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Spiritual Life

Jan 20 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: St. Sebastian and the Sabbath

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
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Homily #150120n ( 04min) Play – Father comments on today’s readings and saint, St. Sebastian.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Sebastian – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Tuesday 2nd Week of Ordinary Time
1st: heb 6:10-20
Resp: psa 111:1-2, 4-5, 9-10
Gsp: mar 2:23-28

Audio (MP3)

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Jan 18 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Called to Follow

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
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Homily #150118n ( 11min) Play – Father Maximilian comments on the readings, telling us that they all contain a call from God to live lives of holiness and avoiding all that could impede loving God.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1sa 3:3-10, 19
Resp: psa 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
2nd: 1co 6:13-15, 17-20
Gsp: joh 1:35-42

Audio (MP3)

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Silence leads to Prayer

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditation

“O my God, teach me the secret of the silence which reaches unto interior silence.” 

“I have often had this experience: when I pour myself out on creatures and waste my time in long, useless conversations, my spirit becomes dry, dissipated and empty; and then, if I want to be recollected in prayer, I am unable to silence that little world of impressions, talk, imaginings, and idle thoughts which continually brings me back to creatures.” 

“O Lord, I know that You want greater fidelity to silence and more care to avoid spending myself on creatures. Yes, O God, I will be silent with creatures so that I can hear Your voice which speaks in silence.” 

“But whenever I dally with my ‘self’, preoccupied with my sensitiveness; when I pursue useless trains of thought or any sort of useless desire, I am wasting my strength, and my soul is not perfectly ordered toward You, O Lord. My lyre is not in tune, and when You, my divine Master, strike it, You cannot bring forth the divine harmonies. It is still to human and there is discord.” 

+Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity OCD

Help me, O Lord, to attain this beautiful interior unity which unites all my faculties in silence in order to concentrate them on You, which makes my soul attentive to every one of Your words, capable of perceiving the slightest inspiration and motion of the Holy Spirit. 

+Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene OCD

Jan 15 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Healing for Spiritual Leprosy

Friday, January 16th, 2015
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Homily #150115n ( 04min) Play – Father explains that sin is like a spiritual leprosy, and that it is in the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) that we experience the words of Our Lord, “I will it, be clean!”
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thursday 1st Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: heb 3:7-14
Resp: psa 95:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
Gsp: mar 1:40-45

Audio (MP3)

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“Playing with life is a sin against God”

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Meeting with Catholic doctors Pope Francis called on them to defend the sanctity of life:

“Fidelity to the Gospel of life and respect for life as a gift from God sometimes require choices that are courageous and go against the current, which in particular circumstances, may become points of conscientious objection,” Francis said in an address to the Italian Catholic Doctors’ Association in November. “The dominant thinking sometimes suggests a “false compassion”, that which retains that it is: helpful to women to promote abortion; an act of dignity to obtain euthanasia; a scientific breakthrough to produce a child and to consider it to be a right rather than a gift to welcome; or to use human lives as guinea pigs presumably to save others,” the Pope said in his speech.

Instead, the Pope pointed out, “The compassion of the Gospel is that which accompanies in times of need, that is, the compassion of the Good Samaritan, who sees, has compassion, approaches and provides concrete help.”

“Human life is always sacred and always of quality. There is no human life that is more sacred than another, as there is no human life qualitatively more significant than another, only by virtue of resources, rights, great social and economic opportunities.” Francis underlined that human life “is always sacred, valuable, and inviolable.”

“Be careful, experimenting and playing with life is a sin against God the Creator,” the pope said speaking off the cuff. “This happens when people consider it to be [their] right to produce children rather than [see it] a gift. The same goes for euthanasia.”

“Attention to human life, especially that in greatest difficulty, that is, to the sick, the elderly, children, deeply involves the mission of the Church. The Church also feels called to participate in the debate that relates to human life, presenting its proposal based on the Gospel,” Francis recalled.

“This is also my hope. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Salus Infirmorum, support the intentions with which you intend to continue your action,” Francis said.

More On Prayer

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Prayer is the secret of nurturing the Christian life. Do not believe in someone who performs a miracle but does not pray. Are you surprised that there are many people who have lost the grace of God, lost their faith, or have turned against the church? There are many reasons for this, but there will always be one main reason: lack of prayer.

Do not neglect vocal prayer. When the apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He replied, “Pray like this: our Father who art in heaven” (Mt 6:9); Jesus taught them vocal prayer. You are taught to recite prayers in order to help you to pray, but prayer itself is the encounter and conversation between Father and child. “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door; pray to your Father who is hidden, and your Father who sees what is hidden will reward you” (Mt 6:6).

There is no need to be formal; simply pray from the heart as a child speaks to his or her father. A seemingly holy person who does not pray is not a saint. Wait and see, the mask will crumble before long. You can judge the effectiveness of a person’s ministry by looking at his or her prayer life. If you are not a person of prayer, no one will believe that you work for God alone.

+Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

Jan 13 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: The Divinity of Christ

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
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Homily #150113n ( 05min) Play – Father comments on how the liturgy today reminds us of the divinity of Christ, and how St. Hilary of Poitiers fought against the Arian heresy which denied this.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Hilary of Poitiers – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Tuesday 1st Week of Ordinary Time
1st: heb 2:5-12
Resp: psa 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
Gsp: mar 1:21-28

Audio (MP3)

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Jan 11 – Homily – Fr Matthias: Catechism on Baptism

Sunday, January 11th, 2015
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Homily #150111n ( 22min) Play – Father Matthias comments on the effects of Baptism, the three types of baptism, and the necessity of Baptism. He comments on the Baltimore Catechism (Volume three) and final gives us a spiritual aspect of Baptism and the best way to live out our baptism.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Baptism of the Lord – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 42:1-4, 6-7
Resp: psa 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10
2nd: act 10:34-38
Gsp: mar 1:7-11

Audio (MP3)

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Pearls of Wisdom

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Peace depends on victory, and victory depends on struggle. If you desire peace, you will have to fight continuously.  Your “weapons” in this struggle are meditation, self-denial, the sacraments, the rosary, and recollection. Your allies are Mary, Joseph, the angels, your patron saints, and your spiritual director. Unless you gradually drop your weapons or betray your allies, your victory is assured.

If you are determined to practice one virtue every year, and you practiced it every day, very soon you would make quite an improvement.  External and, even more, inner silence is the atmosphere most helpful to the interior life. (more…)

Jan 08 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Jesus Christ – Teacher

Thursday, January 8th, 2015
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Homily #150108n ( 06min) Play – Father Maximilian tells us that today’s liturgy presents Jesus Christ to us as a teacher, and not any teacher, but one who comes from God and is God. Let us put all our faith in this Teacher, for He is Truth itself.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Thur post Epiphany or Jan 10 – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 1jo 4:19-5:4
Resp: psa 72:1-2, 14 and 15bc, 17
Gsp: luk 4:14-22

Audio (MP3)

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St. Pio teaches

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In the Boat with Jesus

Whatever can I say in order to stop the multitude of your thoughts? Don’t try, excessively, to heal your heart, as your efforts would only make it more infirm. Don’t make too great an effort to overcome your temptations, as this violence would only make them stronger. Despise them and don’t dwell on them too much.
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Keep Jesus Crucified present to your imagination; in your arms and on your breast and, kissing his side, say a thousand times: ‘This is my hope, the living source of my happiness; this is the heart of my soul; nothing will ever separate me from his love. I possess him and will not leave him, until he places me in a safe place.”
+
Often say to him: “What can I have on earth, or what can I expect in heaven, if not you, oh my Jesus? You are the God of my heart and the inheritance I desire for all eternity.”
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Whom should we fear, therefore? Listen to Our Lord who says to Abraham and to you also: “Do not fear, I am your protection.” Therefore, be steadfast in your resolutions. Stay in the boat in which he has placed you and let the storm come. Long live Jesus! You will not perish. He may sleep, but at the opportune time he will awaken to restore your calm.
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Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Jan 07 – Homily – Fr Matthias: St. Therese on Fraternal Charity

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
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Homily #150107n ( 08min) Play – Father presents three ways that we may interpret the commandment of fraternal charity: (1) Do not do to others what you don’t want them to do to you, (2) Do to others what you want them to do to you, or, the only Christian interpretation, (3) Do to others what Christ did for you. To show a concrete, real-life example, Father quotes from the autobiography of St. Therese, The Story of a Soul, and comments on her teaching on fraternal charity.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Raymond of Pennafort – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wed post Epiphany or Jan 9
1st: 1jo 4:11-18
Resp: psa 72:1-2, 10, 12-13
Gsp: mar 6:45-52

Audio (MP3)

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Mother of the Eucharist

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The simplest way to express what Christ asks us to believe about the Real Presence is that the Eucharist is really He.  The Real Presence is the real Jesus! We are to believe that the Eucharist began in the womb of the Virgin Mary, that the flesh which the Son of God received from His Mother at the incarnation is the same flesh into which He changed bread at the Last Supper; that the blood He received from His Mother is the same blood into which He changed wine at the Last Supper. Had she not given Him His flesh and blood there could not be a Eucharist.
 
+Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon

Jan 03 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Reverence for the Name of Jesus

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
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Homily #150103n ( 05min) Play – Father tells us that there is no name more powerful than the name of “Jesus,” and that we need to treat that name with reverence and respect. A name signifies something of the essence of the child, and the name of Our Lord was preannounced, and therefore is even more particular and prophetic than any other. Jesus is the One Who Saves, and He is Emmanuel, God-with-us. Let us invoke this name with love and reverence for all our needs, and we will be heard by the Father.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Holy Name of Jesus – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: phi 2:5-11
Resp: psa 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Gsp: mat 1:18-23

Audio (MP3)

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Holy Mary, Mother of God

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed

  
St. Anselm