New Year’s Meditation by Michael Dubruiel

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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

Michael Dubruiel

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

Catholics Come Home

Perhaps you know someone who is contemplating coming back to Church this Christmas season. The How to Book of the Mass  by Michael Dubruiel would be a great gift for them.

Michael DubruielThe How-To Book of the Mass is the only book that not only provides the who, what, where, when, and why of themost time-honored tradition of the Catholic Church but also the how.
In this complete guide you get:

  • step-by-step guidelines to walk you through the Mass
  • the Biblical roots of the various parts of the Mass and the very prayers themselves
  • helpful hints and insights from the Tradition of the Church
  • aids in overcoming distractions at Mass
  • ways to make every Mass a way to grow in your relationship with Jesus

If you want to learn what the Mass means to a truly Catholic life—and share this practice with others—you can’t be without The How-To Book of the Mass. Discover how to:

  • Bless yourself
  • Make the Sign of the Cross
  • Genuflect
  • Pray before Mass
  • Join in Singing the Opening Hymn
  • Be penitential
  • Listen to the Scriptures
  • Hear a Great Homily Everytime
  • Intercede for others
  • Be a Good Steward
  • Give Thanks to God
  • Give the Sign of Peace
  • Receive the Eucharist
  • Receive a Blessing
  • Evangelize Others
  • Get something Out of Every Mass You Attend

“Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table ‘he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.”1347, Catechism of the Catholic Church

Find more about The How to Book of the Mass here.

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.”.

Octave of Christmas–Feast of the Holy Innocents

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

Michael Dubruiel

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

Michael Dubruiel

Christmas Meditation by Michael Dubruiel

Solemnity of Christmas

A few nights ago we watched a show on one of the cable stations that advertised itself as a program that explored the origins of Christmas. The winter’s solstice was mentioned. The origin of Rudolph as an advertising symbol for Montgomery Ward’s was mentioned. The transformation of St. Nick to Santa Claus was mentioned. And oh yes, 45 minutes into the program some mention was made of Catholics and a few other main line Protestant churches having special services on Christmas Day to commemorate the birth of Christ. It was all very enlightening.
Today’s Gospel points to the origin of all creation–“In the beginning was the Word..” Before anything there was Christ. The Word is responsible for everything that exist. Nothing exist without His willing it.It is fitting that the season of Christmas is over for those who don’t acknowledge Christ and that it is just beginning for those who do. Because when all the gifts that we exchange have rotted and even when this mortal flesh that we hold on to has wasted away in some far off grave–Christ will remain. Hopefully the Word will call us forth on that distant day because of what we celebrate on this day…”the Word became Flesh and pitched His tent in our midst.”
Merry Christmas!

More from Michael Dubruiel

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.

Keep the Mass in Christmas!


 by Michael Dubruiel, 2006

I begin with an ingenius “smiley” making a reverencial Sign of the Cross…Ever stop to think what you are wishing everyone to have a “Merry” of..? Not the Espanol “Feliz Navidad”…essentially “Happy Birthday” but rather a joyful Christ mass. What is the Mass?

There are those who think they cut Christ out of the picture by replacing Christ with an “X”…but the first letter of Christ in Greek is “X” and even when you say X-mas…you are still left with the Mass and what is the Mass?

Then there is the Christmas story, especially as it is found in the Gospel of Luke.

The Gospel of Luke begins and ends with a “vision of angels.” First there is the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to Zechariah and Mary. When Mary later visits Zechariah and Elizabeth she proclaims that God “has shown the might of his arm dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty,”(Luke 1:51-53) Zechariah at the birth of John prophesies “by which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace” (Luke 1:78,79).

There is a common theme hinted at in both of these canticles, the lowly understand a message that those in power totally miss, hunger is filled, and those who sit in darkness are given light. These precede another vision of angels; in Luke 2: 8 immediately following the birth of Jesus we read about shepherds keeping “night watch” over their flocks, the shepherds are literally a people “sitting in darkness” who have an experience of light: “the glory of the lord shone around them.”.

What is the message given to the shepherds? ” “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2: 10-12).

We may be overly familiar with this Christmas story to notice what it might be telling us. What exactly is a sign? It is not an end in and of itself but rather points to a greater reality. What is the sign the shepherds are told they will witness? They are told that they will find an “infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” A manger is a feeding box for animals. We are told that it is a “sign”, what they witness points to something beyond the experience of the birth of Christ to something else.

When the angels leave, the shepherds say, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” The key phrase here is “Bethlehem” which literally means “house of bread”. “Let us go to the House of Bread to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”

All of this is how the Gospel of Luke begins, but how does it end? Here the Risen Christ has joined two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They do not recognize him and here they tell him about a “vision of angels” that the women who came to the tomb have reported to them. In response to this He opens the Scriptures to them. They invite Him to stay with them. He takes bread, says the blessing, breaks it, gives it to them, then physically vanishes from their site. Luke tells us quite blatantly, for the really dense reader, that they recognized Him in the “breaking of the bread”.

Where are we to find Jesus this day? In the bread that is broken in the Eucharist! So at Mass we sing the Gloria, the message of the angels. It is both a reminder and an invitation for us to encounter the Lord here.

I have good news for you! This Christ Mass you too can get up and see what the Lord has made known to us–He is waiting for you.

I recommend also two books that I’ve written as the perfect Christ Mass gift to give, to remind and to inspire what we wish everyone to have a Merry one.

My How-To Book of the Mass for those who want to understand the Mass better and How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist for those who understand but our bothered by the way they actually experience the Mass in their parish. Both will help you and your loved ones trek that trial of the shepherds this Christ-Mass.

Michael Dubruiel

Catholics Returning for Christmas

 Perhaps you know someone who is contemplating coming back to Church this Christmas season. The How to Book of the Mass  by Michael Dubruiel would be a great gift for them.

Michael DubruielThe How-To Book of the Mass is the only book that not only provides the who, what, where, when, and why of themost time-honored tradition of the Catholic Church but also the how.
In this complete guide you get:

  • step-by-step guidelines to walk you through the Mass
  • the Biblical roots of the various parts of the Mass and the very prayers themselves
  • helpful hints and insights from the Tradition of the Church
  • aids in overcoming distractions at Mass
  • ways to make every Mass a way to grow in your relationship with Jesus

If you want to learn what the Mass means to a truly Catholic life—and share this practice with others—you can’t be without The How-To Book of the Mass. Discover how to:

  • Bless yourself
  • Make the Sign of the Cross
  • Genuflect
  • Pray before Mass
  • Join in Singing the Opening Hymn
  • Be penitential
  • Listen to the Scriptures
  • Hear a Great Homily Everytime
  • Intercede for others
  • Be a Good Steward
  • Give Thanks to God
  • Give the Sign of Peace
  • Receive the Eucharist
  • Receive a Blessing
  • Evangelize Others
  • Get something Out of Every Mass You Attend

“Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table ‘he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.”1347, Catechism of the Catholic Church

Find more about The How to Book of the Mass here.

Christmas Gifts for Catholics

Michael DubruielThe Church’s Most Powerful Novenas is a book of novenas connected with particular shrines. It includes the novena to St. Ann.   Michael Dubruiel wrote in the introduction to this book he compiled:

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. 

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

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Go to Joseph!Michael Dubruiel

From Asia News Italy:

I would like today to turn my attention to the figure of St Joseph. In today?s gospel pages, St Luke presents the Virgin Mary as ?engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David? (Lk 1:27). However it is the evangelist Matthew who gives the greatest prominence to the putative father of Jesus, pointing out that, through him, the Child was legally inserted in David?s line and thus he realized the Scriptures, in which the Messiah was prophesied as the ?son of David?. But Joseph?s role certainly cannot be reduced to this aspect. He is the model of the ?just? man (Mt 1:19), who in perfect sympathy with his spouse, welcomes the Son of God made man and guards over his human growth. For this reason, the days leading up to Christmas are as good a time as ever to establish a sort of spiritual conversation with St Joseph, because he helps us to live to the full this great mystery of faith.

The beloved Pope John Paul II, who was very devoted to St Joseph, left us an awesome meditation dedicated to him in the Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos, “Guardian of the Redeemer”. Among the many aspects it highlights, particular emphasis is placed on the silence of St Joseph. His is a silence permeated by contemplation of the mystery of God, in an attitude of total availability to his divine wishes. In other words, the silence of St Joseph was not the sign of an inner void, but on the contrary, of the fullness of faith he carried in his heart, and which guided each and every one of his thoughts and actions…

…Let us allow ourselves to be ?infected? by the silence of St Joseph! We have much need of it in a world which is often too noisy, which does not encourage reflection and listening to the voice of God. In this time of preparation for Christmas, let us cultivate interior meditation to welcome and watch over Jesus in our lives.

Christmas Novena

The Christmas Novena began on December 16

You can find out about the Christmas Novena here:

A Christmas novena is usually prayed, starting nine days before Christmas. The following novena was composed by an Italian priest, Rev. Charles Vachetta, C.M., in 1721. Most of the material comes from the Old Testament prophecies and the Psalms referring to the promised Redeemer.The novena consists of Opening Responsory Prayers, Psalm (Let the Heavens Be Glad), Scripture Reading, Magnificat with Daily Antiphon and Closing Prayer.This novena is prayed in conjunction with the O Antiphons, and if you are using an O Antiphon House or Tower, you would open the windows during this prayer.

And more about novenas in general in this book:
Michael Dubruiel
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Michael Dubruiel

Friday Third Week of Advent

 O LORD AND RULER of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: COME, and redeem us with outstretched arms.by Michael Dubruiel

The name of God was so sacred and reverred that it was only spoken by the High Priest and then only once a year. Whenever God was referred to in Scripture His name would not be written but rather “Adonai” the Hebrew word that we translate Lord, in Greek it would be “Kyrios”. In this reverential “O Antiphon” we have a plea for the Lord to come and save us, the mention of Moses who mediated the redemption of the Jewish tribes from slavery and in the midst of battle won the day as long as he could keep his arms outstretched points to the Lord who will come and redeem us with arms

Michael Dubruiel

outstretch from the battle that humanity faces both from evil and death.

Redemption, I wonder how much that enters our mind this final week before we celebrate Christmas? A year ago, shortly after Christmas thousands of people were swept to sea to their deaths by a tsunami. Later in the year thousands have died here in our own country from the effects of deadly hurricanes that struck along the Gulf coast. Not to mention the millions who will not celebrate Christmas this year, whose lives ended from any variety of causes including the unnatural one of sin that infects all of creation, that we call original sin.

The “one thing necessary”–that perfect gift–won’t be lying under the Christmas tree next Sunday. But the name of the day gives you a clue where you and I can find the Divine medicine offered in response to our prayer today–we will find Him with Mary His Mother and St. Joseph (who’s representations stand sentinel in many Catholic Churches on either side of the altar)at Christ’s Mass. Every day can be Christmas–
O Lord, Come!

Michael Dubruiel, 2005.

Thursday Third Week of Advent

Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.Today we have the tale of two sons. Both are commanded by the Father to go and work in the vineyard. The first says he won’t, the other says he will. But guess what, the one who refuses relents and does what the Father asked him to do. Yet the one who originally said he would go, in fact doesn’t. Jesus asks the chief priests and the elders of the people to tell him which of the two sons did the will of the Father…of course the answer is the one who vocally refused but relented and did it.Jesus uses the story to illustrate why harlots and tax collectors who repented at the preaching of John the Baptist are headed to the pearly gates, while the “religious” likely are headed in the other direction.
I don’t think it is a matter of us standing back and separating the repentant harlots and the ireligious religious but rather a good moment to hold up the mirror and ask ourselves are we do the will of the Father?
When I tell my son (who is all of 20 months old) already he rattles off a resounding “no.” I’m not even sure he knows what “no” means but he hears it enough throughout the day as he opens drawers, climbs up bookcases, writes on walls to know that it must be our favorite word. I also think he likes it because it is easy to say. He struggles with “yes” so that if often sounds like “yesh.”
When it comes to God sadly most of us are still like a 20 month old. We see God as interfering with our play time. If only we could learn that what God wants for us is what is best for us. Perhaps the harlots, tax collectors know that from there straying better than the religous who only dally in sin.
Whatever the case ultimately we all must respond to God, our Father not with the “no” that can seem so fashionable at times but with the difficult to say “yes.”
Confession during AdventMore 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.

dubruiel

Confession during Advent

  Many people like to go to Confession during Advent.  If you need a refresher… 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.
Michael Dubruiel’s website

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