Sunday, August 31, 2014

Following Christ

When St. Peter heard that Jesus was going somewhere, he wanted
to follow the Lord. Jesus refused, and told the apostle that he
would follow later. Peter protested: He was willing to lay down
his life for Jesus (again something that he ultimately would do
later). Then Jesus dropped a bombshell: That very night, Peter
would deny him three times.

The final battle to following Jesus is the battle of self. No matter
how pure our motives may seem, until we trust in God more
than we trust in ourselves, we are doomed to fail. To truly follow
Jesus, we must unite ourselves with him and trust him totally.
"michael dubruiel"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

All about Novenas

The Church's Most Powerful Novenas is a book of novenas connected with particular shrines.  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. 

Dying to Self

Christians are to be forgiving and merciful; we are to live out the
unity Christ died to restore. In the early church, outsiders marveled
at the followers of Christ because of their love for one another.
Sadly, the unity that was the hallmark of the early Church
has been damaged, in some cases seemingly beyond repair. We
who are called to be “merciful” stand idly by while our brothers
and sisters in other parts of the world are offered up as scapegoats.
We who are to share the Good News huddle among our own,
contented to preach to the choir. The problem is this: Jesus died
for all, so that all might be saved. We who follow Our Lord must
live to accomplish his will.

As St. Peter points out, Jesus himself is our example. The
treatment that Jesus received on the cross was worse than most
of us can even imagine but his message of forgiveness did not
change. When Jesus rose from the dead, he did not declare a holy
war against those who had put him to death. Instead he proclaimed,
“Peace,” and sent his followers to the ends of the earth
to preach the gospel, teaching all to believe and trust in him.

"michael dubruiel"

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Pray

Since the time of early Christianity, there have been forms
of prayer that use breathing as a cadence for prayer. The Jesus
Prayer and the Rosary, along with various forms of contemplative
prayer, are all variations of this type of prayer. The real prayer
behind all of these methods is the prayer of surrender: “Into
your hands I commend my spirit.” This was the prayer that Jesus
prayed to the Father from the cross.

Though confession alone does not remove the temporal penalty
of sin, healing still is possible by God’s grace. Prayer, reading the
Scripture, giving alms, doing good works all are acts that have
had indulgences attached to them by the Church. By obtaining
an indulgence, the Christian receives healing from the temporal
penalty of even the gravest sins, reducing or eliminating altogether
the time of purification needed in purgatory (CCC 1471).

Ideally, the Christian is motivated to perform these spiritual
exercises not from fear of punishment but out of love for God.
As we read in the preceding passage, St. Paul tells the Ephesians
to offer themselves as a spiritual sacrifice with Christ, who has
paid the debt of our sins. Seeing Christ on the cross and meditating
on his love for us should help us to understand how much
God loves

"michael dubruiel"

RCIA Resource

The How to Book of the Mass  by Michael Dubruiel would be a great gift for a newly-confirmed Catholic.

Michael Dubruiel

The 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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Queenship of Mary - August 22

Today is another Marian feast - the Queenship of Mary.  It's also one of the mysteries of the Rosary, and so it's appropriate to talk about the Rosary as we contemplate the feast. Michael Dubruiel conceived and put together the small hardbound book, Praying the Rosary.  Click on the cover for more information.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena and Shrine

An article by Michael Dubruiel, here:

The icon features the child Jesus fleeing into his Mother's protective arms as the Archangels Michael and Gabriel show Him the instruments of crucifixion. The Greek letters spell out the first letters of Mary and Jesus' names.

The icon arrived in Rome in the 15th century after a merchant who had heard about a miraculous image on the island of Crete went to the island and stole it. When he arrived in Rome with the icon among his wares, he fell very ill. As he lay dying, he ordered that a friend place the icon in a church, perhaps hoping that it would alleviate his suffering. The friend took the icon to his own home, where his wife hung it in their bedroom.

The Virgin evidently was not pleased with this arrangement, and several times appeared to the man and told him that she wished for her image to be placed in a church. The man, despite the miraculous visitation, was not moved to relinquish control of the image. The Blessed Virgin next appeared to the man's daughter and asked that the icon be enshrined in a church between the two very large churches of St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. The daughter communicated this to her father and he relented, and so the icon was enshrined in 1499 in St. Matthew's, the church that lies between the two larger edifices.

"Michael Dubruiel"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Holy Spirit

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 

"michael dubruiel"

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Feast of the Assumption - August 15

The Feast of the Assumption is this Friday, August 15.   The Assumption is, of course, one of the mysteries of the Rosary, and so it's appropriate to talk about the Rosary as we contemplate the feast. Michael Dubruiel conceived and put together the small hardbound book, Praying the Rosary.  Click on the cover for more information.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fulton Sheen's cause for canonization

The Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and President of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, received word early Thursday morning that the 7-member board of medical experts who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints at the Vatican unanimously approved a reported miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Several years ago, Michael Dubruiel edited a prayer book centered on Fulton Sheen's writings.  It is out of print, but there are a few used copies available at reasonable prices here:

"michael dubruiel" "fulton sheen"

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Thief on the Cross

In the Scriptures, a person is considered enslaved to the extent
that he or she is attached to anything that is not God. “No servant
can serve two masters,” Jesus says in Luke 16:13. “Either he
will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the
one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
When God is not master of a person’s life, other forces are
free to enslave him. A Christian must be especially careful not to
become encumbered by lesser “gods,” knowing the price Jesus
paid to set us free from the bondage of sin. In the passage quoted
above from the book of Romans, St. Paul speaks of the horrible
effects of this enslavement. Wretched man that I am! Who will
deliver me from this body of death?

Inevitably, the way of bondage is the way of death. However,
even at the moment of death, the liberation of the cross is possible.
Two men were crucified with Christ, one on each side of
him (the seats that James and John requested). Both prisoners
were guilty of the crimes for which they were being executed.
However, one admitted his guilt; from his cross, Jesus assured
that thief that they would soon be in paradise.

"michael dubruiel"

Monday, August 04, 2014

The battle against pride

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
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
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.

"michael dubruiel"