New Year’s Eve Meditation

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Octave of Christmas-Seventh Day

Two readings that fit for the last day of the secular year. In the first reading John tells us that this is the “last hour” and that many antichrists have appeared. He tells us that they came from “our number” but they really didn’t belong. As we close out this year we might think of the “antichrists” that we have listened to in the past year. What gospels have we accepted that have moved us further from Christ?

The Gospel reading is from the Gospel of John and is the same as the Gospel for Christmas Day–“In the beginning was the word…” As we begin a new year we should seek to align ourselves with the “Word,” Our Lord.

So in the midst of our celebrations, let us be out with the old false gospels and in with the ever new gospel of Our Lord who speaks to us in the events of everyday.

More from Michael Dubruiel

Here’s an excerpt:

The Gospels show that the gaze of Mary varied depending upon the circumstances of life. So it will be with us. Each time we pick up the holy beads to recite the Rosary, our gaze at the mystery of Christ will differ depending on where we find ourselves at that moment.

Thereafter Mary’s gaze, ever filled with adoration and wonder, would never leave him. At times it would be a questioning look, as in the episode of the finding in the Temple: “Son, why have you treated us so?” (Lk 2:48); it would always be a penetrating gaze, one capable of deeply understanding Jesus, even to the point of perceiving his hidden feelings and anticipating his decisions, as at Cana (cf. Jn 2:5). At other times it would be a look of sorrow, especially beneath the Cross, where her vision would still be that of mother giving birth, for Mary not only shared the passion and death of her Son, she also received the new son given to her in the beloved disciple (cf. Jn 19:26-27). On the morning of Easter hers would be a gaze radiant with the joy of the Resurrection, and finally, on the day of Pentecost, a gaze afire with the outpouring of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14) [Rosarium Virginis Mariae, no. 10].


As we pray the Rosary, then, we join with Mary in contemplating Christ. With her, we remember Christ, we proclaim Him, we learn from Him, and, most importantly, as we raise our voices in prayer and our hearts in contemplation of the holy mysteries, this “compendium of the Gospel” itself, we are conformed to Him.

Also, check out this post from 2003, in which Michael Dubruiel narrates the events of one of his “rosary walks.”.

Free Catholic Book

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:

"michael dubruiel"

Octave of Christmas Meditation

Octave of Christmas

Prayer and fasting are what Anna had been doing for years at the Temple. Now she is rewarded with a visitation of God made man who is at this moment an infant. But because of her life of prayer and fasting she is able to recognize the Christ.

It makes one wonder how often we ourselves have visitations that we miss because we are preoccupied with other things. We can change. Prayer can be done anytime at anyplace–by simply turning our hearts and mind toward God in all circumstances. Prayer necessarily requires fasting, forgoing much of what we think we need and turning instead to what we truly need—God

More from Michael Dubruiel

Here’s an excerpt:

The Gospels show that the gaze of Mary varied depending upon the circumstances of life. So it will be with us. Each time we pick up the holy beads to recite the Rosary, our gaze at the mystery of Christ will differ depending on where we find ourselves at that moment.

Thereafter Mary’s gaze, ever filled with adoration and wonder, would never leave him. At times it would be a questioning look, as in the episode of the finding in the Temple: “Son, why have you treated us so?” (Lk 2:48); it would always be a penetrating gaze, one capable of deeply understanding Jesus, even to the point of perceiving his hidden feelings and anticipating his decisions, as at Cana (cf. Jn 2:5). At other times it would be a look of sorrow, especially beneath the Cross, where her vision would still be that of mother giving birth, for Mary not only shared the passion and death of her Son, she also received the new son given to her in the beloved disciple (cf. Jn 19:26-27). On the morning of Easter hers would be a gaze radiant with the joy of the Resurrection, and finally, on the day of Pentecost, a gaze afire with the outpouring of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14) [Rosarium Virginis Mariae, no. 10].


As we pray the Rosary, then, we join with Mary in contemplating Christ. With her, we remember Christ, we proclaim Him, we learn from Him, and, most importantly, as we raise our voices in prayer and our hearts in contemplation of the holy mysteries, this “compendium of the Gospel” itself, we are conformed to Him.

Also, check out this post from 2003, in which Michael Dubruiel narrates the events of one of his “rosary walks.”.

Feast of the Holy Innocents – December 28

Octave of Christmas–Feast of the Holy Innocents

Father Aidan Nichols has argued rather convincingly, I think, that a new feast of the holy innocents should be established for the modern day victims of abortion. The feast we celebrate today celebrates the witness of those who died without knowing Christ, but who died because of the jealous rage of a king who wanted nothing to interfere with his lifestyle. So any rival claimant to his throne must be killed.

Joseph is warned in a dream to leave. I imagine that the parents of all the children who died were also warned but perhaps ignored the dream as nothing more than the result of something they ate the day before. Most of us can point to similar experiences of ignoring warnings that were given to us of impending doom or disaster.

The witness that the Holy Innocents give to us is that accepting Christ demands a decision, will we accept His complete lordship over our lives? Or will we like Herod seek to kill whatever will interfere with our pursuit of pleasure.

More from Michael Dubruiel

All about the Catholic Mass

Eucharist means…”thanksgiving”

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. 

Excerpt

From a positive standpoint, then, what can we do to adore God in the Eucharist?

First we must foster a sense of reverence for God.The actions in the Mass of kneeling, bowing, and beating our breasts all have meaning. They cause us to consciously call to mind that God is present and to focus all of our attention on what God wants of us at the present moment.

Second, we need to worship the Eucharist outside of Mass in order to foster a deeper communion with our Eucharistic Lord when we receive his awesome gift at Mass. When we actively worship Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament we grow in awareness of what it means to receive him at Communion. Pope John Paul II has written about this as a necessary elementwhen preaching about the Eucharist to young people, he begins by telling them to “Be amazed,” paraphrasing the Holy Father’s injunction.

Coming aside to reverence Christ in the Eucharist, realizing that he is before us, has the same power to change us as he did to those who came into his earthly presence.

LIVING THE UCHARIST

Try to find time to make a visit to a chapel or church to adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Give Christ whatever time you have, whether a little or a lot. Make acts of worship in his presence.

Consciously call to mind God’s presence throughout the day, no matter where you are.

Third,we need to understand what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “the implications of faith in one God.” It means:

  • “Living in thanksgiving” (CCC 224).
  • “Trusting God in every circumstance” (CCC 227).

Feast of St. Stephen Meditation

Octave of Christmas–Feast of St. Stephen

The day after Christmas we celebrate the feast of the first Christian Martyr. The gospel for today places before us the message of the adult Jesus to his followers “Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

If we think these are just nice words and we needn’t worry we have St. Stephen placed before us. Stephen a deacon is stoned to death for being a follower of Christ. His death in many ways mirrors the death of Jesus, in his final words he hands over his spirit.

The word martyr literally means witness. Jesus tells us that our persecution is an opportunity to witness. Stephen’s witness is before a man Saul who will become the greatest Christian missionary to ever live–St. Paul. Our opportunities to witness happen daily with how we react to the every moment. Do we rely upon the Lord for what we will say?

More from Michael Dubruiel

Christmas Eve Meditation

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

“Blessed is she who believed that the message made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Here is where most of us fall short. We really don’t believe, silently we distrust. In our actions we loudly show our unbelief.

Elizabeth praises Mary for her trust.

What do you and I really trust in?

Today ask the Blessed Virgin to give you a stronger faith, one that looks to God expectantly at every waking moment of your day and sleeps at night with the same assurance.

More from Michael Dubruiel:

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.

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