Spiritual Battle and Servanthood

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Manual for Men

During Lent I read the Manual for Men, a book geared for those who are soldiers for Christ and His Church. These men battle for sanctity in their lives and in the lives of their family. The evil one is attacking families because marriage images Christ’s love for His bride, the Church. It is a battle that men must fight and win.

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Mercy: The Mission of the Domestic Church

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Divine Mercy Sunday

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36

According to the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: “The family, is so to speak, the domestic church” (11). It is in the family where we first learn that God is “Love and Mercy itself” (Diary of St. Faustina, 1074).

In his homily on the occasion of the canonization of St. Mary Faustina Kowalska, St. John Paul II had this to say about the love and mercy of God:

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Do You Know What I Have Done for You?

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Crucifixion_02

On this Good Friday, take time to read and meditate on the Suffering Servant foretold in Isaiah 53. Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy. Do you know what God has done for you? Do you understand all that Jesus accomplished on the cross? Do you comprehend and believe that Jesus is the Christ?

And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him. Colossians 2:13-15

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This is Love

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Maundy Thursday

A chaste and holy young couple was planning their wedding. Everything was coming together beautifully except one aspect. The bride-to-be was fretting over how to maintain her modesty during the traditional garter toss at the wedding reception. The thought of wearing the garter on her upper thigh and bearing her leg in public was contrary to her belief in the sacredness of the human body. She considered wearing the garter on her calf or ankle but decided that would look silly. When the wedding day arrived, she was still without a plan for dealing with this distressing detail.

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Priscilla and Aquila: A Christ-Centered Marriage

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Priscilla_Aquila_crop

Priscilla and Aquila were a married Christian couple who worked closely with Paul (Rom 16:2; Acts 18:3; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim 4:29). The just released movie Paul, Apostle of Christ highlights their work in helping persecuted Christians in Roman.

This is an insightful interview with the actors that portrayed Priscilla and Aquila. They share what they learned about marriage.

https://www.facebook.com/PaulMovie/videos/154055661955553/

The Mass: A Life-Changing Encounter with Jesus – Part IV

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Transfiguration_Fra Angelico_1437

Transfiguration, Fra Angelico, 1437

Convent of San Marco, Florence

Today we present the fourth and last in our series on the Mass, given by Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, at the 2018 Parish Mission at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan. This is based on Abbot Jeremy’s homily given at all the weekend Masses on February 25, 2018. The readings were: Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18, Romans 8:31b-34, and Mark 9:2-10.


Transformation as Encounter

Just prior to the Transfiguration, Jesus foretells his death and resurrection:

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Living a Contagious Christian Marriage

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Bride and groom stand before crucifix in church 2

Do you know the point of marriage? The purpose of your marriage is to make visible the invisible love of God. In this homily, Fr. Riccardo speaks of the importance of living a contagious Christian marriage.

Fr. Riccardo’s Homily

Pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church

Plymouth, Michigan

March 18, 2018

The Mass: A Life-Changing Encounter with Jesus – Part III

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eucharist

In response to Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s request in his recent pastoral letter Unleash the Gospel, to provide “opportunities for families to encounter Jesus anew, grow daily as His disciples, and give witness to the power of His mercy,” we have undertaken a study of what happens in the Mass.

Pope Benedict XVI at his January 11, 2012 general audience explained that the Eucharist is “the apex” of all Christian prayers. He stressed the need for proper preparation for receiving the Eucharist, especially the Sacrament of Penance. Pope Benedict called the Eucharist “the food of pilgrims” and “a source of strength” for those who are “tired, weary and disoriented.”

With this in mind, we offer the third in our series based on the Parish Mission at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan given by Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, “The Mass: Supreme Encounter with God in Jesus.”

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The Mass: A Life-Changing Encounter with Jesus – Part II

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Last Supper_Juan de Juanes

Jesus with the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Juan de Juanes, Mid-Late 16th Century

To be a contagious Catholic, it is imperative to understand the Mass. If understood, the Mass is transformative. Your life will never be the same. Your family will be a beacon of light in a society that is broken and without hope.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit in his recent pastoral letter Unleash the Gospel, offered the following vision for families:

Families who, having embraced their role as the domestic church and in connection with other families and single persons, actively seek the spiritual and social renewal of their neighborhoods, schools and places of work. Such families…would display a strikingly counter-cultural way of living: grounded in prayer, Sacraments and attention to Scripture; unusually gracious hospitality; a capacity to include those on the margins of society; and joyful confidence in the providence of God even in difficult and stressful times. Unleash the Gospel, p. 32

To this end, we offer you the second blog post in a series based on the Parish Mission at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan given by Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, “The Mass: Supreme Encounter with God in Jesus.”

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The Mass: A Life-Changing Encounter with Jesus

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St. Paul The Apostle Parish, Westerville, Ohio

In previous blogs, we have discussed Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron’s pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel. This letter is the game plan for the transformation of the Archdiocese of Detroit into a “joyful band of missionary disciples.”

Archbishop Vigneron states that families are “the very heart of our archdiocesan efforts to unleash the Gospel, because they are the first and most important setting in which evangelization takes place.”

He offers an action plan for families to reclaim their identity with God (Unleash the Gospel, p. 33). The first and most important action he recommends is attending Sunday Mass as a family.

Those who find the Mass boring or view it as nothing more than an obligation to fulfill may be surprised by that recommendation. However, the “Mass is about love. It is not an idea about love but the supreme encounter with love.”[1] During the next three weeks, we will briefly explain the Mass to provide a better understanding of what happens.

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