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

Last Build Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2017 05:06:35 +0000

Copyright: James Kurt
 



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 with Him who is exalted as Head over all, He travels with the least of His children; He makes Himself one with the least of all creatures.  Does He not say, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me”?  Oh how He unites Himself with our humanity!  His love is beyond our comprehension. And, brothers and sisters, it should be obvious what we are now called to do; if we wish to be “brought to life… each one in proper order,” following “Christ the firstfruits,” we must walk in His way.  If we wish to sing with David His humble king, “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” – if indeed we desire to share in His eternal kingship, we must on the dust of this earth serve Him in the least among us… we ourselves must be the least, as He is.  Alleluia to our exalted King! Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "Coat of Warmth" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, walk among us and shepherd us well in the reign of your Son, that we might love as you love.  YHWH, how shall we come to dwell in your House forever?  How shall we be the sheep at your right hand?  Only by becoming as your only Son.  Only by making ourselves present among the least.  For you have a compassionate heart which reaches out to all in need.  You have hands that bind up the wounds of your little ones, that care for the hungry and the sick.  You prepare for all righteous souls a place in your kingdom, and your Son shows us how to be like you, that we might enter your presence. O Jesus, O Lord, who reign above all as our Head, as our God, as the Savior of all righteous souls… how shall we love as you have loved; how shall we see you in the needs of our fellow man?  Blind we are and crawling in the dust – how shall we be exalted with you at the Father’s right hand? It is by your walking amongst us, O Lord and King, that we are saved from all selfishness and find the compassion and humility we need to enter into the Father’s heart.  Give us the rest we desire, set us free from sin and death… raise us up to dwell with you as we make our lives like your own.


Media Files:
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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:
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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 longer liable to death.”  In His death He destroys death: He makes it bereft of all power.  In His rising He draws all into the eternal presence of the Father.  Now “all are alive for Him.” Brothers and sisters, may any “floods of sorrow” which afflict us now because of our sins or by the oppression of our persecutors not overwhelm us in this day.  Let our sins be nailed to the cross with Him who is our salvation, and our hope of overcoming all the scourges of the evil one be made strong in the surpassing light of His glorious rising.  With David let us “declare all [the Lord’s] wondrous deeds,” and our enemies will be left speechless. (I must note today that the city named for this evil king – Antioch – would soon become the place where the followers of Christ were called “Christians” for the first time; and that the seat of the state which would next oppress the people of God – Rome – is now the place from which the Chair of Peter reigns.  How God’s redeeming Hand does work.) ******* O LORD, in Heaven we shall be as angels; let us not be weighed down by the cares of this earth. YHWH, turn back our enemies, we pray, the sins that grieve us in this dark place.  Let us not in exile die, but by your grace come to new life. O LORD, how we long for the day when we will no more be liable to death.  Like the angels of Heaven let us be; in the age to come let us make our home, leaving behind the vestiges of this vain world. For all we have done or spoken against you, let us be forgiven, O LORD.  From all the evils we have committed in Jerusalem, let us be washed clean.  Make your City holy this day, that to your NAME we might sing praise. Build up the walls round about us, dear God, that we might be protected from all the attacks of the enemy.  Give us arms to defend ourselves from their snares, and we shall declare your wondrous deeds.  O let us rise again with your Son!


Media Files:
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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:
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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 who is the greatest love of all hearts.  And now He stands before them, now He speaks to them.  And He effects the renewal of the temple not so much by His “ejecting the traders” who had made it “a den of thieves,” as by His presence in their midst.  For the temple exists not so much in the walls adorned “with gold crowns and shields” as in the flesh of Christ; and it is this Temple we become when we follow Him, when we hear and heed the words which issue forth like a cleansing stream from these sacred lips and heart, and when we eat His body and drink His blood. The destruction of this Temple will come.  Even now the leaders of the people are “looking for a way to destroy Him.”  But in three days the Temple will be rebuilt and dedicated forever in perfect purity for all who desire to enter there. ******* O LORD, purify our hearts that we might rejoice in your Temple, our prayer ever rising up to you. YHWH, may your Temple be cleansed that we might offer true worship to you here in your Church.  Let all souls be purified by your Son and by His sacrifice, that your children might sing your praise forever.  From eternity to eternity you are exalted, you are the Most High – O let us freely bless your holy NAME! O LORD, may we know the great blessing of falling prostrate before you who are God.  May we find the grace of adoring you alone.  May we ever be in prayer in your holy House, and so become holy ourselves in your eternal presence. Let your sanctuary be purified; let it be dedicated to you, dear God.  Let all that is sinful be cast from us by your Son that we might indeed be blessed to be as He is; listening always to His teaching and obeying His every word, let us become a House of prayer for you.


Media Files:
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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:
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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:
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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 time of persecution. “Days will come upon you when your enemies encircle you with a rampart, hem you in, and press you hard from every side,” Jesus prophesies as He weeps over Jerusalem.  He wishes not to see the persecution come, nor to have to die Himself.  But the people do not recognize with their hearts the love He offers forth… and so what can He do but die; and so what can they know but destruction.  But His sacrifice shall prove redemptive for those who turn; a place in the desert He shall prepare for those who desire to be holy, to be set apart from the wickedness of this race. “From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth” and His “faithful ones” gather before Him.  In their praise of His glory they fulfill their “vows to the Most High” and so the king of this world holds no power over them.  In the New Jerusalem with the risen Lord they live, beyond the destruction of the old. ******* O LORD, you will come to visit your people; let us flee the sin of this world or we will be destroyed. YHWH, it is better for us to dwell in a desert apart if it means we can remain with you.  Better for us to leave all our possessions behind than to be enslaved by the silver and gold and many gifts this world offers to those who abandon their faith.  Let us remain steadfast with you and fight always for what is just in your sight. Days will soon come when there will not be one stone left on another.  Indeed, our enemies come to encircle us and close in upon us.  But we need not fear the darkness, the powers of this dying age.  For with you, O LORD, we are strong, stronger than death itself.  Let us ever offer a holy sacrifice to you; forever let us praise your NAME. Jesus weeps for the blindness of the people to His presence among us.  They hear Him not as He speaks and summons them to the kingdom.  Let us not be so blind and deaf, dear LORD, but obey your every word, and we shall be rescued.


Media Files:
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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 their lives: “It was not I who gave you the breath of life, nor was it I who set in order the elements of which each of you is composed,” thus stirring them to faith in “the Creator of the universe who shapes each man’s beginning” and holds the life of all in His hands.  Hear her words of exhortation to faith spoken to her youngest son: “I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth and see all that is in them; then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things.”  And so she encourages him to “accept death, so that in the time of mercy [she] may receive [him] again.”  Here, certainly, is our faith in essence.  Here the hope we have in the Lord is lived. The Lord has gone from us to the “faraway country” of heaven to receive His kingship and return for our souls.  He has left with each of His servants gifts for the time of waiting.  Today He and His heavenly kingdom are not far away for He is very present in His Church, in her priests and the sacraments, in the Word of God revealed to us, in the sky upon which we gaze to see His handiwork… in all things we know Him and for all our needs He provides.  Let us not be afraid to live with Him and so to die for Him, to disregard our very lives in the employment of His talents… and the breath and life we do so cherish shall be ours forever in heaven. ******* O LORD, Jesus goes to the Cross, but He shall return; He shall return and judge the souls of all. YHWH, your Son has gone from us to a faraway land, to your side in the kingdom of Heaven.  And if we wish to join Him there, we must employ well the talents He leaves us now in His stead.  We must be willing to lay down our lives as He has done if we are to enter into His reign in the time of mercy. O may your Son come to us even this day, dear LORD!  May we know His presence among us in the gifts and graces He leaves us in His sacraments and in His Word.  And may we work each day to increase their yield upon this earth, until He returns in glory. Soon He shall return and we must stand strong in the face of death and torture, before the evils contrived by the hands of men.  For you, O LORD, who made the heavens and the earth shall reward every man who gives witness to your love.  We shall wake in your presence; breath and life will be ours in your eternal kingdom.


Media Files:
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November 21 - Prayer on the Presentation of Mary

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O holy Temple of the Lord, preeminent member of His Church, you who were destined from all ages to bear the Son of God, to be His chosen dwelling place… you were weaned into His Temple; there you ever remained, becoming yourself the House of God, where He now ever stays – pray we be built into His Temple; pray we become sons and daughters unto you. In you let us make our home, dear Mother, that the holiness of Jesus we shall ever share. We cannot live in Him if apart from you; we cannot be as Christ’s Body, blessed by the Holy Spirit and doing the Father’s will on earth, if you are not our Mother, if you are not the Temple in which we dwell. Pray our holiness mirror your own.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Nov._21_Presentation_of_Mary.mp3?dest-id=17188




November 21 - Tuesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(2Mac.6:18-31;   Ps.3:2-8;   Lk.19:1-10) “I fear not the myriads of people arrayed against me on every side.” Zacchaeus’ running up ahead and climbing a tree in order to be able to see Jesus as He passed along the way may not be a witness on the order of Eleazar, who “declared that above all he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God” and went willingly to torture and death, “leaving in his death a model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation,” but the same faith inspired both.  And perhaps this wealthy man giving half of his belongings to the poor does approach the heroism of Eleazar. The principal figures in both our reading and gospel today indeed give witness to the faith in the salvation which Jesus has come to bring to all our houses.  And both reflect the strength needed to overcome the myriad of obstacles set in our paths.  “O Lord, how many are my adversaries!” David cries in our psalm.  “Many rise up against me!”  Eleazar is threatened by the systematic persecution of his faith and his people by the pagan king and his minions, but in the face of “the instrument of torture” this noble old man tells his persecutors “to send him at once to the abode of the dead,” for he would not bring “shame and dishonor” on himself nor lead the people astray by giving in to an unlawful act.  And in our gospel Zacchaeus finds himself surrounded by the murmuring crowd accusing him of being a sinner.  But he stands his ground in the face of this persecution, justified or not, and proves himself worthy to be at the side of Jesus. “The Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost.”  It is His desire to bring us to salvation.  Yet if we do not seek Him, He will not find us.  If we do not call to Him, He will not hear us.  And if we do not stand our ground and give witness to Him when put to the test for our faith, He cannot stand with us. Temptations must necessarily come.  We cannot escape persecution.  But we must not listen to those who say, “There is no salvation for him in God.”  We must remember that God stands with us if we stand with Him, and that it is just such as us He has come to save. ******* O LORD, help us to stand strong in your NAME in the face of persecution; let us endure all with you. YHWH, our adversaries surround us on every side saying there is no salvation for us in God because of our sins against you, or because they doubt your existence.  Thus the darkness closes in upon us, the wickedness of this evil place.  But standing with you we are saved.  When we call on your NAME, when we climb the tree of life, your holy mountain, to gaze on your face, you are there to receive our souls: though we die we shall wake with you. Why should we be afraid, LORD, though myriads of people are arrayed against us, though they threaten us with torture and death?  Even if our sins should accuse us, even if rightly we should be condemned, yet your Son comes to seek us out and redeem us from condemnation to stand with Him in your kingdom.  O let Him come to our house this day! and with Him let us remain faithful till the end.


Media Files:
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November 20 - Monday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(1Mac.1:10-15,41-43,54-57,62-63;   Ps.119:53,61,88,134,150,155,158;   Lk.18:35-43)  “Terrible affliction was upon Israel.” Oh how the nation had become so blind.  Oh how they had turned from their God.  Some “preferred to die rather than be defiled with unclean food or to profane the covenant,” but most ate freely of the poisonous fruit of the tree of abomination, and so became as the blind man begging by the side of the road – so spiritually bereft were they. Our reading from Maccabees tells of a terrible time of persecution upon the Israelite nation less than two hundred years before the coming of Christ, and it shows that that persecution comes from within the community itself, as “men who were breakers of the law” sought alliance with the Gentiles and their pagan worship, thinking so foolishly that this would bring them blessing and comfort.  How readily “they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.”  And the date is given here when “the king erected the horrible abomination upon the altar of holocausts,” signifying Israel’s complete turn from God and His laws to the vain worship of false gods. Our psalm speaks repeatedly of “the snares of the wicked,” “the oppression of men,” the “malicious persecutors,” the “sinners,” the “apostates” who turn from the law and attempt to “twine” others about in their evil.  This is man’s sin from the beginning – attempting to form God of his own hands, refusing to be obedient to the ways the loving Father has imparted for his salvation, for his blessing.  Man gives himself over to the lusts of this world and the imagination of a proud mind, and through such exaltation of self finds himself soon lost in the confusion that such vanity can only bring.  But in the meantime he persecutes the just who hold to the way of truth; for a while he fools himself by the glamour of his idols.  But soon the blindness sets in, and soon the salvation of the just shall come. If we are in affliction because of the persecution of this world of sin that surrounds and closes in, we should consider ourselves blessed; this affliction is proof of our faith, and upon it the Lord looks with favor.  If we are afflicted with the blindness of the nations wrought by our wallowing in sin, we’d best cry out to the Lord as He passes us on the way to Jerusalem.  He will hear us and He will stop, if we are persistent in our cries.  And it is so that our faith will make us whole.  Let us find our sight by the intercession of Christ and “giving God the glory” begin “to follow Him,” whatever cross may await us. ******* O LORD, woe to those who forsake your law! – let them cry out to you with full voice that they may be saved. YHWH, how blind we have become, turning from your law, from your holy ways, to worship the false and empty gods of the nations.  O may your Son turn to us and have pity this day that we might see His goodness before us and follow Him to the New Jerusalem.  Let us not be counted among those who forsake your Law and profane your Temple; let us rather die than break your Covenant. By the side of the road we sit and cry for all the afflictions our sin has brought upon us.  What hope have we, O LORD, of being taken from this dark place, how could we escape the snares of the wicked round about us, if your Son did not stop and call us to Himself, if He did not come into the midst of the darkness to save us. Glory to you, O God, and to you alone, for your promise you have not forgotten.  From all evil keep us safe.


Media Files:
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November 19 - Sunday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +0000

 (Prv.31:10-13,19-20,30-31;   Ps.128:1-5;   1Thes.5:1-6;   Mt.25:14-30) “When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.” And so the Lord is pleased to bless His “good and faithful servant[s]”; for His Church is as His Bride and Her faithful members He invites to share His joy.  With more than the talents of “a man going on a journey” are we entrusted by the Lord.  To us He is more like the husband “entrusting his heart” to his wife.  All He gives over to us, even His very life, His absolute love – His blood itself He pours out for us.  And are we as the good wife who “works with loving hands,” who “puts her hands to the distaff and [whose] fingers ply the spindle”?  Do we work diligently with all the gifts the Lord imparts to us and thus increase their yield?  Are we as she who “brings [her husband] good, and not evil, all the days of her life,” delivering unto the Lord the honor due His Name?  If so, then as the worthy wife receives “a reward for her labors” and as “her works praise her at the city gates,” so shall the Lord richly bless our labors, and the angels at the gates of heaven welcome us with song. Brothers and sisters, “You are children of the light and children of the day.  We are not of the night or of darkness.  Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober,” doing the Lord’s will in all things.  Let us not be as the “useless servant” who “dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.”  The graces the Lord gives us are not meant for such darkness, but indeed to be brought into the light of day that they might spread “like a fruitful vine” throughout the face of the earth.  This is the call of His Church, and we must be faithful in the work with which we have been entrusted: His love must reach to the ends of the world. And each “shall eat the fruit of [his] handiwork” when the day of the Lord comes upon us.  The soul which has courted darkness in its distrust and laziness shall find the spouse that awaits her; but “blessed shall [she] be, and favored,” “who walk[s] in [the Lord’s] ways!”  She shall indeed not fear the “sudden disaster” that comes upon the wicked, but shall celebrate “the prosperity of Jerusalem” in her Master’s house “all the days of [her] life.”  For in none does the Lord take greater delight than she who returns an increase of His invaluable love. Wriiten, chanted, and produced by James Kurt; read by Sylvia Kurt. Music: "We Have Bodies" from The Whole Whale, eighth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******** O LORD, let us do your work and your will; let us be fruitful in serving you until the Day of your Son’s return. YHWH, you give us gifts, skills and talents upon this earth – even our bodies and minds are from you.  But if we employ them not, it is as if we have them not at all… and soon they are taken from us.  We must offer all we have back to you, serving you well with all our lives, and we shall be blessed with your abundance. Into your kingdom let us come, O LORD!  Let all we do lead to this grace.  Make us fruitful in your Name, ever working with loving hands, and every blessing will be ours – and we shall know the joy of your presence.  Let our hearts be set on you alone. What have we, LORD, that you have not given?  And what should we do but use well what is at our hands?  If we wish to be wed to you in Heaven, then your heart we must hold within our own.  It is your heart you would give us; let us live as your children in the light of this day. O LORD, may your Son not find us sleeping upon His return, but serving you faithfully, walking ever in your way.


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November 18 - Prayer to St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O woman who prayed always and had great mercy on souls, whose missionary zeal led you across the ocean, thousands of miles from your home, to educate the poor and care for the sick, to bring the love of Jesus to those most in need – pray we too shall have a heart set on service of the Lord and remembrance of His presence, that our concern for those apart from Christ will drive us to great ends, even to the ends of the earth, where certainly He dwells. Pray we shall have your courage in facing the unknown, in calling all home to the Heart of God; and through all we do for Him let us remain in prayer, knowing His Heaven here on earth.


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November 18 - Saturday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Ws.18:14-16,19:6-9;   Ps.105:2-3,5,36-37,42-43;   Lk.18:1-8) “He led forth His people with joy; with shouts of joy, His chosen ones.” “They beheld stupendous wonders.”  Before their eyes, “out of what had been water, dry land was seen emerging.”  And so, sheltered by the mighty hand of the Lord, they crossed over, from the land of bondage to freedom.  And in their joy “they ranged about like horses, and bounded about like lambs…” praising the Lord, “their deliverer.” This is the story of our own salvation; this is the way of our own redemption from the sin which holds us bound on this earthly plane.  Our exodus, too, must come.  The Lord shall return to earth.  As He was faithful in leading the Israelites forth from the land of Egypt, where they had been slaves four hundred years, so He will not forget us who have been in the bonds of Satan upon this plane.  Our deliverance, too, will come. Yes, my brothers and sisters, God will “do justice to His chosen who call out to Him day and night.”  He will not “delay long over them” but will “give them swift justice.”  The vision of the Israelites at the Red Sea will be our own.  Before our eyes we will see the dry land appearing.  We shall rejoice at the Lord’s hand guiding our steps out of this dark land.  “An unimpeded road” we shall travel, moving toward His promised land.  Yes, heaven will be ours.  The first-born of Satan, the flower of his evil, shall be destroyed in the stillness of the night, and truth and goodness and light will emerge victorious; and we shall be led forth, as it were, “laden with silver and gold,” rejoicing in the abundant blessings of our Lord and God. He does not delay.  He will not delay.  We wait, yes, and struggle with our faith… but He is ready – He does not have to be asked twice.  But as our hearts are weakened by sin, we must be encouraged, we must continue to pray, always, even in the face of darkness.  Through the darkness the Lord’s light shall come shining, if we remain faithful in our cries.  So, “sing to Him, sing His praise… O hearts that seek the Lord!” for He is near in all our prayers, and shall lead us forth into His blessed kingdom.  Alleluia! ******* O LORD, your justice is swift but who is there that calls out to you, that desires your hand at work in his life? YHWH, what marvels you have worked for us; for we who were overshadowed by sin, who seemed trapped by its darkness, abandoned to its clutches, have been mightily delivered from sure death and destruction to stand with you in your kingdom.  And should we now have no faith in you?  Should we fail to cry out to you for secure protection?  Will your justice not come quickly to us, whom you so love and for whom you so desire salvation? O LORD, let us not be so foolish as to doubt your good will toward us and your power to save us; let us not forget the wonders you have performed for us even to this day.  And what greater wonders await those who hope in you!  For the dry land we shall soon stand upon when your Son returns, when He has overshadowed our enemies and redeemed us from all darkness, shall be the Promised Land of Heaven.  O praise you, LORD!  Your people glory in your holy NAME.


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November 17 - Prayer to St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O charitable soul who gave all you owned for the sake of the Gospel, though endowed with great riches you embraced lady poverty that you might serve the Lord with a heart beating for the poor. With your own hands you tended the sickest; into your own home you welcomed the most destitute – pray that in our small way we too may follow in the footsteps of Christ and give our lives to the poor whom He loves and to prayer in His presence. Pray our hearts, too, may know His tender care for souls and our own souls meditate upon Him night and day; pray we too shall give up all to find His holy kingdom.


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November 17 - Friday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Ws.13:1-9;   Ps.19:2-5;   Lk.17:26-37)  “Wherever the carcass is, there will the vultures gather.” It is so that “the heavens proclaim the glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.”  It is true that “from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen.”  Yes, “the things seen are fair,” and speak even of the glory of our God… but they shall indeed all come to naught when He alone stands before us on the last day. In the created world we exist.  To an extent, in the created world we take refuge, discerning the hand of God at work in the things around us and coming by way of the knowledge presented to us in their beauty and wonder to that Hand which has created all.  And so they can be beneficial to us.  And so they can help to reveal God’s presence to us who are so blind.  But both the warning of our reading from Wisdom and Christ’s own words in the gospel must be heeded: we cannot make “fire,” “wind,” or “mighty water” our gods; and we cannot be attached to our possessions.  For these things of nature, as great as God has made them, and these things at our disposal, as much a blessing they may be to us for our time on earth, are passing away.  Only God remains. Brothers and sisters, we must look upon the stars of heaven, we must see the signs wrought in our midst… but we cannot be distracted by them from the God who made them.  We must eat and drink, we must take husbands and wives… but we cannot get drunk or live in lust, allowing the earthly to overcome our spirits.  Lot’s wife turned to see what she’d left behind; she longed to return to her possessions and the carnal life of Sodom.  Unable to understand or accept the grace of the angel of God who was leading her forth to a safer and more glorious land, she was turned to salt – all of worth was taken from her; only the carcass remained. The day shall come when all we see shall be destroyed.  And so, how important it is that our hearts not be set on all we see, else we shall be destroyed with it.  Though with utmost respect we treat this world and even find joy in its beauty, we must ever keep in mind that its beauty is passing and is only significant if it leads to the eternal beauty of heaven. ******* O LORD, we must discern the signs of the times, for your Son will soon return and we will have to leave all things behind. YHWH, the heavens declare your glory to all, but do we upon earth hear the angels’ voices?  Do we take their message of your beauty and wonder and power to heart, or do we lose ourselves in these things and pass away as they do?  For the things in the heavens and those upon the earth, though blessed to find your voice resounding in them, soon turn to dust – only your kingdom remains.  Will we stand with you on the last Day? Soon your Son shall come and fully reveal your glory shining in our midst.  Soon He will be here to carry us to Heaven.  But will we be ready to travel with Him, or will our souls be dead and empty as a carcass?  Will we turn back to the things of the earth and so be turned to salt, or place our faith in Him alone and so fly unto your presence?  Let us not be lost in the things we see, O LORD, but raise our minds to look upon that which passes not away.  Let us come to you.


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November 16 - Prayer to St. Gertrude

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +0000

O blessed mystic of Jesus, you were saved by Him from a life of vain pursuit of the things and thoughts of this world to find union with His Sacred Heart, which holds all heavenly treasures. You see Him now (do you not, dear virgin?) in His perfection, even as you saw Him, though only in the shadow of vision, here upon this plane – pray we shall also know His blessed perfection, the beating of His Sacred Heart within our own, the love which surpasses all understanding illumining our soul… that no more will we ever desire than to be with Him where you are now, in His eternal glory.


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November 16 - Prayer to St. Margaret of Scotland

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O devout mother and queen whose concern was ever for your children and your people, that they might ever be fed in body and in soul and so grow unto the fullness of Christ – pray for us, O holy queen, that we the Lord’s poor subjects might receive from His hand all we need to become His sons and daughters. In prayer and gratitude let us remain ever before His throne, that by such holy fear we might be made fruitful as you, bearing children unto Him and raising them to His glory. A heart for the poor may we ever nourish that, as poor as we are, by our King’s gracious blessing we might give what He provides until all enter His reign.


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November 16 - Thursday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Ws.7:22-8:1;   Ps.119:89-91,130,135,175;   Lk.17:20-25) “Let your countenance shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.” Wisdom, who “is fairer than the sun and surpasses every constellation of the stars… reaches from end to end mightily and governs all things well.”  Wisdom “penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity,” for she is “the refulgence of eternal light.”  How like the Lord she is, He whose coming “day will be like the lightning that flashes from one end of the sky to the other” and yet whose reign is “already in [our] midst.”  How we are filled with understanding when this light which “endures forever,” which “is firm as the heavens,” shines upon our simple minds, leading us to the grace of eternal glory. Wisdom we need, brothers and sisters.  The Lord’s Word must be with us.  “For there is naught God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.”  Else we shall be as those who “go running about excitedly” at every report of the Lord’s being “here” or “there,” at every proclamation of the end being near.  The end is here; it is now the Son of Man “must suffer much and be rejected by the present age.”  The Lord has come, and so “the reign of God is already in [our] midst.”  Its fulfillment we shall not discern by “careful watching,” by setting our sights on the things of the earth, but only with the “intelligent, pure, and very subtle” spirit of Wisdom.  She alone teaches us of the kingdom, for she alone is “the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of His goodness.”  Without her purity, our minds are dimmed.  Without her surpassing light, we cannot but be blind.  She alone knows, she alone leads holy souls into the truth of His presence.  All words lacking her light are but vain speculation, which shall come to naught, which shall fall to the earth from which they are derived.  Heaven alone is lasting. Have we the light of Wisdom directing our thoughts and actions, brothers and sisters?  Is her purity set firmly within us?  Will we then stand on the day the lightning flashes, on the day the glory of the Lord is revealed?  Do we carry that glory now within us?  If not, let us turn to Wisdom, and she will teach us.  Like a mother who cares for her children she will be.  And led to the presence of the Lord we will be, where we will find our peace.  Let us not fail to take her gentle yoke upon our shoulders; let the cross of Christ and the light of the coming kingdom be ever our guide. ******* O LORD, your Son is in our midst most especially in His Cross, and it is through His Cross Wisdom shines most brightly. YHWH, let the Spirit of Wisdom fill us, your Holy Spirit pass into us and make us as your prophets.  Let us speak only your Word in all we do, moving ever with the One who is beyond all motion – intelligent, holy, and pure let us be.  Without the light of Wisdom our lives shall be as nothing in your sight; let your countenance shine upon us. Your reign is coming by the power of the Holy Spirit; it is now already in our midst.  Not relegated to space or time, it is not readily perceived by the mind of man – he cannot put his finger upon it or control it in any way.  All we can do is desire your presence with us, LORD, that when the lightning flashes in your eternal sky, we will stand firm with you who endure forever, and with your Son. Give us your light, dear God, that we might be established well in your glorious kingdom.


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November 15 - Prayer to St. Albert the Great

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O patron of scientists and philosophers, you of brilliant mind who taught with both human and divine wisdom, who led your students to deeper and purer understanding of God and His world and most especially His Church – pray we partake of your teaching this day, that the light you brought to the minds of your flock will not be lost or forgotten by eyes blind to the truth. Pray the word upon your soul will bring us closer to the Lord that we might partake of Him in sacrament and in preaching. O how shall we see if you do not pray for us, if you do not serve to guide us to the glory that surpasses our poor ability to comprehend Him?


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November 15 - Wednesday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Ws.6:1-11;   Ps.82:3-4,6-8;   Lk.17:11-19) “Stand up and go your way; your faith has been your salvation.” “This man was a Samaritan.”  Jesus chose the lowest of the low, not only a leper, the most ostracized of all individuals, but a Samaritan, a foreigner most despised by the Israelite nation, to reveal His mercy, to reveal the universal nature of His forgiveness, and so the universal call to salvation.  He demonstrates that all may have faith in Him, and that it is for us to call all to Him. Many are given power on this earth, power which was far from the Samaritan leper healed by Jesus.  And Wisdom makes clear the responsibility that comes with that authority, the manner in which that judgment placed in the hands of princes must be effected.  For the Lord shall hold accountable all to whom power is given; He shall “probe [their] works and scrutinize [their] counsels.”  And if they keep not His law and “walk according to the will of God,” great as the power given them shall be their punishment.  “For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy,” as was the leper in our gospel today, “but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test.” I find it rather frightening to hear that “for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends,” for, brothers and sisters, we are all given a measure of power by the Lord, and so all shall be held responsible for their gifts.  It can make us quake in our shoes to think that we are answerable to God, to the all-powerful Lord of the universe, for all we do.  Do we “keep the holy precepts” well?  Will we “have ready a response” when He stands before us, when He inquires of our actions? If we desire His words, we know that He will instruct us, but how can we who are so human and sinful be as faithful as we need to be?  Our psalm warns us: “You are gods, all of you sons of the Most High” – we are all gifted greatly by our God to be as His children – “yet like men you shall die, and fall like any prince…” yet oh how human we are, how subject to the elements of sin and death. What shall we do?  Our psalm indicates what our actions should be: “Defend the lowly and the fatherless; render justice to the afflicted and the destitute.”  And the blessed leper in our gospel reveals the attitude we should have toward our Lord: “He threw himself on his face at the feet of Jesus and spoke His praises.”  If we think ourselves any better than he or do anything differently, we shall not hear the Lord calling us to rise and go forth – we shall not find our salvation.  Let us demonstrate our faith and the grace at work within us. ******* O LORD, you raise the lowly who call to you, but the wicked who turn their faces from your presence you cut down. YHWH, the lowly and the poor you raise up, so let us fall on our face before you.  Like the leper let us know and remember that only by your Son are we made whole; only by you do we have life at all.  Whatever power we may have in this world comes only from you, and we shall be answerable for it. You scrutinize all matters, LORD, for your eye sees all things.  The haughty soul does not escape your glance but shall be brought to judgment for the evil in his heart and at his hands.  If we desire to find blessing from you, to come into your presence in the kingdom, how humble we must be and faithful in your service. We are all made princes by your grace upon us.  Though we come from dust you breathe [...]


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November 14 - Tuesday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Ws.2:23-3:9;   Ps.34:2-3,16-19;   Lk.17:7-10) “The souls of the just are in the hands of God, and no torment shall touch them.” What does the Lord mean when He instructs us in our gospel to say, “We are useless servants,” than that which David says in our psalm, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves,” and that which the Book of Wisdom states in our first reading: “Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of Himself”?  For though we who serve Christ seem to be dead in the judgment of this world, and the laying down of our lives in service of Christ – who died upon the cross quite freely – seems to be nothing but “utter destruction,” yet we know that it is precisely this death in Christ which brings life… and in His hands we shall be blessed. “The Lord confronts evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.”  Yet “when the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress He rescues them.”  Yes, “those who trust in Him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with Him in love: because grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with His elect.”  And “they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their  king forever.”  For they have given their service to the One who rules the universe, and so in His service they shall remain – death shall have no power over them.  If “God formed man to be imperishable” and made him “the image of His own nature,” what shall touch those who serve Him, who treasure that image of God upon them?  How shall they die? “We have done no more than our duty.”  This is the bottom line of our time on earth.  And the accomplishment of our duty, the fulfillment of the Lord’s Word at work in our hearts, is all that is needed to bring us to eternal life.  And though it is not His obligation, though certainly no reward is due us who have but carried out the orders of our superior, the Lord will say to us in His grace on that day, “Come and sit down at table.”  And we shall sup with Him eternally, His gracious hand upon us for good. Brothers and sisters, forget not your call to serve Him, to lay down your lives before Him, and He shall not neglect to hear you now, and to give you life eternal.  Keep your “hope full of immortality” even “as gold in the furnace” your mettle is proven this day, and the day of the Lord shall be yours, when all torment shall have fled away. ******* O LORD, we are indeed useless servants, but you greatly bless those who serve you. YHWH, death is upon us this day, you know.  But we who are joined to the Cross of your Son are not touched by it: from death you save your faithful servants.  Whatever power the devil has to threaten us with our sins and the death that comes from them has been destroyed by the sacrifice of Jesus.  And so, we who humble ourselves with Him will be blessed in your kingdom. When we cry out to you, dear LORD, you are quick to save us; near indeed you are to the brokenhearted.  Though our spirits be crushed by the travails of this life, you raise them to your presence.  And so, what can we do but glory in your NAME?  What can we do but look forward to that day when we shall sit at your table? O LORD, let us be purified of all dross by the affliction we suffer in union with your only Son.  Remade in His image, into your peace let us come, dwelling in immortality.


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November 13 - Prayer to St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O mother of the faith and helper of the stranger in the New World, you sought with great diligence to preserve the true religion in a land hostile to Mother Church, to assist those in spiritual as well as physical need – pray a measure of your missionary spirit be poured out upon your daughters, upon the many houses you established and all those served by them. Pray the country you took to heart and which became your own will turn resolutely to the Lord and His blood and away from the destruction of its soul, upon which it seems so set. Pray the faith shall be restored from shore to shore and this nation in truth become a light on a hill.


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November 13 - Monday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Wis.1:1-7;   Ps.139:1-10,24;   Lk.17:1-6) “Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?” Yes, “wisdom is a kindly spirit, yet she acquits not the blasphemous of his guilty lips.”  For the spirit of the Lord is everywhere and hears everything, listening closely to a man’s inmost thoughts.  “For the spirit of the Lord fills the world, is all-embracing, and knows what man says.”  And so it is that David sings, “If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there, too.”  How could we escape His encircling Hand and His omnipresent justice if, as David says, “Even before a word is on my tongue, Lord, you know it all”?  And so, in heaven He is present to raise us to glory; but in hell, His presence condemns our sin. We cannot sin, brothers and sisters.  If we do, we shall not escape His hand.  It cannot but be that the Lord condemns all evil, for “into a soul that plots evil, wisdom enters not,” and what hope have we of life if the spirit of wisdom guides us not?  Indeed, we must “seek Him in integrity of heart.”  Yes, justice must be our love, and wisdom our treasure.  This alone will bring us unto heaven.  If our counsels are perverse and we cause sin to occur, leading others astray by our unjust words and actions, the Lord makes quite clear our fate in our gospel today: “It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”  And there is a “little one” in ourselves, whom only the Lord – who probes our heart and mind – knows, and whom we condemn to destruction by our sin. Rather, we must have faith.  We must forgive others and have an abiding faith in Him, Jesus tells us.  This faith will manifest itself in the great works done in His name, and in our following Him simply day to day.  With such faith we cannot be shaken.  Holding such faith, the light shining upon our souls by Him who sees all will purify us for the coming of His kingdom. What can we say, brothers and sisters?  The Lord hears us.  Where can we go?  He is with us.  Either for evil because of our turning away, or for our good by our turning to Him, the Lord is ever present.  It must be our desire to come to Him, in wisdom and in justice, in forgiveness and in faith… and hell we shall avoid as gratefully into His glory we fly, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. ******* O LORD, you see us and the sin we commit,   and so we must turn to you for forgiveness.  YHWH, your Spirit fills the world; wherever we may go, you are present.  We cannot escape your light, and should we try, we would but find ourselves in hell.  You hear every word we speak: our inmost selves are exposed to your eye.  We must but believe in your love, and Wisdom will be with us as guide.  But how difficult we make the path to faith.  How ready we are to listen to senseless and perverse counsels and so disbelieve you.  As easily as Eve we fall, O LORD.  May we know your just rebuke of our sins that we might find repentance and taste your forgiveness upon our souls. O let us not fight against you, dear God! but work always and only for the salvation of all, for the recognition of your eternal glory present in our midst by the Spirit come through your only Son.  And so with you let us dwell.


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November 12 - Prayer to St. Josaphat

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O shepherd thirsty for souls, whose only desire was the unity of the Church under Christ her King and on the Rock of Peter… for this cause you gave your life; for this call from the Lord you shed your blood – pray this day all may be one, that none shall shrink from fulfilling this desire of Jesus but by the power of the Holy Spirit work tirelessly and with great courage to slake the thirst of the Lord. We are all children of one Father; we have but one Brother in Christ and one Mother in the Catholic faith. Pray this truth shall prevail over the deceptions of the devil, who would separate and conquer souls but who is turned back from his evil course when we are willing to die for one another.


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November 12 - Sunday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +0000

 (Wis.6:12-16;   Ps.63:2-8;   1Thes.4:13-18;   Mt.25:1-13)  “Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”  O Lord, “through the night-watches I will meditate on you: you are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.”  “As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied, and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you”; for though “my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water” for you, O Living God, I have “gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory,” and you have met me with your “kindness.”  Your Wisdom “graciously appears to [me] in the ways, and meets [me] with all solicitude.” “Resplendent and unfading is Wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her.  She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire; whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate.  For taking thought of Wisdom is the perfection of prudence, and whoever for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care.” I could not say it any better, or any differently, than the sacred author.  Do not these words perfectly illustrate the Lord’s message in our gospel today – Stay awake!  Keep your lamps burning!  Seek Wisdom!  Be ready, and she will come to you; and you will be gathered into the marriage feast.  Foolishly sit in darkness, unconcerned for your fate, and these ominous words shall resound in your barren soul: “Then the door was locked.”  And then there shall be no entering. I must again remark on the astounding lack of wisdom in the commentary of the missal I read.  It states, “Paul is under the misconception that our Lord will return during his lifetime,” ignorantly assuming that when he says, “We who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,” he is referring to himself and his companions.  Oh my!  Where do they derive the oil for their lamps?  He is no more referring directly to himself in this instance than he is when he says, “If we believe that Jesus died and rose” – it is of the whole Church, of whatever time or place, he is speaking!  How can our “scholars” not see this; and how can they be so ready to utter blasphemy against Holy Scripture and the Lord’s Apostle, suggesting that he purports some greater knowledge of the Lord’s return than the Lord Himself?  Do they think he is as ignorant, or proud, as they? Brothers and sisters, we indeed have great hope of resurrection.  When “the Lord Himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven,” we will be caught up with Him “in the air,” in His heavenly presence.  But we must have His light within ourselves and keep watch for His Hour, waiting through the night for the dawn of His Day. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "Watching the Sun" from Bearing the Birth Pangs, tenth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, nothing else matters but our union with you – let us be with you forever.       YHWH, help us to keep vigil for you and for your Son’s return. Let our hearts be set on your coming glory, that we may join in it ourselves. May our[...]


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November 11 - Prayer to St. Martin of Tours

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O sacrificial shepherd, you gave your life for your flock; a poor and humble man, you gathered the poor and humble of the Lord into the arms of His Church, where they might be fed with His grace. Ever with arms upraised you taught your people ever to pray and founded many houses of prayer; peace you brought to your church that all might serve the one true God – pray we shall be humble and lowly as you, dear shepherd, and so mirror the life of our Lord. Pray our lives be entrusted to Him, that whatever we do be in His will; whether we live or die, let it not matter to us, but only let matter the laying down of our lives, that by such sacrificial offering God’s Word might go forth and all souls be welcomed into Abraham’s arms.


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November 11 - Saturday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Rm.16:3-9,16,22-27;   Ps.145:1-5,10-11;   Lk.16:9-15)   “Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you.”   We are in the world, and amongst the wealth of this world.  We have nothing to do with money and the world – “You cannot serve God and money,” the Lord has told us, and so we cannot serve money… yet what have we to use but the riches of this world?  And so “through use of this world’s goods,” by showing ourselves trustworthy with this “elusive wealth,” we find and bring others to the “lasting” riches of heaven. Paul at the end of his letter to the Romans lists all his “fellow workers in the service of Christ.”  Here are those who have been faithful with the elusive wealth of this world.  They themselves have died, their bodies have been laid in the tomb, yet their works live on in the Spirit they have brought forth.  Nothing of this world lasts long, yet these transitory things can and must be used, that “glory be given through Jesus Christ unto endless ages.” “Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your might,” sings David to the Lord.  And with our voice, too, while we have breath, we must “speak of the splendor of [His] glorious majesty and tell of [His] wondrous works.”  Forever and in all our works we must praise and bless the Lord of all, that all we do leads unto the glory of the kingdom, that in all we serve God with all our might.  We must join ourselves to Him, and we do this by the gifts He gives us, and by employing now what is at our disposal.  So it is.  So it has been back beyond the time of Paul, and so it shall be unto the coming of eternity. Today we must think of how well we use this world’s goods, how well we employ this Word of the Lord in the world.  In the “little” things of our daily lives do we honor God, or are we unjust in some manner?  For today begins the road to heaven; this time leads to eternity.  And if we wish to find “lasting reception” with the Lord in heaven, we must be ever faithful in our works today.  To God let us give thanks.  May we who are the work of the Lord give praise to Him in all our works upon this earth. ******* O LORD, let us give you glory through all that is at our hands. YHWH, generation after generation praises your works; from the time of the apostles unto this day, all those who serve the Gospel of your Son speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty – let us always discourse of the glory of your reign and give you due praise by all we do in your NAME. O LORD, we are in the world, and though we can never be of the world, what do we have but the world this day?  And so we must use it wisely and make great profit by it, even the salvation of the world itself.  May many men come into your presence by the work of your servants each day.  And may we always be in their company. O LORD, let our names be written in the Book of those who have faithfully served you, who have turned their backs on unjust gain for the sake of your Church.  May we forever sing your praise with all those your Son has saved.


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November 10 - Prayer to St. Leo the Great

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 20:00:00 +0000

O true Pastor of God’s Church, defender of the faith from forces without and within her walls, you proved that this House founded by Christ the Lord shall never succumb to the powers of hell but ever stand strong against all tides of the world and the evil influence of the devil – pray though the flesh be weak, though every member be prone to sin, that all souls set on the Rock that is the bark of Peter shall repel every attack against the integrity of the faith and stand with Jesus as king over the flesh, as priest offering pure sacrifice, as prophet speaking His words… and so until the end of time may God’s Church be ever blessed.


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November 10 - Friday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Rm.15:14-21;   Ps.98:1-4;   Lk.16:1-8)   “The worldly take more initiative than the otherworldly when it comes to dealing with their own kind.”   What is the Lord teaching His disciples?  What does He wish to tell them of their call?  We need only look at the Apostle Paul, for here is a man, a child of God, who has taken the initiative the Lord would see wrought in us all. Our first reading indeed speaks clearly of Paul’s mission to the Gentiles.  Not only has he covered a vast measure of the globe (particularly for that time), but his intense initiative is seen most acutely in his never going “to preach in places where Christ’s name was already known”; rather, “they who received no word of Him” became Paul’s audience.  A greater example of taking initiative in the Spirit of Christ to bring His light to the world perhaps will never be known. But it is required of all of us.  We are not free to revel in complacency because Paul has been so industrious.  It is still true that the Lord must make His salvation known “in the sight of the nations,” and it is still so that we Christians of the Church militant have the responsibility to see that the Lord’s work is accomplished.  Each of us is called to take a measure of initiative, is gifted by God with the responsibility of bringing a portion of His kingdom to light – in our own way, in our own time… but invariably the call is there and must be answered.  All must fulfill their role in salvation history before it can be truly and completely proclaimed: “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.” The devious employee’s heart was set thoroughly on the business at his hands, and he used his business wisdom, his worldly savvy, to save his skin.  Where is our spiritual savvy?  Where is the employment of our spiritual wisdom and insight to the salvation of others’ souls, and our own?  “I can take glory in Christ Jesus for the work I have done for God,” Paul says quite freely.  Are we able to say the same?  Let us work industriously and with initiative to bring the spiritual kingdom to fulfillment.  By God’s grace, let the Spirit come.   ******** O LORD, let us do all we can to bring your Word to the world. YHWH, you have made your salvation known in the death and resurrection of your Son, but we must carry that truth to the ends of the world, even as the Apostle Paul. We cannot sit on our hands, dear LORD; we must not dissipate your grace.  Rather, let us readily preach your Gospel in all we think, do, and say.  Then we will be pleasing in your sight, and all souls will be drawn into your presence. O LORD, to your children you have granted complete knowledge of your ways and made them able to serve your kingdom.  In the power of your Spirit let us go forth to see that all peoples are consecrated to you. Let all souls sing a new song to your NAME; let all praise your goodness to us, LORD.  From your work let us never turn away until we stand with you on your holy Day.


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November 9 - Dedication of St. John Lateran

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

(Ez.47:1-2,8-9,12;   Ps.46:1-3,5-6,8-9;   1Cor.3:9c-11,16-17;   Jn.2:13-22)   “There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High.”   On this the feast set aside to commemorate the cathedral of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, himself the founding stone upon which Christ builds His Church, we hear much of temples.  In our first reading Ezekial sees in his vision, “water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple,” water which brings life to the great sea and the fruit that grows upon its banks; the water that gladdens the holy dwelling of the Most High is spoken of in our psalm; Paul tells us we are “the temple of God,” “God’s building”; and zeal for the Father’s house consumes the Lord, and so He purges it with whip in hand in our gospel today.  But perhaps the most revelatory statement is, “He was speaking of the temple of His body,” also from our gospel, and noted as explanation of Jesus’ challenge to the Jews to destroy the temple and He would rebuild it in three days.  This essential truth of the nature of the temple is substantiated by Paul’s teaching of the care needed by those who build within the Church: “No one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.”  Though he then goes on to say that we are the temple of God, wrought in all holiness, and though this is an equal truth, yet neither this truth, nor that which holds Peter as the founding “rock” of this Temple in which we dwell, have any basis without the essential understanding that Jesus is at the very heart of all our worship, of the Church we are.  The Lord has indeed wrought “astounding things… on earth.”  He has made us as those trees along the banks of His river of life, bearing His fruit each month for the benefit of the world.  He has made us His holy dwelling place and placed His Spirit upon us for the building up of His kingdom…  But all of this has its source in the water of life itself, our Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, as we celebrate our Church this day and the glorious blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us as His temple, as His children, let us not forget our Savior who has been the cause of and continues to be the cause of our joy.  Let us be washed in the water from His side and be built up in His Body and His Blood.  May we have His same zeal for the Father’s House.   Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.   Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.   ******* O LORD, purify this temple, destroyed by sin; let us truly be your House, dear God.  YHWH, you are with us in the midst of your Church, your Son the very foundation of this Temple.  And He is the Temple itself, we His very Body; and so, how holy we should be.  Indeed, we should be as holy as you, our Most High God, as perfect as your only Son. It is Jesus’ blood and the water flowing from His side that washes us clean and nourishes the growth of His holy Church.  The waters of this River gladden the hearts of all who dwell in your House, O LORD.  Upon the banks of this River let us ever remain, bearing fruit each month, each da[...]


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November 8 - Wednesday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Rm.13:8-10;   Ps.112:1-2,4-5,9;   Lk.14:25-33)  “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” Jesus tells us, “None of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions,” turning our backs even on father and mother, even on our very selves.  Our psalm states of the happy man, “Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever.”  And Paul makes clear that we “owe no debt to anyone except the debt that binds us to love one another.  He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” What is this love?  Where is this generous spirit?  How do we renounce all our possessions?  In the cross of Christ we find our call.  The cross of Christ means giving all, means laying down our lives for the Lord and our neighbor – the cross of Christ is love itself at work in this world in the death of self and the finding of the grace and the love of God in heaven. Jesus wishes that you be sure about this.  He desires that you understand what is required of you – your very life, your absolute love.  Nothing short of total sacrifice will do; we must be entirely whole, utterly holy, to enter His gates, to follow Him into glory.  This is greater and more significant than any war, than any project conceived by the mind of man, for it is our eternal soul that is at stake, whose weight cannot compare to even all the world.  “Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”  We all have a cross graciously placed upon our shoulders by our loving Lord to make us one with Him in His redemptive suffering and death, to make us one with Him in such utter love.  How will we find heaven if we do not love?  How do we come to that place which is only of love if we do not give ourselves to love completely? “How can I do this?” you say.  “The Lord asks too much.”  You must remember that it is only love He asks of you, and that it is His cross you carry – He who is only of love – and so He carries your cross with you, making it ever so sweet and light.  Do you think the saints feared to die in the name of Christ?  Do you think they shrank back even in the face of torture?  None of this has any significance to the soul who is set on Christ; and without Christ a hangnail can seem overwhelming. Love, brothers and sisters.  It is simple as that.  Love.  Not this world, but His heart, His sacrifice, His cross.  And you will see all brought to life before you; and you will find joy in your soul. ******* O LORD, what a beautiful invitation to love is Jesus’ call to carry our cross with Him! for He is only love, and what can we find but love if we follow Him – and who will we then not truly love? YHWH, teach us of your way of love, embodied so perfectly in your Son, that we might give ourselves as generously as He to all those we find in need.  Help us to give up all things, to renounce our possessions, to turn our backs even on friends and family that we might truly love them and so teach them of your surpassing love. O how sweet is the Cross your Son would impart to all His followers!  What light it gives to the world.  If with willing heart we lend to others,[...]


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November 7 - Tuesday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Rm.12:5-16;   Ps.131:1-3;   Lk.14:15-24) “Come along, everything is ready now.” Dinner is being served now in the kingdom of God.  But are we prepared to sit down at table?  Or do we turn our hearts to other things? Jesus sets our place now in the kingdom of heaven.  He has come.  He has died.  He has risen and sends now the Holy Spirit to invite us into His presence.  And His presence is ever with us; He is ever knocking at the door of our hearts – His Spirit is always with us.  But, again, do we hear His call, do we heed His call?  Do we care to come into His presence and sup with Him, and receive His gracious gifts at His precious table, at His holy altar… or do we cling to what is evil, what is worldly? How do we come to His kingdom?  How do we find ourselves in His presence?  Paul instructs us: we must simply do His will.  Doing His will upon the face of this earth brings us to the kingdom of heaven.  The teaching should be evident to all Christians: “One who is a teacher should use his gift for teaching…  He who gives alms should do so generously…  Rejoice in hope, be patient under trial, persevere in prayer…”  Do all things as is meet for those things.  It is not complex.  There needs no genius to figure it out, or a scholastic degree to understand it.  One need not travel miles to discover it.  It is truth.  It is Jesus.  It is to suffer and die for Him as called by the Lord.  “Your love must be sincere.  Detest what is evil, cling to what is good.”  What more can be said?  Find peace in the arms of the Lord.  Say with our psalmist, “I have still and quieted my soul… like a weaned child upon its mother’s lap.”  We must do as he proclaims: “I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me.”  We must not complicate God’s simple love for us and our call simply to love Him with all He gives us.  We must, rather, heed His voice, and come into His presence when He calls. The table is set.  His Word is speaking to us.  In silence we will hear Him; in quiet we will find His voice.  In the vain activity of this world we become deaf.  Only by hearing and doing His Word and will, will we come to sit at His table and partake of His heavenly banquet – only if this is the true desire of our souls.  Even now we taste Him in the Blessed Sacrament; even today we hear His Word proclaimed.  Are we prepared to meet Him?  Do we seek to do His holy will? ******* O LORD, all are invited your House – let us find our place in the Body of Christ and serve Him well. YHWH, help us to do your will in all things, simply and purely, as your sons.  What you give to us let us share with others, answering you readily when you call. What need we do, dear God, but share the gifts you give us with others?  What do you expect of us but to use well what you place in our hands?  If we can teach, let us teach; if serve, let us serve.  Whatever we have let us be generous in offering at the service of our brothers.  Let us indeed love freely as you. Then we will be ready to answer your Son’s call to the kingdom – we will already be [...]


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November 6 - Monday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

(Rm.11:29-36;   Ps.69:14,30-31,33-34,36-37;   Lk.14:12-14)   “God has imprisoned all in disobedience that He might have mercy on all.”   I begin to see “how deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God.”  For though I am far from knowing “the mind of the Lord,” yet He does offer me a certain insight this early morning about Him whom Paul says, “From Him and through Him and for Him all things are.” It is in the complementarity of the readings the insight comes, particularly viewing the gospel in light of the first reading.  Jesus instructs the chief of the Pharisees that when giving a banquet he should “invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind” and to be “pleased that they cannot repay” him for his generosity, assuring him he “will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.”  Now, the Lord does not instruct us to be anything more or less than He and the Father are.  So this instruction reflects God’s own great desire and joy in giving to those who are not able to repay Him: it serves as a reminder that God is love, that He thrives, as it were, on mercy, on compassion. Paul, in the first reading, states to the Romans, “God wished to show you mercy,” and that for this reason the Jews “have become disobedient,” as well as to fulfill God’s longing that “they too may receive mercy” upon returning to Him who set them apart for Himself.  Again we see the greatness of God’s love, we glimpse His burning desire to show compassion to all creatures.  Now, to the mind lacking wisdom (and love), it might seem as if God is somehow playing with us, causing our falling that He might lift us up again.  But it is necessary to remember that God did not desire us to sin, that this was not His intention… and indeed that He did not need us to sin to show us His mercy and love.  But our disobedience having come, God in His love is not conquered.  This temporary and empty victory by the devil does not tie His hands.  Rather, the Lord takes this opportunity to show in an even greater way the very mercy and love which are His essence – shown to us so clearly in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to forgive men’s sins – to show, really, His greatness, which has its source in this love. And David’s psalm speaks in the same line: “The Lord hears the poor, and His own who are in bonds He spurns not.”  In our affliction and pain we cry out and He comes with His “saving help”; He is pleased to “rebuild the cities of Judah,” to return us to His side.  It is not sin He desires, but the recognition of our dependence on Him for all things, that He might freely show us His love.  For this love at His heart’s core and which overcomes all – which is the essence of God and His creation – let us praise Him, brothers and sisters.  “To Him be glory forever.  Amen.”  ******* O LORD, who can repay you for your mercy toward us, for your love is without measure? YHWH, how great is your mercy, and how greatly you desire us to share in that mercy.  And so we have become imprisoned[...]


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November 5 - Sunday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 04 Nov 2017 04:00:00 +0000

 (Mal.1:14b-2:2b,8-10;   Ps.131:1-3;   1Thes.2:7b-9,13;   Mt.23:1-12)   “Have we not all the one Father? Has not the one God created us?”   And should not those who serve in His stead, bringing the word of God to waiting hearts, be as He is, loving all as He does and thus giving “glory to [His] name”? “I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child.  Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me,” King David declares, thus revealing the blessed relationship of the faithful, humble disciple and His Lord.  We are indeed as little children before God, and He loves us as a tender Father, as the One who has made us with great care.  And so we should take our peace upon His lap. And when the sheep of the flock come to the shepherds the Lord has appointed to teach in His Name, they should find a reflection of the Father’s presence – in these one should discover His love.  Yes, they must instruct according to the Word placed upon their souls by their ordination, but they should not merit the words Jesus speaks of the Pharisees: “They preach but they do not practice.”  For if “all their works are performed to be seen,” if they teach and preach without love, without living the word of God themselves, soon the flock will be led astray by their vanity and turn from the word they speak itself.  Malachi prophesies to the priests of his day: “You have turned aside from the way, and have caused many to falter by your instruction.”  If these leaders show no reverence of God themselves, who will be led to reverence by their instruction? Yes, still our duty is to God Himself and our worship is of Him alone – and so Jesus teaches the people, “Do and observe whatsoever [the scribes and Pharisees] tell you, but do not follow their example” – but He also demands of His followers that they not possess the vanity of these proud leaders.  Oh if all approached the service of Paul, how blessed our Church would be!  Listen to his words to the Thessalonians: “Brothers and sisters: we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children,” for he and his fellow workers “were determined to share with [them] not only the Gospel of God, but [their] very selves as well,” so much did they love their flock with the love of God. And this is as all pastors are called to be, “working night and day” for the little ones in their care.  “Feed my sheep,” the Lord commanded His Rock; and all our priests are called to feed the members of the Church not only with the Word of God, but also with His love, that they might learn to take refuge in Him who is Father of all.  I ask you, has the Lord not become incarnate in our midst?  And should that Incarnation not be known in all our flesh and in all our bone?  Then let us serve one another in love.   Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.   Music: "Everyone's A Baby, Everyone's A Child" from All One, sixth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.   ******* O LORD, let us humble ourselves before you, [...]


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November 4 - Prayer to St. Charles Borromeo

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O defender of the Catholic faith in which all the saints make their home, O great pastor of souls, shepherd of Christ’s flock, who would see all enter fully into the fold only the saints know – pray for the Lord’s Church this day, that it shall never turn away from the Truth which is at its heart, from the Son of God who made it, forming it in His own blood; pray our souls be set on prayer to Him, our minds on meditation on His life, that nothing may distract us from His holy presence within the walls of Mother Church and within our own hearts.


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November 4 - Saturday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.11:1-2,11-12,25-29;   Ps.94:12-15,17-18;   Lk.14:1,7-11)   “The Lord will not cast off His people, nor abandon His inheritance.”   Today the gifts and call of the Israelites, which are “irrevocable,” are spoken of beautifully in our readings. Indeed, the majority of Jews rejected and even persecuted Jesus and His followers.  But as Paul tells us, the Lord has always and will always leave a remnant among them to maintain His covenant with them.  As Paul reminds us, “I myself am an Israelite.”  And of course so were all the apostles.  God has not rejected His people, for “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.”  The promise He has made to bless the Israelites stands to this day. Paul explains clearly the wisdom of God and how He works through the transgressions of the Jews to bring the Gentiles to salvation.  And how the Gentiles’ conversion and the grace poured upon them shall lead the Israelite people back to the Lord: “Blindness has come upon part of Israel until the full number of Gentiles enter in, and then all Israel will be saved.”  Yes, all Israel will yet be saved; they shall yet come flowing to the mountain of God, to His Son, and find redemption, and find the honor bestowed upon them; and by their turning, how much all His holy people shall be blessed!  “Judgment shall again be with justice, and all the upright of heart shall follow it.”  Alleluia! But there is another lesson for us today, and it, too, has to do with the quality needed by the chosen.  Jesus speaks of it clearly in our gospel, and it illustrates the difficulty the Jews have in coming to the Lord, and warns us against the same mistake.  Jesus comes to dinner “at the house of one of the leading Pharisees” and witnesses the guests scrambling for the best seats at table.  Quietly He speaks to them, gently He reminds them, that they are not called to exaltation of their own position, gifted as it may or may not be, but to humility before all, as He has indeed shown us.  How unlike our Lord, who though in the form of God humbled Himself to become human and even to die on a cross (without uttering a word), are they.  And here is the teaching of Christ: “Sit in the lowest place.”  The greater our call, the deeper should be our humility.  This emptying ourselves as has Jesus is an indispensable virtue for any Christian.  And only it will bring the Jew to realize the presence of Christ in his midst. And should we who have been grafted to the kingdom’s tree late in time boast of our gift, walk with haughty eyes in His house?  By no means, lest we be cast off by Him.  Let us rather treasure the grace the Lord has granted us, preserve His call within us, and make our election permanent, beneath the shadow of His cross.   ******* O LORD, we shall not enter your reign until we are humble before you; your Son is ever present and so we must ever give place to Him. YHWH, you do not abandon your people, Jew or Gentile believer, but serve in your wisdom to bring [...]


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November 3 - Prayer to St. Martin de Porres

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O humble and charitable soul whose healing hands served the poor and all those the Lord placed in your care, with great love you looked upon Christ on the Cross and in the Blessed Sacrament, and so sought to love your neighbor even as Jesus Himself – pray we shall somehow learn to put others before ourselves, that in this way, in the way of the Lord, we will truly love and serve God, knowing our sins outweigh those of any other soul, and yet that the mercy of our Savior outweighs any human fault. And so, pray we shall be humble as you, as kind and as caring, that we too will lay down our lives in prayer and in penance, in the blood and tears of Jesus.


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November 3 - Friday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.9:1-5;   Ps.147:12-15,19-20;   Lk.14:1-6) “They could not answer.” The Pharisees are dumb.  The leaders of the Jewish nation cannot speak as to whether a man should be healed on the sabbath.  How far they have fallen from the presence of God. We know the Israelites were God’s chosen people.  This is proclaimed clearly by both Paul and our psalmist today: “Theirs were the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the lawgiving, the worship, and the promises; theirs were the patriarchs, and from them came the Messiah”; yet when the Messiah, the Son, the fulfillment of all the gifts given them, stands before them… they are blind, they are dumb – they have no wisdom, no light.  This is the nation whom the Lord has given “His statutes and His ordinances…  He has not done thus for any other nation.”  And yet they are unable to judge that it is right for a man to be healed at any time, that this is God’s will, that human life supersedes the mere observance of law, a law they have suffocated of its life. And we?  Again, being successors to the Jews we must always ask ourselves if we do the things which caused the promise to be taken from their hands.  Do we proclaim the glory of this Word?  Do we “speak the truth in Christ”?  Or do we keep silent, too?  And not the silence that bears all suffering as has our Savior upon the cross do I speak – I mean the death of the Word in our souls.  The inability to discern His will.  The fear to praise God by teaching the nations of the grace which has been granted us.  “He sends forth His command to the earth; swiftly runs His Word!”  But does that Word come through us, does it work through us who are the keepers of the New Covenant, or do we let it die in our throats? “Blessed forever be God who is over all!” Paul shouts as despair he begins to detect for the failure of so many Jews to turn to Christ.  And so we should ever praise our God whenever doubt or fear enters our soul.  It is our only refuge.  It is our only strength.  Silence before the courts of this world which observe us closely will not do.  Acceptance of our death, yes, but not fear of retribution should be ours.  We must speak the truth in love, relying on the wisdom which comes from Him alone as we make our way through the challenges of this world. ******* O LORD, why should our mouths be shut in the presence of your glory? YHWH, may your Word run swiftly to us and work swiftly through us.  May we never hesitate to proclaim your praise, to declare your love for all in all our words and actions.  May we think only the good and seek only your will.  Let the dictates of the law never quash our souls. How blessed were your chosen people, LORD!  All things were given them at your gracious hands.  True worship of you was theirs; but how far they have fallen from your love.  Though all was made known to them by your Word, they forgot the blessing upon their nation and became blind to yo[...]


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November 2 - All Souls

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Wis.3:1-9;   Ps.23:1-6;   1Cor.15:51-57;   Jn.6:37-40 Note: there are any number of readings possible for this day)   “The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.”   Is this not what it means to be a Christian?  To have faith in the resurrection from the dead.  To believe that after our time of trial there shall be peace, that we shall be refined by the hand of God to stand in His presence, to share in His kingship.  “Grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with His elect.”  This is our faith. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  And so we have no fear.  The Lord watches over us and guides our path, and in His blessing we take refuge, knowing we shall come to be with Him, knowing He is with us even this day, knowing even death we shall conquer in His Name.  “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”  Nothing shall remove us from His presence.  “We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed.”  Indeed, though all die, all shall come to life.  None can remain as they are; all must be changed.  All that is mortal must take on immortality, and in this immortality, in this incorruptibility we gain, death is swallowed up – it is no more.  “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It is an eternal victory. “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me.”  It cannot be that the Father’s will not be done.  Jesus awaits us with open arms.  He has gone before us, He has prepared a place for us, and we must but come to Him as drawn by the will of the Father.  “Everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I shall raise Him up on the last day.”  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ! Death is not our realm, brothers and sisters.  Though it comes to us all, it is but a passageway into Heaven, it is but the Lord’s means of preparing us for the kingdom.  And so, whether we experience it today or tomorrow or yesterday is of no consequence.  It is there.  It shall come to us all.  But all who believe are preserved from its clutches and drawn into the life the Father offers.  Let us pray this day for all holy souls to come by the Son into the hands of the Father.   Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.   Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.   ******* O LORD, help us find victory over death in Jesus, your Son, and so come to dwell with you forever.  YHWH, though we walk through the dark valley, we fear no evil – for you are at our side.  Though death close its mouth upon us, we remain courageous, for your Son has given us victory over sin and death by His sacrifice on the Cross; and as we take refuge in Him, we are raised to dwell with you in eternal life.  Let all souls be raised to your side with Him! Where in this world can we turn where there is not sin, where there [...]


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November 1 - Prayer to All Saints

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O God’s holy ones, His apostles and martyrs, His virgins and confessors, all who have borne witness to Him with your lives, who have washed your robes in His blood, whose hands are clean in His sight and so are clothed in white, all you who have suffered under the Cross in the flesh in this world and so now stand in His light in the Spirit before His throne in Heaven… O all holy ones of the Lord from every age, from every time and place; from every nation you come, speaking in every tongue of His undying love – please, pray for us, His pilgrim children!


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November 1 - All Saints

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Rv.7:2-4,9-14;   Ps.24:1-6;   1Jn.3:1-3;   Mt.5:1-12)   “Everyone who has this hope based on Him makes himself pure, as He is pure.”   All our readings speak of this purity this holy day.  In the first reading we hear of the saints who “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  Our psalm tells us it is “one whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,” who stands in God’s presence.  The above quote is from our second reading, and Jesus tells us in our gospel, “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.”  Indeed, this purity of heart is the essential characteristic possessed by all the saints in heaven; and so we must strive to achieve it. I note a striking parallel particularly between our first reading from Revelation and David’s psalm: the reading begins with the image of the four angels (at the four corners of the universe) being prevented from their call “to damage the land and the sea” until the seal of God is placed upon the foreheads of the “one hundred and forty-four thousand [symbolizing absolute fullness in number] marked from every tribe of Israel”; and our psalm begins by proclaiming, “The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it.”  The reading continues with John’s “vision of a great multitude” who “stood before the throne and the Lamb” in their white robes; while, as it continues, our psalm tells us that only the pure of heart “can ascend the mountain of the Lord” or “stand in His holy place.”  Then the reading from Revelation cries out, “Salvation comes from our God” and exclaims of the blessings upon the Lord and so His faithful; and David’s psalm concludes that it is he who seeks Him who “shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior.” What does all this tell us but what John states quite simply in his letter, our second reading: “Beloved, we are God’s children now,” and that when “what we shall be… is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  Yes, we are anointed by Him as His own creation and shall come to stand in His presence with all the angels and saints, proclaiming the blessing He is and the salvation He has provided us. And in our gospel Jesus climbs the mountain and sits and teaches those who gather around Him.  And how blessed are these eyes that see Him!  How blessed are these ears that hear Him!  And how blessed are we, too, insofar as we hear Him this holy day as He calls to our hearts to have faith in Him and in the kingdom of heaven, to set our hearts on the hope of which He speaks.  And blessed are we most when we suffer insult and persecution for the sake of the Lord, for by this we are purified, and through this “our reward will be great in heaven.”  For we must die in Him before we rise in Him with all the sai[...]


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October 31 - Tuesday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.8:18-25;   Ps.126:1-6;   Lk.13:18-21)   “Hoping for what we cannot see means awaiting it with patient endurance.”   We cannot see the coming of the kingdom of heaven.  It comes so gradually; it rises imperceptibly, “like yeast which a woman took to knead into three measures of flour.”  It grows like the tiny mustard seed, which “became a large shrub and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”  A most fruitful reign is the reign of God, and well worth the wait.  As Paul says, “I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us.”  But wait we must.  In hope we take our refuge.  And as we hope, indeed we suffer, for “we ourselves, although we have the Spirit as first fruits, groan inwardly while we await the redemption of our bodies.”  With the rest of creation we groan “in agony” for the futility to which the physical universe has been subject.  Yet hope have we, and it is this which gives us a sense of joy even as we wait so patiently. “Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.”  Our psalm gives us a picture of the joy that awaits us in the redemption of the just in the kingdom of God as it describes the happiness of the exiles’ return from Babylon: “We were like men dreaming.  Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing.”  The knowledge of the Lord’s hand at work in the lives of these Israelites can only increase our hope, can only stir our faith that we too shall sing, “The Lord has done great things for us,” that we too shall “come back rejoicing” after this time of trial which is our stay here on this earth.  And the fact that we have the Spirit now as the first payment against the day of judgment and against the power of Satan in this dark world causes a sense of joy already in our bones, gives us even now a foretaste of the kingdom to come, and which comes to us indeed each day in every breath we breathe in His presence, and particularly in the food He leaves us to consume at the altar of His holy sacrifice. Yes, we have His Word at work in us even now, brothers and sisters.  Even as we speak (even as I write), the seed does grow into a tree, the yeast does cause the dough to rise.  Though it take time and we hope most for its fulfillment, yet it is with us even now in this blessed growth we experience in the sight of our God, in the blood of our Lord.  Our hope is not in vain, and the tears we shed now certainly nourish the growth of the kingdom within us and all around us.  Even in these does our hope find fulfillment.  Even in these tears do we taste surpassing joy.   ******* O LORD, let us hope in you always; your kingdom is rising in our midst. YHWH, in patience let us await the coming of your kingdom, for it shall surely come and is even now here within us.  When[...]


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October 30 - Monday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.8:12-17;   Ps.68:2,4,6-7,20-21;   Lk.13:10-17)   “All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”   It is the Spirit of God that led the poor stooped woman in our gospel today to the synagogue to see and hear the teaching of Jesus the Lord, and to find a healing for her infirmity.  “This daughter of Abraham… in the bondage of Satan for eighteen years” was by the Lord “released from her shackles” and became a daughter also of the Most High God.  She is a sign of us all.  For all, whether sons of Abraham by the flesh or not, are called into the presence of God to find healing for the sin and sadness and oppression of the devil which trouble us.  On our own we cannot stand straight in the sight of God, but by the touch of Jesus we find our dignity and become sons of God with Him. God is “the father of orphans and the defender of widows”; He “gives a home to the forsaken.”  And so we who were once under the “spirit of slavery” to sin may now find “a spirit of adoption through which we cry out, ‘Abba!’ (that is, ‘Father’).”  Once having no father to watch over us, now “the Spirit Himself gives witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”  A greater blessing one could not find than to be a son or daughter of the Most High God.  For “God is a saving God for us.”  Not only does He love us, but He shows that love even by dying for us, that we might live. And it is so that “if we are children, we are heirs as well: heirs of God, heirs with Christ.”  And though it is by the death of Jesus that we are made heirs of the Father’s glory, we only come into full possession of the riches of our glorious Lord by our own death, for we must “suffer with Him so as to be glorified with Him.”  It is this death of ours, a death to self, to flesh, to sin and the world, that brings us the life of Him “who controls the passageways of death” and so is able to free us from all death. Day by day the Lord “bears our burdens.”  On all days, eternally, He is our Father and our Savior, waiting to heal us.  Whenever we come to Him, we shall find Him ready to bless us.  His Spirit He sends upon all, like a sun that never sets, calling us to His presence.  We must but respond in humility and faith, and as we bow ourselves before Him, He will raise us up to the dignity He desires for all our lives.  And we shall be His sons. ******* O LORD, your Son bears our burdens for us – He releases us from bondage to the flesh that we might live with Him in the Holy Spirit. YHWH, orphans and widows we have been, far from you we were separated from the beginning, cast off like a forsaken wife.  And we could not find our way back to you by the flesh, try as we might by following the line of our ancestors – this but brought us back repeatedly to their[...]


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October 29 - Sunday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 28 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000

 (Ex.22:20-26;   Ps.18:2-4,47,51;   1Thes.1:5-10;   Mt.22:34-40)   “If ever you wrong them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry.”   In this simple statement by the Lord is revealed the essential nature of our God in His relation with His people.  It demonstrates certainly what He says of Himself, “I am compassionate,” for what is He telling us but that He has an ardent care for the poorest among us and the injustice they suffer?  But it also demonstrates the justice of God itself, for what does He mean when He says He will “hear their cry” but that He will punish the wicked for their heartless crimes?  He states clearly, if any should “wrong any widow or orphan… [His] wrath will flare up, and [He] will kill [him] with the sword.” Now in the Church today we find an arbitrary and utterly deceptive and false separation of members into “liberal” or “conservative” camps, as if the Lord and His Church could be limited by either assignation.  The liberal hears “love God and neighbor” and ignorantly excuses himself from keeping the law; and the conservative grasps the law so tightly he squeezes the very life, the very love, out of it.  The Lord is neither liberal nor conservative, but may be said to be both – and that to the extreme in both cases.  First of all, He has come to liberate us from our sin, to free us from the sentence of death all justly deserved as much as the adulteress or the thief on the cross He forgave.  No one could be more liberal in His free giving of Himself and His love.  What compares to the shedding of His blood, and the free gifts we gain thereby?  Yet it must not be forgotten that the Lord Jesus is absolutely conservative in His teachings and in His ways; at all costs He preserves the truth.  For though He says that “the whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” of love of God and neighbor, He does not thereby do away with the whole law.  Indeed, He strengthens it.  Does He not say not a single letter, nor even part of a letter, will pass away until all the law is fulfilled?  Does He not tell us now that even to look at a woman lustfully is adultery and to be angry with another is as murder (see Mt.5:17-30)?  And will He not come at the end of the age and judge all hearts, separating the evil from the good and casting them into eternal darkness and eternal flames?  Though He “delivers us from the coming wrath” if we love Him, failing that, we cannot but be thrown into hell. The Lord has two hands and either taken alone is ineffective, is, in fact, wicked, for either alone falls short of love and truth.  The Lord is absolutely kind and absolutely just: these two meet and kiss in Him.  And so they must in each of us.  We must be “model[s] for all the believers.[...]


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October 28 - Prayer to Sts. Simon and Jude

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O zealous and loving apostles, to the ends of the earth you brought the Word of the Lord; calling sinners to repentance, seeking healing for all souls, you carried the light of Christ to all the world – pray we shall match your zeal for the Gospel; pray we serve to impart the mercy of God unto life everlasting for all children of the Lord. May the power and glory upon you in the name of Jesus Christ build up His Temple in forgiveness and love this day that soon all will be one with Him and with you in Heaven.


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October 28 - Sts. Simon and Jude

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Eph.2:19-22;   Ps.19:2-5;   Lk.6:12-16)   “You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”   And whom is this building founded upon but our Lord Jesus Christ; He is the cornerstone by which the apostles and prophets are set in place, and we are built upon this firm foundation, all integrated as one “holy temple in the Lord.”  This Church is “the dwelling place for God in the Spirit.”  Alleluia! Oh that blessed night Jesus spent “in communion with God”!  Praise God for the mountain on which He prayed!  For that night, in that place, in these prayers was conceived the foundation stones of His holy temple: in the Spirit that night the essential structure of the Church was given birth in the names of these poor apostles, these simple human beings. And at daybreak He called them forth by name.  Upon them His favor rested.  And though one “turned traitor” and had to be replaced, yet here are the pillars on which the Church rests.  And to this day their descendants, their blessed successors remain with us, holding up the Church despite their frailties – yes, the power of the Spirit continues to go forth from their call.  “Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge.”  Nothing can stem the passage of this Word to the ends of the earth, for it is founded in the silent communion with God. Who can touch this silence?  Who can tear down this oneness in the presence of God?  No one can hold the wind in his hands and no one can restrain the power of the Spirit.  It indeed goes forth.  Yes, “the whole structure” continues to be “fitted together” in the Lord’s Name, and no persecution can stop its growth, can prevent its inevitable coming to fullness in the eternity of heaven.  And so, let us thank God for His blessed apostles and prophets and martyrs today.  Let us pray we shall be found worthy to be one with them in the House they build.  And let us come to know the Lord even more, who is at the heart of us all.   Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.   Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.   ******* O LORD, may we be built into your House with all your holy apostles.  YHWH, let us become your dwelling place; let us make our home in your Spirit as you make your home in us.  Let us be firmly founded in your apostles with Jesus as our cornerstone.  Then through us, too, your Word will go out to the ends of the earth.  Then we will be one with your apostles. Into your household let us be built, O LORD, with all your saints in Heaven.  Let Heaven and earth declare your glory – truly let us be your handiwork.  As your Son chose the Twelve by your hand upon Him, so let us be chosen and f[...]


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October 27 - Friday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.7:18-25;   Ps.119:66,68,76-77,93,94;   Lk.12:54-59)   “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is just?”   Do we not have the law of God at work in us now?  Must we yet subject ourselves to the judge of this earth, who cannot but condemn us for our sin?  If we cried out with our psalmist for the Lord to teach us His “commands,” His “statutes,” His “law,” and His “precepts,” His “promise” of “compassion” would be with us, His Spirit would come to us and instruct us on all matters.  No longer “the prisoner of the law of sin in [our] members,” we would be freed “from this body under the power of death.”  Not only would our “inner self agree with the law of God,” but our actions would reflect, by the grace of Him who is at work within us, that law now written on our hearts.  The “wisdom and knowledge” the Lord thereby imparts would be sufficient for the resolution of any problem in our lives, for there is nothing beyond the scope of the Spirit. Both Paul and Jesus Himself encourage us to find the Spirit of Christ at work in our hearts.  We as a community of believers would have no need to turn to the works of the world to resolve our problems if we followed well the teaching of the Lord and His Church.  Should not the Church be our government?  Should not the teaching of God, which transcends all earthly wisdom, be sufficient for our discerning right and wrong in any situation?  Or is sin still at work in our members?  Are we yet subject to this law and the condemnation and death it brings?  Has the devil yet a hold upon us; does he yet cast us into darkness?  Are we therefore too blind to see right from wrong? Brothers and sisters, we must cast from our souls all vestige of sin; it cannot hold power over us any longer.  We must find the light of Christ in our eyes and so be made able to judge all things in His justice.  With our psalmist we must proclaim to the Lord, “Your law is my delight.”  If we yet take refuge in the law of sin, it will bring but judgment upon our lives.  But if we turn to Him, true wisdom will be ours – and His compassion will save us. All teaching the Lord puts into the hands of His apostles.  Our Pope and bishops and priests continue, as His servants, to proclaim His truth and impart His grace.  The Church is the home Jesus leaves us; upon it He places His Spirit.  Let us follow the teachings of the Lord and find His power at work in our lives, and all things will be clear to our eyes.  And so, condemnation we shall avoid as by the grace of God we judge all things rightly.   ******* O LORD, Jesus has indeed set us free by His power – let us turn to Him for wisdom. YHWH, keep us from being impris[...]


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October 26 - Thursday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.6:19-23;   Ps.1:1-4,6,40:5;   Lk.12:49-53)   “The Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.”   The division is clear.  The Lord Himself has stated, “I have come for division.”  Far from establishing “peace on the earth,” His message makes clear the distinction between the evil and the good, the wicked and the just, drawn so well in our psalm today.  He has “come to light a fire on the earth.”  It shall purify the just for the kingdom of God even as it burns up all the wicked. Paul also makes clear the division between the evil and the good, between that which is of God and that which is of sin.  “Formerly you enslaved your bodies to impurity and licentiousness for their degradation…  But now that you are freed from sin and have become slaves of God, your benefit is sanctification as you tend toward eternal life.”  The distinction is certain: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Indeed, the just “is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade,” but the wicked “are like chaff which the wind drives away.”  This division is what the Lord’s light and fire reveal; and this revelation is eternal. It is painful, brothers and sisters.  It is painful to undergo our own transformation to justice and light from the depths of depravity into which we have fallen, and will be painful to witness others destroyed by the hardness of their hearts.  The Lord Himself expresses this pain when He says, “What anguish I feel till it is over!”  He takes no pleasure in bringing the agony of division, which begins with His own agony in the garden and ends with His crucifixion.  He suffers most to witness the sins of the masses so acutely.  They wag their heads at Him even as He cries from the cross.  What is to be done?  Division must come.  For the kingdom must come, the resurrection must take place, and sin cannot stand in its light – and so those who attach themselves to sin, to the works of the father of lies, will not stand in that day either.  And even now the judgment comes, even now we must take sides – even now we choose death, or life.   ******* O LORD, set us free from our sin – burn away all evil. YHWH, the sword of the Spirit your Son brings separates the wicked from the just – it is a fire purging all evil from the earth, destroying those who give themselves over to impurity and licentiousness, yet lighting your servants’ way to Heaven.  He who walks in accord with that light, placing nothing before its demands to holiness, shall enter your presence even as the [...]


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October 25 - Wednesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.6:12-18;   Ps.124:1-8;   Lk.12:39-48)   “Offer yourselves to God as men who have come back from the dead to life.”   If we have come back from the dead to life, should we then offer ourselves up to death again?  As Paul questions, “Are we free to sin?”  How absurd a thought!  If we are sinners, let us give ourselves freely to sin, and find the condemnation which comes from this.  But if we are men of justice, let us give ourselves to “obedience” of the teaching imparted to us, and find life firmly in our souls. Jesus states quite clearly, “When much has been given a man, much will be required of him.”  Brothers and sisters, much has been given us simply by our release from the sin which once enslaved us.  Indeed, “we were rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare,” as David’s psalm proclaims.  The “raging waters” that “would have overwhelmed us,” the “torrent [that] would have swept over us,” has been calmed…  For this alone we have much to be thankful; simply by this grace much has been entrusted to us.  And what follows only adds to this initial blessing; for each day our souls are required of us, each day He puts in our hands and calls us to the work set aside for our souls to complete.  Each day the gift of grace is increased within us.  So should we then begin “to abuse the housemen and servant girls, to eat and drink and get drunk”?  Should we then return to the slavery of sin which blinds our eyes to His eternal presence?  Certainly not.  Rather, we should “be on guard” at all times, vigilantly prepared for our master’s return, employing the gifts He imparts to us each passing day. We are no longer dead, brothers and sisters.  We have the grace of our God at work within us, lighting our eyes and filling our souls with His holy food.  We must now be holy as He.  It is not for us to return to the death of sin, to subject ourselves to its chains once again, to have our eyes darkened and our souls destroyed.  The grace, the light within us, must be diligently preserved.  We must come to Him, come to His stewards to whom the most has been entrusted, who hold in their power sacramental grace, and confess our sins in His presence, and come and eat of His Body and Blood.  Let us avail ourselves of these gifts these successors of the apostles hold and thus find the strength to give our own “bodies to God as weapons for justice” and not for sin.   ******* O LORD, let us give you all that we have, all that we are; then there will be nothing left to give. YHWH, you have saved us from the raging waters, from the torrent that would have overwhelmed our souls – and sho[...]


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October 24 - Prayer to St. Anthony Mary Claret

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O zealous apostle who traveled throughout the earth driven by the fire of the Holy Spirit, you labored strenuously, rejoicing in poverty and welcoming hardships as you gave your very life for the flock in your care – pray the love of Christ will urge us on to holy zeal that we might approach your apostolic spirit, desiring to inflame all men with the fire of God’s love. Concerned always and only for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, may we fulfill our call; as sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with her same purity and commitment, pray we give birth to Christ in souls by the preaching of the Gospel until all are formed in His image in the heavenly kingdom.


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October 24 - Tuesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.5:12,15,17-21;   Ps.40:7-10,17;   Lk.12:35-38)  “To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!” “May those who love your salvation say ever, ‘The Lord be glorified.’”  May we who love the Lord “exult and be glad” in Him.  May we who take refuge in His grace sing aloud His praise.  What greater gift could we have than Jesus Christ, whose “single righteous act brought all men acquittal and life.  For truly we were dead in our sin,” truly the offense of Adam had infected our souls, truly through this “one man’s disobedience all became sinners” – but more truly “through one man’s obedience all shall become just,” for “His grace has far surpassed” the increase of sin.  And so, what should we do but rejoice with David at the truth of Paul’s instruction. And what should we do but be ready, truly ready, really waiting, patiently, for the return of our Lord.  “Be like men awaiting their master’s return from a wedding.”  Set your hearts on His coming again, “so that when He knocks, you will open without delay.”  This is yet the greater blessing for us servants, that even in these dark days upon this earth, we stand ready for His return.  Here is His grace at work within us, that our hearts are set on Him, that His presence, the coming of His kingdom, we know even now in anticipation of its arrival.  No greater blessing could we hope for than to be “those servants whom the master finds wide-awake on His return.”  By this we know we have conquered sin; by this we see that we have overcome the darkness which surrounds us – if whether “at midnight or before sunrise” we are found prepared, if even in the darkest times we hold His light, if our eyes are like “lamps… burning ready” and our “belts… fastened around [our] waists”… we have all that we need in this world. Be ready, my brothers and sisters, for the joy is coming; it will not delay.  That happiness of life in His presence we sense even now, we taste even this day in our mouths, will come soon to fulfillment in the reign of our God.  And so, “those who receive the overflowing grace and gift of justice [will] live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ,” for whom we await, in whom we take our refuge, whose name we praise, His saving word etched upon our souls and bleeding in our hearts.  In all we do we wait for His coming.  He alone is our desire, and we shall not be disappointed. ******* O LORD, let us be always ready to serve you; let your grace reign in us and we shall come to do your will. YHWH, grace has come to us by [...]


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October 23 - Prayer to St. John of Capistrano

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O tireless preacher of God’s Word, how well, how completely, you called all men, and especially the priests of the Lord, to a life of holiness, to shine the light of Christ; with patience and sound doctrine and the example of a blameless life you sought to save souls throughout the world and bring them into the fold of Holy MotherChurch – pray this day apostles go forth in the brightness of holiness as light to the world, drawing all men to God. In such wisdom let truth be known, the truth of our Savior Jesus Christ, that every heart might call Him Lord and proclaim the Church as His own. Pray not a day pass, not an hour upon this plane, wherein His Word is not heard.


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October 23 - Monday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.4:20-25;   Lk.1:68-75;   Lk.12:13-21)   “We should serve Him devoutly and through all our days be holy in His sight.”   For “this very night your life shall be required of you.”  Always and forever our faith is required of us, if we are to draw breath.  Always and forever the Lord asks us what fruit we have produced.  Always and forever we must be careful not to toil in vain, but to live according to His Word, believing in His promise.  Else our lives will indeed be empty vessels. Holiness befits His house.  Adherence to His covenant is our call.  Faith in the One who is “saving strength for us” is our necessity.  We must indeed be as our father Abraham, who was “fully persuaded that God could do whatever He had promised,” whose “faith was credited to him as justice.”  And if we have the same faith as Abraham, we will find the same justice, the same reward as he.  “For our faith will be credited to us also if we believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”  Jesus “was handed over to death for our sins and raised up for our justification” and only faith in Him as the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham will give us life. Why do we turn to the things of this world and in them seek our fulfillment, and in them seek our rest, when they are so vain and when all the while Jesus calls to our souls to come to Him?  Why is it we think that in the goods of this world we can find refuge, we can find strength?  Why are we so blinded to believe that in them we can find our peace?  “Relax!  Eat heartily, drink well.  Enjoy yourself.”  Here is the fruitless mantra of this materialistic world.  Here is the epitome of our blindness to His will.  Here is the belly seeking to take the place of the spirit. Can we not see that it is only the spirit that gives life, that the flesh is of no avail, that the riches of this earth serve more as a distraction to finding the life and the peace we seek in the depths of our souls than to bringing a fulfillment of this most human of desires?  This desire cannot be satisfied except in Christ.  We must not be as “the man who grows rich for himself instead of growing rich in the sight of God,” or when these passing riches rot away or are taken from us, we will be left terribly empty.  Rather, we should “avoid greed in all its forms” and dedicate ourselves to service of the Lord.  Only in Him is life and peace made known, and only by holiness do we come there.  At all times the Lord is calling to our soul; let us answer Him in faith.  ***[...]


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October 22 - Sunday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000

 (Is.45:1,4-6;   Ps.96:1,3-5,7-10;   1Thes.1:1-5b;   Mt.22:15-21)   “I am the Lord and there is no other, there is no God besides me.”   Oh brothers and sisters, how clear our Scripture today makes it that “great is the Lord and highly to be praised; awesome is He beyond all gods.”  Indeed there is no other God.  It is He who grasped the “right hand” of even the pagan king, Cyrus, “subduing nations before him, and making kings run in his service.”  The heart of this king and all kings and all lands are in His hands – He alone rules all nations!  Do you see this?  Do you understand that if He calls this foreigner by “name, giving [him] a title,” that there is none that is beyond His reach, that is not under His eye?  By the Lord’s power this pagan has conquered the nations of the world.  And why?  Why does He arm him who knows Him not?  “So that toward the rising and the setting of the sun people may know that there is none beside [Him].” Our psalmist sings so well of the singular power of the Lord God: “All the gods of the nations are things of naught, but the Lord made the heavens.”  Again I ask, do you see this?  All nations recognize Him who made the heavens and the earth; even these “tremble before Him.”  And so all are called to “tell His glory among the nations, among all peoples, His wondrous deeds.”  For all must be encouraged to “give the Lord the glory due His name”; all must be offered the honor of knowing the greatness of our God. One of these nations who have come to knowledge of the one God we hear of in our second reading.  Paul calls the Thessalonians “brothers and sisters loved by God” for their “work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  He gives thanks to God the Father that this Gentile people has come to faith in Him “with much conviction.”  What has been proclaimed so long now bears fruit.  For even the millennium before our psalmist had called the “families of nations” to “bring gifts, and enter His courts,” to “worship the Lord in holy attire.”  None has ever been barred from adoring Him who is the One God and Father of all.  But now the Gospel comes not “in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit.”  Now the word is anointed by Jesus’ blood.  So now all nations indeed come before Him, giving “the Lord glory and praise.” And when Jesus says, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God,” He does not remov[...]


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October 21 - Saturday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.4:13,16-18;   Ps.105:6-9,42-43;   Lk.12:8-12)   “All depends on faith, everything is a grace.”   Faith is our father; it brings us to life for it makes us children of “the God who restores the dead to life and calls into being those things which had not been.”  By faith we entrust ourselves into God’s hands and become as Abraham, who is “our father in the sight of God in whom he believed.”  “Hoping against hope, Abraham believed and so became the father of many nations,” and insofar as we believe, we become his children before God.  Indeed, it is through faith alone that we are born into His kingdom. And having faith, we must acknowledge its presence in our lives by witnessing to the Son of God.  If we are His disciples, as we must be, we will not hide His grace working in us but allow it to bear fruit in the profession of that faith before the world.  And so, as we “come before synagogues, rulers, and authorities,” as we stand before the face of this generation, as we do anything in this world, we must “not worry about how to defend [ourselves] or what to say.”  Jesus tells us, “The Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment all that should be said.”  And so by this trusting in Him we prove ourselves children of faith. This is the manner in which I produce this writing.  Trusting in Him as entirely as my faith allows, I am not concerned beforehand what I shall speak, what I shall write upon this page.  In the measure that I am a child of grace, I prove it by my allowing Him to speak through me at this moment and in His way.  This is what we must strive to do with all our work, in all our lives.  All our lives are founded upon this faith, and the Lord calls us in an ever greater way to express that faith, to live that faith, by consecrating all we think and do to His will and desire.  It is for us to but come into His presence, to remember He is here with us, and so to find His grace at work in our lives. We must be prepared and be preparing ourselves always to stand before Him forever.  As we place ourselves in His presence now, it is so that we die to ourselves and begin to live by His grace.  More and more we must trust in that faith which joins us to Him and makes us children of the promise which “holds true for all Abraham’s descendants… for all who have his faith.”  Faith alone will bring us to life, for faith alone brings us into the presence of Him who is life.  Enter His grace, brothers and sisters, and find it work[...]


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October 20 - Prayer to St. Paul of the Cross

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O true lover of the Crucified, always you celebrated the feast of the Cross in the temple of your soul, uniting yourself with the will of God by taking upon yourself the torments of the Lord in a silent joy and so finding the food of sacrificial love which sustains us in this world – pray we shall be as Christ, that we shall walk the path He marks out for us, and so in embracing the Cross find true joy in the grief we suffer, in the blessing of oneness with our crucified Lord and so with His Father in Heaven. You who have been transformed into your Beloved, pray we shall join you through the Passion of Christ.


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October 20 - Friday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.4:1-8;   Ps.32:1-2,5,7,11;   Lk.12:1-7)   “Happy is the man to whom the Lord imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile.”   All our sins shall be taken away by the Lord who watches over us and loves us, if we but believe. We must lay bare our souls, brothers and sisters.  We cannot hide from the eternal, piercing light of God.  His hand is upon us at all times; His heart is open always for our entering in.  It cannot be otherwise with the Lord of the universe, in whose sight “even the hairs of [our] head are counted.”  And He who surrounds us desires but our love, desires but our faith, desires but that we come into His presence confessing our sins, and He will take them away.  And we shall not be “cast into Gehenna” but drawn into His kingdom. His kingdom is coming.  Jesus sees it as He gazes out at the dense “crowd of thousands” gathering before Him.  He sees the kingdom coming as men’s hearts turn to Him.  And so He warns His disciples, who shall be the laborers to reap His harvest, “Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy,” for if they should take pride in their mission, if they should find in their deeds “grounds for boasting” and so forget the favor of God by which all are justified, they shall indeed tempt the fires of Gehenna.  “Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight,” for the Lord hears “what you have whispered in locked rooms.”  So, keep your hearts set on Him and His goodness, and the truth of the Gospel will be proclaimed to the world, and you shall save your immortal soul. Jesus knows, too, that the faith of His disciples and their declaration of His Word to the world will bring persecution.  He sees in this scene, too, the cross set before Him, and He knows those who follow Him shall share in it as well.  And so He reassures His children that the Father is with them, that He treasures them even as He treasures His Son, and so the powers of this age will hold no reign over them, and that they should “not be afraid of those who kill the body and can do no more.” Yes, our soul is in His hands.  He has power to forgive and to protect, if we but come to Him as children, if we but come to Him in faith.   ******* O LORD, all is known to you – let us confess our sins, and we will be saved. YHWH, of what can we boast, we who cannot forgive our own sins?  Truly, we are in your hands, and so shoul[...]


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October 19 - Prayer to Sts. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, and Companions

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O heroic witnesses to the faith, O loyal followers of Jesus who took up the cup of torture and death willingly, with desire only to join your Lord, with delight and joy at the deadly blows… your offering of body and blood is unsurpassed because it was one with Christ’s own, done with love for those who killed you – pray we shall so completely embrace our call, embrace the cross provided us by the Lord, that with your same thirst for truth we shall lay down our lives for our brothers.


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October 19 - Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.3:21-30;   Ps.130:1-7;   Lk.11:47-54)   “This generation will have to account for the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world.”   And so shall it be with Christ’s own blood, the fulfillment of all the martyrs’ sacrifice; for these same scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus proclaims guilty of the prophets’ murders will indeed devise the murder of the Son of God.  And they prove the truth of His words immediately by their manifestation of “fierce hostility to Him” and their thus giving birth to the plot to crucify Him. Perhaps most appropriate for today, with regard to Paul’s epistle to the Romans, is the Lord’s admonishment of the lawyers: “You have taken away the key of knowledge.  You yourselves have not gained access, yet you have stopped those who wish to enter!”  It is essentially the same message the Apostle teaches: “The justice of God has been manifested apart from the law… that justice of God which works through faith in Jesus Christ.”  It is not through “observance of the law” that justification comes; the works of the law – circumcision, animal sacrifice, dietary rules – which address the body, are useless in this regard.  God is Spirit and it is spiritual means He uses to redeem us – we must come in faith to Him.  And those who would restrict faith by the imposition of these laws serve only to impede the working of the Spirit and His grace.  Paul states the question succinctly: “Does God belong to the Jews alone?  Is He not also the God of the Gentiles?”  If He is God of all nations, it is not meet to impose Jewish religious practice upon those apart from Jewish tradition.  But these protectors, or rather “possessors” and defilers of the law – defiling it by their greed in seizing it, their pride in assuming it as their own and not God’s – cannot accept that “it is the same God,” that the Gentiles are equal in grace with the Jews… and so to them this teaching is blasphemy. At the root of the problem is the fact that these leaders are not as the psalmist in our readings today, who sings: “My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn.”  Nor do they cry “in supplication” “out of the depths” of their iniquity for God’s forgiveness.  If they had been so disposed, they would have seen who stood before them, they would have recognized His comin[...]


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October 18 - Prayer to St. Luke

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O bringer of the Good News, the light of the Gospel, to many nations… a thorough account you have given us of all Jesus did and taught and of the Holy Spirit’s work among His disciples; and so the Lord’s peace may enter our homes, and we embrace Him with Mary – pray, dear physician, that the Word of the Lord may indeed come to our hearts through the words you declare, and we be healed by His grace and illumined by His Spirit; the glory of the kingdom pray we know. Though He has been taken from our sight, let us proclaim His presence with great joy, for He yet speaks to all our souls in the words you have recorded, in the fire of God that guided your hand.


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October 18 - St. Luke

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(2Tm.4:9-17;   Ps.145:10-13,17-18;   Lk.10:1-9)   “The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength, so that through me the preaching task might be completed and all the nations might hear the Gospel.”   As I read of Jesus’ instruction to the disciples as He “sent them in pairs before Him to every town and place He intended to visit,” and particularly His words to them to “eat what they set before you,” I am reminded of the command given Peter in his dream to “take and eat” of the unclean animals (Acts 10:13), this just before the first Gentile converts came to him seeking the Word of God.  And, of course, similar terminology is present in Jesus’ sending his workers as if into a harvest: in this case, the Lord shall eat of the feast the disciples are sent forth to prepare. We know our work is our food, that the labor the Lord imparts to us serves as our daily bread.  And we know that the wheat that becomes His precious Body and the Word that is cultivated by His apostles, by His preachers and prophets, is the food that sustains us, that strengthens us for our daily tasks.  All we do must be blessed by Him and be, as it were, a “discourse of the glory of [His] kingdom,” and His kingdom, which is “a kingdom for all ages,” and His dominion, which “endures through all generations,” shall become known in our midst. It is not easy to eat of this food, to drink of this cup.  We see how alone Paul finds himself in our first reading.  “Everyone abandoned me,” he declares in reference to his trial before the courts of this world.  He pleads with Timothy to join him soon, for many have left his side: “I have no one with me but Luke.”  Indeed, he has nothing but the Word of God.  And most apparent in the Lord’s instruction to His disciples is the utter reliance on God we must find.  Impoverished He sends them forth, dependent only on their preaching and healing to feed themselves.  Yes, He sends them forth “as lambs in the midst of wolves.”  Not a happy prospect.  But they have the Word of the Lord to make them strong and protect them from all evil of this world, and nothing could be more sure than this. Into so many homes Luke’s gospel has come, bringing its peace to all who abide in the Lord.  The proclamation by this great evangelist that “the reign of God is at hand” c[...]


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October 17 - Prayer to St. Ignatius of Antioch

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O wheat of Christ ground by the teeth of wild beasts and so made His bread, His leaven unto Heaven… by such heroic witness you became one with the Lord, joining Him in death and so in eternal life – pray we shall find the strength and faith to follow in your sacrificial footsteps, that it will also be our sole desire to die in Jesus’ name, to be remade in His glory. Teach us the way, for it seems so dimmed by the material things the devil presents to our vision; pray for us, blessed victim, that our thirst for life in Him will overcome any obstacle and so our journey to His kingdom be made straight by His grace. His flesh and blood be our own this day.


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October 17 - Tuesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.1:16-25;   Ps.19:2-5;   Lk.11:37-41)   “They stultified themselves through speculating to no purpose, and their senseless hearts were darkened.”   If these words do not refer to modern man most poignantly, then I imagine nothing can be said of anything.  In ancient times, “they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images representing mortal man, birds, beasts, and snakes” and bowed down to statues as if they were gods.  The images man worships today are also the creations of his own hands, sometimes as physical as the idols worshiped before the time of Christ – who does not long to see his own image on one of our television sets, and who is held in greater esteem than those movie stars whom we have never met but know only of their image on a screen? – but perhaps most particularly they are the vain ideas, which reveal their utter absurdity to any mind with a modicum of common sense, but which are propounded as sacred by the elite thinkers of our day.  Their numbers seem endless, and one wonders if man will rationalize himself out of existence, as perhaps he already has philosophically in the declaration that God is dead, and so often done in reality through movements such as Communism and Nazism. Indeed, how relevant are all Paul’s words today: “They certainly had knowledge of God, yet they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks”; “they claimed to be wise, but turned into fools instead”; “they engaged in the mutual degradation of their bodies.”  But “the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against the irreligious and perverse spirit of men who… hinder the truth.”  “These men who exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” cannot but come to naught, for “day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge” – the Gospel goes forth “to the ends of the world” and Truth overwhelms all lies.  As Jesus overturned the Pharisees who “cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but within… are filled with rapaciousness,” so shall the mind of modern man be shown for all its absurdity in the clear light of day. Time.  There is but time to wait.  Time for the Word to go forth and to pray for the conversion of the nations, of all peop[...]


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October 16 - Prayer to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O apostle of Christ’s Sacred Heart, in mystic wonder you beheld Him and let Him wash you clean in the streams that flow from His Heart divine – pray indeed we shall unite ourselves to Jesus and His love, that we shall submerge our needs and sorrows in the abyss of His mercy and seek perfection in union with His Sacred Heart. There let us find salvation, reparation for all our sins; there let us find heavenly joy, the peace that surpasses understanding. With you let us enter His presence, let us be bathed in His light, ever progressing toward His kingdom till we are devoted entirely to advancing His eternal glory. Pray His will and His way be known in us as we entrust ourselves to His love.


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October 16 - Prayer to St. Hedwig

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O mother of the unfortunate and model of prayer and penance, completely you gave yourself to service of the Lord and neighbor, chastising your flesh by constant fast and abstinence and generously offering your goods and your time to all those in need – pray we shall at least desire to imitate your thorough devotion, that our lives will be spent not on things of this world but for the reign of Heaven. All we can do for others let us do, and let all be done for God, that He alone will rule our hearts and lives and we will worship Him alone, dying to ourselves all the while.


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October 16 - Monday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Rm.1:1-7;   Ps.98:1-4;   Lk.11:29-32)   “You have a greater than Jonah here.”   Greater than any prophet is He.  Wiser than Solomon is the Lord who is the source of all wisdom.  For it is He of whom the prophets speak; it is His promised coming “the Holy Scriptures record.”  The fulfillment of prophets and kings is in our midst.  Our high priest is with us offering the sacrifice of Himself.  Let us thirst for Him as the Ninevites did for Jonah’s preaching and seek Him as the queen of the South for Solomon’s wisdom.  Let us listen to His servant and apostle Paul as he proclaims the Gospel of God and come to “obedient faith” with all the Gentiles “who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ.”  Salvation is upon us as it is all nations. If Jonah’s preaching was great, the Lord’s is the greater.  If he converted thousands, Jesus turns millions to the love of God.  If Solomon was wise, our Lord is so much the wiser.  For though this great king spoke well of all things of the earth by the grace of God, the Christ comes now with the wisdom of the richness of heaven.  And so now we are all “called to holiness, grace and peace.”  It is these gifts which are imparted to us “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  And by these blessings we become His children, greater indeed than any prophet or king of old. Yes, the fulfillment has come.  “The Lord has made His salvation known.”  “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.”  His Word is brought forth even now, even this day to our hearts in the preaching of the Gospel that is Christ Jesus – “His resurrection from the dead” signals the redemption of all mankind.  And so we celebrate.  And so we “sing to the Lord a new song” as we, too, participate in His death and resurrection with the beloved apostle Paul, even as we come to the table set before us by His grace and holiness. May that same “Spirit of holiness” which made Jesus “Son of God in power” now touch our souls and separate us from all that is unholy.  May we respond in kind with the Ninevites to Jonah’s preaching, that they might not condemn us on the last day for our lack of faith.[...]


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October 15 - Prayer to St. Teresa of Jesus

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O teacher and Mother who served to reform your sisters and the lives of all Christians, you led all souls along the way of perfection, which is Christ Himself – pray his love may fill our hearts that union with the Father we indeed may find; inspire us by your teaching to seek Him who makes His home in us… and pray we shall have your courage, your faith in the face of trials, as we work to bring Him to others and so suffer under His Cross. Pray we shall know as you the joy of such persecution, which brings us only closer to God, our spirits wed to His surpassing peace. O pray, dear Mother, we shall be entirely forgetful of ourselves as we remember His presence in our lives.


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October 15 - Sunday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000

 (Is.25:6-10;   Ps.23:1-6;   Phil.4:12-14,19-20;   Mt.22:1-14)   “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines.”   “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.”  It may be equated with “juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines,” with “calves and fatted cattle ready to be eaten.”  A great banquet is the kingdom of heaven! But, of course, though we speak here of food and eating, we know that it is not this we should thus seek on this earth, for these things are but of the earth and are only used to help us understand the heavenly fruits which are ours in the kingdom of God.  Paul makes this clear in his attitude toward food and the provisions that are of this world: “In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need,” and it truly matters not to him whether he is rich or poor in material things; all that matters is that we “can do all things in Him who strengthens” us – all that matter are the “glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”  Food and feasting are but metaphors for the things that in this world are unseen. However, it is so that “the feast is ready” even here on this earth.  It is true that the Lord “spread[s] the table before” us even in this world, even “in the sight of [our] foes.”  He does not leave us poor humans alone without real food to strengthen us for our journey.  But this food is spiritual fare; His Body and Blood are not juicy and rich to our taste, to our bellies, but to our souls.  This food nourishes the Spirit He has planted within us, and helps it ever to grow.  Though real as our own flesh and our own blood, yet it truly is of heaven, and lends the glory of God to this bone of His bone. “God will fully supply whatever you need,” brothers and sisters; have no fear of being in want and no anxiety to build up abundance on this earth.  He indeed is beside you always, giving your soul blessed “repose.”  Make it your aim to “dwell in the house of the Lord.” [...]


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October 14 - Prayer to St. Callistus

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O slave become Shepherd of the universal Church, firmly you defended her teaching and recognized that all sins may be forgiven by the Lord through her; then after serving faithfully at the helm of Peter’s bark, you died and were buried with your martyr brothers, whose grave you so treasured – pray we, too, remain firm through all the difficult trials and temptations of this world, that our death may be as blessed as your own and we come to rest safely in God’s arms. O that by such incorrupt faith and unshaken courage we too shall be raised from the dust, from our humble origins, to sit with our Lord in His kingdom.


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October 14 - Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Jl.4:12-21;   Ps.97:1-2,5-6,11-12;   Lk.11:27-28)   “Near is the day of the Lord in the valley of decision.”   And so, “blest are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”  For though “sun and moon are darkened and the stars withhold their brightness,” though “mountains melt like wax before the Lord,” “light dawns for the just,” and for them “the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk.”  Yes, “the heavens and the earth quake, but the Lord is a refuge to His people.” Are we His people?  Are our hearts set upon Him?  Are we blest as our Mother with keeping the word of God, of putting it into practice, of giving our yes to all His words, and His commands?  Are these commands sweet as honey, are they the new wine we drink each day?  From Him do we find our daily bread?  Though we are in His Church and have the blessed breasts of this great Mother to nurse us, though we are here where the hills of the Lord “flow with [His] milk” – though we have at our hands the Body and Blood of the Lord and the true teaching, the Word of God, in our ears by His grace upon this House of God, do we truly appreciate these gifts He provides: do we eat and drink unto our salvation and keep His word as an ever flowing stream of life in our souls, at the heart of our beings?  “The channels of Judah shall flow with water,” as now they do.  Do we wash ourselves clean in that water that “issue[s] from the house of the Lord”?  Are we prepared for the day of decision? Let us rejoice in Him, brothers and sisters.  “Be glad in the Lord, you just, and give thanks to His holy name.”  With the psalmist let us raise our song and proclaim His justice to all the peoples.  For what should we have but joy as we take refuge in His promise, as we come to the table of the New Covenant each day and share even now in the life He offers forth through His holy sacrifice.  And let us pray to our Mother, Mary, that we shall be as she is, that we shall be so true to the Lord and serve as His handmaidens amongst the world.  May she keep us cl[...]


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October 13 - Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Jl.1:13-15,2:1-2;   Ps.9:2-3,6,8-9,16;   Lk.11:15-26)   “It is near, a day of darkness and of gloom, a day of clouds and somberness!”   And we must be prepared.  We must rend our hearts and not our garments.  We must “spend the night in sackcloth,” repentant of our sins.  We must “proclaim a fast” and “cry to the Lord,” “for near is the day of the Lord.”  The prophet Joel sounds this alarm several hundred years before Christ, and in truth it proclaims the coming of Christ.  For it is His coming that separates the wicked from the just; it is He who “judges the world with justice” – it is by Him the names of the wicked are “blotted out forever and ever” and those who “declare all [His] wondrous deeds” find their salvation. The day is coming and is already here, for the Lord declares in our gospel, “The man who is not with me is against me, and the man who does not gather with me scatters.”  He makes clear the works of Satan, which do not bring healing but only sickness and death, and the works of “the finger of God,” which overpower and “cast out devils.”  Here the judgment is come; here it begins.  In the end it shall be fulfilled and the great divide between evil and good will be set for all eternity, but here and in this time the Word of Truth goes forth, calling all souls to leave behind all sin. But, brothers and sisters, our fasting must be complete; our weeping, our repentance, must be genuine.  We must turn entirely from our sins and make place only for the Lord Jesus Christ to live in the houses of our souls.  If the Lord lives in us, there is no place for darkness.  If the Lord is within us, no devil can dwell there.  But if in hypocrisy we pretend a conversion, we expand the space for the devil’s dwelling in our homes.  For the two are indeed mutually exclusive: the Lord has nothing to do with the devil, and the devil nothing to do with the Lord.  And so if we hope to stand on the day when darkness covers the earth, “spreading over the mountains, like a people numerous and mighty[...]


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October 12 - Thursday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Mal.3:13-20;   Ps.1:1-4,6,40:5;   Lk.11:5-13)   “For you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.”   Both our psalm and first reading make clear the distinction between the blessed and the condemned: “The Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes,” our psalmist declares.  The wicked are “like chaff which the wind drives away,” while the just are “like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade.”  Malachi proclaims the same.  Where the Lord is healing rays of warmth to the just, for the wicked He comes “blazing like an oven… leaving them neither root nor branch.”  For one, His fire is holy and life-giving; for the other, it destroys. And what is the sign that we “fear the Lord and trust in His name”?  Malachi speaks of “going about in penitential dress” and states, “They who fear the Lord spoke with one another, and the Lord listened attentively.”  Our psalmist tells us the just “delights in the law of the Lord, and meditates on His law day and night.”  We must be repentant of our sins and come humbly before Him.  We must recognize, as Jesus tells us, that we indeed are ones “with all [our] sins.”  This is first.  But most importantly we must trust in Him and turn to Him, and pray in His Name.  For “the heavenly Father give[s] the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”  He is not remiss in making them His own.  He wishes all to be blessed and come before Him whole.  But we must not fail to seek His will, to seek His way, to beg it of our God.  We cannot be remiss in asking and seeking and knocking, for this persistence proves our love of Him and of His way, and by it we will find Him. Brothers and sisters, there is nothing more important or more powerful than prayer.  It is our way of coming to Him and becoming one with Him.  It is at the heart of the distinction “between him who serves God, and him who does not serve Him.”  For all that we [...]


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October 11 - Wednesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Jon.4:1-11;   Ps.86:3-6,9-10,15;   Lk.11:1-4)   “Your kingdom come.”   “You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish.”  How beautifully Jonah speaks of God’s blessed compassion on His people.  And how poorly he is able to accept and live that grace.  The Lord’s forgiveness extends now to the ends of the earth; let us not be loathe to offer it unto all. In our first reading, Jonah is angry with God for His mercy in forgiving Ninevah, the pagan empire and enemy of Israel.  But the Lord teaches Jonah that He watches over these, too, not only Israel, signaling His universal call to salvation (which shall be fulfilled in the teaching of Christ).  By comparing the city of Ninevah to the plant “that grew up over Jonah’s head, giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort,” the Lord instructs us that not only does He care for all nations, but indeed that all nations have a holy call, a blessed purpose, in which God Himself takes pleasure and comfort.  He has raised all the nations and each is called as a member of His kingdom. This word should give us great understanding of the graciousness of our God, and great joy in knowing that we are called by Him: “You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.”  We can join with David in his prayer, knowing that God will “attend to the sound of [our] pleading” even as He does this blessed king of Israel; even as He listens to His chosen people, so He listens now to us, for the walls of division have been cast asunder and His love now extends to all. But we must not be as Jonah shows himself to be today.  We must “forgive all who do us wrong” or the Lord will not hear our prayer to “subject us not to the trial.”  If we harbor anger, it will mean our death; and the Lord will send “a burning east wind” and a sun to beat down upon us, too, to draw us from the hardness of our hearts and the condemnation we breathe in our souls.  Our vision mus[...]


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October 10 - Tuesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Jon.3:1-10;   Ps.130:1-4,7-8;   Lk.10:38-42)   “He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do them; He did not carry it out.”   Ninevah is spared.  Because “they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth,” because they repented of their sin and called “loudly to God,” He did not punish them for their iniquity but forgave them and withheld “His blazing wrath.”  And so this pagan city finds God’s mercy through the preaching of Jonah.  We are all called to repent.  We are all called to turn to the Lord and seek His forgiveness and grace to overcome and be spared of punishment for our falling short of His glory.  Our psalm declares, “Let Israel wait for the Lord, for with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption.”  And so to find His mercy we must have faith and we must be patient.  We must be as Mary in our gospel today, seated at His feet, listening to His words.  We cannot remove ourselves from this place and hope to find salvation for our souls any more than the Ninevites could have taken a break from their sitting in sackcloth and ashes to have a snack and yet hoped to find the forgiveness they so desperately needed.  Our fast must be total, our obedience complete.  Do you think Mary had a mind to rise as she listened to her Lord?  Do you think she was distracted by anything?  Certainly not.  And we in our prayer and in our work and in our lives must find the commitment she embodies if we hope to know the grace of God truly working in our hearts. Indeed, the Lord “will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.”  Indeed, He hears the voice of all who cry to Him “out of the depths” of their sin.  He will come and wash us clean; He will come and make us new.  If we choose “the better portion,” we “shall not be deprived of it” and its reward.  But it must be our whole hearts that turn to the Lord, that are set on His word… that heed His preaching as it comes with its gr[...]


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October 9 - Prayer to St. John Leonardi

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O caretaker of souls who sought so diligently and with wisdom and love to reform the Church and all her members, beginning with those in higher office, and so were persecuted by men who would not be healed of their disease – pray that all will be taught the true doctrine of the faith, from early childhood to adult vocation; may all know to what they are called as Christians in this world. And may that Word go forth to the ends of the earth, that the faith will be propagated in all lands and in all hearts and the Lord’s holy discipline serve as treasured guide for all who would come to the kingdom of Heaven.


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October 9 - Prayer to St. Denis and Companions

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O shepherd of a faithful people, you shed your blood with your brothers as a holy offering unto the Lord after drawing many souls into His fold; beheaded for your success as Christ’s evangelist, still you lead faithful souls to God – pray we shall be so ready to lay down our own lives for the propagation of the Word of God, and that on our journey we shall be protected from all the snares of the devil, that nothing shall prevent our standing at Jesus’ side both in this world and the next.


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October 9 - Monday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Jon.1:1-2:1,11;   Jon.2:2-5,7-8;   Lk.10:25-37)   “A Samaritan who was journeying along came on him and was moved to pity at the sight.”   First let me note that the book of Jonah is not a parable, not an imaginary story, as popular scholarship would have us believe.  How do I know this?  I have faith, yes, which those who would explain away any miracle of God so sorely lack; but I know it, too, by Scripture itself.  For elsewhere the Lord compares Himself to Jonah, and states explicitly that the people of Ninevah – who had the faith to repent at the preaching of Jonah – will rise on the day of judgment and condemn those of Jesus’ time, and us, for our failure to repent at the words of the Son of God.  It is not possible that imaginary people could condemn others’ souls (the very idea is absurd, of course, but such are our minds in this “enlightened” age), and this comparison would suggest that Jesus Himself is but imaginary, which seems not against the belief of the vain prophets of our day. In today’s gospel we have a parable: The Good Samaritan.  It begins as the universal story all parables are – “There was a man…” (“a man,” any man, every man), and its express purpose is to impart a lesson.  And the lesson today is God’s universal love.  The dreaded “Samaritan” represents nothing but faithlessness and sin to the Jewish mind, but Jesus demonstrates that it is sinners He calls – and that those thought of as sinners indeed often show the greatest faith.  We see this not only in our gospel, but also in our reading from Jonah, for notice how quickly the pagan mariners turned to their gods, who are no-gods, to seek deliverance from the “breakers” and “billows” which pass over them.  Indeed, it is they who arouse Jonah, who has fallen asleep in the despair of his separation from the will of God, to pray to his Lord.  And what horror overwh[...]


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October 8 - Sunday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 07 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000

 (Is.5:1-7;   Ps.80:9,12-16,19-20,Is.5:7;   Phil.4:6-9;   Mt.21:33-43)   “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”   “Let me now sing of my friend, my friend’s song concerning his vineyard.  My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press.  Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes.”  Of course, this “vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are His cherished plant; He looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!”  And so the Lord promises to “take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled!  Yes, [He] will make it a ruin.” Jesus’ parable in our gospel today echoes precisely Isaiah’s “song”: “There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.”  But now the prophecy is brought to fulfillment; now the rotten grapes come to maturity, and so the ruin of the vineyard will be complete.  For in their rejection of the Son the hope of Israel is lost: none further has the Father to send them; herein they utterly spurn His love.  How shall they be turned to producing good fruit if He who is the source of all goodness they destroy in their souls?  There is nothing left but to remove the vineyard from them. “A vine from Egypt [the Lord] transplanted; [He] drove away the nations and planted it.”  But for its unfaithfulness He has “broken down its walls.”  Indeed, in a scant few years after the crucifixion of the Messiah the temple in Jerusalem will be utterly destroyed – the worship upon which the faith of the Lord’s people is founded will be no more.  And [...]


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October 7 - Prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O Mother of prayer and of this prayer in which we meditate on the life of our Lord and Savior through your blessed intercession, it is through you we gain victory in Christ; His life, death, and resurrection become fruitful in you, and united with you, and so with Jesus, we repel our enemies. O dear Lady, our saving Lord comes not to us except through you: He is born in you, He dies with you at His side, and He raises you to life but to draw us all unto Himself, that we might walk in light with Him even in this world – pray, yes, pray for us! you through whom all Christians come.


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October 7 - Saturday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Bar.4:5-12,27-29;   Ps.69:33-37;   Lk.10:17-24)   “He who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.”   That enduring joy which comes to us after this time of trial is our theme today.  Not only does Baruch come to it in his exhortation for the people to “fear not” anymore but to turn to God and be glad, but it is David’s song as well: “You who seek God, may your hearts be merry!” he exclaims as he assures us that “God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah,” which were once “left desolate” “for the sins of [her] children.”  Yes, as Baruch encourages Israel, “Fear not, my children; call out to God!” so David confirms that “the Lord hears the poor.”  And from all their sins He shall save them. And does not our gospel tell us the same.  In it we are told that “Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit” and gave the Father “grateful praise,” saying, “What you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children.”  To His children, to the humble, to the poor, He reveals Himself.  And what can those who are blessed so, to see “what many prophets and kings wished to see” – what can we do but rejoice in His Spirit?  For He has given us “power to tread on snakes and scorpions and all the forces of the enemy, and nothing shall ever injure” us.  For sin no longer holds sway in our lives as it once did when we turned in the hardness of our hearts from the face of God and so were “handed over” to our foes.  Though once we “forsook the Eternal God,” we now return to Him; and so the “mourning and lament” suffered because of our sin now become joy in His eternal presence. “Nevertheless, do not rejoice so much in the fact that the devils are subject to you as that your names are inscri[...]


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October 6 - Prayer to St. Bruno

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O crown of contemplation whom none excels in solitude, in knowing the presence of the Lord alone in a cell, apart from the world – a simple chapel pray we find in the chambers of our heart that we might chant His praises all the time in the quiet, in His sight. Let us ever work to discover His breathing in our souls, that one with Him and with our brothers ever we might remain. Obedience is all we need and He will lead us there; then no questions will persist as we dwell in perfect peace. Pray such grace upon all souls.


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October 6 - Friday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Bar.1:15-22;   Ps.79:1-5,8-9;   Lk.10:13-16)   “We have been disobedient to the Lord, our God, and only too ready to disregard His voice.”   Woe is upon us for our sin.  We “have sinned in the Lord’s sight and disobeyed Him,” and so “the evils and the curse which the Lord enjoined upon Moses… cling to us even today.”  And if we do not recognize our sin, as Baruch does so beautifully in our first reading today, if we do not admit our failure to “heed the voice of the Lord,” realizing and repenting of our going “after the devices of our own heart” rather than following in His holy way – if we do not accuse ourselves of “evil in the sight of the Lord,” He will accuse us on the day of the judgment, as He does with Chorazin and Bethsaida in our gospel… and the woe upon us then shall be interminable, as we are “hurled down to the realm of death” with the cursed Capernaum.  But if we turn to Him, if we cry out to Him as does Baruch, as does our psalm this day, declaring the evil and destruction that has come upon us for our sin, that same “reproach of our neighbors” which has “laid Jerusalem in ruins” will be removed from us – the Lord will “remember not against us the iniquities of the past,” and we shall preserve our souls on the day of judgment. “They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem”: great is the suffering which has come upon the Lord’s wayward children.  It seems at times the Lord will be angry forever for the sins committed by the perverse heart of man.  But we know that His “compassion [will] quickly come to us,” that His anger lasts but a moment, it is only for a time, and that He shall indeed “deliver us and pardon our sins.”  This has He done in Jesus, in His[...]


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October 5 - Prayer to St. Maria Faustina

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O apostle of mercy, the mercy of Christ poured freely upon all souls for the salvation of the whole world, especially the worst of sinners… you suffered with our divine Lord that souls might indeed be saved; with His Passion you were intimate, blessed with fellowship with Jesus and His Mother and vision of their presence – pray a measure of your penitential devotion, a drop of our Savior’s holy blood, might fall upon our hearts and make us fruitful as you in His cause; pray we shall be blessed with deeper awareness of our wretchedness, our misery, that we might know the infinite majesty of the Lord and immerse ourselves and all souls in His measureless mercy. Let all sins be atoned for in Him!


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October 5 - Thursday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Neh.8:1-12;   Ps.19:8-11;   Lk.10:1-12)  “They understood the words that had been expounded to them.” What a blessed day we hear of in our first reading.  And what a blessed reception the Word of God finds in the hearing of the people!  For “the whole people gathered as one man” and “listened attentively to the book of the law” of Moses as “Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the occasion” and “read out of the book from daybreak until midday.”  And we know that all the people indeed understood the wonder of what was read to their humble, obedient hearts, “for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.”  They wept for the truth of these words, and for the fact that they as a people were so long without their instruction.  The truth of God’s Word brought repentance to their hearts, as it should to all. But ultimately the Word of God caused them, as all, “to celebrate with great joy.”  Certainly this is its ultimate goal.  For as David sings so well of in our psalm today: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.”  And the rightness of this wisdom brings “rejoicing [to] the heart.”  For as rich as the food and sweet the drinks the people were encouraged to consume that day as celebration of the glory of God, none could compare with the commands of the Lord, which “are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb.”  This bread of life is that which sustains us. And it is this bread of peace and life the Lord sends the disciples to bring to the cities before Him in our gospel today.[...]


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October 4 - Prayer to St. Francis

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O image of Christ, simple, humble, and pure, indeed you bore the marks of Jesus in your own body and in your own soul; wed to lady poverty, you embraced loving chastity and boasted of nothing but the Lord alone – pray, dear brother, for all children of God, for all your wayward brothers distracted by the wealth of this world, that we may be so blessed by the Spirit to serve the Lord and our neighbor as completely as you have done. May our lives, too, be prayers rising as a fragrant offering unto the Lord our God as we reflect His image in this world. Pray our hearts be set upon Jesus that we might follow in His blood-soaked footsteps in joy.


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October 4 - Wednesday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Neh.2:1-8;   Ps.137:1-6;   Lk.9:57-62)   “How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?”   Our home is in heaven.  “The foxes have lairs, the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head,” the Lord tells him who would follow His way in our gospel today.  Our home is in heaven, and only there do we find joy.  And only finding our place there should possess our hearts. We have a sign of the devotion we must have for the Lord and His Kingdom in our psalm and first reading.  Even as the psalmist hangs up his harp and weeps “by the streams of Babylon” for his exile from Jerusalem – “May my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember you not, if I place not Jerusalem ahead of my joy” – so, too, Nehemiah is most “sad at heart” for his separation from and the ruination of “the city where [his] ancestors are buried.”  And as the king takes pity on his servant and sends Nehemiah to help rebuild Jerusalem, so, too, does the Lord look upon those who seek in ardent desire their true home with Him in heaven.  He knows we are sad at our separation from the kingdom of God; He knows only there we shall find peace in our hearts, and so He calls us along the way He walks. But also He warns that all else must be set aside if we are to discover that which our hearts desire.  “Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.”  Does love for the New Jerusalem truly possess us as did love of the old for these exiles in Babylon?  Do we, too, recognize our own exile, our own homelessness, and seek with all our souls only the song that is sung in the kingdom of G[...]


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October 3 - Tuesday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Zec.8:20-23;   Ps.87:1-7,Zec.8:23;   Lk.9:51-56)   “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”   God is with us, brothers and sisters.  And though all upon earth turn their faces from Him now, though in ignorance they reject Him and our preaching of His Word – there shall come a day when all nations find their home in Him.  In that day the Lord shall reign. As Jesus sets His face toward Jerusalem and His coming death at the hands of His own people, He passes through many towns and sends harbingers of His drawing nigh.  In today’s gospel we read of the Samaritans’, the dreaded “half-breed” of Israelites, rejection of His presence among them: “The Samaritans would not welcome Him because He was on the way to Jerusalem.”  And for this should they not be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah? request the sons of thunder, James and John.  But it is “only to reprimand them” that Jesus makes answer to such an idea.  Indeed, they reject the Son of God, but in this moment they certainly know not what they do.  Should they be any different than the Jews who will offer Him up for crucifixion or the apostles who will abandon Him? From the gospel we must take solace, brothers and sisters, when our words fall on deaf ears, when the Word of God seems not to take root in souls.  We are only emissaries of His Word, and that Word will bear fruit only in His time.  But, of course, at the same moment we mourn rejection, we must be buoyed by the vision delivered by Zechariah in our first reading and confirmed so wonderfully in our psalm, for in it is the Truth of the resurrection that follows the Lord[...]


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October 2 - Prayer to the Guardian Angels

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O messengers of God sent to protect and guide we poor humans on our way to the heavenly kingdom, you whom He in His grace and wisdom has appointed to carry us home, lest we dash our foot against a stone – keep us ever in the way of the Lord; stay close to us, remaining always at our side, for we are but weak and sinful men so prone to be led astray. We entrust ourselves into your hands: bring us to look upon the Father’s face. For you behold Him always, you stand loyally in His light, and we, how shall we gaze upon Him without your hand to guide? Cover us with your wings, protect us from the heat of day and temptation’s sway till we stand with you in the Lord’s eternal reign.


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October 2 - Monday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Zec.8:1-8;   Ps.102:16-23,29;   Lk.9:46-50)   “The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in her streets.”   “Even if this should seem impossible in the eyes of the remnant of this people, shall it in those days be impossible in my eyes also, says the Lord of hosts.”  Sometimes we lose sight of the kingdom of heaven.  Sometimes our faith fails because of the difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves.  Or sometimes our pride can be the obstruction, blinding our eyes to the presence of the Lord in our midst, speaking to us in the children who play all around us, who sit at His side… whose angels behold His face always.  Sometimes we lose hope and the promise of eternal life escapes us. But why?  Do we not know that the Lord “has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and not despised their prayer”?  Have we not experienced His redeeming grace many times in our lives?  Do we not believe Him when He tells His chosen ones: “They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice”?  Why are we so forgetful of His love for us and distracted by our situation?  For the Lord does “hear the groaning of the prisoners”; He does “release those doomed to die”; He does look down “from His holy height” and hear the prayers of us His lowly ones, if we but call out to Him. “I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun, and from the land of the setting sun.”  At the center of the universe shall we dwell, “within Jerusalem,” with the Lord.  This is our promise.  And this is our call – to b[...]


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October 1 - Prayer to St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O little flower of Jesus, with great innocence and humility you loved the Lord and prayed for His Church and especially His priests; in all the little things of your day you gave yourself to God’s service, and so your work reached to the ends of the earth – shower roses upon us from above, where you now sit with Jesus; teach us to walk your little way that we might join you with our Savior. Pray we too might find His love and live in His heart as deeply as you; pray all souls shall indeed be saved by the blood He shed for our sake. And pray that families will be blessed as your own with children who heed so well the call of the Lord.


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October 1 - Sunday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000

 (Ez.18:25-28;   Ps.25:4-9;   Phil.2:1-11;   Mt.21:28-32)   “Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.”   Why?  How can it be that such sinners gain such privilege, such grace?  Is it for their sins?  Shall we all become as they?  We should be like them, but not in sin – in repentance.  For it is because they have “turned away from all [the] sins that [they] committed” that they are saved; it is because they are “tax collectors and prostitutes” no more.  And so we are all called to turn away from the sin which each of us surely has. David sings beautifully of this in our psalm: “The sins of my youth and my frailty remember not,” as he begs the Lord for His kindness.  For all that we have done in our ignorance and our weakness we should seek the Lord’s mercy, for He assures us throughout our readings that “He shows sinners the way” when they come humbly before Him. When the first son in Jesus’ parable responds to his father’s request for him to work in the vineyard, “I will not,” what does this son do but sin against his father? – just as each of us sins against our heavenly Father when we turn from His will to blindly follow our own.  But what did the son show when he “afterwards changed his mind and went” but his contrition and repentance at his insubordination, thus illustrating the manner in which our consciences should lead us from our own disobedience?  And as Jesus makes clear, it was this son who “did his father’s will” and [...]


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September 30 - Prayer to St. Jerome

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O great interpreter of holy Scripture, seeking the wisdom and power of God you listened to what the Lord says in His Word and so served to dispel ignorance of Christ; from your hermitage you came to serve the Church just so, to enlighten the minds of the faithful – pray the Lord shall send forth today the light of His wisdom and grace upon those who turn to the pages of the Word of God in prayer, that He may be understood in truth, that Jesus may walk amongst us again… that knowing the Christ we may become more like Him and live according to His instruction, as a lamp burning brightly in this world to draw all men to the Lord and the salvation of their souls, which He so deeply desires.


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September 30 - Saturday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Zec.2:5-9,14-15;   Jer.31:10-13;   Lk.9:43-45)   “They shall come streaming to the Lord’s blessings.”   The Kingdom is being prepared.  And as bleak as things may seem upon this earth, the glory of the Lord awaits us all.  This is the message of Jeremiah in our psalm and the message given Zechariah by the angel in our first reading.  “I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows,” is the word which sustains us. Zechariah prophesies at the time the Israelites have returned from exile few in number to a rather desolate, broken-down Jerusalem.  But in his vision presented today he sees an angel measuring the great city of peace, apparently for its restoration.  And to this prophet at this difficult time in which hope is hard to hold on to is delivered this reassurance: “People will live in Jerusalem as though in an open country, because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst.”  The Lord promises to be “the glory in her midst” and an “encircling wall of fire”: “Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day.” Jeremiah’s message is the same.  “He who scattered Israel now gathers them together, He guards them as a shepherd His flock.”  Yes, even in the darkest moments of our exile here on this fallen earth, there is hope.  For ultimately the Lord’s love will conquer all; in the end we shall “mount the heights of Zion” – our salvation will be fulfilled. Jes[...]


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September 29 - Prayer to Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O mighty messengers of the Lord, ministers of His will, bringing His word and His power to all poor souls on earth, you serve to lead us unto Heaven… you who do the bidding of God, you who are first among those who stand around His throne and sing His praise, you who are so faithful in defending His Kingship and keeping us from harm – cast the devil from our midst, instill the word of Jesus’ coming in our hearts, bring His healing to the lost sheep, and see that we join you on His holy mountain on high; carry us in your arms to the place the Savior prepares for us with you and all your army in His presence.


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September 29 - Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Dn7:9-10,13-14 or Rv.12:7-12;   Ps.138:1-5;   Jn.1:47-51 I shall treat of both first readings)   “You shall see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”   And who shall see such visions?  He whose own vision is pure, he who is as Nathanael – he who has “no guile in him.”  Such is the case both with Daniel and John the Evangelist, of whose visions we hear in either first reading.  The angels are with them, indeed, and they lift them up to look upon the Most High God and His Anointed One. Both first readings reveal vision of Jesus the Son, whose “dominion is an everlasting dominion” and by whom “salvation and power have come.”  In Daniel is shown the Ancient One, the Father, from whom all power comes as “surging streams of fire” from His throne; and in Revelation, John presents the defeat of Satan, who would presume to be like God but is “driven out” and “hurled down to earth” by the archangel Michael (whose name tells us that none is like God) before “the reign of our God” comes.  In Revelation is included, too, our own participation in “the blood of the Lamb,” that the Church, “by the word of their testimony,” will share in the Lord’s dominion. And David’s psalm sings today: “Great is the glory of the Lord.”  His voice joins with the “thousands upon thousands… ministering to Him, and myriads upon myriads” attend[...]


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September 28 - Prayer to St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O simple and devout layman, husband and father and clerk, suddenly you were forced to flee your homeland and family with your missionary companions, but death for the faith each one of you met without wavering upon disembarking in a foreign land – pray, O blessed martyrs, our faith shall be strong as your own, that should we be called to witness even with our lives to the faith which gives us life, we will be ready to enter eternity with Christ our Lord and Savior. If tortures threaten our bodies, too, intercede for us for grace, that the face of Jesus alone we shall look upon that day.


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September 28 - Prayer to St. Wenceslaus

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O faithful ruler whose devotion served to bring your death, though you loved all your subjects, caring especially for the poor, and loved God and His Church above all, your care and your faith caused you to be killed by those so jealous and selfish – pray for us, good king, and for the rulers in our midst, that they will be inspired as you with a self-effacing humility and a desire for the truth of God’s way, giving their lives in service of the Lord and His people, not seeking their own gain. Pray the Mother of God guide all leaders and they turn to her in obedience, that the will of the Father shall be done and to this world His kingdom come by the blood of His only Son.


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