the Holy Spirit. They believe in the incarnation, that the Son of God became man like one of us. They believe in Christ’s divinity since no one but God could change bread and wine into His own Body and Blood. They believe in the holy Catholic Church which Christ founded and in which through successive generations is communicated to bishops and priests the incredible power of making Christ continually present among us in the Blessed Sacrament.
+Fr. John Hardon SJ

LITANY OF REPARATION FOR SACRILEGES AGAINST JESUS IN THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT:

Lord, have mercy on us;
Christ, have mercy on us;
Lord, have mercy on us;
God the Father of Mercy, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Mediator between God and man,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, the Enlightener of hearts,
Have mercy on us.
Holy and undivided Trinity, Have mercy on us.

O Sacred Host! Victim of reparation for the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Annihilated on the altar for us and by us, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Despised and neglected, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Neglected and abandoned in Your temples, Have mercy on us.
Be merciful unto us: Spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful unto us: Hear us, O Lord. (more…)

On the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, part three

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

consecration
The Holy Mass, center of the life of the Church and of every Christian.
As it is essentially identical with the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Sacrifice of the Mass has an infinite value. In each Mass there is offered to the Father an infinite act of adoration, thanksgiving and reparation, quite independent of the specific dispositions of the people attending, or of the celebrant. This is because Christ is at once the principal Offerer and the Victim who offers Himself.
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Thus there is no more perfect way of adoring God than by offering the Mass, in which his Son, Jesus Christ, is offered as the Victim, and at the same time acts as High Priest. There is no more perfect way of thanking God for everything that He is and for his continual mercy towards us: there is nothing on earth that is more pleasing to God than the Sacrifice of the altar.
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Each time Holy Mass is celebrated, reparation is made for all the sins of the world, because of the infinite dignity of the Priest and of the Victim. The Holy Mass is really the heart and center of the Christian world. We have here the only perfect and adequate reparation, to which we must unite our acts of sorrow.
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It is the only adequate sacrifice that we men can offer, and through it our daily occupations; our sorrows and our joys can take on in it an infinite value. It is in this way that man’s life becomes inserted, by means of the Eucharist, into the mystery of the living God. The fruits of each Mass are infinite, but in us they are conditioned by our personal dispositions, and thus limited. Our union with Christ at the moment of the Consecration will be the more complete the greater our identification with God’s will; the greater our dispositions of self-giving.
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In unity with the Son we offer the Holy Mass to the Father, and at the same time, we offer ourselves through Him, with Him, and in Him. This act of union must be so profound and true that it permeates the whole of our day and has a decisive influence on our work, on our relations with others, on our joys and failures: in fact, on everything we do.
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From “In Conversation with God”
Lenten book by Fr. Francis Fernandez