The BreadCast
Daily Exposition of the Readings of Catholic Mass, from the book 'Our Daily Bread' by James H. Kurt (now with Chanted Verses, and added text of Prayer for the Day). Additional cast - SaintsCast, entries from the book 'Prayers to the Saints' (also by James Kurt). Both books bear imprimatur.

(2Sm.7:1-5,8b-12,14a,16;   Ps.89:2-5,27,29;   Rom.16:25-27;   Lk.1:26-28) 

“The Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father.” 

“I have made a covenant with David my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations.”  Here is the promise made to King David.  Upon his seeking to build a house for the Lord, “the Lord… reveals to [David] that He will establish a house for [him].”  Through the prophet Nathan, the Lord declares to His humble servant: “When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm.”  This would seem like all the world to refer to the great King Solomon, but it does not.  For, like the earth itself, Solomon and all his gold – and even “the rest from all [his] enemies,” the peace the Lord establishes under his reign – will pass away; they cannot “endure forever” and neither can such a kingdom.  The prophet speaks of a kingdom established in heaven (where all by nature endures forever), not one of the earth.

And so it is not Solomon of whom the prophet and the psalmist speak, but Jesus, He whose coming is hailed today by the angel’s words to the Blessed Virgin: “He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  For Abraham has died and Jacob has died and David has died and Solomon has died… and their graves are with us to this day.  But Jesus, Jesus lives; Jesus lives forever at the right hand of His Father.

It is indeed Jesus who most truly says to the Lord God, “You are my Father, my God, the Rock.”  It is He who is His only Son: it is He who is God Himself, one in being with the Father.  This is “the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings”; this is “the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith”: Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the only Son – and we must worship Him.

Come now, brothers and sisters, to this Child Mary bears by the power of the Holy Spirit.  In Him your peace shall be established in the Father’s kingdom.  Come to His holy throne, enter into His eternal reign… and with His humble king, and with His humble Mother, you shall be blessed forever.

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Removing the Log from my Eye" (first part) from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, let the Mother of our Lord come to us, too,

that new life may stir in us as well.

YHWH, blessed is the womb of Bethlehem, of Israel, of Mary the Mother of your Son.  For in her you have prepared a body, the body of Jesus, the Word made flesh, that shall be as offering for our sins.  In Him we are saved, for in Him your majesty reigns, and so your glory is now in our midst.

O let us leap like John the Baptist at the approach of your Son and His Mother!  Bring to life what has remained dormant for such a long time.  Arouse within us the joy of new life that we might be stirred to proclaim your glory.  He has come who shall shepherd us, LORD; let us be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The sacrifices of old now pass away as all prophecy is fulfilled in the flesh of your only Son.  And so we pray, let your will be done.  Let your greatness reach to the ends of the earth and your peace reign in every heart by the power upon Jesus the Christ.  O LORD, let us be consecrated to you in His holy offering.

Direct download: BC-121811-Su_4_Adv._B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

(Is.7:10-14;   Ps.24:1-7,10;   Lk.1:26-38)

 

“Blessed are you among women.”

 

“The virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and shall name Him Immanuel because ‘God is with us.’”  “The virgin’s name was Mary.”  And she has given birth to the Savior.

“Who may stand in His holy place?” King David sings in our psalm.  “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?”  Clearly Jesus is He.  But as clear is that we are all called to be as He, and that she has been, she who is so like Him – she that is indeed His Mother.  It is she who “seeks the face of the God of Jacob,” she “whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain…” and so she “receive[s] a blessing from the Lord,” the greatest blessing: the Son of God.

Fearful is she in her great humility in the awesome presence of the Lord.  Questioning is she in the perfect innocence of her consecrated virginity.  But obedient only is she as she hears of the answer to her devout prayer for the pregnancy of her kinswoman, and so assumes the role most native to her, the one she has promised to fulfill: “the maidservant of the Lord.”

O glorious Virgin Mary!  You who worship so perfectly, so completely, the One who owns “the earth and its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it,” and so bring that very fullness to us all, teach us to be like Jesus your Son, whom you imitate so absolutely, so naturally.  Teach us to be as He who is flesh of your flesh.  Be our Mother as well, that we might be brother and sister and mother to the Lord.  Aid us in giving our total consent to the will of God.  “O highly favored daughter!  The Lord is with you.”  Pray He be with us now, too.

“With that the angel left.”  Upon receiving her wholehearted acceptance of her call, his mission is finished, and so he goes.  Brothers and sisters, may the angel leave our presence so satisfied that the call of the Lord for our lives will be so well answered.  Take heart that “nothing is impossible with God” and that as blessed as she is, so blessed does the Lord call you to be – if you but say yes to His word burning in your soul and lay down your life as has the Mother of God.  Give the Lord your “yes” this day.

*******

O LORD, may the Blessed Virgin Mother of your Son

pray for us this day that we shall be pure as she,

and so, able to stand in your presence.

YHWH, she whom you call to be Mother of your Son is indeed sinless in your sight.  Because her heart is clean, she can accept your Word and give birth to our Savior.  O may we be of her race!  May we with all our souls seek your face and so find the blessing that is upon her.  O let us know your only Son in our midst!

The blessing you give us we could not imagine – it is beyond our ability to conceive.  Yet, LORD, you come to us; you prepare a Virgin from among us that your Son might be with us and so we with you for all ages.  O let all be done according to your will!  Let us all follow the obedient path of our dear Mother.  Let us be her children, O LORD, and so your own.

O Mother of our Lord, blessed among women, most blessed of our race, pray for us this dark day that we will hear the Word of God spoken to our hearts.  Pray our hearts be pure as your own, that they might receive our Creator. 

Direct download: Adv._II_Dec._20.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Jgs.13:2-7,24-25;   Ps.71:3-6,8,16-17;   Lk.1:5-25)

“From my mother’s womb you are my strength.” 

How the above line from our psalm is reflected both in Samson and in John, and how parallel are the lives of these two great men.  Of John it is said, “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb”; of Samson, “This boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb” and “The Spirit of the Lord began to be with him.”  The birth of both is announced by an angel of the Lord.  Both will be born of women who were barren.  Both will be nazirites, who shall “never drink wine or strong drink,” and whose head “no razor shall touch.”  Both come for the deliverance of the people, though Samson only from “the power of the Philistines” while John comes to “prepare for the Lord a people well-disposed,” that we might have eternal salvation.

Of course, Jesus, too, will have His birth announced by the angel of the Lord; He will be born of a woman from whom it seems no child could come – a consecrated virgin – and this of the Holy Spirit, who is with Him even before time.  His is a new testament, however, signified by His birth of a woman of youth and not old age.  Though hailed by the old, He brings the newness of God into our midst.  His birth fulfills all the births and words and wisdom of the prophets and judges and kings of the Old Testament.

But, returning to our psalm and its universal call in the voice of Christ (words which apply to all in their quest for God), we should remember today that for all, God is our “rock of refuge” on whom we “depend from birth.”  “You have taught me from my youth,” the psalmist declares to the Lord, and so it should be true with us all that from the womb “till the present [we] proclaim [His] wondrous deeds.”  He works in all our lives, brothers and sisters; He has brought us all to birth and is acting now, His Spirit upon us, to see that we are born into His kingdom.

The great figures of the Old Testament, and especially John, are models from whom we can all learn, holy men whom we can certainly admire.  But as our Lord has stated clearly, none of those born of woman can compare with those born into the kingdom of heaven.  And so, let us take our strength for our journey from His prophets and from His Word; from His Spirit let us receive what we need in this life for our journey to His paradise.  As strong as were Samson and John, so much stronger can we now be by His Body and His Blood, our holy food on this earth, and by His Spirit upon us.

*******

O LORD, it is you who give us life

and make us strong –

your Spirit be with us.

YHWH, your power is upon the mothers of both Samson and John, and so upon their sons.  They are born by your will to bring deliverance to the people.  As they trusted in you from the womb, so let us be blessed to know you, LORD; let us be blessed to do your will.

Strength we should all take in you, O LORD, for you teach us from our youth to this day: the moment we turn to you, you come to us, and from our souls you would never take your leave.  O let us trust in you, that in our lives your works might be done.

How hard it is for our wounded hearts to believe the glory you bring into our midst, dear LORD.  Your presence is overwhelming to us and so difficult to bear.  But you would make it easy, if we had but faith.  Turn our hearts to the call to serve you, that we might be ready to receive you.  O let us speak in your Name!

Direct download: Dec._19_Adv._II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Jer.23:5-8;   Ps.72:1,7,12-13,18-19;   Mt.1:18-24)

 

“He will save His people from their sins.”

 

Each of our readings today mentions the salvation of our Lord.  The above quote is from our gospel; our psalm states, “The lives of the poor He shall save”; and in our first reading it says, “In His days Judah shall be saved.”  The very name “Jesus” – as given to Joseph by the angel of the Lord – means “God saves”.  The great God of the universe, the living God who has brought us all to birth, comes among us, “is with us” (“Emmanuel”) to save us, to redeem us, to bring us back to our “own land”… to be again with the Father.

And this “righteous shoot to David,” this king who “shall reign and govern wisely,” who “shall do what is right and just in the land,” is born from above, not below.  As the angel also tells Joseph, “It is by the Holy Spirit that [Mary] has conceived this child.”  The Virgin is with child!  Alleluia!  A greater sign, a more complete love from the Father we could not imagine.  And so we sing with our psalmist: “Blessed forever be His glorious name; may the whole earth be filled with His glory.”  Indeed, all nations, not only Judah, shall be saved by this Blessed Child.

“The days are coming,” brothers and sisters, and are already here.  The Lord walks among us.  The Child has been born, and is being born in each of us; and as a people He comes to us.  Mary “bore a son”; Joseph named Him “Jesus”, as instructed, and Jesus He is – His salvation has come forth.  You must receive Him into your home with the Mother who bore Him.  You must have faith that He is from above.  Let Joseph be your model in care for the Savior, and He shall care for you for all eternity.  Like Mary, nourish the Lord every day of your life.

His love is growing in us all.  His presence is becoming known.  The promised of the ages dwells with us with His justice, and His kingdom is being built as we speak.  No more will our sins condemn us.  No more will we hide our faces from the Lord.  We shall be free once more, and this time forever, for the Lord has heard the cry of the poor.

*******

O LORD, since your Son is with us,

we may now make our home in you –

praise you for your justice!

YHWH, your Son saves us from our sins.  For this you have sent Him among us; for this He has been conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary – it is for this He has been born a Man.  O let be accomplished that for which He has come!

From Egypt you rescued your enslaved sons.  From the land of the North you brought them back to their home.  From all sin you now deliver all men, beginning with the Jew.  O LORD, you hear us when we  cry out – let us cry out to you that this day we might be saved.  Let us welcome your Son into our home, that in Him we might find our eternal union with you.

O LORD, let the earth be filled with your glory!  This is your will, this is your desire… this is the goal to which all your Creation is straining.  Speak to us this day that we might know the way you would lead us, and let us follow the angel’s word to freedom in the reign of Jesus.

Direct download: Adv._II._Dec._18.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Gn.49:2,8-10;   Ps.72:3-4,7-8,17;   Mt.1:1-17)

 

“May He rule from sea to sea,

and from the River to the ends of the earth.”

 

Since “the scepter shall never depart from Judah,” the reign of Jesus, His descendant, His fulfillment, is without end – He is King forever.  And so, “tribute is brought to Him, and He receives the peoples’ homage,” which is in itself their salvation.

Who is this Lion of Judah, fulfillment of Jacob’s prophetic blessing of his son?  What sort of king have we?  It is in the words of our psalm we find His kingship revealed: “He shall defend the afflicted among the people, save the children of the poor.”  For Jesus, though fierce as a lion in His judgment – for there is nothing untrue in Him – reveals primarily the love of God the king must embody.  In His reign, “the mountains shall yield peace for the people, and the hills justice.”  First is the love He brings to this generation; second, its complement, justice.

And of what worth is the “family record of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham,” we find in our gospel today?  Be not overly bored by it, my brothers and sisters, for in its mundaneness it holds the key to our salvation.  For it reveals how very real Jesus is, that He is part of our human family; and should this not make us rejoice, that the Son of God is also Son of Man?  And though the forty-two or so names may not be familiar to our ears, we should know at least that there are all kinds in this family tree of Jesus, from great men and women of faith humble before their God, to wicked kings and a prostitute.  There is thus hope for us all.

Jesus is indeed the fulfillment of the promised son of Abraham, and son of David, the king who sits on the throne forever.  It was of Mary He was born, and Mary’s husband was Joseph.  And since husband and wife are one – and though there’s was only a spiritual communion, it is in the spiritual communion unity is truly found – we trace His line through this humble man.  And we pray we shall enter into communion with the Lord ourselves and live in the reign of this King in whom “all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed.” 

Today we praise our brother in the flesh and pray to be made one in His Spirit.  May He indeed rule over all.

*******

O LORD, because your Son judges justly,

peace shall reign to the ends of the earth –

for this He has come among us.

YHWH, your Son rules over all; from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth His rule extends, for He has been born into our midst, He has become part of our generation, and so all in our midst, every generation, is under His reign.  Alleluia!

All the tribes of the earth should rejoice in Him, O LORD.  Though David’s Son and so of your Chosen people, yet your prophets have foretold that every people shall bow down before Him, even as all David’s sons.  This Lion of Judah shall govern all with justice, shall bring peace to all who call upon His Name.  Alleluia, LORD!  For this grace we thank you.

Truly the Name of Jesus shall remain as long as the sun – forever His Name shall be blessed in our midst.  For He has come among us to save us; He is indeed one of us and brings divine blessings in His wake.  O LORD, in every heart let Him reign!

Direct download: Dec._17_Adv._II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Zep.3:1-2,9-13;   Ps.34:2-3,6-7,17-19,23;   Mt.21:28-32)

 

“I will leave as a remnant in your midst

a people humble and lowly,

who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord.”

 

All have been “rebellious and polluted”; all have been as she who “hears no voice” and “accepts no correction.”  But the Lord now comes to “change and purify the lips of the peoples, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.”  Who is it who hears the voice of the Lord to “not be ashamed of all [our] deeds, [our] rebellious acts against [Him]”?

“Let me make it clear that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you,” Jesus states simply and directly to the chief priests and elders.  These lowest of society, these most polluted, have put faith in John’s preaching of “a way of holiness,” but those most esteemed, the elder son whose words bear the stamp of God but whose actions are far from Him, are held back from entering the kingdom by their pride, perhaps thinking they are already there.

How sad.  How can it be that those so steeped in the holy Scriptures do not hear the words of David’s psalm: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves”?  Or how are they blind to the vision of the “humble and lowly” the Lord deems to bless?  For that matter, how do they hide themselves from the great prophet’s declaration that the Lord “will remove from [their] midst the proud braggarts”?

Our words alone will not save us, brothers and sisters.  However great the lines of the scribe or the preaching of the priest, it will mean nothing if not lived in flesh and blood.  Better to say no to God, as the younger son, and then turn to Him and do His will.  Certainly we all stray; and this we must recognize.  But just as certain is that all must turn to Him, after regretting our sin, and do as He commands. 

 Do not be afraid.  The Lord will “destroy remembrance of evildoers,” but count not yourself as in allegiance with them.  Be among those who “speak no lies” and you “shall pasture and couch [your] flocks with none to disturb [you].”  The vision of God and His Spirit shall be your own.

*******

O LORD, let us speak no lie before you

but let our actions meet our words of praise. 

YHWH, we must do your will to enter your kingdom, this your Son makes clear to all.  We cannot merely honor you with our lips but must make our holiness incarnate as His. 

O the woe of the proud, dear LORD!  How terrible their separation from you.  For they are blind even to their separation, and so, what shall save them?  Let them be saved by seeing the humble come to you; let them know your mercy and love by witnessing your forgiveness toward the lowly sinner… and let them accept your mercy upon their own hearts.

Purify our lips, O LORD, from all lies, all deceitful words.  Let it be your holy NAME that is upon our tongues, that we might dwell in truth and peace and humility, and praise your glory forever.

You are close to the brokenhearted, LORD; you gather even the rebellious into your arms.  Let us accept the correction of your Son and cry out to you, that we may indeed be saved and come to serve you.

Direct download: BC-121410-Tu_3_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Nm.24:2-7,15-17;   Ps.25:4-9;   Mt.21:23-27)

 

“A star shall advance from Jacob,

and a staff shall rise from Israel.”

 

And the light of that star is reflected in the eyes of Balaam, who, though a pagan, is gifted by God with the clear vision to see the beauty and wonder of “Israel encamped, tribe by tribe,” “like gardens beside a stream,” “like the cedars planted by the Lord.”  And as He is seen in the nation of Israel blessed by the Lord, so His glory is reflected in the heart and words and actions of everyone who believes and proclaims in truth that Jesus is that star, that Jesus is the Son of God.

Those who remain close to the teaching of Jesus, and to His ways, “shall have the sea within reach.”  There shall be an abundance of wisdom at the ready for those who are graced with ears to hear His words.  “He teaches the humble His way,” yes, and guides us on straight paths which lead directly to the Most High.  And “with eyes unveiled” we shall gaze not only on His reflection in the fields of this earthly existence, but on Him Himself as He is in heaven.

The teaching of Jesus is divine and He Himself is divine, above whose authority there is no other.  But His light can only be seen, His words can only be understood by those whose hearts are open to truth and willing to walk the path He sets.  If the “chief priests and elders of the people” closed themselves off from Him in a political quandary, we must not do so.  Instead we must be as His apostles, in whom the tribes of Israel are truly aligned perfectly, and have as ready a response as we know Peter had on the shores of Galilee, as Thomas had when He appeared in their midst: He is our Lord, our God.  This we must see.  This we must know.  And this we must proclaim.

The star has risen in our midst; the Savior has come.  Now we await the fulfillment of that light and must bring it to bear in this generation.  Now we must follow that star where it leads.

*******

O LORD, let our eyes see the coming of your Son,

and our hearts put faith in His authority.

YHWH, let our eyes not be blind, blind to the glory that stands before us in your only Son.  Let our eyes be open to vision of your kingdom, the kingdom He brings to this earth.  Let our tents be set in line with your will, O LORD; let our hearts be humble before you.

LORD God, you show the humble your way; you bless them with your presence in their souls and your light shining in their lives.  Teach us this day the way we should walk, the way marked out for us by your Son.  Upon Him your authority rests – let us not question His divinity but believe in His power and so in your own.  May His Word transform our souls.

The wisdom of the ages comes to us this day in Jesus and in His words.  Here is the ocean at our hands, before our eyes, that all we might know of your goodness, LORD.  Let us honor Him as our King who has come and follow in the way He leads.

Direct download: BC-121310-M_3_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O mystical doctor –

help us by way of the Cross

to find wisdom and knowledge of Christ

and union with God;

let us desire to enter

the suffering of the Lord,

that by this means

we may draw closer

to His glorious presence

and there remain in joy.

Let us fear not

the dark night the soul must endure

but bear it well,

that we might be purged of all blindness;

pray the Lord will shine upon us

His holy light

and we might soon look upon

His face

with you.

May the Lord’s Cross overshadow all

and anoint every soul

with the peace that surpasses understanding,

with His undying love.

Direct download: Dec._14_John_of_the_Cross.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Is.61:1-2,10-11;   Lk.1:46-50,53-54;   1Thes.5:16-24;   Jn.1:6-8,19-28)

 

“A man named John was sent from God.”

 

Here is the one of whom the prophet speaks, and who can rightly proclaim the words inscribed by Isaiah: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me.”  Here is he who has come “to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God.”  The Spirit is upon him and he speaks of the coming Messiah.  He has been sent by God to “testify to the light.”

But who heeds his proclamation?  Who is able to hear this voice crying and find the joy of the path it would blaze in their hearts?  How many are still as the priests and Levites and Pharisees of today’s gospel, inquiring so blindly, “Who are you”?  How many are as the commentators of the missal I read, who term the prophecy of Isaiah a “poem,” and state that the Canticle of Mary is “a song that Luke put into the mouth of Mary”?  How many have no sense of prophecy, or the Spirit, or God Himself?  How many are deaf to John’s cry?

Our brother Paul instructs us: “Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophetic utterances.”  And yet the greatest of all prophetic utterances are watered down in ankle-deep wisdom.  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,” Mary declares.  The Spirit wells up in her spirit and she cannot but “rejoice in God [her] Savior.”  These are not words put into her mouth by any man; her prophecy does not come from the pen of a scribe but from the very Spirit of God!

The Word of God cannot be chained; the voice “crying out in the desert” cannot be tamed by those “not worthy to untie” the mysteries hidden in sacred Scripture.  Paul will be put under house arrest; the Baptist Herod will cast into his dungeon; the Christ shall be crucified – but the Word of God will go forth, and nothing shall silence its voice.  The testimony to the light must be heard, “so that all might believe through Him”; there will ever be proclaimed “liberty to captives and release to the prisoners” by the power of Jesus Christ, until all hear of the mercy He has “on those who fear Him.”  

A man named John was sent, not to testify to himself, but to prophesy the grace of God; and his voice will cry out the way to the ends of the earth and to the end of time.

 

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Removing the Log from my Eye" (second part) from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, your Son is coming

and we should repent of all sin

that we might be ready to rejoice and give Him praise. 

YHWH, the fire of the Spirit has come to us; John has proclaimed the light in our midst.  Jesus, your Son, is now among us, and what should we do but rejoice?

O LORD God, holy is your NAME, and holy is the One whom you send to us.  So holy is He that we are not worthy to kneel at His feet.  For He reflects your greatness, O LORD; His light is your own.  How can we stand in your overwhelming glory, except that in Him we receive your promised mercy in our soul?

What mercy you bring us this day, LORD God!  What grace is ours in the word the Baptist speaks.  For he proclaims the Christ come among us – he proclaims the salvation of your lowly ones.

We are but your servants, LORD, unworthy to wait on your only Son.  Yet you bless us with your loving mercy and invite us to perfection in Him.  And so, what can we do but rejoice?

Direct download: BC-121111-Su_3_Adv._B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O bride of our Lord Jesus Christ,

in your virginity

and in your dying

you have given yourself

entirely

to the Lord of Heaven and earth.

O how like Him you were

in your purity

and in your suffering!

and so how close to Him

you must be

in Heaven –

pray that a ray of His light

might come to us

who sit in darkness,

we whose hearts

are not as strong

as your own.

His heavenly light

we wish to enter;

by your prayers

may we see

His glory.

Direct download: Dec._13_Lucy.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Sir.48:1-4,9-11;   Ps.80:2-4,15-16,18-19;   Mt.17:10-13)

 

“Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah

whose words were as a flaming furnace.”

 

Elijah has come, to “restore everything.”  The word has fallen like fire from heaven to prepare a path for the Lord to tread.  The Baptist has cried out as a voice in the wilderness for us to make our hearts ready for the coming of the Lord.

But, sadly, “they did not recognize him and they did as they pleased with him.”  They rejected the voice crying to them and attempted to cover over the way the word had cleared before them.  He who came “to turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob,” was himself turned back; and they cast him into prison and beheaded the great prophet.

Yet the way remains open to us.  He whom the prophet hailed has come into our midst, and His presence cannot be taken away – even to the end of the age (which is upon us).  And we must join with our psalmist today in calling upon Him to “come to save us,” to “look down from heaven, and see,” to “take care of this vine” planted by His right hand.  “Give us new life, and we will call upon your name,” must be our prayer, especially in this Advent season, for we must awaken and enliven the path to God the Baptist has served to blaze in our hearts.  We must know now Him whom he has hailed.

And, yes, with this Elijah and with the Son of Man, we too will suffer at the hands of those who would silence the Word, who would extinguish the fire set upon the earth.  But the fire is eternal and its light and power cannot be dimmed, much less extinguished.  It will purify those who seek the face of God and destroy those who turn from Him.  It cannot be otherwise.  Now that the Lord has come, His angels wait in expectation to purge the world.  Once more only the prophet Elijah will appear and the flaming furnace his words prepare will be fulfilled in God’s eternity by the return of the Son of Man.  In absolute glory the Lord will reign.

*******

O LORD, Elijah has come

and the way of the Cross has been prepared;

your Son is now present to save us. 

YHWH, rouse your power and come to save us; purge us in the fire your Son has set upon the face of the earth.  The Baptist has come in the spirit of Elijah – the way of the Savior is now prepared in our midst.

But we must walk this way of fire; we must be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, if we are to walk in the way of your Son.  If our hearts are to be turned to you, LORD, we must have faith in the One to come.

And this path is one of persecution; it is one that reduces us to straits.  For nothing unholy can enter your presence, and so we must be prepared along the narrow way.  O LORD, make us strong in following you this day!

The Son of Man is now among us, He who has suffered and died for our sake.  May the fire of the Spirit He sends, LORD, make us ready to share in His death, and so His glory.

Direct download: BC-121110-Sa_2_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Is.48:17-19;   Ps.1:1-4,6,Jn.8:12;   Mt.11:16-19)

“Time will prove where wisdom lies.”

No doubt it lies with God.  It lies with the Son of Man, come for our salvation.

“I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.”  Is it not our essential call to obey His Word, to listen for His voice and follow in His way?  Are they not happy who hear the Word of God and keep it?  Is this not wisdom, to walk in the way of our Creator, with the One who loves us above all?  Does not all our misery stem from disobedience to His sacred commandments?  Do we not in this way of our own making not simply lose all love in our hearts?  Does this not bring our death?

If we would but follow the Lord, our “prosperity would be like a river,” no doubt.  Our “descendants would be like the sand,” for “like a tree planted near running water” we would flourish with the wisdom which comes from the font of life which is the Lord, and one would we become with all the children of His eternal kingdom.

We cannot expect the Lord to dance to the tune we pipe or wail to the dirge we sing.  It is the height of foolishness for the creature to attempt to impose its will on the Creator.  But such is our pride, the source of our wickedness.  And so, deaf, blind, and empty are we when we seek to turn the order of the universe back upon our God.  For “like chaff which the wind drives away” our own foolish counsels can all but come to naught.  The branch cannot grow apart from the vine, nor can the tree bear fruit without the water which gives it life.

“Happy the man who… delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on His law day and night.”  For then the nourishing waters are upon him; then the light of wisdom fills him – then he shall bear fruit a hundredfold and never taste of death.  For the Hand of God will be upon him to lead him to the eternal kingdom, where His wisdom will be proven true.

*******

O LORD, let us follow your Wisdom, your Word,

your way to eternal life. 

YHWH, let us follow in your way, in the way you call us to walk.  Let us not follow in the way of the wicked, the way which vanishes, but walk with you, meditating on your Word, and we will come to life, to life everlasting with you.

If we do not listen to your Word, what fools we are, O LORD!  If we seek our own designs and to impose them upon you – what greater foolishness can there be?  O let us recognize you as God and not ourselves!  And may obedience to your voice be our salvation.

John appeared neither eating nor drinking to show us the path of sacrifice that leads to you, that enables us to overcome this world and find your kingdom.  Jesus ate and drank for He is of your kingdom and calls all to your table on high.  O let us witness to your Wisdom at work in all things! a wisdom we cannot gainsay or deny, a wisdom we must accept to find its light.  There in your Wisdom let us make our home, dear LORD, and we shall prosper unto eternity.

Direct download: BC-121010-F_2_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O Patroness of the Americas

and Protectress of the Unborn,

look upon our troubled state,

where lust and greed abound,

where thousands are killed in the womb

every day,

where the poor and the rich

are separated by steel walls

and thirsting souls

die in the desert –

help us, dear Mother,

to discover life,

to find your guidance

in this land of opportunity

and broken dreams,

in these hearts that have grown so cold

that more are sacrificed

on unholy altars

than when you first came

to turn our hearts to the Lord!

Pray for us, Our Lady,

or we shall surely die

in a soulless pride.

Direct download: Dec._12_Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 2:00 PM

 

 

 

(Zec. 2:14-17;   Lk.1:46-55;   Lk.1:29-47)

“Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!

for He stirs forth from His holy dwelling.”

And His own stirring forth causes John the Baptist to stir forth, to “leap for joy” – thus is opened the mouth of the one who will proclaim His way.

On this the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe we celebrate the Lord’s stirring forth in astounding fashion in the Americas.  As the Lord looked upon His humble servant Mary to bring forth the only Son of God, so He smiles upon the humble Juan Diego, to bring the conversion of a continent.  His Mother comes humble and with child to bring new birth to a land in darkness…  And how that land sits in darkness now, awaiting renewal by the graces from His hand. 

“He has looked upon His handmaid’s lowliness” once, and again; let us pray a humble spirit He shall once more find in this place and on this earth, that indeed “the hungry shall be filled with good things,” that He who has “lifted up the lowly” will remember them now that they are trodden down, now that the most humble are destroyed in the womb.

“Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day.”  And many have.  But how sincere is their commitment to Him?  Are they truly “His people,” and so will “He dwell among” them?  Have we cause to “sing and rejoice,” to be as she who “proclaims the greatness of the Lord” – or to cry tears of sorrow for the land to which we have come?  For the womb is barren; the spirits are proud – and in these the Lord takes no joy.

Silence before Him we must find once again, that He might turn to us and bring new birth to this land.

“Stir forth, O Lord, from your holy dwelling,”

     and renew our languishing souls.

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.

Music by Roger and Carie Fortney; used by permission.

*******

O LORD, may our hearts stir to life

at the sound of Mary’s voice,

at the approach of your Son. 

YHWH, you sent the Mother of your Son to a land in darkness, to a barren place, that the people might be converted to the faith, that the blood upon their hands might be washed away.  May she come again to this continent and this world that unholy sacrifice might again be stopped by her humble presence.  O LORD, bring us new life!

LORD, we would rejoice in you and in your presence in our midst.  We would see all the nations gathered into your arms.  But how can you come to a place that despises life, that kills its children in the womb?  Have pity on us, dear LORD, and send Mother Mary to prepare the second coming of your Son.

The Baptist awoke and leapt in his mother’s womb when Mary brought his Savior to him.  O let us awake this day, dear God, awake from our slumber in such darkness and come into the light of your day.  Let us be humble and lowly as she who bore your Son, and we shall be lifted with her to your side.  Save us, O LORD our God.

Direct download: Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe_2009.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 8:00 AM

O bishop of Rome

who guided the bark of Peter

through difficult waters,

who kept her on the course

set for her by the Lord

even as she grew in this world

from a Church of the blood of martyrs

to one entering the light of day,

of acceptance by the city of man…

you who sought so diligently

to preserve the memory of the martyrs

lest it should pass away,

and the Cross of Christ

with it –

pray that today, too,

the Church will remember its root,

the root of Jesse and His sacrifice,

and that as she grows

our Mother on earth

will be well understood

by those called into her walls.

Pray the martyrs pray for us,

that in their blood we always find our growth.

Direct download: Dec._11_Damasus_I.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Is.41:13-20;   Ps.145:1,8-13;   Mt.11:11-15)

 

“I will make you a threshing sledge,

sharp, new, and double-edged.”

 

A “worm” and a “maggot” are we.  We are “the afflicted and the needy [who] seek water in vain, [our] tongues… parched with thirst.”  But holding our right hand, the Lord speaks to us: “Fear not, I will help you.”  “I will open up rivers on the bare heights…  I will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water.”  And has not John the Baptizer come, into the desert, into the wilderness, and there poured the water of God’s compassion upon us for the forgiveness of sins?

Lush trees now grow in the desert: we who were once empty are now filled with God’s grace.  And yes, “the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”  For all these wonders accomplished in our midst are but to “make known to men [His] might and the glorious splendor of [His] kingdom.”  Indeed, we now “thresh the mountains and crush them, to make the hills like chaff,” but all this is done in His power.

And how then do we understand Jesus’ words: “From John the Baptizer’s time until now the kingdom of God has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force”?  We know that John spoke boldly in the name of God; unafraid of his oppressors, he called all to repentance.  We should all learn from the power of God he displayed in crying out in the wilderness.  We know also that at the time Jesus spoke the above words, John was imprisoned in Herod’s dungeon, suffering genuinely the violence of this generation.  We know Jesus Himself will be crucified.  We know all the apostles (save John) will be martyred for the faith – all His children suffer under the weight of the cross imposed by the violent of this world.

But we know also that this very cross is the means God has chosen to most poignantly reveal His powerful hand at work.  For the nails which fix our hands to the wood have no power over us, and so by the humble acceptance of the violence of this age we do most dramatically destroy, crush into dust, the mountains of this world.  And we upon whom the greatest violence is inflicted indeed effect the greater violence upon our oppressors, for by this sacrifice wickedness is destroyed and the righteous enter the kingdom of heaven.  Let us act with such strength from God, brothers and sisters, for the sake of the kingdom.

 

*******

O LORD, let there be springs of water

in the desert of this world,

that we poor souls might not die

but enter into your kingdom. 

YHWH, Elijah has come as a threshing sledge preparing the way for your Son – and now all souls may enter your kingdom!

To the desert of our lives you have brought your water, O LORD.  We who were parched and lifeless have heard the Baptist’s call to repentance and known the grace that comes to us thereby.  Your Son, your very Son has come among us and opened the gates of Heaven; in His sacrifice you show your great compassion, and now this tree of life flourishes in our midst.

To the Cross we must all be nailed, dear LORD; all the evil in us must die.  But what blessing such violence brings!  For joining ourselves to your Son’s sacrifice, the glorious splendor of your reign is revealed to our eyes.

Though we must die, LORD, you live in us and remain in us until the end of time.  And so for such grace we bless you; so this day we heed your Son’s voice.  Let us be washed clean in the water from His side and come quickly to eternal life.

Direct download: BC-120910-Th_2_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Is.40:25-31;   Ps.103:1-4,8,10;   Mt.11:28-30)

“My yoke is easy and my burden light.”

How we do become “weary and find life burdensome.”  How we can “faint and grow weary,” “stagger and fall” from the burden of sin and our inherent weakness.  But oh how “He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak He makes vigor abound.”   For indeed He is the creator of the universe – “by His great might and the strength of His power” all things come to be – and His Son is the redeemer of our souls.  “The Lord is the eternal God” and “they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar as with eagles’ wings.”  Trust in Him who “pardons all your iniquities” and “heals all your ills.”

What a promise Jesus holds forth for those who come to His “gentle and humble” heart: “Your souls will find rest.”  We know that the great St. Augustine has told us that only in God do our souls find rest.  How we wander aimlessly in trackless wastes seeking comfort for our souls, rest for our weary bodies, taking refuge in the various attractions of the world and the vain promise they hold.  How late in life all of us come to the fulfilling promise of Jesus, for any time spent apart from Him is but wasted.

And thank the Lord that He is “merciful and gracious.”  Thank Him that “not according to our sins does He deal with us.”  For what hope would we have then?  But this great God who has no equal, who holds the world in His hand, “redeems your life from destruction, He crowns you with kindness and compassion” despite your sins, if you but come to Him as He calls.

How patiently Jesus waits for each of us, this only Son of God, this image of the Father and embodiment of His love.  How gracious He is toward us poor creatures.  Will you not take His “yoke upon your shoulders and learn” from Him?  Will you not find refreshment from all your sins and forgiveness of all your crimes?  Will you continue to turn your face away from Him who watches over all and weigh yourself down with anxiety?  Or will you come to Him, your only hope?  Take the light burden of His gracious Word upon your souls and do His will in this world.

*******

O LORD, how shall your compassion come

to dwell in our hearts,

and your strength renew our own? –

let us be blessed in Jesus your Son. 

YHWH, you make our burden light by the Cross of your only Son.  He takes our sins upon Himself and carries them away, and we need but turn to Him and walk with Him to find rest for our souls.

How great is your announcement to us, O LORD; how great your blessing!  For you who are Creator of Heaven and earth promise your own strength to those who believe in you, who turn to your grace and mercy.  Our sins you remember not, our iniquities you pardon; and finding no condemnation at your hands, we are free to soar as with eagles’ wings – for what punishment can there be if it comes not from you?

O LORD, for all your benefits let all men bless you and your holy NAME.  Let us come this day to your only Son and share the blessings upon Him.  He will carry our burden in this world and so our yoke will be light.  Deep in our souls let us know your compassion, and we shall soar on your heights.

Direct download: BC-120711-W_2_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O humble child of the Lord

whom our Lady blessed

with her presence,

to whom she gave

roses in winter –

pray for us who are not humble as you,

whose obedience is cold

and grown so weak,

that she might come to us, too,

that she might speak a word to our hearts

and we might as children

listen

and do as she directs,

she who directs us only to Jesus,

only to His love.

Pray this continent be once again

renewed

by the grace of God;

may Our Lady’s image

be upon our hearts

that we too might proclaim

the glory of the Lord

and His love for His children.

Direct download: Dec._9_Juan_Diego.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Is.40:1-11;   Ps.96:1-3,10-13,Is.40:10;   Mt.18:12-14)

 

“Like a shepherd He feeds His flock;

in His arms He gathers His lambs.”

 

His is the voice which “speak[s] tenderly to Jerusalem.”  It is He who “give[s] comfort to [His] people.”  For “it is no part of [the] heavenly Father’s plan that a single one of these little ones shall ever come to grief.”

Like a shepherd He leads us.  With great concern He watches over His flock, careful that none is led astray.  And diligent is He in finding the one who “wanders away.”  This is indeed “good news.”  These are indeed “glad tidings,” which make even “the trees of the forest exult.”  For He cares about each one of the many of His creatures, and shall bring all back to Him by the sound of His gentle voice.

And of His sweet voice we must cry out.  “Sing to the Lord; bless His name; announce His salvation day after day.”  For all the earth must know that “He shall rule the world with justice and His peoples with constancy.”  And so “a voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord!”  May all hearts be ready to meet Him.  When “every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low… then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together.”  O that that glorious day might come!

“Though the grass withers and the flower wilts, the word of our God stands forever.”  And so He stands behind us, whispering into our ears of the way we should walk.  And so He calls to our hearts, carrying us “in His bosom” with care.  And so His eternal presence ever comes to our tired bodies, our fading souls, and gives them life, and brings them back from their straying paths upon this dying earth.  And so it is that all “exult before the Lord, for He comes; He comes to rule the earth.”

It is only in His eternity that we shall find a home, brothers and sisters.  And into these arms He now gathers us.  And with His food He now feeds us.  Let us partake of His presence in Word and in Sacrament as we await His coming.

*******

O LORD, we praise you

for the merciful justice and peace

you have brought into our midst

through your Son Jesus. 

YHWH, truth has sprung out of the earth, for justice has looked down from Heaven and our redemption has come – Jesus has been born among us.  He is the holy way, the way that leads to the splendor and glory of your kingdom.  He is as the stream in the desert that cleanses our souls of all sins and so prepares us to dance and sing with Him in your eternal presence.  We who were lame now leap like a stag for the blessing we have received from our Savior; yes, we have been forgiven, and are now crowned with everlasting joy.

O let your splendor come to us this day, dearest LORD and God.  May we hear these blessed words from the mouth of your Son: “Your sins are forgiven.”  O let us rise and walk with Him to our heavenly homeland!  The parched land cries out to you; let your water pour down upon us that in the power of the Holy Spirit we might blossom forth with His gifts.  Strengthened by such grace let us do your holy will in all things.

Direct download: BC-120710-Tu_2_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O pure Mother,

you are she who is full of grace;

it is you who have found the Lord’s favor.

Preserved from all sin from the womb,

overflowing with all His blessings,

you are the hope of our race,

the one created soul most like to God –

pray for us this day, dear Mother,

that we might be kept from the snares of the world,

from the enticements of the devil.

O help us be pure as you,

obedient to the will of the Father,

bringing His Son into this world

by the Holy Spirit’s power.

You who now reign in Heaven

with the Lord, your only Son,

intercede for us who toil on earth

that we too might enter God’s presence;

you who are blessed to be one with Him,

pray the Church you bear be so well founded.

Hail, Full of Grace!

Your name be blessed forever

by all generations.

Direct download: Dec._8_Immaculate_Conception.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 2:00 PM

(Gn.3:9-15,20;   Ps.98:1-4;   Eph.1:3-6,11-12;   Lk.1:26-38)

 

“He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world,

to be holy and without blemish before Him.”

 

And she is the sign of such preservation from evil.

 “Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you.”  And so the Virgin Mother is greeted by the power of the Most High.  So she is called – “full of grace” is her title.  She whom all generations will call blessed is revealed in this simple greeting as having “found favor with God.”  And so, “the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God,” the Son of her who has been preserved by grace.

“In accord with the favor of His will, for the praise of the glory of His grace,” this has been done – she has been immaculately conceived, kept from the stain of sin.  Not that she herself might be worshiped is the Virgin kept pure, but indeed she does “exist for the praise of His glory.”  “My soul magnifies the Lord,” she has proclaimed… and it is so.  She is but the sign that “His right hand has won victory for Him”; she is the instrument through which “the Lord has made His salvation known.”

How wonderfully this is expressed in her own words of consent to His call: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.”  Here in this blessed obedience she sets in motion the cleansing of our sin of disobedience she shall bring by the fruit of her womb, a disobedience painfully recounted for us in our first reading – a disobedience which has caused us to hide from the face of God.  But no longer will we be trapped in this hell.  No more will we flee from the presence of Him who is our Creator, for by her humble obedience, and our own, in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we will have our nakedness covered over and become holy as He.

The Virgin is our Mother.  She who has “no relations with a man” has brought about the salvation of all men “in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will.”  And so the curse is removed from us.  And so we might “sing joyfully to the Lord,” for “in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice”; through this simple virgin He has brought us His grace.  And now we may be pure as He.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

Music By Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, the serpent comes to Eve, and we fall;

the angel comes to Mary, and we rise –

in selfish disobedience we do the devil’s work;

in selfless obedience we serve you…

O let us be your children! 

YHWH, full of grace is the Mother of your Son; by your will you have made her pure that she might carry Him who is perfect into this world.  We praise you for your goodness to her, for it means goodness to us – it means our salvation has come!

With every spiritual blessing in the heavens you have showered us by your grace and mercy, O LORD, by the love you offer us in Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord.  And so we might stand holy and without blemish before you; and so we might be even as Mary our Mother, even as Jesus her Son.  O let us be incorporated into your glory, dear God!

Our sin has been grievous.  We have turned away from you.  Our disobedience has wrought your just punishment, LORD.  But salvation you bring to us this day by the word of the angel.  And so we praise you for your faithfulness in saving us; and so we offer our lives with Mary your handmaiden – in our lives let your Word be accomplished.

Direct download: Immaculate_Conception_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 8:00 AM

O good bishop

and wise doctor of the Church –

pray for us,

that the water that is Christ

might pour upon our souls,

especially His chosen apostles,

your fellow bishops,

and fill all with wisdom from on high,

leading us away from all lies

to the truth that is Jesus.

Pray our hearts shall be filled

to overflowing

with this Word,

that the Gospel might be preached

by lips anointed

with the Body and Blood of our Lord;

may the darkness of error

be dispelled

and God’s pure light

shine in our midst.

Pray for us, good doctor,

pray for us;

lead us indeed to the truth that is Christ.

Direct download: Dec._7_Ambrose.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Is.40:1-5,9-11;   Ps.85:9-14;   2Pt.3:8-14;   Mk.1:1-8) 

 

“Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;

he will prepare your way.” 

 

And so, “John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”  And so comes “the voice of one crying out in the desert,” in the desert that is our fallen lives: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.”

Turn from your sins, brothers and sisters.  Repent.  It is the Lord’s will that “all should come to repentance,” that all should be “found without spot or blemish” on the day of His coming, on the day all “the elements will be dissolved with fire.”  With the fire of the Holy Spirit does the Lord Jesus come now to baptize, that what John has cleansed from our souls might be gone forever – that the new person we become by this baptism of water might be made complete, might become hardened and lasting in the furnace of His love.

God “proclaims peace to His people.  Near indeed is His salvation to those who fear Him.”  Hear what His prophet says, for he cries “out at the top of [his] voice” that indeed all hearts might listen: “Here is your GOD!  Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by His strong arm.”  Yes, “the mouth of the Lord has spoken,” and now the WORD is in our midst, walking amongst us as our shepherd and “leading the ewes with care.”  The “justice [that] shall walk before Him, and prepare the way of His steps,” has come, and now the level highway that leads to His kingdom we must tread – there is no denying the road that is set before us.

Christ is coming, brothers and sisters, and Christ has come.  The Baptist has prepared His path, and He, the Son of God, has walked it.  And now we await His return in glory.  And “the Lord does not delay His promise”; His return is sure.  Already we see the “glory dwelling in our land.”  He waits for you to come now to Him.  In patience He looks for you to turn.  Turn to Him now in earnest; with all your soul cry out His Name.  “Jesus Christ the Son of God” dawns on the horizon.  Embrace His love; walk His sacred path.

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Please Even Me Out" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, may peace be proclaimed to your people

and we follow on your way of salvation. 

YHWH, let your Word be proclaimed to the ends of the earth that all hearts might be prepared for the return of your Son, for the Day when all the elements will be dissolved by fire and the thoughts and deeds of every soul revealed.

John the Baptist has come and prepared the way for the first coming of Jesus.  Now His disciples go forth, now the Gospel is cried out from the heights of Zion – now every man shall plainly see that you, O LORD, are God; and peace shall come to him who turns to your glory.

With fire let us be baptized today, LORD, with the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Washed clean from our sins let us now be perfected for life in your kingdom.  Let us not fear the coming Day but welcome it and hasten it by living uprightly before you.  In your patience you wait for us to turn from all sin and embrace your presence in our midst.  Let us make straight your way into our hearts.

Direct download: BC-120411-Su_2_Adv._B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O bishop of Myra,

shepherd of the Lord’s sheep

who has with a generous heart

cared so well

for His little ones…

all became as your children,

for you loved your flock

with the love of Christ Himself;

their needs were your own –

pray our hearts will be like yours,

that just so generously

we will give to those in need,

provide for those in our care.

I pray you will see us now

as your children here

and beg the bearer of all good gifts

to provide for all those most in need,

that in joy all souls

may welcome His coming,

ready for the joys of Heaven.

May our love be one

with the love of our Good Shepherd,

now and in eternity.

Direct download: Dec._6_Nicholas.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Is.30:19-21,23-26;   Ps.147:1-6,Is.30:18;   Mt.9:35-10:1,6-8)

 

“On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of His people,

He will heal the bruises left by His blows.”

 

“Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons.”  With these words Jesus sends His disciples forth proclaiming, “The reign of God is at hand!”

The prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled.  The Savior has come.  The Teacher is at our side now speaking into our ears, “This is the way; walk in it.”  And of all our sins He cleanses us; from all our sickness He heals us.  Indeed, “as soon as you call He will answer you,” for He is ready to wipe all tears from your eyes.

And what must be our response to a Lord who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  We must be the same as He.  We must go forth as He has, teaching, proclaiming “the good news of God’s reign,” and curing “every sickness and disease.”  It is our call to make others whole in heart, mind, soul, and body; and so, to whatever need is present – and there are many or the Lord would not ask us to “beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather His harvest” – we must apply the grace of God.  He will do the work that is needed, but He needs us to work through.

To what glory all are called; what a wonderful message we have to bring forth!  Isaiah, the great prophet, only touches upon it when he cries out that the Lord “will give rain for the seed that you sow in the ground” (see how He will bless your work!) and when he proclaims: “The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater.”  This vision is for all who turn to the Lord for healing.

We have been bruised, brothers and sisters.  No doubt, our sins have brought wounds to our souls.  But the Lord will bind up all these; in His surpassing pity He will raise us all from death as He “rebuilds Jerusalem.”  Let us bring this message forth.

*******

O LORD, heal us of all ill and teach us

to walk in the way that leads unto Heaven.

YHWH, we lie prostrate from exhaustion, do we not?  We thirst for your presence; we hunger for the Bread you provide.  Come to us.  Send your laborers to teach us and to heal us of every disease, to bring us your grace.  Have pity on your sheep, O LORD!

We are broken, but when we cry out to you, O LORD, you hear our voice and quickly answer our prayers.  And what promise you make to our waiting hearts!  Abundance of blessing shall be ours as you heal the wounds of our sin and bring us into your glorious presence.

Seven times greater than the light of the sun will be your light on that Day, O LORD.  Streams of running  water will fill our thirst for you and by your teaching we will be led in our every step.  Come, LORD, fulfill your promise in our midst.  Let all men know your reign is at hand.

Direct download: BC-120410-Sa_1_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Is.29:17-24;   Ps.27:1,4,13-14;   Mt.9:27-31)

 

“The eyes of the blind shall see.”

 

O “that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate His temple.”  That out of “gloom and darkness” I might be taken, and come “to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”  That I could feel His hands touch my eyes, that I might have the faith to believe they shall be open to His glory…

Brothers and sisters, we are blind.  All of us.  All of us lack understanding.  All of us falter in faith.  For who among us is there that gazes continually upon the Lord’s presence?  Who among us has entered His glory?  Who among us possesses no arrogance and has “nothing to be ashamed of”?  If yet we toil upon this earth, groaning as we await the redemption of our bodies, then yet do we continue in a measure blind.  Yet do we seek His face.  And if yet seeking “to see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living,” then yet have we to find it in its fullness; and so, yet do our eyes lack of the light that is the Lord, our salvation.

But certainly we are not without hope.  Most certainly His hand is upon us even now.  Most certainly His presence comes to us each and every day.  Clearly His light shines in our midst in the Sacrament we receive and in the Word we hear, and so we can with confidence heed the exhortation of the psalm of David: “Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.”  For He comes, and we know this.  We are catching up to Him, and this is our joy.  Yes, today do we know we shall see Him, for our eyes do glimpse Him even now.

In the meantime, brothers and sisters, as we wait, as the light that has dawned upon the world rises to our eyes, as He comes to fill our vision, let us strive to avoid speaking any word which “condemns a man.”  Let us know that indeed we “err in spirit” and need the Lord’s light to guide us, and we shall become free of that which blinds us.  And we shall be the lowly who are raised to His presence.

 

*******

O LORD, let us gaze upon your loveliness always! 

YHWH, take us out of gloom and darkness that we might gaze upon your face; save us this day from all evil that into your Temple we may come.  You are our very light, O LORD – let our eyes be filled with vision of your presence.

O LORD, let us never cease pursuing you till we catch up with you and you turn to us to heal us.  So far short of your glory do we fall, so far short.  Yet you draw us forth as you walk on ahead of us; yet if we keep calling out to you, you shall answer.  Never let our hearts be discouraged as we seek the light of your face.

O LORD, let us keep your NAME holy; in awe let us reverence you always.  Let us remember your love for us and the understanding your Spirit brings.  O let our minds be filled with your light as we wait steadfastly for you to come!

Open our ears, O LORD; open our eyes.  Cast from our midst all arrogance, all condemnation from our tongues.  Let us not be condemned ourselves but come to contemplate your glory forever.

Direct download: BC-120310-F_1_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O blessed teacher of the faith –

may the nourishing waters of our Mother,

of the true teaching of our Church,

flow upon all souls,

calling them to the Lord

from whom they emanate;

like the waters trickling from the temple

in Ezekiel’s vision,

may they grow and increase

as they travel to the ends of the earth,

making all whole,

pure in the light of God.

Pray that the Mother of Heaven,

through whom flow these waters,

these graces pouring forth

from the Cross of Christ…

will pray for us here on earth

and see that we are nourished well

by the faith

brought to us by the holy apostles

and still fostered

by the shepherds of the Church.

May the Lord keep us in His way.

Direct download: Dec._4_John_of_Damascus.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Is.26:1-6;   Ps.118:1,8-9,19-21,25-27;   Mt.7:21,24-27)

 

“Trust in the Lord forever!

For the Lord is an eternal rock.”

 

Sand or rock?  Upon which do we build our house?  If we “take refuge in the Lord” and enter “the gates of justice,” we shall find salvation in the Lord’s kingdom; if we “trust in man” and “princes,” we shall be leveled with the dust – our house shall collapse and we be “completely ruined.”

The choice is set before us.  “Those in high places” will be humbled to the ground; those who find refuge in the empty things of this world will find no protection on the day of His coming.  But for the “nation of firm purpose,” which “comes in the name of the Lord,” “He sets up walls and ramparts to protect.”  And they shall “give thanks to the Lord” as they enter the gates of His holy city.

Jesus states clearly, “Only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” will enter His kingdom: the one “who hears my words and puts them into practice” is he who is wise.  And the putting into practice is key.  Jesus has come in the flesh, and flesh there must be to our deeds.  He is real, and we must be as real as He in our love.  Otherwise we deny Him.  We deny His coming if we do not live His way.  God is not across the ocean or in the sky; He walks upon this earth now and must be in our lives.  Only this will bring us strength.  Only this will enable us to stand when the torrents come and the winds blow and buffet our house – for these have no power over those who are set in the Hand of God, who do His bidding.

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Lk.11:28).  We cannot but think of these challenging words from our Lord, referring greatly to the Mother of God – whose service to the Lord we particularly celebrate in these days of preparation – and cannot but hope to abide by them and become the handmaiden Mary has shown herself to be, that the eternal blessings of God might be ours as well.  In Him let us trust.  In Him let our faith be set.  And let us do His will.

*******

O LORD, let us dwell in your House,

built on the Rock that is you.

YHWH, how shall our city be strong if we do not trust in you?  How shall we stand on your Day if we are not your children, if we have not done your will in this world?  How can we enter your House and there dwell in peace if we have not the key to your kingdom, if we live not as your Son?

O LORD, we shall but fall to the dust and be trampled underfoot if we have only words to offer you.  If we have lived our lives in vain, then we have built our house on sand, and it shall but collapse when you stand before us on your holy Day.  There is no hope for those who do not come to your Son and put His words into practice.

But for those who trust in you and serve you, the gates of justice open up and they enter in and dwell in your presence – these stand strong whatever may come for they stand with you who are the eternal Rock, the foundation that cannot be shaken.  Let us enter your House and give thanks to you, O LORD, for you are our Savior and in you we take our refuge.

Direct download: BC-120210-Th_1_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O holy apostle of the Lord,

model of faith in God

and love of the Church,

has there been a soul

to match your zeal

for the salvation of the world?

Convict us of our laziness,

of our sloth,

of our distraction by the things

not of the kingdom of God;

of what worth are our lives

if not spent in service of the Lord

and of neighbor?

O missionary of missionaries,

by your prayer

let the Church on earth,

which flounders so in empty illusion,

be renewed by a living faith

that reaches to the ends of the world

and banishes all darkness

from the hearts and minds of men.

Pray God’s kingdom come

and reign amongst us.

Direct download: Dec._3_Francis_Xavier.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Is.25:6-10;   Ps.23:1-6;   Mt.15:29-37)

 

“The hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.”

 

And He will heal us.  And He will lead us.  And He will feed us.

Jesus went up onto a mountainside along the Sea of Galilee and sat down to teach and to heal.  The sick were laid at His feet.  Isaiah says, “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples.”  This mountain is the Lord.  It is Jesus who reaches out His hand to heal those lying at His feet.  It is Jesus who raises the bread for blessing and gives all to eat.  And it is He who “will destroy death forever.”   “This is the Lord for whom we looked.”

And it is through His Church Jesus works; through the blessing of the priest who raises the bread and the cup, Jesus gives us His Body and Blood – this is our “feast of rich food and choice wines” envisioned by Isaiah.  It is He who forgives our sins, He who removes “the reproach of His people,” wiping away “the tears from all faces” in the confessional.  He anoints us with the oil of the Spirit in Baptism; He joins us as one in holy Matrimony…  He shepherds us with the Word of His teaching, leading us “in right paths,” “beside restful waters,” to “dwell in the house of the Lord” forever.

“Let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us!”  If “only goodness and kindness” follow us all our days, what have we to do but rejoice?  If we have a Lord who looks with such pity upon our hunger, what need we fear?  If it is He who “spread[s] the table” before us, even here in this world, “in the sight of [our] foes,” where sin besets us… what can we lack?  If “cripples, the deformed, the blind, the mute, and many others” were healed of their maladies, what sickness of ours is beyond His redemption?

In this world we “walk in the dark valley.”  In this world we hunger.  Here “the veil that veils all peoples” is upon us.  But here, too, He is with us to refresh our souls and feed us with His Body and Blood in the New Jerusalem.

 

*******

O LORD, feed us on the holy mountain

which is your Son

with His own Body and Blood. 

YHWH, you are He for whom we have looked, and you come to us in your only Son, who gives to us His Body and His Blood that we might feast upon your presence even in this world.  Let us not be afraid but remember that you are with us.

How glorious is your kingdom, LORD, where all are made well, where all are fed by your hand.  Though we have so little to offer, you take it and bless it and multiply it that we might have an abundance.  And so, even in the valley of death through which we must pass, you are with us to guide us, for your Son has gone there before us.

On your mountain let us make our home, O LORD our God; in the Word and Bread your Son offers let us take our refuge.  He is the mountain on which we must dwell – in Him all death is dispelled and we are made whole in your sight.  Let us remain ever on this mountain. 

 

Direct download: BC-120110-W_1_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Is.11:1-10;   Ps.72:1,7-8,12-13,17;   Lk.10:21-24)

“The earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord,

as water covers the sea.”

And so, “there shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.

The vision is sure: “The wolf shall be the guest of the lamb… the lion shall eat hay like the ox… the child shall lay his hand on the adder’s lair,” for all shall live as one in the Spirit of the Lord.  “Justice shall flower in His days, and profound peace” – such is the vision to which all hearts aspire.

Jesus is the fullness of that peace.  And so He says to His disciples, “Blest are the eyes that see what you see,” for what “prophets and kings wished to see,” what Isaiah prophesies for us today, is present there before them.

And He is present before us.  But we can only see and hear Him if we are as “merest children,” else His presence will be hidden from our eyes.  He wishes to reveal Himself, desires to lead us to the Father whom He alone knows, to whom He alone can lead us – but to find such fullness of vision, to gaze upon the face of God, to be filled with His wisdom and knowledge as is His Son, we must first fear Him, as He does, and seek to abide by the words and the commands that come to us by “the breath of His lips.”  All must be slain that is wicked in us, and His justice and faithfulness shall be ours.

“May His name be blessed forever; as long as the sun His name shall remain,” for He Himself is light, and indeed His dwelling is glorious.  With judgment and justice He is endowed, and in the light of His wisdom and grace we stand eternally blessed.  But are our eyes open to Him?

Now should we pray for the Lord’s light to fill us, for His knowledge to cover us, that our eyes may be open to see Him, that we shall not miss Him as He comes.

O Lord, prepare our hearts to see you,

and the blessing of your presence, your peace,

among us.

*******

O LORD, open our eyes and ears

to your glorious presence among us.

YHWH, your Son is our justice; our hope for peace is in Him – open our eyes to see His presence, to see your presence among us.

Upon Jesus your favor rests, O LORD, and that favor you would share with all of us; that favor He would share with us if we would but turn to Him with the heart of a child.  May we be truly humble, O LORD, truly loving and truly kind, that your justice might be upon us for good, and to your salvation, to your holy mountain, we shall be called.

In awe of you let us stand, LORD, our eyes and ears filled with your glory alone.  O how shall we bear such blessing?  How shall we come to know such surpassing peace?  How shall we come to stand in your presence and live in your perfection?  Only if your Son reveals to us your glory; only if we are sustained by His grace will we be filled with knowledge of you, our only God.

Direct download: BC-113010-Tu_1_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Is.2:1-5 or Is.4:2-6;   Ps.122:1-9;   Mt.8:5-11

I shall treat of both first readings)

 

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!”

 

For it shall come.  “The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain….  All nations shall stream toward it,” and there the Lord will give judgment.  And His judgment will cause the banishment of war, for all shall be one in Him, and to all He shall grant “shelter and protection,” by night and by day.

The coming peace and unity all find on the holy mountain of Jerusalem prophesied by Isaiah is signaled in our gospel passage today as the Gentile centurion approaches Jesus with a request made in great faith.  His surpassing faith prompts the Lord to reveal the truth of the coming kingdom: “Many will come from the east and the west and will find a place at the banquet in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”  For it is faith that brings us to Him and to His blessings.

Certainly the serving boy for whom the centurion intercedes receives healing from the Lord; and certainly all those who “go up to the house of the Lord” in faith shall themselves be gratefully received.  I pray we all remain in Zion, remain in “her place of assembly,” and so find refuge from “storm and rain” and from the “heat of day.”  The New Jerusalem we know is the Catholic Church, is the faith handed down by Jesus through His apostles and blessed by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We know that within these walls we shall always find peace and protection, and we pray for all to stream toward the truth and the glory found in this House.  There all shall find cleansing from their sins; “with a blast of searing judgment,” the Lord has created this Virgin Bride.  So, “let us walk in the light of the Lord!” 

As Jesus remarks to His followers, “I have never found this much faith in Israel,” He is calling them to an increase in their faith.  He calls us, too, brothers and sisters, to act more readily upon His commands.  Let us not fall short in our service to Him, and the peace of Jerusalem shall just as readily be ours.

 

*******

O LORD, may all souls come to your holy mountain

and find there a home of peace. 

YHWH, peace reigns in your House, and all those of faith find a place there.  From every corner of the earth, men shall stream toward Jerusalem, where you dwell, where you teach the nations.  Draw all souls into Holy Church.

You are the refuge and protection for all who are purged from their sin; all who come to you for cleansing of the blood from their hands find in you a place of peace and forgiveness, LORD.  May all swords be beaten into plowshares – the war come from men’s hearts be banished forever.

All nations you call, O LORD, and all those of faith you accept into your kingdom.  Let us be obedient in serving you that we might find your peace within our hearts and dwell on your holy mountain forever.

Direct download: BC-112910-M_1_Adv.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O brother of the Rock of our Church,

you who brought him to our Lord,

you who were crucified

on the Cross of our Savior,

who shed your blood

freely for His cause…

you who thirsted for His coming

and welcomed Him so readily

into your life –

bring us also to the Messiah’s side

and pray we shall receive Him

as well as your brother has done;

pray we, too, will abandon our boats,

our moorings in this world,

to follow the Christ

along the way He leads,

even apart from home and family.

Brothers to the Son pray we become,

accomplishing the Father’s will

with our lives;

capture us in His net this day

that we too might stand in His light

with all the redeemed of Israel.


Direct download: Nov._30_Andrew.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 2:00 PM

(Is.63:16b-17,19b,64:2-7;   Ps.80:2-4,15-16,18-19;   1Cor.1:3-9;   Mk.13:33-37) 

“Would that you might meet us doing right,

that we were mindful of you in our ways!” 

“O Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see.”  “Rouse your power, and come to save us.”  Do not “let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden [not] our hearts so that we fear you not.”  We are your fruitful vine, but “we have all withered like leaves… for you have hidden your face from us and delivered us up to our guilt.  Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay and you are the potter.”  “May your help be with the Man of your right hand.”  May we be formed in His image and so be pleasing to you.  May we be ready for His return, and our final meeting with you, our Lord and God.

Brothers and sisters, we must be as the Corinthians, among whom “the testimony of Christ was confirmed,” who “are not lacking in any spiritual gift as [they] wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  He travels now abroad in the kingdom of His Father, but He will return.  And He has indeed left us “each with his work”; all are gifted by God and called to bear fruit in the time that is ours now…  “May He not come suddenly and find [us] sleeping.”  When He “rend[s] the heavens and come[s] down, with the mountains quaking before [Him],” may we not be found quaking as well, having slipped into the slumber of sin, having been covered with this world’s darkness.  Rather, let Him meet us doing right at whatever hour He may come.  Let us constantly serve our God and “He will keep [us] firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”  In many ways does He indeed say it: “Be watchful!  Be alert!”  Keep your eyes open!  Stay awake!  Be ready!  But ever He tells us to remember that we are “called to fellowship with [the] Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  And as “God is faithful” so must we too be faithful to our call, giving witness always to the glory of our Lord.

Now is the time to turn from our sin and be formed in His image.  Let the prophet not say over us: “There is none who calls upon [His] name, who rouses himself to cling to [Him].”  Let us prepare ourselves for His coming by walking rightly in His ways. 

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Warm Forehead" from Bearing the Birth Pangs, tenth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, let us enter into fellowship with your Son,

becoming one with Him

and watching for His return.

YHWH, let us be mindful of our ways as we wait for the return of your Son.  May we be blessed with every spiritual gift as we watch for His coming. Though our good deeds have become as polluted rags, He makes them new, bringing us back to you.

Give us new life, O LORD, that we might call upon your NAME.  You are our Father, our God; let us no longer be separated from you and your glory.  We are the work of your hands, dear God – remake us in the image of your Son that when He comes we might stand with Him in your presence.

Make us irreproachable, LORD, by your grace, by your mercy, by your rending of the heavens and coming down to us.  Let us lack nothing for the hour of Jesus’ return but be ready to enter the kingdom.  May our eyes be open and our hearts awaiting our salvation.

Direct download: BC-112711-Su_1_Adv_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

(Rv.22:1-7;   Ps.95:1-7,Rv.21:20;   Lk.21:34-36)

 

“Remember, I am coming soon!”

 

And when He comes what blessings there shall be for those who have been faithful to Him.  They shall eat of “the trees of life which produce fruit twelve times a year,” which grow either side of “the river of life-giving water, clear as crystal” flowing from “the throne of God and of the Lamb.”  Healed entirely shall they be by the medicine of their leaves.

Then, brothers and sisters, if we wish to eat of this blessed, holy fruit, let us not now “become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares.”  For the bitter fruit of this earth will only poison our souls with sin and so prevent our tasting the food of the heavenly kingdom.  “Nothing deserving a curse shall be found there,” so let us remove all of this world’s bitterness from our tongues.

Oh my dear brethren, the promise is great for those who “serve Him faithfully,” who “acclaim the Rock of our salvation,” the Lord, the “great God,” and Jesus Christ His Son.  Listen to what our blessed brother John imparts to us today, for “these words are trustworthy and true,” and oh so beautiful: “They shall see Him face to face and bear His name on their foreheads.  The night shall be no more.  They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever.”  Do you hear these words?  Does the promise take root in your hearts?  Oh let your heart be upon His light!  Let the glory of His face be all you aspire to, for it is not far from you.

“Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord who made us.”  For “the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits, has sent His angel to show His servants what must happen very soon.”  Let us listen to His words.  “Happy the man who heeds the prophetic message of this book!” who eats the Bread God provides.  His dawn is on the horizon.


*******

O LORD, come;

send your Son a second time

and let us enter your kingdom.

YHWH, that we might be able to stand secure before your Son on His coming Day, that great and terrible day that leads to the eternal kingdom!  O that we might eat the fruit of the crystal river that flows from your throne and that of the Lamb, that heals us of all our illness and enables us to live forever!  O that we might stand in your holy light, that we might look upon your face, your NAME written on our foreheads!  O that we might forever reign with you!

O LORD, let us sing your praise even this day that we might come to sing your praise always in your kingdom.  Let us bow down in our worship and kneel before you who have made us.  You are our God, you alone; let our hearts not be set on any of the things of this world but on you who have made them all, that we might transcend this earth and all its emptiness and come quickly into your presence.  O let us heed your Word this day and ever serve you faithfully.  Glory to you, O LORD our God!

Direct download: BC-120112-Sa_34_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Rv.20:1-4,11-21:2;   Ps.84:3-6,8,Rv.21:3;   Lk.21:29-33)

 

“The heavens and the earth will pass away,

but my words will not pass.”

 

Indeed John tells us of his vision that once “the former heavens and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer,” he saw “new heavens and a new earth,” which are, of course, founded on the Word of God, given life by the breath of His mouth alone.

Yes, in the great Evangelist’s vision there was “One who sat on” “a large white throne,” and “the earth and the sky fled from His presence until they could no longer be seen.”  Even as the dead whose names are “not found inscribed in the book of the living” are “hurled into the pool the fire,” even as they cannot stand before the judgment seat of the Lord, neither can this earth we walk upon or the heavens upon which we gaze, for they too have become as corrupted as their inhabitants: all that has been spoiled by sin must be cast into darkness, into eternal death.  For all that is wicked must join the prince of wickedness, whom the angel of God chains up and hurls “into the abyss, which he close[s] and seal[s] over him.”  And any release from this dungeon is only illusory and brief, for this is the home prepared by the Word of God for him and those who serve him from the foundation of the world.

But oh the wonder of the “New Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband.”  It is she whom He has indeed prepared for Himself, purifying her as a precious jewel, even from the time she was first conceived in His mind, even since His breath first came upon her.  And so it is our “soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord,” and is not happy until it rests in His house – yes, our soul is like a sparrow which finds its home in Him, and like the swallow which in His altars makes a nest for her young.

“Happy they who dwell in your house!  Continually they praise you.”  And in our midst we see your fig tree bloom in the shoot that is your only Son, and your peace does come to reign upon us now.  To nothing of this world let us hold but let all corruption pass, that your judgment we may endure, and be found worthy of new life in the Word you speak eternally.

*******

O LORD, let us live in your undying Word

that we might not know the second death,

that we might do your will upon this earth

and come to the kingdom of Heaven.

YHWH, when the heavens and the earth pass away, when they flee from your holy presence, may we be found worthy to stand before your throne and make our eternal home in your House.  Of the New Jerusalem let us be, our souls prepared for the return of your Son.

O LORD, we yearn for you, we who are so separated from your glory, from the love that does not pass away.  Open our eyes to see your coming, to recognize your presence among us even this day; and make us ready to praise you forever when this winter has passed into spring.

O holy LORD, let us die in you; let us die to all the evil of this world and so be made pure as all your saints.  Let us not be hurled into the pool of fire with Satan and his minions but be set free from any chain of sin and so be found clean on the coming Day.  Let us conduct ourselves ever with your kingdom in mind.

Direct download: BC-113012-F_34_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Rv.18:1-2,21-23,19:1-3,9;   Ps.100:2-5;   Lk.21:20-28)

 

“These indeed will be days of retribution,

when all that is written must be fulfilled.”

 

The destruction of the world and the coming of the kingdom is our clear theme today.  It is what is written.  It is what must be fulfilled.

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!” that “dwelling place for demons,” cries out an angel by whose authority and glory “all the earth was lighted up.”  He calls down the destruction of the evil empire that is the city of this world.  And the “assembly in heaven” sing loudly, “He has condemned the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her harlotry,” exulting in the salvation and glory and might of the One God, whose “judgments are true and just!”  For though “the blood of His servants… was shed by her hand,” “the great city” is “hurled… into the sea” like “a huge millstone,” “cast down” with such “violence” that it shall never rise again.  And so, “happy are they who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lord,” who sing “Alleluia!” to the great and wonderful presence of our God in the kingdom that is to come.

And in our gospel Jesus warns of the coming destruction of the city of Jerusalem, and of the final destruction of the earth.  Yes, “Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles.”  Indeed its “devastation is near,” a mere thirty-five years from the death of the Lord.  But the devastation of Jerusalem will last beyond its destruction by Rome, by the whore of Babylon, around 70 A.D. – it will continue “until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled,” until the nations’ drinking of the cup of evil to its dregs, and the consequent end of this world brought about by the mighty hand of God.  And so the blood of His servants continues to be shed, even as the kingdom is on the horizon.

“Those in the heart of the city must escape it.”  Here is a grave warning.  You must rise from the mire of the sin into which the world leads you.  For “the powers in the heavens will be shaken”; the walls of the city will be torn down, and you will be exposed and alone.  “Flee to the mountains” of holiness; take refuge in “the country,” where the Lord pastures His sheep.  Do not give yourself to the ways of this world or the mark of the beast – lust not for the gold in its hands.  For she is “a cage for every filthy and disgusting bird”; though the appearance may be otherwise, though the cage may be gilded, the horror within shall be revealed in the last days.

Brothers and sisters, we must find ourselves standing with those who “sing joyfully to the Lord,” who “enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise.”  On the last day we must not fear “the roaring of the sea and the waves” because of our complicity with evil, but “stand up straight and raise our heads,” ready for our ransom to come at the hands of our Lord.  Let His goodness which “endures forever” be fulfilled in our souls.  (With arms open upon the cross, we shall find our song.)

*******

O LORD, as the great city of this earth

is destroyed by fire,

let us be welcomed into your kingdom by your Son.

YHWH, in you and in your Son our ransom is near at hand, ransom from this world of corruption, ransom to the wedding feast of the Lamb.  Your saints have shed their blood at the hands of the great harlot, but never again shall she sing her mocking song – all evil will be silenced before you as you gather your sheep into your arms.

Though by the nations your people be trampled, though great signs come in a bloodstained sky and a roaring sea… though it seem like the end has come upon us, it is only the beginning of your reign to come.  O LORD, may we let this world pass away in its iniquity as we join ourselves to you!

Into your gates with thanksgiving let us come, O LORD; in your courts let us praise your NAME.  Let us raise our heads to see your Son coming, even as the earth and its wickedness pass entirely away.

Direct download: BC-112912-Th_34_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Rv.15:1-4;   Ps.98:1-3,7-9,Rv.15:13;   Lk.21:12-19)

 

“By patient endurance you will save your lives.”

 

Jesus tells His disciples bluntly: “People will manhandle and persecute you.”  Some will be “put to death” as they are “brought to give witness on account of” His name – “All will hate you because of me.”  Yet in their witness He promises to provide “words and a wisdom” to serve as an impenetrable defense against their enemies… and in the end, after persevering through all suffering, eternal life shall be theirs.

John’s vision in our first reading reveals the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise.  Even as “seven angels holding the seven final plagues” of “God’s wrath” stand ready to cast these culminating tribulations upon the earth, the Evangelist sees “those who had won victory over the beast and its image” – over the illusory power of the evil one – “holding the harps used in worshiping God,” and singing “the song of the Lamb” who was slain but now lives forever: “Mighty and wonderful are your works, Lord God Almighty!  Righteous and true are your ways, O King of the nations!…  You alone are holy.”

Brothers and sisters, let us “sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for Him, His holy arm.”  Yes, “the Lord has made His salvation known,” and as those who stand “on the sea of glass” give praise to God with harps in hand, so does “the sea and what fills it resound,” so do “the rivers clap their hands, [and] the mountains shout with them for joy.”  Let us join their holy song “before the Lord, for He comes, He comes to rule the earth”; His everlasting “justice” is upon us.  And though we may have to suffer for a time in this world of darkness and sin, where light is shunned by the sons of men, yet even in our persecutions this eternal joy should take hold of our souls so that we know not the suffering from the rejoicing – for both are done in His name, and soon the former shall pass away. 

Indeed, the song of the Lord is already upon our lips; we wait now only for its eternal resonance before His throne.


*******

O LORD, let your will be done in us

and our souls be saved,

that we might praise you forever.

YHWH, let your song of praise be on our lips for the salvation you have wrought in our midst.  With the Lamb let us come into your heavenly kingdom.  Through all persecution let us endure with your Word within us.

What is our suffering in this life, O LORD, when the eternal life of Heaven awaits us and comes to us even this day.  We shall rejoice with the rivers and mountains and all the earth, for we shall win victory with your Son over the devil and his illusions – that battle is being won even as we speak.

Be with us, LORD, this day, this hour; every hour we toil on this plane, let us toil only with you and for you.  And we shall have nothing to fear at the death of the body or our being dragged before the rulers of this age.  For we shall never die!  For you who are life never die and our home is in you.

Praise you, O LORD our God!  Do your mighty works in our midst and we shall glory in your holy NAME forever.

Direct download: BC-112812-W_34_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O virgin pure and brilliant,

you gave your life

in defense of the faith,

refuting all arguments to its contrary;

though you were but a child yourself,

you stood strong before your tormentors,

enduring the persecution and torture

they struggled in vain to muster against you,

ever shining the light of purity and truth

before their corrupted minds and hearts –

pray for those who defend the faith

and all those who would explain it away,

that the light of pure reason

will dispel all doubt and darkness

and the verity of the faith be known

by all souls on this earth,

undeniable as it is

by the mind of any man.

Pray we not waste words or time

but live a holy life before God,

giving witness to His presence

in the world and in the Church,

and come finally to rest on His mountain.

Direct download: Nov._25_Catherine_of_Alexandria.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Rv.14:14-19;   Ps.96:10-13;   Lk.21:5-11)

 

“Use your sickle and cut down the harvest,

for now is the time to reap.”

 

Brothers and sisters, you will “hear of wars and insurrections,” and “there will be great earthquakes, plagues, and famines in various places, and in the sky fearful omens and great signs.”  “These things are bound to happen first, but the end does not follow immediately.”  The end does not follow immediately from the signs, so do not set your hearts upon them – “take care not to be misled” by those whose seed has no root and so jumps up at any indication of travail.  There has been travail throughout human history and the end, which is upon us every moment now, will only be fulfilled at the angels’ cry.  When this will be, be assured you do not know.

In John’s vision, at the first angel’s cry “the one sitting on the cloud wielded his sickle over all the earth and reaped the earth’s harvest.”  At a second angel’s cry another “wielded his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes of the earth… [and] threw them into the huge winepress of God’s wrath.”  And so the end comes.  But does John see the future only, the past or the present as well… or a time that exists quite apart from our own?  And even the angels did not know the time had come until they obediently acted upon the word of their God.  And would you yet listen to the anxious rantings of those without eyes, those whose vision does not approach the heavenly reality?

The Lord “shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with His constancy” when “He comes to rule the earth.”  This you can know even now; of this you can be assured.  But when “the heavens [shall] be glad and the earth rejoice… [and] the sea and what fills it resound,” none can say – this word is in His mouth alone, and when the Mighty One shall pronounce it is known to His Heart alone.  He has spoken once at the coming of Christ, but when He shall speak finally cannot be ascertained; it is but for us to be prepared for that Day.  For He will come again, we know, and the angels’ sickles shall be sharp, and separate with certainty the wheat from the chaff.  The time of harvest is at hand.

(In the harvest of the wheat and the grapes of the earth at the end of the age is made perfect this Body and Blood of Christ we eat and drink from our altar today.  The saints’ flesh and blood become the Lord’s own.)

*******

O LORD, when harvest time comes,

let us not be fearful but rejoice

in the return of your Son.

YHWH, you rule the world with justice and in the end your justice will be known.  There will not be left a stone on another as you reap the harvest you have sown and cast the unrighteous into the winepress of your wrath.

Those who love you, LORD, shall rejoice at your coming, at the return of your only Son and all His angels with Him.  They shall rejoice that the end has come and your justice will be fully known.  And you shall gather them into your barns.

But those who are not your own, LORD, will not be able to endure that day, for they will be anxious and afraid at the glory that comes to rule the earth.  Turn all hearts from the empty illusion of this passing world and set them on your kingdom which passes not away but is fulfilled in the judgment of your Son on the Day of His return.  Let us not fear the violence coming upon the land but look to the peace that follows.

Direct download: BC-112712-Tu_34_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O you who were martyred

over three centuries of persecution

in a country so bitter toward the faith,

bishops and priests and laymen alike,

native to the land and foreign-born,

all innocent souls

who suffered even torture in joy,

all for the sake of the Lord and His Church –

pray we shall be as ready as you

to bear witness to the faith

with our lives,

that all as one in the Body of Christ

we will be willing even to die

to satiate our thirst for the kingdom

and for the salvation of souls.

O what joy to be as Jesus,

to walk in His steps

even to the Cross!

No greater blessing could any soul know

on this corrupted plane…

Pray we shall come with you to Heaven.

Direct download: Nov._24_Andrew_Dung-Lac_and_Companions.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Rv.14:1-5;   Ps.24:1-6;   Lk.21:1-4) 

“They are pure and follow the Lamb wherever He goes.”

Here is answered most definitively the question David sings: “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?  Or who may stand in His holy place?”  In John’s vision, the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God “was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him were the hundred and forty-four thousand who had His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.”  Here are they who are worthy to stand with the perfect and pure One, for their “hands are sinless, [their] heart is clean”: “on their lips no deceit has been found; they are indeed without flaw.”  And so they “receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God [their] savior.”  The greatest blessing of all is theirs – remaining in His presence forever.

And these holy ones play the thunderous song of praise “on their harps,” “singing a new hymn before the throne in the presence of the four living creatures and the elders.”  They indeed have found their place as firstfruits of the kingdom of heaven, singing a hymn no one else could learn.  And again, it is their purity, their perfection in the sight of God, that brings them to this holy place.  All they have given over to the Lamb, and so He makes them like Himself.

And in our gospel we see in the simple widow indication of the spirit necessary to enter God’s presence.  She holds nothing back from the Lord, but gives “every penny she ha[s] to live on.”  Yes, brothers and sisters, every penny must be paid; all we have and all we are must be given to Him.  If we are like this widow and like the holy ones who stand before the throne and give all while here on the face of the earth, we shall come quickly to heaven and find our place in His presence prepared.  If not, the purgatorial flames await to take away any flaw in our soul, to remove any selfishness from our hearts – to bring us then to give up all that we yet have to Him, that with Him we might truly be.  But the saints tell us these flames are not pleasant.  In fact, they say they are much the same as the fires of hell, though they shall come to an end.

So let us here and now offer all we have to the Lord; let us seek to serve Him with all our lives, that we might by His grace avoid the cleansing fire and come immediately before Him.  Only those in absolute purity follow Him and stand in His place.

*******

O LORD, come;

send your Son a second time

and let us enter your kingdom.

YHWH, that we might be able to stand secure before your Son on His coming Day, that great and terrible day that leads to the eternal kingdom!  O that we might eat the fruit of the crystal river that flows from your throne and that of the Lamb, that heals us of all our illness and enables us to live forever!  O that we might stand in your holy light, that we might look upon your face, your NAME written on our foreheads!  O that we might forever reign with you!

O LORD, let us sing your praise even this day that we might come to sing your praise always in your kingdom.  Let us bow down in our worship and kneel before you who have made us.  You are our God, you alone; let our hearts not be set on any of the things of this world but on you who have made them all, that we might transcend this earth and all its emptiness and come quickly into your presence.  O let us heed your Word this day and ever serve you faithfully.  Glory to you, O LORD our God!

Direct download: BC-112612-M_34_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O father of holy monasteries

who dug deeply in the earth,

in the heart of man,

and laid their foundation

on the Rock that is Christ

that they might be made in His image,

in the image of Him who created us –

pray we shall love the Lord as He commands

and so be holy as He is holy,

truly reflecting the image of our God

and living in His surpassing peace.

Pray austerity serve well

to make us in the Lord’s image,

to purge from us all that is not of Him;

may we be blessed to serve

with untiring devotion and care

the will of our Lord in all things,

in worship of Him, in prayer,

and in genuine love of our neighbor,

that the Gospel may go forth

to the ends of the earth

not just in words

but in our very flesh and blood.

Direct download: Nov._23_Columban.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:05 PM

O successor to Peter,

Shepherd of God’s Church,

Father of all the churches

in the Body of Christ,

these you instructed well;

these you gave a shepherd’s care…

for these and for the Lord

you shed your blood –

pray for God’s Church even this day,

that she shall remain united

under her one Lord and Savior,

each member serving the good of all

as wholly as you have done.

Pray we all work together in Jesus’ name

and in His blood

to do the Father’s will

and so become as holy as He,

as holy as you were blessed to become.

Pray the teaching of the apostles

ever ring in our ears

that we shall never forget

the way the Christ marks out for us,

the way of truth that leads to life.

Direct download: Nov._23_Clement_I.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Ez.34:11-12,15-17;   Ps.23:1-6;   1Cor.15:20-26,28;   Mt.25:31-46) 

“Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine,

you did for me.”

Jesus is King.  It is He to whom the Father has “subjected everything” and who “must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet,” until He has “destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power”; and it is He who then “hands over the kingdom to His God and Father… that God may be all in all.”  Yes, “when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit upon His glorious throne, and all the nations will assemble before Him.”  And He who is the Good Shepherd will separate the sheep beneath His rule “one from another”: it is He who will say to the righteous, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father.  Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”; and to the unrighteous, “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”  He will judge all souls, for all souls are in His hands.  Yes, He is King.

And yet this King is with His subjects; this Shepherd is hidden in His sheep – He is the Shepherd who “finds Himself among His scattered sheep.”  Indeed, in His power He promises to “pasture [His] sheep”: “The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal”… but more than this, more than this is our King to us.  For He is a King who not only serves the poor and broken, but who is the poor and broken Himself.  Though all power and glory and honor are with Him who is exalted as Head over all, He travels with the least of His children; He makes Himself one with the least of all creatures.  Does He not say, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me”?  Oh how He unites Himself with our humanity!  His love is beyond our comprehension.

And, brothers and sisters, it should be obvious what we are now called to do; if we wish to be “brought to life… each one in proper order,” following “Christ the firstfruits,” we must walk in His way.  If we wish to sing with David His humble king, “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” – if indeed we desire to share in His eternal kingship, we must on the dust of this earth serve Him in the least among us… we ourselves must be the least, as He is.  Alleluia to our exalted King!

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Coat of Warmth" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, walk among us and shepherd us well

in the reign of your Son,

that we might love as you love. 

YHWH, how shall we come to dwell in your House forever?  How shall we be the sheep at your right hand?  Only by becoming as your only Son.  Only by making ourselves present among the least.  For you have a compassionate heart which reaches out to all in need.  You have hands that bind up the wounds of your little ones, that care for the hungry and the sick.  You prepare for all righteous souls a place in your kingdom, and your Son shows us how to be like you, that we might enter your presence.

O Jesus, O Lord, who reign above all as our Head, as our God, as the Savior of all righteous souls… how shall we love as you have loved; how shall we see you in the needs of our fellow man?  Blind we are and crawling in the dust – how shall we be exalted with you at the Father’s right hand?

It is by your walking amongst us, O Lord and King, that we are saved from all selfishness and find the compassion and humility we need to enter into the Father’s heart.  Give us the rest we desire, set us free from sin and death… raise us up to dwell with you as we make our lives like your own.

Direct download: BC-112011-Su_34_OT_A.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O holy virgin and martyr,

you sang a song of love to Jesus,

a song that could not be dimmed,

could not be taken away,

for you were protected

by an angel of the Lord

and willing to give your life

to maintain your love for Him –

pray for us poor souls

of this day and age

from whom purity is so far removed,

who need deep conversion to believe,

to see the angel at your side,

to know the path

to which the Lord calls us,

the Cross which is every Christian’s song.

So far removed, so far removed are we,

and so impassible is the way to Him…

inspire in our souls, dear saint,

the desire for the incorruptible

that beat in your heart,

that we too might sing a song to Jesus

pleasing to His ears.

Direct download: Nov._22_Cecilia.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Rv.11:4-12;   Ps.144:1,2,9-10;   Lk.20:27-40)

 

“After three and a half days,

the breath of life which comes from God

returned to them.”

 

And these his two witnesses “went up in a cloud as their enemies looked on” “in sheer terror.”  For it seemed they had “conquer[ed] and kill[ed]” the Lord’s prophets.  Their corpses had lain “in the streets of the great city, which has the symbolic name ‘Sodom’ or ‘Egypt,’ where also their Lord was crucified.”  Fire had “come out of the mouths of these witnesses to devour their enemies,” but now it seemed the truth had been overcome and sin and death had won the day.  And so “the earth’s inhabitants gloat[ed] over them and in their merriment exchange[d] gifts.”  But their death, as with the death of the Lord, was not to last, was only to show the absolute power of the God of life.

And fire comes from Jesus’ mouth today to silence the evil conjurings of the enemies of life.  His word is truth and cannot be answered, cannot be gainsaid by even the most unbelieving mind.  And what He tells all today is that “the dead rise again,” that death has no dominion in the kingdom of the living God.  The Lord is “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” and these fathers of the faith along with the prophets and saints of any and all time “are alive for Him,” for He is but Life: in His reign all His children “become like angels and are no longer liable to death.  Sons of the resurrection, they are sons of God.”  This truth cannot be denied, will not be conquered.

“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.”  It is He who is “my shield, in whom I trust, who subdues peoples under me.”  As He was with His only Son, giving Him victory in every battle and final victory over death; as He was with His witnesses who devoured their enemies’ lies and rose from the dust after three and a half days; so He is with all who put their trust in Him, enabling them to conquer all doubt and fear, all surrounding sin and death.  For Jesus crucified sits now at the right hand of God, and His witnesses with Him; and all who take their refuge in His power, though they die, cannot but rise to life.  Yes, they will hear “a voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here!’” and will again have the breath of life.  Alleluia!

 

(Note on “three and a half days”: more than its obvious similarity to the three days the Lord spent “in the heart of the earth” (Mt.12:40) may be an allusion to His approximately thirty-five years spent on this earth (which is half the span of a human life – “seventy is the sum of our years” (Ps.90:10)), itself a kind of death for Him.)

*******

O LORD, let us be set free from death;

raised from the grave,

may we praise your NAME forever

with your angels and your saints.

YHWH, what need we fear if you are with us, you who hold even death in your hand?  If we serve as your witnesses, we will be united to you who are life; and even though we die, in the sight of our enemies, in the sight of the devil and death itself, we shall be raised up to Heaven on a cloud.  You are our refuge!

With you as our stronghold, LORD, with you as our God, we shall indeed gain victory over all the forces of evil – nothing shall keep us from you who desire our presence in your kingdom. 

Make us as your Son who has died and been raised; make us sons of the resurrection, like angels, no longer subject to death.  This is our hope, O LORD; this is our desire…  Let us not wait long for Jesus’ return.

Then we shall be one in your presence, your holy children, O Most High God.  Then we shall celebrate forever your glory in Heaven, all our enemies cast far away.

Direct download: BC-112412-Sa_33_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O holy Temple of the Lord,

preeminent member of His Church,

you who were destined from all ages

to bear the Son of God,

to be His chosen dwelling place…

you were weaned into His Temple;

there you ever remained,

becoming yourself the House of God,

where He now ever stays –

pray we be built into His Temple;

pray we become sons and daughters

unto you.

In you let us make our home, dear Mother,

that the holiness of Jesus

we shall ever share.

We cannot live in Him

if apart from you;

we cannot be as Christ’s Body,

blessed by the Holy Spirit

and doing the Father’s will on earth,

if you are not our Mother,

if you are not the Temple in which we dwell.

Pray our holiness mirror your own.

Direct download: Nov._21_Presentation_of_Mary.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Rv.10:8-11;   Ps.119:14,24,72,103,111,131;   Lk.19:45-48)

 

“I gasp with open mouth

in my yearning for your commands.”

 

In our first reading, John is told to “take the open scroll from the hand of the angel” and to “eat it.”  In his mouth “it tasted as sweet as honey.”  And now he who has eaten of the blessed word of God “must prophesy,” must speak the words upon the scroll, despite the sour stomach, the persecutions, it will inevitably bring.

In our gospel we hear that “the entire populace was listening to [Jesus] and hanging on His words” as He taught daily in the temple.  The Lord has cleansed the temple of the impure forces at work within it, and for this and for His speaking the irresistible words of Truth He shall know the sour stomach of persecution – the cross is now quite close on the horizon as the leaders of the people seek “a way to destroy Him.”

O Lord, “how sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”  “The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”  “Your decrees are my delight,” “the joy of my heart,” and despite the cross I find in consuming and then having to proclaim them, I shall not cease to eat of your glorious presence.  Day to day you come to me.  Moment to moment you whisper in my ear.  You speak to my heart your wondrous promises, instilling faith and hope in my soul, and I shall not turn back from loving you.  May all “peoples, nations, languages, and kings” know of your greatness; may all embrace the inheritance you offer by the death of sin in our lives.

Open your mouth, brothers and sisters, and He will fill it.  He will feed you with the food that comes without cost; the sweet Bread of Heaven shall be yours.  Even at His altars and from His pulpits it is today offered forth.  Eat, and it will bring life to your soul, life that lasts beyond the destruction of the world.

*******

O LORD, let us listen devoutly to your Word

that we might be cleansed of sin

and made whole in your sight.

YHWH, your words are sweeter to us than honey, and your NAME the sweetest Word of all.  Speak to our soul this very day; let us hear your truth in our heart, though it bring persecution and trial.

As your Son let us be, O LORD, unafraid of the Cross which comes from doing your will.  Let our concern be to cleanse your Temple, to make your House a house of prayer, though it bring the body’s destruction.

We are in your Temple, O LORD, and you call us to eat of your words and partake of your Son’s Body and Blood.  This gives life to our very spirits, a life that does not pass away.  Be our inheritance, all that we desire in this land.

LORD, we are unworthy to proclaim your words, to receive them in our souls and speak them to the world.  How can we prophesy in your holy NAME?  Let your Son be with us every step of the way; may His blood strengthen our service.

Direct download: BC-112312-F_33_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Rv.5:1-10;   Ps.149:1-6,9,Rv.5:10;   Lk.19:41-44)

 

“Do not weep.  The Lion of the tribe of Judah,

the Root of David, has won the right by His victory

to open the scroll with its seven seals.”

 

“Jesus wept over” Jerusalem “because [she] failed to recognize the time of [her] visitation”; and so she will be destroyed, and so her enemies will “leave not a stone on a stone within” her walls.  And John “wept bitterly because no one could be found to open or examine the scroll” “in the right hand of the One who sat on the throne.”  The scroll “had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals.”  How wonderful it must be!  But “who is worthy to open” it?

The tears of both will be appeased, both by the One.  For whom does John see appear at the throne of God but “a Lamb standing, a Lamb that had been slain” – Jesus, our Savior! who is on His way even in our gospel today to conquer death, to receive the wounds John witnesses, that by His blood He may purchase for God “men of every race and tongue, of every people and nation”… that He might take the destruction of Jerusalem upon Himself and thus redeem her from annihilation.  Because of His sacrifice, He is able to read the wisdom of the ages to all waiting hearts, for that wisdom is known only in such dying, only in His redeeming love.

And so, let us join with the elders who fall “down before the Lamb.”  Let our prayer unite with “the prayers of God’s holy people,” which rise up like “aromatic spices” before the throne of the One on high.  Let us sing the new hymn unto the Lamb who was slain for our sins and so saved us from all tears.  “Sing to the Lord a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful.”  Weep no more but “let the high praises of God be in [your] throats” and “praise His name in the festive dance.”

How great is our God!  How profound is the revelation of His wonders in our midst!  What joy do we find in His blood!  His wounds bring us victory over death, and we reign now in the New Jerusalem as priests in the service of our King, joining ourselves ever to His sacrifice, finding ever the wisdom only He brings.

*******

O LORD, offering the sacrifice of your only Son,

we become priests in your Temple;

this blood we shed He makes holy by His love.

YHWH, you have made us a kingdom of priests who offer continually to you the blood of your Son in our holy prayer. 

O LORD, it is we who have slaughtered Jesus, your Lamb, we who by our blindness have caused Him to be pressed hard from every side, not a stone left on a stone in this holiest Temple…  Yet by His willing acceptance of our sins He washes clean the blood upon our unholy hands and redeems our souls from destruction.  By His blessed sacrifice He makes us holy, as holy becomes the sacrifice we make.

O how can we fathom your love for us, dear LORD?  How can we plumb the depths of your Son’s sacrifice?  We are left with nothing but high praises for you in our throat!

O LORD, let us exult in your glory this day, in the glory that is ours by the wounds upon your Lamb.  Make us a nation of priests offering always this living sacrifice in your NAME.  Let us ever praise you and the One who was slain – save us from all sin!

Direct download: BC-112212-Th_33_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(Rv.4:1-11;   Ps.150:1-6,Rv.4:8;   Lk.19:11-28)

 

“O Lord our God, you are worthy

to receive glory and honor and power.”

 

“A man of noble birth went to a faraway country to become its king.”  And of this faraway country and of its king, whom “everything that has breath” should praise, John has vision today.

“Above me there was an open door to heaven”; and a “trumpetlike voice” called the great Evangelist, “Come up here and I will show you what must take place in time to come.”  And so, “caught up in ecstasy” he sees the “One whose appearance ha[s] a gemlike sparkle,” the Lord of all, seated upon His throne.  And on twenty-four thrones surrounding this King he sees the elders, “clothed in white” with “crowns of gold on their heads,” sharing in their Master’s Kingship.  And the four living creatures are at the center, singing, “without pause”: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty!”  And ever do the elders worship Him and join in the song of praise which rises continually to the One through whom all things “came to be.”

“Praise the Lord in His sanctuary… praise Him for His sovereign majesty,” for He reigns justly over all and is indeed worthy of all praise.  “With the blast of the trumpet… with lyre and harp… with clanging cymbals” – with every instrument that is placed in our hands, with all the talents He provides here as we wait for His return, we must join in the song of the angels and the saints in the heavenly kingdom and praise His holy Name.  For He will seek “to learn what profit each [has] made” when He returns to us from His journey.  He will “send for the servants to whom He [has] given” His possessions, and call them to account in His love.  Will our deeds then praise “His mighty deeds”?

Glorious is the kingdom of the Lord, and blessed are they who join Him in such marvelous glory.  These He puts in charge of His cities; with these He shares His crown and His throne.  And everywhere He has a right to reap, for only He does so in love – and there is nowhere He has not sown.  All are invited into His radiant presence: to all He gives gifts that will bring them there.  And but for their employment does He wait, that they might learn to praise His glory.

Follow Him as He continues “with His ascent to Jerusalem,” and the cross He meets in this city will lead you to the light of paradise.

*******

O LORD, let us rejoice in serving you all our days,

and praise you forever in your kingdom.

YHWH, let all your creatures give you praise: by your will we came to be and were made.  We are in your hands; by all that is at our hands may we give you glory and honor and praise.  May we know the blessing of praising you with full voice.

Before you let us bow, O God; before you let us throw down our crowns.  All we have is from you alone – let us return it to you with great profit.  May your glory be multiplied in us and we enter your holy City with joy.  Holy are you and worthy of all our praise, and by our praise we enter your glory.

Who are we, O LORD, that you place talents in our hands?  Who are we that you would put a crown upon our heads?  Are we to be even as your Son, our King and Savior?  Is His reward to be our own?  For this gift we could not praise you enough, and so we shall praise you forever.

Direct download: BC-112112-W_33_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O woman who prayed always

and had great mercy on souls,

whose missionary zeal

led you across the ocean,

thousands of miles from your home,

to educate the poor

and care for the sick,

to bring the love of Jesus

to those most in need –

pray we too shall have a heart

set on service of the Lord

and remembrance of His presence,

that our concern for those apart from Christ

will drive us to great ends,

even to the ends of the earth,

where certainly He dwells.

Pray we shall have your courage

in facing the unknown,

in calling all home

to the Heart of God;

and through all we do for Him

let us remain in prayer,

knowing His Heaven here on earth.

Direct download: Nov._18_Rose_Philippine_Duchesne.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Rv.3:1-6,14-22;   Ps.15:2-5,Rv.3:21;   Lk.19:1-10)

 

“Today salvation has come to this house.”

To two of His houses, two of His seven churches, does the Lord speak today, calling them both to repentance, that they might know the salvation Zacchaeus has found.

In no uncertain terms does the Lord call the churches in Sardis and Laodicea, chastising both dearly, telling the first: “I know the reputation you have of being alive, when in fact you are dead!” and the second (who think themselves “so rich and secure that [they] want for nothing”): “How wretched you are, how pitiable and poor, how blind and naked!”  In Sardis there are only “a few persons who have not soiled their garments”; and the Laodiceans, who are “neither hot nor cold,” are promised by the Lord, “I will spew you out of my mouth!”

All the unfaithful, all those who have lost their fervor and who pride themselves on their own works shall be spewed from the Lord’s mouth, shall be cast from His presence.  All He calls to “wake-up,” to “repent,” to “buy white garments in which to be clothed, if the shame of [their] nakedness is to be covered.”  All He summons to rouse themselves in sharpest and truest of words, for “whoever is dear to [Him] [He] reprove[s] and chastise[s]” – for He knows that only by the jettisoning of our sin will we find the salvation He so dearly desires for each of our lives.

Brothers and sisters, the Lord “stand[s] knocking at the door.  If anyone hears [Him] calling and opens the door, [He] will enter his house.”  And He will sup with him, and He will sit him on His own throne.  Listen to the promise our Lord makes: “The victor shall go clothed in light.  I will never erase his name from the book of the living, but will acknowledge him in the presence of my Father and His angels.”  And see how the promise is fulfilled in Zacchaeus, who in his great fervor “climbed a sycamore tree which was along Jesus’ route, in order to see Him”; who in his great generosity promised “to give half of [his] belongings” to the poor – and who has had the Lord in to sup in his home and has heard the blessed words spoken over him: “Today salvation has come to this house.”

And so, strive with all you have to be as “he who walks blamelessly and does justice, who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue.”  Let His chastisement bear blessed fruit in your life; turn from your sin… and you too will know the victory the Lord Himself has won for all faithful souls.

*******

O LORD, save us from our sin

by your chastising Word,

that we might walk in white before you.

YHWH, let us hear and heed your Word: let us repent of all our sin that we might enter in and sup with your Son.

Do we not have ears, O LORD, and should we not have hearts set on you and the doing of your will?  And yet, are we not lacking in zeal, are we not pitiable and poor in accomplishing your work?  Are we not dead?  Have we not soiled our garments instead of purifying our souls to receive your blessings?  O how shall we turn from our sin to your Son’s presence among us?

Save us, O LORD, from the thought that we are safe and secure, from putting our faith in the riches we amass in this world.  Let us know and remember the only true riches are of the Spirit and come to us only by your grace.  And only by your grace do they remain.

Make our hearts blameless, dear LORD; cover over our nakedness with your white garments, and we shall rejoice in your glory.

Direct download: BC-112012-Tu_33_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O charitable soul

who gave all you owned

for the sake of the Gospel,

though endowed with great riches

you embraced lady poverty

that you might serve the Lord

with a heart beating for the poor.

With your own hands

you tended the sickest;

into your own home

you welcomed the most destitute –

pray that in our small way

we too may follow

in the footsteps of Christ

and give our lives

to the poor whom He loves

and to prayer in His presence.

Pray our hearts, too,

may know His tender care for souls

and our own souls

meditate upon Him night and day;

pray we too shall give up all

to find His holy kingdom.

Direct download: Nov._17_Elizabeth_of_Hungary.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Rv.1:1-4,2:1-5;   Ps.1:1-4,6,Rv.2:7;   Lk.18:35-43)

 

“Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.”

 

A blind man sat begging by the side of the road.  “Hearing a crowd go by the man asked, ‘What is that?’”  And he was told that “Jesus drew near,” that all he could possibly ask for was upon him – and so he begged with the greatest sincerity he could muster.

And as the end of the Church year approaches, we hear from the Lord’s beloved “servant John” “the revelation God gave to Jesus Christ”; he “bears witness to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ,” telling us truly that “the appointed time is near,” that He “who is and who was and who is to come” is passing by the way.  It is time to call out to Him, and know His healing touch.

To the church in Ephesus specifically, the Lord instructs His apostle to speak today, to commend the disciples there on their “patient endurance” and their lack of tolerance for “wicked men,” and to call them back to their “early love… the heights from which [they] have fallen”; thus do they need to “repent,” to call out themselves to the Lord for renewal of their innocent hearts and their burning love for God.  You see, all have their own reason to call out to Jesus as He passes by.

What need have you to call upon the Lord’s Name as He passes by here at the end of days?  Do you walk at every point in “the way of the just,” or are you somehow blind to His presence, or are you in some way cold in your love?  Or have you any of innumerable other sins that keep you from His kingdom?  Be careful.  The time is indeed short, and we are indeed sinners – and Jesus is indeed still passing by to heal us.  Do not be afraid to cry out to Him, to leave “the company of the insolent” and find His redeeming graces.  Let the light of faith burn in your soul that you might know “the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven lampstands of gold.”  His holy light is coming now upon the earth, and you must join yourself to it.

“Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”

*******

O LORD, heal us of all our sin

that we might walk in the way of your Son.

YHWH, grant us vision to see the appointed time is near and Jesus is passing by to heal us of our blindness, to return us to our early love.  And let us not be afraid to cry out to Him.

Bring us healing, Lord Jesus, for you have come from the Father and pass through our midst this day.  To us you bring His surpassing love; may we join ourselves to it and follow you along your way.

You speak to us by your Spirit, LORD; you inspire your apostles with your Word.  You teach us of the way to you, and that with all our heart we should walk it.  Help us to meditate on your Law day and night; ever let us dwell in your light.

Make us always fruitful, LORD, as we delight in serving you.  Let our hearts cry out in joy for the blessings you bestow on faithful souls.  Make us your own and let us enter your glory.

Direct download: BC-111912-M_33_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O blessed mystic of Jesus,

you were saved by Him

from a life of vain pursuit

of the things and thoughts

of this world

to find union with His Sacred Heart,

which holds all heavenly treasures.

You see Him now

(do you not, dear virgin?)

in His perfection,

even as you saw Him,

though only in the shadow of vision,

here upon this plane –

pray we shall also know

His blessed perfection,

the beating of His Sacred Heart

within our own,

the love which surpasses all understanding

illumining our soul…

that no more will we ever desire

than to be with Him

where you are now,

in His eternal glory.

Direct download: Nov._16_Gertrude.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:05 PM

O devout mother and queen

whose concern was ever

for your children and your people,

that they might ever be fed

in body and in soul

and so grow unto the fullness of Christ –

pray for us, O holy queen,

that we the Lord’s poor subjects

might receive from His hand

all we need

to become His sons and daughters.

In prayer and gratitude

let us remain ever before His throne,

that by such holy fear

we might be made fruitful as you,

bearing children unto Him

and raising them to His glory.

A heart for the poor

may we ever nourish

that, as poor as we are,

by our King’s gracious blessing

we might give what He provides

until all enter His reign.

Direct download: Nov._16_Margaret_of_Scotland.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

 (Prv.31:10-13,19-20,30-31;   Ps.128:1-5;   1Thes.5:1-6;   Mt.25:14-30)

“When one finds a worthy wife,

her value is far beyond pearls.”

And so the Lord is pleased to bless His “good and faithful servant[s]”; for His Church is as His Bride and Her faithful members He invites to share His joy. 

With more than the talents of “a man going on a journey” are we entrusted by the Lord.  To us He is more like the husband “entrusting his heart” to his wife.  All He gives over to us, even His very life, His absolute love – His blood itself He pours out for us.  And are we as the good wife who “works with loving hands,” who “puts her hands to the distaff and [whose] fingers ply the spindle”?  Do we work diligently with all the gifts the Lord imparts to us and thus increase their yield?  Are we as she who “brings [her husband] good, and not evil, all the days of her life,” delivering unto the Lord the honor due His Name?  If so, then as the worthy wife receives “a reward for her labors” and as “her works praise her at the city gates,” so shall the Lord richly bless our labors, and the angels at the gates of heaven welcome us with song.

Brothers and sisters, “You are children of the light and children of the day.  We are not of the night or of darkness.  Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober,” doing the Lord’s will in all things.  Let us not be as the “useless servant” who “dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.”  The graces the Lord gives us are not meant for such darkness, but indeed to be brought into the light of day that they might spread “like a fruitful vine” throughout the face of the earth.  This is the call of His Church, and we must be faithful in the work with which we have been entrusted: His love must reach to the ends of the world.

And each “shall eat the fruit of [his] handiwork” when the day of the Lord comes upon us.  The soul which has courted darkness in its distrust and laziness shall find the spouse that awaits her; but “blessed shall [she] be, and favored,” “who walk[s] in [the Lord’s] ways!”  She shall indeed not fear the “sudden disaster” that comes upon the wicked, but shall celebrate “the prosperity of Jerusalem” in her Master’s house “all the days of [her] life.”  For in none does the Lord take greater delight than she who returns an increase of His invaluable love.

Wriiten, chanted, and produced by James Kurt; read by Sylvia Kurt.

Music: "We Have Bodies" from The Whole Whale, eighth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

********

O LORD, let us do your work and your will;

let us be fruitful in serving you

until the Day of your Son’s return.

YHWH, you give us gifts, skills and talents upon this earth – even our bodies and minds are from you.  But if we employ them not, it is as if we have them not at all… and soon they are taken from us.  We must offer all we have back to you, serving you well with all our lives, and we shall be blessed with your abundance.

Into your kingdom let us come, O LORD!  Let all we do lead to this grace.  Make us fruitful in your Name, ever working with loving hands, and every blessing will be ours – and we shall know the joy of your presence.  Let our hearts be set on you alone.

What have we, LORD, that you have not given?  And what should we do but use well what is at our hands?  If we wish to be wed to you in Heaven, then your heart we must hold within our own.  It is your heart you would give us; let us live as your children in the light of this day.

O LORD, may your Son not find us sleeping upon His return, but serving you faithfully, walking ever in your way.

Direct download: BC-111311-Su_33_OT_A.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 5:00 AM

O patron of scientists and philosophers,

you of brilliant mind

who taught with both

human and divine wisdom,

who led your students

to deeper and purer understanding

of God and His world

and most especially His Church –

pray we partake of your teaching this day,

that the light you brought

to the minds of your flock

will not be lost

or forgotten

by eyes blind to the truth.

Pray the word upon your soul

will bring us closer to the Lord

that we might partake of Him

in sacrament and in preaching.

O how shall we see

if you do not pray for us,

if you do not serve to guide us

to the glory that surpasses

our poor ability to comprehend Him?

Direct download: Nov._15_Albert_the_Great.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(3Jn.5-8;   Ps.112:1-6;   Lk.18:1-8)

 

“When the Son of Man comes,

will He find any faith on the earth?”

 

So beset by weakness are we on this earth, brothers and sisters.  So doubtful, so fearful… so seemingly without help, alone.  And so our faith does falter, and so we do fall.  And we wonder, “Where is God?”

But the Son asks us today where we are.  He emphasizes “the necessity of praying always and not losing heart.”  Why should we think that God does not listen to us?  If the corrupt judge can give justice to the widow who begs him constantly for her “rights against [her] opponent,” “will not God then do justice to His chosen who call out to Him day and night?”  Do we make Jesus a liar by failing to believe in the Lord’s “swift justice”?  Is this corrupt judge more reliable than He?

And listen to what John writes to Gaius.  He says to him, “You demonstrate fidelity by all that you do for the brothers.”  He has “testified to [his] love before the church” by caring for its members.  And John now asks this beloved disciple to support those who pass through his neighborhood carrying the message of the Gospel to the nations, to “help them continue on their journey.”  And we can be assured that this child of God does continue to demonstrate his generosity, that “he is gracious and merciful and just” toward his brothers in their need.  And if this man “dawns through the darkness, a light for the upright,” shall the Lord Himself then leave us alone when we call out to Him in our need?

Why are we of such little faith?  Why do we so easily falter in our trust of the Lord’s protection, of His grace at work upon our souls and His providential hand in our lives?  If weak human beings can give aid to those in distress, cannot God?  Are not all “wealth and riches… in His house”; does He not hold all the world and all our souls in His loving hand?  Then why should we be afraid?  Why should we think He does not answer our prayer?  It is not because He is not listening that we have not the good we desire – this lack is from our lack of faith.

Brothers and sisters, be encouraged by the Lord today to never give up hope, to never give up our petitions to the Lord.  He does not need to be worn down, but is ready at every moment to help us.  Seek but to believe in Him.

*******

O LORD, your Son will come to us

as the answer to our prayers –

let us do all we can this day to bring Him here.

YHWH, why have we not faith in your care for our souls?  Why do we so easily cease praying to you?  Do we not think that you can answer our calls?  Those who follow in your way care for those in need, and so should we not trust that you watch over us this day?

O LORD, take our lack of faith from us; let us cease to doubt your loving concern.  Help us to open our mouths and cry to you, who know what we need before we ask.  For if we do not ask, you cannot answer – how can a prayer be answered that is not made?  You wait for us to turn to you… let us do so this day in faith.

And let us then treat others as you treat us; let us respond in generosity to their needs.  Let us be ready to help your children on their way, that your work might be accomplished on this earth. Your light break forth upon all just souls.

Direct download: BC-111712-Sa_32_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

(2Jn.4-9;   Ps.119:1-2,10-11,17-18;   Lk.17:26-37)

 

“Anyone who remains rooted in the teaching

possesses both the Father and the Son.”

 

While “anyone who is so ‘progressive’ that he does not remain rooted in the teaching of Christ does not possess God.”  Rather, he possesses but the emptiness of this earth.

And what is this teaching so necessary for our salvation, for knowing and possessing the Lord our God?  It is indicated clearly in John’s request of the Lady to whom he writes (whom we may take as the Church herself): “Let us love one another.”  Here is the commandant we “have heard from the beginning,” which we need to find rooted in our hearts – this “commandant is the way in which [we] should walk.”  For “happy are they… who walk in the law of the Lord… who observe His decrees, who seek Him with all their hearts”; for they shall find Him, and they shall possess Him forever.

Love has come, brothers and sisters: Jesus Christ has “come in the flesh.”  And though the people in the days of Noah and in the days of Lot were particularly wicked and meriting condemnation from the Lord, they at that time did not have the Son of God come in their midst.  And so if their punishment was great for turning from the way and the call of God, how much greater will be our own if we set our hearts on the possessions of this land and thereby lose Him whose love knocks upon the door of our hearts?  It is now among those who deny Him as if they stand under the brightness of the noonday sun and say, “I see no light.  I feel not its heat.”  If we refuse to open our eyes to what is so obvious, what punishment will be enough for our souls?

Learn the lesson of the two men sleeping and the two women “grinding grain together.”  Though they lie and sit or stand in close proximity to one another in this place, seeming no different one from the next, yet “one will be taken and the other left.”  While one flies up to the reaches of heaven, the other will rot like a carcass on earth.  And why?  Who can tell which one says within his heart, “I treasure your promise, that I might not sin against you,” and which has turned his heart from the Lord?  “On the day the Son of Man is revealed,” so will be the thoughts of all hearts.  And He who is Love alone will know who owns the love He alone imparts.  He will say who has walked in His teaching.


*******

O LORD, your Son calls us from our earthly lot

to your kingdom on high –

let us walk His way of love that leads there this day.

YHWH, let us walk in your way, in the way your Son has marked out for us, He who has come in the flesh to show us indeed how we should live, how we should walk in this world.

And your way, O LORD, the way Jesus has trod, is the way of love.  This is your commandment to all souls; this is the truth He has revealed to all eyes.  And love is not turning to our own desires, putting faith in our possessions, in the empty things of this earth, but rather the laying down of our lives and all these things about us that we might come to you and serve you alone with all our lives.

Let us not be blind, dear LORD, to your Son’s coming and to your command.  Let us not continue in ignorance even as He stands at the gate.  Our very flesh let us give to you that the flesh we might transcend as we walk in purity with your Son.  Take us unto Heaven on the Day of His return.

Direct download: BC-111612-F_32_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM

O mother of the faith

and helper of the stranger

in the New World,

you sought with great diligence

to preserve the true religion

in a land hostile to Mother Church,

to assist those in spiritual

as well as physical need –

pray a measure of your missionary spirit

be poured out upon your daughters,

upon the many houses you established

and all those served by them.

Pray the country you took to heart

and which became your own

will turn resolutely

to the Lord and His blood

and away from the destruction

of its soul,

upon which it seems so set.

Pray the faith shall be restored

from shore to shore

and this nation in truth become

a light on a hill.

Direct download: Nov._13_Frances_Xavier_Cabrini.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 8:00 PM

(Philm.7-20;   Ps.146:7-10;   Lk.17:20-25)

 

“The reign of God is already in your midst.”

 

Brothers and sisters, Jesus the Christ has come, He has “suffer[ed] much and be[en] rejected by the present age”… and He has risen.  This is all you need to know.  There is no need for “careful watching when the reign of God will come,” for it is not “a matter of reporting that it is ‘here’ or ‘there’” – it is among us today.  And when it shall be fulfilled, you will never know.

“Through you the hearts of God’s people have been refreshed,” Paul writes to Philemon: does the kingdom of heaven not come through this man?  “Refresh this heart of mine,” the Apostle adds – does he not call for an increased manifestation of the kingdom?  A slave has stolen from his master and run away.  Paul has discovered him and now calls him, “My child whom I have begotten during my imprisonment.”  The slave has run to the prisoner and found freedom; does not the kingdom of God come to this place?  And certainly Philemon will accept his slave back as a brother in the Lord, his arms open like the father of the prodigal son… how the Lord does work among us.

And our psalm presents a litany of the Lord’s work: yes, “the Lord sets captives free,” as we see in our first reading; but whenever the eyes of the blind are opened or the widow and the stranger are cared for, whenever justice is secured and the hungry are fed… the Lord is at work, His kingdom comes.  This world is in His hands, after all, and whenever love is “freely bestowed” by any of us toiling upon this earth, the Lord shows Himself indeed in the beat of our heart and our arms open wide.  It is not difficult to see.

You must remember, my brothers and sisters, that all prophecy has been fulfilled; all revelation is complete in the coming of the Son of God, in His death and in His resurrection.  There is nothing left to await but the final day, a Day about which false prophets conjecture and faithless souls run anxiously about to find, only moving themselves further from its presence.  “The Son of Man in His day will be like the lightning that flashes from one end of the sky to the other” – don’t worry, you will not miss it; nor can you mistake it.  Your purpose in the meantime is to spend yourself bringing His kingdom to this earth in the love you share with your neighbor.  In such love come only from Christ, the kingdom is already here.

*******