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Spiritual Life

Jul 29 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: It is Worth Everything

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
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Homily #150729n ( 04min) Play – The Kingdom of Heaven is worth every work, sacrifice and suffering we are called to. It takes everything, this one thing only is necessary. And is it through this sacrifice, being “violent” to our self-centeredness and passions, that we grow closer to God, preparing for the day we will be called to spend eternity with Him in heaven.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Martha, 2nd Option – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wednesday 17th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 34:29-35
Resp: psa 99:5, 6, 7, 9
Gsp: mat 13:44-46

Audio (MP3)

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Keeping the Commandments

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Keeping the Commandments

The Decalogue, the “Ten Words” or Ten Commandments, which comes from the Torah of Moses, is a shining star of faith and morals for the people of God, and it also enlightens and guides the path of Christians. It constitutes a beacon and a norm of life in justice and love, a “great ethical code” for all humanity. The Ten Commandments shed light on good and evil. on truth and falsehood, on justice and injustice, and they match the criteria of every human person’s right conscience…

The Ten Commandments require that we recognize the one Lord, against the temptation to construct other idols, to make golden calves. In our world there are many who do not know God or who consider Him superfluous, without relevance for their lives; hence, other new gods have been fabricated to whom man bows down. Reawakening in our society openness to the transcendent dimension, witnessing to the one God is a precious service…

The Ten Commandments call us to respect life and to protect it against every injustice and abuse, recognizing the worth of each human person, created in the image and likeness of God. How often, in every part of the world. near and far, the dignity, the freedom, and the rights of human beings are trampled upon! Bearing witness together to the supreme value of life, against all selfishness, is an important contribution to a new world where justice and peace reign, a world marked by that “shalom” which the lawgivers, the prophets, and the sages of Israel longed to see.

The Ten Commandments call us to preserve and to promote the sanctity of the family, in which there personal and reciprocal, faithful and definitive “Yes” of man and woman makes room for the future, for the authentic humanity of each and makes them open, at the same time, to the gift of new life. To witness that the family continues to be the essential cell of society and the basic environment in which human virtues are learned and practiced is a precious service offered in the construction of a world with a more human face.

 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Jul 27 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Penance or Hell

Monday, July 27th, 2015
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Homily #150727n ( 04min) Play – Blessed Mary Magdalene of Martinengo was a noble woman who became a Poor Clare at seventeen. However, even as a child she delighted in penance and austerity out of love for Jesus. Jesus tells us that we cannot expect to save our souls unless we do penance in this life (Luke 13:3). As it said above the front door of the friary where Padre Pio did his novitiate: Penance or Hell.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Bl. Mary Magdalene of Martinengo – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Monday 17th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 32:15-24, 30-34
Resp: psa 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
Gsp: mat 13:31-35

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 26 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Eucharist and Practical Comments

Sunday, July 26th, 2015
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Homily #150726n ( 17min) Play – Today’s Gospel reading is a prefigurement of the Eucharist, Father Matthias tells us. Our Lord taught that He is really present in the Eucharist, and didn’t back down when challenged. Likewise, the Church has never backed down on her teaching of transubstantiation, that after the consecration, only the appearance and physical attributes of the bread and the wine remain. The Eucharist is like spiritual food, it sustains and heals us much like physical food sustains us physically, but much more profoundly. A dead body cannot eat normal food, likewise, someone in a state of separation from God (mortal sin) cannot benefit from receiving the Eucharist, but must first receive the Sacrament of Penance. Two practical conclusions of this consideration is that it is better to receive on the tongue and not to receive communion in the hand. The Church’s preference is for communion on the tongue, and communion on the hand is only a concession to widespread disobedience. Also, we should make a thanksgiving after Holy Communion of, preferably, at least 15 minutes, for until the host dissolves, Jesus is really and truly within us. Let us not invite Him in only to ignore His abiding presence.
Ave Maria!
Mass: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2ki 4:42-44
Resp: psa 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18
2nd: eph 4:1-6
Gsp: joh 6:1-15

Audio (MP3)

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Santiago de Compostela: Feast of St. James

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

A El Camino Prayer of a Pilgrim on the Way to St. James

A Pilgrim’s Prayer to St. James

This is an ancient prayer that comes at the end of the Pilgrim Mass said along the Camino de  Santiago:

O God, who brought your servant Abraham out of the land of the Chaldeans, protecting him in his wanderings, who guided the Hebrew people across the desert, we ask that you watch over us, your servants, as we walk in the love of your name to Santiago de Compostela. 

Be for us our companion on the walk, our guide at the crossroads,  Our breath in our weariness,  Our protection in danger,  Our albergue on the Camino,  Our shade in the heat, Our light in the darkness, Our consolation in our discouragements,  And our strength in our intentions.

 So that with your guidance we may arrive safe and sound at the end of the Road and enriched with grace and virtue we return safely to our homes filled with joy.


In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Apostle Santiago, pray for us.
Santa Maria, pray for us.

 

 

 

 

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

Saturday, July 25th, 2015
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Homily #150725n ( 07min) Play – Father Maximilian comments on today’s Gospel and relates it to the life of St. James the Apostle.
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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Jul 23 – Homily – Fr Joachim: The Life of St. Bridget

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
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Homily #150723n ( 04min) Play – Father gives us a short biography of St. Bridget, showing the truth of what today’s Collect prayer tells us, that St. Bridget is an example for the single, married, or consecrated life.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Bridget of Sweden – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Thursday 16th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20
Resp: dan 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
Gsp: mat 13:10-17

Audio (MP3)

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Go and Sin No More

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, Lord.”

“Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again!”

(Chapter 8 of St. John’s Gospel)

In the Sacrament of Penance it is Christ who forgives.

They placed her in the midst, says the Gospel. They have humiliated her and shamed her in the extreme, without the slightest concern for her. They remind Our Lord that the Law imposed the severe penalty of death by stoning for this sin. “What do you say?”, they ask him, disguising their ulterior motives so that they might have some charge to bring against him. But Jesus surprises them all. He does not say anything; He bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

The woman is terrified by them all. The Scribes and Pharisees go on asking questions. Then, Jesus stood up and said to them, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”. And once more He bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

They all went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest. Not one of them had a clear conscience and they were trying to set a trap for Our Lord. All of them went away. And Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

(more…)

Jul 22 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Mary Magdalene, the Gospel, and Us

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
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Homily #150722n ( 06min) Play – The parable of the sower and the seed is read in today’s Gospel and as we remember Saint Mary Magdalene, Father Maximilian tells us that we may know the Gospel, but do we live it? Or are we withered by the sacrifices it calls for and choked by the distractions of the world. For an example, he presents St. Mary Magdalene who had lived a life of sin, but came out of it and loved Our Lord so much that His first recorded appearance after the Resurrection was to her. If she can go from a life of sin to being a great saint, we also can go from sin and mediocrity to great sanctity. In both her and us, Jesus casts the seed of the Gospel, but it is we who must respond. Let us respond with a love and generosity like Mary Magdalene’s, go to the Cross, search for Jesus at the Tomb, and here Him call us by name.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Mary Magdalene – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wednesday 16th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 16:1-5, 9-15
Resp: psa 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28
Gsp: mat 13:1-9

Audio (MP3)

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The Glory of Jesus’ Humanity

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

When Christ decided to give site to a man blind from birth, He placed mud on the man’s eyes, an action that was much more suited to blinding those who see then to giving sight to the blind who could not see. So, too, the passion and death of Christ was more likely to destroy the faith of those who believed that He was the only begotten son of God, as was clear in the case of the apostles and disciples, then to command faith to nonbelievers. And yet He says: “when I lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.” (Jn 12:32) 

…After the cross, after the suffering, after the disgraceful, shameful, repulsive death of the cross, I shall turn the world to faith in Me, so that the world will believe that I am the Son of God, the true Messiah…

We see with other clarity that this is what has happened. Christ came into this world to do battle against satan, to do away with idolatry, and return the world to faith and piety and the worship of the true God. He could have accomplish this by using the weapons of His might and coming as He will come to judge in glory and majesty just as He manifested himself and His Transfiguration. Who would not then had believed in Christ? 

But in order that His victory might be more glorious, He willed to fight satan in our weak flesh. It is as if an unarmed man, right hand bound, where to fight with his left hand alone against a powerful army; if he emerged victorious, his victory would be regarded as all the more glorious. So Christ conquered satan with the right hand of His divinity bound and using against him only the left hand of His weak humanity.

St. Lawrence of Brindisi  (Doctor of the Church, Feast Day is July 21st)

Jul 20 – Homily – Fr Joachim: Following Jesus is Risky

Monday, July 20th, 2015
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Homily #150720n ( 06min) Play – St. Apollinaris is a martyr from the early Church–he was martyred in 79AD–and Father Joachim tells us about his life and sufferings for Christ. Following Jesus involves risks, even of our lives, but, as Father reminds us, we will all die and appear before the Lord. Remembering the sufferings of the Martyrs will give us the courage and strength to make the small, daily sacrifices of the Christian life.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Apollinaris – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Monday 16th Week of Ordinary Time
1st: exo 14:5-18
Resp: exo 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Gsp: mat 12:38-42

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 17 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Mass, Sacrifice of the Cross

Friday, July 17th, 2015
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Homily #150717n ( 06min) Play – In the first reading, we see the institution of the Passover sacrifice. This was a rite which was to be repeated by the Israelites as a symbol of the past Passover event and as a prefigurement of Christ’s sacrifice. However, when Jesus came, He fulfilled this rite on the Cross, and instituted it as an enduring sacrifice. When we celebrate Mass, the sacrifice of the Cross is made present again, and we are at the foot of the Cross with the same exact reality as Mary and John were. Let us remember this, and live it.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Friday 15th Week of Ordinary Time – Wkdy – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: exo 11:10-12:14
Resp: psa 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Gsp: mat 12:1-8

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 16 – Homily – Fr Joachim: History of the Carmelites and the Scapular

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
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Homily #150716n ( 07min) Play – Father tells us of the tradition that there was a company of hermits which gathered on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land after Elijah destroyed the priests of Baal and prayed for rain to come down after three years of complete drought. These hermits were devoted to praying for the coming Messiah and the woman who would become his mother. When Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth after their exile in Egypt, they stopped and revealed the Messiah to the monks, who were there after devoted to Jesus and His Mother Mary, and are know known as the Carmelite Order. Today we also remember the giving of the Brown Scapular to the Carmerite Order, and Father encourages us all to wear it faithfully, for it reminds us that we are Children of Mary, and that we wear the “yoke of Christ”.
Ave Maria!
Mass: Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: Thursday 15th Week of Ordinary Time

Audio (MP3)

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Prayer Petition to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

A PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN: OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me this my necessity. Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother. 

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this necessity; there are none that can withstand your power.  O, show me herein you are my Mother.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3 times) 

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands…

Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is July 16th

On the Love of God

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

François,_Claude_(dit_Frère_Luc)_-_Saint_Bonaventure

“When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth.”
-St. Bonaventure, the “Seraphic Doctor”

1. Let us give our thoughts to what the Seraphic Doctor says on the love of God. He tells us that it should be the aim of our lives, according to the words of our Lord: “This is the greatest and the first commandment: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind” (Matt 22:387-38). Not as though the love of God were the only virtue and that we need not concern ourselves about any other, but without the love of God the other virtues are not true virtues and cannot lead to salvation. Moreover, the other virtues derive their luster and strength from the love of God, as material things do from the sun. — Unless your industry, temperance, charitable activity, and even your piety are enlivened and filled with the love of God, they are worthless. Have you given this sufficient consideration in the past?

2. Consider that the love of God is of such inestimable value because it excludes all sin. “To love God,” says the Seraphic Doctor, “means to wish God well. But every sin is something evil, an offense against God. Hence, sin cannot co-exist with the true love of God.” The more perfect your love of God is, the more you will abstain from sin. It is, of course, true that the perfect love of God, which implies that all our acts and desires are directed towards God alone, is not possible here upon earth; it will constitute our bliss in eternity. Nevertheless, even here on earth the love of God must exclude everything that is displeasing to God. — If you still fall into many sins, is it due to the fact that you do not love God enough?

3. Consider whence St. Bonaventure derived his ardent love of God. It was from keeping his eyes on the crucifix and meditating on the sufferings of Christ. “The wounds of Jesus,” he said, “are arrows that wound the hardest hearts, and flames that kindle the coldest souls.” Whoever truly contemplates our suffering Savior on the cross can hardly yield to sin. The love of Him who loved us to such great lengths must of necessity fill us with zeal to avoid whatever displeases Him and to make our hearts agreeable to Him. May the powerful intercession of the great Doctor of the Church assist us in following his words and example.

from July 15: St. Bonaventure, The Franciscan Book of Saints, Habig.