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Published: Mon, 29 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Last Build Date: Mon, 29 May 2017 16:01:23 +0000

Copyright: James Kurt
 



May 30 - Tuesday of the 7th Week of Easter

Mon, 29 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 20:17-27;   Ps.68:10-11,20-21,33;   Jn.17:1-11)   “Father, the hour has come! Give glory to your Son that your Son may give glory to you.”   A day of departures.  A day of final words and commendations.  Paul bids farewell to the leaders of Ephesus, declaring his faithfulness to them; and Jesus prays to the Father in the hearing of the disciples, calling the Lord’s blessing upon them. “The Holy Spirit has been warning me from city to city that chains and hardships await me,” Paul confesses as he makes his way to Jerusalem; Jesus now has the cross directly before His eyes, having supped for the last time with His disciples.  “Never did I shrink from telling you what was for your own good, or from teaching you in public or in private,” Paul reminds his disciples; while Jesus states to His Father: “I have made your name known to those you gave me out of the world.”  “I have never shrunk from announcing to you God’s design in its entirety,” Paul declares; “I have given you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do,” Jesus says to the Father.  And as Paul hopes, “If only I can finish my race and complete the service to which I have been assigned by the Lord Jesus, bearing witness to the Gospel of God’s grace” –  not caring for his own life or any suffering ahead –  Jesus’ only concern as He moves toward His own death and His return to the “glory [He] had with [the Father] before the world began” is that the Father will bless His disciples, for, as He says, “It is in them that I have been glorified.”  These who remain in the world, as has Paul, are those who bring His glory forth, even as Jesus has revealed the glory of the Father. The hour of death has come but “God, who is our salvation… controls the passageways of death” because He “bears our burdens.”  The Lord Jesus Christ has borne, and will bear, all the temptations the devil can mount – the greatest of these illusions being death – and has conquered them all.  And now His disciples follow in His footsteps, like Paul, who has “served the Lord in humility through the sorrows and trials that came [his] way.”  By this sacrifice the Lord “restored the land when it languished,” and now all are called to “repentance before God and… faith in our Lord Jesus” to know that redemption.  This life that comes from His death is the glory of the Lord that goes now forth. ******* O LORD, we must leave this world to come to you, but you control the passageways of death – let all be done in your Name. YHWH, what do you desire of us but sincere repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus?  We glorify you by glorifying Him, by keeping faith in Him and witnessing His Gospel to all.  May we ever preach the kingdom as has the Apostle Paul and so complete our mission here in union with your Son. O may we come to eternal life!  May we truly know you and your Son.  May we share in your glory as He has prayed.  O LORD our God, may we make your Name known to all, never shrinking from your call upon our souls, and leave this place blessed by you.  Keep us ever in your truth and love until the day we join you in Heaven. The hour has come, O LORD.  Your Son has been glorified by you, returning to the glory He had from before time began.  And now in us He seeks to be glorified, to continue the work of eternal life here on this earth.  Death is not far from any of us; may we die in you and so be freed from all the chains of this world.


Media Files:
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May 29 - Monday of the 7th Week of Easter

Sun, 28 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 19:1-8;   Ps.68:2-7,33;   Jn.16:29-33)   “You will suffer in the world. But take courage!  I have overcome the world.”   “An hour is coming – has indeed already come – when you will be scattered and each will go his way, leaving me quite alone.”  Yet the Father is always with Jesus, even as He faces His imminent execution, and Jesus is with us by the power of the Spirit through all the trials we face. “In me you may find peace,” the Lord assures us, bearing out the words of David’s psalm: “The father of orphans and defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling.  God gives a home to the forsaken; He leads forth prisoners to prosperity.”  Such the Father does for the Son, who is brought from being utterly forsaken and alone upon the cross to the absolute fruitfulness and glory of heaven; and so the Son does for His sons, as from His place in the kingdom He delivers us the same grace of salvation and prosperity in His name. In the Lord Jesus, Paul finds his peace and his inspiration, fearlessly defending the Gospel in all synagogues “with persuasive arguments”; and this same fire of the Holy Spirit he imparts to the disciples by Baptism “in the name of the Lord Jesus” and by laying his hands on them.  In these, as in us all to this day, God’s grace and power go forth: “The Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and utter prophecies.”  More than just repentance for sins, this Baptism in the Spirit prepares all to do the work of the Lord despite any difficulties in the world.  It convinces us of the divinity of Christ and causes us to declare in truth to our Lord, “There is no need for anyone to ask you questions.  We do indeed believe you came from God.”  And it enables us to prove such complete faith and trust in the One the Father has sent. When the Baptism of the Lord comes upon us, God’s “enemies are scattered”; all doubt and fear are driven from us “as smoke is driven away… as wax melts before the fire.”  And though we need be refined in the crucible that is our earthly life, yet at every moment God is near to preserve the grace and peace He has planted in our souls, to see that our faith does grow.   Lord, be with us always.  Send your Spirit forth. Let the ends of the earth be convinced of your loving presence and the salvation it brings to all hearts.   ******* O LORD, let us be baptized in the Name of Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit that even in this world we shall live in your peace. YHWH, when the Holy Spirit comes down upon us, our enemies are scattered, driven away like smoke, and we conquer the world.  His fire burns up every evil and we can but rejoice in your presence, singing praise to your Name.  O let that holy fire be upon us even this day! In the world there are indeed many troubles, many temptations which would cause us to be scattered, separated from you.  But Jesus has indeed overcome the world, O LORD; by His death He has put to death all the wiles of the devil, and so in Him we may take great strength.  Through belief in Him the power of the Holy Spirit is upon us. Dearest LORD, let us not be scattered but indeed by your Word upon us scatter all those who hate you.  Help us fearlessly defend your kingdom that all poor souls might make their home with you.


Media Files:
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May 28 - Sunday of the 7th Week of Easter, Year A

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Acts 1:12-14;   Ps.27:1,4,7-8,13;   1Pt.4:13-16;   Jn.17:1-11a)   “One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”   Obedient to the instructions of the Lord, the apostles returned to Jerusalem, where they gathered together in “the upper room” and “devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,” waiting for the promised gift of the Spirit of God.  With David they long to “gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate His temple,” and so, with him they sing, “Of you my heart speaks, you my glance seeks.” The Pentecost is soon to come; the Spirit shall soon fall upon the apostles and fulfill their longing for union with God.  But as they wait, they suffer, as do we all, for waiting means to suffer – finding patience is to share in the passion of Christ, in the absolute subjection of our wills to the Father and so the death of our own ways.  But Peter’s words come as comfort to us as we ourselves wait for the glory of God to come to us: “Beloved: Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when His glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly.”  He knows of what he speaks.  For his patient waiting, his dying to self, has been rewarded by the gift of the Spirit now with him as he speaks…  and each day his continued suffering brings renewed joy.  He is able to sing with full voice the words of David’s psalm: “The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?”  And to such fullness of the glory of God we all should come. In our gospel Jesus calls down the glory of the Father upon Himself and so, in turn, upon all who love Him, that He may “give eternal life to all [the Father] gave Him.”  As the Son has glorified the Father on earth, now He seeks to be glorified by Him in heaven, and not for His own sake, but for the benefit of those who listen as He prays to His Father.  In our midst He prays for us that the power of the Holy Spirit might make us one with Him as He is one with the Father, that we might share in the glory of God. “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”  “Out of the world” He calls us, away from its darkness He brings us, that “in the world” we may be, sharing His glory with all… so to find eternal life, so to find ourselves in the hand of God, in His Temple, gazing always upon the light of His face.  Alleluia! Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "There Is No End to Life" (second part) from Thoroughfare, seventh album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, if we remain devoted to prayer and to carrying the Cross, we shall rejoice forever in your House.  YHWH, how we wait for your glory.  How we pray we shall be ready to receive the fullness of your gift from on high.  The Spirit promised your chosen ones be upon us this day to lead us to the glory of your Temple. O LORD, give us light that we might see, that we might gaze on your loveliness, that we might contemplate your presence.  To eternal life let us come.  Through the persecutions of this world, through our sharing in the Cross of the Christ, let your Spirit rest upon us and we be joined to your glory. It is Jesus’ desire that we be joined to Him, that we be with Him in your glory.  He prays for us as we pray for your Spirit to come and anoint us with that glory.  Hear our prayers, O LORD.  May Mary and all your holy apostles pray for us as well, that together our prayers might rise unto you and we rise with them to eternal life. 


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May 27 - Prayer to St. Augustine of Canterbury

Fri, 26 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O converter of peoples, called from the quiet of cloister walls you went obediently over seas to preach to the souls to whom you were sent, and the Lord worked through your obedience, spoke through the words you uttered to the nations… and so the light of holy faith banished the darkness of error and souls indeed were gathered into Christ’s fold – pray, O shepherd, obedience shall be ours, too, and all whom the Father would hold unto His breast shall come indeed to that sacred place and there find their rest. May God’s will be accomplished in His Church and we bear fruit in His name.


Media Files:
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May 27 - Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter

Fri, 26 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 18:23-28;   Ps.47:2-3,8-10;   Jn.16:23-28)   “He went about establishing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.”   In our gospel today, Jesus again assures the disciples, “Whatever you ask the Father, He will give you in my name,” He tells them of the time when He will no longer speak to them “in veiled language,” but “shall tell [them] about the Father in plain speech.”  A most fascinating quote is His statement, “I do not say that I will petition the Father for you.”  So great is our oneness with Jesus because we “have believed that [He] came from God,” that now as He returns to the Father, we go there with Him; and since we are thus with the Father through Him, He need not ask for us of the Father, but we ask ourselves.  When Jesus declares, “The Father already loves you, because you have loved me,” He is telling us that we are indeed one with Him in the Father’s love, and so, of course, the Father hears all our prayers. In our reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we hear of Apollos, who was “a man full of spiritual fervor.  He spoke and taught accurately about Jesus.”  His love for the Lord is most evident in His “express[ing] himself fearlessly in the synagogue,” in his “vigorous” preaching of Jesus as the Messiah.  He also shows himself to be a humble man, very acquiescent to Priscilla and Aquila, who “took him home and explained to him God’s new way in greater detail.”  As strong as he was, and as much as “he greatly strengthened those who through God’s favor had become believers,” he was very willing to learn of his weakness.  And so he becomes a model of faith and of the oneness with God we find in the Spirit through the love of Christ.  And so his words are like prayers which never fall short of the glory of God.  And so the Father answers all he has in his heart. “He is supreme,” brothers and sisters.  The Lord Jesus now sits on the throne of God in the highest heavens.  And we who believe in Him become one with Him, and so, one with the Father of all.  And thus do we find all our prayers answered; thus do we find all our work blessed.  Thus do we find ourselves moving as one with the will of God by the love the Father shares with all of us through our faith in His Son.  As great as Apollos and Paul and all the apostles are, we can be, if we but believe that Jesus is God and so share in the Father’s love, and so hear the Holy Spirit speaking plainly to our hearts.   ******* O LORD, Jesus is your Christ; He reigns with you over all the nations – thank you for sending Him to us that we might be united to you. YHWH, you are King of all the earth, reigning in highest Heaven, and Jesus is the Messiah you send, one with you and born for us that we might be one with both of you through the power of the Holy Spirit.  As your Son returns to you, He brings us with Himself; insofar as we love Him and believe in Him, you love us and so unite us with yourself.  What can we say of so great a gift but, Alleluia!  Praise you, LORD! May the Name of your Son be preached with zeal to all towns, to every soul that longs for salvation, that none shall be left without instruction but all realize the glory to which we are called in you.  With you, O Most High God, may we be joined by the grace found in your Son. All we desire may we ask for this day in the Name of your Son.  And so, O LORD, all shall be as you desire – all will be gathered together as your children.


Media Files:
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May 26 - Prayer to St. Philip Neri

Thu, 25 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O priest of joy whose song of service rises unto the Lord until this day, whose delight in sacrifice inspires others to give themselves in freedom to the work of Christ – pray all God’s priests and people will give themselves so completely in the love of the only Son that indeed a holy song might rise unto the heavens until He returns from there to carry us home forever. May the Lord’s healing graces be poured forth through your generous intercession that all souls might be prepared to unite with their Creator and Redeemer, with the Spirit who inspires the Church even here with His glorious presence.


Media Files:
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May 26 - Friday of the 6th Week of Easter

Thu, 25 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 18:9-18;   Ps.47:2-8;   Jn.16:20-23)   “Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you.”   As Paul continues his missionary journey, his fears are calmed by the Lord, who assures him: “No one will attack you or harm you,” though he be in Corinth, whose infamous immorality is illustrated in the riotous behavior of the Jews in its court, and to which the court “paid no attention at all.”  And the Lord is true to His word, protecting Paul throughout his year-and-a-half stay, and keeping him even from having to defend himself from charges in today’s first reading. In our gospel Jesus reassures the disciples at the Last Supper, as He is about to leave them and their hearts begin to be troubled: “You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy.”  And though there remains ever a measure of grief in our hearts as we labor in this world, our bodies apart from the fullness of the grace of heaven, yet we know that Jesus’ promise has indeed been kept in His sending His Spirit upon the apostles from His heavenly kingdom.  It is, of course, this Holy Spirit who inspires and guides and protects Paul, making his missionary work fruitful, for he does all having been baptized by the fire of Christ.  And, of course, the disciples to whom Jesus speaks today will soon have no more fear, for Pentecost is not far from them. Pentecost is not far from any of us, brothers and sisters.  The promised Spirit is come into the world to answer all questions, to calm all our anxieties.  As we wait these nine days to celebrate this great feast of the Church, as we prepare again to enter into its birth in the Spirit of God, let us be assured that the Lord’s promise remains: “You are sad for a time, but I shall see you again; then your hearts will rejoice with a joy no one can take from you.”  No one can take from us the promised joy we now hold in our hearts and which is renewed in this season.  As Paul is emboldened even through his most difficult trials, as the apostles rejoice at their persecutions for Jesus’ sake, so we should know that the Lord “brings people under us, nations under our feet”; and so, as powerful as the world may seem in all its brazen immorality, yet we are assured that “He chooses for us our inheritance, the glory of Jacob, whom He loves.”  “There are many of [His] people in this city,” here where we dwell on earth, and we must speak to them of the Lord’s glory, His love strengthening us for every task.  It is He who accomplishes all in us, and so He will guide and guard our way. ******* O LORD, give us reassurance of your presence with us, now and until the end of time. YHWH, soon our hearts shall rejoice at the return of your Son and our union with you in Heaven forever.  But now your Spirit is with us reassuring us of the fulfillment of this promise and guiding and protecting us along the way.  We can accomplish all the tasks you set before us because of the glory that is among us even this day in our Advocate from on high. O LORD, though there is cause for us to weep and mourn in these days we remain apart from complete unity with you, we are strengthened as we wait by the knowledge that Jesus is yet present with us in the Spirit He sends.  Let us take refuge in this gift and, as we wait now again for its outpouring in a few days, let us remember your faithfulness to us and our destiny to praise you forever in your eternal kingdom.  O you who sit upon the throne, shine your light upon us this day.


Media Files:
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May 25 - Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Wed, 24 May 2017 19:10:00 +0000

O humble soul whom the Lord blessed with mystical elevations to His heavenly presence, you who remained so faithful through all trials and encouraged others to seek such perfection as well – pray that this proud age which leans so distinctly from the truth, from the love of God, will be consumed as you were by the Holy Spirit, by desire for the Lord’s overtaking of our lives, that all souls will turn from the false gods at their hands, idols that overshadow their spirits, and toward the humility known only in our Savior’s blood. Only in Him is life eternal; pray all souls will come to His love.


Media Files:
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May 25 - Prayer to St. Gregory VII

Wed, 24 May 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O Shepherd and Father, defender of the faith and of holy MotherChurch against those who would rob her of her freedom, those who would rape her, stealing away her purity, those who would deny her singleness in the sight of God as the House which He has founded – those who would destroy the faith and bring to naught the Church, our Mother, and Peter, our Holy Father, do not relent in their efforts… and so we need still your prayers and your courage to aid us in standing strong against the tide the evil one stirs up in this world. Pray indeed, O Father, that all our shepherds and all God’s people will tirelessly defend the truth in love.


Media Files:
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May 25 - Prayer to St. Bede the Venerable

Wed, 24 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O learned master whose life itself was as a monastery, consumed as you were by study and teaching and writing and prayer, who till the very end spoke the name of the Lord in all your words and deeds – pray that the incense of your life will rise unto the throne of God and intercede for us here below who are so far from His presence, from knowledge of His providence and remembrance of His sacrifice. How will we find ourselves one with the Lord of Creation and ascend to His glory if you do not pray for us, O blessed soul so united to His will, so held within His Hand and breathing forth His name?


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May 25 - Ascension of the Lord

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Acts 1:1-11;   Ps.47:1-3,6-9;   Eph.1:17-23  or  Eph.4:1-13  or  Heb.9:24-28,10:19-23; Mt.28:16-20  or  Mk.16:15-20  or  Lk.24:46-53)   “God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy; the Lord, amid trumpet blasts.”   Three events are the subject of today’s readings.  The key of these is certainly the Lord’s ascending into heaven and taking His place at the right hand of the Father.  Without this the other two could not follow.  And so we celebrate the Lord’s Ascension in particular; but we also hear of the coming Pentecost and the apostles’ call to go forth to the ends of the world. “As they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight.”  Now He goes to heaven, returning to the Father, as He has said, to enter into glory.  And as He has asked, we should be joyful, we should “shout to God with cries of gladness.  For the Lord, the Most High, the awesome, is the great King over all the earth,” and now Jesus, our Savior and our brother, is with Him, and so brings us to Him.  His glory becomes our own, and so His now assuming His throne in heaven should cause us to “sing hymns of praise” to Him who now “reigns over the nations.” And from His place seated “at the right hand of God” “upon His holy throne,” the Lord keeps “the promise of the Father about which [we] have heard [Him] speak.”  For “in a few days [we] will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”; Pentecost will be here, and Jesus’ words to His disciples as He prepares to ascend will be our own: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”  It is from this Holy Spirit that the Church takes its strength, through whom we are all made one in “faith and knowledge of the Son of God,” and by whom we attain to “the full stature of Christ.”  He it is who inspires all, and He could not come except that our high priest has entered the sanctuary of heaven – opening for us the way to enter there – and from there delivered unto us the grace which through Him comes. And what does this inspiration, this absolute strength we take in the Spirit call us to do but to heed the Lord’s words and “go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature,” knowing as He has said, “I am with you always, until the end of the age”?  And so, apostles and prophets and evangelists and all His children go forth empowered by His Spirit that “hearts [may] be enlightened,” that all might know “the hope that belongs to His call… the riches of glory in His inheritance… and what is the surpassing greatness of His power” – that all might believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus is now seated at the Father’s right hand in heaven, “far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come.”  All things are “beneath His feet,” for “King of all the earth is God,” and Jesus is God.  But though the Son has joined the Father, remember He is with us always, suffering with us still and bringing us to His side by the power of His Spirit.  Wait now on His Word. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "There Is No End to Life" (1st half) from Thoroughfare, seventh album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, may the cloud which took Jesus from our sight soon bring Him back to us and keep Him with us forever. YHWH, your Son mounts His throne of glory, He ascends to you in Heaven, drawing us up into your presence and giving us the power to proclaim your glory and baptize all in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit – with you, O God, let us be made one! And let us go, O LORD, even to the ends of the earth, your S[...]


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May 24 - Wednesday of the 6th Week of Easter

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 17:15,22-18:1;   Ps.148:1-2,11-14,Is.6:3;   Jn.16:12-15)   “It is He ‘who gives’ to all life and ‘breath’ and everything else.”   “His majesty is above earth and heaven,” brothers and sisters.  And so our psalmist today encourages all in the heavens and all on earth to “praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted.”  “From one stock He made every nation of mankind to dwell on the face of the earth,” and it is “in Him we live and move and have our being.”  And so should we, “His faithful ones,” not offer Him praise? Brothers, be not ignorant as the men of Athens who thought “the God who made the world and ‘all that is in it,’ the Lord of heaven and earth,” as “something like a statue of gold or silver or stone, a product of man’s genius and his art.”  Could man with all his intelligence make the sun or wind?  Then how can it be that he might contrive the Creator of these?  Such groping in darkness for the God who is “not really far from any of us” shall not be tolerated forever.  For the time has come to turn on the lamp which lights the room and let all shadows flee.  He who is going to “judge the world with justice” is among us now; it is He whom God “has endorsed in the sight of all by raising Him from the dead.”  And it is faith in Him to which we must come. Jesus promises the disciples that “the Spirit of truth… will guide [them] to all truth.”  It is He who “will not speak on His own, but will speak only what He hears.”  He receives from Jesus, who possesses “all that the Father has,” all that He announces to us.  And Paul is His mouthpiece today, speaking not what he has invented by his erudite learning and fanciful imagining, but rather proclaiming the truth he hears the Spirit inspiring in his soul and burning in his heart. We shall not get to heaven on stairs we make with our soiled hands; they cannot but crumble under the pressure of time and the weight of truth.  Only by obedience to the Spirit who inspires all, shall all find the presence of the “God Unknown” to hearts of stone and minds as fleeting as a wisp of smoke.  “He calls on all men everywhere to reform their lives,” for their scoffing at truth shall bring them alone to a dark room, where there shall be no breath of the Spirit.  But we who know all wisdom comes from God, living in its light are made His children. ******* O LORD, may we know your glory in the Word announced to us by the Spirit Jesus sends. YHWH, the light of wisdom you alone shine by the Spirit of Truth come through your Son.  You are exalted above earth and Heaven, and we cannot approach you by our minds or the work of our hands – only by faith will we come to know your surpassing glory. O LORD, let your glory be announced to all that all might praise you in whom we live and move and have our being, that all might thus come to know themselves by realizing we are your offspring.  If we do not see you, how blind we remain to everything, hopelessly groping in the dark for truth and light.  We cannot make truth, we cannot make you, for it is you who have made us.  May we heed your call to reform our lives, dear LORD, that we might come to understanding, that guided by the Spirit we might come to faith in you and praise your Name forever with all your children in the heavenly kingdom.


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May 23 - Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter

Mon, 22 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 16:22-34;   Ps.138:1-3,7-8;   Jn.16:5-11)  “Immediately all the doors flew open and everyone’s chains were pulled loose.” “Your right hand saves me,” David sings unto the Lord this day in our psalm.  Mighty indeed is His power, and so we should “worship at [His] holy temple, and give thanks to [His] name,” for He has “built up strength within [us]”; by the power of the Holy Spirit He has set us free from our prisons, from the chains of sin. “When I called you, you answered me,” David sings.  And how the Lord answers Paul and Silas as they call unto Him in song of their own.  “After receiving many lashes they were thrown into prison, and the jailer… put them in maximum security, going so far as to chain their feet to a stake.”  Yet what do we find these apostles doing in the deep of the night? – “praying and singing hymns to God as their fellow prisoners listened.”  And God hears their prayers; they bring “a severe earthquake [which] suddenly shook the place, rocking the prison to its foundations” and setting all those inside free of their chains. Can we have a clearer sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power than this?  Well, yes, because as wondrous as earthquakes are, the truest sign of the Spirit came this night when the jailer “and his whole household were baptized.”  The earthquake and the flying open of prison doors may have opened his heart to hearing the word of God, but his wholehearted acceptance of “his newfound faith in God” is the Spirit’s great work.  For what is of greater importance, the stone and steel of a prison cell shaken and cast to the ground, or the salvation of the eternal soul of man? The Lord Jesus has promised to send the Spirit as Advocate to plead our cause and prove us right about our faith in the One who saves from sin.  In justice and in truth He goes to the Father, and from His exalted throne He sends forth the Paraclete to prove His presence with us still; and by the grace and power of the Holy Trinity at work in our midst, “the prince of this world has been condemned” and the prison he built to contain us destroyed. “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart.”  Let us sing to Him, brothers and sisters.  Let us join with David and Silas and Paul, and all the redeemed of the Lord, and “joyfully celebrate with [our] whole family,” with all the children of our God, our everlasting faith in the Father, Son, and Spirit.  From prison we have been released; with the Savior we are risen.  His Spirit is upon us now. ******* O LORD, may we believe in your Son and so be saved from our sin, entering your House with songs of praise. YHWH, you have saved us from certain death, death at our own hands because of our sins.  To our very foundation you have shaken us and served to make us new men.  May all be baptized in your Name! Send your Spirit forth, O LORD, to shake this place in which we dwell, that we might be released from our prisons, from dwelling in our self-made hell.  The chains of this world are easily broken by your power come from above; let us turn quickly from our sin and acknowledge your power and might, and we shall be saved – we and all our household. No fear let us have of the world’s efforts to chain your Word, O God.  Despite all, let us sing your praise, knowing the devil has been condemned, and the Spirit will never die in us.  And whatever darkness may surround us this day shall soon pass, and with your angels we shall sing your praise in your eternal kingdom.


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May 22 - Prayer to St. Rita of Cascia

Sun, 21 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O saint of the impossible whose union with Christ in His Passion and His glory serves to grant favors to those in great need, you whose great thirst to be one with our Bridegroom brought the help of the saints yourself – pray we poor souls shall fulfill our vocation, that through the din of this world we shall hear and answer the call of the Lord and give ourselves in His service in the manner He desires. Pray our hearts be so set on union with Him that no obstacle shall stand in our way, that all help we need to find our path to Him will be provided through your prayers. How shall we come to dwell in Heaven? Invoke God’s blessing upon us.


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May 22 - Monday of the 6th Week of Easter

Sun, 21 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 16:11-15;   Ps.149:1-6,9;   Jn.15:26-16:4)   “You must bear witness.”   The Spirit will come and call to your hearts to speak of the name of Jesus and His salvation.  As He prompts you, you must speak the truth in love, you must go as He calls – you must bear witness.  And sometimes the word you speak, and you yourself, will be accepted with the faith and great hospitality as known in Lydia (who is said to be “one who listened,” for “the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying,” and who generously invited Paul and his companions, foreigners traveling to distant lands, to “come and stay at [her] house”); and other times those who “know neither the Father nor [the Son]” will “expel you from synagogues,” will cast you violently from their midst, and “anyone who puts you to death will claim to be serving God!”  It does not matter.  The Word must go forth, in season and out. How few true witnesses there seem to be today, for in the time and place in which I stand certainly the Word of God is out of season.  False witnesses with strange gospels abound, but the tongue of the apostles is tied, and what is spoken seems to land upon deaf ears.  Those who have no conception of the Holy Spirit and so know neither Father nor Son are emboldened to speak as messengers of Jesus, though the Jesus they know is not the Christ and what they speak but serves to lead the sheep astray.  And where is His Church?  Will no one stand to speak of His love? Today instead of “sing[ing] for joy upon [our] couches… the high praises of God… in our throats,” the houses in which we dwell seem to swallow our souls, and we are left mute in the face of destruction.  And it is hard to say that our faith is shaken, for who can find any faith at all?  Neither persecution nor glad acceptance do we find, for we speak no word to challenge the world. Let us pray to the Lord, brothers and sisters, that He will send laborers forth, that even in this time of lethargy upon His Church, new life is beginning to grow.  For until the end of time the Word must go forth; before then it shall not have reached its goal.  However well the devil may fool us into complacency, we must know that it is always time to preach the Word, for ever will hearts be seeking Him – and ever hands seek to destroy Him.  “The Lord loves His people, and He adorns the lowly with victory.”  This call to the humble must be heard by all.   ******* O LORD, let us stand strong in doing your will, praising your Name, come what may.  YHWH, help us to go forth in the Name of your Son, to speak His Word to the world, to bear witness to truth as He has.  For though we be persecuted and even killed for serving you, there will be those who will listen and be saved. Ready our hearts for what may come, O LORD, that we shall not fear in the hour of darkness, on the day the power of the evil one asserts itself.  Help us to realize his power is as nothing and those who do his bidding shall pass like the fading grass.  Only those who hear and heed your voice will stand on the last Day. The faithful will rejoice in you, LORD, and sing a new song to your glory come into our midst by the grace of Christ and the power of the Spirit.  We shall praise you forever in your eternal House.  Even now in prayer we come to dwell with you.


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May 21 - Prayer to St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions

Sat, 20 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O sacrificial sheep, priests of the Lord who offered your lives even as you offered Mass, in union with Christ and His Church for the sake of your homeland: you prayed for its peace even as violence was done to you; you celebrated the Mass and baptized your flock even when it became a crime, even when it cost your lives – such union with Christ pray all souls, and especially our priests, shall know to the depths of their heart; let none be afraid to shed their blood as one with His redemptive sacrifice. The Cross pray we follow where it leads, despite the world’s persecution.


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May 21 - Sunday of the 6th Week of Easter, Year A

Sat, 20 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Acts 8:5-8,14-17;   Ps.66:1-7,16,20;   1Pt.3:15-18;   Jn.14:15-21)   “Put to death in the flesh, He was brought to life in the Spirit.”   It is of this way to life Jesus teaches us when He says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” for what is it to keep His commandments but to carry His cross – to lay down our lives, to die to the flesh, to suffer for His sake – and what is love but the life the Spirit brings.  And both dying to self and loving God we find the Spirit at work in our lives; He is “the Spirit of truth,” yes, but also the Spirit of love, for He is the love of the Father and the Son, and it is by Him we become one in love with Father and Son, and so share in the oneness of the Holy Trinity. Love and truth are really one and the same; neither exists without the other, for both are of God who is one in Himself.  We know the commandment of God, which calls us by the fire of truth to kill all the sin within our souls, is simply a commandment to love, for the whole law is summed up in love.  And when Peter calls us to “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks [us] for a reason for [our] hope” (in other words, to speak the truth of the risen Christ), he cannot but immediately add, “Do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear”; for if not spoken in love, it is no truth at all – it is but vain posturing. Truth and love may also be seen in Philip’s work in the city of Samaria.  He went and “proclaimed the Christ to them” – thus the sword of truth goes forth to pierce hearts and bleed them of sin – but the new life that is brought about by this death to the flesh is also evident, in the signs of God’s love he enacted in casting out evil spirits and in the “many paralyzed or crippled people [who] were cured.”  And oh how the fullness of truth and the perfection of love came upon these converts when Peter and John “laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”  Alleluia!  If before “there was great joy in that city” upon being “baptized in the name of Jesus,” now what joy there is for them to know this blessing would never leave. Jesus promises to send “another Advocate to be with [us] always”; this is the Holy Spirit who confirms in us that once dead to sin, we shall live forever in Him.  For this blessing let us “shout joyfully to God” and “sing praise to the glory of His name.”  For indeed now by His kindness and His truth, by His grace and by His might, in love and justice He has set us free from the death of sin and brought us to life in Him.  Alleluia!   Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.   Music: "Loving Sprit" from Loving Spirit, third album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, reveal yourself to us this day that we might praise you with joy. YHWH, we sing praise to your Name for all your gifts and graces but especially for the great gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love and truth, the Spirit of the Christ, ruling our lives.  For sealed by the Spirit we are forever joined to you and your Son in surpassing glory.  Alleluia! How blessed are we, dear LORD, that your Son has been preached to us and we have welcomed Him into our hearts and so found healing from all that sin had inflicted upon us.  What joy there is in being baptized in the Name of Jesus!  What everlasting joy we know in having the hands of your apostles laid on our heads that we might receive your Holy Spirit!  For now we are filled to overflowing with your glorious praise.  No longer orphans, we are j[...]


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May 20 - Prayer to St. Bernardine of Siena

Fri, 19 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O apostle of the holy name of Jesus who proclaimed God’s loving mercy to those in darkness that the light of faith might save souls and make them children of the light of Christ, radiating His splendor, the splendor of truth, to the ends of the earth – where is such zeal today, where apostles with the preaching of Paul; and so, how shall souls be saved, how shall false beliefs flee, infidelity be consumed and the truth appear as a great candle lighting the whole world with its brilliant flame, if you do not intercede? Pray that we may not lack knowledge of and devotion to Jesus, that His name shall not be suppressed but preached without cease to waiting hearts.


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May 20 - Saturday of the 5th Week of Easter

Fri, 19 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 16:1-10;   Ps.100:1-3,5;   Jn.15:18-21)   “I chose you out of the world.”   What is the world but heartache and sin; from this the Lord would release us. Jesus tells His disciples: “You do not belong to the world,” and yet, as is most evident in the journeys of Paul, to all the world do the apostles go.  The Master tells them, “You [will] find that the world hates you”; even so, they preach to a world which has no respect for the name they proclaim, who “know nothing of Him who sent” them.  The inevitable persecution they do not fear, the death their work brings they do not flee, but face all in complete readiness. Indeed, Paul is our example of the commitment we all must have to doing the Lord’s will in this world.  With great fervor he travels from land to land and, praise God, “through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in numbers.”  He transmits the Lord’s Gospel message to all waiting ears and perseveres through all trials.  For there are those throughout this earth who will listen to the Word that “the Lord is God; He made us, His we are,” and that Jesus is His Son – and Paul cannot help but strain forward to find these hearts which long to “come before Him with joyful song.”  So great is Paul’s desire to bring the word of the Lord to those who have never heard it before that he must be restrained by the Holy Spirit.  Twice today in our first reading he is prevented from entering and preaching to lands for which it is not time, finally being called in a vision to those who awaited him.  Paul and the apostles’ readiness to do the Lord’s will is related clearly in Luke’s statement, “After the vision, we immediately made efforts to get across to Macedonia, concluding that God had summoned us to proclaim the Good News there.” We must go where we are called and move as we are led by the Spirit of Jesus the Christ.  Into the world He leads us all to bring His light forth.  Though never of the world, we must encourage all the world to “sing joyfully to the Lord,” to “serve the Lord with gladness.”  By our words and by our lives we must show that we are “His people, the flock He tends,” and others will be drawn from the clutches of a world that hates the truth and into the protecting arms of God. ******* O LORD, let your Word go forth to all the world that all might be saved from the world and come to you. YHWH, should we not rejoice that the world hates us, that it persecutes us and the Word we speak, for does this not show that we are of Jesus, that we are one with Him in following in His way?  And is this not the path by which fruit is born, fruit that will last unto Heaven?  Is this not the way souls are saved and come to rejoice in your kingdom? Help us to remember this, LORD, to remember and desire only to do your will, to follow in the way Jesus leads and bring His Word, His Spirit, to the ends of the earth.  Make your apostles as zealous as Paul to bring the Gospel to all who are open to receive salvation, to know the blessing of being your children. May all souls be grafted onto the tree of your Chosen people.  Let your Church increase in faith and numbers, LORD, until the return of your Son.


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May 19 - Friday of the 5th Week of Easter

Thu, 18 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 15:22-31;   Ps.57:8-12;   Jn.15:12-17)   “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”   Do not Judas and Silas fulfill the Lord’s command to “love one another”; do not they lay down their lives for the Lord when they bring word “to the brothers of Gentile origin in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia” of the apostles’ decision regarding those who have “upset [them] with their discussions and disturbed [their] peace of mind”?  Do they not carry the love of the Lord in their persons as well as in the letter in their hands? And are these not made friends of the Lord even as the apostles and elders, even as those who come to them?  Jesus says to His disciples in our gospel, “I call you friends, since I have made known to you all that I heard from my Father.”  And now in the same way these disciples “go forth and bear fruit” as the Lord has commanded by making known to the children of the nations “the decision of the Holy Spirit,” the whole Truth of God’s love, thus drawing them into the friendship of Christ. The apostles and elders, who call themselves “brothers” of those of Gentile origin, “have unanimously resolved to choose representatives and send them” to witness of the Lord’s love for them; Paul and Barnabas are called by the apostles, those “who have dedicated themselves to the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ” – there is left no doubt of the strength of the decision that is made and the authority by which it comes.  And so “there was great delight at the encouragement [the letter] gave,” for it and those who read it hold indeed the love of God, the absolute truth of the Holy Spirit, by whose power they have been freed from the burdens being imposed upon them and brought into the fold and friendship, the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Alleluia! “I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O Lord, I will chant your praises among the nations.”  With David, the Gentile disciples “sing and chant praise” to the living God who is “exalted above the heavens” and “above all the earth.”  The Spirit of the Lord is upon them now by the love that has been laid down before them, and now they too are called to lay down their lives in the Lord’s love, as are we all, that friends of Jesus, sons of the Father, may ever be drawn into His holy fold. ******* O LORD, your love is all we need – help us to worship you with our very lives. YHWH, let us all live in your love and rejoice in the blessing of the Holy Spirit; let us dwell with you in the glory that is above all the earth.  Obedient to your Word, to the rightful authority of your Church, we follow in the way of the Spirit and find ourselves as friends of your Son. You do not make the way difficult for us, but quite simple.  You simply call us all to love.  To lay down our lives for one another, even as Jesus has done, may seem impossible to our corrupted hearts – but in you all is made very easy, for your yourself are love.  O LORD, help us to walk in the footsteps of your Son and so bear the fruit of eternal love. It is clear, dear God, that you desire all to share in your great blessings.  You long to give us all we ask for.  You wish for us peace of mind and heart, and you know this is found only in doing your will, for your will is only love.  Let us heed your command to love, and so chant your praises in the kingdom.


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May 18 - Prayer to St. John I

Wed, 17 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O faithful Shepherd who laid down your life for the sake of true teaching, who was killed by one set against God’s Word… though deprived of food and so of this life, you were given instead the life of Heaven and serve as a holy example of what should be sacrificed for love of truth and right – pray that the flock shepherded this day by the apostles will be led by the same loyalty, led by genuine pastors whose love for the sheep would lead them to lay down their lives that the Church might be blessed by a radiant faith which shines the light of Christ even to the ends of this dying earth.


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May 18 - Thursday of the 5th Week of Easter

Wed, 17 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 15:7-21;   Ps.96:1-3,10;   Jn.15:9-11)   “We are saved by the favor of the Lord Jesus.”   We are told of the Council of Jerusalem, convened to determine if the Gentiles need be subject to circumcision and the Mosaic Law, “After much discussion, Peter took the floor,” and that after he had finished speaking, “the whole assembly fell silent.”  What is there to say after the Rock of the Church has spoken?  And how marvelously his declaration mirrors Jesus’ own simple command to His disciples, “Live on in my love.” I am certain that before he stood to speak in the midst of the din of argument that pervaded this first assembly of God’s people, Peter heard the words of Jesus speaking to his heart: “Simon, son of John, feed my sheep.”  He remembers his call and the Spirit the Lord has placed upon him as keeper of the keys of heaven.  He remembers, too, the vision the Savior of mankind brought to his mind, instructing him not to discriminate in his sharing of the Word of God.  He therefore reminds his brothers that God “reads the hearts of men,” and particularly of how “He showed His approval [of the Gentiles] by granting the Holy Spirit to them,” just as He had done to those gathered in this assembly.  God “made no distinction… but purified their hearts by means of faith also.”  And would they then place undue burden upon what God has wrought by His own hand? Yes, Peter in his pronouncement sings of the “new song” of the Lord and by doing so encourages all to “sing to the Lord; bless His name.”  He hereby “announce[s] His salvation,” that His glory might be told “among the nations; among all peoples, His wondrous deeds.”  Here he demonstrates how the Lord “governs the peoples with equity.”  The righteous judgment that James makes, now shared in harmony by all assembled, is none other than the judgment Peter has proclaimed – which is none other than Jesus’ own word for all to keep the commandment to live in the Father’s love that all our “joy may be complete,” that all may be gathered into the Father’s kingdom. Scripture says of the House the Father builds here on earth, of Jerusalem, His Church: “From its ruins I will rebuild it and set it up again, so that all the rest of mankind and all the nations that bear my name may seek out the Lord.”  What was the house of David now shelters all the nations – the old Jerusalem has become the new City of Peace held in God’s own hand, His Holy Spirit breathing upon its members and giving them life.  By the favor of Christ has this been accomplished; let no man shorten the arm of the Lord.   ******* O LORD, may all peoples be saved by the love your Son bears to us. YHWH, it is by faith you have purified our hearts, and it is to love you call us.  It is by the Spirit we are saved and drawn into your holy kingdom. O let the favors of your Son be upon us, dear God!  His love beat in our hearts and course through our veins.  Yes, let us live in His love and so remain in your joy forever. Your commandments are not burdensome, O LORD, but lead only to freedom, absolute freedom in the light of your presence.  Help us not to take unnecessary burdens upon our shoulders, burdens that would keep us from you and your love.  Let us never quench your Spirit at work in our lives. Work your wonders in our midst, dear LORD, and may we cooperate fully with them, that forever we might sing your praise and bless your holy Name [...]


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May 17 - Wednesday of the 5th Week of Easter

Tue, 16 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 15:1-6;   Ps.122:1-5;   Jn.15:1-8)   “I am the vine, you are the branches.”   And within Him we must remain; nurtured by the Church He has planted we must always be.  We must have His blood flowing in our veins and His Word inspiring our souls.  There can be no separation from Him and from His teaching if we are to bear fruit abundantly, as is the Father’s desire. Paul and Barnabas bear fruit abundantly.  As “the church saw them off… they made their way through Phoenicia and Samaria, telling everyone about the conversion of the Gentiles as they went.”  And to each branch of the vine they went, “their story caused great joy among the brothers.”  Here is the vine’s growth evident, the blood of the Lord coursing through its veins.  “When they arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by that church,” too, and there they “reported all that God had helped them accomplish” to the apostles.  Why have they come here to Jerusalem?  Because “in it are set up judgment seats.”  As great as their work had been, yet they knew the necessity to be obedient to the structure of the vine the Lord tends by His hand.  And so when a controversial question arises, Paul and Barnabas “go up to see the apostles and elders in Jerusalem” to find answer. Why Jerusalem?  Because the Church, the New Jerusalem, is “built as a city with compact unity,” and still at this time the Rock, Peter, and the foundation stones, the twelve apostles, reside in this place.  If one separates oneself from the roots of this vine, one effectively separates oneself from Jesus and becomes “like a withered, rejected branch, picked up to be thrown in the fire and burnt.”  “No more than a branch can bear fruit of itself apart from the vine, can you bear fruit apart from me,” Jesus instructs His disciples.  And Paul and Barnabas know the order that must be preserved if the vine is to remain whole, if their work is to be truly fruitful.  So here as to the question of circumcision, the first major controversy in the early Church, “the elders accordingly convened to look into the matter.” “If you live in me, and my words stay part of you, you may ask what you will – it will be done for you.”  The Lord’s promise is great.  But to receive such grace we must keep our feet firmly planted within the gates of the New Jerusalem, in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church He has founded.  We should rejoice to “go up to the house of the Lord,” for there we shall find Jesus, there we shall find His vine spreading faithfully to the ends of the earth – in it we shall always be nourished by truth.   ******* O LORD, may your Church bear much fruit in you and in your Son; with you let us be one. YHWH, to your House let us come; in your City let us dwell – in the New Jerusalem let us make our home and we shall ever remain united to your Son and bear fruit in His Name.  Apart from Him we can do nothing, and if we separate ourselves from the Church He founded, we separate ourselves from Him… and His blood does not course through our veins. O LORD, let us display the obedience of Paul and Barnabas to the rightful authority you set up to stand in the stead of your Son.  If we listen to these, we listen to Him, and thus your will is done.  If we take matters into our own hands, what hope have we of salvation, for what does man make but destruction?  Let us not be unfruitful branches fit for the[...]


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May 16 - Tuesday of the 5th Week of Easter

Mon, 15 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 14:19-28;   Ps.145:10-13,21;   Jn.14:27-31)   “We must undergo many trials if we are to enter into the reign of God.”   “With this instruction” Paul and Barnabas “gave their disciples reassurances, and encouraged them to persevere in the faith.”  Their apostolic journey has been a witness that the road to the Lord is wrought with difficulties, but that it bears great fruit.  These apostles are pursued from towns in which they have preached by those who would destroy them and their word.  Paul is stoned, seemingly unto death.  But their trials do not dissuade these apostles from retracing their steps through the very towns from which they have been ejected and installing elders, priests, in each one, “commend[ing] them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith.”  And so they arrived again at the place “where they had first been commended to the favor of God for the task they had now completed.”  Now they are able to relate in joy “all that God had helped them accomplish, and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles,” perhaps the greatest feat of the growing Church, the Body of Christ on earth. Of course, Jesus’ words to His disciples are the same as Paul’s: “‘Peace’ is my farewell to you, my peace is my gift to you,” Jesus says, and adds, “I do not give it to you as the world gives peace.”  For the peace Jesus gives is deeper and abides eternally; it remains through any trial of the world for it is not dependent on the consolations that come from earthly things.  And so He can assure them, “Do not be distressed or fearful.”  He can freely invite them into the peace He possesses and to which He returns, as He retraces His steps back to the Father from whom He has come, whence He had first been commended to the favor of God for His mission.  He knows they will suffer, even as He is about to suffer death at the hands of “the Prince of this world.”  But He knows the devil’s power “has no hold” on Him, and would have us know Satan has no power over us either.  For we are with Jesus; we are with the Father in heaven.  And though we be as Paul in his persecutions, though we be stoned and “dragged… out of town” and left for dead, the Lord’s angels will surround us as Paul’s disciples surrounded him – as they come to Jesus in the tomb – and like Paul, and like our Lord, “before long” we shall get up and return to our call; and ultimately we shall rise from the dead to eternal life with Jesus, coming to the home He now prepares. “I go away for a while and I come back to you,” Jesus assures His disciples, and asks them to be joyful that He returns to the greatness of the Father, whose “dominion endures through all generations.”  And so, brothers and sisters, may our “mouth[s] speak the praise of the Lord” all our days; “may all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever.”  Let us do as He commands and “discourse of the glory of [His] kingdom and speak of [His] might,” and that power will enable us to endure all things, and we shall be brought at last into His reign. ******* O Lord, though it mean we must die, let us be obedient to your command, that we might enter your reign. YHWH, let us discourse of the glory of your kingdom; let us carry your Word to the ends of the earth.  Let us not fear the trials that must come to all who enter your reign but hold the peace Jesus offers[...]


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May 15 - Prayer to St. Isidore the Farmer

Sun, 14 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O farmer of God’s green earth who cultivated the faith even as you cultivated the ground, whose simple and humble life should serve as inspiration to all toiling on this plane – pray that we shall follow your example, sharing our food with the hungry as we work for the salvation of souls. Pray that all the work we do will bear fruit in God’s kingdom, that with you and your wife we may be found worthy of those blessed words come from our Savior’s mouth: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your Master’s joy.” Pray according to your own blessing from the Lord that this earth He has given us to care for may be saved from the greedy hands of corrupted man and serve as source of nourishment for all.


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May 15 - Monday of the 5th Week of Easter

Sun, 14 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 14:5-18;   Ps.115:1-4,15-16;   Jn.14:21-26)   “May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”   “Anyone who loves me will be true to my word, and my Father will love him; we will come to him and make our dwelling place with him.”  Thus are we blessed, by keeping the word of the Lord.  Thus we know His love, for thus we accept the love He offers by His instruction and by His presence. It is this blessing of “the living God, ‘the one who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them’” that Paul and Barnabas would bring to the hearts of the Gentiles to whom they preach.  It is in the name of Jesus, Paul brings healing to the lame man who “used to sit crippled, never having walked in his life.”  Indeed, the same healing he would bring to all the pagans before him who also have been crippled all their lives by the folly of worshiping “idols [that] are silver and gold, the handiwork of men” and the products of human imagination.  Never have they walked in the true light of the Lord.  In fact, their limitations are most evident in their desire to sacrifice to Barnabas and Paul themselves, as Zeus and Hermes; “even the priest of the temple of Zeus… wished to offer sacrifice to them,” and Barnabas and Paul must shout at them “frantically”: “We are bringing you the Good News that will convert you from just such follies as these”! “Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name give glory” is our psalmist’s refrain today, and the same is exclaimed by Barnabas and Paul: “We are only men, human like you.”  Worship the living God! is their exhortation.  And Jesus Himself speaks in the same humility and with the same deference to the Father: “The word you hear is not mine, it comes from the Father who sent me.”  All comes from the Father and must return to Him; and so we are all encouraged to make our home with Him alone. “Our God is in heaven; whatever He wills, He does.”  He wills to love all, to bless all, to make His home with all.  To find our homes with Him, to know the blessed love the living God has for all His creatures, we must listen to the instruction of His Son, to the Holy Spirit the Father now sends in His name, and to the ones who are sent to preach the truth of the living God.  May the light of His face shine upon you. ******* O LORD, let us keep your commands and so live in your surpassing love. YHWH, you come to all who love your Son and keep the Word He imparts to us.  It is this Word that brings us love, and all who cherish love, cherish it, and so find your presence.  May you be revealed to all souls in your only Son. Help all wayward people to turn from vain worship to know you, O living and true God.  May all your creatures give you due praise, turning resolutely from the work of their hands.  Glory abides with you alone; may we find that glory by obedience to your call to love. Let us dwell with you, O LORD; come, we pray, to dwell in us.  Help us indeed to keep your commands, which are but life for our souls.  Your Spirit be with us this day to lead us to all truth in your Son’s Name, that we might do your will in strength, proclaiming the Good News of salvation to all men.  O let us rise from the dust to live in your Heaven!


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May 14 - Prayer to St. Matthias

Sat, 13 May 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O chosen apostle, destined to serve the Church as witness to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, you who walked with Him from the beginning even until He was taken from our sight yet were not appointed by the Spirit as one of the Twelve until a place was made desolate by the traitorous one – pray that the call upon the soul of all God’s children will be fulfilled according to His will and we all shall come to be witnesses to Jesus and His eternal glory wrought in our midst by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let none shy away from the Lord but assume their rightful place in His presence.


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May 14 - Sunday of the 5th Week of Easter, Year A

Sat, 13 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Acts 6:1-7;   Ps.33:1-2,4-5,18-19,22;   1Pt.2:4-9;   Jn.14:1-12)   “Let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”   Peter tells us in his letter that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own.”  Quoting Scripture, he calls us to “‘announce the praises’ of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His wonderful light.”  The house we become, the priests we are, and the sacrifices we offer are evident throughout our readings today. First, in our gospel Jesus tells the disciples very directly, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places” and that He is going “to prepare a place” for them, and so for us, there.  And even now He draws us to that place He is with the Father, each to our own room, each with his own ministry.  For, second, the priesthood all share in Christ is pictured in our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles.  As the community of disciples grows in Jerusalem, so do the functions prescribed to its members.  It becomes clear that the Twelve and their successors are to “devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word,” so in order to care for the particular concerns surrounding such matters as the daily distribution of food, they ordain “respectable men” to “serve at table,” thus instituting the ministry of the deacon.  And, finally, the spiritual sacrifices all offer to God are sung of by David in our psalm: “Exult, you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting.”  As this humble servant “give[s] thanks to the Lord on the harp” placed in His hands by God, so all have their place in the kingdom founded on Jesus; all have their lives to offer in praise of God by the instruments He provides. “Whoever believes in me will do the works I do.”  Yes, the Lord’s works in great abundance are given to us to accomplish through Him who now sits with the Father.  The way to His heavenly kingdom has been made clear by the ministry and the sacrifice of Jesus, and we must follow in His footsteps, for we are now the Body of Christ here on this earth.  In Him and through Him we offer ourselves and all we do to draw all to the House which He prepares in light, to proclaim with our beings that “of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full.”  Today we are encouraged to hear that “even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith,” that the priests of the Old Covenant were now finding themselves true priests under the New.  And so we should realize the manner in which we are all called to service in the Temple of the Lord as members of His own Body, giving praise to the Father of us all through His only Son. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "Blood in My Palate" from Loving Spirit, third album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, let us live in your Son and so in you that we might do your works in this world and praise you forever in Heaven. YHWH, let us be built into and grow as the Body of your Son.  Make us a royal priesthood, a holy nation – your Church.  Into your House let us come and dwell, eternally praising your Name. Jesus is in you and you are in Jesus, and those who be[...]


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May 13 - Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima

Fri, 12 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O marvelous Wonder, O Lady who shines like the sun, who brings the Light into our midst and calls us to repentance that we might be saved, that the whole world might turn to the Lord and be preserved from destruction… you come at the end of the age to lead us back to your Son before He comes again and finally – pray we shall hear and heed your warning to our souls and, with the faith of the children whose eyes beheld you, offer ourselves in union with the Cross of Jesus for the salvation of all and the renewal of the Church and the world.


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May 13 - Saturday of the 4th Week of Easter

Fri, 12 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 13:44-52;   Ps.98:1-4;   Jn.14:7-14)   “I have made you a light to the nations, a means of salvation to the ends of the earth.”   In the preaching of Paul today is fulfilled the words of our psalm, “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.”  Rejected by the Jews to whom he comes, he “now turn[s] to the Gentiles,” and – fulfilling the words of our psalm which read, “Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands, break into song; sing praise” – our first reading tells us “the Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and responded to the word of the Lord with praise.”  Thus does the light of the Lord’s salvation go out to the ends of the earth. And our gospel makes clear just how salvation comes to all.  First Jesus declares with wonderful clarity the oneness of the Son and the Father.  When asked by Philip, “Show us the Father,” Jesus responds, “After I have been with you all this time, you still do not know me?”  Notice that Philip’s request refers to the Father but Jesus’ response refers to the Son, as if to ask of one is to ask of the other.  The Lord then states the truth of His oneness with the living God in plain terms: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”  There is no separation here, and all that Jesus does is done by the Father, so the living Lord of the universe is at work in absolute fashion through the Son’s words and works.  In Him the Father’s will of love, His desire to save His children from sin and death, is accomplished. But more than this is made evident of the working of salvation, for the Word must reach to the ends of the earth.  How is this accomplished?  The Lord again declares with absolute clarity the oneness now of Himself and His disciples.  In order “to glorify the Father in the Son,” He makes them the solemn promise, “The man who has faith in me will do the works I do.”  And the oneness of Jesus and His disciples is made more poignant in His definitive statement: “Anything you ask me in my name I will do.”  Who does these works of the Lord?  Who brings His salvation forth?  We do the works, do we not?  We are those still on this earth with flesh and bone and voices.  Yet He says “I will do” them to show how He works through us in all we do, to reveal our oneness with Him and the Father. Our first reading tells us, “Almost the entire city gathered to hear the word of God” when Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch in Pisidia.  In this simple line is shown both that the salvation of the Lord is going forth to all, and that it is occurring through His disciples.  For it is indeed “the word of God” that Paul the apostle speaks and not his own, and this Word is irresistible in its truth and love to all hearts open to hear the voice of Him who speaks, for this Word brings only joy. ******* O LORD, looking upon your Son we see you; when others look at us may they see Jesus. YHWH, you live in your Son, accomplishing your works, and He in His turn works through us.  What grace and blessing you grant all your disciples, that we might share in your very life and work!  Alleluia! And this grace and blessing extends to all throughout the earth; all may know the salvation wrought in men by the onl[...]


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May 12 - Prayer to St. Pancras

Thu, 11 May 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O child of courage, though but a boy you gave your life as the strongest of men, proving thus your love for Christ, a love that steels souls even in the face of death, even in the youthful breast – if but a young child like yourself could die so freely for the faith and show the face of Jesus to the whole world, how much more should we, so graced by the Lord with years of devotion, be ready to give for the name of God? Pray your innocence may renew our hearts and your strength fortify our commitment to give our lives for Christ and His Church.


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May 12 - Prayer to Sts. Nereus and Achilleus

Thu, 11 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O brave soldiers, the world could not take Christ from your hearts; though it tried to expunge Him from the army in which you served, your allegiance to the holy One of Israel, our Lord and God, remained firm, and so death you preferred to life without Jesus – pray for us who are so weak in faith, that our stale complacency might be invigorated by the blood of our Savior, the blood you yourselves shed as you filled up what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ. Pray we shall not turn from the sacrifice to which the Lord calls us but embrace with joy the cross we must bear, and which bears us unto Heaven.


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May 12 - Friday of the 4th Week of Easter

Thu, 11 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 13:26-33;   Ps.2:6-11;   Jn.14:1-6)   “You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”   This same verse appearing in both our first reading and our psalm is spoken also by Jesus in our gospel when He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me,” for such is the Son begotten of the Father. How comforting are Jesus’ words in our gospel, and how enlightening Paul’s speech.  The disciples’ hearts are troubled at the Lord’s speaking of His imminent departure; that He must die begins to sink in to them.  But the only Son tells them, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places,” and, “I am indeed going to prepare a place for you.”  Not only this, He also promises, “I shall come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be.”  The words come like a river of peace, like a wind of love breathing upon them, and upon us.  And the same message is spoken by Paul to “the children of the family of Abraham and [all] others who reverence our God.”  His is “this message of salvation,” that though the rulers condemned Him to death and “laid Him in a tomb,” “yet God raised [Jesus] from the dead.”  And now His witnesses, those to whom He appeared thereafter, declare the Good News of His resurrection, and our own.  “The words of the prophets which we read sabbath after sabbath” and “what God promised our fathers He has fulfilled for us, their children, in raising up Jesus.”  This is the word Paul brings to the waiting ears of his Jewish brothers, and which should be heard by us all. “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” brothers and sisters.  The Lord is near and is calling us to His home.  Even as we speak He is preparing a place for us.  The death that you experience day to day is passing away, and all that will be known is the truth, the life of God the Father.  The Lord declares, “I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain,” and Jesus is that King for all ages and all peoples.  With His truth He shatters kings, and so death itself, “like an earthen dish”; He takes “the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for [His] possession.”  He has died, but He is risen, and now all must “serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice before Him.”  There is no breaking in to the place He prepares for us to dwell. The devil has been defeated by the Son begotten of the Father; his house has come crumbling down.  We need but follow the way Jesus is to find our home in the New Jerusalem.  Death no longer holds dominion, for the Son is now come. ******* O LORD, you have begotten Jesus and raised Him from the grave we have made that we might be saved, that we might dwell with you forever – Alleluia! YHWH, may we come to you through Jesus your Son; may we follow in His way, for His way is truth and leads to life, and leads to you.  O may we be resurrected from the dead with Him that we might come to new life with you who are Life itself. Let us not be troubled, LORD, by the death Jesus had to die, and the death we too must know.  What is this world and the things of this world in comparison with you[...]


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May 11 - Thursday of the 4th Week of Easter

Wed, 10 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 13:13-35;   Ps.89:2-3,21-22,25,27;   Jn.13:16-20)   “He who accepts anyone I send accepts me, and in accepting me accepts Him who sent me.”   And who is this Jesus who sends apostles like Paul forth traveling from Syria to Cyprus to Asia Minor?  Who is He of whom Paul rises to speak in this distant synagogue?  Two quotes I offer for your consideration.  First is the Baptist’s declaration, “I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of His sandals”(Lk.3:16).  The second is the mere statement of fact that He “washed the feet of the disciples.”  And so with two questions I will tell you who He is: Tell me, who is worthy to unfasten His sandals?  Then tell me, whose feet does He not wash?  Mary washed His feet with her tears and her hair and knew herself nothing but unworthy to touch Him (Lk.7:38).  Jesus stoops to cleanse the feet of even Judas, His betraying apostle, who will kiss Him on the cheek, but to whom He shall turn the other one.  He heals lepers; children come to Him – none is beyond His humble reach.  Yet this man with the towel around His waist is none other than the Son of God. The Israelites awaited His coming.  Hundreds of years they expected Him.  Paul tells us that “God testified, ‘I have found David son of Jesse to be a man after my own heart who will fulfill my every wish,” and in this Son of David the Father’s every wish is indeed fulfilled.  Here is the “Savior for Israel.”  It is of this Christ the Lord speaks when He says, “With my holy oil I have anointed Him, that my hand may be always with Him, and that my arm may make Him strong.”  And He in turn says of the Lord, “You are my Father, my God, the Rock, my Savior.”  So obedient is Jesus to the Father that there is none for whom He will not die; for all He shall drink the cup the Father offers, that the whole world might know the Father’s love.  Here is the great “I AM”, “the fulfillment of Scripture,” the WORD made flesh, the image of the living God: Jesus, Son of David, Son of God – God Himself dwelling among us.  And as He was Chosen, so He now chooses, instructing men to go forth. Do “you know all these things”?  Do you see who He is and hear the words He speaks?  Then “blest will you be if you put them into practice.”  For in humble service of the Name of God, with Him you shall “be exalted.”  Bring forth His message of love. ******* O LORD, obedience to the Church is obedience to your Son, and obedience to your Son is obedience to you – may we all be as faithful as Jesus.  YHWH, may we be men after your own heart, men formed in the image of Jesus and so reflecting your glory – may we be worthy to be called your sons.  O let us never raise our heel against you but ever put into practice your humble love. O LORD, you call us to serve as you called David; you anoint us with oil even as your only Son.  Let us, too, be sons of David, calling you our God, our Rock, our Father – in the image of Jesus let us indeed be formed. None is worthy to unfasten the sandals of our Savior.  None of your poor creatures could even touch your Son.  Yet He comes to [...]


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May 10 - Wednesday of the 4th Week of Easter

Tue, 09 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 12:24-13:5;   Ps.67:2-6,8;   Jn.12:44-50)   “Set apart Barnabas and Saul for me, to do the work for which I have called them.”   These words came to the Church at Antioch “while they were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and fasting”; spoken by the Holy Spirit, they show how intimately the Church and her apostles are connected to the Lord Jesus and His Father. In John’s gospel, Jesus proclaims, “The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to speak.”  Jesus is sent by the Father.  He is the image of the Father: “Whoever looks on me is seeing Him who sent me.”  In the same way, Barnabas and Saul are “sent forth by the Holy Spirit” through the ministry of the Church, who “imposed hands on them and sent them off” to proclaim the word of God.  Jesus is sent by the Father.  Jesus speaks in the Holy Spirit the words of everlasting life.  Hearing these words His children, His Church, go forth to the ends of the earth.  There is absolute unity in the Church and all its members, as long as we are as obedient as Jesus, our Head, who declares, “Whatever I say is spoken just as He instructed”; as long as we are as faithful to the Spirit’s prompting as Jesus is to the Father’s will, we shall reflect His glory as He reflects the Father. And what is the glory of the Son of God but to bring light to this dark world: “I have come to the world as its light, to keep anyone who believes in me from remaining in the dark.”  The words He speaks, the instruction He offers and the sacrifice He makes, indeed bring spirit and life to those who listen and obey.  He is true when He says He has not come to condemn but to save, for the world is already condemned by its sin and His words would bring it to life.  And so, if we reject His words, we reject the lifeline He provides, and what hope can there be for us?  If instead of asking that “He let His face shine upon us” and celebrating in joy the salvation that comes “among all nations” – if we do not seek the holy light of God, where else shall we find eternal life?  “His commandment means eternal life”; all other words lead to destruction.  We must follow the Lord and His way. Brothers and sisters, it should be obvious to us that we are called even as Barnabas and Saul and the first Christians in the city of Antioch.  The Spirit of God remains upon the Church, and He would send us forth in Jesus’ name to do the work and will of the Father.  Do not reject His call upon your soul; put faith in Jesus and in Him who sent Him, and the Spirit will lead you forth.   ******* O LORD, you speak through your Son and call His apostles to proclaim your Word to the ends of the earth – Alleluia! YHWH, send us forth in the Holy Spirit; in the Name of your Son let us preach to the nations.  Let us be a reflection of Him as He is the pure reflection of you.  He brings your light to us by His presence among us – may we be His presence in this world that your light might shine unto all. In your Son we see you, O LORD.  Though you are hidden from all human eyes, Jesus gives us new vision.[...]


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May 9 - Tuesday of the 4th Week of Easter

Mon, 08 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 11:19-26;   Ps.87:1-7,117:1;   Jn.10:22-30)   “Of Zion they shall say: ‘One and all were born in her.’”   “I tell of Egypt and Babylon among those that know the Lord; of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,” sings our psalmist today.  Yes, “when the peoples are enrolled” in the kingdom of heaven, when it is noted: “This man was born there,” it shall not be to the soil of Jerusalem to which the angels refer, but to birth in the spirit of the place, in the Holy Spirit Himself, who leads all into the New Jerusalem.  For all nations are called, and it matters no more the land of your origin. This impotence of place and importance of the Spirit is made clear in Jesus’ words to “the Jews gathered around Him” “in the temple area, in Solomon’s portico.”  To those here in the heart of the city of Jerusalem He says, “You are not my sheep.”  They “refuse to believe” that He is the Messiah and so they prove that they are no sons of Abraham, that they have no faith.  Only those of faith hear the voice of the Shepherd, and only these are admitted into the kingdom.  This He tells them plainly.  For what is He saying when He declares, “The Father and I are one” but that He dwells with the Father in heaven, and not upon this earth.  The earth to which they cling shall pass away, but the kingdom shall last forever. “My sheep hear my voice,” Jesus says, and how that voice does work among all souls.  (For this let us praise the Lord!)  We are told in our first reading that at first “the community who had been dispersed by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, making the message known to none but Jews.”  Here, even though the Word is spread far, it is kept for those born of the land of Zion.  But then the change occurs, and the truth of the Word, which goes beyond all borders, becomes known, for “some men of Cyprus and Cyrene among them who had come to Antioch began to talk even to the Greeks, announcing the Good News of the Lord Jesus to them.”  The church in Jerusalem, the protector of the faith – whose seat is now in Rome – sends Barnabas to investigate.  He finds “the evidence of God’s favor” and rejoices to realize the Lord’s sheep come from near and far.  Here “in Antioch the disciples were called Christians for the first time.”  Here it becomes clear that there is a new Church being formed, one that finds “eternal life” in following Jesus. “The gates of Zion” “the Lord loves,” and to this holy mountain He brings all, through the Gate that is Jesus.  And “no one shall snatch them out of [His] hand,” for this mountain cannot be shaken, this Temple cannot be torn down.  It is of the life of heaven “all shall sing, in their festive dance” when they proclaim: “My home is within you.”  And this land shall endure forever.   ******* O LORD, let us be found in your Hand, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith, living as your Son. YHWH, into your House all faithful souls are called; in your Church all find a home.  We are[...]


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May 8 - Monday of the 4th Week of Easter

Sun, 07 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 11:1-18;   Ps.41:3,42:2-3,43:3-4;   Jn.10:1-10 or Jn.10:11-18)   “God has granted life-giving repentance even to the Gentiles.”   In his vision Peter sees “an object like a big canvas… lowered down to [him] from the sky by its four corners.”  Upon it he discerns “four-legged creatures of the earth, wild beasts and reptiles, and birds of the sky.”  Like Noah’s ark it seems to contain all the animals upon it.  But these animals he sees are not for the good Jew to eat: they are unclean.  And so Peter protests when instructed to “slaughter, then eat.”  But he is assured (and three times), “What God has purified you are not to call unclean,” even as “the canvas with everything in it was drawn up again into the sky.” What is this shepherd to do – he who has been told by the Lord, “Feed my sheep”?  When the uncircumcised come to him seeking salvation, how can he turn away?  And so, as the canvas which came from the sky and returned to the sky, we learn that everything comes from God and returns to Him, and He calls whom He will.  And so the Gentile man whose home Peter enters by the Spirit’s direction is “saved, and all [his] household.”  “As [Peter] began to address them the Holy Spirit came upon them,” for they, too, “believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Yes, even these thirst for God “as the hind [who] longs for the running waters,” and so are led to the Lord’s “holy mountain, to His dwelling place”; even these “go in to the altar of God.”  For these unclean creatures are made as the pure and obedient sheep of Israel, heeding the Good Shepherd’s voice.  Here are “the other sheep that do not belong to this fold” of which Jesus speaks, whom He leads, too, by His loving word. All that He calls shall come to Him who lays down His life for the sake of the fold, by whom all “have life and have it to the full.”  All living creatures are His own, for it is He who is the living God; and all who live, live for Him and through Him alone.  The Son has come from the Father that we might know Him as He knows Him, and so that we might indeed have life.  As good sheep let us follow in His way, and lead those behind us also to salvation.  Let us all “go and behold the face of God” as we turn from anything that makes us unclean in His sight and listen for His voice leading our pure hearts.   ******* O LORD, open the gate that we might enter in and dwell in your presence. YHWH, let all hear and heed the voice of your Son, who is the true Shepherd leading repentant souls to salvation.  Send your apostles into every house that all might hear the call of Jesus, be purged in the fire of the Holy Spirit, and come to dwell in your House, beholding your holy face. Let us be led forth by the Christ to your mountain, O God.  Make us one flock in Him, all as your blessed children.  O let us be as sheep slaughtered for your table, joining your Son on the altar of sacrifice; by His voice let us be cut to the heart and in our repentance become a holy offering to you. False [...]


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May 7 - Sunday of the 4th Week of Easter, Year A

Sat, 06 May 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Acts 2:14a,36-41;   Ps.23:1-6;   1Pt.2:20b-25;   Jn.10:1-10)   “Whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.”   Jesus says in earnest to the Pharisees, “I am the gate for the sheep…  Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”  But they are as the thief who “comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy.” Today, too, brothers and sisters, the thief is among us, those teachers who do “not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climb over elsewhere.”  For neither seeing nor caring to seek the wholeness of Scripture, that it is here that God speaks, they attempt to enter another way, relying on their own devices.  So it says in the commentary of the missal I read: “the author of the First Letter of Peter” and “the author of John’s gospel,” for the author here shows he knows not the Word of God.  Like the Pharisees who were so preoccupied with the words of the law that they could not see the Author of Life standing before them, so these are blind to the voice of Jesus and His apostles speaking in this Holy Book.  As they piece together the fragments of supposed facts gleaned by their fanciful imaginations, the wholeness of the Word, holiness itself, entirely escapes them.  How can they hear His silence amongst such chatter? And so the false shepherds strip the “verdant pastures” and pollute the “restful waters” of Holy Scripture.  On wrong paths for their own sakes they lead others into the “dark valley” with no “rod” or “staff” of the Lord to give “courage.”  Only coming before the Word of God as children will they “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” and so see the truth of prophecy – but this is entirely too shameful to their pride.  By their own minds must they live; in their reason alone they seek their refuge, caring not to “dwell in the house of the Lord” and have His “goodness and kindness follow” them.  They need this not – they are quite self-sufficient. Brothers and sisters, my prayer is that you “save yourselves from this corrupt generation,” that you “run away” like sheep at the “voice of strangers,” saying, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”  And as for these blind guides, I pray that they shall cease their vain effort to crucify the Lord again by making Him and His Word into a metaphor, a symbol – an empty construct of the human imagination – rather than the flesh and blood of God He Is.  May they be “cut to the heart” as those at Peter’s preaching, and like the rest of the faithful who “had gone astray like sheep” now return “to the shepherd and guardian of our souls.”  Entering through the gate that is Jesus, may they recognize the voice of God as He speaks through His Rock and His Beloved. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "Lose the Pretense, How Do We?" from Remove the Mask of Lies, second album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, the innocent Lamb is Himself [...]


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May 6 - Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter

Fri, 05 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 6:1-7;   Ps.33:1-2,4-5,18-19,22;   Jn.6:16-21)   “The eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him, upon those who hope for His kindness.”   Alleluia. As the apostles set out to cross the lake, “it was dark, and Jesus had still not joined them; moreover, with a strong wind blowing, the sea was becoming rough.”  As they struggled to row and keep afloat, “they sighted Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water.”  They had not expected their prayers for assistance and their wishes that Jesus was with them to be answered so remarkably, and so they must have wondered if He was a ghost.  But He assures them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”  (And these eternal words of comfort and peace come to rest upon His Church.)  The disciples of the Lord now were ready “to take Him into the boat, but suddenly it came aground on the shore they had been approaching.”  He is with you, brothers and sisters, be assured, and will bring you to the home you seek, despite the storms you may face. In our first reading, the eyes of the widows must have been looking to the Lord, wishing that He were with them to provide for them.  In this case, “the Twelve assembled the community of disciples,” and though they do not enter the boat themselves, do not “wait on the tables” to address the tumult that had arisen between the factions, they provide what is needed to calm the winds and see this boat ashore by laying hands on “deeply spiritual and prudent” men chosen from their own.  And so, “the word of God continued to spread” through the apostles’ concentration “on prayer and [their] ministry,” “while at the same time the number of the disciples in Jerusalem enormously increased.”  So the widows are fed as the Word is spread; so the boat comes aground on the land it approaches. Jesus is with us, brothers and sisters.  In all things He is there, working.  He ministers to us always as the head of His Church through the hands and hearts and voices of all His disciples.  And each to his own call, and this ship shall find its port assured.  And all shall sing His praises as they see in us and we know in Him that “upright is the word of the Lord, and all His works are trustworthy.”  His eyes are upon us.  Do not be afraid.   ******* O LORD, let us live and act as if we believe in your Son; let us do the things He has done. YHWH, you have loosed our bonds and raised us from death by the sacrifice of your Son, and in His Name all are now saved from their sins and consecrated to you.  Help us to believe the words He speaks, to be of the Spirit and life and not the flesh.  O let us come to you! O LORD, let our faith not be shaken by the demands of your Son, by the challenge He offers us to believe and so come to life in His Name.  Let your Church flourish and grow in fear of you and the consolation of the Spirit.  Yes, let all be converted to love of you and serve to do your will in this world, till all come to dwell eternally in your kingdom. This da[...]


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May 5 - Friday of the 3rd Week of Easter

Thu, 04 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 9:1-20;   Ps.117:1-2,Mk.16:15;   Jn.6:52-59)   “My flesh is real food and my blood real drink.”   And “the man who feeds on this bread shall live forever.” The truth is simply stated to those who wonder at His words today in our gospel.  As the Israelites in the desert asked, “What is this?” when presented with manna as their food, so now the Jews say, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”  For those who do not believe, it is impossible; but for those who believe, it is the gift of God. Here is the Bread of Life in our midst, as real as the Light which shone around Saul and knocked him off his horse; as real as the voice which spoke aloud to his soul.  This bread and wine on the table of the Lord, this great grace upon His altar of sacrifice, is indeed that which feeds us, that which sustains us – that which makes Him most present to us.  Our first reading says of Saul that “his strength returned to him after he had taken food.”  For three days he had fasted in darkness, experiencing the absolute blindness of his life as persecutor of the Church.  Then Ananias laid his hands on him and he recovered his sight.  Then he was baptized.  Then he could come to the table of the Lord our God and gain the strength “to proclaim in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.”  Yes, the Scripture refers in fact but to ordinary food, but indeed it indicates the “real food” Saul shall soon come to know and find his spirit through. “The man who feeds on me will have life because of me.”  He will become one with the Son as He is with the Father.  And he, too, the Lord will be speaking of when He asks, “Why are you persecuting me?”  By this Bread we become so one with our God, and with Him we suffer for His Name.  “I myself shall indicate to him how much he will have to suffer for my name,” Jesus says to Ananias.  And so the disciple is convinced that this man who has done nothing but harm to God’s holy people is truly being called to come to the Lord of all.  It is through such suffering that discipleship comes, as it is through His sacrifice we have this food upon our table. Eat His Body, dear brothers and sisters.  Drink His Blood.  Let us share together this day this gift of oneness with our God.  And let us be strong; and let us bleed with Him upon the cross, to bring His Name to all.  “The fidelity of the Lord endures forever,” and He shall never leave us orphaned.  He shall feed us forever. ******* O LORD, feed us with the Bread that is your Son, that we might have strength to do your will.  YHWH, how shall we come to see that your Son is the Bread of Life and we must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have life in us, to be united with Him as He is to you?  We have scales upon our eyes and upon our hearts – how shall they fall away and our souls open to receive your Word?  Send your disciples forth to lay their hands on all blinded men. There are those still who persecute your Chu[...]


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May 4 - Thursday of the 3rd Week of Easter

Wed, 03 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 8:26-40;   Ps.66:1,8-9,16-17,20;   Jn.6:44-51)   “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”   How evident it is in our first reading that the Father draws all believers unto Himself.  For though it is clear that the Ethiopian eunuch is in search of God, has a desire for God, and welcomes God – He is coming from pilgrimage to Jerusalem, is reading Holy Scripture, and “invite[s] Philip to get in and sit down beside him” – which is necessary for belief as well, it is most certain that the Lord is leading him to Himself.  The angel of the Lord directs Philip to the Ethiopian.  The Spirit specifically instructs him to approach his carriage, and then inspires His disciple to speak to the eunuch of the Word of God and lead him into the waters of baptism (snatching him away immediately upon the completion of his task). Also evident in our first reading is Jesus’ quotation of the prophets: “They shall all be taught by God.”  For indeed it is God that, through Philip, enlightens the Ethiopian eunuch regarding the Suffering Servant spoken of by Isaiah, and all of Scripture, “telling him the good news of Jesus.”  It is “not that anyone has seen the Father,” for the Father is not visible to our human vision.  But the Father has sent the Son, “the one who is from God,” and “He has seen the Father,” and He knows Him.  And now through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Son sends His disciples forth as His own flesh and blood, with the same Spirit that inspires Him, to reveal the Father’s love to a waiting world. “The bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.”  We are those who have heard His Word, who have been instructed in His way, and who have received His Body and His Blood.  And so, having eaten “the bread that comes down from heaven,” we indeed become flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone.  Wed we are to the Son of Man by the power of His Word and the blessing of His Sacrament.  We have responded to the Lord’s call; He who draws all to Himself and to the Father has become our “living bread,” our life-giving water.  And now at His command we must draw all men to the Son, who brings all to the Father. The Light of the world shines in our midst, and we are drawn as moths to this flame, to Him who “is deprived of His life on earth.”  And though we die in our turn as this Sheep who “was led to the slaughter,” yet “of His posterity,” and so our own, all the world will speak… and be drawn to Him who has been lifted up from the earth upon a cross, to Him who dwells with the Father in heaven. ******* O LORD, your Son is the living Bread come down from Heaven; let us seek Him and listen to Him, and rejoice in Him.  YHWH, let us be taught by you; let us be drawn to you and receive the Bread that is your Son.  Let us be baptized in His Name, with you and the Holy Spirit, and so let us come to eternal life in your kingdom.  May all soul[...]


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May 3 - Prayer to Sts. Philip and James

Tue, 02 May 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O holy apostles of the Lord upon whom the Church is established, your words go out to the ends of the earth, bringing the Gospel to all nations. You who were near to Jesus Himself, who were with Him all the time He walked among us… there is no greater witness to the way and the truth and the life of our God, our Savior – please pray for the Church in the world this day, that it shall be led by the Spirit of Truth and we shall all be as brothers of the Lord, living in His love and revealing the Father. As you have performed the works of the Son, so let us join in the work of redemption, that all the earth will come to see that Jesus is in the Father and we are made one in Him.


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May 3 - Sts. Philip and James

Tue, 02 May 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(1Cor.15:1-8;   Ps.19:2-5;   Jn.14:6-14)   “The man who has faith in me will do the works I do.”   What is the message the apostles preach “to the ends of the world”?  What is “the glory of God” that “the heavens declare” and “the firmament proclaims”?  It is none other than Jesus’ words to Thomas: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me”; it is His answer to Philip: “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”  The Father “lives in [Jesus] accomplishing His works,” and Jesus lives in His apostles continuing the great work of God. Here is the Gospel in short, which Paul preaches to the Corinthians in our first reading: “Christ died for our sins in accord with the Scriptures… He was buried and, in accord with the Scriptures, rose on the third day.”  He has appeared to all the apostles who preach His Name, who declare His salvation to all men; and He is known to us this day in His Spirit, in His Church, in His Sacraments and in His Word.  And indeed it is so that knowing Him we know the Father; filled with His Spirit we cannot but proclaim the majesty of the grace at work in Him through His Church.  Standing on the solid foundation the apostles have set, what can shake our faith or keep us from His glorious presence? Brothers and sisters, on days such as this – and indeed on all days – our hearts should burn intensely with the love of the Lord.  Our souls should join with the blessed spirit of these holy apostles and declare aloud the silent Word that “imparts knowledge” to the minds of all.  So should our “voice[s] resound” of the glory of God and the grace He has poured forth in our spirits.  Let the earth be filled with His light!   Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.   Music by Roger Fortney; used by permission. *******   O LORD, you are seen in your Son; let Him be seen in us. YHWH, let us do your works; let us believe in you and bring your Gospel to the ends of the earth.  Let us declare with your holy apostles that your Son has died for our sins, and that He is now risen. Dear LORD, open our eyes to see that Jesus is in you and you are in Him.  Truly He is the way, the truth, and the life – by His presence amongst us, we are saved and drawn into life.  Let us follow in His way and so become one with you and with the Spirit. With confidence may your apostles speak, LORD, that your voice might go out to all the world and all hearts might declare that Jesus is God, and that in Him alone we are redeemed.  O let us all speak for Him as He comes to us this day! Make us His brothers in the faith, dear Father, those who see you and know you and do your will.  Strengthen us today to do your work, and so find glory in your Name. 


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May 2 - Prayer to St. Athanasius

Mon, 01 May 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O defender of the faith in the divinity of Christ, bulwark of the Church of the One who is true God and true Man, upholder of the way in the face of all persecutions – pray that the shepherds of the Church will today be so staunch in the faith, never afraid to defend the truth from attacks from within and outside her walls. So many souls are led so astray by the teaching of false prophets; pray indeed that the Lord will raise up leaders, prophets of His true teaching, of His narrow way, which leads through the body He assumed, the death He took upon Himself for our sins, to His divine presence in Heaven.


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May 2 - Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Easter

Mon, 01 May 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 7:51-8:1;   Ps.31:3-4,6-8,17,21;   Jn.6:30-35)   “No one who comes to me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in me shall thirst again.”   “I myself am the bread of life,” Jesus declares, and it is in this Bread we take refuge.  It is by this Bread we are fed. Do you think that Stephen is at all hungry as he lives again the trial, way of the cross, and crucifixion of the Lord in our first reading today?  No, even in this time, and perhaps especially in this sacrifice, the Lord feeds him with Bread from heaven.  Even as he is stoned to death, the Lord God hides him “in the shelter of [His] presence from the plottings of men.” Yes, in our first reading we have Jesus again chastising the elders and indeed all the people for their betrayal and murder of the Word of God.  Here we have again Jesus being dragged “out of the city” and killed at the hands of those “who received the law through the ministry of angels [but] have not observed it.”  And here again we have forgiveness offered with His last breath.  Here is the persecuted Church found in the person of Stephen; here is Jesus.  Recall Jesus’ words to Saul upon his conversion: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me”(Acts 22:7)?  And here is that same Saul overseeing this first “act of killing,” this first martyrdom of the Body of Christ. But all the while Jesus is there, not only in the persecution, but quite evidently in His glory.  “I see an opening in the sky, and the Son of Man standing at God’s right hand,” Stephen exclaims.  And notice that it is not until this moment, not until they hear this declaration – despite their “shouting aloud, holding their hands over their ears” – that the people are moved “as one man” to destroy that voice.  Stephen’s chastisement “stung [them] to the heart” and made them “ground their teeth in anger,” but it is this Truth of the presence of the Lord which they simply cannot stand.  And what is the significance of Stephen’s vision being the impetus for his own death?  It does bring his stoning, but simultaneously it prepares him for such martyrdom, for now truly the Lord is with him.  Before this he would not have been able to bear so completely this cross.  And without this Bread he would not have been killed. “God’s bread comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  That bread of life is in Stephen’s trust in the Lord and in his echoing the words of David’s psalm, which are Jesus’ own: “Into your hands I commend my spirit.”  For even as he dies, he is most alive.  It is this same faith we need, brothers and sisters, and we shall never be hungry, and we shall never be without the Lord, but shall declare His love and His truth to all, happy to be called His own.  The Lord’s “face shine[s] upon [His] servant[s],” and they alway[...]


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May 1 - Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O humble laborer in God’s House who served to build up His Temple by the sweat of your brow and your careful concern to follow His will – pray that we shall embody the same obedience to the Word of God and His call to our souls, that we too will consecrate ourselves and our daily labor to service of the Lord and the upbuilding of His Church, and that we, too, might be built into the House wherein He makes His eternal dwelling. We are but poor creatures, simple and weak; pray the Lord our God and His Son for whom you cared will bless us with your dignity, O righteous man of God.


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May 1 - Monday of the 3rd Week of Easter

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 6:8-15;   Ps.119:1,23-24,26-27,29-30;   Jn.6:22-29)   “This is the work of God: have faith in the One whom He sent.”   It is this faith that moves Stephen; it is this work upon which he sets his heart.  And so he was unmoved when “the people, the elders, and the scribes… confronted him, seized him, and led him off to the Sanhedrin” and “brought in false witnesses” against him.  Surely the words of our psalm are fulfilled in him as they had been in the Lord: “Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes.”  Thus it is that throughout his persecution, “Stephen’s face seemed like that of an angel” – through it all it is the voice of the Lord to which he listens.  And one wonders if the members of the Sanhedrin had not “stared at him [so] intently” because they had seen that face of an angel not long before in the One whom they had crucified, the One who stood before them like a sheep before its shearers.  And this one, too, they would sacrifice. “You should not be working for perishable food but for food that remains unto life eternal, food which the Son of Man will give you.”  It is this food, which those who persecute him cannot see, that Stephen eats.  If he were seeking to get his “fill of the loaves” which satisfy the stomach, he would not suffer the trial upon him, and not in such peace.  Only Jesus gives this food, brothers and sisters.  It is nourishment the world cannot touch, and to it there is no end.  We need eat nothing else to sustain ourselves. “Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors.”  O Lord, what voice can compare with thine own?  What word can stand where yours is spoken?  For yours is “the way of truth,” and the truth cannot be shaken, cannot be changed over time.  It is not subject to the corrupting forces present in our flesh; it is of the spirit.  And so, in the Spirit let us be, called before your throne.  Though we stand accused before the tribunals of this barren land, may your food be ever within us to sustain us – in your presence ever let us rest. On this unshakable foundation we shall remain, even as the world passes away. ******* O LORD, let us have faith in your Son and your work shall be done in us.  YHWH, let us meditate always on you and your wondrous deeds; let us eat of the food of the Spirit that passes not away, that we might come to dwell with you forever.  We should not be concerned with the things of the body, with filling our bellies or even with whether we live or die.  Like Stephen we should face all persecution with the patience of an angel, knowing you are at our side.  And then we shall never die. O LORD, if only it were eternal life upon which our hearts were set, then we would be truly blessed.  Then[...]


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April 30 - Prayer to St. Pius V

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O Shepherd of the Church who led her through a difficult time, seeing to her reform in faith and morals, in teaching and prayer, that the foundation once established by the Lord Jesus Christ might be confirmed and strengthened, kept from decay – pray this day, too, MotherChurch will be blessed by the nourishing food of the Spirit, that she might be fed at the Lord’s table and all might be encouraged to enter the gates of Heaven she guards and opens to all souls in communion with the Savior and His way… May Peter lead us unto His Day.


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April 30 - Sunday of the 3rd Week of Easter, Year A

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Acts 2:14,22-33;   Ps.16:1-2,5,7-11;   1Pt.1:17-21;   Lk.24:13-35)   “God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses.”   Peter stands up “with the Eleven” and proclaims to all the Resurrection of the Christ, that He who was crucified has been released “from the throes of death.”  David “foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was He abandoned to the netherworld nor did His flesh see corruption.”  The women who went to His empty tomb early Easter morning saw “a vision of angels who announced that He was alive”; this they declared to His apostles.  And as for the two sojourning to Emmaus, “He was made known to them in the breaking of bread,” whereupon they “returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, ‘The Lord has been raised and has appeared to Simon!’”  All reports converge.  The earth cries out of the presence of the living God.  He is risen! “As you see and hear,” you who “invoke as Father Him who judges impartially,” “exalted at the right hand of God, [Jesus] received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured Him forth.”  This truth is evident in all the words of Scripture, in all His holy witnesses, and in this bread and wine made the Body and Blood of our Lord.  Do you not see?  Do you not hear?  Do you not know that “you were ransomed from your futile conduct… with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb”?  Is it not you “who through Him believe in God who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory”?  Is it not so that “your faith and hope are in God”?  Do you not see?  Do you not hear?  Do you not know Him even as these witnesses?  And do you witness with them? Let us cry out with the words of our psalm, “O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot,” even as we approach His altar today.  As we receive Him, let our eyes be opened to recognize His presence.  Our hearts should burn as He speaks to us and with His witnesses “open[s] the Scriptures to us,” and in His breaking of the bread we should see Him.  And then we should go forth, inspired as Peter, inspired as the women, inspired as the two disciples and all those gathered in His name, to proclaim that He is risen, that He is with us – that we see Him and know Him.  Let all hear and understand that “He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time” for the sake of all.  Yes, “the Lord has truly been raised.”   Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "What Do You Think?/Open, No Horizon" (second part) from All One, sixth album of Songs for Children of Light, b[...]


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April 29 - Prayer to St. Catherine of Siena

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O wise and holy virgin whose love for God was matched by a great love for the Church and a great desire to see her pure and holy as He… peace you brought to peoples and to MotherChurch, for peace you held within your blessed soul, held as you were in the hand of God – pray the light of the Lord will be shed upon the Church and all souls this day, and that reconciliation shall come and we stand as one in that surpassing light and peace of the Trinity. May holiness be all men’s desire, to live in accord with the will of God.


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April 29 - Saturday of the 2nd Week of Easter

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 6:1-7;   Ps.33:1-2,4-5,18-19,22;   Jn.6:16-21) “The eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him, upon those who hope for His kindness.” Alleluia. As the apostles set out to cross the lake, “it was dark, and Jesus had still not joined them; moreover, with a strong wind blowing, the sea was becoming rough.”  As they struggled to row and keep afloat, “they sighted Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water.”  They had not expected their prayers for assistance and their wishes that Jesus was with them to be answered so remarkably, and so they must have wondered if He was a ghost.  But He assures them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”  (And these eternal words of comfort and peace come to rest upon His Church.)  The disciples of the Lord now were ready “to take Him into the boat, but suddenly it came aground on the shore they had been approaching.”  He is with you, brothers and sisters, be assured, and will bring you to the home you seek, despite the storms you may face. In our first reading, the eyes of the widows must have been looking to the Lord, wishing that He were with them to provide for them.  In this case, “the Twelve assembled the community of disciples,” and though they do not enter the boat themselves, do not “wait on the tables” to address the tumult that had arisen between the factions, they provide what is needed to calm the winds and see this boat ashore by laying hands on “deeply spiritual and prudent” men chosen from their own.  And so, “the word of God continued to spread” through the apostles’ concentration “on prayer and [their] ministry,” “while at the same time the number of the disciples in Jerusalem enormously increased.”  So the widows are fed as the Word is spread; so the boat comes aground on the land it approaches. Jesus is with us, brothers and sisters.  In all things He is there, working.  He ministers to us always as the head of His Church through the hands and hearts and voices of all His disciples.  And each to his own call, and this ship shall find its port assured.  And all shall sing His praises as they see in us and we know in Him that “upright is the word of the Lord, and all His works are trustworthy.”  His eyes are upon us.  Do not be afraid. ******* O LORD, give us our bread this day, that we might come with your Son to the farther shore. YHWH, from death you deliver us; you preserve us in spite of famine.  By your own hand you feed us, through your apostles; and them you watch over always as they guide your boat.  And so we need not fear – we should but praise your faithful care for our souls, and bodies. Your Son comes to us across the waters, O LORD, walki[...]


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April 28 - Prayer to St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:10:00 +0000

O blessed wife and mother, extraordinary in ordinary devotion to your family and God, you who freely gave your life that your child might live, who put the fruit of your womb before your personal concern – in this age when so many mothers in freedom and seemingly without care are more inclined to destroy the life in their wombs than nourish it or sacrifice themselves for their children’s sakes, pray that these same may turn to the love you have shown and find the call of the Lord upon their souls in the heart beating innocently and plaintively within them. Pray this holocaust shall be ended.


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April 28 - Prayer to St. Louis Mary de Montfort

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O apostle of Mary and so of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Lord you drew souls through devotion to His Mother. How perfectly you have spoken of this grace upon the Virgin and the role she plays in the salvation of the world – pray this day that her sweet protection and most blessed intercession will be with all the children who turn in faith to the one chosen by the Father to be Mother of His Son. May this Spouse of the Spirit lead us into God’s presence where with you and all the heavenly saints we shall find ourselves one with the Most Holy Trinity and sing forever the praises of our Lord and God.


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April 28 - Prayer to St. Peter Chanel

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O great missionary, you served to convert a land and a people that had never heard of our blessed Savior, and though killed for your work, you loved those to whom you were sent and toiled tirelessly for their salvation – pray the same kind heart you showed we shall also know in serving souls placed into our care; and pray the name of our Lord shall go forth in freedom to the very ends of the earth this day. What are our lives compared with the service of Christ and the salvation of souls in faith in His name? Let us live with your same zeal the love that is Jesus and His Cross.


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April 28 - Friday of the 2nd Week of Easter

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 5:34-42;   Ps.27:1,4,13-14;   Jn.6:1-15) “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.” Seeing the vast crowd following Him up the mountain as He seeks to sit with His disciples, Jesus asks the one without guile, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat.”  In honesty Philip answers, essentially, “It is impossible.”  Ah, but nothing is impossible with God. Brothers, is it not their seeing “the bounty of the Lord” that causes the apostles to leave the Sanhedrin and the whipping they received at their hands “full of joy that they had been judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the Name”?  And is not this bounty revealed most clearly here “in the land of the living” in the Bread of Life Jesus provides for us at His Eucharistic table?  And so should we not rejoice every day in this miracle? “Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.”  Are not David’s words the ones Jesus speaks to His children in the feeding of the five thousand?  Should the apostles not but sing, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” as they stand each with one of the “twelve baskets full of pieces left over” from the miracle brought about at the Lord’s hands?  Does He not here convey their mission of feeding His sheep? And filled by the food at their hands, should not our own reaction be in accord with the joy expressed by the people in that green field, “This is undoubtedly the Prophet who is to come into the world”?  For does He not come into us each time we receive Him? But king He shall not be made, not in this world.  No, this world cannot contain His Kingship, for we have a greater than David here.  The land of the living will ultimately be not upon this grass beneath our feet, but upon the clouds of Heaven.  Thus the persecution comes, you see.  Thus those who go about “fighting God Himself” scourge and crucify the Word they cannot bear and the messengers who bring it to their ears.  But the ill-treatment that comes by their jealous hands brings no fear but only encouragement to the hearts of His apostles. Brothers and sisters, let us be as they who “day after day, both in the temple and at home… never stopped teaching and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus the Messiah,” making always this world as one with the kingdom of God. ******* O LORD, it is by faith we are fed, and so let us seek you with all our hearts, with our very lives. YHWH, let us come to the Eucharistic banquet, that your Son may enter into us and we ever dw[...]


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April 27 - Thursday of the 2nd Week of Easter

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 5:27-33;   Ps.34:2,7,9,17-20;   Jn.3:31-36) “The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God; He does not ration His gift of the Spirit.” And thus it is that Peter and the apostles, sent by the Lord to speak His words, can boldly proclaim to the Sanhedrin’s chastisement for continuing “to teach about that name”: “Better for us to obey God than men!”  In no way do they ration the Spirit as they testify that God “has raised up Jesus whom [they] put to death,” that it is “He whom God has exalted at His right hand as ruler and savior,” that He is “to bring repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”  The praise of God and of His Son is “ever in [their] mouth,” for indeed they know the happiness of “the man who takes refuge in Him.” And they know, too, the folly of those who deny the Truth of God’s presence in Jesus the Christ.  For as He Himself says to Nicodemus in our gospel, “Whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure the wrath of God,” and as David states in his psalm, “The Lord confronts evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth,” so the blessed Rock and his fellow apostles convey to the high priest and the Sanhedrin as they are persecuted by their hands.  Their declaration that not only do they testify to Jesus as the Messiah but “so too does the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those that obey Him,” is a clear indictment of those to whom they speak, those who are deaf to the Spirit’s words.  And it is for this implication that they lack the truth that the Sanhedrin “were stung to fury and wanted to kill them.” But it is they who shall be killed.  It is their rule which shall not last, which shall be overcome by the Just One and the Spirit of Truth upon Him and His own.  It is Peter, who speaks for all the apostles, who shall lead the New Jerusalem, the holy Church of God.  Such chastisement the leaders cannot bear, save perhaps for Nicodemus; the testimony of “the One who comes from heaven” they cannot accept, and so they fail to “certif[y] that God is truthful.”  What then shall be left to them? Brothers and sisters, though the just man find himself “brokenhearted,” “crushed in spirit,” and with many “troubles,” know that “out of them all the Lord delivers him.”  And He shall deliver you, if you but speak His truth.  Find strength in the witness of the apostles, in the saints and martyrs of all the ages, and in the Lord Himself.  He is with the one He sends and so will bless him as he speaks the truth with[...]


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April 26 - Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Easter

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 5:17-26;   Ps.34:2-9;   Jn.3:16-21) “He who acts in truth comes into the light, to make clear that his deeds are done in God.” Jesus is “the light [that] came into the world,” and “happy the man who takes refuge in Him.”  None shall fear anymore who love the Lord, for He shall answer all his cries.  And newness of life shall be ours. The Sadducees, who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead, “arrested the apostles and threw them into public jail.”  They attempt to hide the truth in darkness, to kill the light of the Spirit.  “During the night, however, an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the jail [and] led them forth,” telling them to preach again in the temple “about this new life.”  And so, “they went into the temple at dawn and resumed their teaching.”  Do you see the resurrection at work here, brothers and sisters?  Do you see how the Word is rescued from the darkness of night, from the prison into which the world would cast it, and brought into the clear light of dawn?  The Truth cannot be chained and death shall never overcome life. And what do the apostles preach but the words Jesus whispers into the waiting ears of Nicodemus in the middle of the night – bringing him, too, out of the darkness into the Lord’s marvelous light: “Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life.”  Eternal life!  This is the Word come from God through His only Son begotten in love for us all.  The high priest and the Sadducees would hide this; but here one of the leaders listens.  He does not question anymore how this can be.  And so the seed of eternal life is planted in his heart. That seed must be planted in all hearts, and so the apostles repeatedly return to preaching, unafraid of the consequences.  For how clearly it has been shown them that “the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them.”  How well they believe their own words, that in Jesus is found eternal life.  In their hearts burns the faith, and so, openly they speak.  And though they shall see just how much “men loved darkness rather than light,” yet they shall seek the salvation of all: unto death they shall stand in the light of truth, confident in the resurrection to follow. May all believe “in the name of God’s only Son” and thus avoid condemnation.  May all stand confidently in the Light of the new day, for the darkness of sin and death is banished when we call upon His Name. [...]


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April 25 - Prayer to St. Mark

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O proclaimer of the Word of God, we know of our Lord who suffered and died that we might rise with Him on the third day because the Spirit inspired you to tell us of this Good News. Faithful you were to the Lord and to His blessed apostles, and so became an apostle yourself, carrying the Gospel to men of every nation – pray that the Word which you have served to impart to us may be remembered and cherished in the hearts of all believers, and that we, too, shall work, inspired by the Spirit, to build up the Body of Christ, making it ready for His return to dwell with us forever.


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April 25 - St. Mark

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(1Pt.5:5-14;   Ps.89:2-3,6-7,16-17;   Mk.16:15-20)  “Go into the world and proclaim the Good News to all creation.” Such is the call and accomplishment of our evangelist Mark, whose gospel reflects the song of our psalmist today, “The favors of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.”  For his inspired Word lives forever to declare the faithfulness of God.  And “happy the people who know the joyful shout,” who exclaim like Peter in our first reading, “Dominion be His throughout the ages!”  For they “walk in the light of [the Lord’s] countenance,” and so “they rejoice all the day.” “The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere,” and those who believed in the Good News they proclaimed indeed were saved, as are we today.  The promise Peter makes in our first reading is true: “The God of all grace, who called you to His everlasting glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish those who have suffered a little while.”  Though answering the call of the Lord bring suffering in this world, it is but little to endure for the surpassing glory which is ours in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  And so to “bow humbly under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may lift [us] high” is a joy in itself; the suffering we experience for the sake of the Word is itself laced with great joy, for we know in our souls and have seen that it but leads to exaltation at the right hand of God.  “Through your justice they are exalted” – so our psalmist praises God for His mercy and His truth.  And all souls converted to the Lord will know the Lord’s justice in full flower. And oh the signs that “will accompany those who have professed their faith,” the strength in the Name and the Spirit of God and the healing graces that are known in them.  Every day and in every situation such power is invoked and implemented by those who believe.  Be not so forgetful of the wonders Jesus works through those who walk with Him.  “The heavens proclaim your wonders, O Lord, and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones.”  The verse is true, my friends.  And as “the Lord continued to work with [the apostles] throughout and confirm the message [they proclaimed] through the signs which accompanied them,” so He will not leave alone this day anyone who takes up His cross and even in the humblest fashion proclaims His holy Name.  T[...]


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April 24 - Prayer to St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O charitable and zealous soul who gave your life that others might know the true and abiding Catholic faith, you who cared for the sick and the dying, those who were ailing in body and diseased in spirit – how shall we learn to sacrifice all as you have done, to stand in the face of opposition and speak the truth though those we would help would devour us instead of listening to the words come from the Savior’s mouth? Penance and prayer are so far from us this day, and who really cares to show others Christ’s way? Pray this ship shall be strengthened by holy souls eager for the salvation of all and confirmed in the truth and love of the Spirit.


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April 24 - Monday of the 2nd Week of Easter

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Acts 4:23-31;   Ps.2:1-9;   Jn.3:1-8)  “No one can see the rule of God unless he is begotten from above.” “Princes conspire together against the Lord and against His anointed,” we are told in our psalm as well as our first reading.  But their rule shall be shattered “like an earthen dish” by the power of the Spirit and God’s anointed One, to whom He gives “the nations as an inheritance.”  And in the Book of Acts we see the apostles begin to collect such inheritance “in the name of Jesus,” the “holy Servant” of the Sovereign Lord, the King He has set up “on Zion, [His] holy mountain.”  All stream to Him upon seeing the “cures and signs and wonders” worked through them by the Holy Spirit. In our gospel, it is these undeniable signs of God’s presence which lead a member of the princes who will crucify the Christ to seek understanding from Jesus.  And how sad is the question Nicodemus whispers in the night to our Lord: “How can a man be born again once he is old?”  It is sad not only because of the futility of his interpretation to “return to his mother’s womb,” but mainly because this is all he can see.  He is so of the flesh he cannot understand anything but the flesh; and this sense extends even to the Pharisees’ grasp of the law, which has become as an empty shell void of meaning – bereft of the Spirit as they are.  There is hope Nicodemus will hear the words of Jesus; there is possibility other leaders of the people will come to life.  But first they will have to leave their vain pursuits behind. “The wind blows where it will… but you do not know where it comes from, or where it goes.” So it is with the disciples as by the powerful wind of the Holy Spirit “the place where they were gathered shook as they prayed”; and so, filled within with the Holy Spirit they “continued to speak God’s word with confidence.”  They are born from above.  They have new life in the name of Jesus.  All their lives are sacrificed with Him to the will of God.  And so the princes have no power over them, but to make them rejoice at the persecution they find at their empty hands. “You must all be begotten from above,” brothers and sisters.  None is to be left behind with the carcasses that gather beneath the eagles’ circling flight.  Take refuge in the Lord of Life; be born now in His Spirit. ******* O LORD, may the house we [...]


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April 23 - Prayer to St. Adalbert

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O persecuted shepherd whose flock repeatedly drove you from their midst but who accomplished great work of conversion among them… to these indignant souls you repeatedly returned, ever spreading Christ’s net further – pray for us, apostle to nations, that in God’s Church today His Word may go boldly forth to convert hearts so hardened by sin, that the acquired ignorance of peoples returning to paganism will be thoroughly dispelled by truth. Forth let all souls journey, humbly proclaiming the Gospel till all have heard and understood the glory to which they are called by our Savior.


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April 23 - Prayer to St. George

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O courageous soldier in the army of our Lord, you gave up the ranks of this passing world for the kingdom wrought by Jesus Christ, dying willingly for such a just cause and showing us the path we must tread to be found worthy to stand with our God – pray that we may be strengthened in the battle of earthly life, that our weak limbs may not be disjointed, that we might not tremble in fear at the threats of the mighty but take our refuge in the Almighty and fight for Him who fights for us until we are wrapped in His arms, until we cling to His breast.


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April 23 - Divine Mercy Sunday, Year A

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Acts 2:42-47;   Ps.118:1-4,13-15,22-24;   1Pt.1:3-9;   Jn.20:19-31)   “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”   Jesus comes to the disciples, repeatedly appearing to them after His Resurrection, to make certain there is absolutely no doubt in them: “Do not be unbelieving, but believe.”  He invites them even to put their fingers in His hands and their hands into His side.  To Thomas He speaks, yes, but them all He teaches.  For He is commissioning them to go forth in His name in word and sacrament to bring forth life to souls who are dying, to preach the salvation from sin by His resurrection from the dead.  “Peace be with you,” He says to His Twelve.  “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And so He breathes on them the Holy Spirit, giving them power even to forgive men’s sins.  Now, those to whom they shall proclaim that God “in His great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” will not have had the benefit of seeing the Lord.  And so, how can one expect them to believe just by the word of another if the speaker of that word is not completely convinced of its truth?  Their witness, their commitment, must extend even to the grave – as it shall – if it is to go beyond the grave. And the strength of the apostles’ witness and the fruit it has borne – which, in turn, becomes a faithful witness unto others – is greatly evident in our reading from Acts.  Here we are told the first disciples “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.”  Sharing all in common, their lives were centered on daily prayer and the Eucharistic meal, the feast of thanksgiving.  And “with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people,” they lived their lives in truth, they lived their lives in faith.  What Peter ascribes to the disciples of Christ we find in these: “Although you have not seen Him you love Him; even though you do not see Him now… you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”  How effective his and the other apostles’ witness has been. Brothers and sisters, “His mercy endures forever.”  The apostles[...]


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April 22 - Saturday of the Octave of Easter

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Acts 4:13-21;   Ps.118:1,14-21;   Mk.16:9-15)   “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation.”   How faithfully Peter and John accomplish the Lord’s command, and with what strength, so much so that our first reading tells us, “The priests and elders were amazed as they observed [their] self-assurance” – for these “were uneducated men of no standing.”  “How can this be?” they must have queried inside.  “Then they recognized these men as having been with Jesus.”  And so the answer had come: it is from Him all power derives.  In His Spirit all God’s disciples “declare the works of the Lord.” And how wonderfully silenced the leaders of the people are: “When they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could think of nothing to say.”  For the works of the Lord speak for themselves, and the power of the Spirit cannot be denied.  And though these priests of the Old Covenant attempt to silence the glory of God, telling Peter and John “that under no circumstances were they to speak the name of Jesus or teach about Him,” these first of apostles declare confidently, “We cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen.”  Indeed, “a remarkable show of power [takes] place in them.” And what have they heard and seen?  Our gospel tells us: “Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week.”  From Mary Magdalene, to whom He first appeared, “they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her.”  And the same “good news” is announced to them by the two disciples who had sojourned to Emmaus.  And though “they refused to believe it,” and though when “Jesus was revealed to the Eleven,” when they saw His risen presence for themselves, He chastised them “for their disbelief and their stubbornness” – though the doubt from human corruption still clings to them, it shall no longer be so (as evidenced by Peter and John) when Pentecost has come.  In the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, the Word shall be preached and believed in strength and power. “The right hand of the Lord has struck with power.”  “The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just” has come now in fullness to all His children who hear and see and declare that the Lord is risen.  “M[...]


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April 21 - Prayer to St. Anselm

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O sublime teacher and defender of the Church and her freedom, the joy of Heaven you sought in your spiritual life, and for the autonomy of MotherChurch you fought in your call as shepherd – pray that we who remain so blind to the presence of God will have our eyes opened and draw closer to Him who is our life, in whose light we alone find peace; and pray, too, that we shall fulfill our call as disciples of truth and defend with your same strength the life of our Mother, despite the persecutions that come.


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April 21 - Friday of the Octave of Easter

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Acts 4:1-12;   Ps.118:1-2,4,22-27;   Jn.21:1-14)   “Jesus is ‘the stone rejected by you the builders which has become the cornerstone.’”   What Peter has proclaimed to the people, he now proclaims even more boldly to their leaders: “There is no other name in the whole world given to men by which we are to be saved.”  Jesus, whom they crucified, is the Messiah.  And the same quote Jesus offered the Pharisees after making it clear to them they would lose dominion over God’s vineyard – over His people, over His Church – Peter invokes before the high-priestly class today… for here standing before them is the new authority on earth.   And so, here the Church is gathered, under Peter and the apostles.  This day of preaching in Jesus’ name by the power of the Holy Spirit has brought about five thousand children to God, and there shall be no stopping the power of the Word which goes forth to draw in all believers.  On the Church goes “proclaiming the resurrection of the dead in the person of Jesus.” Our gospel today is the perfect parallel to our first reading, and reveals just from where the power of the apostles’ preaching comes.  First, it shows Peter as the clear leader.  He says among the seven – the number of fullness – disciples assembled: “I am going out to fish.”  And they reply: “We will join you.”  All night they toil in vain.  Why?  Because they lack the cornerstone who comes to them in the morning.  (Notice in our first reading Peter and John are put in jail for the night to await their trial in the morning. But, ironically, this night is less of a prison than the one spent toiling in vain on the sea… for this day they have been most fruitful; for by this time they have been anointed by the Spirit.) In the morning Jesus stands upon the shore and instructs them where to cast their net, much as He did when first He called His fishermen apostles.  And like that morning, their catch is overwhelming.  John cries, “It is the Lord!” and Peter jumps into the water to swim to His Jesus as the others tow the net and fish behind him.  Once all have come to land, it is Peter who goes “aboard and haul[s] ashore the net loaded with sizable fish” and drops it at the Lord’s feet.  [...]


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April 20 - Thursday of the Octave of Easter

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Acts 3:11-26;   Ps.8:2,5-9;   Lk.24:35-48)   “In His name, penance for the remission of sins is to be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”   And so Peter begins the preaching at the temple: “When God raised up His servant, He sent Him to you first to bless you by turning you from your evil ways,” he announces clearly to the Jews, those first to hear of the Savior, Jesus.  And again he speaks boldly and repeatedly of their sin: “You disowned the Holy and Just One…  You put to death the Author of life,” for it is absolutely essential that they recognize their guilt if they are to find their salvation.  How can they repent of what they do not see?  How can “a season of refreshment be granted” through Jesus if they do not know that they are despoiled?  And brothers and sisters, it is certainly no different for us.  We must recognize our own complicity in the Lord’s death or we shall have no place with Him in life.  Hear the message of His apostle: “Reform your lives!  Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away!”  If you have nothing to reform, how are you a hearer of the Good News?  And if your repentance falls short of knowing the blood of Christ upon your hands, how ineffective it will be. “All the prophets… have announced the events of these days.”  “God has brought to fulfillment by this means what He announced long ago: that His Messiah would suffer.”  What Peter proclaims, Jesus confirms in His own teaching to the disciples, “It is written that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,” as “He opened their minds to the understanding of the Scriptures.”  What must be has been, and now is – Jesus has died and risen.  “Look at my hands and my feet; it is really I,” He says to His incredulous apostles.  And so in “flesh and bones” the Truth has become known, and this same flesh we eat each day. The disciples same “sheer joy and wonder” we should share, brothers and sisters.  For what is theirs is ours, too.  Though “out of ignorance” we crucified Him, in grace we now know Him.  And so should we not cry out, “O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth!”  Should His blessed car[...]


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April 19 - Wednesday of the Octave of Easter

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Acts 3:1-10;   Ps.105:1-9;   Lk.24:13-35)   “The Lord is risen!  It is true!”   And how it is proven this day!  The two disciples find their “hearts burning inside” as He “explain[s] the Scriptures” to them on the road to Emmaus, and then they come “to know Him in the breaking of bread.”  “The Eleven and the rest of the company” of disciples rejoice in Jerusalem because “He has appeared to Simon.”  And the crippled beggar at the Beautiful Gate is pulled up by Peter “in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean,” and he goes “into the temple with [Peter and John] – walking, jumping about, and praising God.”  “Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!” Brothers and sisters, the Church is as this crippled beggar at the temple gate; it is as these confused disciples sojourning for answers to their deepest questions and fears – it is the whole company assembled and astounded and declaring with joy the truth of God’s presence among us.  To the beggar the Lord says with Peter, “Look at us!”  To those on the road to Emmaus He says, “How slow you are to believe!”  And to all He appears in the breaking of the bread.  The beggar He heals; in the seeker He instills faith; and to us all He leaves His Blessed Sacrament, the greatest proof of His presence. “Sing to Him, sing His praise, proclaim all His wondrous deeds.”  And as great as His healing may be, as wonderful as His teaching is, the greatest of these is the table He sets before us and the Body and Blood with which He nourishes us.  Here is His love most known, here where we “give thanks to the Lord” and “invoke His name.”  For in this we are healed, in this His teaching is made real – until the end of time this shall stand as proof of His presence… in this is ever declared, “The Lord is risen!” “He remembers His covenant which He made binding for a thousand generations.”  Never shall this blessing leave us, brothers and sisters.  Always we have His Word at work within us, and always we share His Body and His Blood.  Here He remains “powerful in word and deed in the eyes of God and all the people.”  Let us not fail to declare all He has done for us; let us n[...]


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April 18 - Tuesday of the Octave of Easter

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Acts 2:36-41;   Ps.33:4-5,18-20,22;   Jn.20:11-18)   “Let the whole house of Israel know beyond any doubt that God has made both Lord and Messiah this Jesus whom you crucified.”   Brothers and sisters, we are all as Mary Magdalene who “stood weeping beside the tomb,” and like the Jews who were “deeply shaken” by the words of Peter.  Though it is to the Chosen people “that the promise was made,” it extends “to all those still far off whom the Lord our God calls.”  To all sinners, to all who ask His apostles, “What are we to do, brothers?” the Lord responds: “Reform and be baptized… in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven”; indeed, then we “shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” – then our eyes shall be opened to His presence among us as we turn to Him in tears. “She turned around and caught sight of Jesus standing there,” this greatest of sinners become most faithful disciple.  And as He speaks the name of her who cares only for Him – “Mary!” – so He calls “each one” of us who come to Him in our desperation by name; so He cares for all sinners who love Him and seek Him with all their heart.  And the same joy that she has known shall also be ours; we shall declare, “I have seen the Lord!” to all who wait to hear of Him. “Save yourselves from this generation which has gone astray,” Peter urges his fellow Jews on Pentecost day, and “some three thousand” accepted his message and were baptized.  Here is where the Church begins to grow, here among those who crucified the Lord – here among His own brothers in the flesh.  And though the message is primarily to them this day, indeed it is for all who would be grafted to this tree of life, to this race of whom Jesus is come.  For, indeed, it is so that all are sinners, that all bear the guilt of His crucifixion; and so to all who hear His call for repentance, forgiveness may come, and the Spirit follow. “The eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him… to deliver them from death.”  What was sung of under the Old Covenant is even more true today; and so let what was true of those faithful under the Old be so with us[...]


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April 17 - Monday of the Octave of Easter

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Acts 2:14,22-33;   Ps.16:1-2,5,7-11;   Mt.28:8-15)   “You will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.”   “It was impossible that death should keep its hold on Him.”  And so “the paths of life” we now walk; “joy in [His] presence” is ours – “in confidence” we abide forever.  For God has “raised Him up again,” this Jesus, our Lord.  Let us be witnesses of His truth to the ends of the earth.  Like Peter, our Holy Father, let us be faithful to the Word at work within us.  As the women “ran to carry the good news to [Jesus’] disciples” that He, the Lord, was no longer in the tomb, in the belly of this earth, the guards ran to the chief priests, who concocted a lie.  See how the ways diverge between truth and lie.  And see today the power with which Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, stands up even amongst those who had Jesus crucified, and proclaims the truth of the risen Lord.  And God is with Him.  He has heard the Lord’s words: “Peace!” and “Do not be afraid!”  He knows full well that his soul will never be abandoned to the netherworld; he has life at work in him, the life that comes from “the resurrection of the Messiah.”  And so he witnesses in strength, as do our popes to this day. Let us “live on in hope,” brothers and sisters, “half-overjoyed and half-fearful,” though only with the fear of God which overwhelms our souls, and He will be before us always, speaking words of peace; and we will see Him walking in the places He was wont to walk on earth… and we will see Him walking everywhere we walk.  For by our side will He be constantly in the power of the Spirit to lead and guide us always unto Life, the life that is already with us and will never leave us.  The Lord is risen, alleluia!  The powers of death and hell shall never touch us, for in Him alone do we “take refuge,” He alone is our “allotted portion and cup” – in Him alone do we believe, and so we “shall not be disturbed” even by the darkness of night.  The Light has dawned; in Him let our souls rejoice. [...]


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April 16 - Easter Sunday

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Acts 10:34a,37-43;   Ps.118:1-2,16-17,22-24;   Col.3:1-4 or 1Cor.5:6b-8;   Jn.20:1-9 or Lk.24:13-35)   “Everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins through His name.”   “His mercy endures forever,” brothers and sisters, and it is for us to “declare the works of the Lord”: that Jesus was “raised on the third day,” that He lives, that He still is “healing all those oppressed by the devil.”  With Peter and the apostles we must “preach to the people and testify” that “the right hand of the Lord is exalted.”  Yes, “they put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree,” but “the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”  Yes, we all bear guilt for the death of the Son, but in His rising He brings about the death of our sin. Brothers and sisters, “you were raised with Christ” and should have nothing more to do with sin.  “Christ is seated at the right hand of God,” and we must be seated there with Him.  To Him should we raise our eyes for our “life is hidden with Christ in God.”  “Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  No more should sin find place in us or grow within us unto death, but now that new life has come, we should find our place with Him. Peter and John ran to the tomb upon hearing the news that Jesus was not there.  Upon entering, they “saw and believed,” they “understood the Scripture that He had to rise from the dead.”  Upon believing, death no longer held dominion over them; and soon they would proclaim to all the world the Gospel of life and peace.  Soon the cornerstone of truth would take hold of all who heard their words, and grow in time unto heaven.  And His kingdom shall not be removed. Brothers and sisters, each day the Lord opens the Scriptures to us as we gather as His children.  Each day we recognize Him in the breaking of the bread.  Each day we are called to make known the glory of the resurrection we hold in “our hearts burning within as He [speaks] to us on the[...]


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April 15 - Easter Vigil

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 22:00:00 +0000

(Gn.1:1-2:2;   Ps.104:1-2,5-6,10,12-14,24,35 or Ps.33:4-7,12-13,20-22;   Gn.22:1-18;   Ps.16:5,8-11;   Ex.14:15-15:1;   Ex.15:1-6,17-18;   Is.54:5-14;   Ps.30:2,4-6,11-13;   Is.55:1-11;   Is.12:2-6;   Bar.3:9-15,32-4:4;   Ps.19:8-11;   Ez.36:16-17a,18-28;   Ps.42:3,5,43:3,4; Rom.6:3-11;   Ps.118:1-2,16-17,22-23;   Mt.28:1-10 or Mk.16:1-7 or Lk.24:1-12)   “He is not here.”   The women come faithfully to the tomb early Easter morning.  What do they find but that the stone is rolled back from its gaping mouth; and angel(s) in white deliver unto them the message of the ages: “He has been raised.” This night, this early morning, we are led through salvation history, through our own history as human beings made in the image of God here upon the face of the earth, souls coming unto heaven.  “Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield,” is the song of the Old Testament.  From the beginning of Creation our hearts are set on Him.  Along the way “Abraham took the wood for the holocaust and laid it on his son Isaac’s shoulders,” prefiguring the Father’s own sacrifice of His Son for our sins and our salvation.  Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, out of the land of sin, through the Red Sea, “with the water like a wall to their right and to their left,” prefiguring our Baptism as Christians; and they “sing to the Lord for He is gloriously triumphant,” prefiguring our own joy. Always we are reminded by the prophets of old: “The Lord calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit.”  And he who heard the call even then sang, “O Lord, you brought me up from the netherworld; you preserved me from those going down into the pit.”  Yes, repeatedly the Lord calls out through His prophets: “Come to the water!… Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk!”  He promises, “With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.”  We who “have forsaken the fountain of wisdom” by the sin that plagues our inheritance are called back to “the One who established the earth for all[...]


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April 14 - Good Friday

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Is.52:13-53:12;   Ps.31:2,6,12-13,15-17,25,Lk.23:46;   Heb.4:14-16,5:7-9;   Jn.18:1-19:42)   “He shall be raised high and greatly exalted.”   Here is your king: “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews,” Pilate has written upon His cross.  Here He is lifted up, where “many were amazed at Him – so marred was His look beyond human semblance and His appearance beyond the sons of man.”  Yet “shall He startle many nations; because of Him kings shall stand speechless.”  The Scripture passage is fulfilled: “They will look upon Him whom they have pierced.”  And there they shall see that He who “was spurned and avoided by people… one of those from whom people hide their faces,” held in “no esteem” as He was… this same “lamb led to the slaughter” “shall divide the spoils with the mighty”; for as He has been lifted up on the cross, debased beyond all others, so He shall be raised on high in His kingdom, one with the Father in heaven.  Here they “wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on His head.”  Here they “clothed Him in a purple cloak, and they came to Him and said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews.’  And they struck Him repeatedly.”  But there no mockery shall He know; there all shall see that He is the Son of God. Brothers and sisters, “we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God.”  Our weaknesses He has known in full, and now He brings us “light in fullness of days.”  Though on earth “He offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears,” now has He become “the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”  For all the tears He shed, all the scourging He underwent, all the humiliation He experienced and the death He knew, were all for our sake.  “It was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings that He endured.”  And having suffered in our stead for the sins of those by whom He is condemned, now He has come unto what is His own, and invites us there as well. “He shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for [...]


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April 13 - Prayer to St. Martin I

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O martyred Father of the Church, you laid down your life to save her from the enemy, to preserve her in the truth of orthodox faith; unmindful of the humiliation and exile you bore at the hands of the king of this world, you died that all might know the Christ in His divinity and humanity – pray we shall indeed be saved from all temptation to turn from the faith, and so find our way to the kingdom where now you dwell with the Lord and all His holy angels. May our leaders be as strong as you and we follow them loyally in the name of our Redeemer.


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April 13 - Holy Thursday

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Ex.12:1-8,11-14;   Ps.116:12-13,15-18,1Cor.10:6;   1Cor.11:23-26;   Jn.13:1-15)   “This cup is the New Covenant in my blood.”   For this cup holds the Blood of our Lord.  And, “Seeing the blood, I will pass over you,” says the Lord.  “When I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you.”  As the Israelites mark each of their houses with the blood of a lamb, so our bodies are marked by the Blood of the Lamb; and so we are saved by the Lord our God and become temples of His Spirit. “How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me?” the psalmist cries in joy.  Each day we “offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,” taking up “the cup of salvation” and “call[ing] upon the name of the Lord”: each day we partake of His blessed Body and Blood.  And sharing in this celebration of the Eucharist we “proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes”; and so, into our midst He comes. “He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist” as “a model to follow”: “as I have done for you, you should also do.”  He says to His brothers in the upper room the night “His hour had come to pass from this world to the Father”: “You ought to wash one another’s feet.”  And so by this teaching, and so by His masterful lead, He multiplies His presence in the world through His twelve apostles.  And so shall these souls by whom the Bread of Life is multiplied, by whom we have inheritance with the Lord, wash the feet of all His followers by their witness and the ministry they shall bring to the ends of the earth.  And so shall all who have bathed in His Blood be made clean for the Holy Day. And we, as they, as the Lord, find the strength to lay down our lives in service of one another by being as our Jesus, who was “fully aware that the Father had put everything in His power and that He had come from God and was returning to Him.”  Any power that any have comes only [...]


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April 12 - Wednesday of Holy Week

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Is.50:4-9;   Ps.69:8-10,21-22,31,33-34;   Mt.26:14-25)   “The Son of Man is departing, as Scripture says of Him.”   Of Him in Scripture we read, “Morning after morning He opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back.”  Even as death approaches, even as His betrayer goes forth (perhaps especially at this dark time), He sets His face “like flint” to confront those who oppose Him, those who would destroy Him.  In His own voice He speaks to us in the first reading and the psalm of His trial and His resolve: “I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard,” though “they put gall in my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”  And He stands alone before such blasphemy – “I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, and I found none.” Though only one of the Twelve betrays Him, all abandon Him in His brokenness; none stands by His side as He “bear[s] insult” in the Name of God.  But the Father does not desert Him: “See, the Lord God is my help.”  “For the Lord hears the poor, and His own who are in bonds He spurns not.”  And when He cries from the cross, it is not His fate He bemoans, but our own, whose dark separation from God He takes upon Himself as our guilt He bears. Yes, He must depart in this way; He must suffer at our hands.  But that it is written so, and that by this our souls are made whole, in no way nullifies that we have sinned – sin remains the evil it is.  As for Judas, yet it would have been “better for him if he had never been born,” for the fires of hell are real; and as for the souls who abandon Him, as for all His disciples, it is only through similar darkness that we shall come back to His light. Tears will fill our eyes as we look upon Him whom we have pierced.  Yet, fear not, for the Lord hears the cry of the “lowly ones… who seek God”; and Scripture speaks just as faithfully of the third day.   ******* O LO[...]


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April 11 - Prayer to St. Stanislaus

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O soldier of Christ who stood with courage against the powers of this world, leading the troops in your charge even unto death – pray that we may remain loyal to our call, faithful to the Lord even unto our own death, standing strong and tall against the assaults of the world and the devil and forming those entrusted to us in the ways of God as you, dear shepherd, have bravely done. Let us not be afraid to shed our blood for the truth, to suffer persecution in order to light the way that leads to life, the life that is Christ, who strengthens us with the armor of God.


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April 11 - Tuesday of Holy Week

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Is.49:1-6;   Ps.71:1-6,15,17;   Jn.13:21-33,36-38)   “I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength!”   The Lord is with His servant, with Israel, with Jesus, the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Son of God: “From my mother’s womb you are my strength…  O God, you have taught me from my youth.”  And to this “sharp-edged sword” the Lord had concealed “in the shadow of His arm,” to this “polished arrow” He has hidden in His quiver, God says: “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”  He who was called from birth, given His name in His mother’s womb, prepared before all the ages, now comes to reveal the glory of God. And how is it “the Son of Man [is] glorified and God is glorified in Him”?  We see in our gospel the moment the glorification begins; we see in our gospel the path by which it comes.  At table at the Last Supper Jesus grows “deeply troubled,” for the time of His betrayal has come.  Judas eats the morsel of food dipped in the dish and “immediately after, Satan entered his heart.”  Then, “no sooner had Judas eaten the morsel than he went out,” and, we are told, “It was night.”  And immediately upon Judas’ leaving, the Lord proclaims His glorification has begun. Here begins the Passion.  Here begins the first of the three days Jesus will spend in the belly of the earth.  How unlike the days the Servant spent in His mother’s womb these days shall be!  And yet it is precisely these days and in this way that what God has prepared for Him and for all creation shall come to its fulfillment.  Now shall the arrow be sharpened fully and shot forth to pierce all men’s hearts with truth – even as the nails pierce His hands and the sword His side.  Through the depths of such absolute darkness, light shall shine forth, and this light shall in time reach to the ends of the [...]


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April 10 - Monday of Holy Week

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Is.42:1-7;   Ps.27:1-3,13-14;   Jn.12:1-11)   “I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations.”   He has come “to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who dwell in darkness.”  “He establishes justice on the earth,” and this justice is His bringing light to our darkness.  But He could not release us from the dungeon unless He Himself had entered the dungeon.  How else could light penetrate the darkness?  And so He not only enters the veil of flesh, humbling Himself to be born as a man, but also gives Himself up to the death we all must die – in our own form He pays the wages of our sin, that we might be released from its prison. How could we “be stouthearted” “when evildoers come at [us] to devour [our] flesh,” we who are so weakened by the scourges of sin, if He had not strengthened us by standing in our stead?  How could we truly say with David, “Though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust,” if He had not defeated the enemy which comes against us?  We can say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” only because Jesus has brought God’s justice into our very midst, to our flesh and to our bone, by entering into the world of darkness we have created and taking upon Himself the death we deserved. Lazarus, who sits at table with Jesus a week before His own death, is a sign of our release from the dungeon, from the tomb of our sin.  As “Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in Him on account of Lazarus,” so should all be drawn to the promise of new life which the Lord shall fulfill now in His death and resurrection.  And as we enter Holy Week, as we prepare ourselves for the great mysteries of our faith, how appropriate for Jesus to sit at table “in the land of the living” with this dead man.  See that He will sit with us [...]


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April 9 - Passion Sunday

Sat, 08 Apr 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Is.50:4-7;   Ps.22:2,8-9,17-20,23-24;   Phil.2:6-11; Mt.26:14-27:66  or  Mk.14:1-15:47  or  Lk.22:14-23:56)   “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”   “The whole people” cry out for the death of Jesus.  “Let Him be crucified,” they shout ever more loudly.  The sins of us all demand the death of the Son.  And though He would have us not bear such guilt – “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” – and though even after we have succeeded in our lust for innocent blood, He forgives… yet bear such a burden we must, to find release from its punishment under the shadow of His cross, where, upon the opening of our eyes in the fear of our crimes and the power of Him whom we have crucified, we shall proclaim, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” Yes, it is an irony that the blood of this “King of the Jews,” the Chosen of the chosen, the Messiah, the Son of God, is upon our souls both for condemnation for the great crime all commit in crucifying the Lord always by our sins; and, of course, for our salvation by its cleansing the same sin from our souls through our belief in Him Who Is. And so He accepts our mockery.  And so He remains silent before our accusations against Him.  And so He “set [His] face like flint,” enduring “buffets and spitting”; as “many dogs surround” Him and “a pack of evildoers closes in,” He endures all for our sakes, knowing only this will bring us to open our eyes and see the light that is the love of God.  “They have pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.”  Could more of a sacrifice be made for sinful man?  Could greater than this be accomplished in the name of God?  What more need you to believe?  O let His blood pour upon you! Brothers and sisters, Christ Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness… becoming obe[...]


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April 8 - Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ez.37:21-28;   Jer.31:10-13;   Jn.11:45-57)   “My sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.”   Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to “gather [His people] from all sides to bring them back to their land”; He is the “one prince for [us] all” by whom God makes complete the “everlasting covenant” with us: “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  It is He “who make[s] Israel holy,” who makes us all one in Himself.  And so, “no longer shall [we] defile [our]selves,” but we “shall live by [His] statutes and carefully observe [His] decrees” now written upon our hearts by the power of the Spirit upon His flesh and blood. In our gospel the Sanhedrin fear the loss of the Jewish nation on earth when they say, “The Romans will come and sweep away our sanctuary and our nation” because of the wonders Jesus performs and the power He has over all people.  So when Caiaphas asks, “Can you not see that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed?” it is of the protection of the temple and its worship he speaks and which is his concern.  But, of course, he unwittingly prophesies the salvation of all in the eternal, heavenly Temple of the New Jerusalem, where Jesus “gather[s] into one all the dispersed children of God.” Yes, “Jesus would die for the nation”; He would give Himself that all might live.  The plan “to kill Him” He shall allow to bear fruit; though all are on the lookout to apprehend Him, yet He shall come to the feast to offer Himself as the spotless Lamb of Passover, to purge the nation of its sins and protect it from final damnation.  And so, “He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, He guards them as a shepherd His flock.”  And so we should “come streaming to the Lord’s blessings: the grain, the[...]


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April 7 - Prayer to St. John Baptist de la Salle

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O good teacher of the poor boys in your care, minister of the Lord to those most in need, with what humble affection you carried out your work in educating souls in the Gospel of Christ and guiding others to do the same – pray that we, too, shall give ourselves in sacrificial silence to the call the Lord has placed upon our souls, and especially that teachers of the young and disadvantaged will find grace and strength from our Lord to carry out in truth and love their work for Christ and His Church. May the Temple of God be built up on this earth in all poor souls washed in Christ’s blood. 


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April 7 - Friday of the 5th Week of Lent

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Jer.20:10-13;   Ps.18:2-7;   Jn.10:31-42)   “He has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked.”   As Jeremiah’s persecutors surround him on every side but are “put to utter shame” when he calls out to the Lord, so as the Jews “again tried to arrest Him,” Jesus again “eluded their grasp.”  And so when “the breakers of death surged around [us], the destroying floods overwhelmed [us]...” so when our sins seemed to have conquered our souls, the Lord came to save us. Evil is all around.  Always there is “terror on every side!” and those who would shout, “Denounce!  Let us denounce him!” because of our missteps, because of our stumbling into sin.  Ever the devil is on the watch to trap us with his wiles and cast our souls into “the netherworld.”  But always, too, the Lord is present, and when to Him we entrust our cause, saying with David, “O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,” whenever we call upon His name, He hears and saves us from “the snares of death.”  “Praised be the Lord, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies,” David sings.  “Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord,” Jeremiah echoes, and he, too, is safe.  All who call upon Him He hears, and affords them His salvation. “The Jews reached for rocks to stone Him,” but still He called to their hearts: “Many good deeds have I shown you from the Father.  For which of these do you stone me?”  Still He invites them to look upon the good works He has done in His Father’s name to see that He is indeed the Son; still He desires their salvation.  The signs He performs are recognized by many people who thus “come to believe in Him,” but the hardness of heart of these the leaders continues to blind their eyes to the truth of what John the Baptist said and[...]


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April 6 - Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.17:3-9;   Ps.105:4-9;   Jn.8:51-59)   “Before Abraham came to be, I AM.”   Abraham is a great man, the blessed patriarch, to whom God made the promise: “I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”  So Abraham becomes “the father of a host of nations,” not just by lineage, but by faith in the promise God has given him and the keeping of the covenant with Him.  Abraham is father to all who believe in the one God: the sons of Israel, the Jews; the sons of Ishmael, the Muslims; and all who worship the living Lord and “seek to serve Him constantly.” Yet as great as Abraham is, as fertile as he has become, Jesus is the greater and the more prosperous, for He Himself is the Lord our God, from whom Abraham receives his promise and so his greatness.  “Abraham rejoiced that he might see [Jesus’] day.  He saw it and was glad.”  For here come to us is the only Son of the God before whom he “prostrated himself”; here is the Lord of all the nations of whom Abraham is father. Jesus is equal with the Father, coeternal and all-powerful.  He does not make Himself so but receives such glory from the Father, with whom He is always.  How hard it is for the Jews to hear this.  Though according to their faith they have been waiting for just such arrival of the Holy One, of the Messiah, yet their hearts are unable to accept such divine wonder.  And so “they picked up rocks to throw at Jesus” upon His solemn declaration of His divinity. Is it not just so hard for all of us who call ourselves believers to come to terms with the awesome majesty of Jesus our God?  It seems something so far beyond our belief, that God cou[...]


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April 5 - Prayer to St. Vincent Ferrer

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O great preacher who taught so well the love of God and the precepts of the Church, who worked with such zeal to repair the breach within the Church in a time of corruption – pray that now the Word may again go forth to the ends of the earth, that all might hear the voice of the Spirit speaking in their hearts and turn resolutely from their sins to the grace of the Lord; and pray, too, there will be priests to preach God’s Word with that same loving zeal you had for the Church and every soul.


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April 5 - Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Dn.3:14-20,91-92,95;   Dn.3:52-56;   Jn.8:31-42)   “The truth will set you free.”   Sin binds.  Like the cords with which “the strongest men in [Nebuchadnezzar’s] army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,” sin fetters our souls and casts us “into the white-hot furnace.”  “Everyone who lives in sin is the slave of sin.”  But for those like these three faithful servants who “will not… worship the golden statue that [the king of this world] set up,” there is freedom.  For the Lord who is “praiseworthy and exalted above all forever,” who sits “on the throne of [His] kingdom… in the firmament of heaven,” “can save us from the white-hot furnace and from [the king’s] hands.”  For those who “yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God,” sin holds no sway.  And so we find them “unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire,” the angel of God at their side. God sits on His “throne upon the cherubim,” but He “look[s] into the depths.”  And so He sends His Son to walk among us and set us free from slavery to sin.  As Jesus says, “I come forth from God, and am here.”  Here is the Son; here is the true reflection of the Father.  Here, indeed, is Truth itself, by whom we are all set free. How Jesus strove to bring the truth to “those Jews who believed in Him” but struggled in their acceptance.  But the Lord does not pull punches; He does not gloss over the truth, however harsh it may seem.  He tells them plainly, “You are trying to kill me,” and so they do the works of Satan – and so do they sin.  In their pride they deny their sin, and the envious plots in their hearts: “Our father is Abraham,” they arg[...]


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April 4 - Prayer to St. Isidore

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O learned man whose wisdom remained not only in the mind but found practice in the Church of God, you who read and studied Scripture not just for its own sake but that the Word might be implemented amongst your flock – pray we too might live with the Word of God, that we too might share the light He would impart to every soul. Pray God’s grace touch our innermost minds, that the understanding our ear receives will penetrate to our heart; and pray, dear shepherd, that God’s Word permeate His Church as a whole, led by servants as learned as you in the way of love and truth.


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April 4 - Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Nm.21:4-9;   Ps.102:2-3,16-21;   Jn.8:21-30)   “From heaven He beheld the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.”   As the Lord has said to the Pharisees: “You belong to what is below; I belong to what is above.”  And truly, how could we come to where He is unless He reached down to lead us there? The Israelites show just how much they are of this world below when they reject the food of the heavens in utter bitterness: “We are disgusted with this wretched food!” they say of the manna the Lord has provided.  And punishment comes to them in the form of a serpent for their cursing the hand of God. And the Pharisees are the same.  They have the living bread from heaven standing before them, teaching them, yet they cannot grasp what He says and with mockery ask, “Who are you, then?” when He tells them, “I AM.”  And so they too “will surely die in their sins” for their rejection of the great I AM. But yet there is hope.  For the Israelites, Moses “make[s] a serpent and mount[s] it on a pole,” and those who gaze upon it are healed from the serpent’s deadly bite.  And, of course, Jesus Himself will mount the wood of the cross and be fixed there – and the Pharisees and we who gaze upon our sins (which, as with the serpents, have caused this punishment), we who see what we have done and repent thereof, shall be healed, restored, forgiven. “When you lift up the Son of Man, you will come to realize that I AM,” says the Lord.  And now we look up at Him who has died for us and pray He will take us where He has gone, that our cry will come to Him, that He will regard “the prayer of t[...]


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April 3 - Monday of the 5th Week of Lent, Year A

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Dn.13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62;   Ps.23:1-6;   Jn.8:1-11)   “Let the man among you who has no sin be the first to cast a stone at her.”   “Then the audience drifted away one by one, beginning with the elders.”  And no one was left to accuse her. In both our gospel and our first reading a woman is accused of adultery, one justly, the other unjustly.  Yet both are freed.  For under the old law the innocent were to be set free, but under the new, even the guilty.  In the blood of Christ sinners are saved from the fate they deserve; the Lord does not condemn us, and only He has power to do so – for it is always against Him that we sin. It is curious to note that in both reading and gospel the accused woman is brought before the man against whom she is principally accused of sinning.  In the case of Susanna, it is her husband Joakim to whom the people come with their difficult questions, “because he was the most respected of them all”; and the woman in the gospel is brought before Jesus, the Lord and the bridegroom of us all.  It is only wed to Him that we find salvation, and He does not disappoint the repentant adulteress today.  Nor shall He condemn any of us who stand before Him weeping for our sins against His pure love. There is a “dark valley” through which we all must walk.  One day we shall all stand before the Judge.  Some will be persecuted only for righteousness’ sake, accused of that which they have not committed; others will stand in the full light of their sin.  But all before Christ might find forgiveness, if they but realize their faults and who it is stands before them.  For the love of[...]


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April 2 - Prayer to St. Francis of Paola

Sat, 01 Apr 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O little one, holy and true, who wanted no more than to leave the world that you might draw closer to Christ but who was followed by the world and called to teach the world of the way of holiness in our blessed Lord – pray we shall follow His path of Passion and death, death to self and all animosity, all hatred, finding thereby His peace, peace in His Spirit and light. O that we might be sanctified! our hearts converted to God, following your example, which leads to the Cross and so the resurrection of our humble Jesus.


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April 2 - Sunday of the 5th Week of Lent, Year A

Sat, 01 Apr 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Ez.37:12-14;   Ps.130:1-8;   Rom.8:8-11;   Jn.11:1-45)   “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”   “You shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people!” says the Lord God through the prophet Ezekial.  “The one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through His Spirit dwelling in you,” says St. Paul.  And our psalm sings of the Lord’s “plenteous redemption,” that “He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities”; and so, “more than sentinels wait for the dawn, let [us] wait for the Lord,” who dispels all darkness, all death, by His Word, by His presence among us.  Let us but believe in Him, and we shall live. The dawn comes to Bethany, to Martha and Mary, and to Lazarus.  It comes to us all in this powerful sign of the Lord’s conquering of all darkness and death, “that [we] may believe.”  Wrapped in burial cloth is Lazarus, laying in the sealed tomb four days.  The tears of a people are shed for the loved one who has died, and Jesus joins their weeping.  Deeply human is the Lord, and so, “perturbed and deeply troubled” He becomes at the sorrow we all know when death is near.  He longs ever to cry out to us not to mourn, but believe, and now we hear His voice call upon the Father’s name; and now as He “crie[s] out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’” we see that what He says is true: He is the resurrection and the life.  And so, [...]


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April 1 - Saturday of the 4th Week of Lent

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Jer.11:18-20;   Ps.7:2-3,9-12;   Jn.7:40-53)   “Let us destroy the tree in its vigor; let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will be spoken no more.”   With these words “they were hatching plots against” Jeremiah, and in the same way against Jesus.  And so, “like a trusting Lamb led to slaughter,” “like the lion’s prey, to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue” are they.  But “the malice of the wicked [shall] come to an end.” “The upright of heart” are ever persecuted.  Even Nicodemus, “one of their own number,” a member of the Pharisees who are seeking the life of the Lord, was “taunted” when he “spoke up to say, ‘Since when does our law condemn any man without first hearing him and knowing the facts.’”  But the Lord “sustain[s] the just” “because of the innocence that is” theirs.  In Him do they “take refuge,” and He will not leave them a prey to their teeth. Even the temple guards recognize the power of the word that comes from Christ.  “No man ever spoke like that before,” they state as the reason that “no one laid hands on Him.”  “He is the Messiah,” it is sure, and only the hardest of heart are able to blind themselves to the authority that issues forth from His lips.  But the Lord is the “searcher of mind and heart,” of “heart and soul”; He is the just Judge, the just God, and so even as He rescues the innocent from trial, so He “punishes day by day” the evil man.  Their plots shall come to naught; in vain do they pursue Him[...]


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March 31 - Friday of the 4th Week of Lent

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ws.2:1,12-22;   Ps.34:17-21,23;   Jn.7:1-2,10,25-30)   “He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is His Father.”   And for such He shall be persecuted; for such He shall be killed.  For to the wicked “He is the censure of [their] thoughts; merely to see Him is a hardship” for those who stray from the Lord’s commands.  And so, in vain attempt to spare themselves the just judgment of the Lord, in their jealousy they say to one another: “With revilement and torture let us put Him to the test”; and so they “condemn Him to a shameful death,” tempting the Lord God to watch over Him. Evil are their thoughts and wicked are their ways.  But the one “they want to kill,” the one “they tried to seize,” escapes their grasp, for indeed the Lord “watches over all His bones; not one of them shall be broken.”  And they cannot take hold of Him unless He so wills it; so, frustrated are their efforts “because His hour had not yet come.” Even when His hour comes and He is delivered into the hands of the prince of darkness, still their violence will not touch Him; yet will He be protected by the Lord, as are all who follow Him.  Yes, David sings of what he knows: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves.”  And so, even in distress, even in death, the Lord is near to His chosen ones.  The Lord shall ever be delivered from the grasp of those whose “wickedness blinded them.” Jesus stands up in the temple and cries out: “I was sent [...]


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March 30 - Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ex.32:7-14;   Ps.106:4,19-23;   Jn.5:31-47)   “If you believed Moses you would then believe me, for it was about me that he wrote.”   As Moses wrote, so Jesus speaks.  As Moses wrote, so Jesus is.  The eternal life to which the Scriptures testify is now in our midst.  The Word has come to life; the Law is now fulfilled.  The “form [we] have never seen” now stands before us.  The “voice [we] have never heard” now speaks to our ears.  But do we “have His word abiding in our hearts”?  Do we “believe the one [the Father] has sent”?  “The works the Father has given [Jesus] to accomplish” “testify on [His] behalf.”  Let us exult in their light. The Lord “had done great deeds in the land of Egypt,” “wondrous deeds” and “terrible things” in the sight of the Israelites through His servant Moses.  But “they forgot the God who had saved them,” “making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it” instead of the living God.  They could not wait for the Word to come to them; their hearts were not set on Moses’ return from the mountain with the Law of God.  And so, for their lack of faith God “spoke of destroying them.”  The fire of wrath the Lord would have “blazed up against them to consume them” – such was the thought of His heart. But Moses “withstood Him in the breach.”  “Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people,” he begs.  And so, because of Moses’ intercession, “the Lord relented in the pu[...]


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March 29 - Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Is. 49:8-15;   Ps.145:8-9,13-14,17-18;   Jn.5:17-30)   “Just as the Father possesses life in Himself, so He has granted it to the Son to have life in Himself.”   Here the great mystery of the unity of Father and Son is revealed, and so also our salvation. God is life.  The Father is the great I AM, He who will be what He will be and do what He will do – He who holds the world and all its wonders in His creating Hand.  And Jesus is as He is.  He shares absolutely in the Life that is the Father.  “Speaking of God as His own Father, [He is] thereby making Himself God’s equal.”  And this perfect union is most clearly evident in the fact that “the Father has given over to Him power to pass judgment.”  For who can judge the soul of man but God, and so, who is Jesus but God Himself? And this union of Father and Son in the absolute love that gives proof of the Spirit’s presence, and thus completes the Holy Trinity, is the key to our readings today.  Thus, though the thrust of the Word is our own salvation from sin and death, this is only effected in the love of the Father for the Son – for it is in our own union with Jesus and in His washing us clean from sin by standing in our place upon the cross that we find union with the Father, that we find the Life to which we all are called… in whom we find our home of love. The Lord says, “I will cut a road through all my mountains and make my highways level.”  Jesus the Son is that road by which [...]


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March 28 - Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ez.47:1-9,12;   Ps.46:2-3,5-6,8-9;   Jn.5:1-3,5-16)   “There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High.”   Brothers and sisters, Jesus is our living water. In our first reading, Ezekial speaks of his heavenly vision of the river of God which runs from His holy temple.  The water, which increases as it flows further from its source, eventually “empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.”  Along both banks of the river are trees whose “leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail… for they [are] watered by the flow from the sanctuary.”  Their fruit nourishes and their leaves heal. What is this river and this temple?  What is this sea and who are these fruit trees revealed to the eyes of the prophet?  Brothers and sisters, that Jesus is the river, the healing water, is made poignantly clear in our gospel.  The sick man struggles daily to plunge himself into the healing pool at Bethesda but is never able to find the assistance he needs.  When Jesus asks him if he wants to be healed and the man explains his plight, the Lord immediately states: “Stand up!  Pick up your mat and walk!”  The healing waters have come to him, and he is cured. Yes, Jesus is the living water, and the cross is as the temple from which His healing blood flows.  Upon us all who have prepared the cross and set it in place by our sins – which have made our water undrinkable – His g[...]


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March 27 - Monday of the 4th Week of Lent

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Is.65:17-21;   Ps.30:2,4-6,11-13;   Jn.4:43-54)   “You changed my mourning into dancing.”   Here in the midst of Lent we find the purpose of all our suffering, the hope to which we all are called.  “At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing.”  And thus does this time of penance and fasting lead to the abundance found in Easter joy.  For what is darkness but the world in which we dwell, and what is the dawn but the coming of Jesus to our hearts, the kingdom of heaven within us?  And even in the midst of this darkness, the light begins to shine.  “Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth,” the Lord says.  And today we hear that reassuring voice speaking to our waiting souls. In our gospel today we find a marvelous sign of the light that follows the darkness, of the joy that follows sorrow.  A Gentile royal official, a man in darkness for his being apart from the chosen race – and whose darkness is compounded by his position of authority there – comes to the King of the Jews, the Light of God.  In sorrow he mourns the imminent death of his son, and so the darkness is quite complete.  But the man’s son shall not die, and neither shall the Gentile race.  For it is great faith he shows.  Enlightened by the One he seeks, he believes, and so his son is saved by the Son of the Most High, and so he enters the fold of Heaven.  What greater joy could he have hoped [...]


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March 26 - Sunday of the 4th Week of Lent, Year A

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.16:1b,6-7,10-13a;   Ps.23:1-6;   Eph.5:8-14;   Jn.9:1-41)   “I am the light of the world.”   And by that light alone we see.  By this light which comes from God we who were born blind, who were born into sin, have our eyes opened.  And so having escaped the darkness we “live as children of light.” When David was presented before Samuel, immediately the prophet’s eyes were opened to the one on whom God’s favor rested.  His eyes which had first “judge[d] from… appearance,” now with the Lord look “into the heart.”  How clearly he hears the Lord speak to him, “There – anoint him, for this is the one!”  And how readily he takes “the horn of oil in hand” and anoints the new king.  And how wonderfully “from that day on, the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.” Here is our own baptism in the Lord foretold.  Here is our own anointing with the oil of Christ presaged.  And as “Jesus made clay and anointed [the] eyes” of the blind man, so in our baptism we find our own anointing, an anointing which washes us clean of original sin, an anointing which prepares our hearts to receive Him – an anointing which opens our eyes to His light.  The eyes of our heart now see.  Our souls cry out from their depths of the light which has entered in and made them clean.  And so we say with the blind man in the presence of Jesus, “I do believe, Lord,[...]


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March 25 - Prayer on the Annunciation

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O chosen one of the Lord, how well you answered His call, giving yourself entirely to the angel’s word and so conceiving in your womb the salvation of the world – pray, O Spouse of the Holy Spirit, that His voice might inspire in us your same commitment to the Word of God and its working in our lives; pray the Son be conceived in us as well that we too might serve to bring His salvation forth into the light of this day. How shall we give ourselves completely to the Lord without your prayers, dear Mother, without your blessed intercession…? O pray we shall follow in your wake and add our ‘yes’ to your own, that the Lord may indeed work in us, that He might make His home in us and we come to our home in Heaven.


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