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Spiritual Life

Hail, Full of Grace!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Meditation on Luke 1:26-38: The Angel Gabriel was sent….


“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Lk 1:26f.). In the first place, the annunciation of the birth of Jesus is linked chronologically with the story of John the Baptist by the reference to the time that has elapsed since the archangel Gabriel’s message to Zechariah, that is to say “in the sixth month” of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. The two events and the two missions are also linked in this passage by the indication that Mary and Elizabeth, and hence their offspring too, are blood relatives.

 Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, made as a consequence of the dialogue between Gabriel and Mary (cf. Lk 1:36), occasions an encounter in the Holy Spirit between Jesus and John even before they are born, and this encounter at the same time makes visible the relationship between their respective missions: Jesus is the younger of the two, the one who comes later. But he is the one whose proximity causes John to leap in his mother’s womb and fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 1:41). So in Luke’s annunciation and nativity narratives, what the Baptist was to say in John’s Gospel is already objectively present: “This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me’” (1:30).

Now, though, it is time to look more closely at the story of the annunciation to Mary of the birth of Jesus. First let us consider the angel’s message, then Mary’s answer.

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Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Prayer: (Recite one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be after each number)

  1. St. JOSEPH, Chaste Spouse of the Holy Mother of God, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the thought of a cruel separation from Mary, and by the deep JOY that thou didst feel when the angel revealed to thee the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation, obtain for us from Jesus and Mary, the grace of surmounting all anxiety. Win for us from the Adorable Heart of Jesus the unspeakable peace of which He is the Eternal Source.
  2. St. JOSEPH, Foster-Father of Jesus, by the bitter SORROW which thy heart experienced in seeing the Child Jesus lying in a manger, and by the JOY which thou didst feel in seeing the Wise men recognize and adore Him as their God, obtain by thy prayers that our heart, purified by thy protection, may become a living crib, where the Savior of the world may receive and bless our homage.
  3. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the sight of the Blood which flowed from the Infant Jesus in the Circumcision, and by the JOY that inundated thy soul at thy privilege of imposing the sacred and mysterious Name of Jesus, obtain for us that the merits of this Precious Blood may be applied to our souls, and that the Divine Name of Jesus may be engraved forever in our hearts.
  4. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW when the Lord declared that the soul of Mary would be pierced with a sword of sorrow, and by thy JOY when holy Simeon added that the Divine Infant was to be the resurrection of many, obtain for us the grace to have compassion on the sorrows of Mary, and share in the salvation which Jesus brought to the earth.
  5. St. JOSEPH, by thy SORROW when told to fly into Egypt, and by thy JOY in seeing the idols overthrown at the arrival of the living God, grant that no idol of earthly affection may any longer occupy our hearts, but being like thee entirely devoted to the service of Jesus and Mary, we may live and happily die for them alone.
  6. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW of thy heart caused by the fear of the tyrant Archelaus and by the JOY in sharing the company of Jesus and Mary at Nazareth, obtain for us, that disengaged from all fear, we may enjoy the peace of a good conscience and may live in security, in union with Jesus and Mary, experiencing the effect of thy salutary assistance at the hour of our death.
  7. St. JOSEPH, by the bitter SORROW with which the loss of the Child Jesus crushed thy heart, and by the holy JOY which inundated thy soul in recovering thy Treasure on entering the Temple, we supplicate thee not to permit us to lose our Savior Jesus by sin. Yet, should this misfortune befall us, grant that we may share thy eagerness in seeking Him, and obtain for us the grace to find Him again, ready to show us His great mercy, especially at the hour of death; so that we may pass from this life to enjoy His presence in heaven, there to sing with thee His divine mercies forever.

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Mar 19 – Homily – Fr Joachim: St. Joseph and the Testimony of the Saints

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
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Homily #150319n ( 07min) Play – Father Joachim speaks of St. Joseph’s greatness, and presents the testimony of the Saints about the power of his intercession for all our needs. Let us make a special request to him on his feast day, especially that we may remain faithful to Christ
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Joseph Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2sa 7:4-5, 12-14, 16
Resp: psa 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
2nd: rom 4:13, 16-18, 22
Gsp: mat 1:16, 18-21, 24

Audio (MP3)

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Mar 18 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Our Lord Himself is the Light

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
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Homily #150318n ( 06min) Play – Father comments on the reoccurring theme in Lent of darkness and light. He tells us that sin and disobedience are the darkness spoken of, and the light is Our Lord Himself. It is in Him we are able to walk the path of obedience to the will of the Father as Jesus did before us. And let us remember during these days of purification that God will hold us accountable to which path we choose.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Wednesday 4th Week of Lent – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 49:8-15
Resp: psa 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18
Gsp: joh 5:17-30

Audio (MP3)

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Prayer of a Penitent

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

My Lord Jesus behold me defiled by sin. Again I have stained the holy garment of grace in my soul that Your Blood has cleansed so often. O, Father of mercy, hear my prayer. Give me a true spirit of penance that through the humble supplication of a contrite heart I may again receive pardon.

Since my last confession I have fallen more frequently than usual. My Jesus, I have gone back. But do not for sake me, though I richly deserve to be rejected as obstinate and incorrigible. Behold me prostrate before You, O my God. My sinfulness weighs me down. Alas, Jesus my God and Savior, I do not raise my eyes to you. How can I who have so often violated my past resolves presume to ask pardon again?

O my soul, crushed by the load of sin, take courage: your Redeemer will console you in your desolation. Reject me not, though I have miserably broken my promise of amendment. Cast not off Your wretched child or I shall be forever lost. From my heart I grieve for having offended you.

O holy Mother of God, my guardian angel, my holy patrons: intercede for me with my Judge and obtain for me the pardon of my sins. O Jesus, grant me a true spirit of penance. My Jesus, have mercy on me.

+St. John Neumann

Mar 16 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Have Faith in Jesus, Not in Miracles

Monday, March 16th, 2015
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Homily #150316n ( 05min) Play -Father comments on the gospel, and asks if it was so unreasonable to demand signs and wonders from Our Lord before believing. However, he points out that the Jewish priests and Pharasees saw the signs and wonders too, but did not believe. Father tells us that what Our Lord is looking for is not belief in signs and wonders, but faith in Jesus Himself.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Monday 4th Week of Lent – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: isa 65:17-21
Resp: psa 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-13
Gsp: joh 4:43-54

Audio (MP3)

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Mar 15 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Rejoicing in Suffering

Sunday, March 15th, 2015
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Homily #150315n ( 14min) Play – Amidst our Lenten suffering, we today hear the Church tell us “Laetare” “Rejoice” for we are suffering now, but Easter is in sight. We can see this mix of intense suffering and intense joy in the lives of the saints, and what brings this joy is that through suffering we are brought closer to Christ Crucified, closer to God. Let us rejoice, and rejoice in the privileged of sharing in the Cross of Christ. Laetare!
Ave Maria!
Mass: Sunday 4th Week of Lent – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2ch 36:14-17, 19-23
Resp: psa 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
2nd: eph 2:4-10
Gsp: joh 3:14-21

Audio (MP3)

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Humility will Praise

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The Fruit of Praising: 

As love grows stronger, so does the desire to praise increase. It is always a sign of the weakening of love when we have less taste for praising a loved one. This is a good point of spiritual examen. lf our love for God is growing less fervent and ardent, we have an inbuilt barometer to warn us. it registers less concern for praising Him. No, it is definitely not a rather bleak activity for all eternity, simply to praise.
 
For one thing, the more we love a human being, and certainly the more we grow in the love of God, the more do we see to praise. The person who loves very little does not see much to praise in the other: Again, this is a test of our charity. lf we do not observe much to praise in our neighbor; one thing is certain: we do not know him well enough, love him well enough. lf we come to love him more, we shall have our own reward of seeing more and more to praise. The heart that loves little always sees little or perhaps even nothing to praise. The heart that loves much will see something to praise where others may not. But there are qualities and characteristics of praise.
 
Praise is always humble. This is prominently its very first attribute because in praising another we in some way situate ourselves below that person. Praise of its nature exalts the one praised, sets this respected person or this dear God or this loved friend above the one praising. By the mere act of praising, we assume a position of humility. We take a willing stance beneath another person.
 
+ Mother Mary Francis p,c.c.

Video – A Day With Mary #131: Our Lady’s Annunciation and Suffering is Co-redeeming

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
Click to Play Video


A Day With Mary #131 – Our Lady’s Annunciation and Suffering is Co-redeeming ( 20min) >>> Play

Ave Maria!

Fr. Andre speaks on Our Lady during the “Day With Mary” held at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Peppermint Grove, Western Australia on 7 March 2015.

Audio (MP3)

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Humbling Ourselves

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Humbling Ourselves:   Only the truly humble shall! be exalted, says the Blessed Virgin. The haughty, proud, and presumptuous shall be brought low and sunk to the lowest deep. Let us then humble ourselves, not serving God negligently, but striving to employ vigorously all our strength to acquire true humility of heart and submission. Let us examine ourselves continually before God if we can say with truth that we arc submissive to all that is wished of us, receiving all as coming from the hand of God Most High, who sees the depths of our hearts. To put on a fair exterior and not to be submissive within is not to have humility. Though it seem to creatures who see only the outside that such souls are humble it is not so and God, who sees all, takes no account of that. We must submit the understanding and the will if we are to be humble. 

Let us humble ourselves greatly before this great God, because he looks only to the humble takes account only of the humble. Upon whom shall my spirit rest, he says by the prophet, but upon the humble and contrite of heart, who fears my words? The prayer of the humble shall be heard. These are the words of Holy Scripture which ought to excite us strongly to become little and to love our littleness.
 
+Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

Mar 09 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Simple and Humble Ways

Monday, March 9th, 2015
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Homily #150309n ( 04min) Play – Father comments on the first reading, and tells us that God’s ways simple and humble, but we must not walk away from them because of this, but rather realize it is through the ordinary, simple, and humble things that God desires to sanctify us.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Monday 3rd Week of Lent – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2ki 5:1-15
Resp: psa 42:2, 3, 43:3, 4
Gsp: luk 4:24-30

Audio (MP3)

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Mar 08 – Homily – Fr Joachim: God Purifying Our Temple

Sunday, March 8th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150308n ( 09min) Play – Father comments on the wisdom of God who allows suffering and evil. He tells us that, “if we had the power of God, we would change much, but if we had His wisdom, we wouldn’t change anything.” It is while suffering we begin to see the wisdom of God who allows some evil (never forget all the good He gives us at every moment) to make us grow in virtue and purify the temple of our hearts.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Sunday 3rd Week of Lent – Solemnity – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: exo 20:1-17
Resp: psa 19:8, 9, 10, 11
2nd: 1co 1:22-25
Gsp: joh 2:13-25

Audio (MP3)

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Humility is the Safe Path

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

One Minute Meditation

Humility is always safe. 
There is one thing we need never be afraid of, namely, that the devil will ever attempt us to be humble. He may delude us in the practice of other virtues: indiscreet zeal, for instance, or the desire to devote our time solely to prayer. But we need never be in doubt as to whether it would be better to humble ourselves or not. There can be no doubt about it: it is always safe to do so.
 + Father William Doyle

Mar 04 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Humility and Martyrdom

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
Click to Play

Homily #150304n ( 05min) Play – Father Maximilian reflects on two of the themes in today’s gospel, humility and martyrdom.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Wednesday 2nd Week of Lent – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: jer 18:18-20
Resp: psa 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
Gsp: mat 20:17-28

Audio (MP3)

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There are Crosses in our Lives

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

 I want to assure you of my profound compassion in the painful crisis that you are going through. I understand it thoroughly. But if the waves of suffering and bitterness are violent, do not let yourself go under, especially under the influence of a physical and emotional depression that is very natural after such a shock. Do not let harmful imaginings and debilitating thoughts invade your heart…. 

Having come to Jesus to share in his sacrifices and his Passion, you have experienced this and continue to go through an agony similar to the one the Savior knew in Gethsemane. Do you know that these anxieties, these dilemmas are not unknown even in the world? It is enough to have received these choice graces and to know at the same time the deep call, the mysterious vocation of suffering….
 
You cannot relive your life in your mind and imagine that all would have been easier and better in another direction. No, the cross is planted everywhere, in the world…. And if the cross plunges more deeply into God’s chosen ones it is because he has himself prepared favorable soil….
 
A priest said about a woman who was struggling with her feelings: “There are times when you have to take your heart, throw it at God’s feet…and step on it.” How hard that is, but how mysterious! At that moment, miracles of grace take place, and one hour of such suffering is equal to a life given over simply to doing the good.
 
+ The Servant of God, Elisabeth Leseur