Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year's Day 2021 Meditation


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

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

New Year's Meditation by Michael Dubruiel


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.

Michael Dubruiel

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Catholics Come Home

 Perhaps you know someone who is contemplating coming back to Church this Christmas season. The How to Book of the Mass  by Michael Dubruiel would be a great gift for them.

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 28, 2020

Octave of Christmas 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.

Octave of Christmas--Feast of the Holy Innocents


Octave of 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

Friday, December 25, 2020

Feast of St. Stephen Meditation


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

Thursday, December 24, 2020

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