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Spiritual Life

St. Fidelis (Feast day is April 24th)

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Prayer for the Feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to inflame the heart of blessed Fidelis with seraphic ardor and to adorn him with the palm of martyrdom and with glorious miracles in spreading the true Faith: we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, so to strengthen us by the might of Thy grace in faith and in charity, that we may deserve to be found faithful in Thy service even unto death. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

For more information on the Saint see: http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/FIDELIS.htm

Faith and Courage

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. (Jn 15:20)

The more a soul loves God, the more courageous it will be in undertaking any work, no matter how laborious, for love of Him. Fear of fatigue, of suffering, and of danger, is the greatest enemy of fortitude; it paralyses the soul and makes it recoil before duty. Courage, on the contrary, is invigorating; it enables us to confront anything in order to be faithful to God. Courage, therefore, incites us to embrace death itself, if necessary, rather than be unfaithful to duty.

Martyrdom is the supreme act of Christian fortitude, an act which is not asked of all, yet one which it is well not to ignore as a possibility. Every Christian is, so to speak, a potential martyr, in the sense that the virtue of fortitude, infused into him at Baptism and Confirmation, makes him capable, if necessity requires it, of sacrificing even his life for the love of God. And if all Christians are not actually called upon to render to the Lord this supreme testimony of love, all should, nevertheless, live like courageous soldiers, accustoming themselves never to desert any duty, little or great, through fear of sacrifice. (more…)

Winning the Eternal Crown

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

From a great spiritual director:

You say that you are convinced that God intends you to be a great saint and that you wish it ardently. He certainly has great graces prepared for you. But you must win your crown, my dear child, and draw down the eyes of His tender love by your generous persevering efforts. You have a long way to go yet. The latter of perfection is reached but not mounted; and there is just a danger of sitting contentedly at the at the foot, measuring the distance to be climbed later on and us putting off the day of sacrifice which Jesus asks. His heart is open to receive you; He points to it as your home and resting place; but the crown of forms like a thick head bars the way. Are you afraid of pressing against those thorns which will wound and tear you as your force your way through? Have courage! The love of Jesus will sweeten it all, and His strong arm will support you if you are brave.
 
Recognize God’s graces to you, and instead of thinking of yourself and your faults, try to do all you can for God, and love Him more.
 
+Fr. William Doyle

Apr 16 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Obedience is Essential

Thursday, April 16th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150416n ( 05min) Play – Father tells us that we were redeemed by the obedience of Jesus to God the Father, and that our obedience to God’s will is essential for us to to experience that redemption. We must deny ourselves daily, let go of what we want, and make an act of the will to trust that what God wants for us is the best we could possibly hope for.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thursday 2nd Week of Easter – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 5:27-33
Resp: psa 34:2, 9, 17-18, 19-20
Gsp: joh 3:31-36

Audio (MP3)

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Happy Birthday, Pope Emeritus!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Birthdate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:  April 16, 1927

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.

from “Benedictus” by Pope Benedict XVI

Apr 15 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: God First Loves Us

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
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Homily #150415n ( 05min) Play – Father comments on the Gospel, and tells us that God loves us before we love Him. It is only fitting then that we return this love first by believing in Jesus, the God-Man, and living that belief out. For if we don’t live out our faith, do we really believe? Let us turn towards the light of Christ, and allow Him to dispel the darkness of sin in our lives.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Wednesday 2nd Week of Easter – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 5:17-26
Resp: psa 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Gsp: joh 3:16-21

Audio (MP3)

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Apr 12 – Homily – Fr Louis Maximilian: Pope Francis on Mercy

Sunday, April 12th, 2015
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Homily #150412n ( 14min) Play – Father Louis reads selections and then comments on Misericordia Vultus (Pope Francis’ Papal Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee Year of Mercy). Read it for yourself here.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Divine Mercy Sunday – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 4:32-35
Resp: psa 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
2nd: 1jo 5:1-6
Gsp: joh 20:19-31

Audio (MP3)

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Divine Mercy

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

From the Diary of Saint Faustina:

Speak to the world about My mercy…It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. (848). Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice is near. (965) Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (1588) I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (1160)

While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (848)…He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (1146)

O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You. (73)

Apr 09 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Proclaim the Name

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150409n ( 05min) Play – Father tells us that if Peter didn’t have the courage to proclaim the name of Jesus in today’s reading, the man wouldn’t have been healed. Likewise, if we are afraid to boldly proclaim the Name of Jesus, those who need to hear it won’t. Many people today are afraid of Jesus, of Truth, but let us not be among them!
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thursday of Easter Week – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 3:11-26
Resp: psa 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
Gsp: luk 24:35-48

Audio (MP3)

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Announcement of a Year of Jubilee!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

There will be many special graces available during a Jubilee Year…(Dec. 8, 2015- Nov. 20, 2016)

WHAT IS A HOLY YEAR?

In the Roman Catholic tradition, a Holy Year, or Jubilee is a great religious event. It is a year of forgiveness of sins and also the punishment due to sin, it is a year of reconciliation between adversaries, of conversion and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and consequently of solidarity, hope, justice, commitment to serve God with joy and in peace with our brothers and sisters. A Jubilee year is above all the year of Christ, who brings life and grace to humanity.

The origin of the Christian Jubilee goes back to Bible times. The Law of Moses prescribed a special year for the Jewish people: “You shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim the liberty throughout the land, to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family. This fiftieth year is to be a jubilee year for you: you will not sow, you will not harvest the un-gathered corn, you will not gather the untrimmed vine. The jubilee is to be a holy thing to you, you will eat what comes from the fields.”(The Book of Leviticus 25, 10-14) The trumpet with which this particular year was announced was a goat’s horn called Yobel in Hebrew, and the origin of the word jubilee. The celebration of this year also included the restitution of land to the original owners, the remission of debts, the liberation of slaves and the land was left fallow. In the New Testament, Jesus presents himself as the One who brings the old Jubilee to completion, because he has come to “preach the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61: 1-2). (more…)

Apr 06 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Overwhelming Joy

Monday, April 6th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150406n ( 06min) Play – Father Joachim speaks about the overwhelming joy that we find at Easter.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Monday of Easter Week – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 2:14, 22-32
Resp: psa 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Gsp: mat 28:8-15

Audio (MP3)

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Apr 05 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Darkness and Light

Sunday, April 5th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150405n ( 12min) Play – Father comment on Easter’s imagery of the darkness of sin and the light of Christ, and tells us that it is the Resurrection that makes possible our salvation.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Easter Sunday (Opt 1) – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: act 10:34, 37-43
Resp: psa 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
2nd: col 3:1-4
Gsp: joh 20:1-9

Audio (MP3)

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Light and Christmas and Easter

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

During the two great holy nights of the church year, Christmas and Easter, the symbolism of light fuses with the symbolism of night. On both locations the church uses the interplay of night and light to show in a symbolic manner what the content of the feast in question is: the encounter of God and the world, the victorious entry of God into a world that refuses him room and yet in the end cannot prevent him from taking it.

This Christ-centered drama of light and darkness, God and the world, as they encounter each other, begins on Christmas when God knocks on the door of a world that rejects Him even though it belongs to Him. (Jn 1:5,11)  But the world cannot prevent His coming.  He Himself becomes “world” in becoming a human being.  His coming seems a defeat of the light, which becomes darkness, but at the same time it is the first hidden victory of the light, since the world has not been able to prevent this coming, however carefully it may have barred the doors of its inns.

No, on Easter, the drama reaches its central act and climax. The darkness has used its ultimate weapon, death…but the Resurrection effects the great reversal. Light has won the victory and now lives on unconquerably…it has made a bit of the world its own and transformed it into itself.  

Of course, this is not the end of the drama.  The end is still awaited; it will arrive with the second coming of the Lord. At present, night continues, but it is a night in which a light has been lit. When the Lord comes again, the day will dawn and last forever.

Pope Benedict XVI from “Benedictus”

 

 

Apr 03 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Did the Jews Crucify Jesus?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150403n ( 09min) Play – Today we ponder the mysteries of Our Lord’s Passion, and Father tells us that not to keep them at arms length, but to consider that is was not just Judas that betrayed Jesus, but it was also me and you, each individually, and each time we sin.  Our Lord saw all these “kisses” and if we consider how overwhelming this must have been, we are just starting to form an idea of the sufferings of Our Lord. Did the Jews crucify Jesus? No, I did. However, this suffering is not a disgrace for Jesus, but His glory. Let us look at our sins, and then look at His mercy and love. Let us in particular go to meet Jesus in the sacrament of Penance – Confession – and transform our shame into joy and peace.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Good Friday – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 52:13-53:12
Resp: psa 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
2nd: heb 4:14-16, 5:7-9
Gsp: joh 18:1-19:42

Audio (MP3)

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Crux Fidelis: Faithful Cross

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

CRUX fidelis,
inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,
dulce pondus sustinens!

 
FAITHFUL Cross!
above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!

 
Flecte ramos, arbor alta,
tensa laxa viscera,
et rigor lentescat ille,
quem dedit nativitas,
ut superni membra Regis
miti tendas stipite.

 
Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.

 
Sola digna tu fuisti
ferre saeculi pretium,
atque portum praeparare
nauta mundo naufrago,
quem sacer cruor perunxit,
fusus Agni corpore.

 
Tree, which solely wast found worthy
the world’s Victim to sustain.
harbor from the raging tempest!
ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.