August 4 – St. John Vianney

Today is the feastday of St. John Vianney

Here is a novena of St. John Vianney

Saint John Vianney, you were blessed with a loving and devout family who supported your desire to increase your faith and devote yourself fully towards imitating the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. In your quest to pursue your holy vocation, you were not deterred by the many obstacles that came your way. Your strong faith carried you through all of life’s trials to your place in God’s kingdom. Obtain for me the same courage and faith that allowed you to give all to God without counting the cost. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide me to the right decisions that will best serve God and my neighbor. Believing in the power of your kind intercession, I humbly ask you to pray for me and the special intention I am hoping God will grant me through this novena. (here mention your special intention) St. John Vianney, Priest of Ars, pray for our priests, and pray for us. Amen.

Learn more about novenas in this book by Michael Dubruiel.

73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God – 69

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God by Michael Dubruiel. The previous posts are found in the archives. This is step # 69:

(69) To honor the aged.

Life that has been lived long has acquired wisdom that can not be learned in books. The idealism of youth often finds quick solutions to problems that the person with wisdom will merely smile at. They have seen it all and have grown to appreciate what is of the utmost importance and what is trivial in a way that those of us who are still learning have not.

There is nothing more valuable in a culture than those who have been around for a long time and can provide this perspective to life. I was blessed to live near my grandparents and to enjoy their wisdom as I was growing up. There is a perspective to life that they can give that younger parents can not.

Benedict’s counsel encourages us to honor the gift of life that has been bestowed upon our elders; to hold them in high esteem, to seek their counsel. To learn from them when we disagree with them.

Our culture unfortunately has not followed this counsel of late. We present youth as the ideal. Older people are made to feel that their time is past. This is a tragedy and the lasting effects are yet to manifest themselves in our culture.

Honoring anyone is a sign that we recognize the value that they possess not only to us but also to all. Honor the older people you encounter today. Take time to say hello, take time to learn from them. Allow yourself to receive their blessing.

Book on the Catholic Mass by Michael Dubruiel

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. 

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.

How to go to Confession – by Michael Dubruiel

For a brief, pointed and helpful guide by Michael Dubruiel

"Michael Dubruiel"

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

Amy Welborn Interviewed

Back from Italy


Stewardship and Evangelization

I’ve been in Chicago, since Monday (flying in from Tampa), hence the lack of blogging. In Chicago I was attending the International Catholic Stewardship Council’s annual conference. The theme of the conference this year linked Saint Paul, evangelization with the idea of stewardship. It was in a conversation with a pastor of a large church that a new insight hit me that was connected with the overall theme of the conference.

We were talking about marriage preparation and this pastor’s frustration with mandates from his diocese that certian topics be taught before marriage–of great interest to me, since I have oversight of this area in the diocese where I am. Listening to the pastor, who I would have little agreement with on the topic we were discussing–a revelation of sorts came to me: When we have the opportunity to win people back to Christ–whose faith isn’t the strongest, what do we present them with at that moment when they are coming to the church requesting a sacrament? Namely is it Christ or a list of demands?

I also recalled at the moment that when I was critiquing a marriage program being proposed for a southern diocese (not mine), a few years ago, that my major criticism of the program is how it squandered the opportunity to invite the couple preparing for marriage to a deeper relationship with Christ (or to even consider a relationship with Christ). This program was strong in communication skills, strong in financial planning, but when it came to the Faith it became very abstract–using churchy language and not communicating the essential nature of faith to the success of marriage.

People are always saying we should teach this or we should demand this, but one hardly hears as the essential teaching or demand the necessity of Christ. That as Jean Pierre De Cuasade said, “Without God everything is nothing, but with God nothing is everything,” if we believe this and I do, then we have to act like it when we are preparing a progam in Christ’s Church.

I visited St. Peter’s Church in Chicago around 1:00 on Monday, during a break in the conference. Over three hundred people were on their knees praying before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar. In this church there are confessions heard everyday from early in the morning to late in the day, Mass is said almost every hour from early in the morning to midday–what a blessing to have a place in the midst of the city where people can come to renew their relationship with Christ, continue thier initiation into his Body, the Church (an insight of Pope Benedict’s in his apostolic letter), and adore him! This is the source of all our efforts at evanglization and a great example of what being a good steward of the gifts that God has given to the church to share with all.

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