Rosary as Contemplation: Homily for Saturday, October 7, 2017

Readings for Today

This feast has its roots in a battle.  As the story goes, the praying of the rosary led to victory.  That is why the original name of this day was Our Lady of Victory.  But as wonderful as the title is, I prefer the name the celebration has today: Our Lady of the Rosary.  Why?

The biggest reason is the way in which the rosary itself gets highlighted.  The rosary is such a powerful prayer of contemplation.  While it is true the victory of God is constant in the contemplation of the rosary, the connection to the events of our salvation, and to Jesus, seems clearer when compared to the rosary.

The rosary is the pathway to contemplation.  In its truest form, the rosary leads us to Jesus.  We reflect on his life, death and resurrection. The rosary also leads to discipleship. Just as the disciples responded to Jesus, Mary’s responded perfectly to God.  She too was sent.  She too was a devout follower of God.  Her constant yes is worthy of our imitation.

The Comfort of the Rosary: Homily for Friday, September 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Whenever I am in distress, I find the rosary a particularly helpful devotion. And today’s memorial tells us why.  Mary suffered.  She understands it.  And in her suffering, she provides a model: stay close to God and do what he says. So it only stands to reason that Mary would understand our suffering too.  And she would pray that her son would ease our suffering.

Every major religion in the world has some type of repetitive prayer. By praying the rosary, we are reminded of the events of salvation. We can meditate on what Jesus does for us.  And we can have the prayer from the woman who truly understands us.

Without Sin: Homily for Assumption of Mary, August 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today (Vigil Mass)

Readings for Today (Mass during the day)

There are moments when we might wish to have lived in a different time.  How many have longed to be alive in the time of Jesus? How many seek to live during the time of our favorite saint? When we think this way, we forget that regardless of when we live, the mission is always to follow Jesus.  We must see how Jesus is alive.  We must seek God in all things. It does not matter when we live, but what we do.

Where is God in your life? How does God call you to holiness? What is it that gives life? We live during the present age because God wants us to.  And because God wants us to, God also gives us all the grace we need.  Becuase Mary knew this and remained close to God, she was rewarded by God with the immediate presence.  She did not have to wait for death but rather went right to God.

 

Daily prayer for July 9, 2017

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.

Daily Prayer for Friday, June 30, 2017

Daily Prayer

O My God,
I place my trust and confidence in You,
who will reward the good and punish the wicked.
I believe in You and accept everything
You have taught and revealed.

I believe that in one God
there are three Divine Persons –
God the Father,
God the Son
and God the Holy Spirit.

I believe that God the Son became Man
without ceasing to be God.
He is Jesus Christ, my lord and my Savior,
the Redeemer of the human race.
He died on the Cross for my salvation
and eternal happiness.

O my God, give me a strong faith.
Help me to believe with lively faith.

O my God, all-good and all-merciful,
I sincerely hope to be saved.
Help me to do all that is necessary
to gain eternal salvation.

I have committed many sins in my life,
but now I turn away from them.
I am sorry, truly sorry for all of them,
because I have offended You, my God,
Who are all-good, all-perfect,
all-holy and all-merciful.

I love you, God, with all my heart.
Please forgive me for having offended You.

I promise that, with Your help,
I will never offend You again.

My God, have mercy on me.

A New Guide to Living a Marian Life

“By a singular gift of God’s grace, no one other than her Son was ever so meek, humble, or grace-filled as the Blessed Virgin,” a new Manual for Marian Devotionnotes. It’s a leather-bound volume (also available on Kindle) meant to help guide not only prayer by a lifestyle of going to Mary as mother, to be more like her Son, knowing and treasuring God’s will in your life. She is role model, intercessor, and teacher. How can we live that way? Sister Albert Marie Surmanski, O.P., a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, who teaches theology at Ave Maria University, put the Manual together with the help of Sr. Maria Veritas Marks, O.P. Sr. Albert Marie shares a bit about the book and Marian living.

To read the entire story, click here.

Homily for Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Readings for Today

I am always a little tempted when the genealogy reading comes up in the gospel to read. If for no other reason, it is to see if I can read it with the type of conviction that might cause people to pay attention. Usually I do not. And yet, when we think about celebrating a birthday, it might be the best time for us to think about the connections we have to the past, and will have in the future.  For better or worse, our family and our relatives are connected.

What is interesting to me is that we do not choose these connections. We did not have auditions to see what relatives would “make the cut.” They were given to us, whether we wanted them to be or not. We did not have a choice in the matter. We do however have a choice in how we will allow them to influence us.

Most people can look to their relatives and see how, in positive ways, they have shaped the persons we are and whom it is we will become. When I think of my relatives, they are probably not a lot different from yours. There are some relatives of mine I admire deeply and seek to emulate in my faith and in the way I live my life. There are others for whom faith is not as important. At the same time, they still impact the person I am, either because I have been shaped by past experiences or people I care about have been shaped by past experiences.

The Blessed Mother is no different. Just as we are, she too was shaped and molded by her relatives. Like most family trees hers too is filled with a variety of people, with a variety of serious expressions of faith. We know she was open to being shaped by Jesus too, perhaps most especially when we see of her struggle, and that of her relatives, in trying to figure out this son of hers.

Perhaps what is most important when we consider the first reading. Saint Paul reminds us that all that God does God does for a purpose. It is not purely a chance event that allows some to be saved, while others who may not have had that chance event are out of luck. No, if there is any important lesson on a day when we recall the Blessed Mother, it is precisely that God is ever-present seeking to invite us again and again to a deeper life with him.

In many ways, it is not just that we did not choose our family. Most of us did not choose our family of faith either. Whether we are a life long Catholic, or someone new, those witnesses that led us to faith came to us by grace. But the choice is not luck, but is for the purpose God sets before us.

 

Homily for Saturday, August 15, 2015 (Assumption Mass During the Day)

Readings for Today

Watch out! I use a GPS system that not only tells me the directions, but also warns me of obstacles to driving I might encounter. It warns me by saying “Watch out!” and then it indicates what the hazard or issue is. The first time I used this, when I heard “Watch out!” I was startled. But know I look forward to hearing it, because I find the verbal warnings to be helpful in keeping me safe.

I think of the Solemnity of the Assumption in a similar way. Only on this day, when we are encouraged to “Watch out!” it is not simply to avoid hazards, though that is part of what we do today. It is also to give us the path to follow. By reflecting on the way in which Mary lived her life, we are shown the way a disciple of Jesus is led to follow him and find in doing so, God himself.

To be sure, there are many things we can encounter on a daily basis that might cause us to proceed with caution. It can be quite difficult indeed to remember that every person is created in the dignity that God gives. When people cut us off in traffic, it is not easy to remember God given dignity. When we see someone begging for help, it can be quite the challenge to see them as person of Christ himself. Even with those we love greatly, we can be tempted to consider only our own needs and not the needs of those with whom we live.

When we consider eastern Church art, we can see that Mary is always pointing the way to Christ. It is not that Mary reflects the greatness of Mary, but of the Lord. Mary does not exalt her self, but God, her savior. God is the source for Mary, and it is God who fills her heart with joy when Mary considers what God has done.

Because of this, we celebrate then with Mary what glory awaits those who encounter God. And what is that? It is the most precious gift God enables for us, namely the gift of the eternal possibility of a relationship that fulfills us far beyond anything we can imagine.

Homily for Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Readings for Today

When we think of Mary, the Mother of God, we can think that her greatness is that she gave birth to Jesus. But such is not really the case. Today’s gospel tells us that it is not the biological relationship that is primary in a follower of Jesus, even if that follower is a biological parent. Jesus tells us in today’s gospel what makes for greatness in the faith. While it may appear at first that Jesus is somewhat rude to his mother (I certainly would not dare try speaking to my mother in that way) he is really making a point about what really matters.

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