Monday, March 31, 2014

Lent 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"

Friday, March 28, 2014

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Now with full-color station images from previously unpublished paintings by Michael O'Brien, this booklet creates an ideal resource for individual or group devotional use, particularly during the Lenten season.

It is available in English and Spanish. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lent Reflection

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ
Ask—From what do I need Jesus to save me?
Seek—God’s forgiveness for your sins. Ask God to transform you
into the image of his Son, so that you may be an instrument of
God’s grace to others.
Knock—Meditate on 1 Corinthians 6:9–11. St. Paul presents a
list of those unfit for the kingdom of God. What about each sin
alluded to in the list might point to someone worshipping something
or someone other than God? Is there a particular sin that
you struggle with in the list? How is your life different in Christ?
Transform Your Life—Make a good examination of conscience
and plan to go to confession on a regular occasion, perhaps once
a month. Try to make your confession sincere, letting go of your
attempts to control your own life, and a real surrender to the
grace of Jesus Christ. Vow to Christ to trust in his mercy to truly
transform your life.

"michael dubruiel"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

John Paul II's Stations of the Cross

All about The Power of the Cross (available for free download) and the Way of the Cross (available as an app as well as in paper copies).

"michael dubruiel"

Lenten Reflection

The cross of Christ forces us to choose sides, to reorder our
priorities. It also transforms our personal crosses and gives us
hope: We have on our side someone who is victorious over all
enemies, all powers and principalities.
St. Leonard said, “Impress on yourself this great truth: Even
if all hell’s devils come after you to tempt you, you won’t sin
unless you want to—provided that you don’t trust in your own
powers, but in the assistance of God. He doesn’t refuse help to
those who ask it with a lively faith.” God offers us all the help
we need in this life, if we avail ourselves of it.

"michael dubruiel"

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lenten Meditation

The greatest example of forgiveness is that of Jesus, who from the
cross forgave those who put him there: “Father, forgive them for
they know not what they are doing.” Who is the “them” to which
Jesus was referring? The “them” is us.

"michael dubruiel"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lenten Meditation

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.

As we surrender ourselves to God, we acknowledge him to
be our source and ask him to animate our actions according to
his will at every moment of every day. The inability to surrender
94 The Power of the Cross

in this way, on the other hand, is often the root problem in our
struggles in the spiritual life. When we put God anywhere but at
the center of our lives, we deceive ourselves. Life is short and
unpredictable, and completely beyond our control.
By surrendering to God, we acknowledge where the control
belongs, and place ourselves where we were created to be: In the
loving hands of our Father, under his watchful eye

"michael dubruiel"

Lenten Meditation

Worshipping in spirit and truth, which is the kind of worship
that God seeks, involves an intimate dialogue, pouring out
our hearts and minds to God at all times. The late Bishop John
Sheets used to define the spiritual life as a “dialogic relationship,”
a fancy way of saying that we are in conversation with God at
every moment. Nothing we do is too trivial for God, nothing
beneath his notice.

If we truly believed this, our lives would be immediately
transformed. Gone forever would be the idea that God doesn’t
care what we do with our lives. There would be no area of our
lives that would be off-limits to God. Because when we worship
in spirit and truth, we realize that we live because God’s breath
is within us, and we live best when we acknowledge the source
of every breath we take.

"michael dubruiel"

Monday, March 17, 2014

RCIA Resource on the Mass

The How To Book of the Mass is a great resource for inquirers and RCIA sessions.

You can find more information at this page. 

"amy welborn"

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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lent Reflection

Jesus tells a story about two dead men: one affluent, the other a
beggar. After living a life of luxury, the rich man finds himself suffering
in acute pain; he asks Abraham to send Lazarus (the poor
beggar) to get him a drink. Even in the afterlife, the rich man
thinks that Lazarus should be waiting on him!

Abraham points out the barrier that prevented Lazarus from
doing the rich man’s bidding in the afterlife. Of course, no such
barrier exists among the living. The justice of Lazarus’s reward in
the afterlife also points to the fact that it is no one’s lot to be a beggar
in this life; the surplus of some, as Pope John Paul II has often
preached, belongs to those in need. While he was alive, the rich
man had it within his means to relieve the suffering of Lazarus, but
he did nothing. In the mind of the rich man, Lazarus was exactly
what God wanted him to be—a beggar. In the next life, the tables
were turned: Lazarus was rewarded, and the rich man suffered.
It is a simple message, one that we have heard many times.
It also has a touch of irony: In the story, the rich man begs Abraham
to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn the rich man’s
brothers. Abraham predicts that they still wouldn’t believe.
Notice the reaction of the crowd when Jesus raises Lazarus from
the dead: “So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to
death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going
away and believing in Jesus,” (John 12:10–11).

Jesus sent his disciples out to heal, to liberate, and to invite
others into the kingdom of God. As a follower of Christ, what
am I doing for those Jesus sends to me?

"michael dubruiel"

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lent Reflection

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
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
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"

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lent Reflection

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"

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fulton Sheen Miracle Approved

A miracle attributed to Fulton Sheen has been approved:

The Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and President of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, received word early Thursday morning that the 7-member board of medical experts who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints at the Vatican unanimously approved a reported miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

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" "fulton sheen"

The Power of the Cross by Michael Dubruiel

If you would like to hear a series of interviews with Michael Dubruiel about his book The Power of the Cross, go here, to the KVSS page hosting those interviews.  They can easily be downloaded, or you can listen to them from the webpage. 

For more about the book, go here. 

"michael dubruiel"

First Communion Gifts

Perhaps The How to Book of the Mass is a bit too advanced for your normal second grader, but parents of First Communicants often find themselves inspired to learn more about the Eucharist as their children study, learn and receive Communion.

The How to Book of the Mass by Michael Dubruiel is an excellent resource.

If you want to know more, go to this page which contains the table of contents, purchase links and an excerpt.