Subscribe: The BreadCast
http://hermitinthecity.libsyn.com/rss
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: The BreadCast

The BreadCast





Published: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

Last Build Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:00:59 +0000

Copyright: James Kurt
 



January 23 - Tuesday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(2Sm.6:12-15,17-19;   Ps.24:7-10;   Mk.3:31-35) “Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the King of glory may come in!” In our first reading David leads all the Israelites in, “bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.”  “Dancing before the Lord with abandon,” he brings the ark into Jerusalem and sets it within its tent or tabernacle.  All celebrate this day as they surround the ark on its journey and as David “offers holocausts and peace offerings before the Lord,” the ark having come to its place in the city of David.  The Lord is in their midst, and so all the people rejoice. In our gospel the ever present crowd of people is assembled, seated “in a circle” around Jesus.  They surround the Lord as once the Israelites surrounded the ark – and how their hearts must celebrate at His presence in their midst.  And how indeed their hearts must leap up to hear what is said of them: “These are my mother and my brothers.”  For thus the Lord gathers them into His arms; thus He feeds them better than with the meat of any holocaust – thus they are protected forever by His holy presence. “Who is this King of glory?  The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.”  He blesses and protects all His children; He makes all who worship Him His own.  And what need we do but celebrate; what need we do but shout for joy?  For He is present before us.  For He enters into us, into the New Jerusalem in which we dwell.  Here in His Church we have His Blessed Sacrament to feed us on our way to Him.  In this He is already with us, as He is in His teaching and in His priests and in all His brothers and sisters and mothers – “whoever does the will of God” becomes one with Him. We love you, Lord our God, for your presence among us!  We praise you, dearest Jesus, for your presence within us!  O brothers and sisters, make room for His entry into your hearts and minds, bodies and souls, that you might enter in with Him to His heavenly kingdom.  He stands and knocks at the door even now.  Will you open and welcome Him into your home? ******* O LORD, let us rejoice before the ark of the Covenant come into our midst in Jesus our King and Brother. YHWH, come into our homes, into our hearts, that we might be your House, one with your Son.  He is truly your Temple; let us open wide our gates that He might enter in and make His home with us. Mother and brother and sister of Jesus let us be, O LORD, surrounding Him as His holy family.  Let us rejoice at His Word and so follow your will in all things.  May He look upon us with mercy and give us of Himself to eat. What should we do but dance and sing and praise your holy NAME for your presence in our midst, for your entering our poor souls and remaining ever with us?  O let us offer ourselves to you in sacrifice! that indeed your will might be done in our lives.  Come and make your home in us, dearest LORD and God. We feed upon your Word, O LORD, and on His body and blood.  May He serve as King over us that we might enter your reign.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-012412-Tu_3_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 22 - Prayer to St. Vincent

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O martyr of the Lord extraordinaire who suffered unspeakable torture but was not bowed by such savagery, who spoke of great faith, singing of God’s glory even as your limbs were crushed, even as all the brutality the world could inflict sought to break your spirit – help us to conquer the world as you have done, as the Lord has done in you, not to be afraid but rather to serve our Savior and His Cross in joy as His blessed disciples; pray we, too, shall enter the heavenly gates open to those in whom the Spirit speaks even unto death.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._22_Vincent.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 22 - Monday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(2Sm.5:1-7,10;   Ps.89:20-22,25-26;   Mk.3:22-30)  “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.” How different are the scribes who come to Jesus from the Israelites who come to David to crown him king.  “The tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: ‘Here we are, your bone and your flesh.’”  So united would they be to him whom the Lord had said would “shepherd [His] people Israel,” so well do they remember his leadership in war, that they wholeheartedly invite him to rule over them.  They believe what God has said of His chosen king: “I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him,” and they confirm his anointing among them. But the scribes would drive Jesus from their midst.  And as the Jebusites vainly threatened David before he took the stronghold of Zion and began his reign in Jerusalem, so these blind leaders of the people vainly attack Jesus before His entering and taking hold of the New Jerusalem.  If David was anointed by God, how much more is the Father’s anointing upon His only Son?  If David’s deeds in war deserved respect and praise, how much more Him who came to teach and heal the nation?  And if these scribes should not only reject Jesus but designate the holy deeds He has worked among them as coming from the prince of demons, what hope have they but to join the prince of demons in eternal damnation?  For if they call the good evil, how shall they come to accept the goodness of God and enter His reign?  Shall they not rather fling themselves toward the fires of hell, as even they do here, taking the evil for good, led astray as they are by their pride and jealousy? The Lord’s hand is always with His Chosen One, “that [His] arm might make Him strong.”  It is in that strength we take refuge; it is in the blessing upon Him we find life.  We must invite Him who is good to rule over us – His works must be our own.  If we do not recognize the truth of His words and the grace in His deeds, what hope will we have of finding the fountain that washes us clean of our sins and prepares us for the holiness of paradise?  What can these scribes do but “carr[y] the guilt of [their] sin without end,” for they utterly reject Him. Brothers and sisters, we choose life or we choose death.  We choose to side with the good or turn to become one with the evil.  Wickedness has no place with the grace of God and His goodness allows no evil to enter in.  Jesus destroys evil: speak only the truth of this Word.  The Spirit knows nothing of lies. ******* O LORD, may your Son rule over us all and make us strong. YHWH, Jesus shall shepherd your people Israel; the blind leaders cannot prevent Him from taking hold of the holy City.  For your anointing is upon Him, and it is your arm that makes Him strong.  O let us enter Jerusalem with Him, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh! May the house of Satan be plundered by Him who is stronger than he; let his property be despoiled, all the accusations with which he would attack your holy ones.  O let the Holy Spirit be upon us! the truth that cannot be denied.  Your goodness be upon our souls, O LORD, to lead us to all light. David was your servant, LORD, the figure of Christ, your Son.  From his youth you blessed him with your grace and power, with the anointing of your Spirit.  Now that Jesus has come to fulfill this blessing among us, let us welcome Him into our homes, that we might be welcomed into your House, your forgiveness in our hearts.  Let none turn away from your truth.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-012312-M_3_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 21 - Prayer to St. Agnes

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O holy virgin martyr, O innocent child who offered your life more freely than a bride to her husband, more courageously than a warrior in battle, who though lacking in years was not lacking in faith nor desire to honor your only Spouse… you who were honored by the Fathers of the Church and are remembered to this day as a holy offering, a lamb of God sacrificed in flames yet professing ever your love for Christ – but a small measure of your courage would save our souls. Pray but a drop of His blood we may know falling from our veins.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._21_Agnes.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 21 - Sunday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.3:3b-10,19;   Ps.40:2,4,7-10;   1Cor.6:13c-15a,17-20;   Jn.1:35-42)  “The Lord came and revealed His presence, calling out as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’”  The call of Samuel, the call of Peter and his brother(s), and the call of us all to “glorify God in [our] body.”  As “Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord” when the Lord called to him, so we must all have the Holy Spirit within ourselves, we must each “know that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,” if we are to hear and answer the call of God.  As the disciples were so set upon finding the Christ, so our hearts, too, must be set upon Him, if we are to hear the words, “We have found the Messiah.”  He lives, brothers and sisters, and in His Temple He dwells.  And each of us He would make His temple; each of us He calls to be His disciple this day.  Listen for His voice, and go as you are led. Samuel was but a boy when he was called, and with the pure obedience of a child he responded to God’s voice.  Blessed was he to live with the high priest in the Lord’s temple, a forerunner of Christ in his living with the Lord from his youth, in his dedication to God and His will.  But now the Temple that is Jesus has come into the world, and makes His home with any so inclined, any who would take their rest at this holy Tabernacle of God.  He comes indeed now to make His home with us, even in the Sacrament He offers each day.  And do we respond as the boy Samuel? “John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’”; and so the two disciples find themselves called, and so they follow the Lord: “they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with Him that day.”  And one called his brother first to the Lord; and so Peter, the rock of the Church, comes to Christ… and so are all gathered unto the Lord.  And John still points to Jesus to this day, and Peter is still the rock of His teaching and the minister of His Body – and we are all now joined to them. “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” brothers and sisters.  Do you not understand that you are called to a holiness that equals His own?  This you should know, this you should understand – His call you should hear ringing in your ear.  And “with ears open to obedience” you should answer, “Here I am,” and become one with the Blessed Lamb, pure as the flesh of His sacrifice. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "This World of Sin" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. *******   O LORD, help us to abandon sin and all things of this world that we might follow your Son to Heaven. YHWH, help us to turn from our sins that we might find you.  Help us to leave this world behind that we might walk with your Son to the kingdom.  This world is passing away; let us not pass with it but come to your presence on high. O LORD, you show sinners the way to you.  You instruct us in your mercy to repent and believe in the Gospel your Son brings to us.  As He calls to our souls, let us be humble and obedient to His Word, that like the Ninevites we shall be spared, that like Peter and Andrew and James and John we shall abandon our moorings to follow Him, and so enter into your kingdom. Heaven awaits us, O LORD, by your grace.  You send your Son to call us there.  But we are attached to so many things of this earth and need your help to find the strength to leave them all behind.  O let our hearts be open to fully receive the goodness you would share with us!


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC--012212-Su_OT_3_B.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 20 - Prayer to St. Sebastian

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +0000

O soldier for Christ who sought with such courage to embrace His Cross, to die a death worthy of such a Lord, you whose heart was so set on imitating the suffering only He knew and so were rewarded with the crown of martyrdom – where is our courage; where is our strength? Pray for us, O warrior of our Lord and God, that our lives may bear witness to approach your own, that we shall not shrink from the Cross before us but with your same zeal seek to make it our own. Pray the blood of Christ upon us.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._20_Sebastian.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 20 - Prayer to St. Fabian

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O Holy Father of the Church, Pastor of the sheep of our Lord who have given your life freely for the name of Christ and its spreading throughout the earth, you whose blood was shed by the persecutors of the body but whose soul was ever in the Hand of God – pray our lives shall be lived in integrity and our death correspond, that a blessed witness we too shall give to the glory of God and His Son Jesus Christ, and so lead others to that same glory. May none of the flock or their shepherds fear the sacrifice of their lives.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._20_Fabian.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 20 - Saturday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(2Sm.1:1-4,11-12,19,23-27;   Ps.80:2-7;   Mk.3:20-21)  “They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan.”  For David’s leading his men in mourning for Saul, it might have been said of him what was said of Jesus: “He is out of His mind.”  But even to the end David proves himself sincere in his respect for God’s anointed, even slaying the man who claims to have dispatched the king upon Saul’s request (after he had dealt himself a mortal wound).  David is not anxious to claim the throne for himself, as so many around him suppose he should be.  Like Christ, he does not grasp at what is his, but continually humbles himself before his Lord and God, and waits and accepts the will of the Father. And so David weeps and fasts for the man who forever sought his life.  And so he is given “tears to drink in ample measure.”  And so he cries with the Israelites, “fed with the bread of tears” at the death of their king.  Jonathan, David truly loved.  He was indeed better to him than any brother or any lover.  For him his tears are understandable.  Jonathan repeatedly saved David’s life, to the point of provoking the wrath of his father against himself.  But there is no explanation for his love of Saul, other than the Lord loved him and had blessed him.  And so, David’s love is as the love of God.  His tears fall from on high. And what shall we say of our gospel today?  Jesus and His disciples are so pressed upon by the crowds of people, they made it “impossible for them to get any food whatever.”  We should remember this situation when we consider the Lord’s family coming to “take charge of Him.”  We should understand their concern for His health when we interpret their statement that “He is out of His mind.”  They mean not that He is insane, but that He needs someone to look after His temporal needs, lest He tax Himself overmuch. But the Lord’s strength, like David’s love, also comes from on high – it is not earthly.  And His work is His food, and the Father will take care.  His mourning and weeping and fasting and dying for us is blessed by His Father, and will bear fruit unto His kingship in heaven.  If He did not live by the standards of heaven, there would be no hope for our salvation, for why should He die for sinners such as us, other than it is the Father’s love? ******* O LORD, your love for us goes beyond reason, beyond the death we deserve for our sin. YHWH, your Son must be out of His mind for loving us as intensely as He does.  Why should He so forget Himself for those who have betrayed Him, those who have sought His life?  We ask this day: Why did David mourn over Saul, and why does Jesus die on the Cross? He spends Himself for our sakes, obedient to your will in all things, sacrificing Himself for those you would save.  And He cares not that those for whom He prays, those whom He heals by a word from His mouth, shall turn upon Him on the day you have assigned.  He desires only what you desire, dear God: that your wayward children shall not perish. As for a brother He gives Himself; members of your family He would make us.  With us He has been fed with the bread of tears, and from these He comes to rescue our souls.  O LORD, let us not drown in the surrounding sadness!  Let us rise from our fall with Him.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-012112-Sa_2_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 19 - Friday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.24:3-21;   Ps.57:2-4,6,11;   Mk.3:13-19) “Sovereignty over Israel shall come into your possession.” Today we see David at perhaps his most humble and obedient in the sight of God – we see why he is the great king of Israel. David is being hunted down by Saul once again in his jealousy.  His psalm, our psalm today, is his cry for protection from the Lord in whom he trusts: “I call to God Most High, to God, my benefactor.  May He send from heaven and save me.”  To the cave in which he hides, God sends his pursuer, vulnerable and at arm’s length.  But this man who will be king of the Israelites by God’s ordination refrains from taking the sword into his hand to kill the man who would kill him.  Why?  Because Saul is yet the king, “the Lord’s anointed,” whom David even calls “a father to me” despite the threat he is to his life.  Such an act of respect, such an understanding of the obedience due God and His will is unparalleled in Scripture.  This is David.  This is the king. And how tragic a figure is Saul.  Upon having his eyes turned inward to his very soul and the injustice he wreaks upon David, he weeps aloud in recognition of his sin: “You are in the right rather than I; you have treated me generously, while I have done you harm.”  It is he who speaks the words of our quote today, he who recognizes the truly kingly nature of David…  Yet for all his penance and insight it shall not be long before his jealousy leads him to pursue David unrighteously once again.  He cannot escape his envy for David’s blessing. And in our gospel we read of the blessed apostles of Christ, those “men He Himself had decided on,” whom He summoned and “who came and joined Him.”  These “He would send to preach the Good News”; these would “have authority to expel demons.”  They are named by name for us today: here is the foundation of the Church in which God dwells.  Here are His blessed kings of the New Jerusalem.  Let us not be jealous of them.  Let no man attempt to breach the authority given them; for pursue them as one would, none shall take their blessing away – it is they who are ordained by God for His service.  Humbly let us join them in their sovereignty over Israel.  Obediently let us come into the Lord’s kingdom. ******* O LORD, though your justice is beyond our reach, in your mercy make us your disciples.  YHWH, those whom you appoint must be respected.  It is you who anoint the king and ordain apostles.  Jesus is your only Son and He has chosen the Twelve to follow Him.  Who are we to go against His will and pursue them and those who continue in their stead?  O LORD, you have made Peter the rock of your Church and given all your apostles power to preach the Gospel and expel all demons.  At their hands your presence becomes real, of your Son’s flesh and blood we partake, and we are forgiven our sins.  If David your chosen could not kill an unjust king because of your blessing upon him, how much less can we usurp the power of the bishops and priests who stand this day in the very place of Jesus?  O let us learn the respect and obedience to your will that King David has clearly shown!  You protect your righteous ones, dearest LORD and God.  And so we need have no fear as long as we take refuge in your justice. 


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-012012-F_2_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 18 - Thursday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.18:6-9,19:1-7;   Ps.56:2-3,5,9-14;   Mk.3:7-12) “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Jesus His millions.  He slays an untold number of “unclean spirits [who] would catch sight of Him, fling themselves down at His feet, and shout, ‘You are the Son of God.’”  “A great crowd followed Him from Galilee, and an equally great multitude” from all the surrounding regions.  So great were their numbers He needed a boat to escape the press upon Him.  For He “cured many,” and many more desired to be touched by Him. The women sing of David’s greatness upon his return from slaying the Philistine.  Their rightful attribution of praise for David, through whom “the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel” and so for its king (who had himself sought someone to stand against the giant Goliath), does nothing but provoke resentment and jealousy from King Saul.  His anger even leads to his plotting to kill the man who has saved his kingdom; and though he sets aside his plan “of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause” for the moment, the plot never leaves his heart and shall repeatedly surface with greater intensity.  Thus Saul proves his inability to serve as king of the Lord’s people.  Thus his pride shall be his demise. And rightfully does Saul claim of David that “all that remains for him is the kingship,” for in fact he has already been anointed king in place of Saul by Samuel the prophet.  And though as with the kingship of Jesus, who silences the demons from revealing “who He was,” David’s crown shall remain hidden for a time, inevitably –  again, as with the Lord’s reign – those who “press their attack against” the Lord’s anointed shall be turned back and the true king shall “walk before God in the light of the living.”  It is inevitable for it is God’s will, and neither the jealousy of Saul nor the plotting of the Pharisees – the jealous kings who would be overthrown by Jesus – can turn aside what God has ordained. The Lord is with David.  Though his “adversaries trample upon [him] all the day,” he sings in praise of God in his psalm: “You have rescued me from death.”  And so we see how our psalms sing of Jesus Himself and why He is called Son of David.  For the greatest victory the Lord God shall achieve will be the resurrection of His Son from the dead, and the redemption of the many souls who shall follow Him. ******* O LORD, we press upon you with our afflictions,  and by your Son’s intercession we are saved.  YHWH, how many evil spirits have you slain?  How many enemies have you turned back for those who trust in your NAME?  Though many fight against us, we are saved when we call out to you – forever we shall be safe from the malice of the wicked.  Your Son has come to our shores and cured us of our afflictions.  By His grace He has freed us from all sin and evil.  His power is greater than that of the devil though the devil sit on the throne of a king.  For the spirit is greater than the flesh, and trusting in your Spirit, O LORD, we are released from the weakness of the flesh upon which the devil preys and made victorious in your NAME.  Thousands may we too slay if we keep our vows to you and in you find our strength.  Then on the Day of your Son’s return, the angels shall sing of the glory which is ours in you and in Him, O LORD, as we enter your reign. 


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011912-Th_2_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 17 - Prayer to St. Anthony the Abbot

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O father of monks and all who would give themselves completely to the Lord, you who have been so obedient to the word of God, to His call to sell everything, to renounce all possessions and follow Him – how we need your prayers this day, when love for material things possesses our very bodies and souls, when prayer and penance seem things of the distant past. Make present to us the blessed call of the Lord, the renunciation of the world, that we too might find the riches of Heaven you knew so well. Pray we give up all for God.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._17_Anthony_the_Abbot.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 17 - Wednesday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.17:32-33,37,40-51;   Ps.144:1-2,9-10;   Mk.3:1-6) “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord.” “The battle is the Lord’s” is the simple truth David proclaims to all those who stand in arms.  To “all this multitude,” he declares “that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves.”  Thus with David’s defeat of the Philistine giant is emphasized what has already been revealed in the anointing of this ruddy youth as king and the loss of that kingship by the tall-in-stature Saul: the exalted are humbled and the humbled exalted.  For God blesses those who make Him their “rock,” trusting not in their own wealth or strength.  “My refuge and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, my shield, in whom I trust, who subdues peoples under me,” David chants in praise of the Lord in his holy psalm.  And so should we all take refuge in the Lord, and find strength in praising His Name. And in “hoping to be able to bring an accusation against Him,” do not the Pharisees come, too, with sword and spear against God’s holy one today in our gospel?  And do they not make this violence clear in their turning “to plot with the Herodians on how they might destroy Him”?  They are defeated in battle by the Word of truth which issues forth and indeed is embodied by the Christ of God, Jesus, Son of David, Son of God.  They cannot contradict the authority of His teaching or the blessing of the healing He brings from the Father on high, but yet they harden their hearts and close “their minds against Him,” seeking to confirm their trust in the warring hand of this world in the capture and crucifixion of their Savior.  But the battle is the Lord’s, and their attempts to destroy Him shall prove the fruitlessness of such trust in violence – indeed, their killing Him with sword and spear shall be the instrument which leads to His resurrection, bringing the dawn of new life in whose light death itself, and the pride of man, shall be destroyed forever. Let all know it is the Lord who fights for those whom He loves, those who trust in Him and His ways, who seek to do good and not evil, to “preserve life” and not “destroy it.”  The question Jesus poses to the Pharisees He presents to us: do we cherish the saving power of the Lord of life and take refuge and joy in Him, or do we reach for the weapons at our side to destroy Him?  The posturing of this world is vain, for it is God who holds life and death in His Hand. ******* O LORD, you save us from the clutches of evil men.  YHWH, the battle is yours.  You strengthen our hands against the enemy and give victory to your chosen ones.  Despite the plots of those who surround us with evil intent, despite the might of the armies arrayed against us, you give confidence to those who trust in you, for with you the faithful soul triumphs over the powers of this world. You deliver us in the day of battle, dear God; you are our refuge, our stronghold, and by your hand we destroy those who come at us with closed minds and hardened hearts, railing against your holy One.  They cannot stand before your awesome power – their swords and spears are broken by the Word that issues from your mouth.  The head of the snake shall be cut off, crushed by the feet of your lowly ones, and we shall sing your praise, O LORD.  Forever we shall be preserved from the violence of the enemy. 


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011812-W_2_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 16 - Tuesday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.16:1-13;   Ps.89:20-22,27-28;   Mk.2:23-28)  “Man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” Indeed, how different the vision of God from the vision of man, and how well the Lord illustrates this in His rejection of Saul and His choosing of David.  When Samuel sees Eliab, whose appearance and “lofty stature” are reminiscent of Saul, even this great seer is blinded by his eyes and must be directed by God to look beyond what is apparent to his sight.  All seven sons brought to the feast are rejected by the Lord, and the youngest, “who is tending the sheep,” must be sent for.  Jesse, his father, did not think David worthy of coming to the sacrificial banquet, but it is he who is the centerpiece of the celebration.  This ruddy youth is the one chosen by the eyes of God. And lest we think that there is some kind of diametrical opposition between physical beauty and interior loveliness, we must note that David is not ugly to behold and the Lord does not choose him for a poor appearance.  He too was “handsome… and making a splendid appearance.”  But the beauty of David finds its source not in the skin but in a heart set on God, and it is this faithfulness and dedication to Him upon which the Lord gazes and, so, chooses, and not upon the curls falling around his face.  David’s appearance is beautiful because his soul is beautiful, and his soul is beautiful because it finds its life in God.  And so, from the day of his anointing by Samuel, God’s prophet, “the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David” and there remained, for it had found its proper home. In our gospel we have a quote like unto the one separated out for this day, and expressive of a similar lesson: “The Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath,” Jesus tells the Pharisees critical of His disciples picking, peeling, and eating heads of grain on the Lord’s Day.  For what do the Pharisees do but judge the law by its appearance alone, and fail to look into its heart.  The law is indeed beautiful to behold and was made for man for his benefit, to draw him close to God; but how far from its purpose these leaders of the people have come, and so, how distant from the Lord they stand – unable to recognize Him as He stands before them.  The sabbath itself was made for man’s rest and refreshment from labor, and yet when the disciples of Christ pick and eat to allay their hunger, to find refreshment for their failing bodies, these Pharisees deem it evil.  Again one wonders how they can be so blind.  Again it is apparent that they are unable to see beyond the surface.  Empty indeed are their hearts. As He has done for David, the Lord makes us strong, makes us fruitful and beautiful.  He blesses our works as the works of this “highest of the kings of the earth,” if those works are founded in Christ.  If we truly say with David, “You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior,” the Lord will hear us, and finding His presence in our hearts, He will bless us, even as His only Son. ******* O LORD, your Spirit be with us as with David,  as with Jesus.  YHWH, give us eyes to see what you see, hearts to understand your will.  Your Spirit dwell within us that we might be as your Chosen One.  O LORD, as we are presented before you, may we be acceptable in your sight.  Let our hearts not be hardened to your Word but anointed by your Son’s blood.  O that we might call you our Father and know Jesus as our Savior!  Give us your Wisdom that we might radiate your beauty to all who look upon us this day.  David you blessed, dear God, as king of kings, as the child upon whom your favor rested.  Is He not the figure of your only Son?  In Him do we not see presaged the Christ who w[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011712-Tu_2_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 15 - Monday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.15:16-23;   Ps.50:8-9,16-17,21,23;   Mk.2:18-22) “Does the Lord so delight in holocausts and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord? The answer to the question Samuel puts to Saul is, in a word, “No.”  “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams.”  Nothing does the Lord deem greater than our hearing and heeding His Word, than our obedience to His will.  And nothing will save us, nothing will preserve our place in His kingdom like our doing what He asks of us. Saul loses his kingship for his disobedience to the command of the Lord.  The Lord has told him to destroy the enemy he invades and all that belongs to them.  Saul retains some of the animals to bring back for sacrifice to God.  Why waste them?  Why not honor God with them?  Reasonable thoughts to the human mind, but not the will of God.  And in heeding these thoughts is revealed the seed of Saul’s rebellion against God, which will lead to his attempts to destroy the king (David) the Lord has chosen to replace him, and end in his own suicide. How prone the human mind is to favor its own counsels against those of God.  How foolish seem submission and obedience, especially when they go against our own logic.  But David will show the humility God desires in those He would bless.  “To him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God,” He promises us.  David will be one who does not hate the discipline of the Lord or cast His words behind his back.  When all justification is present for his killing Saul, who hunts down God’s chosen like an animal, he forgoes every opportunity, respecting his pursuer as God’s anointed.  How different his attitude from Saul’s, he who “rejected the command of the Lord” by taking matters in his own soiled hands. The blessing obedience is, the transcendent joy of joining oneself to the will of the Lord, is evident in our gospel as well, in Jesus’ teaching that “new wine is poured into new skins” and not old.  Fasting is a blessed sacrifice provided by the law and by God.  But as wholesome as this practice, or any other religious observance, can be, it does not supersede being present to the Lord.  If we are not present to Him, all our works become empty.  The disciples are so close to Jesus, so happy to be in His company, it is as if they have stepped into heaven – and so how can the law’s prescription for fasting touch them in a place where fasting is no longer necessary?  Indeed, they shall fast upon His death, and we know our great saints have performed great fasts and sacrifices in the Name of the Lord and for His glory… but first the grace of God must be with us all, or all becomes empty show. It is the new wine of which we drink now, brothers and sisters; it is the Word become whole which is ours.  Let us now be obedient to the Lord’s command, and all we do will be joy for us and for our God. *******  O LORD, make of us new wineskins  that we might bear your Word within ourselves. YHWH, let us not question your Word or your will but walk in your way, for only by such obedience will we find salvation.  Let us not pull away from you or presume our thoughts above your own.  For in such foolishness we shall surely die – how can we remain if rejected by you?  And surely shall our rejection come if we fail to listen to your command and do your bidding.  For your command is life to us, O LORD, and following in your way our means to glory; thus we will be without hope if we turn from your discipline. Let us listen to Jesus, Him whom you have sent as Bridegroom among us.  In His presence our hearts rejoice, and apart from Him we can only fast.  But in feasti[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011612-M_2_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 14 - Sunday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 05:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.3:3b-10,19;   Ps.40:2,4,7-10;   1Cor.6:13c-15a,17-20;   Jn.1:35-42)  “The Lord came and revealed His presence, calling out as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’”  The call of Samuel, the call of Peter and his brother(s), and the call of us all to “glorify God in [our] body.”  As “Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord” when the Lord called to him, so we must all have the Holy Spirit within ourselves, we must each “know that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,” if we are to hear and answer the call of God.  As the disciples were so set upon finding the Christ, so our hearts, too, must be set upon Him, if we are to hear the words, “We have found the Messiah.”  He lives, brothers and sisters, and in His Temple He dwells.  And each of us He would make His temple; each of us He calls to be His disciple this day.  Listen for His voice, and go as you are led. Samuel was but a boy when he was called, and with the pure obedience of a child he responded to God’s voice.  Blessed was he to live with the high priest in the Lord’s temple, a forerunner of Christ in his living with the Lord from his youth, in his dedication to God and His will.  But now the Temple that is Jesus has come into the world, and makes His home with any so inclined, any who would take their rest at this holy Tabernacle of God.  He comes indeed now to make His home with us, even in the Sacrament He offers each day.  And do we respond as the boy Samuel? “John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’”; and so the two disciples find themselves called, and so they follow the Lord: “they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with Him that day.”  And one called his brother first to the Lord; and so Peter, the rock of the Church, comes to Christ… and so are all gathered unto the Lord.  And John still points to Jesus to this day, and Peter is still the rock of His teaching and the minister of His Body – and we are all now joined to them. “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” brothers and sisters.  Do you not understand that you are called to a holiness that equals His own?  This you should know, this you should understand – His call you should hear ringing in your ear.  And “with ears open to obedience” you should answer, “Here I am,” and become one with the Blessed Lamb, pure as the flesh of His sacrifice. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "Calling" from Loving Spirit, third album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, let the Church be as the Body of your Son, the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  YHWH, you call us all to enter your Temple, to be as your tabernacles in this world, holy and true to your Word, to your call to our souls.  Help us to answer you readily, to become as temples of the Holy Spirit, built firmly into your House, the Church. O LORD, our own bodies you would make temples.  As your Son you call us to be.  And obedient to your Word we shall indeed become as He; offering our lives in union with His, your Law shall be written upon our hearts and we shall be as your sons. Humble as the child Samuel, simple and pure in our understanding of your presence – in perfect innocence let us come to you, LORD, and all we do shall be blessed.  And we will grow in holiness before you; and we will rest always with you.  Your Son has purchased us at the cost of His life…  Let us glorify you in all we think, say, and do, and we will be a worthy Temple.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011512-Su_OT_2_B.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 13 - Prayer to St. Hilary

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O shepherd and doctor of God’s holy Church, is this not what you would declare with all your breath to the ends of the earth: “Jesus is the Son of God and God Himself”? Would you not proclaim the true light of Scripture and the Word, the Light, become flesh in our midst? Know, O saint of the Lord, that your words reach our ears and our hearts even to this day, and this day we proclaim you holy and your words true – continue to speak to us; please intercede for us, that the Truth you declared so fearlessly will be taken up again by those in His stead today.  


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._13_Hilary.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 13 - Saturday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.9:1-4,17-19,10:1;   Ps.21:2-7;   Mk.2:13-17)  “You are to govern the Lord’s people Israel, and to save them from the grasp of their enemies round about.” Tall and handsome, Saul gives every appearance of a king.  And so God gives the people what they want in this “handsome young man” who “stood head and shoulders above the people.”  But with Saul the Lord shall indeed prove that it is not upon appearances He gazes.  In the failure of Saul’s reign will be revealed the emptiness of such outward attraction and our proclivity to desire what is appealing to the eye.  For Saul shall not prove to be God’s anointed; His Christ shall be quite another. It is not of Saul our psalm of David sings when it speaks of the blessings of the king.  The “majesty and splendor [the Lord] conferred upon him” is as passing as his beauty.  The “crown of pure gold” is to be placed upon the head of Jesus Christ alone; it is He the Father has made “a blessing forever.”  His glory will be reflected in David, the ruddy shepherd youth whose son he is called, but will be fulfilled only in the Person of Jesus.  It is He in whom all kings rejoice, in whom all find “the joy of [God’s] presence,” in whom all discover victory. In our gospel, Jesus, the true king, comes, not with stately train, but “walking along the lakeshore.”  And crowds of people follow Him, people not of power and riches or reputation; rather, “many tax collectors and those known as sinners joined Him.”  This greatly disturbed the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees – it was not according to their vision of who He should be and what He should do.  “Why does He eat with such as these?” they complain to His disciples.  But He has a ready answer, one which cuts to the heart of us all and reveals the nature and purpose of this true king: “People who are healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do.”  And so the Savior comes into our midst, neither tall nor handsome nor desiring praise, to save us from our sin. We are all sick, brothers and sisters!  Make no doubt; have no question about it.  We need Him!  It is this king and the “goodly blessings” that flow from Him that must be our heart’s desire, for He alone will bring us into the joy of the kingdom; He alone will save us from the sin into which we have all fallen.  Let us follow Him as Levi, leaving behind our sinful station in life, and He will govern us well. ******* O LORD, Jesus you have made King over us  that we might be saved from sin and rejoice in your presence forever. YHWH, your Son, our King, has come to call us from our sin, to save men in need of healing.  And who among us is not in need of Him?  Pity the poor soul who thinks himself so.  What are we in your sight, O LORD?  However tall we might be, we are no more than ants.  To you all men are sick and in need of a physician; you see how quickly our beauty fades.  Oh if we could only see as you see!  If we could only recognize your greatness among us in the humble stature of Jesus, the holy One.  Make us ready to follow Him as Matthew from his post.  Somehow open our eyes to see His gaze passing before us.  Save us from the grasp of our enemies round about.  Only you could govern us; only in you could we rejoice in victory.  O LORD, let us join your Son in majesty and splendor – for us He is a blessing forever.  In Him we find all we need.  In Him we are all anointed kings. 


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011412-Sa_1_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 12 - Friday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.8:4-7,10-22;   Ps.89:2,16-19;   Mk.2:1-12)  “We have never seen anything like this!” What the Lord can do, no one else is able to do – no king, no prophet, no priest.  Though all may do in His name, nothing is done except through Him.  He alone forgives sins; He alone heals.  He alone fights our battles, for He alone rules over us. In asking Samuel to appoint a king over them, the Israelites reject the rule of God in their lives.  If they but believed, the Lord would take care of all their concerns and they would keep all His blessings – their children, their animals, their land… as their own.  But they do not trust in Him; rather, they fear the world, the surrounding nations, and seek to be like them, to fight as they do – to have one of their own to rule them.  And thus they will lose what they have, for when we give all to God, He returns all we give with manifold blessing; but when we trust in man, giving ourselves to him, he swallows up our offerings. Our psalm expresses well the attitude we should have toward God.  It should be “in the light of [His] countenance” we walk.  It should be “at [His] name [we] rejoice all the day.”  We should say with our psalmist: “To the Lord belongs our shield, and to the Holy One of Israel, our king.”  And so it is Jesus who must be our King; He alone must rule our lives, for He alone truly belongs to God; He alone is the Son of God. The scribes were right to ask, “Who can forgive sins except God alone?” for God alone stood before them, forgiving the sins of His children.  And it is now by His power, His presence, that our priests forgive men’s sins in His name.  “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” and He does not take that power from the face of the earth upon His return to the Father’s side in heaven: He multiplies that power – as well as the power to teach, to, in this sense, rule our lives – in His holy Church and its appointed leaders.  What He granted to the Israelites because of their stubbornness of heart, He now brings full circle by blessing us with the presence of Christ: our king, our prophet, and our priest.  No longer is it blasphemy for one to stand in God’s stead, for the Lord has visited His people. And should we not praise Him, therefore, for the wonders He accomplishes in our midst?  Should we not shout for joy for His blessings?  For now we have a king to rule us, a king greater than any other; now we need not fear the attacks of any nation.  For even Satan He holds in His hands and casts him out at will; and so we are able to return to our land, to stand up and “go home.”  May “all give praise to God” for His goodness to us, turning our foolishness and sin to His grace and blessing before our very eyes. ******* O LORD, let us walk in the light of your countenance;  you alone are our strength.  YHWH, forgive us our sins, forgive our rejecting your rule over us.  Forgive our seeking to be like other nations with one like ourselves as our king – O why do we not cherish your presence in our midst?  But thank you for sending your Son to be our King, to be Lord over us, for by this grace you take our foolish desire and make it holy.  By Him we are redeemed from our sin…  By Him we are forgiven. Only you, O God, can forgive our sins, and this you do through your Son.  For He shares your authority – He Himself is God.  And this power to forgive sins you extend to men who stand this day in Jesus’ stead.  Though we be weak and sinful, in His Name all is accomplished according to your will. And [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011312-F_1_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 11 - Thursday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.4:1-11;   Ps.44:10-11,14-15,24-25,27;   Mk.1:40-45)  “Our souls are bowed down to the dust; our bodies are pressed to the earth.” The Israelites suffer “a disastrous defeat” at the hands of their worst enemy.  Not only do they lose thirty thousand men, but the ark of God – “who is enthroned upon the cherubim” which protect it – the tabernacle which holds the manna and the tablets of the Ten Commandments.  This most holy ark is taken into the camp of the Philistines.  How can this be?  The Israelites trusted in God’s presence to save them, and they are beaten down.  Our psalm addresses their plight directly: “You have cast us off and put us in disgrace, and you go not forth with our armies… those who hated us plundered us at will.”  And so the psalmist cries out with the defeated Israelites, “Why do you hide your face, forgetting our woe and our oppression?” The Israelites – like the thieves on the cross either side of Christ, like us all – deserved their crushing defeat.  They, again, as us all, turned their faces from the Lord of hosts to worship false and empty gods.  There should be no question as to why the chastising hand of God is upon any of us.  But our psalm is about more than this defeat of Israel or even our own punishment for sin.  Written as the voice of Jesus Himself, it reveals the suffering of the innocent Lamb of God in our stead: “You made us the reproach of our neighbors, the mockery and the scorn of those around us.”  Jesus endures the scourging and the crown of thorns and the crucifixion for no other reason than to save our souls from similar fate, and worse, from condemnation.  The sinless dove dies for the sinful flesh, which keeps us all in prison and pushes our faces to the dust.  Though the sons of the high priest die in battle and are no more, Jesus lives, and through His death in battle for our souls, all now live. In our gospel “a leper approach[es] Jesus with a request, kneeling down as he address[es] Him.”  Here we all are as sinners, symbolized by this outcast, coming earnestly to Jesus and humbling ourselves to the ground which, without God, is our place, is the dust from which we come and to which we return.  Jesus is “moved with pity.”  Jesus “stretch[es] out His hand.”  Jesus “touch[es] him,” and says: “Be cured.”  And the man is made whole.  Yes, this leper must be each of us, brothers and sisters.  Humbly, our faces to the ground, knowing our sin and being repentant of it, we must come to Him.  And He will raise our souls from the dust and our bodies from the earth into which they have fallen.  This is why He has come; let us come to Him. ******* O LORD, we come to you to beg your grace: make us no longer the laughingstock of the nations. YHWH, our bodies are pressed to the earth; we are bowed down to the dust.  As the leper we come before you begging your healing touch.  May your Son reach out to us that we might be saved from all evil.  Disastrous defeat we suffer at the hands of the devil for we have sinned against you, O LORD our God.  Our enemies overcome us for you do not fight with us, and so we are without a savior.  Our courage fails for we are alone and have no help from you. What can we do on our own, dear God?  Of what worth are our souls left to their own device?  Where shall we find the strength to withstand the attack against us?  Our oppressors bring us to woe, we are put to disgrace, for you have cast us off and we cannot enter battle alone.  O LORD, if you will to do so, you can [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011212-Th_1_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 10 - Wednesday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.3:1-10,19-20;   Ps.40:2-5,7-10;   Mk.1:29-39)  “To do your will, O Lord, is my delight.”  O how Samuel shows the “ears open to obedience” we all must have.  For when called, even from sleep, he immediately and repeatedly rises and presents himself for service to the Lord.  Even from his youth he is with the Lord and in His will.  Such readiness to serve is also revealed in Peter’s mother-in-law, who, when touched by Jesus, “immediately began to wait on them.”  She, too, rises quickly from bed (and sickness) to do the work of the Lord. And certainly Jesus Himself is our greatest example of readiness to do God’s will, for He and the Father are indeed one and all He does is according to the Father’s word.  After healing the “whole town” of their afflictions, working to exhaustion to arouse those imprisoned by the darkness of demons and bringing them into the light of God for service of the good, He rises “early the next morning” and goes “off to a lonely place in the desert,” where “He was absorbed in prayer.”  When the disciples find Him, He is prepared to move on to the next town and the same exhausting work in service of the will of God, saying of the need to “proclaim the good news”: “That is what I have come to do.” It is said of Samuel: he “grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.”  And so, well does this great prophet presage the coming of Christ – He who fulfills the will of the Father – and the faith of all those who follow Him.  For all those who wait for the Lord, He stoops toward.  To all those who say, “Behold, I come,” He Himself comes, He Himself strengthens… His greatness He makes known through His children.  So it is written in the scroll and upon our hearts: so is the will of God accomplished in our lives. Only Him do we serve, brothers and sisters.  His voice alone we must hear and heed.  “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening,” must ever be our attitude toward the Creator of heaven and earth and the Savior of our souls.  The Spirit’s lead we must follow readily.  And He will be with us to bless and give us the strength we need to work in Him beyond exhaustion, beyond sickness… beyond death.   Life will be ours. ******* O LORD, let your Good News be proclaimed that all might hear and be healed and ready to answer your call. YHWH, to do your will is our delight, is our holy call in this world.  Let us be so blessed to hear your voice and accomplish the work you set before us.  Let nothing we say be without effect; let us never act apart from you.  Somehow let us find you so present to us as you were to Samuel – somehow let us follow in the footsteps of your Son. In the temple let us dwell, in your holy resting place.  Before the ark of the Covenant let us keep watch – never let your light be extinguished from our hearts and minds.  Ready let us be to answer your call and show ourselves your servants.  O LORD, let us do your will.  Why should we be afflicted when your Son is near to cast all demons from our souls, to heal us of every illness.  To His door let us come, O LORD, and He will reach out His hand to save us.  Give light to these eyes blinded by age and the falsehood of this evil world.  In obedience let us stand before you. 


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011112-W_1_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 9 - Tuesday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.1:9-20;   1Sm.2:1,4-8;   Mk.1:21-28)  “May the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.” For He holds all authority.  “He gives orders to unclean spirits and they obey.”  “The Lord puts to death and gives life; He casts down to the nether world; He raises up again.”  All He wills, He does – nothing is beyond His reach and power.  And His desire is to answer your prayer.  If you are faithful as is Hannah, if you come before Him in such sincerity and truth, then what you ask shall be yours; for He Himself is sincerity and truth and goodness, and when you join yourself to Him, you join yourself to His authority… and find the answer to your prayer by His presence in your heart. And so your heart shall exult with Hannah’s.  And so you shall see how “He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap He lifts up the poor.”  Indeed the prayer of the poor touches His heart and He “seat[s] them with nobles and make[s] a glorious throne their heritage.”  To heaven do they come, for heaven is their love. How evident is the Lord’s will and favor to those lowly ones who seek Him in the birth of Samuel – whose very name means “asked of the Lord” – to the barren wife Hannah.  None could be poorer in blessing than she; ridiculed by the world is she for the Lord’s lack of favor toward her.  But as bitter as the fruit she must taste, she does not rebel against her God, but comes to Him in all humility and with a heart full of prayer and eyes filled with tears.  And He loves His child.  And one of the greatest men of the Old Testament becomes her son.  And her song in praise of the Lord foreshadows Mary’s own. “Jesus entered the synagogue on the sabbath and began to teach.”  He comes to us now with His Word, His authority.  Where Hannah sought Him, He now comes to us, offering freely the wisdom and power and grace which are His alone.  And there is nothing which stands in the way of that Word.  There is nothing to prevent its coming to our hearts and healing our souls of all injury, if we but listen, if we but seek His presence in our lives – if we but promise to give all to Him, He will give all we ask to us. ******* O LORD, you have granted what we have asked of you in Jesus your Son. YHWH, the needy you lift up from the dust; the barren wife bears seven sons and the poor man you seat with nobles.  For you hear the prayer of those who cry to you, who believe in you despite their misery and come with a sincere heart – you cannot resist our tears.  You have all authority and that authority you wield to heal those in need and teach us your way of holiness.  And so our hearts exult in you, O LORD.  You give us victory over all our enemies.  Sin you cast far from our souls; all unclean spirits vanish at your Word.  The holy One you have sent to us, and He is our LORD and Savior.  And so we are rich in Jesus, your Son.  And so a glorious throne you make our heritage.  Though a moment before we may have been in the throes of evil, though so long we may have dwelt in sorrow, you give us new life and raise us to your side.  In Jesus let us make our home. 


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-011012-Tu_1_OT_II.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 8 - Baptism of the Lord, Year B

Sun, 07 Jan 2018 08:00:00 +0000

(Is.55:1-11;   Is.12:1-6;   1Jn.5:1-9;   Mk.1:7-11)  “A voice came from the heavens, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’”  Brothers and sisters, God “has testified on behalf of His Son.”  With His own voice and by “the Spirit, the water, and the blood,” He has borne witness that Jesus is the Christ.  And should we not believe and so conquer the world? To the waters Jesus comes, and by His baptism makes them holy, that we in turn might be made holy by our baptism in them.  Upon Him the Spirit descends like a dove, that new life might be breathed into our souls.  And for our sake He will be crucified, that in His blood we may be redeemed.  All speaks of our salvation!  The water, the Spirit, and the blood – and all He is and does – give credence to the declaration from the mouth of the Father that this is His Son, and that we shall find life in Him alone.  The Baptist has been sent to prepare the way before Him, proclaiming, “One mightier than I is coming after me.”  Let us “listen, that [we] may have life.” Do your souls not desire the food from heaven?  Are you not “thirsty,” are you not hungry for the bread of Truth?  Listen to the Lord, “Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.”  For though high are His “ways above your ways” and His “thoughts above your thoughts,” though this food is well beyond your grasp, yet as “from the heavens rain and snow come down” and nourish the earth, so does the Spirit descend upon us, so do the waters of baptism nourish our faith – so does the blood of His sacrifice become our spiritual drink and His body our spiritual food.  And so we become “confident and unafraid.”  And so by our faith we do conquer the world. Brothers and sisters, “the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” “is begotten of God,” for he becomes a son even as He is.  And what power has the earth over Him who created it?  And so what can stand before such faith?  And nourished by this faith what can we do but love, as our God who is but love?  To believe in Him is to love Him and to love Him means to love others; for faith in God who has always been brings love of those who are with us now, and so hope for heaven which is to come.  This is the will of God for our souls this day.  This is the life into which He would baptize our race.  So, let us “sing praise to God for His glorious achievement” as we cleanse ourselves in the water His Son makes pure. Written, read and chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney. Music is "Not as This World Gives" by Carie Fortney; used by permission.  ******* O LORD, your beloved Son is in our midst; let us believe in Him that we might find our way to you.  YHWH, your Word has come down from the heavens and watered the earth; your Son has come to save us.  And so we may now draw water from this fountain of salvation – we may be baptized in Him and in His blood.  Speak to us this day by the power of the Spirit of the blessing that is ours by faith in your Christ. O LORD, we may conquer the world and ourselves if we but believe in Jesus.  Though you are far above our thoughts and our ways, you are brought near to us by the presence of your beloved Son in our midst this day.  Let us listen to Him and His apostles and prophets, that we may no longer live our lives in vain but be confident and unafraid in the joy of our Savior. O LORD, let us be begotten by you even[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Baptism_of_the_Lord_Year_B.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 7 - Prayer to St. Raymond of Penafort

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O redeemer of captive slaves, those enslaved to sin and those enslaved by the clutches of the world – preach to us this day the freedom found under the Cross of Christ and in the repentance of heart blessed by the grace upon the Church. Teach us well the path to Heaven, which is wrought not in comfort and peace but in struggle against sin, in the laying down of our lives before our persecutors. Ransom us from wayward thoughts and actions, and from the snares of the adversary who waits for our misstep. In Christ alone may we find our rest.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._7_Raymond_of_Penafort.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 7 - Epiphany of the Lord

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 05:00:00 +0000

(Is.60:1-6;   Ps.72:1-2,7-8,10-13;   Eph.3:2-3a,5-6;   Mt.2:1-12)   “They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary His Mother.”   And so our prophecy of Isaiah and our psalm of David come to pass: “Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you… the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.”  And “the kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.  All kings shall pay Him homage, all nations shall serve Him.”  And so we have the revelation made known to the Apostle Paul and all His holy ones: “The Gentiles are now coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Yes, the Light of Jerusalem has come, and it draws the ends of the earth by its radiance.   Here is the star which rises in our midst; here is the true light which shines upon all men.   And all men are drawn to it – none can deny its brightness before us, its truth and its glory.  And who is this king but the One of “justice” and “profound peace”?   Who is He but the One who “shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor He shall save.”   And so all must make themselves poor before Him, laying their gifts at His blessed feet. Today we celebrate the coming of Light to the nations, the manifestation of Jesus Christ to this world covered in darkness.  And we find our hope and our joy in Him as did the magi two thousand years ago.   For He continues to reveal Himself to our hearts.  He continues to show His peace and justice to all who look for His coming.   Let our eyes be raised to the heavens and our hearts be diligent in seeking Him, and we will be led to His crib.   There the Mother holds Him in her arms; there before such beauty we should empty our souls in adoration of His blessed presence, like these magi who “prostrated themselves and did Him homage.”   Then we shall rise fulfilled.   Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.   Music by Roger Fortney; used by permission.   ******* O LORD, lead us by your light to lay down our lives before you. YHWH, into this world of darkness you have sent a great light and now all nations desirous of truth, desirous of light, follow that light to find you, dear Father in Heaven.  As the magi followed the star to find the Baby Jesus with Mary His Mother, so all poor souls follow your Son to find you who have created us all; for He is in you, and looking upon His innocent face we see you, our LORD and God, and the light is ours. There is no division in your House, O LORD; all souls are called into your presence.  Your star you make obvious for all to see that none may be left by the wayside but all keep to the road that leads to life.  Help us, O LORD, to empty ourselves of all that keeps us from gazing at your light, all that makes our eyes blind to your glory.  May we with the magi prostrate ourselves before your Child, offering all we have to Him and so to you.  He is the King that shall rule us all – let us embrace His coming.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Epiphany_of_the_Lord_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 6 - before Epiphany

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.5:5-13;   Ps.147:12-15,19-20;   Mk.1:7-11) “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”  How reassuring John is to us who believe – “I have written this to you to make you realize that you possess eternal life” – for how easily we can forget the grace that is ours “in the name of the Son of God.”  How sure he is.  How clear in his explanation.  How loving.  One has little reason to wonder why he was beloved of the Lord, for this love bleeds in all his words and leads us to that love of Christ that is eternal life. The Father’s witness has been given clearly, “You are my beloved Son.  On you my favor rests.”  Mark, too, makes certain that Jesus is the Son of God.  How can we forget the words of the Father?  And how can we forget the blood He has shed on our behalf, and the water that flows like baptism from His side?  “It is the Spirit who testifies to this, and the Spirit is truth.”  If you have the Spirit dwelling in you, you know this – it sets your heart on fire, and is indeed as the breath of life.  How can we know anything but eternal life when baptized in the Holy Spirit by the Lord? “He has granted you peace in your borders,” our psalmist proclaims; and in the Spirit we have only peace – nothing lacking rest can enter there.  And now “with the best of wheat He fills [us],” now that we receive His body in the Eucharist.  What bread indeed we eat!  Here is the bread of life.  We have His Word born in the Spirit spoken to our ears, and on His very presence we sup.  Such witnesses!  What more need we to believe? “Jesus is the Son of God,” brothers and sisters.  This alone you need remember.  When all else fails and darkness pervades, know that Jesus is with you and bringing you to life. ******* O LORD, let us be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and we shall have eternal life.       YHWH, eternal life you have given us in your only Son. Peace reigns in Him, and in us, if we believe in Him. As the Spirit descended upon your beloved One, so it descends upon those who believe in the Name of Jesus. Him you have sent us that you might give us yourself.      There is none greater than Jesus the Christ, nor shall there be. There is no one else for whom we need wait. He has come. He has died for us. Now He is risen and His Spirit is with us to guide us to all life. Help us, O LORD, to remember this; help us to hold on to the blessing you have provided in your only Son.      With the best of wheat fill us, O LORD, with His Body and His Blood; His flesh let us become. Then nothing shall disturb us; then our faith will make us whole. Then we shall hear your words pronounced over us that we are your beloved children. O let the Spirit fall upon us and remain with us! Let us be cleansed of sin and believe in your Word.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/January_6.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 5 - Prayer to St. John Neumann

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O shepherd who walked in the humble stead of your flock, who worked so diligently among those in your care, speaking to their hearts; you who gathered into schools the little ones, who saw to the education of the children… and all this in a foreign land – pray for the country in which you ministered, that its lambs once again be raised in the faith and its strangers be once again shepherded by one as anxious as you for their well-being. Here let us find the grace of Christ to redeem the lowly and the lost.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._5_John_Neumann.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 5 - before Epiphany

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.3:11-21;   Ps.100:1-5;   Jn.1:43-51) “We should love one another.”  In our gospel, “first [Jesus] came upon Philip” – whose name means “love” – and invited him to follow Him.  Love brought with him one in whom “there is no guile,” and he (Nathanael) declared openly to the Lord: “You are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”  And so we must all be of love, and be without deceit.  We must all “know that the Lord is God; He made us, His we are; His people, the flock He tends.”  The Lord must find us all at peace “under the fig tree” with consciences that have “nothing to charge us with.”  And great things wrought by the hand of God we shall see before our eyes. “The Lord is good,” and we must be like Him.  The Lord is of love, and loving as He does we pass “from death to life”: “The way we came to understand love was that He laid down His life for us; we too must lay down our lives for our brothers.”  How well John speaks of the love all need in our first reading today.  Here is the voice of a man, an apostle in the Spirit of Christ, who loves “in deed and in truth,” and since he does “not merely talk about it,” but lives it, his words are alive with that truth.  Love.  This is “the message [we] heard from the beginning.”  This laying down our lives is our guiding light leading us to the eternal life of heaven. And so we should “serve the Lord with gladness.”  We should “come before Him with joyful song.”  We should declare openly that He is God, as our love leads us to do.  His “kindness endures forever”; yes, His love is for eternity, and we must come to share in that great gift of love.  “The man who does not love is among the living dead,” but he who loves lives forever.  The world will hate us because it is not of love; but all the more we should be encouraged to love, to die to the hatred the world brings and find our place in peace under our fig tree with the Lord who is love itself. Let us love and be of love, brothers and sisters, and we shall live forever with our Lord and the angels of heaven. ******* O LORD, let us pass from the death wrought by this world to life with you in Heaven.  YHWH, may our consciences be clear before you; may we be of love and so be of you who are love.  May we be without guile, seeking only you and the peace you bring to our souls.  Then we shall praise you in joy forever, for then we will be your own. O LORD, let us be true to our call to love you and one another.  Let it not be only in words that we love but in truth, with our very lives.  If we do not act as your Son, how can we call you ‘Father’; how will we know you at all?  You dwell in ineffable light with the angels of Heaven, and only by love do we come to that light, only by laying down our lives as Jesus. LORD, let us know your goodness in our lives that we might enter your gates with thanksgiving for all the blessings we share with your saints.  In freedom may we bless your Name, you who look upon us with kindness.  To your side let us be guided by our desire to love.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/January_5.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 4 - Prayer to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O mother through marriage and religious Mother, who indeed became mother of many, many sisters whom you led in the faith and many children whom you taught in your schools – in your wisdom teach many still the path of Christ, the way of charity He has trod, that renewed will those be who call you Mother, and instructed well those in their classrooms throughout the land. What should we teach our children, dear Mother? Have we not forgotten the lesson of Christ? Pray for us, I beg, this day, that the way and the truth we shall follow.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._4_Elizabeth_Ann_Seton.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 4 - before Epiphany

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.3:7-10;   Ps.98:1,3,7-9;   Jn.1:35-42) “When Jesus turned around and noticed them following Him, He asked them, ‘What are you looking for?’”  Brothers and sisters, what Jesus asks the first two disciples He asks each of us who follow in their wake.  What do we seek?  Why are we following Him?  What is it we hope to find at the place where He stays? David makes clear in our psalm that the Son of God, “His holy arm,” has been revealed in our midst – in “wondrous deeds” He “comes to rule the earth.”  “The world and those who dwell in it” should resound with joy.  Him whom John the Baptist points out in no uncertainty is with us now.  There is no other whom we should follow.  And so we do.  And so we come to Him each day, to receive our daily bread.  Seeing where He lodges, we come to stay with Him. But what does the Lord see when He looks upon us?  Does He stay with us?  When Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, He “looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon, son of John; your name shall be Cephas (which is rendered Peter).’”  Jesus upon looking at Peter sees the Rock on which He will build His Church.  Peter’s holiness, the strength he has in God and for God, is evident to the Lord.  Jesus knows what Peter seeks, and both have found what they are looking for.  Is it upon our hearts as well to find the holiness of heaven, to become one with the Son of God? “The man who acts in holiness is holy indeed, even as the Son is holy,” but “the man who sins belongs to the devil.”  Holiness or sin?  Jesus or the devil?  The choice is clear, and must be evident in our lives.  “No one begotten of God acts sinfully” and “no one whose actions are unholy belongs to God.”  The first letter of John, our first reading, could not more simply state our call in the Lord: to be holy, not to sin… to love our brothers and sisters well – to be as Jesus, the Son most holy. Jesus will turn and see us; His eyes are upon us now.  What does He see as He looks upon your heart?  What is your answer to His question, “What are you looking for?”  Let His dwelling be all you seek. ******* O LORD, let us follow your Son to where He lives, in holiness with you.  YHWH, let us stay with you and with your Son.  May He turn and look upon us with kindness, with pity for our frail condition.  O let this Lamb take our sins from us that we might no longer be in the grip of the devil but come to eternal life in your House! The Messiah you have sent is in our midst this day; let us come to the altar to receive Him, to receive His holy sacrifice and become one with Him.  Only thus shall we be made holy; only with Him will we find true justice and so rejoice in your presence, O LORD.  O let us be ruled by Him! Make us your children, dear LORD.  Make us as your only Son.  May Jesus be with us this day and we with Him that we might become holy indeed.  Never let us act sinfully but ever love as you love, as your Son loves us.  Let us seek your love alone and so be founded upon true Rock, in your House.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/January_4.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 3 - before Epiphany

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.2:29-3:6;   Ps.98:1,3-6;   Jn.1:29-34) “Look there!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” “This is God’s chosen One.”  This is He upon whom “the Spirit descend[s]” – who takes away our sins and makes us pure by His own baptism “with the Holy Spirit.”  He who walks with Him walks in holiness, for “everyone who acts in holiness has been begotten by Him” – we have become “children of God” because we have now the grace of the only Son. Listen to the manner in which the Baptist “sing[s] joyfully before the King, the Lord” in our gospel today: “I saw the Spirit descend like a dove from the sky, and it came to rest on Him.”  How like music, like “the harp and melodious song,” is his witness to the Lord Jesus Christ.  His exclamation of Jesus as the holy Lamb of God, offered as a sacrifice pure and undefiled, resounds to the ends of the earth more eloquently and with greater power than “the trumpets and the sound of the horn” of which David sings in our psalm.  Here is the voice proclaiming the Truth, the message our ears have so longed to hear. “The very reason [John] came baptizing with water was that [Jesus] might be revealed to Israel,” and “the reason [Jesus] revealed Himself was to take away sins” – all this for our salvation.  Yes, brothers and sisters, “in Him there is nothing sinful.”  And we must be like Him.  Insofar as we sin, we have “not seen Him or known Him.”  Insofar as a man “keeps himself pure, as He is pure,” he is His child, knowing Him most intimately, and may exclaim in wonder with John the evangelist: “What love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God!” All sin and struggle with sin all the while they are on earth.  There are many times when we must admit that we do not see Him or know Him in order for Him to be revealed in our lives, in order for us to find His blessed purity.  We must confess our sins that we might sing His praise.  But all the while the Son is with us, the Lamb intercedes to remove our sins.  And always we must look to Him whom the Baptist proclaimed to be “what we are,” to become “like Him” when His light comes to its fullness and His Spirit is all we know. ******* O LORD, your saving power, your Lamb, has come to take away the sin of the world – may all nations rejoice in such blessing. YHWH, Jesus is your Chosen One, your only Son, the pure reflection of your Being… and we must be like Him.  We must be pure as He is pure, as you are pure, as the Spirit that comes from Him and descends upon us is pure.  O let us truly be pure!  Let us truly be your children. O LORD, Jesus has come to take away all sin from us.  This is the mission, the work He has from you.  It is for John to declare the coming of the Lamb of God, and it is for this Lamb to die for our sins.  Let all be accomplished in your will.  As John has made the Christ known and He has been crucified for our sakes, so let us find the purification from sin you desire for us that we might be united to you. All the earth has seen your saving power, O LORD.  Let all souls recognize that power in our midst and remain in Him who brings it.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/January_3.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 2 - Prayer to Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 20:00:00 +0000

O bishops and doctors, O brothers so united in Christ, united in your desire to find His wisdom and live His virtue, for you what mattered but to be like Christ? All you would have given up to find His way; nothing of this world did you wish but to leave it behind. One in heart and mind, one in word and work and in the food of which you partook… how blessed it is when men live as brothers, when nothing they desire but the other’s good – teach us this way of union in the love of God.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._2_Basil_the_Great__Gregory_Nazianzan.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 2 - before Epiphany

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.2:22-28;   Ps.98:1-4;   Jn.1:19-28) “Remain in the Son and in the Father.” In our gospel John the Baptist tells the priests and Levites sent by the Pharisees, “There is… one who is to come after me – the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten.”  This Messiah has come, “The Lord has made His salvation known: in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice,” David proclaims in our psalm, and continues to invite us to sing praise of Him.  It is the anointing that comes from Jesus that John, in our first reading, encourages us to hold on to, for it is true and leads invariably to the Father of all. We must come to the Father; we must find ourselves in the presence of all truth, in the hands of our Creator, who loves us beyond all telling.  And the way to the presence of the Father, in whom we find our true home, is Jesus the Christ.  He is the Son and the only one who can lead us to the Father, for He and the Father are inextricably one.  We cannot deny the Sonship of Jesus, His oneness with the Father – that He is the Christ, upon whom all true anointing rests – and come to know God.  Jesus is the means the Father provides to come to Him; it is through Him alone we find the promise of eternal life.  We must “remain in Him,” that we may “not retreat in shame at His coming.” Those who do not believe in Jesus, who do not recognize Him as the only Son and so only way to the Father, are not to be persecuted – but they are not to be believed.  Jesus is all.  Those who know Him know this; they indeed have His anointing in their hearts.  This “anointing teaches [us] about all things and is true.”  It is this knowledge of His salvation, of His glory, which John instructs us to remember: His Word grows in our hearts.  But again, this Word is not a weapon for the persecution and destruction of others – it is the means for the manifestation of light. Remain in Jesus, brothers and sisters, and eternal life with the Father will be assured you. ******* O LORD, help us always to proclaim Jesus as the Christ.  YHWH, we must indeed acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, as your only Son, as God Himself, and rejoice that your saving power has come to us through Him.  And His anointing will rest upon us, the Holy Spirit will be with us to guide us in all things – we will be one with you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. John has prepared His way and in the sight of the nations His glory has been revealed.  None can deny His divinity, except he be a liar.  And to these we must not listen, LORD, but only to the teaching of your Church.  For upon your apostles rests the anointing that is from above, and if we are to find our way to eternal life, no other voice should we heed. John has indeed cried out the way we all must follow if we are to meet your Son and so you, Father.  O LORD, let us listen to the Spirit that is upon him.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/_January_2.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 1 - Prayer to Mary, Mother of God

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

O Blessed Virgin in whose womb was conceived the only Son of God, who by such grace has brought salvation to our race… What faith is yours in God the Father! What power is upon you by the Holy Spirit! What unutterable wonder we find in your Son! How is it one of our own number could give birth to our Creator? Such glorious union with the Godhead we could never merit nor discover except that the Lord has chosen you – pray this day He shall be born in us, too.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Jan._1_Mary_Mother_of_God.mp3?dest-id=17188




January 1 - Mary, Mother of God

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

(Nm.6:22-27;   Ps.67:2-3,5-6,8;   Gal.4:4-7;   Lk.2:16-21)   “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.”   The blessing of God, His holy Son, was upon the shepherds, and it is upon us all.  For “God sent His Son, born of a woman” that His “way be known upon earth,” “that we might receive adoption as sons.”  And what greater blessing could man know than to fulfill his call as son of the living God? We are blessed, brothers and sisters, and we should proclaim it as the shepherds.  The blessing invoked upon the people by Aaron has been realized in the birth of the Son.  Through Him “the Lord let[s] His face shine upon [us]” – this is His grace come.  And how else but in haste should we travel to Him?  How quickly we should arrive at His side.  And how amazed all should be upon hearing the blessings we have known, at the hand of our God. Mary is she who is truly blessed, and we honor especially today she “who kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”  For so obedient was she to God’s will that He was “conceived in [her] womb” and made flesh in our sight.  So, let us thank her today for the blessing she has brought into our midst.  As we are now sons of the Father with the Spirit of the Son “crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” in our hearts, so we are sons of Mary, too, for the Lord’s divinity cannot be separated from His humanity – the two meet as one in Jesus Christ.  This is our great blessing. From “an infant lying in the manger” shall come the salvation of our race, and the Mother of this renewed race, consecrated to God in Him who is “named Jesus,” we commemorate with our hearts and our voices in praise this holy day.  May she now be the instrument by which “the Lord bless[es]” and “keep[s]” us; may she pray this day that “His face shine upon [us].”  And may all her children be one in the blessing of Christ, her Son.  Amen.   Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.   Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.   ******* O LORD, what blessing is upon us this Christmas day!  YHWH, we are your sons now because Jesus has become our Brother.  Born of the Virgin, His blessing is now upon our race – He it is who shines the light of your face.  Let us glorify you for your blessing. Now we may call you “Father!” now that the Spirit of your Son is with us.  For in Him we are adopted as your sons, LORD, and so through Him you are our Father.  Let the light of your face shine upon us all our days. It is you who rule all nations, LORD; all the earth is in your hands.  Yet you come to us as a little child, poor and lying in a humble manger.  Let us ponder this wonder with Mary; let us keep your will and your Word ever in our hearts, that we might see unfold the revelation of your presence among us. Too wonderful for us is the grace you bring, LORD; yet let us live as your sons, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Mary_Mother_of_God_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 31 - Prayer to St. Sylvester I

Sat, 30 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O eminent Shepherd of God’s people who led us from the catacombs into the light of day by a blessed peace with the city of man, allowing the Lord’s Church to grow and flourish freely in its sacraments, in its worship of the one true God – pray the Body of Christ may again prosper in truth with its divine Head, that the Light that has come into the world may be proclaimed to the ends of the earth and all souls called by the Lord come to the font of Baptism and find the fullness of faith in the holy Catholic Church. Pray there be no dissension in the Body but that all shall be one in Him who is God Himself.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._31_Sylvester_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 31 - Prayer to the Holy Family

Sat, 30 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

  O three holy persons united as one in the humble home at Nazareth, Mary and Joseph with God’s only Son… who became your Son, who became our Son, who became our Brother in all things human and shared with you the food of your table and the dust beneath your feet – you are our model upon this earth; you we should follow to find new birth in the Spirit, to find ourselves sons of the Father, to be as brother to Christ. O Holy Family, what a blessed trinity you form in the love of God and neighbor; pray we not fall short of your grace.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._30_Holy_Family.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 31 - Holy Family, Year B

Sat, 30 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

(Gn.15:1-6,21:1-3;   Ps.105:1-9;   Heb.11:8,11-12,17-19;   Lk.2:22-40) “The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon Him.”  What child is this of whom Simeon the prophet, filled with the Holy Spirit, declares to the Lord, “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all peoples,” even as he holds Jesus in his arms?  This indeed is He who is the “light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for [His] people Israel”; this indeed is the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham, foreshadowed in the birth of Isaac, by whom Abraham’s descendants would be “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.”  “Binding for a thousand generations,” forever, was the covenant the Lord “entered into with Abraham and by His oath to Isaac,” and now that covenant is brought to perfection in the sight of Simeon and Anna; now “all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” could rejoice and “give thanks to the Lord,” for to the temple had come the Christ of God: here is the Messiah. “Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!” for in Jesus His Son you shall find Him.  Though raised in a humble family in the town of Nazareth, this is He who raises all His chosen unto heaven, who brings salvation to His people.  And so rejoice indeed “you descendants of Abraham, His servants, sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!” for even as “there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead,” innumerable descendants, even as the Lord fulfilled His promise to Abraham by the birth of Isaac, so the Lord’s promise to Simeon “that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord” is fulfilled in all our midst even this day.  Listen to the prophet’s proclamation: the light has come!  We are no longer in darkness, no longer in mournful anticipation.  And so with Anna we should come forward now and speak “about the child” to all who will listen, to all who long to hear the good news of God. Brothers and sisters, let the Lord grow in our midst.  In this Holy Family that is His Church let Him be nurtured and known.  For God’s favor rests upon Him alone and by no other child does salvation come.  Today He is presented to all waiting hearts. Written & chanted by James Kurt; read by Sylvia Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney. Music by Abouna Joseph; used by permission. ******* O LORD, let your Word be fulfilled in the lives of all your children – let our eyes see your salvation. YHWH, your Word you fulfill in our midst for you are faithful.  Your Christ you send among us to save us from our sins that we might be as your children forever.  Let us enter your generation, LORD, and be of your Holy Family. Your Son has become our brother and so we know you as our Father, LORD.  Your promise is fulfilled and He now dwells among us – and so you, too, are with us.  From the womb of the Virgin Mary is born a Child with whom we grow into your holy image; we are made pure as she by the grace upon her Son. In N[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Holy_Family_B.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 30 - Sixth Day of the Octave of Christmas

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.2:12-17;   Ps.96:7-11;   Lk.2:36-40)   “The world with its seductions is passing away but the man who does God’s will endures forever.”   Upon what is your eye fixed?  Do you seek the Lord as has Anna these many years, “constantly in the temple, worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer,” or are you seduced by “carnal allurements, enticements for the eye, the life of empty show.”  Indeed, “all these are from the world” (and what appropriate description of the extreme vanity which grasps the world in this day), and indeed are all passing away into the nothingness from which they spring.  And those whose hearts are fixed upon them shall pass away with them, while he whose heart seeks the Lord passes to the eternal life of heaven. “Give to the Lord the glory due His name!” David exclaims in his psalm today, and, yes, much glory is due Him.  “Through His Name [our] sins have been forgiven”; through Him we “have conquered the evil one.”  Do you know “Him who is from the beginning”?  Does “the word of God [remain] in you”?  Is it His love you have, or love for the world, wherein His love finds no place to dwell?  “The Lord is King,” brothers and sisters.  He alone is worthy of our worship, worthy of our attention, worthy of our praise.  Waste not your breath on the empty illusions of this passing world. Anna “gave thanks to God and talked about the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.”  Do you look forward to such deliverance?  Do you care to hear of the glory of the Lord spoken of by this prophetess?  Or have you better things to do?  What sporting event, television program, or party takes precedence in your life? We live in a vain world, brothers and sisters.  And that vanity permeates this modern society, presenting itself as an accepted good.  It is not easy to conquer the hold such illusions cast upon our waiting eyes – only in Jesus will you find the strength to overcome these seductions.  As “the child grew in size and strength, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God… upon Him,” so will you learn to make progress as you “tremble before Him”; so will you grow in His will to eternal life, as you turn away from the carnality of this life.  Keep your eyes upon His light, rising from the darkness. ******* O LORD, let our hearts be set on worship of you and your Son and not on the things of this world. YHWH, you are from the beginning; may your grace be upon us that we might conquer the evil one and endure with you forever.  The world is indeed passing away – let us not pass with it. O LORD, help us to do your will each day and at every hour.  Teach us to remain in your Temple always and so be joined to you.  If we worship you constantly, you will come quickly to save us – you send your Son to deliver Jerusalem, to comfort all who look to you. How strong are the allurements of the world the devil presents to our weak flesh!  How easily we give in to such distractions, LORD.  Let it be your courts [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Sixth_Day_Oct._C.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 29 - Prayer to St. Thomas Becket

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O blessed martyr who died in the cathedral, murdered by the king of this world as you defended the Chair of Peter and the true faith of the Church – where can we find bishops like yourself; how shall the Church be led without holy apostles willing to give their lives as Christ, in whose place they stand? Pray for us, devout shepherd, that many will be inspired by your example to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and defend the faith even unto the shedding of blood, for what is the shedding of blood in this world compared with the light of Heaven you now know in our Savior’s presence? Pray for us and let us pray with you, seeking truth and love in our pilgrimage on this earth.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._29_Thomas_Becket.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 29 - Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.2:3-11;   Ps.96:1-3,5-6,11;   Lk.2:22-35)   “The way we can be sure we are in union with Him is if one who claims to abide in Him conducts himself just as He did.”   “The darkness is over and the real light begins to shine,” and we must live in that light.  “My eyes have witnessed your saving deed displayed for all peoples to see,” declares Simeon in his prophecy over the Christ child.  “In accord with the dictate in the law of the Lord,” though He Himself is God, Mary and Joseph dutifully bring Jesus to the temple to be “consecrated to the Lord” as every first-born male must.  And there the “just and pious” Simeon who so patiently “awaited the consolation of Israel,” the coming of “the Anointed of the Lord,” takes the child “in his arms” and blesses God for His gift, His mercy. Learn from these the attitude all must have.  In their faithful observance of the commands of God and the inspiration of the Spirit, they fulfill His Word.  And so light dawns for us and we know of its presence in our midst.  Now we must continue to “announce His salvation, day after day tell His glory among the nations; among all peoples, His wondrous deeds.”  Our deeds must mirror His deeds; His light, “a revealing light to the Gentiles, the glory of [His] people Israel,” we must shine.  The sign has come; the new commandment which has been of old must now be realized in each of us.  As a sword has pierced the heart of the Blessed Mother, so it shall pierce the heart of everyone who unites himself to the Blessed Child, who follows in the steps of our blessed Lord. “The thoughts of many hearts [shall] be laid bare.”  There will be no hiding from this light that has come.  If you think you can claim to know Him “without keeping His commandments,” without conducting yourself “just as He did,” you must know that your lie will be exposed.  “The man who continues in the light is the one who loves his brother.”  Only this will save you, for only love is of light; hatred is only of darkness, and in the Lord there is no darkness. Let us join with Simeon in proclaiming His salvation.  Let us join with David in singing of the “splendor and majesty” of the Lord.  “Praise and grandeur are in His sanctuary.”   And let us do this principally with our very lives, becoming as the temple of God who is presented to us this day.   ******* O LORD, let the light of your Son be revealed to our eyes, and in our actions. YHWH, your light be revealed in us this day as it was revealed in your Son to the eyes of Simeon.  May Jesus live in us and we shine His glory forth, that your Word may indeed be fulfilled in all our lives. We are in darkness, LORD.  As we keep not your Word, your Law, your command to love, we stray from right paths and become blind to your presence.  If we do not live your presence, if we do not do your will, how can we claim to be of you?  How can we say we are your disciples if we do not do [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Fifth_Day_Oct._C.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 28 - Prayer to the Holy Innocents

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

O innocent martyrs of the Christ who gave your lives from the cradle for Him who carries the Cross, who suffered and died in His place even before His crucifixion, even as His martyrs would do after His death on the Tree – let our hearts cry not for the evil that has wrought your violent death; pray we not fear the dark wrath of this world’s king but set our hearts on the joy of our Lord’s kingdom, where you now reign with Him and to which we hope to come by the laying down of our own lives in His Name. And pray for the least among us who suffer the most this day, that they who are murdered in the womb will know the light of Christ’s holy face.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._28_Holy_Innocents.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 28 - The Holy Innocents

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.1:5-2:2;   Ps.124:2-5,7-8;   Mt.2:13-18)   “The blood of His Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”   And as martyrs of the Church, these innocent children slaughtered by Herod participate in the pouring forth of the blood of Christ. “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”  What does the prophet mean but that by the only Son all shall be redeemed of their sins – that out of sin all are called, all are drawn by the Lord?  “Broken was the snare, and we were freed” when the child was born, when He died upon the cross. And that death is begun already in the slaughter of the holy innocents, whom indeed we commemorate as martyrs this day.  In their sacrifice the cross is already known, though the Child Jesus be but a boy.  No greater evil, no greater act of sin could be than Herod’s cruel decree to “massacre all the boys two years and under in Bethlehem and its environs.”  And in the “sobbing and loud lamentation” rising from the town where Jesus was born we hear presaged our own cry, our own beating of our breasts as we gaze upon the crucified body of God’s Holy One. It is sin that brings the slaughter of the innocent children, and it is sin that causes Christ’s crucifixion.  And we are participants in that sin, brothers and sisters.  “If we say, ‘We have never sinned,’ we make Him a liar and His word finds no place in us.”  For He has come because of the sin which encompasses mankind, to redeem us from its sentence of death.  And the blessed apostle John makes clear that we are indeed all participants in sin, and if we deny this fact we make His sacrifice null for our lives and continue to walk in darkness.  We must all bewail our sins and the horrors they have wrought, and from their snare we shall be released – else the “raging waters” will overwhelm us. The souls of the innocents slaughtered by the evil king have been preserved, for their “help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Our souls, too, shall be redeemed “if we acknowledge our sin,” our complicity in evil.  For “He who is just can be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong” if we are but able to see we are not innocent as He, or they.   Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.   Music: "My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?" from Bearing the Birth Pangs, tenth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.   ******* O LORD, take from us our weeping for our sins; make us innocent as these children.  YHWH, what horrors our sins have wrought?  Are we not complicit in the slaughter of these little ones, as indeed we are complicit in the crucifixion of your Son?  Should we say, “We are free of the guilt of sin”?  Should we deceive ourselves about the darkness in which we find ourselves?  If we should, we would make void the sacrifice of Christ for the cleansing of our souls.  For what would then need to b[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Holy_Innocents_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 27 - Prayer to St. John

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

O beloved disciple of the Lord who saw Him and touched Him, who believed in Him with all your being, who loved Him so that no love but His surpassed your own – speak to us this day of the Word of life who has come among us, died for us, and been raised from the grave. Continue to proclaim that love which alone saves men from sin, which alone banishes death from our midst; let us share in your love for Jesus and join you in proclaiming Him who has come in the joy you knew so well. Point us to Him even this day, that we too might see and believe.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._27_John.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 27 - St. John

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

(1Jn.1:1-4;   Ps.97:1-2,5-6,11-12;   Jn.20:2-8)   “He saw and believed.”   And “the eternal life that was present to the Father and became visible to us,” which John now proclaims, is Jesus Christ the only Son of God, risen from the dead and present to us now even as He sits with the Father. John has seen Him.  He has believed in Him.  His “hands have touched” Him and so he “proclaim[s] the word of life” made so real in his midst.  What else could he do but declare that which burns in his heart?  What else could be the Evangelist’s desire but to share the blessing he has known as “the one Jesus loved”?  For brimming with love this apostle is, and only in writing of this joy, only proclaiming it to the world and seeing others enter into such selfsame blessing will make his joy complete.  To this he has been called by the Lord. “Light dawns for the just,” David declares, as if in his psalm to presage the coming of Christ and John’s own words on the coming of Light to this earth.  And indeed the just shall see Him, and gladness shall be “for the upright of heart.”  For all the just shall “be glad in the Lord… and give thanks to His holy name,” for their souls drink deeply of the salvation in their midst; they know Him whom their hearts love.  They see Him, and believe. And I note the special significance “the piece of cloth which had covered the head” of Jesus – which was “not lying with the wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself,” as John tells us in his gospel – seems to have as a catalyst to belief.  John had seen the wrappings before entering the tomb, but not this cloth, and it is when he enters he sees and believes.  It is as if the Lord left it neatly rolled up in a place by itself to indicate to them that He had not “been taken from the tomb” by robbers, as Mary Magdalene (another beloved of Christ) seems to fear.  Why would a thief take time to do such a thing?  And so, Jesus’ touch is upon the cloth. “All peoples see His glory” now, brothers and sisters.  By the witness of John and all the apostles, eyes are opened to His presence.  Let us see Him with John; let us touch Him… and let us know His touch upon our hearts, and so continue to proclaim His glory.   Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by James Kurt.   Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.   ******* O LORD, let us rejoice in the presence of your Christ with us this day.  YHWH, let all men see your glory in the presence of your risen Son.  Let all men come to that glory through faith in Him.  Let us hear and believe what John tells us – that He has walked among us in the flesh, that the apostles’ hands have touched Him… that our hearts might be touched by His presence, and so your own. With our eyes let us look upon your glory, LORD, we who are so blinded by sin and s[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/St_John_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 26 - Prayer to St. Stephen

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

O first martyr, model of Christ’s love and bearer of His Holy Spirit in wisdom and in truth, you who spoke as the Lord Himself and died as He died, with the forgiveness of your persecutors upon your lips and utter trust of the Father in your heart – pray that we too will find the grace and strength to commend our lives into the Father’s hands, never holding bitterness toward those who destroy the body, who would chain the Word, but ever loving every soul even as you have done. O let our hearts be set on Jesus! let them bleed as His own, that united in Heaven with Him we shall be with you in the glory of God.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._26_Stephen.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 26 - St. Stephen

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

(Acts 6:8-10,7:54-59;   Ps.31:3-4,6-8,17,21;   Mt.10:17-22) “They proved no match for the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke.” The world cannot stand up to the Word of God; even death has no power over those who trust themselves to His Spirit. A model of faith is Stephen.  A perfect trust in the Lord made this martyr shine before the persecution of men.  He made the Lord his “rock of refuge” and so the Lord did “lead and guide” him even unto heaven, hidden in “the shelter of [His] promise from the plottings of men.” It is this trust Jesus speaks of in our gospel when He warns His apostles beforehand of the persecution which awaits them.  He tells them that when they are dragged before rulers to “give witness… on [His] account”: “Do not worry about what you will say or how you will say it… the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.”  And it is this trust, even unto death, that Stephen exemplifies so perfectly. David echoes Jesus’ words on the cross in our psalm: “Into your hands I commend my spirit,” and Stephen lives them in our first reading.  While being stoned to death he prays, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (and proceeds to forgive those who kill him).  And so this feast of our first martyr follows our celebration of the birth of our Lord, for it is in this world we are handed over to death, and it is in this world we must suffer in love.  Entirely we must trust ourselves to the care of God to find the vision of heaven – “I see an opening in the sky, and the Son of Man standing at God’s right hand” – which becomes Stephen’s own. The words we speak, if they are blessed by God, will bring us inevitably unto heaven.  If it is the Spirit who works in us, what need we fear?  For what is more powerful than He?  Where is greater truth to be found?  And so, to whom else should we turn?  “Whoever holds out till the end will escape death,” brothers and sisters.  Though “hated by all” for our love of Jesus, if we continue ever to love even those who hate us, His Spirit will lift us unto Him and provide all we need, in words and works, to conquer the evil of this world.  May the sweet blood of Jesus cover all His children and bless their witness to Him. Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney. Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission. ******* O LORD, by your power we escape death and find your glory.  YHWH, let us take refuge in you, in your Son, and in the Spirit, and we shall never die but be raised to life in glory with you forevermore.  May your Spirit speak through us and we lay down our lives with your Son. A crown awaits those who love as you love, dear LORD, who follow in the way your Son has marked out for us.  If we speak your truth, if we trust in you and do your will, you will protect u[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/St.Stephen_Dec._26.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 25 - Christmas Day

Sun, 24 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

(Is.52:7-10;   Ps.98:1-6;   Heb.1:1-6;   Jn.1:1-18)   “You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”   The coming of the One prophesied by Isaiah and hailed by John these many days is fulfilled in our midst at this blessed moment in time.  And so in our dark world, the light that is God now shines. “Hark!  Your sentinels raise a cry, together they shout for joy, for they see directly, before their eyes, the Lord restoring Zion.”  To “all the ends of the earth” He makes “His salvation known: in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice.”  For the Lord God walks among us now as man; He “who is the refulgence of His glory, the very imprint of His being,” is now revealed, is now made flesh; “full of grace and truth,” He appears in our midst. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  And He through whom “all things came to be,” who brought life, “the light of the human race,” now shines – and now we come to know Him; now we hear the Word spoken to our ears… now we can say, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”  The Word no longer hidden, God no longer speaks “in partial and various ways,” but now “through the Son” the fullness of truth, the blessing of peace, is upon us. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him,” for He comes “announcing peace… announcing salvation.”  No longer need we wander in darkness, wondering, Where is our God?  He is here.  He is Jesus.  He washes all darkness from our minds, He accomplishes “purification from sins,” and He sits “at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” giving power to be like Him, “to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, “who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.”  Come, see and know the transcendent glory standing in our midst. And so, what have we to do but rejoice?  Though “no one has ever seen God,” though He has seemed to us beyond understanding, yet “the only Son… has revealed Him.”  So let us “sing joyfully before the King, the Lord” “with the harp and melodious song.”  Let us “break into song” and “sing praise.”  For He whom “all the angels of God worship” has come for our salvation, and our Christmas should only be merry.  God be with you, brothers and sisters.  Jesus love you.   Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.   Music: "Baby Being Born" from The Innocent Heart, first album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, your glory is revealed to us this day, and so let us offer you due praise. YHWH, your Son is born in our midst and so reveals your glory to us.  His light now shines in this dark wo[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Christmas_Day_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 25 - Midnight Mass

Sun, 24 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

(Is.9:1-6;   Ps.96:1-3,11-13;   Ti.2:11-14;   Lk.2:1-14)   “Today in the city of David  a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.”   Here is the “infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger”; here is He who saves all from sin, born into our humble humanity. Yes, “a child is born to us, a son is given us,” and “upon His shoulder dominion rests.”  This little one wrapped in our own flesh is indeed named “Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.  His dominion is vast and forever peaceful,” for He rules all the earth with His loving justice.  And so what should we do but “announce His salvation, day after day”?  What can we who are overwhelmed with the joy of His presence in our midst do but “tell His glory among the nations; among all peoples, His wondrous deeds.”  For He has come for all nations and all people, to live in their hearts this day. “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice”; and let all mankind join the angels in their song of praise: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”  The Lord has come “to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people as His own,” to bring His surpassing peace to all souls set on His goodness and His glory.  So, let us be “eager to do what is good,” that we might be as He is, that we might share in His eternal peace. To Bethlehem the Virgin came at the time of the census.  There “the time came for her to have her child,” He who is our Bread of Life.  For He is enrolled among our number now; God has been made man – and nothing could give life to waiting souls like this miracle of new birth in our midst.  And so, let us know the humble shepherd’s awe; let us hear the word the angel brings, for he “proclaim[s] to [us] good news of great joy that will be for all people.”  Jesus our Savior is with us today.   Written & chanted by James Kurt; read by Sylvia Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.   Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.   ******* O LORD, your glory is revealed to us this day, and so let us offer you due praise.  YHWH, your Son is born in our midst and so reveals your glory to us.  His light now shines in this dark world, and so men are saved from their sins.  O let us worship Him who is the very imprint of your Being! who is one with you.  You are with us this day in your Son, and what should we do but rejoice. Glory to you, LORD and GOD, for now the feet of Jesus walk among us and peace is proclaimed to the ends of the earth; salvation is ours by the grace and truth He brings to this land.  Let all eyes behold the salvation He has wrought in our midst.  Let all souls break out in song in praise of His glory[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Midnight_Mass_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 24 - Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

(2Sm.7:1-5,8b-12,14a,16;   Ps.89:2-5,27,29;   Rom.16:25-27;   Lk.1:26-28)  “The Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father.”  “I have made a covenant with David my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations.”  Here is the promise made to King David.  Upon his seeking to build a house for the Lord, “the Lord… reveals to [David] that He will establish a house for [him].”  Through the prophet Nathan, the Lord declares to His humble servant: “When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm.”  This would seem like all the world to refer to the great King Solomon, but it does not.  For, like the earth itself, Solomon and all his gold – and even “the rest from all [his] enemies,” the peace the Lord establishes under his reign – will pass away; they cannot “endure forever” and neither can such a kingdom.  The prophet speaks of a kingdom established in heaven (where all by nature endures forever), not one of the earth. And so it is not Solomon of whom the prophet and the psalmist speak, but Jesus, He whose coming is hailed today by the angel’s words to the Blessed Virgin: “He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  For Abraham has died and Jacob has died and David has died and Solomon has died… and their graves are with us to this day.  But Jesus, Jesus lives; Jesus lives forever at the right hand of His Father. It is indeed Jesus who most truly says to the Lord God, “You are my Father, my God, the Rock.”  It is He who is His only Son: it is He who is God Himself, one in being with the Father.  This is “the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings”; this is “the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith”: Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the only Son – and we must worship Him. Come now, brothers and sisters, to this Child Mary bears by the power of the Holy Spirit.  In Him your peace shall be established in the Father’s kingdom.  Come to His holy throne, enter into His eternal reign… and with His humble king, and with His humble Mother, you shall be blessed forever. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "Removing the Log from my Eye" (first part) from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, let the Mother of our Lord come to us, too, that new life may stir in us as well. YHWH, blessed is the womb of Bethlehem, of Israel, of Mary the Mothe[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-121811-Su_4_Adv._B.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 23 - Prayer to St. John of Kanty

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O holy teacher of the faith and pastor of Christ’s flock who instructed with wisdom and led by kindness and humility those in your care and all those around you – teach us today not only to know our faith but to practice it by holiness of life as you have done, so simply, so thoroughly as a child of the Lord. Pray for us and pray for our priests, for whom you are a model of perfection. All yourself you have given in imitation of Jesus; may the Lord God be in our hearts and on our lips just so truly as He has been with you, good teacher.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._23_John_of_Kanty.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 23 - Second Part of Advent

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Mal.3:1-4,23-24;   Ps.25:4-5,8-10,14,Lk.21:28;   Lk.1:57-66)   “His name is John.”   Yes, “the hand of the Lord [was] upon him,” whose name signifies the grace of God, who comes at the end of the age to turn men’s hearts back to God, who prepares the way we must walk to find the instruction and purgation of the Lord. We must be purified by “the refiner’s fire.”  We must be purged of all dross “like gold or like silver that [we] may offer due sacrifice to the Lord,” that we might be called children of the One God.  The Day is coming; the Lord is returning to the temple, and we must be prepared to welcome Him – and so John is born, sent in the spirit of Elijah the prophet to cry out the way in the wilderness of this world.  By the Spirit of the Lord, he “shows sinners the way; he guides the humble to justice,” leading them to the Son who stands ready in Truth to teach and to save.  Well do the people do to wonder at the birth of this holy child, for well will they do to follow his exhortation, and come to praise of the living God. This John leads us to something new, as even the originality of his name among his relatives signifies; he assists us in making the turn, the conversion to the New Covenant in the blood of Christ.  From the Old and as a prophet of old, he leads us to the dawn of new light in this world.  Jesus he comes to proclaim.  Without this grace of God to be washed in the river of our sins, how could we stand on “the great and terrible day” of the Lord’s coming?  How could we bear His light, His fire? “All the paths of the Lord are kindness and constancy toward those who keep His covenant and His decrees.”  Praise God we have the instruction of the Lord with us now to guide us to life everlasting; and thank God we have been made ready by “the messenger of the covenant” to stand in the light of that wisdom.  The Lord teaches us now, brothers and sisters; the Lord is with us to instruct us in His way and, “like the fuller’s lye,” to make us white.  Let us not make the grace of forgiveness John has wrought by the hand of God among us come to naught – let us listen closely now to the Word of God to which his voice has led us.   P.S.  Re the Bible, the Word of God – a quote by St. Hippolytus from today’s Office: “Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way He intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.”   *******  O LORD, you brought John to birth to prepare the way of your only Son – let us walk that path to you.  YHWH, your hand was upon John for our good, to prepare the way for your Son, that[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Adv._II_Dec._23.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 22 - Second Part of Advent

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(1Sm.1:24-28;   1Sm.2:1,4-8;   Lk.1:46-56)   “His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him.”   The Magnificat of Mary mirrors but, if I may say, far surpasses the Canticle of Hannah in beauty, in wonder, in grace… even as the perfection of the Son she bears far exceeds the blessing of the prophet Samuel.  As Jesus brings to fulfillment the greatness of all who came before Him, so Mary’s song expresses that perfection in the light of the same divine mercy. Mercy indeed is infused in each line she utters under the power of the Spirit.  Mercy and truth, a love completely open to the blessings of God is hers and is revealed in the words which fall like cleansing rain from her immaculate lips.  She is blessed, she knows, and she shall be called blessed; for the truth, the Word of God, cannot be hidden, must be raised to meet the eyes and ears of all who seek His grace.  For “the hungry He [gives] every good thing,” and the lowly He raises “to high places.”  She is “His servant in her lowliness” and the joy of such blessing she cannot help but proclaim with all her being. Hannah brings the child she has conceived in answer to her prayer, through the intercession of Eli – by the grace of God – and dedicates him to the Lord, leaving him at the temple.  She, too, “exults in the Lord” for the fact that, in the Lord’s will, “the barren wife bears seven sons”; for she who was thought sterile has borne the great man of God, Samuel.  Mary, in her grateful appreciation for the blessing upon her, will not need to leave her child at the temple, for He has been conceived entirely of the Holy Spirit and is Himself the Temple of the Lord, wholly dedicated to the will of the Father from before the inception of time. As the ancient Israelites found the direction and guidance of God through the ministry of Samuel, as by him they were led to serve the Lord their God, so now in this the end of the age we have Jesus, the perfect light of guidance through the grace and mercy of God, to lead us to the total service of the Lord that Mary embodies so well.  God is “mighty,” brothers and sisters; “holy is His name.”  Let us rejoice in Him who “has upheld Israel His servant, ever mindful of His mercy,” and let us make that same blessed mercy the leaven that lifts us unto heaven.  To Him let us sing our song of praise.   ******* O LORD, Mary you have blessed with your very presence, and so she has become the Temple in which you dwell – may we all become as your Temple. YHWH, to the humble you show your mercy; you raise them up to dwell with you.  Our Mother Mary is the humblest of our race, and so sh[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Adv._II_Dec._22.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 21 - Prayer to St. Peter Canisius

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O great defender of the faith, of the clear waters, the wellspring of salvation that flows from the Sacred Heart of our Savior into His holy Church, thus to nourish the world and fill it with truth and wisdom and love… you whom the Lord inspired with apostolic zeal to teach and lead souls along His holy way – teach us today by your gracious intercession to be faithful, to be obedient to the voice of Jesus and the Spirit speaking in the Mother the Lord God provides His pilgrim people. Let us not be separated from His Word and His precious Body and Blood, but come together as one in His presence.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._21_Peter_Canisius.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 21 - Second Part of Advent

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Sgs.2:8-14 or Zep.3:14-18;  Ps.33:1-3,11-12,20-21;   Lk.1:39-45)   “Let me see you, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.”   “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” – she who comes bearing the Christ child, she whose very voice magnifies the presence of the Lord.  Listen to the witness of Elizabeth: “The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby stirred in my womb for joy.”  Mary carries the Son of God not only in her womb, but in her soul; the Spirit working within her serves to inspire him who shall go before the Lord, and so she paves the road the forerunner of Jesus shall tread. How one are mother and child!  Never so evident has it been than in this passage from Holy Scripture.  For Mary’s voice carries the very presence of Jesus, and Elizabeth’s ears convey that presence to her child.  Here is that relationship of love depicted in our reading from the Song of Songs exemplified most clearly; here is the oneness of lover and beloved.  And the loveliness of the lover becomes the loveliness of the beloved; the blessing of the Child becomes the blessing of the Mother – and in this love the earth brings forth its fruit. “The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.”  “The Lord, your God, is in your midst,” and He blesses all with His presence.  He calls to your soul to come forth and know His love.  “Springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills,” He hastens to your side.  He visits you.  He visits you, speaking to your heart, calling you to arise and join Him.  As Mary visits Elizabeth, “proceeding in haste into the hill country,” to bring her Son to the son of Elizabeth and so producing joy in this unborn child’s heart – so she brings her sweet Jesus to us this day, her voice speaking of His glory to the ears of Mother Church. And so she becomes our Mother; and so she becomes our lover, for she bears the great lover of all souls to wed Himself to us as He is so perfectly wed to her.  His sweetness comes to us through His “beautiful one,” causing our hearts to rejoice at the sound of her voice and leading us to sing songs of praise to His holy name.  Let us raise the joyful shout to our God!   ******* O LORD, in joy with Mary, help us to bring Jesus to every waiting soul. YHWH, should we not rejoice at the coming of your Son?  He comes to us across the hills in the womb of His Mother: should His approach not fill us with expectation and wonder, with joy in the Holy Spirit?  And should we not cry out that joy with the B[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Adv._II_Dec._21.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 20 - Second Part of Advent

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.7:10-14;   Ps.24:1-7,10;   Lk.1:26-38)   “Blessed are you among women.”   “The virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and shall name Him Immanuel because ‘God is with us.’”  “The virgin’s name was Mary.”  And she has given birth to the Savior. “Who may stand in His holy place?” King David sings in our psalm.  “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?”  Clearly Jesus is He.  But as clear is that we are all called to be as He, and that she has been, she who is so like Him – she that is indeed His Mother.  It is she who “seeks the face of the God of Jacob,” she “whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain…” and so she “receive[s] a blessing from the Lord,” the greatest blessing: the Son of God. Fearful is she in her great humility in the awesome presence of the Lord.  Questioning is she in the perfect innocence of her consecrated virginity.  But obedient only is she as she hears of the answer to her devout prayer for the pregnancy of her kinswoman, and so assumes the role most native to her, the one she has promised to fulfill: “the maidservant of the Lord.” O glorious Virgin Mary!  You who worship so perfectly, so completely, the One who owns “the earth and its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it,” and so bring that very fullness to us all, teach us to be like Jesus your Son, whom you imitate so absolutely, so naturally.  Teach us to be as He who is flesh of your flesh.  Be our Mother as well, that we might be brother and sister and mother to the Lord.  Aid us in giving our total consent to the will of God.  “O highly favored daughter!  The Lord is with you.”  Pray He be with us now, too. “With that the angel left.”  Upon receiving her wholehearted acceptance of her call, his mission is finished, and so he goes.  Brothers and sisters, may the angel leave our presence so satisfied that the call of the Lord for our lives will be so well answered.  Take heart that “nothing is impossible with God” and that as blessed as she is, so blessed does the Lord call you to be – if you but say yes to His word burning in your soul and lay down your life as has the Mother of God.  Give the Lord your “yes” this day. ******* O LORD, may the Blessed Virgin Mother of your Son pray for us this day that we shall be pure as she, and so, able to stand in your presence. YHWH, she whom you call to be Mother of your Son is indeed sinless in your sight.  Because her heart is clean, she can accept your Word and give birth to our Savior.  O may we [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Adv._II_Dec._20.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 19 - Second Part of Advent

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Jgs.13:2-7,24-25;   Ps.71:3-6,8,16-17;   Lk.1:5-25) “From my mother’s womb you are my strength.”  How the above line from our psalm is reflected both in Samson and in John, and how parallel are the lives of these two great men.  Of John it is said, “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb”; of Samson, “This boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb” and “The Spirit of the Lord began to be with him.”  The birth of both is announced by an angel of the Lord.  Both will be born of women who were barren.  Both will be nazirites, who shall “never drink wine or strong drink,” and whose head “no razor shall touch.”  Both come for the deliverance of the people, though Samson only from “the power of the Philistines” while John comes to “prepare for the Lord a people well-disposed,” that we might have eternal salvation. Of course, Jesus, too, will have His birth announced by the angel of the Lord; He will be born of a woman from whom it seems no child could come – a consecrated virgin – and this of the Holy Spirit, who is with Him even before time.  His is a new testament, however, signified by His birth of a woman of youth and not old age.  Though hailed by the old, He brings the newness of God into our midst.  His birth fulfills all the births and words and wisdom of the prophets and judges and kings of the Old Testament. But, returning to our psalm and its universal call in the voice of Christ (words which apply to all in their quest for God), we should remember today that for all, God is our “rock of refuge” on whom we “depend from birth.”  “You have taught me from my youth,” the psalmist declares to the Lord, and so it should be true with us all that from the womb “till the present [we] proclaim [His] wondrous deeds.”  He works in all our lives, brothers and sisters; He has brought us all to birth and is acting now, His Spirit upon us, to see that we are born into His kingdom. The great figures of the Old Testament, and especially John, are models from whom we can all learn, holy men whom we can certainly admire.  But as our Lord has stated clearly, none of those born of woman can compare with those born into the kingdom of heaven.  And so, let us take our strength for our journey from His prophets and from His Word; from His Spirit let us receive what we need in this life for our journey to His paradise.  As strong as were Samson and John, so much stronger can we now be by His Body and His Blood, our holy food on this earth, and by His Spirit upon us. *[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._19_Adv._II.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 18 - Second Part of Advent

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Jer.23:5-8;   Ps.72:1,7,12-13,18-19;   Mt.1:18-24)   “He will save His people from their sins.”   Each of our readings today mentions the salvation of our Lord.  The above quote is from our gospel; our psalm states, “The lives of the poor He shall save”; and in our first reading it says, “In His days Judah shall be saved.”  The very name “Jesus” – as given to Joseph by the angel of the Lord – means “God saves”.  The great God of the universe, the living God who has brought us all to birth, comes among us, “is with us” (“Emmanuel”) to save us, to redeem us, to bring us back to our “own land”… to be again with the Father. And this “righteous shoot to David,” this king who “shall reign and govern wisely,” who “shall do what is right and just in the land,” is born from above, not below.  As the angel also tells Joseph, “It is by the Holy Spirit that [Mary] has conceived this child.”  The Virgin is with child!  Alleluia!  A greater sign, a more complete love from the Father we could not imagine.  And so we sing with our psalmist: “Blessed forever be His glorious name; may the whole earth be filled with His glory.”  Indeed, all nations, not only Judah, shall be saved by this Blessed Child. “The days are coming,” brothers and sisters, and are already here.  The Lord walks among us.  The Child has been born, and is being born in each of us; and as a people He comes to us.  Mary “bore a son”; Joseph named Him “Jesus”, as instructed, and Jesus He is – His salvation has come forth.  You must receive Him into your home with the Mother who bore Him.  You must have faith that He is from above.  Let Joseph be your model in care for the Savior, and He shall care for you for all eternity.  Like Mary, nourish the Lord every day of your life. His love is growing in us all.  His presence is becoming known.  The promised of the ages dwells with us with His justice, and His kingdom is being built as we speak.  No more will our sins condemn us.  No more will we hide our faces from the Lord.  We shall be free once more, and this time forever, for the Lord has heard the cry of the poor. ******* O LORD, since your Son is with us, we may now make our home in you – praise you for your justice! YHWH, your Son saves us from our sins.  For this you have sent Him among us; for this He has been conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary – it is for this He has been born a Man.  O let be accomplished that for which He h[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Adv._II._Dec._18.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 17 - Sunday of the 3rd Week of Advent, Year B

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

(Is.61:1-2,10-11;   Lk.1:46-50,53-54;   1Thes.5:16-24;   Jn.1:6-8,19-28)   “A man named John was sent from God.”   Here is the one of whom the prophet speaks, and who can rightly proclaim the words inscribed by Isaiah: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me.”  Here is he who has come “to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God.”  The Spirit is upon him and he speaks of the coming Messiah.  He has been sent by God to “testify to the light.” But who heeds his proclamation?  Who is able to hear this voice crying and find the joy of the path it would blaze in their hearts?  How many are still as the priests and Levites and Pharisees of today’s gospel, inquiring so blindly, “Who are you”?  How many are as the commentators of the missal I read, who term the prophecy of Isaiah a “poem,” and state that the Canticle of Mary is “a song that Luke put into the mouth of Mary”?  How many have no sense of prophecy, or the Spirit, or God Himself?  How many are deaf to John’s cry? Our brother Paul instructs us: “Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophetic utterances.”  And yet the greatest of all prophetic utterances are watered down in ankle-deep wisdom.  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,” Mary declares.  The Spirit wells up in her spirit and she cannot but “rejoice in God [her] Savior.”  These are not words put into her mouth by any man; her prophecy does not come from the pen of a scribe but from the very Spirit of God! The Word of God cannot be chained; the voice “crying out in the desert” cannot be tamed by those “not worthy to untie” the mysteries hidden in sacred Scripture.  Paul will be put under house arrest; the Baptist Herod will cast into his dungeon; the Christ shall be crucified – but the Word of God will go forth, and nothing shall silence its voice.  The testimony to the light must be heard, “so that all might believe through Him”; there will ever be proclaimed “liberty to captives and release to the prisoners” by the power of Jesus Christ, until all hear of the mercy He has “on those who fear Him.”   A man named John was sent, not to testify to himself, but to prophesy the grace of God; and his voice will cry out the way to the ends of the earth and to the end of time.   Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "Removing the Log from my Eye" (second part) from Listening to the Lamp, ninth alb[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-121111-Su_3_Adv._B.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 16 - Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Sir.48:1-4,9-11;   Ps.80:2-4,15-16,18-19;   Mt.17:10-13)   “Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were as a flaming furnace.”   Elijah has come, to “restore everything.”  The word has fallen like fire from heaven to prepare a path for the Lord to tread.  The Baptist has cried out as a voice in the wilderness for us to make our hearts ready for the coming of the Lord. But, sadly, “they did not recognize him and they did as they pleased with him.”  They rejected the voice crying to them and attempted to cover over the way the word had cleared before them.  He who came “to turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob,” was himself turned back; and they cast him into prison and beheaded the great prophet. Yet the way remains open to us.  He whom the prophet hailed has come into our midst, and His presence cannot be taken away – even to the end of the age (which is upon us).  And we must join with our psalmist today in calling upon Him to “come to save us,” to “look down from heaven, and see,” to “take care of this vine” planted by His right hand.  “Give us new life, and we will call upon your name,” must be our prayer, especially in this Advent season, for we must awaken and enliven the path to God the Baptist has served to blaze in our hearts.  We must know now Him whom he has hailed. And, yes, with this Elijah and with the Son of Man, we too will suffer at the hands of those who would silence the Word, who would extinguish the fire set upon the earth.  But the fire is eternal and its light and power cannot be dimmed, much less extinguished.  It will purify those who seek the face of God and destroy those who turn from Him.  It cannot be otherwise.  Now that the Lord has come, His angels wait in expectation to purge the world.  Once more only the prophet Elijah will appear and the flaming furnace his words prepare will be fulfilled in God’s eternity by the return of the Son of Man.  In absolute glory the Lord will reign. ******* O LORD, Elijah has come and the way of the Cross has been prepared; your Son is now present to save us.  YHWH, rouse your power and come to save us; purge us in the fire your Son has set upon the face of the earth.  The Baptist has come in the spirit of Elijah – the way of the Savior is now prepared in our midst. But we must walk this way of fire; we must be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, if we are to walk [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-121110-Sa_2_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 15 - Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.48:17-19;   Ps.1:1-4,6,Jn.8:12;   Mt.11:16-19) “Time will prove where wisdom lies.” No doubt it lies with God.  It lies with the Son of Man, come for our salvation. “I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.”  Is it not our essential call to obey His Word, to listen for His voice and follow in His way?  Are they not happy who hear the Word of God and keep it?  Is this not wisdom, to walk in the way of our Creator, with the One who loves us above all?  Does not all our misery stem from disobedience to His sacred commandments?  Do we not in this way of our own making not simply lose all love in our hearts?  Does this not bring our death? If we would but follow the Lord, our “prosperity would be like a river,” no doubt.  Our “descendants would be like the sand,” for “like a tree planted near running water” we would flourish with the wisdom which comes from the font of life which is the Lord, and one would we become with all the children of His eternal kingdom. We cannot expect the Lord to dance to the tune we pipe or wail to the dirge we sing.  It is the height of foolishness for the creature to attempt to impose its will on the Creator.  But such is our pride, the source of our wickedness.  And so, deaf, blind, and empty are we when we seek to turn the order of the universe back upon our God.  For “like chaff which the wind drives away” our own foolish counsels can all but come to naught.  The branch cannot grow apart from the vine, nor can the tree bear fruit without the water which gives it life. “Happy the man who… delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on His law day and night.”  For then the nourishing waters are upon him; then the light of wisdom fills him – then he shall bear fruit a hundredfold and never taste of death.  For the Hand of God will be upon him to lead him to the eternal kingdom, where His wisdom will be proven true. ******* O LORD, let us follow your Wisdom, your Word, your way to eternal life.  YHWH, let us follow in your way, in the way you call us to walk.  Let us not follow in the way of the wicked, the way which vanishes, but walk with you, meditating on your Word, and we will come to life, to life everlasting with you. If we do not listen to your Word, what fools we are, O LORD!  If we seek our own designs and to impose them upon you – what greater foolishness can there be?  O let u[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-121010-F_2_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 14 - Prayer to St. John of the Cross

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O mystical doctor – help us by way of the Cross to find wisdom and knowledge of Christ and union with God; let us desire to enter the suffering of the Lord, that by this means we may draw closer to His glorious presence and there remain in joy. Let us fear not the dark night the soul must endure but bear it well, that we might be purged of all blindness; pray the Lord will shine upon us His holy light and we might soon look upon His face with you. May the Lord’s Cross overshadow all and anoint every soul with the peace that surpasses understanding, with His undying love.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._14_John_of_the_Cross.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 14 - Thursday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.41:13-20;   Ps.145:1,8-13;   Mt.11:11-15)   “I will make you a threshing sledge, sharp, new, and double-edged.”   A “worm” and a “maggot” are we.  We are “the afflicted and the needy [who] seek water in vain, [our] tongues… parched with thirst.”  But holding our right hand, the Lord speaks to us: “Fear not, I will help you.”  “I will open up rivers on the bare heights…  I will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water.”  And has not John the Baptizer come, into the desert, into the wilderness, and there poured the water of God’s compassion upon us for the forgiveness of sins? Lush trees now grow in the desert: we who were once empty are now filled with God’s grace.  And yes, “the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”  For all these wonders accomplished in our midst are but to “make known to men [His] might and the glorious splendor of [His] kingdom.”  Indeed, we now “thresh the mountains and crush them, to make the hills like chaff,” but all this is done in His power. And how then do we understand Jesus’ words: “From John the Baptizer’s time until now the kingdom of God has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force”?  We know that John spoke boldly in the name of God; unafraid of his oppressors, he called all to repentance.  We should all learn from the power of God he displayed in crying out in the wilderness.  We know also that at the time Jesus spoke the above words, John was imprisoned in Herod’s dungeon, suffering genuinely the violence of this generation.  We know Jesus Himself will be crucified.  We know all the apostles (save John) will be martyred for the faith – all His children suffer under the weight of the cross imposed by the violent of this world. But we know also that this very cross is the means God has chosen to most poignantly reveal His powerful hand at work.  For the nails which fix our hands to the wood have no power over us, and so by the humble acceptance of the violence of this age we do most dramatically destroy, crush into dust, the mountains of this world.  And we upon whom the greatest violence is inflicted indeed effect the greater violence upon our oppressors, for by this sacrifice wickedness is destroyed and the righteous enter the kingdom of heaven.  Let us act with such strength from God, brot[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-120910-Th_2_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 13 - Prayer to St. Lucy

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O bride of our Lord Jesus Christ, in your virginity and in your dying you have given yourself entirely to the Lord of Heaven and earth. O how like Him you were in your purity and in your suffering! and so how close to Him you must be in Heaven – pray that a ray of His light might come to us who sit in darkness, we whose hearts are not as strong as your own. His heavenly light we wish to enter; by your prayers may we see His glory.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._13_Lucy.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 13 - Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.40:25-31;   Ps.103:1-4,8,10;   Mt.11:28-30) “My yoke is easy and my burden light.” How we do become “weary and find life burdensome.”  How we can “faint and grow weary,” “stagger and fall” from the burden of sin and our inherent weakness.  But oh how “He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak He makes vigor abound.”   For indeed He is the creator of the universe – “by His great might and the strength of His power” all things come to be – and His Son is the redeemer of our souls.  “The Lord is the eternal God” and “they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar as with eagles’ wings.”  Trust in Him who “pardons all your iniquities” and “heals all your ills.” What a promise Jesus holds forth for those who come to His “gentle and humble” heart: “Your souls will find rest.”  We know that the great St. Augustine has told us that only in God do our souls find rest.  How we wander aimlessly in trackless wastes seeking comfort for our souls, rest for our weary bodies, taking refuge in the various attractions of the world and the vain promise they hold.  How late in life all of us come to the fulfilling promise of Jesus, for any time spent apart from Him is but wasted. And thank the Lord that He is “merciful and gracious.”  Thank Him that “not according to our sins does He deal with us.”  For what hope would we have then?  But this great God who has no equal, who holds the world in His hand, “redeems your life from destruction, He crowns you with kindness and compassion” despite your sins, if you but come to Him as He calls. How patiently Jesus waits for each of us, this only Son of God, this image of the Father and embodiment of His love.  How gracious He is toward us poor creatures.  Will you not take His “yoke upon your shoulders and learn” from Him?  Will you not find refreshment from all your sins and forgiveness of all your crimes?  Will you continue to turn your face away from Him who watches over all and weigh yourself down with anxiety?  Or will you come to Him, your only hope?  Take the light burden of His gracious Word upon your souls and do His will in this world. ******* O LORD, how shall your compassion come to dwell in our hearts, and your strength renew our own? – let us be blessed in Jesus yo[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-120711-W_2_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 12 - Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.40:1-11;   Ps.96:1-3,10-13,Is.40:10;   Mt.18:12-14)   “Like a shepherd He feeds His flock; in His arms He gathers His lambs.”   His is the voice which “speak[s] tenderly to Jerusalem.”  It is He who “give[s] comfort to [His] people.”  For “it is no part of [the] heavenly Father’s plan that a single one of these little ones shall ever come to grief.” Like a shepherd He leads us.  With great concern He watches over His flock, careful that none is led astray.  And diligent is He in finding the one who “wanders away.”  This is indeed “good news.”  These are indeed “glad tidings,” which make even “the trees of the forest exult.”  For He cares about each one of the many of His creatures, and shall bring all back to Him by the sound of His gentle voice. And of His sweet voice we must cry out.  “Sing to the Lord; bless His name; announce His salvation day after day.”  For all the earth must know that “He shall rule the world with justice and His peoples with constancy.”  And so “a voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord!”  May all hearts be ready to meet Him.  When “every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low… then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together.”  O that that glorious day might come! “Though the grass withers and the flower wilts, the word of our God stands forever.”  And so He stands behind us, whispering into our ears of the way we should walk.  And so He calls to our hearts, carrying us “in His bosom” with care.  And so His eternal presence ever comes to our tired bodies, our fading souls, and gives them life, and brings them back from their straying paths upon this dying earth.  And so it is that all “exult before the Lord, for He comes; He comes to rule the earth.” It is only in His eternity that we shall find a home, brothers and sisters.  And into these arms He now gathers us.  And with His food He now feeds us.  Let us partake of His presence in Word and in Sacrament as we await His coming.   ******* O LORD, we praise you for the merciful justice and peace you have brought into our midst through your Son Jesus.  YHWH, truth has sprung out of the earth, for justice has looked down from Heaven and our r[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-120710-Tu_2_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 12 - Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

O Patroness of the Americas and Protectress of the Unborn, look upon our troubled state, where lust and greed abound, where thousands are killed in the womb every day, where the poor and the rich are separated by steel walls and thirsting souls die in the desert – help us, dear Mother, to discover life, to find your guidance in this land of opportunity and broken dreams, in these hearts that have grown so cold that more are sacrificed on unholy altars than when you first came to turn our hearts to the Lord! Pray for us, Our Lady, or we shall surely die in a soulless pride.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._12_Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

 (Zec. 2:14-17;   Lk.1:46-55;   Lk.1:29-47) “Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD! for He stirs forth from His holy dwelling.” And His own stirring forth causes John the Baptist to stir forth, to “leap for joy” – thus is opened the mouth of the one who will proclaim His way. On this the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe we celebrate the Lord’s stirring forth in astounding fashion in the Americas.  As the Lord looked upon His humble servant Mary to bring forth the only Son of God, so He smiles upon the humble Juan Diego, to bring the conversion of a continent.  His Mother comes humble and with child to bring new birth to a land in darkness…  And how that land sits in darkness now, awaiting renewal by the graces from His hand.  “He has looked upon His handmaid’s lowliness” once, and again; let us pray a humble spirit He shall once more find in this place and on this earth, that indeed “the hungry shall be filled with good things,” that He who has “lifted up the lowly” will remember them now that they are trodden down, now that the most humble are destroyed in the womb. “Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day.”  And many have.  But how sincere is their commitment to Him?  Are they truly “His people,” and so will “He dwell among” them?  Have we cause to “sing and rejoice,” to be as she who “proclaims the greatness of the Lord” – or to cry tears of sorrow for the land to which we have come?  For the womb is barren; the spirits are proud – and in these the Lord takes no joy. Silence before Him we must find once again, that He might turn to us and bring new birth to this land. “Stir forth, O Lord, from your holy dwelling,”      and renew our languishing souls. Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney. Music by Roger and Carie Fortney; used by permission. ******* O LORD, may our hearts stir to life at the sound of Mary’s voice, at the approach of your Son.  YHWH, you sent the Mother of your Son to a land in darkness, to a barren place, that the people might be converted to the faith, that the blood upon their hands might be washed away.  May she come again to this continent and this world that unholy sacrifice might agai[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe_2009.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 11 - Prayer to St. Damasus I

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O bishop of Rome who guided the bark of Peter through difficult waters, who kept her on the course set for her by the Lord even as she grew in this world from a Church of the blood of martyrs to one entering the light of day, of acceptance by the city of man… you who sought so diligently to preserve the memory of the martyrs lest it should pass away, and the Cross of Christ with it – pray that today, too, the Church will remember its root, the root of Jesse and His sacrifice, and that as she grows our Mother on earth will be well understood by those called into her walls. Pray the martyrs pray for us, that in their blood we always find our growth.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._11_Damasus_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 11 - Monday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.35:1-10;   Ps.85:9-14,Is.35:4;   Lk.5:17-26)   “A highway will be there, called the holy way.”   Jesus is the highway; holy is He!  He is the stream that “will burst forth in the desert.”  It is He who “strengthen[s] the hands that are feeble [and] make[s] firm the knees that are weak,” that they might walk along His way.  It is He who forgives sins.  For “no one unclean may pass over” the safe path He makes in the wilderness of this world, and He wishes to “give His benefits” to all of faith.  “Near indeed is His salvation to those who fear Him.”   “Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing,” prophesies Isaiah.  And Jesus says to the paralyzed man, “Get up!  Take your mat with you and return to your house.”  And what did the man do?  “He picked up the mat he had been lying on and went home praising God.”  “We have seen incredible things today!” the crowd exclaims in awe, for the great vision of the prophet Isaiah has come to pass before their eyes: before them is being set the path to paradise. “Hear what the Lord proclaims,” brothers and sisters: “Justice shall walk before Him, and salvation, along the way of His steps.”  Along His holy way “the redeemed will walk.  Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy.”  All those forgiven their sins will enter their homes praising God.  Yes, the “desert and the parched land… will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song.”  We once paralyzed in our sin, by His hand, by His word, along His holy way, shall walk once again. He has come.   “Here is your God, He comes with vindication; with divine recompense He comes to save you.”  In Him “kindness and truth… meet, justice and peace… kiss.”  In Him we are made whole by the breath of His mouth, by the words from His lips.  And now we have “a journey to make.”  Now there is a way to walk.  Let us remain upon this highway.  Let us preserve the healing He has brought to our bones.  Let us now live in faith with our Lord.   ******* O LORD, tear down the mountains of pride and fill in the valle[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-120610-M_2_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 10 - Sunday of the 2nd Week of Advent, Year B

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

(Is.40:1-5,9-11;   Ps.85:9-14;   2Pt.3:8-14;   Mk.1:1-8)   “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way.”  And so, “John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”  And so comes “the voice of one crying out in the desert,” in the desert that is our fallen lives: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.” Turn from your sins, brothers and sisters.  Repent.  It is the Lord’s will that “all should come to repentance,” that all should be “found without spot or blemish” on the day of His coming, on the day all “the elements will be dissolved with fire.”  With the fire of the Holy Spirit does the Lord Jesus come now to baptize, that what John has cleansed from our souls might be gone forever – that the new person we become by this baptism of water might be made complete, might become hardened and lasting in the furnace of His love. God “proclaims peace to His people.  Near indeed is His salvation to those who fear Him.”  Hear what His prophet says, for he cries “out at the top of [his] voice” that indeed all hearts might listen: “Here is your GOD!  Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by His strong arm.”  Yes, “the mouth of the Lord has spoken,” and now the WORD is in our midst, walking amongst us as our shepherd and “leading the ewes with care.”  The “justice [that] shall walk before Him, and prepare the way of His steps,” has come, and now the level highway that leads to His kingdom we must tread – there is no denying the road that is set before us. Christ is coming, brothers and sisters, and Christ has come.  The Baptist has prepared His path, and He, the Son of God, has walked it.  And now we await His return in glory.  And “the Lord does not delay His promise”; His return is sure.  Already we see the “glory dwelling in our land.”  He waits for you to come now to Him.  In patience He looks for you to turn.  Turn to Him now in earnest; with all your soul cry out His Name.  “Jesus Christ the Son of God” dawns on the horizon.  Embrace His love; walk His sacred path. Writt[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-120411-Su_2_Adv._B.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 9 - Prayer to St. Juan Diego

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O humble child of the Lord whom our Lady blessed with her presence, to whom she gave roses in winter – pray for us who are not humble as you, whose obedience is cold and grown so weak, that she might come to us, too, that she might speak a word to our hearts and we might as children listen and do as she directs, she who directs us only to Jesus, only to His love. Pray this continent be once again renewed by the grace of God; may Our Lady’s image be upon our hearts that we too might proclaim the glory of the Lord and His love for His children.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._9_Juan_Diego.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 9 - Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.30:19-21,23-26;   Ps.147:1-6,Is.30:18;   Mt.9:35-10:1,6-8)   “On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of His people, He will heal the bruises left by His blows.”   “Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons.”  With these words Jesus sends His disciples forth proclaiming, “The reign of God is at hand!” The prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled.  The Savior has come.  The Teacher is at our side now speaking into our ears, “This is the way; walk in it.”  And of all our sins He cleanses us; from all our sickness He heals us.  Indeed, “as soon as you call He will answer you,” for He is ready to wipe all tears from your eyes. And what must be our response to a Lord who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  We must be the same as He.  We must go forth as He has, teaching, proclaiming “the good news of God’s reign,” and curing “every sickness and disease.”  It is our call to make others whole in heart, mind, soul, and body; and so, to whatever need is present – and there are many or the Lord would not ask us to “beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather His harvest” – we must apply the grace of God.  He will do the work that is needed, but He needs us to work through. To what glory all are called; what a wonderful message we have to bring forth!  Isaiah, the great prophet, only touches upon it when he cries out that the Lord “will give rain for the seed that you sow in the ground” (see how He will bless your work!) and when he proclaims: “The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater.”  This vision is for all who turn to the Lord for healing. We have been bruised, brothers and sisters.  No doubt, our sins have brought wounds to our souls.  But the Lord will bind up all these; in His surpassing pity He will raise us all from death as He “rebuilds Jerusalem.”  Let us bring this message forth. ******* O LORD, heal us of all ill and teach us to walk in the way that leads unto Heaven. YHWH, we lie prostrate from exhaustion, do we not?  We thi[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-120410-Sa_1_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 8 - Prayer on the Immaculate Conception

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000

O pure Mother, you are she who is full of grace; it is you who have found the Lord’s favor. Preserved from all sin from the womb, overflowing with all His blessings, you are the hope of our race, the one created soul most like to God – pray for us this day, dear Mother, that we might be kept from the snares of the world, from the enticements of the devil. O help us be pure as you, obedient to the will of the Father, bringing His Son into this world by the Holy Spirit’s power. You who now reign in Heaven with the Lord, your only Son, intercede for us who toil on earth that we too might enter God’s presence; you who are blessed to be one with Him, pray the Church you bear be so well founded. Hail, Full of Grace! Your name be blessed forever by all generations.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._8_Immaculate_Conception.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 8 - Immaculate Conception

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 08:00:00 +0000

(Gn.3:9-15,20;   Ps.98:1-4;   Eph.1:3-6,11-12;   Lk.1:26-38)   “He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before Him.”   And she is the sign of such preservation from evil.  “Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you.”  And so the Virgin Mother is greeted by the power of the Most High.  So she is called – “full of grace” is her title.  She whom all generations will call blessed is revealed in this simple greeting as having “found favor with God.”  And so, “the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God,” the Son of her who has been preserved by grace. “In accord with the favor of His will, for the praise of the glory of His grace,” this has been done – she has been immaculately conceived, kept from the stain of sin.  Not that she herself might be worshiped is the Virgin kept pure, but indeed she does “exist for the praise of His glory.”  “My soul magnifies the Lord,” she has proclaimed… and it is so.  She is but the sign that “His right hand has won victory for Him”; she is the instrument through which “the Lord has made His salvation known.” How wonderfully this is expressed in her own words of consent to His call: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.”  Here in this blessed obedience she sets in motion the cleansing of our sin of disobedience she shall bring by the fruit of her womb, a disobedience painfully recounted for us in our first reading – a disobedience which has caused us to hide from the face of God.  But no longer will we be trapped in this hell.  No more will we flee from the presence of Him who is our Creator, for by her humble obedience, and our own, in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we will have our nakedness covered over and become holy as He. The Virgin is our Mother.  She who has “no relations with a man” has brought about the salvation of all men “in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will.[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Immaculate_Conception_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 7 - Prayer to St. Ambrose

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O good bishop and wise doctor of the Church – pray for us, that the water that is Christ might pour upon our souls, especially His chosen apostles, your fellow bishops, and fill all with wisdom from on high, leading us away from all lies to the truth that is Jesus. Pray our hearts shall be filled to overflowing with this Word, that the Gospel might be preached by lips anointed with the Body and Blood of our Lord; may the darkness of error be dispelled and God’s pure light shine in our midst. Pray for us, good doctor, pray for us; lead us indeed to the truth that is Christ.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._7_Ambrose.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 7 - Thursday of the 1st Week of Advent

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.26:1-6;   Ps.118:1,8-9,19-21,25-27;   Mt.7:21,24-27)   “Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal rock.”   Sand or rock?  Upon which do we build our house?  If we “take refuge in the Lord” and enter “the gates of justice,” we shall find salvation in the Lord’s kingdom; if we “trust in man” and “princes,” we shall be leveled with the dust – our house shall collapse and we be “completely ruined.” The choice is set before us.  “Those in high places” will be humbled to the ground; those who find refuge in the empty things of this world will find no protection on the day of His coming.  But for the “nation of firm purpose,” which “comes in the name of the Lord,” “He sets up walls and ramparts to protect.”  And they shall “give thanks to the Lord” as they enter the gates of His holy city. Jesus states clearly, “Only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” will enter His kingdom: the one “who hears my words and puts them into practice” is he who is wise.  And the putting into practice is key.  Jesus has come in the flesh, and flesh there must be to our deeds.  He is real, and we must be as real as He in our love.  Otherwise we deny Him.  We deny His coming if we do not live His way.  God is not across the ocean or in the sky; He walks upon this earth now and must be in our lives.  Only this will bring us strength.  Only this will enable us to stand when the torrents come and the winds blow and buffet our house – for these have no power over those who are set in the Hand of God, who do His bidding. “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Lk.11:28).  We cannot but think of these challenging words from our Lord, referring greatly to the Mother of God – whose service to the Lord we particularly celebrate in these days of preparation – and cannot but hope to abide by them and become the handmaiden Mary has shown herself to be, that the eternal blessings of God might be ours as well.  In Him [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-120210-Th_1_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 6 - Prayer to St. Nicholas

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O bishop of Myra, shepherd of the Lord’s sheep who has with a generous heart cared so well for His little ones… all became as your children, for you loved your flock with the love of Christ Himself; their needs were your own – pray our hearts will be like yours, that just so generously we will give to those in need, provide for those in our care. I pray you will see us now as your children here and beg the bearer of all good gifts to provide for all those most in need, that in joy all souls may welcome His coming, ready for the joys of Heaven. May our love be one with the love of our Good Shepherd, now and in eternity.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._6_Nicholas.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 6 - Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.25:6-10;   Ps.23:1-6;   Mt.15:29-37)   “The hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.”   And He will heal us.  And He will lead us.  And He will feed us. Jesus went up onto a mountainside along the Sea of Galilee and sat down to teach and to heal.  The sick were laid at His feet.  Isaiah says, “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples.”  This mountain is the Lord.  It is Jesus who reaches out His hand to heal those lying at His feet.  It is Jesus who raises the bread for blessing and gives all to eat.  And it is He who “will destroy death forever.”   “This is the Lord for whom we looked.” And it is through His Church Jesus works; through the blessing of the priest who raises the bread and the cup, Jesus gives us His Body and Blood – this is our “feast of rich food and choice wines” envisioned by Isaiah.  It is He who forgives our sins, He who removes “the reproach of His people,” wiping away “the tears from all faces” in the confessional.  He anoints us with the oil of the Spirit in Baptism; He joins us as one in holy Matrimony…  He shepherds us with the Word of His teaching, leading us “in right paths,” “beside restful waters,” to “dwell in the house of the Lord” forever. “Let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us!”  If “only goodness and kindness” follow us all our days, what have we to do but rejoice?  If we have a Lord who looks with such pity upon our hunger, what need we fear?  If it is He who “spread[s] the table” before us, even here in this world, “in the sight of [our] foes,” where sin besets us… what can we lack?  If “cripples, the deformed, the blind, the mute, and many others” were healed of their maladies, what sickness of ours is beyond His redemption? In this world we “walk in the dark valley.”  In this world we hunger.  Here “the veil that veils all peoples” is upon us.  But here, too, He is with us to [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-120110-W_1_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 5 - Tuesday of the 1st Week of Advent

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.11:1-10;   Ps.72:1,7-8,12-13,17;   Lk.10:21-24) “The earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea.” And so, “there shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord. The vision is sure: “The wolf shall be the guest of the lamb… the lion shall eat hay like the ox… the child shall lay his hand on the adder’s lair,” for all shall live as one in the Spirit of the Lord.  “Justice shall flower in His days, and profound peace” – such is the vision to which all hearts aspire. Jesus is the fullness of that peace.  And so He says to His disciples, “Blest are the eyes that see what you see,” for what “prophets and kings wished to see,” what Isaiah prophesies for us today, is present there before them. And He is present before us.  But we can only see and hear Him if we are as “merest children,” else His presence will be hidden from our eyes.  He wishes to reveal Himself, desires to lead us to the Father whom He alone knows, to whom He alone can lead us – but to find such fullness of vision, to gaze upon the face of God, to be filled with His wisdom and knowledge as is His Son, we must first fear Him, as He does, and seek to abide by the words and the commands that come to us by “the breath of His lips.”  All must be slain that is wicked in us, and His justice and faithfulness shall be ours. “May His name be blessed forever; as long as the sun His name shall remain,” for He Himself is light, and indeed His dwelling is glorious.  With judgment and justice He is endowed, and in the light of His wisdom and grace we stand eternally blessed.  But are our eyes open to Him? Now should we pray for the Lord’s light to fill us, for His knowledge to cover us, that our eyes may be open to see Him, that we shall not miss Him as He comes. O Lord, prepare our hearts to see you, and the blessing of your presence, your peace, among us. ******* O LORD, o[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-113010-Tu_1_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 4 - Prayer to St. John of Damascus

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O blessed teacher of the faith – may the nourishing waters of our Mother, of the true teaching of our Church, flow upon all souls, calling them to the Lord from whom they emanate; like the waters trickling from the temple in Ezekiel’s vision, may they grow and increase as they travel to the ends of the earth, making all whole, pure in the light of God. Pray that the Mother of Heaven, through whom flow these waters, these graces pouring forth from the Cross of Christ… will pray for us here on earth and see that we are nourished well by the faith brought to us by the holy apostles and still fostered by the shepherds of the Church. May the Lord keep us in His way.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._4_John_of_Damascus.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 4 - Monday of the 1st Week of Advent

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Is.2:1-5 or Is.4:2-6;   Ps.122:1-9;   Mt.8:5-11 I shall treat of both first readings)   “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!”   For it shall come.  “The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain….  All nations shall stream toward it,” and there the Lord will give judgment.  And His judgment will cause the banishment of war, for all shall be one in Him, and to all He shall grant “shelter and protection,” by night and by day. The coming peace and unity all find on the holy mountain of Jerusalem prophesied by Isaiah is signaled in our gospel passage today as the Gentile centurion approaches Jesus with a request made in great faith.  His surpassing faith prompts the Lord to reveal the truth of the coming kingdom: “Many will come from the east and the west and will find a place at the banquet in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”  For it is faith that brings us to Him and to His blessings. Certainly the serving boy for whom the centurion intercedes receives healing from the Lord; and certainly all those who “go up to the house of the Lord” in faith shall themselves be gratefully received.  I pray we all remain in Zion, remain in “her place of assembly,” and so find refuge from “storm and rain” and from the “heat of day.”  The New Jerusalem we know is the Catholic Church, is the faith handed down by Jesus through His apostles and blessed by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We know that within these walls we shall always find peace and protection, and we pray for all to stream toward the truth and the glory found in this House.  There all shall find cleansing from their sins; “with a blast of searing judgment,” the Lord has created this Virgin Bride.  So, “let us walk in the light of the Lord!”  As Jesus remarks to His followers, “I have never found this much faith in Is[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-112910-M_1_Adv.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 3 - Prayer to St. Francis Xavier

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O holy apostle of the Lord, model of faith in God and love of the Church, has there been a soul to match your zeal for the salvation of the world? Convict us of our laziness, of our sloth, of our distraction by the things not of the kingdom of God; of what worth are our lives if not spent in service of the Lord and of neighbor? O missionary of missionaries, by your prayer let the Church on earth, which flounders so in empty illusion, be renewed by a living faith that reaches to the ends of the world and banishes all darkness from the hearts and minds of men. Pray God’s kingdom come and reign amongst us.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Dec._3_Francis_Xavier.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 3 - Sunday of the 1st Week of Advent, Year B

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

(Is.63:16b-17,19b,64:2-7;   Ps.80:2-4,15-16,18-19;   1Cor.1:3-9;   Mk.13:33-37)  “Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways!”  “O Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see.”  “Rouse your power, and come to save us.”  Do not “let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden [not] our hearts so that we fear you not.”  We are your fruitful vine, but “we have all withered like leaves… for you have hidden your face from us and delivered us up to our guilt.  Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay and you are the potter.”  “May your help be with the Man of your right hand.”  May we be formed in His image and so be pleasing to you.  May we be ready for His return, and our final meeting with you, our Lord and God. Brothers and sisters, we must be as the Corinthians, among whom “the testimony of Christ was confirmed,” who “are not lacking in any spiritual gift as [they] wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  He travels now abroad in the kingdom of His Father, but He will return.  And He has indeed left us “each with his work”; all are gifted by God and called to bear fruit in the time that is ours now…  “May He not come suddenly and find [us] sleeping.”  When He “rend[s] the heavens and come[s] down, with the mountains quaking before [Him],” may we not be found quaking as well, having slipped into the slumber of sin, having been covered with this world’s darkness.  Rather, let Him meet us doing right at whatever hour He may come.  Let us constantly serve our God and “He will keep [us] firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”  In many ways does He indeed say it: “Be watchful!  Be alert!”  Keep your eyes ope[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-112711-Su_1_Adv_B.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 2 - Saturday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Dn.7:15-27;   Dn.3:59,82-87;   Lk.21:34-36)  “The day I speak of will come upon all who dwell on the face of the earth.”  And so we must “pray constantly for the strength to escape whatever is in prospect, and to stand before the Son of Man.” The vision is explained to Daniel, and really it is quite simple: evil shall come, but good shall triumph in the end.  Kingdoms of the Beast, of the evil one, “shall arise on earth.  But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship, to possess it forever and ever,” the angel tells Daniel, and reiterates this simple point: “All the kingdoms under the heavens shall be given to the holy people of the Most High, whose kingdom shall be everlasting.”  Yes, evil kingdoms shall rise and make war “against the holy ones,” devouring the earth, beating it down, and crushing it… but the court of the Lord will be convened and the “final and absolute destruction” of the evil one is thus at hand.  In Daniel’s vision “the time came when the holy ones possessed the kingdom.”  And so it is; and so it shall be. “Be on the watch,” the Lord exhorts us in our gospel for this the final day of our liturgical year.  We must indeed “be on guard,” for if we do not watch, we will not be prepared for the coming day of the Lord which is ever at hand.  Certainly we do not wish to be destroyed with the devil and his angels, but if our “spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares,” how shall we stand?  And so it is that we must indeed pray constantly for the strength to withstand the coming chastisement – we cannot underestimate the devil’s power to seduce us with his lies even as the grass grows beneath our feet.  As the grass grows, so must our spirits grow, in truth and goodness and l[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-122611-Sa_34_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




December 1 - Friday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Dn.7:2-14;   Dn.3:59,75-81;   Lk.21:29-33) “The beast was slain and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up.” Daniel prophesies the coming of pagan empires in his vision of the four beasts.  The vision is, in short, an overview of the coming salvation. Notice that even as Daniel watches the beasts emerge with their horns and tusks and great iron teeth, even as he watches these terrible creatures devour and crush and trample in a kind of destructive euphoria… what does he see?  “Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took His throne.”  The Lord God, the Eternal King, is there.  (He is never far away.)  And the arrogant horn is cast into eternal flame, and the other beasts lose their dominion, too, though they received “a prolongation of life for a time,” indicating that a measure of the wickedness of such beastly empires – several of which we have seen very clearly in the last century – shall remain.  But, nonetheless, there is “one like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven,” and He indeed receives “everlasting dominion,” a “kingship [that] shall not be destroyed.”  Like the Father in His eternal reign is the Son, who has come into our midst and even now winnows away the chaff of this world. That even as evil presumes to reign the Lord is at work, is assuming His eternal reign in the heavenly kingdom, is evident in Jesus’ words to the disciples in our gospel.  He has told them to watch for the terrible signs which will come upon the earth and bring its destruction, and equates the recognition of these signs and wonders of the end time with the budding of a fig tree signaling the coming summer.  Jesus is the fig tree, the peace that is born even in the midst of war, the love that grows though surrounded by hatred [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-112511-F_34_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 30 - Prayer to St. Andrew

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 14:00:00 +0000

O brother of the Rock of our Church, you who brought him to our Lord, you who were crucified on the Cross of our Savior, who shed your blood freely for His cause… you who thirsted for His coming and welcomed Him so readily into your life – bring us also to the Messiah’s side and pray we shall receive Him as well as your brother has done; pray we, too, will abandon our boats, our moorings in this world, to follow the Christ along the way He leads, even apart from home and family. Brothers to the Son pray we become, accomplishing the Father’s will with our lives; capture us in His net this day that we too might stand in His light with all the redeemed of Israel.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Nov._30_Andrew.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 30 - St. Andrew

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 08:00:00 +0000

(Rm.10:9-18;   Ps.19:2-5;   Mt.4:18-22)   “How beautiful are the feet of those who announce good news!”   Alleluia! We must have “faith in the heart” and “confess with [our] lips that Jesus is Lord”; but how can we believe in Him and call on Him if we have not heard of Him?  “And how can [we] hear unless there is someone to preach?  And how can men preach unless they are sent?”  Thank the Lord that He has sent the apostles out to the ends of the earth, that “their voice has sounded over the whole earth.”  Where would we be without them? “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men,” Jesus says to His first apostles, two brothers.  And two brothers Jesus chooses after them, as if He is looking for brothers to call to emphasize our solidarity with Him and with one another.  Indeed, we are family in the Lord.  We are His mother and His brothers.  David’s psalm today speaks of Him who would be called his Son, and illustrates the work of His brothers to come.  All are one in Him, through time, through space… for He who is the beginning and end truly becomes our brother. I thank God today for Andrew and his brother Peter, their brothers James and John, and all brothers and sisters in the Lord.  I thank God especially for their answering His call, their readiness to respond.  “They immediately abandoned their nets and became His followers.”  And so strong in the Lord they would become.  And so clearly their words would be spoken of Him who is risen from the dead, of Him in whom our hearts trust – of Him of whom we now speak. A joy fills me this day, and should fill us all, for the beauty of the apostles and of their call.  For now our ears ring with the love of[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Nov._30_-_St._Andrew_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 29 - Wednesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Dn.5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28;   Dn.3:59,62-67;   Lk.21:12-19)  “You will be brought to give witness.” “Daniel was brought into the presence of the king.”  And what did this wisest of men have to say to this pagan king who ruled the earth?  “You have rebelled against the Lord of heaven.”  He did not hesitate to tell him of the emptiness of his “gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence.”  And, remarkably, not a hair of his head is harmed; even this pagan ruler recognizes the truth of his words, and accepts that he will lose his kingdom. “Before kings and governors” you will be summoned, “all because of my name,” says the Lord.  Yes, witness must be given to “the God in whose hand is [our] life breath and the whole course of [our] life.”  The world must come to know Him; light must be brought into the darkness.  Is this an easy task?  Certainly not.  It may be glorious insofar as the Lord blesses our words, insofar as we trust in Him, not worrying about our “defense” beforehand – but the darkness resists the light; the world does not wish to hear of its sins, nor to be called to turn from them.  Turning from sin is a painful process, and rather than endure its throes there will be those who would prefer to impose such persecution upon those who call to the depths of their hearts.  Unwilling to suffer conversion, they make others suffer for their righteousness.… All the apostles underwent martyrdom: our Lord rules from a cross.  But though we may not escape punishment from those to whom we are called to speak, as has Daniel the prophet, yet as Daniel surely “not a hair of [our][...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-112311-W_34_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 28 - Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Dn.2:31-45;   Dn.3:57-61;   Lk.21:5-11) “The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once, fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer, and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace.” So shall the kingdom of this world be destroyed by “a stone which was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it”; so shall Jesus come – the Son of God, the King of kings – and make all things subject to Himself.  And when shall this be?  It has happened, and is happening, and will happen soon: fear not in your hearts.  Simply praise the Lord of the universe. There will be no trace of this world remaining when the Lord does come.  He shall be the stone that “became a great mountain and filled the whole earth,” which “shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them.”  And by whose hand shall this be done?  “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people.”  And so, if accomplished by the hand of God and not by man, why do we look upon the “wars and insurrections,” “plagues and famines,” and become fearful, as if these shall bring the end?  No, “the end does not follow immediately.”  We cannot state the time any more than could Daniel, the greatest of all interpreters of dreams and visions.  So why are we misled when many come in the Lord’s name saying, “I am He” or “The time is at hand,” as if these could force the hand of God? Let not the “fearful omens” and “great signs” perturb you, brothers and sisters.  These are for those without faith as a warning to turn to God, but for those with faith they should pr[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-112211-Tu_34_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 27 - Monday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 26 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Dn.1:1-6,8-20;   Dn.3:52-56;   Lk.21:1-4)  “To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency in all literature and science, and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams.” God is the giver of all good gifts; all is a gift from God.  Whatever we give to Him can only seem paltry to Him “who look[s] into the depths from [His] throne upon the cherubim.”  But He makes any gift we give, anything we do, great by His heavenly grace. All our offerings are as the widow’s – but a couple of copper coins – even if we give vast wealth from our surplus.  What is anything we offer in the sight of God, who owns the world and all that is in it, who sits “in the firmament of heaven”?  So the size matters not.  But when we give our paltry gift with a heart of faith, in answer to the love He gives us, how great our gift then becomes.  For this He blesses.  This He looks upon with favor.  This He sees as He glances up; for it is the heart He looks upon and measures.  It cannot but be that the widow gave her offering out of love, out of her deep faith in God.  How could one become bereft of all riches if one did not believe in Him who surpasses all? And is it not Daniel and the young men’s faith which God does bless with His gifts of wisdom and prudence?  Because “Daniel was resolved not to defile himself with the king’s food or wine” sacrificed to his pagan gods, God first blesses him and his companions with exceptional health.  Though they eat food that is poor as the widow’s offering, yet “they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate from the royal table” [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-112111-M_34_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 26 - Christ the King Sunday, Year A

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +0000

(Ez.34:11-12,15-17;   Ps.23:1-6;   1Cor.15:20-26,28;   Mt.25:31-46)  “Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Jesus is King.  It is He to whom the Father has “subjected everything” and who “must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet,” until He has “destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power”; and it is He who then “hands over the kingdom to His God and Father… that God may be all in all.”  Yes, “when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit upon His glorious throne, and all the nations will assemble before Him.”  And He who is the Good Shepherd will separate the sheep beneath His rule “one from another”: it is He who will say to the righteous, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father.  Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”; and to the unrighteous, “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”  He will judge all souls, for all souls are in His hands.  Yes, He is King. And yet this King is with His subjects; this Shepherd is hidden in His sheep – He is the Shepherd who “finds Himself among His scattered sheep.”  Indeed, in His power He promises to “pasture [His] sheep”: “The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal”… but more than this, more than this is our King to us.  For He is a King who not only serves the poor and broken, but who is the poor and broken Himself.  Though all power and glory and honor are[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-112011-Su_34_OT_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 25 - Prayer to St. Catherine of Alexandria

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O virgin pure and brilliant, you gave your life in defense of the faith, refuting all arguments to its contrary; though you were but a child yourself, you stood strong before your tormentors, enduring the persecution and torture they struggled in vain to muster against you, ever shining the light of purity and truth before their corrupted minds and hearts – pray for those who defend the faith and all those who would explain it away, that the light of pure reason will dispel all doubt and darkness and the verity of the faith be known by all souls on this earth, undeniable as it is by the mind of any man. Pray we not waste words or time but live a holy life before God, giving witness to His presence in the world and in the Church, and come finally to rest on His mountain.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Nov._25_Catherine_of_Alexandria.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 25 - Saturday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(1Mac.6:1-13;   Ps.9:2-4,6,16,19;   Lk.20:27-40)  “The needy shall not always be forgotten, nor shall the hope of the afflicted forever perish.” Death comes, yes.  Death is upon us and surrounds us in this world.  But the suffering we face in this life has its reward.  Jesus has brought redemption: He has been resurrected, and we with Him.  And this new life is eternal. It seemed the Israelites were doomed.  Antiochus had ruthlessly destroyed Jerusalem and the inhabitants of Judah.  All hope seemed lost.  But hope was not lost, and today we read of the return of the people to Jerusalem in strength and the defeat and death of their enemy, the king.  Now Antiochus has become “sick with grief because his designs ha[ve] failed.”  Now he is “overwhelmed with sorrow” as he sees the evils he has committed overtake him and finds himself dying “in bitter grief, in a foreign land.”  While in Jerusalem the Israelites celebrate and sing praise to God: “My enemies are turned back, overthrown and destroyed before you.” And now such redemption is made eternal in the Person of Jesus Christ.  What was but human and temporal, the fall and rise of empires and of temples, now becomes divine, now becomes everlasting in the coming of the Messiah in the flesh of God.  Yet with Him there is death – but after His crucifixion it shall be no more.  Yet with Him is new life – but with His resurrection it has no end.  Now “those judged worthy of a place in the age to come and of resurrection from the dead… become like angels and are no l[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-111911-Sa_33_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 24 - Prayer to Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O you who were martyred over three centuries of persecution in a country so bitter toward the faith, bishops and priests and laymen alike, native to the land and foreign-born, all innocent souls who suffered even torture in joy, all for the sake of the Lord and His Church – pray we shall be as ready as you to bear witness to the faith with our lives, that all as one in the Body of Christ we will be willing even to die to satiate our thirst for the kingdom and for the salvation of souls. O what joy to be as Jesus, to walk in His steps even to the Cross! No greater blessing could any soul know on this corrupted plane… Pray we shall come with you to Heaven.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Nov._24_Andrew_Dung-Lac_and_Companions.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 24 - Friday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(1Mac.4:36-37,52-59;   1Chr.29:10-13;   Lk.19:45-48) “Let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it.” In both our reading and gospel today, we hear of the cleansing of the temple, and we see its purpose and fulfillment. “My house is meant for a house of prayer,” declares Jesus.  A  house of prayer, and a house for teaching: “He was teaching in the temple area from day to day.”  It is a house of music, for by the Israelites after the Maccabean revolution it “was reconsecrated with songs, harps, lutes, and cymbals.”  It is a place for humility: “All the people prostrated themselves…” and worship: “…and adored and praised Heaven.”  Praise is most fitting for the house of the Lord, for His holy temple, for it is this which unites us with our God.  When we sing of His greatness – “Yours, O Lord, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory.  For all in heaven and on earth is yours” – we are joined to Him who is “exalted as head over all.”  For in proclaiming the truth of His “power and might” over all, we ourselves are cleansed and become as temples of the Lord, holy and radiant as gold. “The entire populace was listening to Him and hanging on His words.”  To whom did the people listen but the Temple itself?  What was begun by the Maccabee brothers is accomplished in Jesus.  It had long been the hope and desire of the Israelites, and indeed the longing of all mankind, to have a holy place to worship God, to offer sacrifice to Him[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-111811-F_33_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 23 - Prayer to St. Columban

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +0000

O father of holy monasteries who dug deeply in the earth, in the heart of man, and laid their foundation on the Rock that is Christ that they might be made in His image, in the image of Him who created us – pray we shall love the Lord as He commands and so be holy as He is holy, truly reflecting the image of our God and living in His surpassing peace. Pray austerity serve well to make us in the Lord’s image, to purge from us all that is not of Him; may we be blessed to serve with untiring devotion and care the will of our Lord in all things, in worship of Him, in prayer, and in genuine love of our neighbor, that the Gospel may go forth to the ends of the earth not just in words but in our very flesh and blood.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Nov._23_Columban.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 23 - Prayer to Clement I

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O successor to Peter, Shepherd of God’s Church, Father of all the churches in the Body of Christ, these you instructed well; these you gave a shepherd’s care… for these and for the Lord you shed your blood – pray for God’s Church even this day, that she shall remain united under her one Lord and Savior, each member serving the good of all as wholly as you have done. Pray we all work together in Jesus’ name and in His blood to do the Father’s will and so become as holy as He, as holy as you were blessed to become. Pray the teaching of the apostles ever ring in our ears that we shall never forget the way the Christ marks out for us, the way of truth that leads to life.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Nov._23_Clement_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 23 - Thursday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(1Mac.2:15-29;   Ps.50:1-2,5-6,14-15,23;   Lk.19:41-44) “We will not obey the words of the king nor depart from our religion in the slightest degree.” The king of heaven shall soon come into the city of peace, humble and riding on an ass, but today He weeps as He sees Jerusalem and knows of its imminent destruction for its sins.  Yet He shall ride into Jerusalem, yet He shall be dragged within its walls… and the death He proclaims upon all its children, He Himself shall know, He Himself shall undergo, that there may be means of escape for us all, for all who turn from the prince of this world and his seduction and seek to remain true to the commands of our God. The persecution of the Jews some two hundred years before Christ’s own we continue to hear of in our reading from Maccabees: “The officers of the king in charge of enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to organize the sacrifices.”  And though many go over to the enemy, Mattathias and his sons remain faithful, remain true to the Lord.  Great is their zeal in the face of the threat and in the sight of the ways of the evil one.  And flee the city and its abominations Mattathias did with all the righteous, to make a home apart in the desert.  For he recognizes the time of visitation and the destruction of faith upon his city and his people; he has not “completely lost” vision of “the path to peace” but remains faithful even in t[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-111711-Th_33_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 22 - Prayer to St. Cecilia

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O holy virgin and martyr, you sang a song of love to Jesus, a song that could not be dimmed, could not be taken away, for you were protected by an angel of the Lord and willing to give your life to maintain your love for Him – pray for us poor souls of this day and age from whom purity is so far removed, who need deep conversion to believe, to see the angel at your side, to know the path to which the Lord calls us, the Cross which is every Christian’s song. So far removed, so far removed are we, and so impassible is the way to Him… inspire in our souls, dear saint, the desire for the incorruptible that beat in your heart, that we too might sing a song to Jesus pleasing to His ears.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Nov._22_Cecilia.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 22 - Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(2Mac.7:1,20-31;   Ps.17:1,5-6,8,15;   Lk.19:11-28) “He, in His mercy, will give you back both breath and life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of His Law.” When the Lord returns “crowned as king” He will call all before Himself and judge each according to the profit he has made with his life.  If we are like the seven brothers who suffered and died for the faith, if we have been like the good servants who invested wisely the gifts left with them by the Lord, we shall come into His reign.  If we have wasted His talents or, God forbid, have persecuted, as Antiochus – who “contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews” – those who strive with the Lord to remain faithful to His call, we “will not escape the hands of God.”  He will come to judge; in justice He is known. “On waking, I shall be content in your presence,” sings David in our psalm, expressing the hope of those whose “steps have been steadfast” in the paths of God.  And how this hope in the coming kingdom is embodied by the seven brothers with their mother “who were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king” – how well they presage the suffering and death of Jesus, and the sword which pierces His mother’s heart.  The mother’s words are particularly beautiful and wise as she witnesses to her sons that she was not the author of[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-111611-W_33_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188