Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve Meditation

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



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.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Michael Dubruiel 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



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.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Feast of the Holy Family

Octave of Christmas--Feast of the Holy Family

Consider the Holy Family. At first the whole marriage is called into question when Joseph finds out the Mary is pregnant. He decides to divorce her. But then when he receives inspiration in a dream he relents. So Jesus being born into a single parent family is averted (although as Mother Teresa once pointed out to Father Benedict Groeschel all children have God as their father--so there really is no such thing as a "single parent" family for the believer).
Next we have the family setting out for the census taking. They haven't made reservations though, and so they end up living a nightmare that I have had the chance to experience myself a few times--no vacancy at any of the hotels. So Our Lord is born in a cave.
Then when Herod seeks the life of the child the family flees into Egypt as political refugees.
Really the holy card image of the Holy Family lacks any of the struggles and hardships that in reality were the lot of the Holy Family. Evidently Joseph died before Jesus was thirty since he is never mentioned later in the Gospels. Of course Mary will endure the death of her son three years later at thirty-three. The joy of the resurrection will be tempered by His absence forty days later at the Ascension. The Holy Family experienced almost any tragedy that we can place in our experience of family life. When we call on Jesus, Mary and Joseph we should be mindful of that...the struggles of life are not ours alone to bear. Heaven lowered itself not into a plush life but into the very sorrowful existence that is ours.
It is important to focus on the reality of the Holy Family so that we can capture the meaning of the prophecy that is made by Simeon today. It is one that sees God's promise fulfilled in the infant Jesus but at the same time predicts hard times. God's blessing is not always what we might expect. It is not the Gospel of wealth and prosperity that is sometime proclaimed by the televangelist--it is one of being misunderstood, contradictions and the piercing of the mother's heart as she witnesses the death of her Son--the Son of God.

May the Holy Family bless us with the sense to find meaning in the events of our daily lives, no matter what they may bring.



Michael Dubruiel

Monday, December 28, 2015

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Octave if 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.



Michael Dubruiel

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Feast of St. Stephen

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?


Michael Dubruiel

Friday, December 25, 2015

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!




Michael Dubruiel

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Daily Advent Reflection by Michael Dubruiel



Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Daily Advent Reflection by Michael Dubruiel

O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.

"Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame,decided to divorce her quietly." I suspect that most people gloss right over this passage at the beginning of Matthew's Gospel and today's reading. We know that Joseph is not going to divorce Mary, in the same way that we know that Abraham ultimately isn't going to sacrifice Isaac--so we gloss over the fact that Joseph, a righteous man who is unwilling to expose Mary to the possibility of being executed for adultery (since that would be the only plausible explanation for her pregnancy) decides to divorce her.
We could surmise from this that the Holy Family almost was a single parent family. We could also conclude that God fearing, righteous people sometimes divorce. But of course none of that comes to pass because Joseph is a spiritual man who pays attention to his dreams. And this is another important fact in the Gospel story--Joseph's revelation comes to him in a dream--not a full fledged vision but a dream. A vision of an angel in a dream probably would be quickly dismissed by most of us.
"Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'"
So we are told that even Joseph had this intention when he had rationally looked at all the evidence, now God enters the picture albeit in a dream and says, "whoa Joseph! It is through the Holy Spirit."

There are a lot of events in life that are confusing, troubling to good people. If we are truly open to God as St. Joseph was we might discern God's hand in many events that seem at first to speak of God's absence. As we await His coming let us open ourselves to the possibility that He might be in our midst, even at this moment.


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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

O Antiphons

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."


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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Catholics Returning at Christmas

Coming back to Mass at Christmas? Know someone who might? The How To Book of the Mass is a great re-introduction to the Mass for those who are returning for a visit.





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.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Advent Monday Reflection by Michael Dubruiel

Monday of the Third Week of Advent

In many ways Advent is a season of unanswered questions that we anticipate being answered someday. In today's Gospel reading Jesus is asked by what authority he acts. He asks his questioners a question that they can't answer and in the end refuses to answer their question.
It is reminiscent of the God questioning Job.
We all have questions about why evil exist, why God doesn't intervene more and on and on the questions go. What do we do with the unanswered ones?

Our Lord refused to answer those who questioned Him because they were trying to trap Him. Perhaps that is the intent of our questions too?


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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gaudete Sunday Reflection by Michael Dubruiel


Third Sunday of Advent

"Don't worry, be happy"--was a popular song about 14 years ago. It really was a Christian message. In today's second reading St. Paul tells the Thesalonians "Be happy all the times...because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus."
A fond memory that I have of this time of the year when I was growing up in New Hampshire is that it seemed to be the time of the year that everyone was happy. It is harder to perceive if that still is the case, if people find this time of the year one of cheer and happiness. Perhaps we have trod so far off the path of the true meaning of the season that we've been cut off of from the source of all happiness--Christ.
I left part of Paul's passage out, his recipe for happiness--"pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God." This is the secret to happiness, to ultimately see everything as some how tied into God's will.

Try to do this for the next hour. Speak to God about all that troubles you, excites you, worries you. Give thanks for everything. If you are the recipient of slow service, a long line at the store--thank God! See what a difference it makes. "Don't worry, be happy."

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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Daily Advent Reflection by Michael Dubruiel

Friday of the Second Week of Advent

The gospel today confronts us with our own response to Jesus' call. The early church fathers saw this as an exasperated statement of Our Lord bemoaning the unbelief of the people no matter who the messenger. John the Baptist came leading an ascetical life and the people thought him possessed. Our Lord comes mixing with people, eating and drinking with them and they call him a glutton and drunkard. As one church father puts it, "The whole of this speech is a reproach of unbelief, and arises out of the foregoing complaint; that the stiff-necked people had not learned by two different modes of teaching".
What about us? Are we stiff-necked when it comes to answering His call. How do we respond to the "pipes" that are played for us...do we dance? How do we respond to the singing of "durges"...do we mourn?
Or do we sit back in judgment?

The gospel is not something for us to watch and critique but rather it is a message that should engage us. "If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart."
*****

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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Daily Advent Meditation

Thursday of the Second Week of Advent

When I hear the Gospel reading for today, I'm stopped in my tracks by the phrase "the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm" and necessarily I've had to spend some time canvassing the great minds of the church to figure out just exactly what Jesus meant by this.
Well, it turns out that the Greek word that is translated "violence" above is probably best rendered "forceful" but that doesn't change the overall passage that much, yet it does give us some indication of what is meant by violence. The early Fathers of the Church felt that the passage was best understood by thinking about who was entering the kingdom of heaven--sinners, namely people who did not belong there. They were intruders, outsiders who had been let in through the violence of the cross.
Taking this a step further, if our sins are really what nailed Jesus to a cross then we see that the violence we have done to the Son of God in some way have been our ticket to the kingdom of heaven.
It is only those however, who are desperate to enter that get in. One imagines the crowds that surrounded Jesus and John the Baptist (a modern example might be Pope John Paul and the crowds that surround his visits). Only a desperate person would get close enough to touch Our Lord.

So it is today. Are we desperate in our desire to enter the kingdom of heaven or is it somewhere way down the list of things to do today?
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.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Daily Advent Reflection

Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

Rest, that is what the Lord promises today to those who come to Him. If you work and you find yourself overburdened, come to Him and He will give you rest.
This is kind of the opposite of all the other sayings that we often think of when we think of following Jesus. Most of them emphasize the cross and the difficulty. We think of it as something hard and it would be if it weren't for Jesus.
The focus must always be on Him first. Come to Him and He will give you rest.
I regularly see the difference in my life between the times that I spend quality time in prayer and those times that I do not. Everything seems more burdensome without prayer. Prayer--my time with Christ, puts everything in perspective, and indeed lightens my perceived place in the world.

So today an invitation, like those "rest area" signs that happen every forty or so miles on an interstate, if you seek a light "yoke" and an easier "burden" come to the Lord.
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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Daily Advent Meditation

Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent 


Sometimes we get it all wrong.
Perhaps it comes from our childhood and being threatened with retribution from God when our parents realize that they can't see us and be with us all the time, but most of us carry within us an image of God as the supreme being out to get us.
In today's gospel, Jesus tells us otherwise. "It is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost."
Not one. Not you. Not the horrible people you know. Not the better than good people that you know. Not one!
God wants everyone to be saved.
Fostering a longing for the coming of Christ can only happen if we believe that it is for our good.

Fulton Sheen used to portray the image of Satan and Christ speaking to a soul both before the person committed a sin and afterwards. Before Sheen said, Christ seemed like the obstacle to the sinner, Satan the friend. "God doesn't want you to enjoy yourself, etc" But after sin the real identity of Satan as the accuser takes shape, "Now you've done it! God could never love you after what you've done! You might as well go on doing it!" But Christ appears as a savior, "Come back, I forgive you!"
*****
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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Monday, Second Week of Advent Reflection

Monday of the Second Week of Advent 

Mary's "How can this be?" is the primordial human question when confronted by God's grace. We can always think of a thousand reasons why we are undeserving of meriting any special favor from God. It only grows worst with age, after receiving numerous benefits from God we continue to squander God's grace and are even more convinced that we are undeserving of any further blessings.

But God is not like us. In the Gospel of the Monday of the Second week of Advent, Jesus forgives the sins of the man whose friends brought him to be healed. The Pharisees complain that only God can forgive, but Jesus who of course is Divine says "so you will know that the Son of Man has the power to forgive," an interesting way of taking something that is "divine" and mandating that it become a "human" activity.

In the same way that God's grace is so freely given, we too should give freely. Forgive, stop making requirements the basis for our love, not to bury the graces that we have been given while the Master tarries in His return.


Indeed, we will know that we have arrived when others mouth the words of Mary, "How can this be?" Then we will know that we are acting in God's graces.

*****
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. 

"michael Dubruiel"


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.