Monday, November 30, 2015

Daily Advent Meditation

These were written by Michael Dubruiel many years ago. 

First Sunday of Advent

My memories of growing up in New England are filled with examples of what ideally we all might do if we were to celebrate Advent in response to Jesus' admonition in the Gospel of Mark. Gathering on the Sunday after Thanksgiving for the lighting of the village Christmas Crèche, caroling throughout the streets of the small town, and the general mood of good cheer that permeated the cold wintry landscape warms me even now. Everyone seemed to make an extra effort to notice everyone else.
What does this have to do with the readings you ask?
Jesus tells his disciples to "watch," to be alert, for they do not know when the time will come. Last Sunday we had the end portrayed and indeed the gathered people (the sheep and goats) are surprised that they had already either helped the Lord or refused him when they had reached out to those in need. If we are truly vigilant we will greet everyone we meet today as though it could be the Lord himself coming into our midst.
There are no unimportant visitors for the Christian. Advent is a time of expectation of the Lord's coming, not on our terms but in whatever way He chooses to come to us today. Be vigilant!
The way we celebrated before Christmas when I was growing up seemed to capture this spirit, people genuinely became other focused. If we truly believe that the Lord might be lurking in the stranger that we meet how might we treat Him differently. The Lord commands us to "Watch!" There is no better way to celebrate Advent than this intense watching, vigilance for the unexpected arrival.

Monday of the First Week of Advent

We say the words of the Centurion before communion everytime we go to Mass but do we really mean it? "Lord, I am not worthy..."
Most of us probably think there are times when we aren't worthy but plenty of other times that we are. The truth is that we are never worthy. The more we can foster that notion the less likely we are to sit in judgment of others, the less likely we are to ever think we know better than God.

If we are to truly look forward to the coming of Christ we have to foster within us a deep sense of our own unworthiness that creates space for Christ to enter into our lives. The Centurion realized that a mere word from the savior could save his servant. In faith we should open the Scriptures with the same belief and expectation.


Michael Dubruiel

Friday, November 27, 2015

Season of Giving

The Passion of Jesus reveals that God is present even when he seems farthest away. We might even be tempted to think that God has abandoned those we choose to pass by. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth: “. . .as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40). 
 Almsgiving has always been a Christian penitential practice. It is one of the ways that we become more like Christ and take up our cross to follow him daily. Jesus gave to everyone who approached him; we, empowered by him, are called to share what he gives us with all whom we meet—and even those we must seek out.

-The Power of the Cross 



"michael dubruiel"

Monday, November 23, 2015

Catholic Books for Sale

You can purchase Michael Dubruiel's books here - 

Books like The How to Book of the Mass and How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist. 

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.
"michael dubruiel"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Free Christian e-book

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"F

Friday, November 20, 2015

Michael Dubruiel Interview

You can listen to an interview program with Michael Dubruiel about his book, The Power of the Cross. The interview is with Kris McGregor of KVSS radio.


Episode 4 –
The Cross of Christ unites…
– Michael discusses:
 Day 15 – How We Worship Day
16 – How We See Jesus Day
17 – How We Forgive Day
 18 – Law and Love Day
 19 – Our Lives Day
20 – Our Priorities
Day 21 – How We See Ourselves

"michael Dubruiel"




You can find out more about The Power of the Cross here, including a free download of the book. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Going to the Catholic 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, November 18, 2015

Trusting Jesus

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"

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Daily meditation book

The first step to ridding ourselves of disordered attachments
is to realize what those attachments might be. Whenever we have
a tendency to rationalize that something is “holy,” “untouchable,”
or “indispensable”—it is a pretty good indication that a disordered
attachment is at the root. Only God is our holy and
untouchable source of life. Giving anything else such a high priority
is perpetuating a lie.
"michael dubruiel"

Monday, November 16, 2015

Free Meditations

When our earthly life ceases, we will be welcomed into God’s
kingdom to the degree that we made him the Lord of our lives.
For many of us, that will mean some time along the purgative
way, learning to release all of our demands upon God. God has
found his rightful place in our hearts when we realize that whatever
he wills is best for us.


"michael dubruiel"

Friday, November 13, 2015

St. Francis Cabrini Novena


A novena to Mother Cabrini is included in The Church's Most Powerful Novenas


















A novena to Mother Cabrini is included in

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"














Thursday, November 12, 2015

Catholic Meditation Book

If we want to learn anything about the Paschal mystery of Jesus’
Passion, death, and resurrection here on the mountain of the
Transfiguration, we must approach these mysteries on our knees.
It all begins with prayer.

Jesus climbed the mountain to be alone with the three disciples,
to pray with them. Every effort of prayer begins with an
invitation to “come aside.” Just as Our Lord called Peter, James,
and John to come with him up the mountain, he beckons to us
today. When we feel that inner nudge, that desire to pray, we
must pay attention to God’s call.

It may be difficult to respond to the invitation at times. We
need not climb a mountain, at least not literally. However, we do
need a place to “come aside.” It may be a special corner of our
room, or a nearby chapel; no matter where it is, the trip to put
oneself into God’s presence may seem like scaling the side of a
precipice at times. This is to be expected: We are entering a different
realm. As Peter, James, and John discovered, in leading
them up the mountain Jesus had taken them higher than the geological
summit; he had transported them to heaven itself. They
were able to witness Moses and Elijah, conversing with Jesus in
prayer and blinding light!



"michael dubruiel"

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to Pray

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"

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Catholic Reflection

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"

Monday, November 9, 2015

Christian Prayer

St. Peter Chrysologus (the “golden-worded”) was known for
his clear and simple style of preaching. About the angel’s appearance
at the tomb, he preached, “Pray that the angel would
descend now and roll away all the hardness of our hearts and
open up our closed senses and declare to our minds that Christ
has risen, for just as the heart in which Christ lives and reigns is
heaven, so also in the heart in which Christ remains dead and
buried is a grave.”

For those who do not believe, life unfolds as a series of accidents.
When a follower of Christ sees his life in exactly the same
way, Jesus calls that person foolish, slow to believe. Someone like
that needs to redirect his attention to the cross.
"michael dubruiel"

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Free Catholic e-book

The cross is the school of love. It transforms how we look at God,
the world, and everyone around us. Nailed to the cross with
Jesus, we sometimes have faith enough to hear him promise,
“This day you will be with me in Paradise.” Others simply curse
God for not taking them down off of the cross.
If you are graced to be a student of the cross, it is your mission
to pray with all of your strength for those who are truants
of this school. The love of God compels us to love one another,

God has already lowered himself to our level, suffered
at our hands, and loved us through it all. Jesus is the perfect
example of being loved by God and loving God.
to carry one another’s burdens. Realizing that God alone really
matters is the first step to entering the kingdom of God. When
that kingdom comes, everyone will acknowledge God’s priority.
Until then, we live in a world where those who know must tell
those who don’t, and oftentimes those who know best are the
children. Fulton Sheen once said there will be only children in
the kingdom, something that we adults might want to reflect
upon from time to time.


"michael dubruiel"

Friday, November 6, 2015

Who is Solanus Casey?

This friary mentioned in the excerpt that I've quoted below is one of the places I usually go for lunch. It was sold some years ago and stands as a monument of a time that has passed, hopefully someday in the future one of the new communities arrising will purchase it and restore it.



Pray for the Beatification of Venerable Solanus Casey!



From Article: The "Holy Doorman" of St. Bonaventure's:



"A Living Saint. Among those who recognized the simple holiness of the tall, bearded priest is Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., director of the Office for Spiritual Development of the Archdiocese of New York. Fr. Groeschel was eighteen years old in 1950 and in formation at St. Felix Capuchin Novitiate in Huntington, Indiana, where Fr. Solanus lived at the time.



Fr. Groeschel recalled one warm evening that year when, unable to sleep, he slipped into the chapel to pray. 'After a few minutes of kneeling in the dark, I realized that someone else was in there. A bit startled, I turned on the spotlight and there was Fr. Solanus, kneeling on the top step of the altar with his arms extended and his eyes riveted on the tabernacle. He was in his late seventies and yet he didn't move a muscle. Although his eyes were open, he didn't know I was there, and he didn't seem to recognize that the light was on. He was a very humble man and he would have moved immediately if he knew that someone was watching him.'



Fr. Groeschel could only conclude that the priest was in a kind of 'ecstasy,' a state of deep mystical prayer in which all his attention was absorbed in Christ. After a few minutes, feeling like an intruder, he turned the spotlight off and quietly left the chapel. "

Solanus Casey Miracles


I love hearing about the miracles that were worked by Venerable Solanus Casey, a Capuchin who served in Detroit, New York and Huntington, IN.

From Chris:

One of the things I remember most was my grandmother's love for Fr. Solanus Casey. It wasn't until about 5 months ago that I finally found out why. She told me that she had been born with spina bifida and wasn't expected to live long or ever even be able to walk. Her parents, devout Irish-Catholics, had heard of Fr. Solanus' "healing powers" and went to see him. He prayed over her and said that she would be fine. She wouldn't even need a cast or brace for walking.

The day came to go to the hospital to be fitted for her brace and they stopped by to see him once again. And again he assured them that she would be fine. On the trolley ride to the hospital, the driver made a sudden stop and my great-grandfather lost his grip on my grandma nearly dropping her. When they arrived at the hospital, the doctor said that there was nothing wrong with her. From that day on, she had no symptoms whatsoever.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The friary of Solanus Casey

Rosary Walks



I spend my lunch time taking a walk at one of two places--one an active convent with beautiful grounds that include several nature trails and the other an abandoned Capuchin Friary where Solanus Casey once lived. Both offer me a variety of places to stop and reflect on the meaning of the mysteries of the rosary in the lived lives of both places--usually at the cemetery where I pause and reflect that surely one or two or more saints are buried who will join their prayers to mine.



Yesterday was a rather eventful day. I was at the convent and noticed police tape blocking the entrance to a path down a hill that includes a grotto of the resurrection and a downward path of the Stations of the Cross. A short walk under the tape and I discovered the reason why--a wall had tumbled down as the result of all the rain that we've had in this part of the country this Spring--a landslide. I think I was up the second joyful mystery--the visitation. I wondered what this act of nature might signify? I noticed that the display of the stations had not really been affected by the landslide but that the resurrection grotto had--it was as though the "removed stone" had been placed back at the entrance. I thought of the preoccupation of the women walking to the tomb "who will remove the stone?" and thought that this probably was the worry now of some of the nuns at the convent but probably only a few.



This convent is primarily interested in the environment. Nothing wrong with that. Trees are identified throughout the property and dedicated to various sisters. No Hunting or Fishing signs dot the landscape. It all makes for a very peaceful place at least from the perspective of violent people anyway. But nature is not really peaceful as the landslide near the fourteenth station demonstrates and the illusion has sometime been given that "man" is responsible for all the ills of nature--but indeed man is not the only creature that is fallen in Christian belief, rather it is all of creation.



Next I made my way to the graveyard. It is usually the place where I notice the most activity. New graves appear almost weekly as the rapidly dwindling numbers of nuns are laid to rest. There are a few stones from the 1980's that commemorate the missing bodies of nuns who gave their bodies to science but that fad seems to have passed now. On this day there were new deep holes burrowed into the earth for the placement of new grave-markers. The ten or so prepared last year are only one from being all used up. It is now the fifth joyful mystery the Finding of Jesus in the Temple--I wonder as I often do when I visit either of these sacred places (the abandoned friary and the soon to be abandoned convent) if Christ has been lost or is this just the natural cycle of religious communities?



Now I am on the trail of God's Splendid Creation as one of the sister's has entitled it on the sign that tells me the meandering path is .8 of a mile. Nature has ravaged this path also as the torrential rains have left huge piles of sand at the base of a hill that normally is very dry but now still wet weeks after the last rainfall. A deer is startled by my entrance into the forest and creates quite a stir as it flies over fallen trees and brush to make its way deeper into the forest. It is the first Luminous mystery--The Baptism of Jesus by John "I must decrease and he must increase," crosses my mind as I also think of the psalm "like a deer that yearns for running water so my soul thirsts for you my God!"



About half-way to the end of the path, the deer emerges again. Once again the sound of broken limbs under the weight of the deers landings, this time joined by squirrels scurrying in every direction. One squirrel winds his way around a tree and looks out at me with expectation of a treat--a little too tame for my liking. It is the third luminous mystery--Jesus preaching the Kingdom of God--"seek first the Kingdom of God" I think as I run past the tree where the squirrel lurches out from for some reason fearing that he will jump upon me and attack me for not having brought him any nuts. He does not and I go back to trying to seek God's dominion over me.



At the end of the trail I emerge upon the road lined with trees that leads back to the convent. I notice the deer's head staring at me from across the road, his ears flicking. I imagine the deer thinking that I'm following him. I walk closer to him and he doesn't move this time. Perhaps they feed him too, I think. I am now only five feet from the deer and I talk to him. He only cocks his head this way and that but doesn't flee until I turn to continue my journey. The fourth luminous mystery--the Transfiguration, an invitation to encounter Jesus in the Old Testament I think meditating on the significance of Moses and Elijah the prophet.



The sun beats down mercilessly and the tar is soft under my feet. I look back and see the deer still peering at me watching to see if I really am going in a different direction. I am, my lunch time nears its end. The maintenance worker is mowing the grass. His plumb body hangs over the sides of the seat and his beard covers his chest. As I make my way to the parking lot I notice his license plate "Rode Kill" misspelled I reason because someone must have already had "road kill" in this state of connoisseurs of varmint meat. On the side of his truck he has a bumper sticker, "I love animals...they taste real good." The fifth sorrowful mystery--the Crucifixion. In the way a sinner is attracted to the cross of salvation, I reason, perhaps this man with his desires was attracted to the environmental sisters.



So be it! Amen.

Christian Meditation

In standing up for justice, we must not become tyrants.
Those who lead successful revolutions against injustice often
become the next abusive regime. The cross of Christ teaches us
a path of humility and obedience to God alone, not to any ideology
but to Christ. Standing up for what is right is the duty of
every child of God, and the Son of God has shown us the way.
We strive to be like him, not to obtain some position or false
power. The cross of Christ restores our status as children of God;
like Our Lord we should ever remember that we are children of
God and trust in Him alone.



"michael dubruiel"

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Jesus Prayer

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"

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What to do at a Catholic 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"

Monday, November 2, 2015

Free Catholic Book

How do we die to ourselves? The cross extends the invitation
again and again. We nail our failures and our successes, we make
no judgments—like Christ, we abandon ourselves in trust to the
Father. We keep “watch” with Christ and live in the expectation
of his coming at every moment. Our death on the cross with
Christ—something that our Baptism signified but we must daily
reclaim—gives us the power to love as Christ did because Christ
is within us, when we allow him to be all in all.



-The Power of the Cross 



"michael dubruiel"

Sunday, November 1, 2015

All Saints Meditation


Tuesday, November 1, 2005


A Moment Frozen in Time

We spent part of last week attending the National Catholic Youth Conference in Atlanta. One moment from all that I experienced continues to stay with me, perhaps I might say even to haunt me. While Joseph, Katie and I were walking back toward the exhibit area where Amy and Michael were, we suddenly notice a quiet and people stopping (in an environment that was much like walking through midtown Manhattan on a weekday). Then enmasse young and old dropped to their knees.

Advancing were youth holding signs "Silence and Kneel"…everyone obediently did so as cassocked men holding candles, one swinging incense advanced in front of a coped priest with humeral veil wrapped around the base of a monstrance held the Eucharistic Body of Our Lord aloft.

Those who have seen the movie "The Mission" with one of the best scenes ever filmed about the spiritual life will remember Jeremy Irons playing a priest holding the monstrance in the midst of battle all around him, himself falling and an indigenous man picking up the monstrance and continuing the procession. That is what popped into my mind as I instructed young Joseph to make the sign of the cross as Jesus passed in our midst.

I'll bet that when all is said and done, I'm not alone in this being a moment that will be remembered by all. What is more I have realized that these Catholic prayer moments are the solid foundation that most Catholics never forget--long after they have forgotten most of what they were taught.

There is a lesson here for those of us who try to pass on the faith to our children--introduce them to Christ, like disciples on the road to Emmaus let Christ the stranger teach them, open the Scriptures to them so that they might recognize him in the breaking of the Bread--that they may pick up his Presence and carry it through the streets of life where a battle wages.

Such catechesis is the lesson plan of saints--may all the saints pray that we might take up that charge!