Tue, 11 December 2018
(Is.40:25-31; Ps.103:1-4,8,10; Mt.11:28-30)
“My yoke is easy and my burden light.”
How we do become “weary and find life burdensome.” How we can “faint and grow weary,” “stagger and fall” from the burden of sin and our inherent weakness. But oh how “He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak He makes vigor abound.” For indeed He is the creator of the universe – “by His great might and the strength of His power” all things come to be – and His Son is the redeemer of our souls. “The Lord is the eternal God” and “they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar as with eagles’ wings.” Trust in Him who “pardons all your iniquities” and “heals all your ills.”
What a promise Jesus holds forth for those who come to His “gentle and humble” heart: “Your souls will find rest.” We know that the great St. Augustine has told us that only in God do our souls find rest. How we wander aimlessly in trackless wastes seeking comfort for our souls, rest for our weary bodies, taking refuge in the various attractions of the world and the vain promise they hold. How late in life all of us come to the fulfilling promise of Jesus, for any time spent apart from Him is but wasted.
And thank the Lord that He is “merciful and gracious.” Thank Him that “not according to our sins does He deal with us.” For what hope would we have then? But this great God who has no equal, who holds the world in His hand, “redeems your life from destruction, He crowns you with kindness and compassion” despite your sins, if you but come to Him as He calls.
How patiently Jesus waits for each of us, this only Son of God, this image of the Father and embodiment of His love. How gracious He is toward us poor creatures. Will you not take His “yoke upon your shoulders and learn” from Him? Will you not find refreshment from all your sins and forgiveness of all your crimes? Will you continue to turn your face away from Him who watches over all and weigh yourself down with anxiety? Or will you come to Him, your only hope? Take the light burden of His gracious Word upon your souls and do His will in this world.
O LORD, how shall your compassion come
to dwell in our hearts,
and your strength renew our own? –
let us be blessed in Jesus your Son.
YHWH, you make our burden light by the Cross of your only Son. He takes our sins upon Himself and carries them away, and we need but turn to Him and walk with Him to find rest for our souls.
How great is your announcement to us, O LORD; how great your blessing! For you who are Creator of Heaven and earth promise your own strength to those who believe in you, who turn to your grace and mercy. Our sins you remember not, our iniquities you pardon; and finding no condemnation at your hands, we are free to soar as with eagles’ wings – for what punishment can there be if it comes not from you?
O LORD, for all your benefits let all men bless you and your holy NAME. Let us come this day to your only Son and share the blessings upon Him. He will carry our burden in this world and so our yoke will be light. Deep in our souls let us know your compassion, and we shall soar on your heights.
Tue, 11 December 2018
O Patroness of the Americas
and Protectress of the Unborn,
look upon our troubled state,
where lust and greed abound,
where thousands are killed in the womb
where the poor and the rich
are separated by steel walls
and thirsting souls
die in the desert –
help us, dear Mother,
to discover life,
to find your guidance
in this land of opportunity
and broken dreams,
in these hearts that have grown so cold
that more are sacrificed
on unholy altars
than when you first came
to turn our hearts to the Lord!
Pray for us, Our Lady,
or we shall surely die
in a soulless pride.
Tue, 11 December 2018
(Zec. 2:14-17; Lk.1:46-55; Lk.1:29-47)
“Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
for He stirs forth from His holy dwelling.”
And His own stirring forth causes John the Baptist to stir forth, to “leap for joy” – thus is opened the mouth of the one who will proclaim His way.
On this the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe we celebrate the Lord’s stirring forth in astounding fashion in the Americas. As the Lord looked upon His humble servant Mary to bring forth the only Son of God, so He smiles upon the humble Juan Diego, to bring the conversion of a continent. His Mother comes humble and with child to bring new birth to a land in darkness… And how that land sits in darkness now, awaiting renewal by the graces from His hand.
“He has looked upon His handmaid’s lowliness” once, and again; let us pray a humble spirit He shall once more find in this place and on this earth, that indeed “the hungry shall be filled with good things,” that He who has “lifted up the lowly” will remember them now that they are trodden down, now that the most humble are destroyed in the womb.
“Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day.” And many have. But how sincere is their commitment to Him? Are they truly “His people,” and so will “He dwell among” them? Have we cause to “sing and rejoice,” to be as she who “proclaims the greatness of the Lord” – or to cry tears of sorrow for the land to which we have come? For the womb is barren; the spirits are proud – and in these the Lord takes no joy.
Silence before Him we must find once again, that He might turn to us and bring new birth to this land.
“Stir forth, O Lord, from your holy dwelling,”
and renew our languishing souls.
Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.
Music by Roger and Carie Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, may our hearts stir to life
at the sound of Mary’s voice,
at the approach of your Son.
YHWH, you sent the Mother of your Son to a land in darkness, to a barren place, that the people might be converted to the faith, that the blood upon their hands might be washed away. May she come again to this continent and this world that unholy sacrifice might again be stopped by her humble presence. O LORD, bring us new life!
LORD, we would rejoice in you and in your presence in our midst. We would see all the nations gathered into your arms. But how can you come to a place that despises life, that kills its children in the womb? Have pity on us, dear LORD, and send Mother Mary to prepare the second coming of your Son.
The Baptist awoke and leapt in his mother’s womb when Mary brought his Savior to him. O let us awake this day, dear God, awake from our slumber in such darkness and come into the light of your day. Let us be humble and lowly as she who bore your Son, and we shall be lifted with her to your side. Save us, O LORD our God.