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.

O patron of moral theologians

and servant of the poor,

how blessed was your loving wisdom,

your understanding of God

and His love for us,

made perfectly known

in His only Son

whom you loved so much

with His Mother and the Church,

and whom you call us all to love

through your blessed words –

pray the redeeming love

of Jesus our Savior

flow in all our veins,

that we might unite our wills

to the Father’s

as perfectly as His only Son

and so be as encompassed by grace and love

as only He could be.

Pray indeed that we shall be saved,

that we will come to the Lord on our knees

and so find His presence filling us

unto eternity.

Direct download: Aug._1_Alphonsus_Liguori.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

(Ex.16:2-4,12-15;   Ps.78:3-4,23-25,54;   Eph.4:17,20-24;   Jn.6:24-35) 

“Do not work for food that perishes

but for food that endures for eternal life,

which the Son of Man will give you.”

Their bellies rumbling in the desert, “the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron,” calling out for food to satiate their hunger.  How they long to be beside their “flesh pots” in Egypt, where they “ate [their] fill of bread” – even if they should die there.  Their great concern is for the food which perishes.

And in our gospel, too, Jesus upbraids the crowd who follow Him, saying, “You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled,” the Lord having just fed the five thousand.  They, too, seek the satiation of their physical hunger while remaining blind to the spiritual food Jesus is.

This lack of comprehension of the life in the Spirit the Lord would impart is exemplified in the name the Israelites give the bread from heaven God has provided for their pilgrimage.  “Manna” they call it, after the question they “asked one another, ‘What is this?’ for they did not know what it was.”  And how little do those who question Jesus understand of “the bread of God… which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  Even as they say, “Sir, give us this bread always,” they do not see that He stands before them, and that they have already partaken of the bread He is.  And so, most will turn away, their hearts more set upon the belly than the spirit.  And so, with the belly many will perish.

Brothers and sisters, “You should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way of righteousness and holiness of truth.”  Listen to your brother Paul, for he speaks of Jesus and the new life He brings.  Here on our altar is “the bread of angels”; and would you turn to eating rotting flesh?  The Lord calls you into the heavenly kingdom; and would you choose slavery in the land of sin instead?  “Abundance” of food in “His holy land” is now set before us by the Son of Man – partake of this bread of everlasting life, the flesh and blood of Christ.

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

Music: "The Spirit Rules the Body" from Breath, the Apple Rises, fifth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, let us eat the Bread you give us,

the food that endures to eternal life.

YHWH, let our minds be renewed, our hearts set on you, on the Bread from Heaven you give us in your Son.  Why should we be concerned for the things of the belly and the corruption it brings?  Let us be men of the Spirit eating the Bread of angels, not of beasts.

If it is upon the flesh we set our sights, if we desire the food that perishes, we will perish with it.  But if, O LORD, we long for the food that endures to eternal life, eternal life will be ours by the grace at your hand.  O let us do your works and not those of the devil!

If we come to your Son, O LORD, He will feed us with His Body.  If we but believe in Him, He will quench our thirst.  We shall never be in want again if we but embrace the One you have sent.

O Jesus, let us look for you and we shall find the truth you are and no longer live in futility but have abundance in your Father’s holy land.

Direct download: BC-080512-Su_18_OT_B.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

O strong and holy apostle,

soldier for the Lord Jesus

and defender of His Church,

you gathered together an army

to labor in mission fields,

to educate the masses,

to serve and die as loyal sons

of the Christ and His Pope –

teach us this day

to follow in the way of Jesus,

to meditate on His life

and be fruitful in His works.

Pray your own sons

and all the children of MotherChurch

not waver in the faith

which sustains them on this earth

but that in all truth

steadfast Christ’s disciples shall stand

and proclaim in strength the salvation

that comes only through Jesus

and the Vine He has planted,

through whose teaching and sacraments

His very Spirit and blood flow.

Direct download: July_31_Ignatius_of_Loyola.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O you of golden words,

of angelic tongue,

of sermons refined

seven times

by the Spirit of God…

O how you made present on earth

the invisible Creator

even as He was made for us

in the womb of the Virgin,

so tangible had His grace become

through the preaching the Lord inspired

in your soul –

pray we shall indeed be vivified

by the eternal grace of God,

by the gift of His becoming Man,

to become like Him,

heavenly spirits in His reign.

How could we comprehend such blessing;

how could such surpassing joy

these earthen vessels hold?

Let us come close to Christ our Savior,

close to Him as now you stand

in His radiant glory.

Direct download: July_30_Peter_Chrysologus.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O servant of the Lord

who welcomed Him

into your home,

fulfilling all the duties

of hospitality,

and yet realized

as He taught

that it is He

who serves us poor creatures,

who is the resurrection and the life…

in whose House we make our home –

pray that even as we fulfill the duties

of our station in life

we too shall come to believe

Jesus is the Christ,

the Son of God

who comes to us

to serve us in His need,

allowing Himself to be fed by us

that He might feed our souls

with everlasting life,

with the Spirit that passes not away

with the body.

Direct download: July_29_Martha.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O parents of the Virgin Mary,

grandparents of the Lord our God,

you who gave birth

to our Blessed Mother,

through whom we are blessed

for all ages…

O you through whom the promise to David

came to be fulfilled,

you whose virtues

found favor with the Lord,

you whom He chose

to bring forth His Mother

and the Mother of all the redeemed –

pray our posterity shall endure

even as your own,

that we shall bear fruit

even in our old age

and see our children’s children

in a happy Jerusalem.

Pray we shall know the Virgin

as intimately as you

and so come to know our Lord

in the kingdom where He reigns.

Direct download: July_26_Joachim_and_Anne.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O martyred apostle,

first to endure the death of Christ,

you have indeed drunk of His cup,

fully accepting the sacrifice

to which all are called,

and so blazed the path of service

for others to follow –

pray all God’s children,

all those blessed to be called as sons,

as brothers of the Lord,

will have the courage and strength

that comes from the Spirit

to lay down their lives

as a ransom for many

and so find a place

beside our Savior Jesus

in His heavenly kingdom.

Pray the blood of Christ

in which you shared so intimately

pour upon His Church

and all souls be blessed

to drink thereof

unto the world’s salvation.

Direct download: July_25_James.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

O solitary prayer,

alone with the Lord

in the Blessed Sacrament

you offered your life

for the salvation of souls;

in penance you lived,

and so a light shone

even from your tomb

to show the presence of Christ

and His miraculous powers

at work in the world –

pray all souls

seek perfection in prayer,

the perfection of being with Jesus,

of remaining always in His presence

with a heart of love

poured out for our fellow man.

Pray even now

for the salvation of all,

for what else matters

but that we come to dwell

with you in the light of our Lord,

adoring Him forever?

Direct download: July_24_Sharbel_Makhluf.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O seer of the Passion

of our Lord Jesus Christ,

of the scourges and the nails,

of the blows and mockery

He endured,

of the blood which covered

His face and all His skin…

O you who have witnessed

all His suffering

and sought so diligently

to share in it with Him –

pray that we who are so blind

to the pain and anguish

our Savior bore

under the weight of the Cross

we build by our sin

may by His grace

have our eyes opened,

and so turn from our own condemnation

to the blood of redemption

He has shed for our sakes

and take refuge in the penance

that leads all souls to the kingdom.

Direct download: July_23_Bridget.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O woman of great love

whose heart burned

with desire for the Lord,

whose soul thirsted for the living God…

the tears you cried

became the source

of the greatest joy

as from your sins the Christ released you,

as your eyes beheld

your blessed Teacher –

pray for us this day, O Mary,

that our hearts shall be set aflame

with faith and love

as we hear the news you bring us:

that our Lord is no longer in the tomb,

that He lives

and so we with Him,

that He is ascending to the Father

and we shall join Him there.

O pray His love

dispel the coldness of our hearts

that we shall be like you,

remaining with Him forever.

Direct download: July_22_Mary_Magdalene.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

(Sg.3:1-4 or 2Cor.5:14-17;   Ps.63:2-6,8-9;   Jn.20:1-2,11-18)

"Whom are you looking for?"

Let us stand with Mary Magdalene at the tomb of our risen Lord. Let us weep a little that our hearts might bleed with her same love, and so our eyes be opened to see Jesus standing before us. Let us hear Him call us by name.

O let us search night and day for our God, thirsting for Him “like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.” Let us know that without Him we are lost in darkness, empty as the tomb. May it be “the love of Christ [that] impels us” further outside of ourselves and toward the Lord, allowing nothing to impede our progress as we pass every watchman, as we leave even our senses behind to become one with our lover, partaking of “the riches of [His] banquet.”

Let us “regard no one according to the flesh anymore,” not even the Christ, but release His body from our grasp that He might ascend to Heaven and we follow in His wake. A “new creation” let us be with a heart burning with love, a love that transcends all the world and discovers our Lord within.

In the shadow of [His] wings [we] shout for joy,” declaring His glory to all, for He looks upon our tears, upon every heart longing for His presence, and our desire He does not disappoint.

Written, read, and produced by James Kurt.

Music - "Cry Mercy," from Remove the Mask of Lies, second album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

Direct download: July_22_-_Mary_Magdalene.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

O great preacher of the Word of God,

you who were entrusted

with this angelic office

to bring light to Christian minds

and dispel the darkness

of sin and error –

pray all souls this day

may be blessed with hearing

the Word of God you spoke so well,

that all hearts might turn in faith

to the Lord

purged by its cleansing fire.

O blessed teacher,

pray men of every tongue

be told of the truth,

that all might live

by the Spirit of God

in grace,

that the renewal of the Church

and every soul

might be made complete

and the ranks of the New Jerusalem

be filled to overflowing.

Direct download: July_21_Lawrence_of_Brindisi.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O suffering shepherd

severely persecuted

for your work of evangelization,

you ever continued to preach the faith

and convert multitudes

despite all the tortures

the ravenous beasts of this earth

could muster;

a true apostle you proved to be,

martyred even as Christ’s Twelve –

how shall we find

a measure of your conviction,

of your persistence

in spreading the Gospel of the Lord?

Pray for us, blessed shepherd,

that we who are weak of will

and so fearful

of the slightest disturbance

to our comfort and ease

shall learn by God’s grace

to give our lives

as freely as you

in the service of man’s salvation.

Direct download: July_20_Apollinaris.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O servant of the sick

whose compassionate heart

melted at the sight

of every suffering soul,

who constantly visited Christ

as He lay in hospital…

how deep was your charity,

how complete your love and dedication

to the poor –

pray that we too shall leave

the cares of the world behind

and have only concern

for serving Christ

and our fellow man;

pray the hard hearts of this age

will be saved by the Lord’s grace

even as they look upon Him

in the face of those in need.

How shall we match your stature,

which was so like Jesus’ own;

how shall we find perfect charity,

taking the Lord into our homes?

Pray our hearts be set on Him alone.

Direct download: July_18_Camillus_de_Lellis.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O Mother of contemplation

who heard the Word of God

and kept it,

pondering its wonder

in your heart,

you who were so faithful

to His call

and remain ever in His presence –

how shall we know our Lord

if you do not pray for us,

if you do not intercede

for souls so blinded

by the distractions

and temptations

of a fallen world?

Our prayers are with you, dear Mother,

who pray as one with our dear Lord,

who are so one with Him

in body and soul,

who stand at His side this day

in the kingdom of Heaven

There on His holy mountain

help us to make our home.

Direct download: July_16_Our_Lady_of_Mt_Carmel.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O good doctor

who taught the way to God

by death to things outside the Cross,

by resting with Christ

in the tomb

that we might pass

from this world to the Father –

pray our passions

indeed be silenced

that the fire of God

will carry our soul

to Him who is beyond

the operations of our mind;

pray our surrender to Him

may be complete

and the Holy Spirit lead us

in loving flame

to the kingdom.

Where is the longing of our soul

for God,

and who will assist us on the journey?

Speak to our hearts this day, good teacher,

from your place in His radiant presence.

Direct download: July_15_Bonaventure.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

               O wise virgin

               so willing to leave your people behind

               to wed the only One

               who could win your heart,

               the Lord Jesus Christ,

               you were not swayed

               by punishment or persecution

               to renounce Him whom you loved

               but remained humble and diligent

               in your chastity and poverty and penance,

               sleeping on thorny mats

               for your Bridegroom and your persecutors –

               pray we too will be led into the desert,

               into the wilderness where God speaks,

               that we, too, might be espoused to Him

               and wait patiently for His coming,

               when all our scarred faces

               will be transformed as yours by His glory.

               Pray every tribe and tongue and nation

               will come in innocence before the Lord

               and so be adopted

               as sons and daughters

               of the great King.

Direct download: Kateri_Tekakwitha_July_14.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O you who were king and emperor

yet set your sights

on the reign of Heaven

and the reform and upbuilding

of the Church on earth,

who dedicated yourself

to the Lord of all

and service of His apostles –

pray our cares and responsibilities

will not distract us

from remembrance

of our God and His mercy

but that we shall indeed

dedicate these

and all our lives

into the hands of our Savior,

that He might dispose of them and us

as He sees fit.

Pray our kingdom not be of this earth

but of Heaven

and that we shall make our home

at the foot of the throne

of the Almighty.

Direct download: July_13_Henry.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O monastic father

who led the way into the desert

where the Lord speaks to men’s hearts,

where He calls souls to perfect worship,

putting Christ before all else

and treating others as He Himself…

O you who prayed most perfectly,

you who knew God so intimately –

pray that our distracted minds

will somehow be conformed

to listening for His voice

and answering His call

to serve Him with all our lives.

Help us, dear brother,

dear father in the faith,

to find our dwelling place

in the kingdom,

to live so completely

according to God’s Word,

that with great fervor,

with overflowing love,

we may accomplish His will

and join you in His presence.

Direct download: July_11_Benedict.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O righteous band of martyrs

united by faith in Christ and His Church

in a nation of religious oppression:

children and grandparents,

workers and teachers,

lay and ordained,

native and foreign-born…

all as one you gave your lives,

led by your convictions –

pray the Word of the Lord

come to a land so cold

to conversion,

to the love and worship

of Jesus, all men’s Savior.

Pray the Holy Spirit

fall like purging and redeeming fire

upon every soul in the country

where you so honorably died;

pray His power spread

and bring renewal

upon the face of all the earth.

Direct download: July_9_Augustine_Zhao_Rong_and_Companions.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O perpetual virgin

who defended your purity

even with your life

and so earned the crown

of martyrdom

at a tender age…

O bride of Christ

who prayed even for your murderer

and so served to inspire

his conversion –

pray for us, too, dear child;

pray the lust and violence

so prevalent in this world of sin,

and in our own hearts,

be purged from our midst

that we, too, might turn

to Jesus

and find the purity

He offers.

O pray innocence and chastity

overtake this age

and all souls stand

in the light of Christ.

Direct download: July_6_Maria_Goretti.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O child of the Apostle Paul,

follower in his steps,

preacher of the Word

he proclaimed so completely

with his very life,

you who desired so

to bear the fruit of love in patience,

to share in the hardships of the apostles

as well as in their glory,

and led your fellow ordained

zealously to desire the same –

pray there shall be reform

in this day among our priests

and among the people of God,

that all will so zealously follow

the teaching and way of the Apostle,

which is, of course, the way of Christ:

to die, to lay down our lives,

to suffer indignation

and pray for our enemies,

all the while calling souls

to the Lord’s undying love,

to His saving blood.

Direct download: July_5_Anthony_Mary_Zaccaria.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT

O reconciler of warring sons,

tranquility in the midst

of great disturbance,

though born of royal blood

and married to a king,

the Lord you preferred

to all the riches of this world,

and so His peace

became your own –

pray we, too, may keep our hearts

set upon that which passes not away

and the peace which passes understanding;

pray our prayers be deep as your own

and reflect the same tranquility,

that those in our own families

and those under our care,

all those whom we meet

and to whom we relate,

may find the Lord’s peace

dwelling in us

with His divine charity

and so be reconciled to Him

and to one another.

Direct download: July_4_Elizabeth_of_Portugal.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

O believing apostle

who declared the divinity of Jesus,

our Lord and our God,

all doubt disappears

in the light of your faith,

for we see with you

what is beyond all eyes –

pray for an increase

in our faltering faith,

that we shall indeed believe

though we do not see;

let it be as if we ourselves

have touched the nail marks

in His hands and feet

and placed our hands into His side.

So firmly let our faith be founded

that we shall reach out

to all mankind

and the truth of Christ

as the Son of God

will grow in all hearts

until that Day we see the Lord

with our own eyes.

Direct download: July_3_Thomas.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

(Eph.2:19-22;   Ps.117:1-2,Mk.16:15;   Jn.20:24-29) 

“Blest are they who have not seen and have believed.”

The faith of Thomas.  By his faith we find faith.  In his desire to know beyond all doubt that the Lord has risen, all our doubt is taken away, and we declare with him, “My Lord and my God!”  If Thomas had not doubted so much, we would not believe so much his clear proclamation of the divinity of Jesus.  As it is, we no longer have room for doubt.  Indeed, Thomas’ ardent need to touch the nail marks in the Lord’s hands and sides is a cry to believe as firmly as bedrock, and indeed his declaration of faith is the strongest in all Scripture.  “My Lord and my God!”  In this we take refuge.

And how beautifully Paul speaks today of the faith, of the Church wherein we take refuge and dwell as one with “all the saints and members of the household of God… with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.”  It is architectural fact that in the cornerstone “the whole structure is fitted together and takes shape”; first it is laid, and then the rest of the foundation extends from it, giving the foundation its direction, its form.  And, of course, the entire building rests on and is supported by this cornerstone and foundation.  And so is the Church.  Christ is our cornerstone around which we are all formed, and the apostles, those who have seen Him and proclaimed His glory, are the foundation upon which our faith rests.  And we are all one structure, all made one in faith by the apostles and, of course, by the Lord, who is present in every stone of the building.

Let us firm up our faith this day, brothers and sisters.  Wherever we may be throughout the world and at whatever time, let us feel beneath our feet the solid foundation upon which we are built and the blessed cornerstone which is its very source and so the source of all the life and the faith within us.  Let us indeed be “built into this temple” and so become temples ourselves, knowing the surpassing blessing of becoming “a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.”   “A dwelling place for God in the Spirit”: my brothers and sisters, can there be a more marvelous call?  Let us have the faith of Thomas, crying out “My Lord and my God!” each day of our lives and in all we think, say, and do.  Let this faith permeate our very beings and we shall find ourselves standing firmly in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and in His kingdom, which is beyond all that eye can see.

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

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

*******

O LORD, let us be blessed to know you

with a deep faith,

and so be built into your Temple.

YHWH, how good, how kind, how faithful you are to us!  For we are built into the Body of your only Son with the saints of Heaven and become as your holy Temple.  What more could we ask for, what more could we desire, than to be one with your apostles, upon whose faith your Church is founded?  Let us find our place in Jesus, the Christ.

You are God and your Son is God and we may become one with you, O God, if we but have faith in your surpassing glory, in your goodness and kindness toward us – in your Son who stands before us.  Jesus is LORD as you are LORD and we become as you are when we praise your glory and declare your Lordship over us. 

You are our LORD and our God.  Jesus is our LORD and our God.  May your Spirit be with us, O LORD, to fit us well into your Temple, into your Church, which rises this day on the foundation of your holy apostles.  Alleluia!

Direct download: St._Thomas_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EDT