Sunday, January 31, 2016

Steps to following Christ

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ
Ask—Do I reverence God?
Seek—Find a way to adore God today, be it in the Eucharist or
in the secrecy of your room, or anywhere. When you see the
shape of the cross, say the prayer that St. Francis instructed his
brothers and sisters to say, “We adore you O Christ. . .”
Knock—Meditate on Hebrews 12:28–29. What does it mean to
offer acceptable worship to God? How is the kingdom we are
offered by Christ unshakeable?
Transform Your Life—Make you life one of reverence toward
God at all times. Let your focus be on remaining in God’s presence,
rather than judging and criticizing those around you.
"michael dubruiel"

Friday, January 29, 2016

Free Book for Lent

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"

Monday, January 25, 2016

Free Catholic Book

St. Paul tells us that we are to “cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light”—we are to conduct ourselves as
people of light. Too often people try to escape or reject their cross;
they flee to the darkness, escape in alcohol or sex, or immerse
themselves in anger, all because things have not gone their way.
Without the grace of God, this is our fate as well. Yet when we
are handed a cross, if we abandon ourselves and trust in God as
Christ did, what seems like defeat is in fact a victory! The evil that
is done to us, God can mold into good. Then we can sing
Hosanna to God in the highest, because the light of God will live
in us and we will see everything in his light.
"michael dubruiel"

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Year of Mercy

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"

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Year of Mercy at Mass

Every Mass begins with a chance for us to remind ourselves of our own plunging into the waters of Baptism and throughout the Mass we recall all that separates us from God, namely our sins and our idols. When the priest or deacon asks us to call to mind our sins, we should do that.  We should pay attention to what pops into our heads at that moment. God may reveal to you an area of sinfulness (something that is separating you from perfect communion with Him) at that moment.  Don't be surprised at what comes up but place it before God at this moment of the Mass so that He can transform it.  Recall that God is your savior, not yourself. Allow God to save you from your sins in His mercy. Believe that God's mercy is greater than your sins.


From How to Get the Most out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel.

"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, January 17, 2016

Today's Gospel - the Miracle at Cana

Michael Dubruiel conceived and put together the small hardbound book, Praying the Rosary.  Click on the cover for more information.

"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.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Living the Year of Mercy

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"

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Year of Mercy

The encounter with Jesus that takes place in every celebration of the Eucharist calls us to conversion. The more we recognize Jesus in the opening of the Scriptures and the Breaking of the Bread the more this becomes apparent. When Jesus first encountered Peter fishing in the Sea of Galilee the Lord gave Peter some fishing advice. Peter humored the Nazarene and found that the catch of fish was beyond anything that he had ever experienced before. This made him realize that Jesus was unlike anyone that he had ever encountered. So what did Peter do? He made a two-fold confession: "Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord," (Luke 5:8). In recognizing the divinity of Jesus, he also was made aware of his own sinfulness.  What did Jesus do? He told him, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men," (Luke 5:10). Then Peter followed the Lord.


The journey that Peter set out on that day is similar to the journey that each of us takes after our Baptism and like Peter we may sin again whenever we fail to remember who God is and who we are. Peter was sure that he would be willing to die for Christ even when Jesus told him that he would end up denying him not once but three times. The Lord was right, Peter was wrong. We too fall, time and again after numerous resolutions that we will never sin again. In a matter of seconds we are passing judgment on someone or even worst--once again falling into sin.


The two-fold confession that we make at every Eucharist can change our lives if we speak these words with heartfelt conviction. When we confess our belief in God, we are saying that it is God whom we trust, not our sins and failings, not what others think about us but God alone. 


From How to Get the Most out of the Eucharist by Michael Dubruiel.

"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.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to pray a Novena





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. 

"michael Dubruiel"

Saturday, January 09, 2016

How to Prepare for Mass

What will we say when the messengers of Our Lord come to us
and tell us that the time is at hand, and the Lord wishes for us
to prepare for his Passover? Will we open the door of our hearts
and welcome him?
Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori method of
learning, wrote a book in the early twentieth century about the
Mass for Children. She began by describing the inside of a
church: candles lit, altar cloths set on the altar. Something very
special must be about to take place here, she said. Just as the disciples
prepared for the Passover, the Last Supper of the Lord, so
we must prepare to welcome the Savior before we approach his
banquet.
Being prepared for Mass is essential to the disciple and follower
of Jesus Christ who wishes to be enriched with his teaching
and be fed with his Body and Blood. St. Paul’s admonition
to examine ourselves is paramount if we are not to eat and drink
judgment upon ourselves—but rather partake in the Way, the
Truth, and the Life.

From The Power of the Cross , available as a free download by clicking the cover below:



"michael dubruiel"

Friday, January 08, 2016

How to Pray at Mass

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, January 06, 2016

Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany of the Lord

People experience darkness in a lot of ways. Some are depressed. Others experience it in ignorance.
Darkness and the experience of being blind are two ways that the scriptures often portray the condition of humans without some outside help. Many of us are aware that something isn't quite right with ourselves. We are not the person that we feel we could or should be. We don't know how to act in our own best interest or the for the good of others. We often are at the mercy of those who try to manipulate our indecisiveness and lack of vision.
To this Isaiah the prophet says, "Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance". God has sent light that shines in the darkness, John tells us in his gospel--will we accept that light?
The magi traveled afar to experience it. How far are we willing to travel to experience what countless saints have experienced for the last two thousand years? How willing are we to surrender to the light? It is our choice, we can be like Herod who was threatened by the light that his true worth would be seen in its light or we can be like the magi who recognized the ultimate worth of such light shining in the darkness and brought what they had to offer in exchange for a treasure that the earth can only give in the person of the God made man.

Monday, January 04, 2016

January 4: Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious

They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher),"where are you staying?" Those who experienced Jesus all seem to have sensed in His presence that He had something to teach them. It is the same with us, there is a wisdom that we lack and when we come to worship Our Lord we should come with the expectation that we will learn a new way to think and a new way to live.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a convert to Catholicism founded what eventually became the system of Catholic schools in the United States. It is not coincidental that those who follow Christ often embrace the profession of teaching. Teaching is one way that the followers of Christ imitate Him but the teaching of a follower of Christ is always centered on God and therein lies the difference.

Knowledge without God often makes no sense because it is experienced out of the context of the whole. A visit to Emmitsburgh where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton taught, one can visit the first school that she started there. What makes that school different from others is the presence of a chapel. Perhaps the problem with education today is that God is often absent from the lesson plans.


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.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Meditation on the Epiphany

The Epiphany of the Lord

People experience darkness in a lot of ways. Some are depressed. Others experience it in ignorance.
Darkness and the experience of being blind are two ways that the scriptures often portray the condition of humans without some outside help. Many of us are aware that something isn't quite right with ourselves. We are not the person that we feel we could or should be. We don't know how to act in our own best interest or the for the good of others. We often are at the mercy of those who try to manipulate our indecisiveness and lack of vision.
To this Isaiah the prophet says, "Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance". God has sent light that shines in the darkness, John tells us in his gospel--will we accept that light?

The magi traveled afar to experience it. How far are we willing to travel to experience what countless saints have experienced for the last two thousand years? How willing are we to surrender to the light? It is our choice, we can be like Herod who was threatened by the light that his true worth would be seen in its light or we can be like the magi who recognized the ultimate worth of such light shining in the darkness and brought what they had to offer in exchange for a treasure that the earth can only give in the person of the God made man.



Michael Dubruiel

Saturday, January 02, 2016

January 2 - Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen


January 2 - Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors of the Church

I've spent the past month reading a number of books on Orthodox Christianity. Most of the books have dealt with how it is lived today in the Mediteranean but a few have dealt with American examples. Most of the books have sang the glories of Orthodoxy, one written by a Catholic has looked at it in a more playful attitude. I mention this because today's reading from John's letter reminds me of an attitude that seems to be very "orthodox" especially of the Mediteranean variety. John says:
"Who is the liar?
Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father,
but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well".

This might cause embarrassment if spoken in American circles. We might want to place all types of qualifiers or include a prayer to the four winds or add a feminine element to the passage. But if we really believe that Jesus is God come in the flesh, do we dare deny Him in front of men (and women)? Jesus had a stern warning about those who would deny Him. If we truly believe we won't do that today.



More from Michael Dubruiel

Michael Dubruiel

Friday, January 01, 2016

Octave of Christmas-Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

Octave of Christmas-Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

If I were preaching today, I would be short. When I was young this was the Feast of the circumcision and the Gospel reading was one line. "On the eight day the time for the circumcision of the child came and he was named Jesus the name the angel had given to his parents." Somewhere along the line the church changed this to the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God and attached World Peace Day as well. So tying all of this together at the beginning of this new year we invoke the Theotokos, "the Mother of God" to intercede for us and our families that this year will be filled with God's blessing and peace. The first reading provides us with the words...
"The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!"

Happy New Year!



Michael Dubruiel