Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lent Devotional e-book

The Power of the Cross is a book well-suited to daily reading during Lent. The book is available here in pdf version. Daily excerpts will be reprinted in this space during Lent.


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From the Introduction (part 3)

If you’re like most people, there have been times in your life—if you’re like me, lots of times—when you have said, “If I knew then what I know now, I never would have done that!” In reality, experience alone seldom gives us the wisdom we need to avoid all future missteps, whether days or years from now. As much as we like to think we know what is best for us and for those entrusted to our care, much of life is still beyond our control. It’s frustrating—but it is also part of the human condition. 

The Apostle Paul said it best in his letter to the Romans: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15). It’s called concupiscence, a fancy word for “disordered desire.” As human persons, we do not always desire what is best for us. Not the way God does. 

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. God became one of us in Jesus Christ to help us break this vicious cycle. He shed his blood to break the power of sin in our lives, and to restore us into relationship with God the Father. 

Sounds great, doesn’t it? There’s just one small catch: We must be willing to be entirely transformed, starting from the inside. Everything must change: what we do, how we think, what we believe, and whom we follow. In the language of the Scriptures, we must “repent.” This doesn’t sound like great news at first—not to those who have deluded themselves into thinking that they are in control of their own lives. Yet to those who know better, it is the best news imaginable.

 Still, it all boils down to the cross. Not the beautifully engraved golden ornament you can put around your neck and forget. It’s the kind of cross Mel Gibson portrayed in The Passion of the Christ: full of pain and feelings of rejection, not to mention the blood and gore. The kind that requires you to die. It’s frightening. It’s agonizing. It’s risky. It’s nothing we would choose for ourselves, not in a million years. 

Ah, yes. But it is also necessary. There are two things to keep in mind, to help you put this in perspective. First, once you understand the gift that is being offered, the risk is hardly worth 
mentioning. The way of the cross is the only way to eternal glory. 

Second, the Lord does not expect us to walk this way alone. He gives us a helper, the Holy Spirit. He strengthens us through the sacraments. And Jesus also gives us his very life— body and blood, soul and divinity— in the Eucharist. My friend Pearl understood this, and received her Lord as often as she could. It was the incredible grace of this sacrament that gave her the strength to live out the mission God had given her to fulfill.

 On the other hand, you don’t have to be a spiritual “giant” to take up your cross like Pearl did. Those first disciples all fled when confronted with the cross of Christ at his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. They understood what was at stake, and they were afraid for their own lives. 

Yet something happened between Good Friday and Pentecost. Something changed those men, so they no longer feared earthly power but trusted in Christ. Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, they sought to do the will of God even if it meant giving up their lives—and for most of them, that is exactly what it did mean. 

Jesus extends the same invitation to you: Starting today, take up your cross. Forget the failings of the past. Don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring. Open yourself to God’s will for your life, with all its unsettling possibilities. Believe in the mercy of God that can withstand an honest appraisal of past sinful actions. Let go of your right to judge others or dictate terms. This is the power of the cross: In our weakness and humility, God’s love reigns supreme.    More

For more about Michael Dubruiel.  

Monday, February 27, 2017

Daily Meditations for Lent

The Power of the Cross is a book well-suited to daily reading during Lent. The book is available here in pdf version. Daily excerpts will be reprinted in this space during Lent.


"michael Dubruiel"



From the Introduction (part 2)

 Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. MATTHEW 7:13–14

Let’s be honest: Most of us, given the choice, opt for the wide and comfortable path, the route of our own design. We would never choose the cancer, the unemployment, the infertility. The narrow way is just too hard, too lonely. Even so, the cross of Christ bids us to follow where it leads us. In John 21:18–19, Jesus prophesied this destiny for Peter, when he said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” Sooner or later, as Peter discovered, a cross is offered to us. If we want to follow the Lord, we must not only accept it but embrace it. 


At some point in our lives we must acknowledge that our ways are not God’s way. We find one such example in the Gospel of Luke. On the day of his resurrection, Jesus encountered two disciples on the road to Emmaus. As they walked along they fell into discussion, and the two men shared with Jesus, whom they did not recognize, how they had hoped that Jesus was “God’s Messiah” (Luke 24:21). Now these hopes had been dashed. Not only had the Lord failed to overtake his religious and political enemies; he had suffered an ignominious death at their hands. As far as they were concerned, God had abandoned Jesus. 


At that moment, the disciples did not understand the way of the cross, did not realize that the road to victory was marked by overwhelming adversity, unthinkable suffering, and blind trust. All they could see was weakness, defeat, and failure; as a result, they were unable to recognize the Lord even when he was in their midst. How does Jesus respond? “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:25,26).    More

For more about Michael Dubruiel.  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Free Lent Devotionals

The Power of the Cross is a book well-suited to daily reading during Lent. The book is available here in pdf version. Daily excerpts will be reprinted in this space during Lent.


"michael Dubruiel"



Introduction 

 I was going home in the spring of 1980 after a three-year stint in the United States Army, making my way along the rural back roads of North Florida. Just south of Cross City, I came upon a billboard that seemed totally out of place deep in the Bible Belt, where Catholics made up less than two percent of the local population. On the large billboard was an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding out a rosary. Underneath were the words, “Pray for the Conversion of Russia.” 


Later that week I mentioned the billboard to Father Pat Foley, the pastor of our small Catholic parish. He laughed. “Oh, Pearl had that put up, and it’s created quite a stir.” When I asked to meet Pearl, he suggested that I take the Eucharist to her at a local nursing home.


 The halls of the nursing home were filled with old souls, some crying out in pain. I expected Pearl to be one of them, but when I arrived at her door, I found a young woman in her twenties. She was propped up in bed holding a crucifix in her arms, with a candle burning on her bedside table. Pearl smiled and invited me in. My new friend received the Eucharist with great devotion, then closed her eyes and made her thanksgiving while I stood nearby. It was an image right off a holy card. 


For the next five months I continued to visit Pearl, until I left to attend college in southern Indiana. Several times each week I brought Pearl Holy Communion, then we would talk. Pearl had grown up in Michigan and moved to Florida after high school. She had been wild in her late teens and early twenties, she said, until life dealt her an unfortunate blow—terminal cancer. Now she lay abandoned in a nursing home; her husband rarely visited her, her family was far away. Although she had every earthly reason to be, she was neither sad nor dejected. In fact, she was the most joyful person I had ever known. What was her secret? 


Pearl held up the crucifix she always cradled near her. “It’s the power of the cross,” she replied. Her sickness had helped her to rediscover the faith of her childhood; she had experienced the power of uniting her own suffering with the Passion and death of the Lord. She had relinquished her own plans and opened herself up to God’s plan for her, even if it meant a short life on earth. 


This book is the fruit of those meetings I had with Pearl almost twenty-five years ago. By her example, she taught me how to live in the power of the cross. That power enabled her to reach out and encourage others—the billboard was only one example of that. Pearl reminded me that, even when we are young, life almost never goes the way we expect. However, when we recognize the cross of Christ in those unexpected moments, we begin to find the answers to life’s most pressing questions.    More

For more about Michael Dubruiel.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Free Lent Daily Devotional by Michael Dubruiel

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


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Parish Stations of the Cross for Lent


In 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new Bible-based interpretation of the Stations of the Cross. This devotional guide invites readers to prayerfully walk in solidarity with Jesus on his agonizing way of the cross—from his last torturous moments in the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial.

Now with full-color station images from previously unpublished paintings by Michael O'Brien, this booklet creates an ideal resource for individual or group devotional use, particularly during the Lenten season.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When is Ash Wednesday?



Here's a free book that you can use for daily devotions during Lent, which begins on March 1, 2017.

The Power of the Cross by Michael Dubruiel



Here you may download a free .pdf copy of The Power of the Cross by Michael Dubruiel.

Just click here.

You can read it on Scribd, here,

Also: Michael Dubruiel recorded a series of interviews with KVSS radio based on the book. You can find those interviews here.



Here is a link to the first episode

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Michael Dubruiel's Books

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, February 20, 2017

How to Pray by Michael Dubruiel

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 



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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Mass Reflections

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.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

St. John Paul II's Stations of the Cross


In 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new Bible-based interpretation of the Stations of the Cross. This devotional guide invites readers to prayerfully walk in solidarity with Jesus on his agonizing way of the cross—from his last torturous moments in the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial.

Now with full-color station images from previously unpublished paintings by Michael O'Brien, this booklet creates an ideal resource for individual or group devotional use, particularly during the Lenten season.

"michael Dubruiel"


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ash Wednesday is on March 1, 2017



Here's a free book that you can use for daily devotions during Lent, which begins on March 1, 2017.

The Power of the Cross by Michael Dubruiel



Here you may download a free .pdf copy of The Power of the Cross by Michael Dubruiel.

Just click here.

You can read it on Scribd, here,

Also: Michael Dubruiel recorded a series of interviews with KVSS radio based on the book. You can find those interviews here.



Here is a link to the first episode

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fulton Sheen Prayer Book


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

"michael Dubruiel"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Real St. Valentine


From the CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA:
At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and these two seem both to have suffered in the second half of the third century and to have been buried on the Flaminian Way, but at different distances from the city. In William of Malmesbury's time what was known to the ancients as the Flaminian Gate of Rome and is now the Porta del Popolo, was called the Gate of St. Valentine. The name seems to have been taken from a small church dedicated to the saint which was in the immediate neighborhood. Of both these St. Valentines some sort of Acta are preserved but they are of relatively late date and of no historical value. Of the third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, nothing further is known.

Monday, February 13, 2017

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. This is the sixth episode



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Episode 6 – The Cross of Christ restores…
 – Michael discusses:
 Day 22 – Life
 Day 29 – Forgiveness
Day 30 – The Image of God
Day 31 – Our Freedom
 Day 32 – Obedience
Day 33 – The Dignity of Work
Day 34 – Justice

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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Our Lady of Lourdes - Pray the Rosary

Our Lady of Lourdes - Pray the Rosary


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.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Meditation on Pride

The human race has been fighting the battle against pride
since the Fall. Discontent with the lofty position God had given
them, they wanted to be just like God—but independent of
him. This disordered desire continues to be at the heart of human
nature. Only when God’s spirit lives within us to the fullest are
we able to be most fully human. And the only way to be filled
with God’s spirit is to empty ourselves of any false sense of who
we are, or who we think we have to be. This is the way of humility,
what St. Paul calls having “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians
2:16).
In the gospels, Jesus warns his disciples against desiring titles
and lofty honors. If we achieve greatness in life, as Cardinal del
Val did, we must guard against becoming attached to the position
or to the glory attached to it. Cardinal del Val gave the following
spiritual advice often to those who came to him for
counsel:
Have a great devotion to the Passion of Our Lord.
With peace and resignation, put up with your daily
troubles and worries. Remember that you are not a disciple
of Christ unless you partake of His sufferings and
are associated with His Passion. The help of the grace
of silence was the only thing that enabled the saints to
carry their extremely heavy crosses. We can show our
love for Him by accepting with joy the cross He sends
our way.
The cross sheds light on the way of humility; it is the path
that Christ took and the surest path for us to receive all the blessings
that Christ wishes to bestow upon us.



"michael dubruiel"

Monday, February 6, 2017

Michael Dubruiel's Books

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.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

St. Paul Miki and Companions

From the Office of Readings:

Our brother, Paul Miki, saw himself standing now in the noblest pulpit he had ever filled. To his “congregation” he began by proclaiming himself a Japanese and a Jesuit. He was dying for the Gospel he preached. He gave thanks to God for this wonderful blessing and he ended his “sermon” with these words: “As I come to this supreme moment of my life, I am sure none of you would suppose I want to deceive you. And so I tell you plainly: there is no way to be saved except the Christian way. My religion teaches me to pardon my enemies and all who have offended me. I do gladly pardon the Emperor and all who have sought my death. I beg them to seek baptism and be Christians themselves”.
Then he looked at his comrades and began to encourage them in their final struggle. Joy glowed in all their faces, and in Louis’ most of all. When a Christian in the crowd cried out to him that he would soon be in heaven, his hands, his whole body strained upward with such joy that every eye was fixed on him.
Anthony, hanging at Louis’ side, looked toward heaven and called upon the holy names – “Jesus, Mary!” He began to sing a psalm: “Praise the Lord, you children!” (He learned it in catechism class in Nagasaki. They take care there to teach the children some psalms to help them learn their catechism).
Others kept repeating “Jesus, Mary!” Their faces were serene. Some of them even took to urging the people standing by to live worthy Christian lives. In these and other ways they showed their readiness to die.
Then, according to Japanese custom, the four executioners began to unsheathe their spears. At this dreadful sight, all the Christians cried out, “Jesus, Mary!” And the storm of anguished weeping then rose to batter the very skies. The executioners killed them one by one. One thrust of the spear, then a second blow. It was over in a very short time.