Works of Mercy for the Year of Mercy

The genesis of this book was inspired by a set of talks that Father Benedict J. Groeschel C.F.R., gave several years ago in the Diocese of Manchester, NH. At the time while researching material for a project I was working on I came across an advertisement for the talks and found both the title and topic striking. The topic seemed to fit Father Benedict’s lifetime of working among the poor and raising money to help their plight. I approached him, shortly after listening to the tapes and asked him to consider doing a book version. He liked the idea but was reluctant to pursue the project alone due to the shortage of time available to work on it.

Unwilling to let go of the project, I approached another friend of the poor, Bishop Robert J. Baker of the Diocese of Charleston. I knew that Bishop Baker’s priestly ministry had been devoted to finding Christ in the poor and with a wealth of experience he had in this area that if I could join his thoughts with Fr. Groeschel’ s we would have a book that would be of great benefit to the rest of us. After approaching Bishop Baker with my request he agreed and then Father Benedict agreed to collaborate on this book.

While the Bishop and Father Benedict were working on the written text of the book I came across a stunning work of iconography one day while visiting an Eastern Catholic church. On the back wall of the church was an icon of the Last Judgment taken from Matthew 25. I found that the great iconographer Mila Mina had written the icon. I immediately contacted Mila and asked if the icon might be used as an illustration for this book, her response was “anything to make the Gospel known!” Thanks to Mila and her son Father John Mina for allowing Joyce Duriga and David Renz to photograph the icon at Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church, Clairton, PA.

Fr. Groeschel has written the introductory text that begins each section as well as the final “What Should I Do?” at the end of the book, and Bishop Baker has written the individual meditations and prayers contained in each of the six sections.

While this book was being written, Father Benedict was involved in a horrific accident that nearly took his life. At the time of the accident the text he was working on was in his suitcase. He had just finished the introduction to “When I was a stranger…” as you read over the text for that section you might sense that he was having a premonition of what was about to happen in his life-where he would soon be in an emergency room under the care of doctors, nurses and as well as his family and religious community.

You will find that this book provides you with keys to finding Our Lord in the poor, and to overcoming the fears and obstacles (represented by the seven deadly sins in each section) that prevent you from responding to His call.

Michael Dubruiel Interview

You can listen to an interview program with Michael Dubruiel about his book, The Power of the Cross. The interview is with Kris McGregor of KVSS radio.

Episode 4 –

The Cross of Christ unites…

– Michael discusses:

Day 15 – How We Worship Day

16 – How We See Jesus Day

17 – How We Forgive Day

18 – Law and Love Day

19 – Our Lives Day

20 – Our Priorities

Day 21 – How We See Ourselves

You can find out more about The Power of the Cross here, including a free download of the book.

Going to a Catholic Mass

Michael Dubruiel wrote a book to help people deepen their experience of the Mass.  He titled it, How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist.  You can read about it here. 

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist gives you nine concrete steps to help you join your own sacrifice to the sacrifice of Christ as you:

  • Serve: Obey the command that Jesus gave to his disciples at the first Eucharist.
  • Adore: Put aside anything that seems to rival God in importance.
  • Confess: Believe in God’s power to make up for your weaknesses.
  • Respond” Answer in gesture, word, and song in unity with the Body of Christ.
  • Incline: Listen with your whole being to the Word of God.
  • Fast: Bring your appetites and desires to the Eucharist.
  • Invite: Open yourself to an encounter with Jesus.
  • Commune: Accept the gift of Christ in the Eucharist.
  • Evangelize :Take him and share the Lord with others.

Filled with true examples, solid prayer-helps, and sound advice, How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist shows you how to properly balance the Mass as a holy banquet with the Mass as a holy sacrifice. With its references to Scripture, quotations from the writings and prayers of the saints, and practical aids for overcoming distractions one can encounter at Mass, this book guides readers to embrace the Mass as if they were attending the Last Supper itself.

Trusting Jesus

When St. Peter heard that Jesus was going somewhere, he wanted

to follow the Lord. Jesus refused, and told the apostle that he

would follow later. Peter protested: He was willing to lay down

his life for Jesus (again something that he ultimately would do

later). Then Jesus dropped a bombshell: That very night, Peter

would deny him three times.

The final battle to following Jesus is the battle of self. No matter

how pure our motives may seem, until we trust in God more

than we trust in ourselves, we are doomed to fail. To truly follow

Jesus, we must unite ourselves with him and trust him totally.

Catholic Book on Prayer

When our earthly life ceases, we will be welcomed into God’s

kingdom to the degree that we made him the Lord of our lives.

For many of us, that will mean some time along the purgative

way, learning to release all of our demands upon God. God has

found his rightful place in our hearts when we realize that whatever

he wills is best for us.

When our earthly life ceases, we will be welcomed into God’s

kingdom to the degree that we made him the Lord of our lives.

For many of us, that will mean some time along the purgative

way, learning to release all of our demands upon God. God has

found his rightful place in our hearts when we realize that whatever

he wills is best for us.

St. Francis Cabrini Novena

A novena to Mother Cabrini is included in The Church’s Most Powerful Novenas

An excerpt is found here 

A novena to Mother Cabrini is included in

When Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his Apostles to stay where they were and to “wait for the gift” that the Father had promised: the Holy Spirit.  The Apostles did as the Lord commanded them. “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts 1:14). Nine days passed; then, they received the gift of the Holy spirit, as had been promised. May we stay together with the church, awaiting in faith with Our Blessed Mother, as we trust entirely in God, who loves us more than we can ever know. 

Catholic Meditation Book

If we want to learn anything about the Paschal mystery of Jesus’

Passion, death, and resurrection here on the mountain of the

Transfiguration, we must approach these mysteries on our knees.

It all begins with prayer.

Jesus climbed the mountain to be alone with the three disciples,

to pray with them. Every effort of prayer begins with an

invitation to “come aside.” Just as Our Lord called Peter, James,

and John to come with him up the mountain, he beckons to us

today. When we feel that inner nudge, that desire to pray, we

must pay attention to God’s call.

It may be difficult to respond to the invitation at times. We

need not climb a mountain, at least not literally. However, we do

need a place to “come aside.” It may be a special corner of our

room, or a nearby chapel; no matter where it is, the trip to put

oneself into God’s presence may seem like scaling the side of a

precipice at times. This is to be expected: We are entering a different

realm. As Peter, James, and John discovered, in leading

them up the mountain Jesus had taken them higher than the geological

summit; he had transported them to heaven itself. They

were able to witness Moses and Elijah, conversing with Jesus in

prayer and blinding light!


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