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.

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 9:00am EST

(Rm.10:9-18;   Ps.19:2-5;   Mt.4:18-22)

 

“How beautiful are the feet of those who announce good news!”

 

Alleluia!

We must have “faith in the heart” and “confess with [our] lips that Jesus is Lord”; but how can we believe in Him and call on Him if we have not heard of Him?  “And how can [we] hear unless there is someone to preach?  And how can men preach unless they are sent?”  Thank the Lord that He has sent the apostles out to the ends of the earth, that “their voice has sounded over the whole earth.”  Where would we be without them?

“Come after me and I will make you fishers of men,” Jesus says to His first apostles, two brothers.  And two brothers Jesus chooses after them, as if He is looking for brothers to call to emphasize our solidarity with Him and with one another.  Indeed, we are family in the Lord.  We are His mother and His brothers.  David’s psalm today speaks of Him who would be called his Son, and illustrates the work of His brothers to come.  All are one in Him, through time, through space… for He who is the beginning and end truly becomes our brother.

I thank God today for Andrew and his brother Peter, their brothers James and John, and all brothers and sisters in the Lord.  I thank God especially for their answering His call, their readiness to respond.  “They immediately abandoned their nets and became His followers.”  And so strong in the Lord they would become.  And so clearly their words would be spoken of Him who is risen from the dead, of Him in whom our hearts trust – of Him of whom we now speak.

A joy fills me this day, and should fill us all, for the beauty of the apostles and of their call.  For now our ears ring with the love of our Jesus, the truth of the ages.  Now through these faithful disciples we have heard “the word of Christ” and find it abiding in our souls.  Let us open our mouths and proclaim Him Lord of all!

 

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

 

Music by Roger Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, let us follow where the apostles lead,

for they follow in our Savior’s footsteps. 

YHWH, help us to abandon our hearts, to leave our moorings in this world that we might follow your Son, that He might lead us to the shores of Heaven.  And help us to preach as your apostles have preached, to speak of your salvation to all men, that indeed the message of the Gospel may reach to the ends of the earth and all souls come to believe.

O LORD, Jesus has been raised from the dead – let us believe in our hearts that He lives now and confess with our lips that He is Lord, and by our faith we shall be saved and bring others to redemption.  The voice of your apostles has indeed gone out to the limits of the world; all peoples are now blessed to hear your Word and so are given the opportunity to believe.  May all souls turn resolutely to your Son and follow Him in His way.

On the shores of Galilee first came the call from the mouth of Jesus.  May He speak to our hearts, LORD, even this day, that we might leave all for your kingdom.

Direct download: Nov._30_-_St._Andrew_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(Dn.7:13-14;   Ps.93:1-2,5;   Rv.1:5-8;   Jn.18:33b-37) 

“My kingdom does not belong to this world.”

“The Lord is King, in splendor robed,” our psalmist cries.  “King” is our word for our great Lord; it is the best our imperfect thoughts and pale vocabulary can utter.  But much more than king is our Lord Jesus Christ, for kings do come and go but “His kingship shall not be destroyed”; His “throne stands firm from of old” – it is “from everlasting” to everlasting.  More than a king… He is God.

“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.’”  He has no beginning or end but is Himself the beginning and end of all things.  He “came into the world to testify to the truth,” and now His truth is spoken, and His kingdom is coming.  “Behold, He is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him.  All the people of the earth will lament Him.  Yes.  Amen.”  None shall be able to hide from the Truth, from the King of “all peoples, nations, and languages.”  And the same vision as John has Daniel had so many centuries before: “I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven,” He whom the Ancient One gives “dominion, glory, and kingship.”  And the testimony of two witnesses holds truth, cannot be broken.  He is coming, and all are called to “serve Him.”

Brothers and sisters, He “loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood,” which He offers without a fight before Pilate this day.  By His sacrifice He “has made us into a kingdom, priests for His God and Father.”  And the kingdom we are is not of this earth, is “not here”; and the sacrifice we offer now is heavenly – it comes down to us from above… this miraculous blood we drink and shed ourselves in His Name.

Here our King stands before us, standing in the hearts of all His holy ones.  He who lives forever now draws us into the kingdom where He ever remains.  Not of this world, we come before His radiant majesty.  “To Him be glory and power forever and ever.  Amen.”

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

Music: "Vision of Children" from The Innocent Heart, first album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, your Son’s kingdom is not here,

is not of this world, but remains forever in Heaven –

let us meet Him in His reign.

YHWH, from you Jesus has received dominion, glory, and kingship.  From all eternity He is your Son.  To Him be glory and power forever, and may we join Him at your side.

To testify to the Truth He came into the world, to reveal your presence unto us, dear LORD.  And so that we might become holy as He, as you, He died to take away our sins.  May our hearts be set upon the Truth you are, the Truth He declares by His very presence among us, and may we follow Him through this world on His way to Heaven.

To this world He does not belong, and so should we transcend this place.  Its honors and its power are as the dust, but with Him is life everlasting.  He is the One who is and who was and who is to come – He is all things, dear God.  And with Him we shall be made into a kingdom, and share in your eternal glory.

Direct download: Christ_the_King_Sun._-_Year_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:05pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(Dn.12:1-3;   Ps.16:5,8-11;   Heb.10:11-14,18;   Mk.13:24-32)

“He will send out the angels

and gather His elect from the four winds,

from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.”

On that Day “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky.”  On that Day we “will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory.”  “It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress,” but “everyone who is found written in the book” of Life “shall escape”; all His chosen He shall rescue.  For He will not “suffer [His] faithful one to undergo corruption,” but “show [him] the path to life” and give him “fullness of joys in [His] presence.”

Brothers and sisters, the Lord has taken “His seat forever at the right hand of God; now He waits until His enemies are made His footstool.”  Though “He has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated” and “there is no longer offering for sin,” the time is yet to be fulfilled for all His chosen to partake of His “one sacrifice for sins” – He who is our “allotted portion and [our] cup” must be drunk to the full by all His elect, must be made perfect as He by joining in His sacrifice.  And though “He is near, at the gates,” ready to break in upon our world in His time and according to His ways, yet “this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place”: all the tribulations must come upon this earth, and all His children must be made ready for His Day.

Brothers and sisters, He “hold[s] fast [our] lot” and “with Him at [our] right hand [we] shall not be disturbed.”  “Heaven and earth will pass away, but [His] words will not pass away,” and it is in His word we trust.  So let your heart and soul rejoice and your body abide “in confidence” for “the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament” on the Day of the Lord’s return.  We shall not join those who “shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace” but “shall live forever” in the light of His face.  Hear the word the Lord speaks to your heart; see the signs before your eyes.  Join yourself to His holy sacrifice, and you shall know “the delights at [His] right hand forever” in heaven where He now reigns.

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

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

*******

O LORD, let us shine brightly in Jesus’ presence

when He comes.

YHWH, how could we escape the judgment coming upon the face of the earth and stand in your presence forever except that Jesus has offered His sacrifice for our sins and now waits with you in Heaven for us to turn to Him and join you there?  He is our assurance of your blessing.  When He returns again may we be found ready to be gathered to you.

Send your angels forth, O LORD, to save us from all tribulation, to strengthen us to stand in peace even as the stars fall from the sky.  The darkness let us not fear; rather, let us be purged by it of all our attachment to this forsaken place.  O let us not be counted among those who have forsaken you!  Abandon us not to the nether world, but let our souls rejoice in the light of your face – let us shine with you forever.

The path to life you show us, LORD, that we might find the fullness of joy in your presence.  Open our eyes and hearts to your glorious coming.

Direct download: BC-111812-Su_33_OT_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:05pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(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.

*******

O LORD, let us be useful to you  

in these days before your Son’s return –

let us bring your presence to this world.

YHWH, make us useful to you and to your Church, that we might serve to bring your kingdom to this dark world of persecution, to this prison in which we dwell.  Though we be apart from you as long as we are in the flesh, let us do your work while here, and captives will be set free. 

You are with us, LORD, in those who give sight to the blind, in those who instruct the ignorant and lead them to your love.  May we be brought to share in your surpassing love!  Help us to feed the hungry and care for the fatherless and widows.  May every stranger be welcomed into the arms of your Church. 

Then we shall find a home in this world, a dwelling place in your arms, O LORD.  Though there be suffering every day, you will be with us through it all; your Son will bear every blow in our stead, and we will come in this way to your eternal dwelling.  Let us have no fear about His return, for He is with us in this prison.

Direct download: BC-111512-Th_32_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Ti.3:1-7; Ps.23:1-6; Lk.17:11-19)

 

“Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

 

Such is the cry of the ten lepers standing at a distance from the Lord.  And such is the cry that wells up in all our hearts when we realize we must keep ourselves far from His company for the sin that festers like a disease in our souls.  Desiring no longer to be outcasts from His love, we call out… and He answers.

Do you think you are something different than these lepers?  Do you think your status with God is somehow raised above these poor souls?  Beware.  Heed the words of Paul: “We ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, and far from the faith; we were the slaves of our passions and of pleasures of various kinds.”  Was our soul not then in a diseased state?  And was it any work of our own that brought us healing, that brought us to “baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”?  No.  Rather, “when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of His mercy.”  So, by rights we should yet be in the mire of our sin; we should yet be as lepers outside the gates of salvation.  But His “Spirit He lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs, in hope, of eternal life.”  And do we appreciate what He has done for us?

Indeed the Lord indicates today that most of us are ungrateful wretches when He asks, “Were not all ten made whole?  Where are the other nine?” at the sight of the single leper returning to give praise to God.  “Where are the other nine?”  Only one of ten falls “on his face at the feet of Jesus”; and to how many of us does this lack of thanksgiving speak?  And so, how many of us remain with more than a trace of our leprosy?

“He refreshes my soul,” David sings in humble appreciation of the blessings of the Lord he finds before himself in all things.  It is He who gives “repose”; it is He who “anoints [our] head with oil”… it is He who cleanses our soul.  And if we fail to realize this grace at work within us, then a measure of pollution remains, and still we need to cry out to our God, and fall on our knees in praise for His answer.  Ever is He our Master; ever are we His slaves – ever do we need His mercy to live in righteousness each day.

 

*******

O LORD, save us from enslavement to our passions –  

let us have faith in you

and in your grace upon our souls.

YHWH, our faith has saved us, has it not?  Our faith in you and in your Son has brought the Spirit upon us to cleanse us from our sin.  Now we have new birth and look forward in hope of eternal life.  You are ever at our side as we travel through this dark world.

But do we give you due praise, O LORD?  Do we see what you have done for us and bow before you in adoration, in recognition of your greatness?  Without your grace we would yet be lost – help us remember it is only through you our cup overflows.  And so, let us remain with you forever.  

What sin has been ours in the past, O LORD!  What disease has troubled our souls!  Though we have been rebellious before, let us now be obedient to your command and serve you and others as you call.  The passions and pleasures that once enslaved us cast away, and let us be humble in your sight.

Direct download: BC-111412-W_32_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

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: 3:00pm EST

(Ti.2:1-8,11-14;   Ps.37:3-4,18,23,27,29,39;   Lk.17:7-10) 

“Live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age.”

Brothers and sisters, be “eager to do what is right” as servants of the Most High God.  “Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and enjoy security.”  For “the Lord watches over the lives of the wholehearted; their inheritance lasts forever.”

Paul gives instruction to all on how to live a godly life here on this earth.  He “tell[s] the older men that they must be temperate, serious-minded, and self-controlled”; the older women that they must give “good example” to the younger women, teaching them thus “to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, loving at home, kindly, submissive to their husbands”; “the young men to keep themselves completely under control”; and those who teach to “have the integrity of serious, sound words to which no one can take exception.”  Then “no opponent will have anything bad to say about us”; then we will have given right witness to Christ in this age.

And “when [we] have done all [we] have been commanded to do” by the Lord and His apostles, when we have fully served Him and one another in our life on this earth – when we have finished “prepar[ing] [His] supper” and “put[ting] on our apron and wait[ing]” on our brothers – what should we do but say in all humility and in all truth: “We are useless servants.  We have done no more than our duty”?  For this is what will assure us that we will “abide forever”; this will prove that we are as our Lord, “who sacrificed Himself for us,” and so, with “the just [we] shall possess the land, and dwell in it forever.”

Our God has come “to redeem us from all unrighteousness and to cleanse us for Himself as a people of His own.”  Let us show we are that people by ever being “sound in the faith, loving, and steadfast,” doing all for the Lord and our neighbor.  In this way we indicate that even upon the dust of this earth “we await our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ.”  In this way we attain to the age to come, where we shall be seated at His table.

*******

O LORD, help us to turn from all sinful ways

and complete the work you command us to do.

YHWH, we are useless servants; help us to fulfill the tasks you set before us, to be eager to do what is right.  For this is what will gain us entrance to your kingdom, to a place at your table – if we live temperately, devoutly and justly in this world, as even your Son has done.

Should we fall into disrepute?  Should we not be self-controlled?  It is serious work to which you call us, O LORD, and so let our words be sound and our behavior above reproach, and to you we shall be as witness and bring our souls with the souls of others into the security of your blessed land, where we shall dwell forever.

We are blessed to do your work, LORD, to serve you in this world.  For in such work you are with us; your will is accomplished even in this flesh and bone.  And so, let us give ourselves entirely to you and to your ways, submissive in all things, and we shall be redeemed from all unrighteousness and cleansed for your kingdom.

Direct download: BC-111312-Tu_32_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O shepherd thirsty for souls,

whose only desire

was the unity of the Church

under Christ her King

and on the Rock of Peter…

for this cause you gave your life;

for this call from the Lord

you shed your blood –

pray this day all may be one,

that none shall shrink

from fulfilling this desire of Jesus

but by the power of the Holy Spirit

work tirelessly

and with great courage

to slake the thirst of the Lord.

We are all children of one Father;

we have but one Brother in Christ

and one Mother in the Catholic faith.

Pray this truth shall prevail

over the deceptions of the devil,

who would separate and conquer souls

but who is turned back from his evil course

when we are willing to die for one another.

Direct download: Nov._12_Josaphat.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Ti.1:1-9;   Ps.24:1-6;   Lk.17:1-6)

 

“Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?

Or who may stand in His holy place?”

 

“He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.”

Of priests and holy men our readings speak, yes, but most especially of bishops, who are most entrusted with the Word of God, with the preaching of the Gospel of eternal life… and how silence in this regard leads but to condemnation.

Paul sets the standard for the “servant of God.”  He presents himself “as an apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of those whom God has chosen and to promote their knowledge of the truth as our religion embodies it.”  Here is the bishop in sum.  Here is the priest in sum.  Here is the sum of any sent to teach in His name: increase the faith and knowledge of the flock.  And in this service certainly a priest must be “irreproachable,” and “the bishop as God’s steward must be blameless.”  He must be “steady, just, holy, and self-controlled.  [And] in his teaching he must hold fast to the authentic message, so that he will be able both to encourage men to follow sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.”

But how many of our leaders hold to Paul’s words?  How many encourage the keeping of sound doctrine, and, perhaps more to the point, how many refute error?  Worse yet, how many travel merrily along with the error of the day?  “If your brother does wrong, correct him,” Jesus says.  But how many tell their flock, “You should not fornicate or commit adultery” or “You should not abort a child or contracept him” or “You should not be ‘self-willed or arrogant, a drunkard, a violent or greedy man’”?  And how many freely engage in sins such as these themselves?  Yes, Jesus says, “If he repents, forgive him” (even “seven times a day”) of the brother in your care; but how can he repent if he knows nothing of the wrong he does, and how can you instruct him if you are committing the same sins as he?  And so where is true forgiveness?

“Scandals will inevitably arise, but woe to him through whom they come.”  It is a terrible warning the Lord gives today, particularly to those entrusted with much, for how great will be their punishment for the abuse of their call.  And of course, the source of such travails in the wayward soul is simply a lack of faith.  Not “the size of a mustard seed” or a speck of dust is the faith of too many.  If even it could be detected with a microscope it would show itself in good works.  But it is not there.  And so, who indeed shall climb the mountain of the Lord?  How many vainly grovel at its base?  And if our leaders do not climb, how shall any follow?  So, who shall come to holiness?

Let us awaken to the call of our God!  Let the Church serve as His presence in this world.  Let us be “the race that seeks for Him,” putting holiness before all else.  And let the ordained among us lead us in this way.

 

*******

O LORD, let us be men of faith  

who carry your Word forth blamelessly,  

that all may come to see your face. 

YHWH, how shall we serve you if we have not sinless hands or clean hearts?  And so, how shall we find our reward in your kingdom?  Will we not rather be cast into the sea for our unfaithfulness, for our failing to hold to your true teaching and leading others astray?  Help us who are far from you.  Forgive us our sins.

Do we not travel blindly in this day, dear LORD, lacking the guidance of holy shepherds?  Does your people not suffer for lack of knowledge of you and your ways?  Is the truth not hidden from our eyes by the silence of your teachers?  And are many not led away from you by their example? 

Who is there that stands in your stead; who climbs your holy mountain, making a way for others to follow?  There are a few, no doubt; but are there not more who are afraid to speak in your NAME?  Help us, LORD, for your Church shall be lost without the guidance of good shepherds.  Encourage all souls to seek your face, and so find the blessings of Heaven. 

Direct download: BC-111212-M_32_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O sacrificial shepherd,

you gave your life for your flock;

a poor and humble man,

you gathered the poor and humble

of the Lord

into the arms of His Church,

where they might be fed with His grace.

Ever with arms upraised

you taught your people ever to pray

and founded many houses of prayer;

peace you brought to your church

that all might serve the one true God –

pray we shall be humble and lowly

as you, dear shepherd,

and so mirror the life of our Lord.

Pray our lives be entrusted to Him,

that whatever we do be in His will;

whether we live or die,

let it not matter to us,

but only let matter the laying down of our lives,

that by such sacrificial offering

God’s Word might go forth

and all souls be welcomed into Abraham’s arms.

Direct download: Nov._11_Martin_of_Tours.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(1Kgs.17:10-16;   Ps.146:1,7-10;   Heb.9:24-28;   Mk.12:38-44) 

“She, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,

her whole livelihood.”

Jesus sits in the temple and watches as “the crowd put[s] money into the treasury.”  When He sees “a poor widow… put in two small coins worth a few cents,” He calls His disciples over, and speaks the truth to them: “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.”  Whatever wealth anyone else might have stuffed into the box cannot begin to compare to her whole sacrifice – it mimics His own.

And in our first reading we find another poor widow sacrificing her livelihood to the Lord and His prophet.  It is the time of a great famine upon the land (called down from heaven by Elijah himself) and the widow has nothing left to eat but “a handful of flour in [her] jar and a little oil in [her] jug.”  She tells us her situation: “Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.”  A last supper.  Straits most of us can only imagine.  Yet when the prophet Elijah asks her, “First make me a little cake and bring it to me,” invoking the name of the God of Israel and promising His blessings, this woman who is not even of the house of Israel does not hesitate to give first to this stranger of the only sustenance she has for herself and her son.  Another sacrifice mimicking Christ’s own.

Both widows’ sacrifices shall be blessed by the Lord; we can be assured of this.  For “the widow He sustains”; it is He who “gives food to the hungry” and “protects strangers”… and any offering made in His name can only be multiplied.  Indeed, Elijah proves himself not to be as the Pharisees who “devour the houses of widows,” for by his presence with his benefactor “she was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well,” the flour and the oil remaining until the rains returned.  “The Lord keeps faith forever.”

Brothers and sisters, Christ “has appeared at the end of the age to take away sins by His sacrifice.”  He does this “once for all,” and so does not “offer Himself repeatedly.”  But we, brothers and sisters, we must join with that sacrifice – it is for us to offer ourselves as He has, as these widows have, if we are to partake of its graces.  As it is manifested on our altar each day, we renew our commitment to be sharers in the blood He shed.  As we drink from His cup let us remember always that it is our very lives that we are giving up.  And the Lord will bless us as His own.  And with these widows we shall sit at His table in heaven.

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

Music: "Under God" from The Innocent Heart, first album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, we must give what we have to you

or we shall have nothing.

YHWH, help us to give our whole livelihood to you, to join in the sacrifice of your Son.  For you will not abandon those who hunger for your love but bless them with all they need for their journey to Heaven.

The widow you sustain, dear God; those who believe in you, you indeed bless.  And we must show that we eagerly await the Second Coming of your Son by not being attached to the things of this passing earth.  We must rather make known our faith in you by entrusting all into your hands.  For Jesus, who has entered Heaven on our behalf, taking our sins with Him that we might be purged, will not abandon us on the last day if we offer ourselves in union with His sacrifice.

All we have let us give to you, O LORD, even our food for the day, and you shall feed us from Heaven with the Bread that sustains all poor souls unto eternity.  Our jar of flour shall not go empty nor our jug of oil run dry, for in them are the Body and Blood of your only Son.

Direct download: BC-111112-Su_32_OT_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

O true Pastor of God’s Church,

defender of the faith

from forces without

and within her walls,

you proved that this House

founded by Christ the Lord

shall never succumb

to the powers of hell

but ever stand strong

against all tides of the world

and the evil influence of the devil –

pray though the flesh be weak,

though every member be prone to sin,

that all souls set on the Rock

that is the bark of Peter

shall repel every attack

against the integrity of the faith

and stand with Jesus

as king over the flesh,

as priest offering pure sacrifice,

as prophet speaking His words…

and so until the end of time

may God’s Church be ever blessed.

Direct download: Nov._10_Leo_the_Great.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Phil.4:10-19;   Ps.112:1-2,5-6,8-9;   Lk.16:9-15)

 

“Well for the man who is gracious and lends.”

 

“Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory.”  Such is the man who knows the proper use of this world’s goods, that is, to give them all as “a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”  This shows that he “fears the Lord,” that his heart is not set on the things of earth but the riches of heaven; and so to these shall he come.

“Make friends for yourselves through your use of this world’s goods,” Jesus instructs His disciples, “so that when they fail” – when the goods of this world have faded into eternity – “a lasting reception will be yours” in the kingdom which does not pass away.  Our life on this earth serves indeed as a kind of test.  The Lord needs to see if He “can trust [us] in little things,” in the passing things of this passing day; then He will know that He “can also trust [us] in greater,” in the eternal graces of our heavenly homeland.  How well shall we prove ourselves?

The Philippians prove their generosity well.  The Apostle Paul commends them for their repeated gifts to supply his needs as he preaches the Gospel.  Here we see a perfect example of wise use of this world’s goods, of their being given in service of God and man.  And because of their generosity, there is “an ever-growing balance in [their] account,” not of silver and gold, but of the “magnificent riches in Christ Jesus.”  As they empty themselves of what they have, as they give of their riches on this earth, the Lord gives them all they might desire of the true riches; as Paul says as he assures them he has been “fully paid” by the fruits they have offered: “My God in turn will supply your needs fully.”

“No servant can serve two masters.”  We either amass wealth for our own benefit in this world – and toward our own condemnation – or we give what we have for the benefit of God and others.  We love God or we love money; there are no two ways.  “The Pharisees, who were avaricious men, heard all this and began to deride Him.”  Does your heart tend to deride the generosity to which the Lord calls you, as do these?  Is there yet mockery upon your tongue and lips against the preaching of the emptiness of this world’s possessions?  Do you also “justify yourselves in the eyes of men”?  Know indeed that “God reads your hearts” and “what man thinks important, God holds in contempt.”  And if you would have it go well with you in the heavenly kingdom, you must practice the abounding generosity that is the heart of that kingdom (shown in our Lord’s limitless mercy upon our souls), here with what is at your hands.

 

*******

O LORD, take all that we have, all that we own,  

for your use and that of your Church. 

YHWH, let our hearts not be set on the wealth of this earth but let us rather use the goods at our hands to serve your kingdom.  A fragrant offering let us make to you of our wealth and of ourselves that we might be acceptable in your sight. 

How shall we come to your kingdom, LORD, if we cling to this earth and its goods?  How shall we share in your glory if our hearts are not generous as your own?  We cannot be blessed if we are not a blessing to others, and your everlasting wealth, your eternal graces, we shall not find if we grasp at the possessions at our hands.  We must indeed give generously of the things you provide here, and we will have the love that lasts forever. 

Your love let us know even now, O LORD; your joy let us take in providing for the poor, in supporting your workers in the vineyard.  And you will lavishly bless us when the last day comes.

Direct download: BC-111012-Sa_31_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Ez.47:1-2,8-9,12;   Ps.46:1-3,5-6,8-9;   1Cor.3:9c-11,16-17;   Jn.2:13-22)

 

“There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,

the holy dwelling of the Most High.”

 

On this the feast set aside to commemorate the cathedral of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, himself the founding stone upon which Christ builds His Church, we hear much of temples.  In our first reading Ezekial sees in his vision, “water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple,” water which brings life to the great sea and the fruit that grows upon its banks; the water that gladdens the holy dwelling of the Most High is spoken of in our psalm; Paul tells us we are “the temple of God,” “God’s building”; and zeal for the Father’s house consumes the Lord, and so He purges it with whip in hand in our gospel today.  But perhaps the most revelatory statement is, “He was speaking of the temple of His body,” also from our gospel, and noted as explanation of Jesus’ challenge to the Jews to destroy the temple and He would rebuild it in three days.  This essential truth of the nature of the temple is substantiated by Paul’s teaching of the care needed by those who build within the Church: “No one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.”  Though he then goes on to say that we are the temple of God, wrought in all holiness, and though this is an equal truth, yet neither this truth, nor that which holds Peter as the founding “rock” of this Temple in which we dwell, have any basis without the essential understanding that Jesus is at the very heart of all our worship, of the Church we are.  The Lord has indeed wrought “astounding things… on earth.”  He has made us as those trees along the banks of His river of life, bearing His fruit each month for the benefit of the world.  He has made us His holy dwelling place and placed His Spirit upon us for the building up of His kingdom…  But all of this has its source in the water of life itself, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Brothers and sisters, as we celebrate our Church this day and the glorious blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us as His temple, as His children, let us not forget our Savior who has been the cause of and continues to be the cause of our joy.  Let us be washed in the water from His side and be built up in His Body and His Blood.  May we have His same zeal for the Father’s House.

 

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

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, purify this temple, destroyed by sin;

let us truly be your House, dear God. 

YHWH, you are with us in the midst of your Church, your Son the very foundation of this Temple.  And He is the Temple itself, we His very Body; and so, how holy we should be.  Indeed, we should be as holy as you, our Most High God, as perfect as your only Son.

It is Jesus’ blood and the water flowing from His side that washes us clean and nourishes the growth of His holy Church.  The waters of this River gladden the hearts of all who dwell in your House, O LORD.  Upon the banks of this River let us ever remain, bearing fruit each month, each day, each hour, in your holy NAME.

Beneath the Cross let us make our home, O holy LORD and God.  Here alone in the shadow of Jesus’ arms will we be made whole, will our temple be cleansed and we become your house of prayer.  May the zeal of the Christ chastise our hearts and prepare them for your kingdom.  May we be raised with Him on His Day and remain in your presence forever. 

Direct download: St._John_Lateran_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

(Phil.3:3-8;   Ps.105:2-7;   Lk.15:1-10)

 

“I have come to rate all as loss

in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Paul tells us, “Those things I used to consider gain I have now reappraised as loss in the light of Christ.”  The “legal observance” he grasped so tightly – having been “circumcised on the eighth day,” “a Hebrew of Hebrew origins,” himself a Pharisee – he now looses to the wind, desiring only to be among those “who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus,” and “seek[ing] to serve Him constantly.”  What matters but Jesus and His love, and “the judgments He has uttered”?

But this justice those who remain as Paul was cannot begin to consider, for they say to themselves as Paul once said of himself: “I [am] above reproach when it [comes] to justice based on the law”… yet do they hold tightly to their fine legal observances, looking down upon those who are below their reproach and judging them all as loss, as wayward sheep destined for the fires of Gehenna.  And this Man eats with them!  But what is loss in their eyes becomes great gain in the eyes of God, for there is “more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent”; and the angels sing in praise as they see the Son of Man sitting and ministering to these sinners, drawing them, as He has been sent to do, into the kingdom’s gates.

The Lord “light[s] a lamp and sweep[s] the house in a diligent search” for straying souls.  When He succeeds, He calls us all, saying, “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.”  And will we be jealous of the Lord’s discovery, as the Pharisees and scribes, or will we realize that we all have need of repentance, that we are all that lost sheep, that lost coin which the Lord treasures so once He holds it in His hand again?

Brothers and sisters, it is in the Lord’s hands we must always place ourselves; this is to be in the light of the surpassing knowledge of Christ.  By our own hands, in our own wills – “putting our trust in the flesh” – what do we make but corruption, even as our first parents who desired so to hold the apple in their hands and eat it at their pleasure?  In things themselves, and our willful manipulation of them, we find only a knowledge that brings death, that leads to darkness.  And who will lead us out of such darkness?  Jesus, who is Light.  In trust in Him we realize we do not know the good we do, for all of any worth is of His making.  And so all our desire is for knowledge of “the wondrous deeds that He has wrought” and forgetfulness of our sinful selves.  Rejoice in the Lord’s salvation! 

*******

O LORD, help us to repent of our sin

and leave behind all things of the flesh,

that we might live in the glory of your Son,

our Lord Jesus Christ.

YHWH, how you desire our repentance, our return to you.  For this you send your only Son to sit among us and call us to your side – for this He shall even die.  May the light He shines find a place in our hearts that we shall be found by Him and lifted up on His shoulders… that we might be raised to Heaven. 

We are all poor sinners, LORD, lost to ourselves and lost to you.  We are all blinded by the things of this world and the pride we take in our work among them.  And so, darkness overtakes us.

Yet you call us to glory in you and in the wondrous deeds that you have wrought in your mercy.  Yet we may be gathered into your arms and rejoice in your NAME.  Yet if we listen to your Son we shall know redemption, we shall return to you. 

And you will rejoice with all your angels that we have come to you, that we have found your glory.  Our joy will be your joy, good God, for your love will be our own.

Direct download: BC-110812-Th_31_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Phil.2:12-18;   Ps.27:1,4,13-14;   Lk.14:25-33)

 

“Work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation.”

 

Strive we must always to attain the kingdom of God, setting our hearts on salvation alone, and trusting in the Lord all the while.

“If one of you decides to build a tower, will he not first sit down and calculate the outlay?”  And do you think the outlay for being a follower of Christ is any less important to consider?  For what is required of the soul on the path to the kingdom is nothing less than all he owns, and the work involved is the laying down of his very life.  And so we must be prepared; and so we must act with conviction, to dispel any “fear of laying the foundation and then not being able to complete the work.”

It certainly cannot be said of St. Paul, “That man began to build what he could not finish,” for he states with absolute conviction to his beloved Philippians, “Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation over the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad of it and rejoice with all of you.”  He is prepared to die to accomplish the work the Lord has set for him, and he shall.  But he witnesses the fruit of his efforts: “As I look to the day of Christ, you give me cause to boast that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose.”  In his disciples he sees the faith he has planted grow.  And now throughout all the earth do his words go forth, bearing the fruit of Christ among all who listen.

And so, brothers and sisters, set your hearts on accomplishing the work the Lord places before you.  Let no doubt or fear cause you to stumble on the way.  Proclaim with David, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?”  Have this same confidence and commitment to His grace.  For “it is God who, in His good will toward you, begets in you any measure of desire or achievement.”  It is His work you do and so He will surely bless it.  Know that your King is able to do battle with any enemy, that none holds any sway over Him, and be as He is, giving yourselves entirely to His mission, His cause.  And you shall “gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate His temple”; and you shall certainly achieve your salvation.  Onward, soldiers of the Lord.

 

*******

O LORD, help us to renounce the things of this world

and come into your Temple, into your presence,

and there remain all our days –

accomplish your work in us.

 YHWH, you are our light and our salvation; it is you who beget in us any desire for you and your kingdom.  And it is you who bring this desire to fulfillment, if we but work to achieve it.

Help us, O LORD, to know the way you call us and prepare us to walk your way without fear, without hesitation.  In you we take our courage, for you are great and care greatly for our welfare.  It is your bounty alone we desire, and so you will bring us to your House where we may gaze on your face in holy light.

 What need we but to dwell with you, O LORD?  What of this world could keep us from coming to you?  Help us to renounce all else but your holy presence; even our lives let us lay down in service of you.  And we shall find our salvation, despite the darkness all around.

It is you who defend us in battle, LORD; it is you who build our house.  May we carry our cross with your Son this day, and so be blessed with confidence in your kingdom.

 

Direct download: BC-110712-W_31_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Phil.2:5-11;   Ps.22:26-32;   Lk.14:15-24) 

“The lowly shall eat their fill.”

Yes, “happy is he who eats bread in the kingdom of God.”  Indeed, he shall have his fill.  But who shall partake of such grace?  Who shall come to the feast when the Master calls?

Brothers and sisters, our “attitude must be as Christ’s: though He was in the form of God, He did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at.”  Rather, He made Himself lowly, as we are lowly.  And now He is exalted; now He prepares the banquet of salvation for all lowly souls.

Who are the lowly souls?  The lowly souls are they who bow down before the Lord.  “At Jesus’ name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth.”  If one does not bend the knee before our Savior, he is not humble, he is not lowly – rather, he stands in his vain pride.

And these proud souls shall not come to the table in the kingdom.  If when He calls they turn away unto their own affairs, spurning the only appointment which carries importance, they lose their place in the Banquet Hall.  And listen to the command of the “master of the house” to his servant: “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.”  The Jews having rejected the invitation which was most especially theirs, we the outcast Gentiles now hear the call of the apostles of the Lord, a call that goes out to the ends of the world.  All the poor souls are now invited.

Brothers and sisters, “all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; all the families of nations shall bow down before Him.  For dominion is the Lord’s, and He rules the nations.  To Him alone shall bow down all who sleep in the earth,” all in the heavens, and all on earth.  None shall be deprived of hearing the call to the feast the Son prepares; all shall stand before Him and have opportunity to bend the knee, to realize our lowliness before Him whom every tongue does praise.  So “let the coming generation be told of the Lord that they might proclaim to a people yet to be born the justice He has shown,” that all forever might bow their hearts before His majesty and proclaim: “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!”  In such humble praise they shall eat their fill of the blessings of the kingdom.

*******

O LORD, let us honor your Son

who has given His life for the salvation of all,

that we might enter your kingdom

and eat the Bread He sets before us.

YHWH, let us bow down before your only Son and give Him due honor and praise, for He alone is Lord; He alone among us is worthy of our worship, for He alone is your Son.  Let us humble ourselves as He has done and so find ourselves in your kingdom with Him.

O LORD, if only we could eat bread at your table, if only it were the desire of our heart to enter your presence and rejoice in your glory.  It is your desire to share with us all your gifts and graces, to feed us with your finest fare.  But how can we celebrate in your House if our hearts are turned to earthly matters, if our thoughts are vain and our souls proud?

Your Son has humbled Himself to come among us and call us to you, LORD.  He has set aside His place at your side that He might become as a slave in our midst, that He might lead us to your side.  Let us not reject His holy sacrifice but proclaim it with our lives as we eat bread at your table this day.

Direct download: BC-110612-Tu_31_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Phil.2:1-4;   Ps.131:1-3;   Lk.14:12-14) 

“Let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves,

each of you looking to others’ interests rather than his own.”

The key to Christianity is to see others, even the blind and the lame and the crippled beggar, as superior to ourselves, and place ourselves at their service in love.  As Christians we can never look down upon another individual; if our heart is proud and our “eyes haughty,” we are certainly set up for a fall, for the Lord who sees all and humbles Himself before all will certainly humble our proud souls.  Rather, we must maintain the “fellowship in spirit, compassion, and pity” of which Paul speaks, “possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals” and thus always giving one another the “encouragement” we owe in Christ.

Jesus would teach this humility and unity of spirit to the chief of the Pharisees today.  He would have him adopt a truly Christian attitude, expecting nothing in return for his feeding of the sheep, concerned only for the welfare of the poorest in his midst.  Thus He would convert him to the faith by wiping the mocking smile from his face in a spirit of genuine compassion.  He tells him, “Whenever you give a lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or wealthy neighbors.”  He should not be concerned simply with those of his blood and the people of means, for certainly these would “invite [him] in return and thus repay” him.  No, quite a novel idea has the Son of God for the head of the Jewish Church: expect your recompense at “the resurrection of the just,” not on earth.  Set your heart on things that are above, not below.  And go beyond your blood to invite all into the hall of the Lord, especially those most in need, those most outcast.  Such a call must have been shocking to the sensibilities of this Pharisee, as indeed it remains shocking to most even today.  But He only calls us to do as He has done – empty ourselves completely for the good of others.

“Make my joy complete by your unanimity,” Paul begs the Philippians; and unanimity in the Lord encompasses all.  In it there can be no “rivalry or conceit” because in it there are no factions: all are one in the Lord.  To this unity, found only in humility, the only Son does call us all, for He knows it is there we shall find our peace; in such humble service we find our eternal rest upon the lap of our Father.

*******

O LORD, let us not seek our reward

in the things of this world or follow in its ways;

rather, in all humility let us find our peace in your arms.

YHWH, help us to look to others’ needs and not our own, to seek to serve you in all things, not looking for reward.  How shall we be humble as your Son, placing ourselves entirely in your hands?  How shall we become as your children if you do not bless us?  For we are selfish and self-seeking and need your grace upon our souls to save us from such vain pride.

To sacrifice your Son calls us, LORD, to unity with all our brothers and sisters.  He would have us empty ourselves as He has done in coming among us and dying on the Cross.  This great blessing He would make our own, if our desire were for Heaven.

Give us, O LORD, true wisdom and peace of soul to see and know the glory to which Jesus calls us by His holy sacrifice, to share the love that exists between you and Him alone.  O let us be your children! free of all snares of the flesh and the world and the devil, desiring only to sup with you.

Direct download: BC-110512-M_31_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O defender of the Catholic faith

in which all the saints

make their home,

O great pastor of souls,

shepherd of Christ’s flock,

who would see all enter fully

into the fold

only the saints know –

pray for the Lord’s Church this day,

that it shall never turn away

from the Truth

which is at its heart,

from the Son of God

who made it,

forming it in His own blood;

pray our souls be set

on prayer to Him,

our minds on meditation

on His life,

that nothing may distract us

from His holy presence

within the walls of Mother Church

and within our own hearts.

Direct download: Nov._4_Charles_Borromeo.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Dt.6:2-6;   Ps.18:2-4,47,51;   Heb.7:23-28;   Mk.12:28-34) 

“You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

If you “fear the Lord, your God, and keep, throughout the days of your lives, all His statutes and commandments,” you will have “long life”; the Lord will “give you a land flowing with milk and honey.”  The promise spoken by Moses to the people stands true, and truer, today.  If we “take to heart these words which [both Moses and Jesus] enjoin on [us] today,” the kingdom shall indeed be not far from us.  For these words are life-giving, they are the heart of the law, the heart of God’s love, and so breathe the breath of life upon the obedient soul: “Hear, O Israel!  The Lord our God is Lord alone!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”  (And the seconding of the Commandment is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”)  This Command, this word of Truth and Life, the ancient Israelites inscribed upon their doorposts and lintels, and wore upon their person, never to forget what wisdom had been imparted unto them. 

And now we, where shall we wear this essential Command, which silences even the hardest skeptics…?  It should be inscribed upon our hearts.  It should pour forth as praise from the mouth of all, all the faithful exclaiming with David in song, “I love you, O Lord, my strength.”  “The Lord lives!  And blessed be my rock!”  Our hearts indeed should overflow with love of God, who is so near us.

Oh brothers and sisters, do you not know how near He is to you now?  Do you not know that Jesus “is always able to save those who approach God through Him, since He lives forever to make intercession for [us]”?  Do you not know that you have a high priest who is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens,” and that He draws you unto the Heaven where He dwells?  No longer do we turn to weak men, as even Moses was, but to “a Son, who has been made perfect forever.”  And His Sonship we share even this day when we love as He has loved.

Love God, brothers and sisters.  Love Him with heart and soul, mind and body.  Let the four corners of the universe declare His praise and honor His Name in unending love of all.  It is Jesus’ blood, Jesus’ love, which courses through our veins now.  How much closer can we come than this Bread of Life?  Heaven has come to earth in flesh of love, and raises these earthen vessels we are unto the gates of the kingdom.  On the doorstep you stand; only enter in.

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

Music: "Love, The Meaning Of (Liars Don't Love, Lovers Don't Lie)" from Loving Spirit, third album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, if we love you and our neighbor,

indeed we draw close to your kingdom.

YHWH, if we but keep your Word, we shall be blessed; if we but love you, O LORD our God, we shall know your love.  If we worship you alone, we shall soon come to Heaven.  O let your love fill us with praise of your NAME!  And may that love overflow to all souls.

We love you, O LORD; we praise your holy NAME.  You are exalted above all gods and your reign endures forever.  And that reign you would share with all who are obedient to your Word, to your call to love.

And so your Son has come among us as our high priest; as priest and victim He stands in our midst and calls us to your kingdom through His holy sacrifice.  Once for all He offered Himself that we might be saved, that He might live to make intercession for us all our days – that we might learn to love as He loves, as you love, dear God, giving all our lives for your sake and that of our neighbor.  Alleluia!

Direct download: BC-110412-Su_31_OT_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

O humble and charitable soul

whose healing hands served the poor

and all those the Lord placed

in your care,

with great love you looked upon

Christ on the Cross

and in the Blessed Sacrament,

and so sought to love your neighbor

even as Jesus Himself –

pray we shall somehow learn

to put others before ourselves,

that in this way,

in the way of the Lord,

we will truly love and serve God,

knowing our sins outweigh

those of any other soul,

and yet that the mercy of our Savior

outweighs any human fault.

And so, pray we shall be humble as you,

as kind and as caring,

that we too will lay down our lives

in prayer and in penance,

in the blood and tears of Jesus.

Direct download: Nov._3_Martin_de_Porres.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Phil.1:18-26;   Ps.42:2-3,5;   Lk.14:1,7-11)

 

“When you are invited by someone to a wedding party,

do not sit in the place of honor

in case some greater dignitary has been invited.”

 

At the feast of the marriage of Christ to mankind, we are the lesser party, and must act humbly before our God.

Jesus comes among us as a guest to eat a meal in our house; He humbles Himself to sit at our table.  And this guest who sits in the lowest place among us is in fact the Host of the banquet of which all are invited to partake.  Though the Lamb that is slaughtered for all to eat, He the sacrifice rules at the altar of our worship.

Listen carefully to what Paul says to his beloved Philippians; see how his own attitude mirrors that of the humble Christ, and how it must be imitated by us all.  He says quite openly, “I long to be freed from this life and to be with Christ, for that is the far better thing.”  In the choice of living or dying, he would opt for the latter, “for, to [him], ‘life’ means Christ; hence dying is so much gain.”  As the psalmist sings in comparing his soul to “the hind [that] longs for the running waters”: “When shall I go and behold the face of God?”  When shall he know full union with the Lord?  Only in death, the dawn of perfect day.  But though “strongly attracted” to death, Paul has equal attraction to life, and accepts that he must “go on living in the flesh” for the “productive toil” it means; and so he will “persevere with [his disciples], for [their] joy and [their] progress in the faith.”  He will remain “with the throng” that he might lead them “in procession to the house of God… amid loud cries of joy and thanksgiving,” though he himself is already prepared to enter the festival gates.

Do you not see how this attitude is as Christ’s own?  Would not the Lord Jesus have preferred to remain in the heavenly kingdom with the Father?  Would this not have been better for Him by far?  And yet He comes among us, and yet He remains with us.  And yet He takes on flesh which is as the cross itself and bears it with all patience for our benefit.  He gains nothing by sitting with us at table as a dishonored guest, but we gain life eternal as we eat the Bread He feeds us.

And so, listen to the Lord’s teaching.  Pray that “when your Host approaches you He will say, ‘My friend, come up higher.’”  Let His sweet words of humility and sacrifice be in your ears and in your heart – and upon your lips, lived through your body – that with Paul you will “have full confidence that now as always Christ will be exalted through” your own humility; then you will find the same “conviction that this will turn out to [your] salvation.”  If here you sacrifice your life, at the wedding party of our Lord and our souls you will be given your due place of honor at table in the kingdom.

 

*******

O LORD, may the humility of Jesus be proclaimed to all 

who wish to see your face. 

YHWH, help us to be your humble servants, coming to others as a slave, as your Son, concerned only for the welfare of your flock, even as the Apostle Paul.  How shall we have the Spirit of Christ within us?  How shall we set our hearts on seeking your face and helping others progress in the faith?  Let us not care if we live or die, but only that your NAME goes forth. 

To your House let us come, O LORD; at your table let us sit.  The lowest place let us take, for this is the place we deserve.  It is only by your grace we come to the table at all, and so, how can we boast of anything?  Your Son is the exalted guest among us – let us give place to Him in all things. 

Call us higher, dear LORD.  Call us to your side.  Without your call we shall be lost, scrambling blindly for adulation on this empty earth.  O let us rejoice as we enter your presence!

Direct download: BC-110312-Sa_30_OT_II.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Wis.3:1-9;   Ps.23:1-6;   1Cor.15:51-57;   Jn.6:37-40

Note: there are any number of readings possible for this day)

 

“The souls of the just are in the hand of God,

and no torment shall touch them.”

 

Is this not what it means to be a Christian?  To have faith in the resurrection from the dead.  To believe that after our time of trial there shall be peace, that we shall be refined by the hand of God to stand in His presence, to share in His kingship.  “Grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with His elect.”  This is our faith.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  And so we have no fear.  The Lord watches over us and guides our path, and in His blessing we take refuge, knowing we shall come to be with Him, knowing He is with us even this day, knowing even death we shall conquer in His Name.  “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”  Nothing shall remove us from His presence.  “We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed.”  Indeed, though all die, all shall come to life.  None can remain as they are; all must be changed.  All that is mortal must take on immortality, and in this immortality, in this incorruptibility we gain, death is swallowed up – it is no more.  “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It is an eternal victory.

“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me.”  It cannot be that the Father’s will not be done.  Jesus awaits us with open arms.  He has gone before us, He has prepared a place for us, and we must but come to Him as drawn by the will of the Father.  “Everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I shall raise Him up on the last day.”  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

Death is not our realm, brothers and sisters.  Though it comes to us all, it is but a passageway into Heaven, it is but the Lord’s means of preparing us for the kingdom.  And so, whether we experience it today or tomorrow or yesterday is of no consequence.  It is there.  It shall come to us all.  But all who believe are preserved from its clutches and drawn into the life the Father offers.  Let us pray this day for all holy souls to come by the Son into the hands of the Father.

 

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

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, help us find victory over death in Jesus,

your Son, and so come to dwell with you forever. 

YHWH, though we walk through the dark valley, we fear no evil – for you are at our side.  Though death close its mouth upon us, we remain courageous, for your Son has given us victory over sin and death by His sacrifice on the Cross; and as we take refuge in Him, we are raised to dwell with you in eternal life.  Let all souls be raised to your side with Him!

Where in this world can we turn where there is not sin, where there is not darkness, where there is not death?  O LORD, it is so, that this world is clothed with corruption, with mortality.  All is now doomed to die for the sin that besets Creation.  But where does the grace of your Son not penetrate?  To whom would He not bring new life?  And what need we but faith in Him to find that life dwelling in us even this day?

Soon the end will come – the end of sin and the end of death.  Let us not die with death, LORD, but find the victory you desire to impart to all souls through your Son.  May your goodness and kindness follow us all our days and lead us to your eternal kingdom.  May all who have died be at your side.

Direct download: All_Souls_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST