First Communion Gift

Perhaps The How to Book of the Mass is a bit too advanced for your normal second grader, but parents of First Communicants often find themselves inspired to learn more about the Eucharist as their children study, learn and receive Communion.

The How to Book of the Mass by Michael Dubruiel is an excellent resource.

If you want to know more, go to this page which contains the table of contents, purchase links and an excerpt.

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Mercy and Forgiveness

Christians are to be forgiving and merciful; we are to live out the

unity Christ died to restore. In the early church, outsiders marveled

at the followers of Christ because of their love for one another.

Sadly, the unity that was the hallmark of the early Church

has been damaged, in some cases seemingly beyond repair. We

who are called to be “merciful” stand idly by while our brothers

and sisters in other parts of the world are offered up as scapegoats.

We who are to share the Good News huddle among our own,

contented to preach to the choir. The problem is this: Jesus died

for all, so that all might be saved. We who follow Our Lord must

live to accomplish his will.

As St. Peter points out, Jesus himself is our example. The

treatment that Jesus received on the cross was worse than most

of us can even imagine but his message of forgiveness did not

change. When Jesus rose from the dead, he did not declare a holy

war against those who had put him to death. Instead he proclaimed,

“Peace,” and sent his followers to the ends of the earth

to preach the gospel, teaching all to believe and trust in him.

"michael dubruiel"

Dying to Self

How do we die to ourselves? The cross extends the invitation

again and again. We nail our failures and our successes, we make

no judgments—like Christ, we abandon ourselves in trust to the

Father. We keep “watch” with Christ and live in the expectation

of his coming at every moment. Our death on the cross with

Christ—something that our Baptism signified but we must daily

reclaim—gives us the power to love as Christ did because Christ

is within us, when we allow him to be all in all.

The Power of the Cross  – Free book available at the link.

"michael dubruiel"

Free Catholic Book

The procession of the cross that begins and ends each celebration

of the Eucharist should help us to redefine our lives whenever we

witness it. As the Mass begins we join all of our crosses to the

cross of Christ, asking the Lord to have mercy upon us for our

inability to see. We listen to the Scriptures to once again learn

about all the necessary events of our lives, proclaim the Church’s

belief as our own, and give thanks to God as we offer the sacrifice that he has provided for us. We then receive the Living Godbefore the cross leads us back into the world!

Having received the life of Christ in us, we are better able toextend that love to others. I was reminded of this again a few years ago, when I met another family who also had an unplanned child. In the presence of the child they said what a gift they had

been given—like nothing they could have ever dreamed of asking

for, an incredible blessing. Their joy mirrored that of God the

Father, who could not contain himself in heaven when his Son

walked the earth. He opened up the heavens to exclaim, “This

is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew

3:17).

That same Son would experience horrible suffering at the

hands of cruel men. Assured of the love of the Father, he knew

that ultimately the Father would not let him down. When you

and I are finally convinced in the same way that God loves us,

we will welcome whatever comes our way in this life and see it

with a vision that others will marvel at. On that day we will say,

“Alleluia. Praised be God!”

Christian Meditation

Christians are to be forgiving and merciful; we are to live out the

unity Christ died to restore. In the early church, outsiders marveled

at the followers of Christ because of their love for one another.

Sadly, the unity that was the hallmark of the early Church

has been damaged, in some cases seemingly beyond repair. We

who are called to be “merciful” stand idly by while our brothers

and sisters in other parts of the world are offered up as scapegoats.

We who are to share the Good News huddle among our own,

contented to preach to the choir. The problem is this: Jesus died

for all, so that all might be saved. We who follow Our Lord must

live to accomplish his will.

As St. Peter points out, Jesus himself is our example. The

treatment that Jesus received on the cross was worse than most

of us can even imagine but his message of forgiveness did not

change. When Jesus rose from the dead, he did not declare a holy

war against those who had put him to death. Instead he proclaimed,

“Peace,” and sent his followers to the ends of the earth

to preach the gospel, teaching all to believe and trust in him.

-The Power of the Cross  – available free at that link.

On the Mountain with Christ

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!

"michael dubruiel"

The Angel at the Tomb

St. Peter Chrysologus (the “golden-worded”) was known for

his clear and simple style of preaching. About the angel’s appearance

at the tomb, he preached, “Pray that the angel would

descend now and roll away all the hardness of our hearts and

open up our closed senses and declare to our minds that Christ

has risen, for just as the heart in which Christ lives and reigns is

heaven, so also in the heart in which Christ remains dead and

buried is a grave.”

For those who do not believe, life unfolds as a series of accidents.

When a follower of Christ sees his life in exactly the same

way, Jesus calls that person foolish, slow to believe. Someone like

that needs to redirect his attention to the cross.

"michael dubruiel"

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