Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Michael Dubruiel Interview

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


Episode 2 – The Cross of Christ teaches us…

– Michael discusses:

 Day 1 – Our Mission Day
2 – To Live the Gospel Day
3 – How to Pray Day
4 – About Repentance Day
5 – How to Trust and Give Thanks Day
 6 – Reconciliation Day
7 – How to Love
"michael Dubruiel"




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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How to Pray the Rosary by Michael Dubruiel

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.
 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Thomas Aquinas - January 28

From 2003: 

Aquinas Thought of Everything


Below is a quote from Summa Contra Gentiles. I've been familar with the notion that St. Thomas said we'd all be 33 in Heaven regardless of when we died (before or after that age), but no one every seemed to know where he'd said it. Well here it is, along with an interesting discussion on the other qualities of the glorified body:


From Jacques Maritain Center: GC 4.88:


"STILL we must not suppose, what some have thought, that female sex has no place in the bodies of the risen Saints. For since resurrection means the reparation of the defects of nature, nothing of what makes for the perfection of nature will be withdrawn from the bodies of the risen. Now among other organs that belong to the integrity of the human body are those which minister to generation as well in male as in female. These organs therefore will rise again in both. Nor is this conclusion impaired by the fact that there will be no longer any use of these organs (Chap. LXXXIII). If that were any ground for their absence from the risen body, all the organs bearing on digestion and nutrition should be absent, for there will not be any use for them either: thus great part of the organs proper to man would be wanting in the risen body. We conclude that all such organs will be there, even organs of which the function has ceased: these will not be there without a purpose, since they will serve to make up the restored integrity of the natural body.*


Neither is the weakness of the female sex inconsistent with the perfection of the resurrection. Such weakness is no departure from nature, but is intended by nature.* This natural differentiation will argue the thoroughgoing perfection of nature, and commend the divine wisdom that arranges creation in diversity of ranks and orders. Nor is there anything to the contrary in the expression of the Apostle: Till we all meet and attain to the unity of faith and recognition of the Son of God, even to a perfect man, to the measure of the full stature of Christ (Eph. iv, 13). This does not mean that in that meeting in which the risen shall go forth to meet Christ in the air* every one shall be of the male sex, but it indicates the perfection and strength of the Church, for the whole Church shalt be like a perfect, full-grown man, going out to meet Christ.*


Again, all must rise at the age of Christ,* which is the age of perfect manhood, for the sake of the perfection of nature, which is at its best in this age above others.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Free Lent Devotional

When we look back over our lives, we often find that every
event is intricately interwoven with another, and then another,
with bright spots of serendipity when we “just happened” to be
in the right spot at the right time at key moments. This realization
will deepen the mystery that is life; regardless how long or
short our life, our mission and purpose is God’s. If he seems slow
to respond, look to the cross of Christ, which illumines even the
lag time between the promise and the fulfillment.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Conversion of Paul - January 25

The Cross of Christ Illumines. . . Blindness “

As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And I answered ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.” Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go to Damascus, and you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ And when I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.” ACTS 22:6–11 


Jesus said, “For Judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” JOHN 9:39–41 


The most unique Holy Saturday I ever experienced occurred when my wife and I decided to go to a monastery for Holy Week . Saturday was a rainy day and we decided to go to a nearby spot that was advertised up and down the interstate as the place to visit when you were passing through this part of the country— it was a cave. What better spot to spend Holy Saturday, I reasoned, than under the earth? After all, Jesus’ body had lain in a tomb on that first Holy Saturday.

 So we drove a few miles away from the monastery and joined a group of other travelers in an out-of-the-way location to descend into the earth and explore one of nature’s wonders. What I remember most about the tour of the cave had little to do with the stalactites or the stalagmites but something else that we experienced once we had gone deep into the cave. The tour guide asked us, “How many of you think you have experienced total darkness?” A few people raised their hands. He then told us that he was going to turn off the artificial lighting that illuminated the cave so that we could experience what the first people who had discovered this cave experienced when their light went out. There was nothing but total, pitch darkness. I held my hand in front of my face but could see absolutely nothing. I knew that it was there because I could sense it but I could see absolutely nothing, no shadow, no outline—just a horrible darkness. It was the closest that I have ever come to having some understanding of what it must be like to be totally blind.

 In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, in a chapter entitled “Seeing,” Annie Dillard wrote about people born blind whose sight was restored by a medical procedure. The reaction of those thus healed wasn’t what one might expect. Some wanted to go back to the darkness—they found the light too much. Others enjoyed the gift of vision, but to those who had been in darkness since birth it seemed to them that everything was made of light. Blinded by the Light In John’s Gospel, Jesus divides the world into two camps: those who encounter his light and have their sight restored, and those who encounter that light and are blinded. Jesus told Nicodemus, “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

In John’s Gospel, Jesus heals a blind man, who has not only his physical sight restored but also comes to see that Jesus is worthy of worship. The Pharisees who question the blind man refuse to believe, no matter how much evidence is brought forward to prove that Jesus had healed him. Another Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, later persecuted the followers of Jesus. While setting out on one such mission, Saul was struck by a light from heaven, and heard the voice of Jesus, the suffering Christ. Saul was blinded on his way to Damascus, where a follower of Jesus healed him. Saul became St. Paul, one of the greatest followers of Christ. The preaching of Paul would focus on the crucified Christ, leading many artists to portray the scene of Paul’s conversion as an encounter with a cross of light.

None of the Pharisees, including Saul, thought that persecuting the followers of Christ was evil; in fact, they thought they were doing the will of God. We all risk falling into the same trap. How well do you and I truly see? Do we see everything made of light? Or do we only partially see reality as it is?

A World Made of Light 

There have been times in my life when I have called upon God to save or help me, and God has answered in dramatic ways. At
 first I gave thanks for God’s intervention in my life. But with time my inner Pharisee began to question the events: Was God really responsible? There are those who believe that we live in an age when miracles have ceased, but I know better. Miracles abound—we just don’t always recognize them. Those cured of physical blindness perceive the world to be made of light; the same is true of those cured of spiritual blindness. What seemed dark and hopeless suddenly becomes a path to glory. The psalmist reflects this spiritual vision when he prays in perhaps the best-known psalm, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4). Today there are eye surgeries that allow people to see clearly without corrective lenses. We need the “surgery of the cross” to restore our vision, allowing us to see the world as God sees it. The person filled with the Light perceives light, even in apparent total darkness. As we read in the Gospel of Matthew: “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22–23). Lord Jesus, touch our eyes that we might see!


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"

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

January 24 - Francis de Sales

Today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales the Patron Saint of Writers



To read more about him, check out the CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Francis de Sales



There are two elements in the spiritual life: first, a struggle against our lower nature; secondly, union of our wills with God, in other words, penance and love. St. Francis de Sales looks chiefly to love. Not that he neglects penance, which is absolutely necessary, but he wishes it to be practised from a motive of love. He requires mortification of the senses, but he relies first on mortification of the mind, the will, and the heart. This interior mortification he requires to be unceasing and always accompanied by love. The end to be realized is a life of loving, simple, generous, and constant fidelity to the will of God, which is nothing else than our present duty. The model proposed is Christ, whom we must ever keep before our eyes. "You will study His countenance, and perform your actions as He did" (Introd., 2nd part, ch. i). The practical means of arriving at this perfection are: remembrance of the presence of God, filial prayer, a right intention in all our actions, and frequent recourse to God by pious and confiding ejaculations and interior aspirations.

More by Michael Dubruiel

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How to Pray a Novena by Michael Dubruiel





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, January 18, 2018

Free Catholic Book

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.

-The Power of the Cross  by Michael Dubruiel


"michael dubruiel"

Thursday, January 11, 2018

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 
 by Michael Dubruiel


"michael dubruiel"

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bored at Mass?


When our Lord gave the disciples on the road to Emmaus the bread that He had blessed and broken, "he vanished out of their sight" (Luke 24:31). It was then that they recognized Him. We receive the Lord as they did in receiving the Eucharist. Now, at the moment that He is within us, we too should reflect, as they did, on the Scriptures that He has opened to us during this Mass, especially on what has made our "hearts burn."

In our consumer-minded society, we can miss the treasure that we receive if we treat it like one more thing to "get" and then go on to the next thing. Our Lord is not a "thing." He is God, who has deigned to come intimately into our lives. We should reflect on His Presence within us and ask what He would have us do.

More on The How to Book of the Mass here. 

"michael dubruiel"

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Free Catholic Book

I once read a personal essay written about attending Mass
where the writer advised the reader to get to church early to find
a pew where you will likely have no one sitting anywhere near
you to distract you. I confess there have been times that I have
felt this way too, but I can see how sinful such a view is—how
“separation” even in the name of God is not of God.

Jesus came to reunify all those separations brought about by
original sin—whether they be nationality, gender, or language. “For
by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks,
slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1
Corinthians 12:13). Our sinful self rebels against this notion; we
want to judge others rather than forgive in Christ. This is our cross!
If we hold it in front of us, we will have a constant reminder of the
One who died for the sins of the world—to save “them” and “us.”

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



"michael dubruiel"

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The 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.



Michael Dubruiel

Thursday, January 4, 2018

January 4 - St. 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. 



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 3, 2018

RCIA Resource on the Mass




Michael Dubruiel
The How-To Book of the Mass not only provides the who, what, where, when, and why of the most 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.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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

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


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

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Meditation by Michael Dubruiel

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