How to Go to Confession by Michael Dubruiel

For a brief, pointed and helpful guide,

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All of Michael Dubruiel’s books listed on Amazon.

The Power of the Cross free download and audio files.

The New Version of the Stations of the Cross link

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The human race has been fighting the battle against pride

since the Fall. Discontent with the lofty position God had given

them, they wanted to be just like God—but independent of

him. This disordered desire continues to be at the heart of human

nature. Only when God’s spirit lives within us to the fullest are

we able to be most fully human. And the only way to be filled

with God’s spirit is to empty ourselves of any false sense of who

we are, or who we think we have to be. This is the way of humility,

what St. Paul calls having “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians

2:16).

In the gospels, Jesus warns his disciples against desiring titles

and lofty honors. If we achieve greatness in life, as Cardinal del

Val did, we must guard against becoming attached to the position

or to the glory attached to it. Cardinal del Val gave the following

spiritual advice often to those who came to him for

counsel:

Have a great devotion to the Passion of Our Lord.

With peace and resignation, put up with your daily

troubles and worries. Remember that you are not a disciple

of Christ unless you partake of His sufferings and

are associated with His Passion. The help of the grace

of silence was the only thing that enabled the saints to

carry their extremely heavy crosses. We can show our

love for Him by accepting with joy the cross He sends

our way.

The cross sheds light on the way of humility; it is the path

that Christ took and the surest path for us to receive all the blessings

that Christ wishes to bestow upon us.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

From 2004 by Michael Dubruiel


This past summer on our way to Florida, Amy and I stopped at the gravesite of Martin Luther King Jr. I had been there before, a number of times. Though it is close to downtown, there is a quiet that persist–obviously this was not the case the other day when President Bush was there–but the times I’ve been there, although a crowd is present, most are quiet, reflecting.




What are they reflecting on?




Non-violence, peaceful protest, offer no resistence–the teachings of Christ! For what made Dr. King’s message different and in the end successful was the apparent failure of it. Like the master he preached–his tomb stands like a cross planted squarely in the middle of the south. The relecting pool surrounding it reflects the faces of humanity who walk around it.




It was Christian faith, radical belief in the message of Jesus that led the civil rights movement of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and sadly that very faith has been forgotten by many who wish to follow in his footprints. But who can blame them when they see the tomb of Dr. King, they see the price of the taking up one’s cross and following the master.




We also visited the Ebenezer Baptist Church nearby. I had never been inside the church before–since it was undergoing renovations. Amy and I were both shocked at how small it was–having seen in on television countless times, it seemed large. But alas it wasn’t…”if you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to that mountain.”




There will be many talks given today, that will laud Dr. King and his contribution to our society. There will be many proclamations about the progress we have made and some lamentation about how much further we have to go. But the saddest indictment will not be that we have not moved far enough in recognizing all people as our brothers and sisters–but rather that most of us have forgotten the one Father that we share that makes us all brothers and sisters!




At the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN where Dr. King was shot there is a historical marker with a quote from Genesis…”here comes that dreamer, let us put an end to him and then see what becomes of his dream.” Of course the dreamer spoken of in Genesis is Joseph and his dream was given to him by God and nothing men could do could destroy or keep that dream from coming to fruition. Ultimately God always wins…

More about Michael Dubruiel

How to Pray by Michael Dubruiel

The letter to the Hebrews draws a strong connection

between the cross and prayer. Because every moment of our

earthly existence is threatened by death, and we know neither the

day nor the hour when that existence will come to an end, we,

too, need to cry out to the God who can save us. Like Moses, we

need the help of our fellow Christians to hold up our arms when

they grow tired. We, too, need the help of the Holy Spirit to

make up for what is lacking in our prayer. 

The Power of the Cross 

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Bored at Mass?

When our Lord gave the disciples on the road to Emmaus the bread that He had blessed and broken, “he vanished out of their sight” (Luke 24:31). It was then that they recognized Him. We receive the Lord as they did in receiving the Eucharist. Now, at the moment that He is within us, we too should reflect, as they did, on the Scriptures that He has opened to us during this Mass, especially on what has made our “hearts burn.”

In our consumer-minded society, we can miss the treasure that we receive if we treat it like one more thing to “get” and then go on to the next thing. Our Lord is not a “thing.” He is God, who has deigned to come intimately into our lives. We should reflect on His Presence within us and ask what He would have us do.

More on The How to Book of the Mass here. 

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Praying with Fulton Sheen

From Praying in the Presence of the Lord with Fulton Sheen by Michael Dubruiel

Bishop Sheen’s “Now-moment” corresponds to the thinking of the great spiritual writer Jean Pierre de Caussade. In Abandonment to Divine Providence, Fr. Caussade gives the reader a sure way of knowing the will of God at any moment—by simply confronting the present moment with all its reality. It seems simple, but if we reflect for a second most of us will find that we spend most of our lives avoiding the present moment.

A few years ago an English translation of the Father Caussade’s work appeared in the United States changing the original title to read “The Sacrament of the Present Moment.” This captures the essence of Father Caussade’s work and Bishop Sheen’s meditation that in the present time we are presented with an opportunity that is truly unique. Each moment is sacramental.

Most of us are capable of presenting ourselves with some amount of reflection as we celebrate the sacraments. If we celebrated the sacrament of Baptism as an adult certainly we came expecting to be changed by God. Each time we enter a confessional surely we have examined our conscience beforehand and are penitent expecting to be forgiven by God. Undoubtedly every time we approach the altar to receive the Eucharist we expect to encounter God. But what about the other moments of our lives?

As we awake in the morning, is our first thought of God? As we greet our brothers and sisters throughout the day do we expect that God might be present? Every moment of our lives is an opportunity to encounter God who is always present.

Spend some time reflecting on the following:

1. Go over the events of the present day and ask yourself where God might have been in each of them. Is there a consistent pattern to your day?

2. Reflect on the life of your favorite saint, and meditate on how he or she dealt with the people they met in their daily journeys. How could you imitate this saint? What enabled the saint to act in the way he or she did toward others?

3. Imagine as you leave from this time of prayer that God wishes to continue to be present to you as you go forth. How will you react to his presence in others?

PrayerLord, help me to search for you in the garden of life in the same way that St. Mary Magdalene did when she found your tomb empty. May my search be rewarded as hers was by knowledge of your abiding presence. Amen.

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I once read a personal essay written about attending Mass

where the writer advised the reader to get to church early to find

a pew where you will likely have no one sitting anywhere near

you to distract you. I confess there have been times that I have

felt this way too, but I can see how sinful such a view is—how

“separation” even in the name of God is not of God.

Jesus came to reunify all those separations brought about by

original sin—whether they be nationality, gender, or language. “For

by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks,

slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1

Corinthians 12:13). Our sinful self rebels against this notion; we

want to judge others rather than forgive in Christ. This is our cross!

If we hold it in front of us, we will have a constant reminder of the

One who died for the sins of the world—to save “them” and “us.”

From The Power of the Cross by Michael Dubruiel , available as a free download by clicking the cover below:

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