Subscribe: The BreadCast
http://hermitinthecity.libsyn.com/rss
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
faith  find  god  indeed  jesus  lord  love  pray  son  time  word               “the    ”  
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: The BreadCast

The BreadCast





Published: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Last Build Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:07:13 +0000

Copyright: James Kurt
 



August 17 - Thursday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Jos.3:7-11,13-17;   Ps.114:1-6;   Mt.18:21-19:1)   “My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”   The forgiveness of sins and the crossing of the Jordan into the Promised Land is our theme today.  Both are very much one and the same. In our gospel Jesus tells the parable of the merciless servant in order to teach Peter and the apostles of the office of forgiveness which is theirs through his intercession.  When one of a king’s officials is unable to pay his debt, he “prostrates himself” before the king and begs for time.  “Moved with pity,” the master lets the official go and writes off the debt.  (In just the same way the apostles are to forgive those who repent of their sins.)  But the same servant who is forgiven then demonstrates no forgiveness to a fellow servant, demanding from him all that is owed and throwing him in jail.  When the king gets wind of the servant’s lack of mercy, he removes the forgiveness of his debt and seeks to extract every penny from him.  The parable illustrates Jesus’ central teaching: we must forgive to be forgiven.  And it indicates the power of forgiveness Jesus, the King, gives to His apostles, the officials, the servants – evident in its being prompted by Peter’s question regarding forgiveness.  The Lord reminds them (and us) of the forgiveness they have received from Him, and that they should carry this gift to others. A metaphor of this power is presented in our first reading.  Joshua, Moses’ successor, leads the people across the Jordan River into the Promised Land at the instruction of the Lord.  Notice what causes the waters of the Jordan to “halt in a solid bank,” allowing the people to pass over on dry land (much as the previous generation had done at the Red Sea).  The waters cease flowing “when the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the Lord… touch the water of the Jordan.”  Much as Christ and His apostles stand in the breach interceding for the forgiveness of our sins and thus drawing us into the heavenly kingdom, so “the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord remained motionless on dry ground in the bed of the Jordan until the whole nation had completed the passage.”  Of old the priests led by Joshua found their power of intercession in the ark of the covenant which held the Ten Commandments; today our priests, led by Peter, find their power of forgiveness in the cross of Christ. Brothers and sisters, let us all forgive one another from the heart.  Let us flee in fear like the “Jordan turned back” on its course the danger of holding a grudge or failing to share the blessings we have received from Jesus.  Let us cross the Jordan to the Promised Land ourselves and serve to draw others into the heavenly kingdom.  Let us not disappoint our Father and so know His wrath; let us shine His loving mercy forth till all have crossed on dry land.   ******* O LORD, without forgiveness in our heart, we shall never cross over into the Promised Land.  YHWH, how shall we pass into the Promised Land if you do not go with us; and how shall you go with us if we are burdened by sin?  We need you to go before us, and we need your forgiveness, or we shall be left on the banks of the Jordan. And how shall we be forgiven our sins and find your presence among us if we fail to forgive those who are indebted to us?  O LORD, how can a man with a hardened heart come before you who are mercy itself?  He has no place in your kingdom, and so the waters which would have cleansed him of his sins drown him instead. Send us your priests, dear LORD, to lead us in your stead.  May Peter be at the head of your people to bring them as has Joshua, as does Jesus, into your Promised Land.  And may we thus be freed from sin that we might follow them.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-081111-Th_19_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 16 - Prayer to St. Stephen of Hungary

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O faithful king, loyal son of MotherChurch and just ruler of your people, in peace and piety, humbly and honorably you executed your duties, never showing favor to anyone but always respecting all and maintaining above all the faith and the Church which propagates that faith in Christ – where is true Christian profession today, where those in positions of power truly dedicated to right service of the Lord and His people? Do pray for us, dear king, that others shall follow in your footsteps as has your son so that all shall become faithful followers of our Lord in whatever position He grants them. Pray especially for leaders whose hearts are set on love of God and holy Church.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._16_Stephen_of_Hungary.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 16 - Wednesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Dt.34:1-12;   Ps.66:1-3,5,8,16-17,20;   Mt.18:15-20)  “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that I would give to their descendants.” The promise is coming to fulfillment; Moses looks out on the land the Lord so long ago vowed to give the great patriarchs.  And though he shall not enter in and dwell there with the people, yet he has confidence that the promise shall be fulfilled.  And though after forty years of struggle he will die here at the border, we know he has a greater reward stored up for him in heaven. What is this Promised Land now?  Where do we find it today but in the Church founded by Jesus upon his apostles and living in the hearts and lives of all His disciples?  This is the Promised Land, the heavenly Jerusalem at work in the world even now.  Notice that Joshua “was filled with the Spirit of wisdom, since Moses had laid his hands on him.”  And “the Israelites gave him their obedience, thus carrying out the Lord’s command.”  In the same way the power of the Holy Spirit coming from Peter and the apostles is passed down to this day in the Lord’s Church: the power is indeed from Jesus and His Spirit, but their power works invariably through the deeds of men so ordained.  And by that power Joshua will lead the Israelites to the Promised Land even as Peter and his successors lead the Church to our heavenly homeland, insofar as we give obedience to them at the Lord’s command.  Jesus in our gospel outlines the special place the Church holds both in judging offenses and offering prayers.  He repeats the Church’s power to bind and loose from fault, a power that begins with Peter but extends to all His disciples so ordained, and reminds them also of the great strength they take when together they call upon His name: “If two of you join your voices on earth to pray for anything whatever, it shall be granted you by my Father in heaven.”  The Lord does not work in a vacuum but accomplishes great and wondrous things through those He lays His hands upon. What great works were accomplished by Moses: “He had no equal in all the signs and wonders the Lord sent him to perform.”  Oh “the might and terrifying power that Moses exhibited in the sight of all Israel.”  Do you think this power dies with Moses?  Do you think it has come to an end?  No.  For his successor Joshua parts the Jordan River by the same power; and now in Jesus and through His Church that power comes to fulfillment.  Tremendous are the Lord’s “deeds among men.”  If we but “appealed to Him in words,” what wonders would we know.  Wars would cease and this world would look much more like the heavenly kingdom He has promised us all.  Let us pray with one voice, as one Church, in His Name. ******* O LORD, what greater gift could you give than the power upon your priests to forgive men’s sins? YHWH, what power you give to those who serve you; what tremendous deeds are wrought by your disciples.  For what equal had Moses in the signs and wonders you worked through him?  And what greater work can there be than the forgiving of men’s sins, which you accomplish by your priests this day? Upon your Church you place your power, LORD; where two or three are gathered all prayers are answered.  And even judgment you give to Church leaders, the power to discern right from wrong.  As your lawgiver had clear vision till the end of his days, to see and know your will and teach the people of your ways, so this day is fulfilled in your Son and in those upon whom He lays His hands the grace of wisdom and understanding to lead souls into the promised land of Heaven.  Let us listen to the words they speak to us, let us be obedient sons.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-081011-W_19_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 15 - Prayer on the Assumption

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O glorious Virgin Mary, preserved from sin from the moment of your conception and now raised with your Son unto Heaven, blessed are you among women, most blessed of all God’s creatures; kept from all corruption, you His lowly servant now reign with Jesus in His kingdom – pray all generations will call you blessed that all may indeed share in your blessing and come by the grace of the Lord to stand at His side in the Father’s presence. Above the choirs of angels, where poor mortal man is called to take his place in union with the immortal Godhead, you precede us, O Immaculate Mother, by virtue of your eternal union with the only Son. Pray we shall truly follow you to perfection, conquering death by the Cross and entering the light of the Lord.  


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._15_The_Assumption.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 15 - The Assumption

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Rv.11:19a,12:1-6a,10ab;   Ps.45:10-12,16;   1Cor.15:20-26;   Lk.1:39-56)   “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”   The Queen of Heaven here appears to us in her glory.  She who has been taken up by her Son to His heavenly kingdom to stand at His side: “The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.”  Yes, Lord, the Mother you preserved from sin for all eternity you have preserved from the jaws of death; she who has suffered so intimately with you here on earth now shares your glory in heaven.  And as she has said, “All generations will call me blessed,” for you have “lifted up the lowly” and she your humblest and most holy of all creatures can be nowhere but with you in your eternal life.  May she bless us from her place with you this holy day. In Mary we find our hope, brothers and sisters; in her we find it fulfilled, made real by the hand of God.  We know that “in Christ shall all be brought to life,” and “in proper order” she so blessed in life is now so blessed in death, having been preserved from its clutches and preceding us into God’s heavenly realm.  The devil would have devoured her and her child, but she and He, and we with them, have escaped his gaping mouth and the fire it breathes; this enemy and the death he wrought is destroyed by our Lord and His birth through the Virgin Mary, and so, “now have salvation and power come.”  “The kingdom of our God and the authority of His Anointed One” now reign supreme, and she who has been His special instrument in bringing such salvation now stands at His side in His paradise. “How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” asks Elizabeth in wonder at the blessed presence of Mary in her midst.  She who carries the Lord shares in His divinity in a way beyond our comprehension, for if her own kinswoman could be filled with such awe, recognizing whence Mary comes, how much more should we be filled with veneration for the Virgin daughter of Israel?  Indeed, it is her voice which causes the Baptist to leap for joy in the womb; with such joy we should approach this sacred day. As intimately as she was with Jesus, and is with Jesus now, so intimately is she with His Church here on earth as well as in heaven.  From her place at His side she watches over us and cares for our needs as any mother for her son.  We are her sons and daughters, united to her through the One Lord, Jesus Christ.  She comes to us now at the end of the age, granting wisdom and direction to those who seek their place with her Son.  Call her blessed, brothers and sisters in Christ, and see her glory shining forth at the right hand of God.  In her you will find light greater than sun and moon and stars.  You will find the presence of our Lord and our God. Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney. Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission. ******* O LORD, look upon all your lowly servants with favor, that we might join Mary at your Son’s side in the kingdom.  YHWH, your promise of mercy is fulfilled in our midst as she who is blessed comes to us bearing your Son.  And our hearts leap for joy at her approach, for indeed she brings salvation with her, and so the destruction of death.  In her Son is your kingdom, your power come, and to His glory we are all called. Dearest Mary, who are we that you should come to us, O Mother of our Lord?  O what blessing you are for those who rejoice with you in God our Savior!  For as He has looked upon you, His lowly servant, so He looks upon all poor creatures and fills our emptiness with His presence.  O that we might stand with you at His side this day! LORD, in Jesus death is conquered and all souls are brought to life again.  His Virgin Mother is the first to join Him in your glory, for you prepared a place for her.  May we all find the place prepared for us in your kingdom. 


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Assumption_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 14 - Prayer to St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O soldier of the Immaculate Virgin and martyr for our Lord, well you spread the fame of the Mother of all graces, calling all souls to repentance that she might apply her Son’s blood to save the straying among us; and well you heeded our Savior’s call to lay down your life for others – pray this day we have such strength, such conviction and determination in serving our Lord and Lady, in publishing the Good News of salvation, that by our dedication we too may serve well upon this earth in the army of the faithful, also leading souls through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that peoples and nations may be converted and so learn in turn to serve the surpassing glory of God.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._14_Maximilian_Mary_Kolbe.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 14 - Monday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Dt.10:12-22;   Ps.147:12-15,19-20;   Mt.17:22-27)   “In His love for your fathers the Lord was so attached to them as to choose you, their descendants, in preference to all other peoples.”   The Israelites are the chosen race, and Jesus the Chosen One of that race.  Upon them the blessing rests, and in the Son it is fulfilled. Our first reading tells us that the Lord is a great God, “who has no favorites, accepts no bribes; who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him.”  And the Israelites are called to be made in the image of their Father, showing His might in this way of compassion and truth.  “And now, Israel, what does the Lord, your God, ask of you but to fear the Lord, your God, and follow His ways exactly,” declares Moses.  And so he enjoins upon the people the Lord’s word, “His statutes and ordinances,” which “He has not made known” to other nations, and which serve as their guide to maintaining His light in their lives.  “He has strengthened the bars of your gates…  He has granted peace in your borders,” our psalm confirms: by the grace of God’s law their children are blessed and become “numerous as the stars of the sky.” And in our gospel we see again the fulfillment of the Father’s blessing and of His law in the Person of Jesus and the sacrifice He, and we, are called to make.  First Jesus makes clear that He is the Son of God exempt from the temple tax – how can the temple pay tax unto itself, or, better yet, how can the temple be paid tax by Him who made it?  Jesus is the Chosen One, the chosen of the chosen sons.  And His new Law, His new way – which again is but the fulfillment of the law laid out by Moses – is the cross.  Moses tells us of the compassion and justice of the Father, who cares for widows and orphans and aliens, and Jesus embodies that love and truth by being “delivered into the hands of men who will put Him to death” for our sin and to show the love God has for us in such utter sacrifice. Brothers and sisters, allow me to note here that there is no distinction between the love and the justice of God: they are inseparable, the one ever complementing the other.  It is out of both love and a sense of justice that the Lord defends the widows and orphans, saving them from their oppressors and gathering them into His arms.  His love breeds justice and His justice love.  This is the way of God; and this must be our way as His children.  Yes, God loves the world and so He sends His Son to make atonement for our sin.  We have sinned and atonement must be made; it cannot be otherwise.  And it cannot be otherwise but that God makes that atonement by His love.  Let us join to Him as sons in His holy sacrifice.  This is our special, blessed call.  ******* O LORD, though in His love He made Himself an outcast for our sakes, for our lack of love,   Jesus is your only Son. YHWH, you are the great God, mighty and awesome, your glory far above us and our ways.  Yet you bless us with your presence, you proclaim your Word to our hearts – you send your Son into our midst as the Temple in which we may worship you and so join ourselves to your surpassing glory.  For this grace let us never cease to praise you; let us never fail to follow in your way. Your Son shows to us the way we must walk; the way of love He marks out for us in perfectly fulfilling your will, in freely going to the Cross.  Here your surpassing love for your poor creatures you reveal to us.  And this same love you call us to – this same glory is ours, O LORD, by the mercy He bears. To this Temple let us come.  In your Son let us make our home.  He who humbles Himself for our sakes, who joins Himself to us for our salvation, let us follow unto glory.  Your Word be fulfilled in our midst.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-080811-M_19_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 13 - Prayer to Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O brothers united in faith and in offering the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of that faith, for the sake of God’s Church – pray nothing shall separate Christ’s brothers one from another, but that all members of His flock and all those who lead His flock will remain ever united in His blood under the See of Peter. O pray that His Body not be divided but that it be healed, made whole by His Cross. Into His arms may we all offer our lives and so join our Lord in His kingdom.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._13_Pontian_and_Hippolytus.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 13 - Sunday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 04:00:00 +0000

 (1Kgs.19:9a,11-13a;   Ps.85:8-14;   Rm.9:1-5;   Mt.14:22-33)   “When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance to the cave.”   For the Lord was in the “tiny whispering sound.” God speaks in silence.  His Word sinks deeply into our souls, piercing the spirit within us, and so what can we be but afraid?  His still, small voice brings us into His awesome presence. Brothers and sisters, it is the same NAME of God revealed to Moses the lawgiver that is spoken to Elijah the prophet here on the same “mountain of God, Horeb.”  This WORD, this NAME (YHWH), invokes fear, for it silences the tongue, stilling all distraction we might make, and so allows the purity of God to pass into us.  What but fear, what but holy wonder, can penetrate our very bones when we become thus surrounded by His presence, when He penetrates the core of our being?  “The Lord will be passing by” is the promise made to Elijah; and in the silent WORD the Lord’s promise is kept. And is it not this same WORD in which Jesus rested when “He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray”?  Is it not this same WORD the Lord brought to Peter and the apostles when He “came toward them walking on the sea” as their boat “was being tossed about by the waves”?  As He stepped into the boat with His blessed Rock, is it not so that “the wind died down”?  My brothers and sisters, Jesus is this WORD spoken to Elijah, this NAME given Moses, made flesh in our midst.  And in His presence “the strong and heavy wind,” “the earthquake,” and “the fire” become as nothing, as all distractions cease and we find ourselves at the feet of “the Son of God.” Upon coming from this mountain Moses led his people out of Egypt.  Upon coming from this mountain Elijah will anoint a king and a prophet to succeed him.  Upon coming from the silence of the mountain Jesus – as He did before in calling His twelve apostles – comes to confirm the call upon Peter and his brothers even as He sees that His mission must increase with the death of John the Baptist.  From the silent WORD all is spoken.  It is His NAME for which we must listen, that we might “speak the truth in Christ.” “Near indeed is His salvation to those who fear Him, glory dwelling in our land.”  And so, let us “hear what God proclaims; the Lord – for He proclaims peace,” and in His peace alone will we discover our true and lasting home.  (Fear not the troubling of your soul; He breathes a light calm upon the waters.)   Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.   Music: "WH" from Breath, the Apple Rises, fifth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.   ******* O LORD, our hope is in you; may we patiently await the coming of your kingdom. YHWH, how we hope for your kindness to deliver us from death, to save us from our adversaries, even from our very selves.  We place all our trust in you – O may our faith soon be rewarded! If we but had the faith of Abraham, dear LORD, blessed as he would we be, with no fear for the impending darkness, with hearts set solely on your coming light.  The salvation of the just let us await with steadfast hearts, knowing well that you are faithful to all your promises and that you have promised a heavenly dwelling to all who seek their place with you. To this earth let us not be attached; all of this world let us offer freely to you.  You are our only treasure, dear God – you are all that is worthy of our concern.  And so, let us await your Son’s return with loins girded and lamps burning.  Let us be ever vigilant for His coming, serving well your holy will all our days, and our inheritance we shall find in you.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-080711-Su_19_OT_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 12 - Prayer to St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O tireless worker for the Lord who when cut off from everything dearest to you gave yourself completely to God, you who have shown the way of the martyrdom of love, of dying entirely to self and serving our Savior in the sick and the poor, in whose guise He comes – pray our lives shall not wallow in mediocrity or sin; pray we shall have the same thirst for love as you, that by our love we may die and so overcome death to live forever in the presence of our Redeemer. Visit us this day in our weakness that our hearts, too, might be strong and our lives be laid down in the blood of the only Son.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._12_Jane_Frances_de_Chantal.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 12 - Saturday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Dt.6:4-13;   Ps.18:2-4,47,51;   Mt.17:14-20) “Praised be the Lord, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies.”       In our first reading we hear the Shema, the great Commandment of the Mosaic Law – the Lord is God and we must love Him with all our being.  Moses exhorts the people “not to forget to the Lord,” who brought them out of slavery in the land of Egypt and is about to bless them abundantly in the Promised Land.  Quite graphic is he, and are their practices, in encouraging remembrance of the Lord’s command.  His words are to be drilled into the children, bound at wrists and on foreheads, and written “on the doorposts of… houses and on… gates.”  And David’s psalm mightily extols the love we should have for our Lord: “My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!” the great king of the Israelites exclaims in his overflowing praise for his saving Lord, in whom he finds his strength.  Indeed, the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is our life and our salvation. And it is the faith at the heart of our praise of God which saves us from our enemies, which redeems us from our sins.  Jesus demonstrates this clearly in our gospel today.  “What an unbelieving and perverse lot you are!” the Lord declares in chastisement of His disciples and all those who would seek His graces, His healing, for they have not the faith to rescue the possessed boy from the grip of the devil.  Where is their praise of the Lord’s Name?  Where is their surpassing love of Him?  How is it their belief in the Lord’s power to deliver from the bonds of slavery has been so easily shaken?  Is it not “the Lord alone” who is God?  “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you would be able to say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move.  Nothing would be impossible for you.”  Let these words be inscribed upon our hearts, that we will never forget the abundant glory of God which we possess by our faith in Him.  Glorious are you, O Lord, beyond all creatures, beyond all existence!  Far above us do you sit, and yet how close to our hearts do you remain.  There is none who compares with you; there is nothing in the heavens or on earth greater than you, for you have created all that is.  Strengthen our failing love, let it match the glory of your presence, that we might be delivered from all sin and conquer all evil in your divine Name.  Give us faith and trust in you, and we will praise you forever.  Safe from our enemies, we will glory always in your everlasting love. ******* O LORD, let us praise your NAME and so find safety from all our enemies. YHWH, give us the grace to love you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, you who alone are God, you who alone are good.  It is you alone who care for us, who provide for our every need.  May your blessing remain upon us as we praise your holy NAME. Where shall we find faith, O LORD, even the size of a mustard seed, we who are such a perverse and unbelieving lot?  How can we learn to trust in you and in your power to do all – and to do all through us weak vessels.  It is you alone who have all power; by your Word the entire universe came to be and is sustained….  Help us to take refuge in that Word and not in the world of passing things. We love you, LORD, our Rock, our shield, the sword of our salvation!  But we are indeed weak and forgetful souls in need of healing.  Increase our faith in you and in your Son, that we might serve you alone.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-080611-Sa_18_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 11 - Prayer to St. Clare

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O bride of Christ whose poverty matched His own, whose humility made Him known, whose love indeed approached His throne and the embrace of His holy arms – pray all souls will gaze into the mirror that is our Lord born in a manger, dead upon a Cross, risen unto Heaven. Pray we shall be driven on through the death we all must die, through His marvelous poverty, His wondrous humility, to the indescribable delights of those who remain at His side. O that we might be poor as you were poor, as He is poor for the sake of every soul, that we might come to embrace His blessed sacrifice and so know the glories of His kingdom.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._11_Clare.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 11 - Friday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Dt.4:32-40;   Ps.77:12-16,21;   Mt.16:24-28)   “The Son of Man will come with His Father’s glory accompanied by His angels.”   The Lord God came to “take a nation for Himself from the midst of another, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, with His strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors.”  As He came with power to rescue the Israelites from the bonds of Egypt, so He will come at the end of time, and is come now, to save us from this world of sin.  Indeed, the Son of Man shall come fully into His Kingship on the last day and “repay each man according to his conduct.” How shall we secure a place in His kingdom?  Moses tells the Israelites, in his final address to them before they enter the Promised Land, “You must now know, and fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below,” and that they “must keep His statutes and commandments.”  Then they will be blessed and prosper.  Jesus tells us in our gospel, “If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and begin to follow in my footsteps.”  As it was then, it is now, only the road is more straitened for the goal is more blessed: now it is even unto death we must be obedient to His ways; but now we find not only life on the land, but glory everlasting. “Among the people you have made known your power,” proclaims our psalm today, and indeed our first reading recounts the “wonders of old” the Lord wrought in the midst of His people: with their eyes they saw His “great fire,” and with their ears they “heard Him speaking out of the fire.”  It is, of course, the presence of Jesus we see before us now and hear speaking in our hearts by the fire of the Holy Spirit.  He makes His power known to us now in a far surpassing way.  And if we wish to know the glory of God burning in our midst and leading us to the eternal kingdom of light, we must be made holy by its power.  “O God, your way is holy,” our psalm states, and if we wish to follow in His way, we must be holy as He. The Lord is coming with His holy angels.  He shall soon be here in all His glory.  Now He has left us a blessed cross to place upon our shoulders; it is this most wonderful of signs by whose testings we are led in power to the eternal reign of our Savior.  As intimately as you know His humble cross, as closely as you follow His sacrificial path, so well will you know His Father’s glory.   ******* O LORD, your greatness is revealed to all; let us dwell in your light. YHWH, how great were your deeds in bringing your chosen people out of Egypt!  What wonders you worked among them.  To them you showed that you are LORD and there is no other. But how much greater is the presence of your Son among us this day and the deeds He has wrought for our salvation.  How much more clearly you speak to us now, LORD, through the wonders He works – and how perfectly your glory will be known when He returns accompanied by His angels!  There will be no greater deeds to be worked when that Day comes. But until that Day let us walk with you here; let us take up our cross and follow in the way of Jesus, keeping your Word that we may prosper in good deeds ourselves and come finally to the Land you promise, to eternal life, our eyes looking upon your surpassing glory.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-080511-F_18_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 10 - Prayer to St. Lawrence

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O generous soul, you gave your life freely to the poor and your death completely to the Lord; a grain of wheat fallen to the earth, you have indeed produced much fruit, so closely have you followed Christ – pray for us miserable souls who cannot seem to draw near your thorough sacrifice, made without fear of the fire ignited by your torturers, made in joy of uniting your death to Jesus’ own. How shall we approach your love, your blood so closely mingled with that of our crucified Lord; how shall we match your generosity in serving His blessed call? Pray we will find the courage to give everything over to God and know we are in His arms.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._10_Lawrence.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 10 - St. Lawrence

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(2Cor.9:6-10;   Ps.112:1-2,5-9;   Jn.12:24-26)   “The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance.”   The servant of the Lord lays down his life in His name.  Today we celebrate St. Lawrence, deacon, servant, and martyr, who gave his life and his death generously to God.  His life must be that of every Christian; his witness is one we are called to follow. “The man who hates his life in this world preserves it to life eternal,” the Lord tells His disciples in today’s gospel.  As “the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies,” so must we if we are to produce “much fruit.”  We cannot hold on to our lives and our pride but must give them over in service of God, or they will be nothing worth.  We must trust in the words of Paul that “God can multiply His favors” among us, that as much as we give generously of ourselves, the more He will provide; and the greater will thus be our reward as we draw ever closer to Him and His sacrifice.  “Where I am, there will my servant be.”  By these words Jesus both calls and assures all who would follow Him that the laying down of their lives will bring them “honor” in the presence of the Father.  To be so “exalted in glory,” we must be washed in His blood. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church; it is by their sacrifice, their total giving of themselves, that the Church does grow.  They bear witness to God’s power working in the world, and we must sow bountifully with them in order to “reap bountifully” the graces of the Lord.  He provides the seed we sow and will “multiply the seed” and its yield; as long as we remain “firm, trusting in the Lord,” our posterity shall endure unto heaven.  So let us plant our prayers and our works and our lives in the fertile earth where the martyrs found their joy, and whether we live or die, we “shall be blessed in His holy presence.” May all the Church ring out their praises to the God who calls and blesses us with the holy example of those who serve Him and give their lives completely to Him.  “Lavishly He gives to the poor; His generosity shall endure forever,” so let us pray that this blessed yield the Lord provides will be increased in our own time, and that we may join in the grace of such sacrifice.  In His Spirit and in His blood may we ever grow away from the earth and the death it holds and unto the life of “everlasting remembrance” in heaven with God. Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney. Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission. ******* O LORD, if we serve you, we will be where Jesus has been – fixed to a cross – and so, blessed will we be as He accepts our sacrifice, for we will come to where He is now in Heaven.  YHWH, the seed and its yield are both in your hand, and you give freely to all of your abundance.  Help us to be generous as you, trusting that you will always multiply and increase our yield, trusting that all we are and all we do are in your holy hand. O LORD, let us unite ourselves with the Cross of your Son, let us plant our souls in His blessed death, that we might bear much fruit and endure unto eternal life.  Let us be so blessed to be His servants, to follow in His way, to be joined to His holy sacrifice.  Then we shall be honored with all your saints, with all who lay down their lives in your Name. What is it to hate our lives in this world but to see ourselves as we are, small and insignificant as a grain of wheat?  Yet giving what little we have cheerfully to you and to others, our yield becomes abundant, dear God.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/St._Lawrence_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 9 - Prayer to St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O sacrificial victim seeking to bring peace to a dark world, you found your wisdom in love, in the love of Christ and in His Cross, and died three times for His sake: once in entering His Church, once in taking His habit, and once in laying down your life at the hands of the enemies of His peace – pray, O blessed teacher and sister to all men, that the death of this life be something we shall not fear but embrace with the same grace with which the Lord blessed you. Why should we hold to the things of the earth when Jesus waits to embrace us in His loving arms and carry us unto Heaven? Pray we shall be ready to answer His call.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._9_Teresa_Benedicta_of_the_Cross.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 9 - Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Nm.13:1-2,25-14:1,26-29,34-35;  Ps.106:4,6-7,13-14,21-23;  Mt.15:21-28)   “They forgot the God who had saved them.”   But He did not forget them.  Though He curses them in our first reading for their lack of faith, and though they shall indeed all – except for Joshua and Caleb – die in the desert over forty years, their children shall enter and take the Promised Land from the five tribes which inhabit it; and despite their repeated faltering in following His word, He shall come to redeem them from their exile once again, and in a full way, in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Israelites grumbled against Moses and against God in the desert.  Fearful at the report of the “giants” in the land they were called to seize as their own, they failed to remember the Giant who fought for them, “who had done great deeds in Egypt.”  “They waited not for His counsel,” nor trusted in His protection, and so they dissembled at what their eyes saw and their ears heard, having not the heart of faith, remembering not the word of the Lord.  The people of the land may have been giants, but the Lord towers over all the earth.  We must always remember His surpassing power. And in our gospel we find one of the descendants of those who had made the Israelites so fearful to enter the Promised Land groveling at the feet of the Lord, this Son of David, indeed as a dog before its master.  How fortunes have changed.  Jesus says to this Canaanite woman, “My mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  See God’s love for His people.  See how He has kept the word of His covenant not to forget them.  See how He yet chooses them from among the nations, sending His Son in the flesh as one of them.  And yet, shall they recognize the grace that walks amongst them?  Will their hearts be open to accept Him now, or hardened to His call and blind to His presence will they remain? This question is asked of each one of us, brothers and sisters, for we are the spiritual descendants of the Israelite people.  Will we remember Him and His Word amongst us?  Do we recall all He has done for us?  This Canaanite woman who begs crumbs from the Lord’s table is greatly blessed.  She has the faith required for the kingdom of heaven.  Again in Scripture it is a Gentile, a foreigner, who exhibits the faith the “sons and daughters” should have.  The Lord uses such as these to shame His chosen ones and show them how far His love does spread, how great His grace truly is – that it can capture even these giants in its net.  And so, should it not capture the Jew?  And so, should we not be taken in it as well?  Now that His salvation has extended to the ends of the earth, shall His chosen be forgotten?  Will they continue to forget their place in His land?  I pray it shall not be so for you and I, brothers and sisters, but that we will always remember His Name.   ******* O LORD, if only we had faith! we would never be afraid – we would certainly be saved. YHWH, why are we so forgetful of you and your power to save?  Why are we who know you, who have seen your hand at work, who have been blessed by your abiding presence – why are we so blind to your unending love for our poor souls?  Those who do not know you, who are so far away from you, come on their knees before your Son begging His grace and forgiveness, begging His blessed protection… and these receive answer to their prayers, even as those of your own household wither and die in the hardness of their hearts, in their lack of faith. Forgive us, LORD, our crimes against you; let us not die in this desert o[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-080311-W_18_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 8 - Prayer to St. Dominic

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O humble preacher who walked in poverty with Christ your King and spoke in power to destroy lie by truth, you gathered men around you to be bearers of the grace of God, to be men of the Gospel inspired by love divine – pray we shall be taught well the faith and walk with you in Jesus’ way, that all we do will be for the salvation of souls, our lives even as our Savior’s. May His Word and deep love for others lead us in all our work on earth that always and in all things we may beseech the Lord to be with all His brothers. Pray our hearts be set on His will and we serve as His apostles.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._8_Dominic.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 8 - Tuesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I A

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Nm.12:1-13;   Ps.51:3-7,12-13;   Mt.15:1-2,10-14)   “If one blind man leads another, both will end in a pit.”   Aaron and Miriam would lead the people, they would presume the place of Moses; but they are blind, they cannot see who it is the Lord calls, who is His chosen.  And so the Pharisees, too, are blind guides, deaf and blind to the presence of Jesus, who is God’s Chosen One.  Considering their own gifts and talents but not recognizing from whom they come and what their limits are, their blindness leads both forth into sin against the Lord and against His anointed.  And it will only be by crying out to the Lord, as does David in his psalm, that the sin shall be cleansed from them and a “clean heart” will be created within them. Aaron does cry out, begging Moses to intercede with the Lord for their sister’s leprosy, and so cleansing shall come for her; but we have a fear for the Pharisees, for the Lord says of them, “Let them go their way.”  Their way leads to destruction; their blindness shall lead them into a pit.  If they continue to turn from the Lord standing before them, they shall multiply rather than find forgiveness for their sins.  Oh that their hearts would not be hardened!  Oh that they would cleanse their souls and not their hands!  Oh that they would see what is first with the Lord, and how He must be followed!  “Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,” with David let them cry out to you, Lord, that they might be washed clean of the guilt into which we are all born, that the leprosy might be taken from their spirits. We all are in danger of blindness, brothers and sisters, and the affliction which comes from its snares.  We must never presume upon the Lord or His chosen leaders, or cast from His presence will we be.  It is true that all have sinned.  It is so that we all fall short.  But we have a greater than Moses in our dear Jesus, who cries out for His wounded Church: “Please, not this!  Pray, heal her!” when He sees the afflictions upon us.  What are the thoughts of our hearts?  What comes out of our mouths?  Is it a desire to love Him and a cry for assistance, or do we harden our hearts against His truth? Let us not follow and become blind guides.  There was one man chosen to lead the multitude out of slavery and through the desert, and there is one Man now to lead us to the Father’s presence.  He has left His Spirit upon His Church, upon His apostles and those who follow His teaching – and most particularly upon His one chosen servant, the rock that is Peter.  Let us walk in light, being led along the path He marks out for us by His chosen guide.   ******* O LORD, let us not follow blind leaders but only those inspired by your Word Himself.      YHWH, let us watch what comes out of our mouths; let us not boast before you or your chosen ones but listen to your voice speaking through your Church. Your Spirit is upon this House and those who sit upon Moses’ seat, upon the Chair of Peter – let us be humble and obedient to your Word.      Then we shall be cleansed of our sin, O LORD; then we shall share in the power you give your holy ones. When we are as meek as Moses, then we shall stand in your presence and be blessed.      O wash us clean of all our sin! Our offenses are ever before you, LORD. Let us not be as lepers cast from the light of your face, but let our spirits be renewed by the grace come through the prayer of your Church.      Forgive us this day our sins against you, LORD; let us come to your pri[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-080211-Tu_18_OT_I_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 7 - Prayer to St. Cajetan

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O reformer of the Church and leader of her priests and people, calling all to live the Gospel, to give their hearts in the service of Christ, who alone can save men’s souls – pray that your love for the Lord and His holy Church will be known in all the members of His Body, and so that apostles will be sent forth to preach and to heal even this day. Pray we shall be one with Him who made us, eating His Body and drinking His Blood and living according to the Word He speaks to our souls through MotherChurch and all her faithful servants. It is the Lord alone who must be our concern; pray we, too, shall walk in His footsteps.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._7_Cajetan.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 7 - Prayer to St. Sixtus II and Companions

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O martyrs of the faith ordained by the Lord to shed blood for His sake and the sake of His Church, to give witness to the glory of Christ and so win the crown of eternal life… it is in your blood and by your sacrifice the Church has grown and become strong – pray it shall always stand firm in confessing the faith despite any threat from the powers of this world; pray every soul shall give his life in joy and so emerge victorious in the spiritual combat. Handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, may we, too, come to life eternal.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._7_Sixtus_II_and_Companions.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 7 - Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I A

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Nm.11:4-15;   Ps.81:2,12-17;   Mt.14:22-36)   “How little faith you have!”   It is the Lord’s exclamation to His holy apostles, to the foundation of His Church – to His Rock.  And certainly it applies to all of us as it does, too, to the Israelites in the desert.  All need greater faith to come upon the new shore of paradise and find healing for all our ills. As the Israelites tramp through the desert, they grow tired of heavenly food and desire something earthen.  Their faith in God is shaken by the lusts of their belly, and their outcry against the Lord grieves His servant Moses.  He finds himself unable to carry this stiff-necked people “like a foster father carrying an infant.”  He breaks under the burden of “all the people” even as Peter – who shall have to carry the whole Church upon his shoulders – trembles at the wind upon the sea.  Moses asks for death to find relief, and Peter cries as he begins to sink… and the Lord will “at once stretch out His hand” and catch them both, His ears ever open to the prayers of His holy ones.  But greater faith will they both need to have to lead God’s people forward.  Peter will find it after Pentecost (though not before denying Him three times), and the stubbornness of the Israelites, “the hardness of their hearts,” will keep Moses from the earthly Promised Land; only in the next world will he discover paradise. The faith we need to make it through the desert that is this world and come into the heavenly kingdom of our Lord and God is spoken by those trembling in the storm-tossed boat: “Undoubtedly you are the Son of God,” and exhibited by the men of Gennesaret.  For they “brought Him all the afflicted, with the plea that He let them do no more than touch the tassel of His cloak.”  Thus, the same faith the woman in the crowd with the open wound for years had shown Jesus on His way to raise the little child is shown here by these poor sinners, for “as many as touched it were fully restored to health.” A word from His mouth.  A drop of His blood.  The touch of His hand.  The hem of His garment.  A crust of bread from His table…  This is all we need.  If we have faith, in a moment we will be restored to life; we will be redeemed from all our ills, from all our sins – from all the temptations of our bellies and this desert.  The sea may rage and contend with the wind, but we will remain calm and patient in His presence: we will walk on water, we will find “honey from the rock,” if we have but faith.  It is not far away, and that the size of a mustard seed is all we need.  Find relief from all your distress by calling upon the Savior. ******* O LORD, what little faith we have! – how quickly we forget you are our loving God.      YHWH, how can we face the distress of this world, the wind and the waves that threaten to overcome us, the disobedience of those in our care? It is a weight too heavy for us to bear! How could Moses carry your people through the desert; how does Peter hold up your Church? Indeed, it is only by faith we have any strength at all – indeed, it is you who bear all our burdens.      Under the weight of the Cross Jesus has sweated and died. All He has taken upon Himself. And we need but say: “Undoubtedly you are the Son of God!” to the One you have sent to save us, and all our burdens will be lifted from us, and we will be preserved from death. But what little faith we have, O LORD! and how much we need[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-080111-M_18_OT_IA.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 6 - The Transfiguration

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Dn.7:9-10,13-14;   Ps.97:1-2,5-6,9;   2Pt.1:16-19; Mt.17:1-9 – Mk.9:2-10 – Lk.9:28b-36 Note: since the three gospel accounts vary only in detail, they are treated as one in this one exposition for the day)   “I saw one like a son of man coming on the clouds of heaven.”   Daniel’s vision, as John’s vision in the Book of Revelation, is perceived in the flesh by the three apostles on MountTabor, and is known in all our hearts as “the morning star” of faith rises in our hearts.  It is the coming of Jesus in all His glory Peter, James, and John glimpse here in the Transfiguration, and it is this same glory to which we are all called. The Lord wishes that the faith of the apostles and so the faith of the Church be strengthened against the “dark place” in which we find ourselves, so He here provides “a lamp shining” for them and for us, that we might not doubt the overwhelming “dominion, glory, and kingship” that are His and that will one day be ours as we join Him at the throne of God.  He is indeed “the Most High over all the earth, exalted far above all gods,” and the “flames of fire” which flow out from where He sits, the brightest of lights He is for “all peoples, nations, and languages,” we must ever be “attentive to.” So Jesus leads His three principal apostles up the mountain.  Apart by themselves and in prayer Himself, Jesus is “transfigured before them”: “His face change[s] in appearance and His clothing [becomes] dazzling white.”  What a fearful, absolutely awesome scene it is for Peter, James, and John.  Moses the great lawgiver and Elijah the great prophet appear in glory as well before them, speaking with Jesus of His coming sacrifice.  If this is not enough to stir their hearts, and our own, they are overshadowed by a fearsome cloud and the Father’s own voice speaks to them: “This is my beloved Son.  Listen to Him.”  Now they see Jesus alone, the Son of God Himself before their wide-open eyes.  He tells them not to speak yet of the vision, but their mouths are already shut tight in awe.  After the resurrection and the coming of the Spirit they will speak openly of the Lord’s glory – as Peter does for us today in our second reading, saying, “We had been eyewitnesses of His Majesty” – but for now they cannot utter the truth of such glory. “The power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” has been well documented for us now; “the prophetic message” reaches to the ends of the earth: Jesus is the Son of God and “all peoples shall see His glory.”  What the apostles glimpsed on MountTabor, what Daniel and the prophets foresaw, what the psalms sing about and that of which the proverbs and parables speak is come.  It dawns now on our human sight, the surpassing glory of the only Son; let us treasure that light with all our hearts.  He comes now on the clouds of heaven. Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney. Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission. ******* O LORD, how great is your power, how bright your light, and yet you make yourself known to our mortal eyes.  YHWH, how great is your Majesty!  How wonderful your glory!  How brightly does your light shine!  You are a consuming fire, purging away all darkness, all the impurities of sinful man. And does your Son not perfectly reflect your glorious Majesty?  Is He not your very image, O God?  And so, should we not listen to Him whom you ha[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Transfiguration_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 5 - Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Lv.25:1,8-17;   Ps.67:2-5,7-8;   Mt.14:1-12)   “It is really the number of crops he sells you.”   The earth is the Lord’s; it is not our own.  And it is only by His grace that we share the fruits of the land.  “The earth has yielded its fruits; God, our God, has blessed us,” our psalm declares.  These fruits may be bought and sold, but the land is God’s own. “In this year of jubilee, then, every one of you shall return to his own property.”  “This fiftieth year you shall make sacred by proclaiming liberty in the land for all its inhabitants.”  The jubilee year delineated in our first reading makes clear that we are God’s and not our own or anyone else’s.  While we tread this earth, in the forty-nine years leading to the jubilee, land is bought and sold, even slaves are made and taken.  But come the jubilee the trumpet is blown and all return whence they came: in this moment we go back to our homes and find the truth – that we are God’s alone.  All that is bought and sold is only temporary; these crops are consumed and pass away.  The land from which they come is in God’s hands and does not pass away.  To it we must return.  For He is our portion and cup. “May all the ends of the earth fear Him!”  Indeed, we should fear Him who holds the earth and all its peoples in His creating hand.  We should not presume upon God’s mercy and “deal unfairly” as we buy and sell in this world with all that He provides.  In our gospel Herod is gripped by fear because he knows he abuses the power given him; he is struck to the heart by John’s preaching because his sin is exposed to the light.  But instead of proclaiming liberty, instead of returning to the Lord, he hardens his heart against Truth, presumes license and not liberty, and has “John arrested, put in chains, and imprisoned.”  But, of course, the Word of God cannot be chained; and Herod is not entirely wrong when he claims John has been “raised from the dead” in the person of Jesus, for the same Spirit which worked in this most fruitful of men comes forth fully in the Son of God.  Good reason has Herod to fear. And it must be noted that the beheading of John does not bring his end, but his beginning.  It returns him to the land whence he has come.  It is as his jubilee, his time to “return to his own property” – to enter the kingdom of God.  For his body buried by his disciples is but as the crops bought and sold (and a more fair and abundant dealer in the fruits of this earth the world has not known); it is, of course, his eternal soul which finds liberty now in the land of the Lord. This world cannot hinder the fruits that are of the Lord.  In faith let us remain in Him, producing an abundant yield in His Name, that the way of the Lord “be known upon earth,” and that we may come to His salvation at the time of Jubilee.  (We shall hear the trumpets resound through the halls of heaven.)   ******* O LORD, there is a land to which you call us to return, and this heavenly homeland is all that matters. YHWH, the earth is yours and all that it holds, and you call us ever back to you.  Let us not be possessive of the gifts you give us but remember that the yield of the land is in your hands. O LORD, you proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants of the land; you call all back to yourself, from whom we come and in whom we find our freedom.  Your call to our hearts to g[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-073011-Sa_17_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 4 - Prayer to St. John Mary Vianney

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O priest exemplar, O preacher and confessor extraordinaire, healer of souls who by prayer and penance was made holy unto God and brought others to that same holiness before the Lord and Maker of all poor souls – pray indeed this day that our hearts will be set on Heaven, that our longing will be for the Lord, and so that by prayer we shall come to union with Him. Pray all your fellow priests will be filled with your same zeal for the salvation of their flock and so serve to bring them to blessed union with the God of all. Pray the Lord send out holy priests to labor in His vineyard as diligently, as tirelessly, as you.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._4_John_Mary_Vianney.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 4 - Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Lv.23:1,4-11,15-16,27,34-37;   Ps.81:2-6,10-11;   Mt.13:54-58)   “Offer as an oblation to the Lord holocausts and cereal offerings, sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day.”   Our first reading and our psalm speak and sing of the honor due our God.  The Lord outlines for Moses “the festivals of the Lord” which must be celebrated “at the proper time with a sacred assembly,” and our psalmist exhorts us to “blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast” in honor of the one true God.  We should worship no god but Him and “hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work” on His sabbaths and on the days He sets aside for celebrating His Name.  Due honor and praise must be given our God. But when Jesus comes into the midst of His people, due honor is withheld.  Though they cannot deny His teaching, the wisdom and grace He imparts, yet they are blind to His presence before them.  They do not know whence He comes.  They cannot see that He is of God.  And so because of their limited vision, their “lack of faith,” He cannot touch them or heal them as He passes by.  Here He stands in their synagogues, but the shout of joy does not go up from their midst because their hearts are shut tight to the divine presence of the Lord.  The due praise they are moved to is thus denied, and they break the Law of God. It is sad when justice is not done to our God.  We are the ones who would benefit most from offering due sacrifice and oblation – He has no need of our holocausts – yet we commit this kind of suicide by reserving the honor due Him, resisting thus truly entering His marvelous presence and becoming one with the One who created us and saved us.  He invites us to the feast, to the glorious celebration, but we turn down His invitation to join Him at the table of His Body and His Blood.  Each day it is prescribed for us to give our souls to Him; in every place the cup of salvation is raised unto the glory of God: here the festival of the Lord is fulfilled in our midst.  But how many say they see but bread and wine, they hear but empty phrases.  Their hearts are not set on His coming. We are Jesus’ brothers and sisters; we are His mother.  We are those who recognize His presence and give glory to His Name.  The world cannot see Him; the world does not know Him.  But we know Him.  Let us “take up a melody, and sound the timbrel, the pleasant harp and the lyre,” and with all the music our lives can produce give Him glory in our celebration… with all the work we do and all the rest we take each day in Him.  Now is the acceptable time.  Today is the day of salvation.  Here the feast begins.  Let us come into His presence singing for joy. ******* O LORD, let us believe in you and worship you, and we shall be blessed. YHWH, let us worship you as is due; let us give praise to your NAME and each day celebrate your glory in our midst.  Every day a sacred assembly we may now hold, now that Jesus has walked among us, now that He is present to us upon your holy altar; and so, let us welcome Him into our house and sing praise for the blessing He is to this place. To the teaching of your Son let us listen, LORD; He has come in the flesh with your wisdom and power.  Let us not question His origin but know He is from you, as He shows with all He says and does.  Why do [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072911-F_17_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 3 - Thursday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ex.40:16-21,34-38;   Ps.84:2-6,8,11;   Mt.13:47-53)   “The cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling.”   The Dwelling is the Tabernacle of God, the place in which the ark of the covenant holding the Ten Commandments was housed; and so it was God’s dwelling-place.  And when this cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the Israelites would set forth; and when the cloud stopped, so would they.  In this we see clearly that the Israelites were led by God and by His Law.  “In the daytime the cloud of the Lord was seen over the Dwelling; whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud by the whole house of Israel in all stages of their journey.” Our psalm extols the glory of God and His place of dwelling.  It is for Him and to be in His house we yearn.  “Happy they who dwell in your house!” the psalmist exclaims.  So far surpassing is the glory of the Lord that “I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”  For “even the sparrow finds a home” at the altar of God, and so, how blessed shall we be in His presence. And in our gospel Jesus completes His parables on “the reign of God,” the kingdom of heaven – the House in which we long to dwell eternally.  And, of course, here before us stands the new ark of the covenant in the Person of Jesus.  Here the new and fulfilling Law of love is housed, by which we are now led.  The Spirit descended upon Him as a dove, thus anointing Him with God’s glory, and it is this “cloud,” this Spirit of Truth, which descends upon us now and by which we walk with God.  The Old Covenant and Law are certainly not to be discarded, for “every scribe who is learned in the reign of God is like the head of the household who can bring from his storeroom both the new and the old”; but the Old is indeed subsumed by the New, for the Person of God – Word made flesh, God made man – far exceeds and truly completes the first dwelling, which was but made by human hands.  Now the Law has found a new and lasting home. It is well we understand all that the Lord would teach us.  It is necessary that that teaching be complete, or we shall fall short of what our “heart” and “flesh cry out for.”  “The living God” awaits us; His glory He would give us.  Let us be covered by His cloud and be led forth in His Word of Truth to His eternal reign.  From “strength to strength” let us go, until we dwell with Him forever, His Word written on our hearts.  Amen.   ******* O LORD, we pray we shall not be cast out but be gathered into your dwelling, and in your presence make our home. YHWH, in your Dwelling let us make our home, your cloud ever upon us; in the flesh of your Son we must live, led by the Holy Spirit.  What is old and what is new help us understand, that we might be good stewards of your love and all souls may enter your kingdom. At the end of the age your angels shall separate what is good from what is evil, for the evil have no place with the good.  Only what is good may come into your House; what is evil will be burned in the furnace.  And so our souls cry out for you, dear God, that you might make a place for us in Heaven. To your threshold let us come, by the teaching of your only Son; His Spirit upon us to lead us to you, let us be obedient to His[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072811-Th_17_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 2 - Prayer to St. Peter Julian Eymard

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O priest of the Blessed Sacrament, you gave your life in sacrifice at the altar of the Lord and in all the trials of this earth; you suffered all for Jesus and desired only to bring souls, all the children of God, to receive Him and His grace in the Sacrament of Communion, in oneness with our Lord – pray, O priest of Christ, that our very lives shall also be offered in sacrifice, especially in the holy sacrifice of the Mass and in reception of His Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray particularly that our priests will know the profound call upon their souls to make Him present in this world and be as inspired with holy devotion as were you, dear saint. Pray our hunger for His Presence increase.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._2_Peter_Eymard.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 2 - Prayer to St. Eusebius of Vercelli

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O vigorous defender of the divinity of Christ, you who suffered exile for your work for the faith, you who had a true shepherd’s heart and cared so deeply for the priests and people the Lord placed in your hands – pray the shepherds of the Church today will strive with your same selfless zeal to bring the love of the Son of God and the blessed demands of His call to every soul in their care, that the faith might increase and be known in all its fullness even to the ends of the earth. Pray and weep, O steadfast apostle, for all the members of Christ’s holy flock, that we shall be protected from false and specious claims, from wolves in sheep’s clothing who would enter and steal the faith of this holy Catholic Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._2_Eusebius_of_Vercelli.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 2 - Wednesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ex.34:29-35;   Ps.99:5-7,9;   Mt.13:44-46)   “The skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord.”   His face shining like the pearl of great price, with whom he speaks, Moses comes down from the mountain carrying the Ten Commandments.  Here is a great treasure in His hands, which he has given up all to find.  But, of course, the greater treasure is the Word of God from which it takes its meaning and of which Moses converses with the Lord; and the greatest treasure is certainly God Himself, who makes us shine as stars in the night that is this world.  “Holy is the Lord, our God.” And so, of course, the greatest treasure we can find here on earth, hidden in this ground from which our bodies are formed, is our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the very image of God, God Himself, the WORD made flesh in our presence.  And thus as the Israelites had the Ten Commandments as the heart of their covenant, so we have a surpassing covenant founded in the Body and Blood of our Lord, in which His presence truly abides.  Still we have His words of Truth, still they illumine our faces.  But now they are spoken by the incarnate mouth of God; now the veil has been removed from the face of the One who inspires all souls, and our hearts burn with the pure light of His wisdom – and now we have that flesh and blood which make the words so real at our fingertips and upon our lips… and so, one we become with His holiness. Radiant is the splendor of God.  He alone is worthy of our praise.  It is He alone we should strive to possess in this life.  He is buried here in our hearts; He is waiting deep within our souls for us to uncover our faces, to uncover our minds from the veil which conceals His light.  Indeed, He is waiting for us to shine as the pearl of great price, to give light to the world as He does, that all might come to converse with Him with unveiled faces.  But we must give up all else to find such grace: this pearl must remain unmixed with baser matter.  As Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights, neither eating nor drinking, so we must come to Him so utterly, leaving all of this world behind, to find the riches which await us in the heavenly kingdom.  Jesus is the way to that kingdom.  In his Word, His Body and His Blood, we find the pearl of great price.  And so shall our faces shine radiantly white as we converse with the Lord in His presence for all eternity.  Praise Him, brothers and sisters, for His grace at work in your life.   ******* O LORD, holy are you, and holy are those who seek your face. YHWH, holy are you, and we are called to be holy as you are holy, to have our faces shine as radiantly as Moses’ – to come into your presence.  O let us converse with you, dear LORD!  For now we have Jesus who speaks with us, who tells us clearly of the glory of your kingdom and how we are called to give up all to enter there.  How the pearl of great price is made evident in His flesh!  To Him let us come and we shall be one with you, and we shall be holy. Before us on the altar shines the pearl of great price, the Body of Christ given to us that we might see and know your holiness, O LORD, that we might become as His Body in the world.  Let us worship Him in the Sacrament[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072711-W_17_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 1 - Prayer to St. Alphonsus Liguori

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O patron of moral theologians and servant of the poor, how blessed was your loving wisdom, your understanding of God and His love for us, made perfectly known in His only Son whom you loved so much with His Mother and the Church, and whom you call us all to love through your blessed words – pray the redeeming love of Jesus our Savior flow in all our veins, that we might unite our wills to the Father’s as perfectly as His only Son and so be as encompassed by grace and love as only He could be. Pray indeed that we shall be saved, that we will come to the Lord on our knees and so find His presence filling us unto eternity.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Aug._1_Alphonsus_Liguori.mp3?dest-id=17188




August 1 - Tuesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ex.33:7-11,34:5-9,28;   Ps.103:6-13;   Mt.13:36-43)   “The angels will hurl them into the fiery furnace where they will wail and grind their teeth.”   It is the justice of God which is our theme today.  And though it is absolutely certain that the mercy of God far surpasses our merit and He does not “requite us according to our crimes,” yet it is equally so – and Jesus could not make it more explicit than He does in His explanation in our gospel today – that God’s will is not for “declaring the guilty guiltless,” and that “the followers of the evil one” shall be punished.  It is this invariable necessity of God’s justice I highlight today because of its general ignorance in this age. “Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness,” David declares in our psalm.  “The Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”  Yes, “surpassing is His kindness toward those who fear Him.”  But what if we should not fear Him?  What if we should not give Him the love and honor and respect which is rightfully His?  It cannot but be that we pervert His kindness and compassion and, by our own will, turn it into the flaming punishment it thus becomes.  This is the justice of God: it reaches down “for a thousand generations”; it covers the earth with its forgiveness.  But turning from it we inevitably cast ourselves into hell, for there is no place to hide our hardened hearts from His merciful love.  Thus our refusal to accept His surpassing kindness is that which provides the kindling for the everlasting flames.  And if we deny the existence of hell, we deny the presence of God’s love, and our own free will in choosing it or not. In our first reading there is quite a jump, better than a chapter, in the scene.  In the first half Moses is in the tent of meeting where he would serve as judge for the people; in the second half he is on Mount Sinai, where God has led him to receive the Ten Commandments (a second time).  The Lord has also promised to reveal His back to Moses – no one can see His face and live – and it is this scene that is spoken of in our gospel.  Moses speaks the Lord’s silent NAME, “YHWH”, and God comes in power, crying to him of His infinite mercy and absolute justice.  As the Lord passes by in this way, Moses is overwhelmed and begs God to remain with him and the people, recognizing that they will not be able to take a step without Him.  And in His great kindness, but not without appropriate punishment, the Lord will remain with Moses and the Israelites through their desert journey. “The saints will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom.”  The angels shall gather the good seed unto their just reward.  And there shall be great rejoicing as the mercy of God thus comes to fulfillment.  But none of this can be until “all who draw others to apostasy and all evildoers” are cast out from His presence.  Just as the faithless were not permitted to enter the Promised Land but died in the desert, so only those whose hearts burn with the love of God will shine in His kingdom.  For the rest only the fires of torment await.   ******* O LORD, the weeds must be burned that th[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072611-_Tu_17_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 31 - Prayer to St. Ignatius of Loyola

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

O strong and holy apostle, soldier for the Lord Jesus and defender of His Church, you gathered together an army to labor in mission fields, to educate the masses, to serve and die as loyal sons of the Christ and His Pope – teach us this day to follow in the way of Jesus, to meditate on His life and be fruitful in His works. Pray your own sons and all the children of MotherChurch not waver in the faith which sustains them on this earth but that in all truth steadfast Christ’s disciples shall stand and proclaim in strength the salvation that comes only through Jesus and the Vine He has planted, through whose teaching and sacraments His very Spirit and blood flow.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_31_Ignatius_of_Loyola.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 31 - Monday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Ex.32:15-24,30-34;   Ps.106:1,19-23;   Mt.13:31-35)  “Eventually the whole mass of dough began to rise.”  The kingdom of God comes gradually, grows imperceptibly; from the smallest of seeds it becomes “the largest of plants,” and “the birds of the sky come and build their nests in its branches.”  Indeed, this yeast is kneaded into our hearts, and by its grace we rise gradually unto the form heaven would make us – and so the glory of God becomes ours, and with others we share His grace within us.  See that it is the people’s impatience which has led them into sin: “Make us a god to be our leader,” they say to Aaron, “as for the man Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what happened to him.”  Moses is gone to the mountain forty days to receive the commands of God upon the tablets of stone, but this time is too long for the Israelites to wait, and so when he returns with the “tablets that were made by God, having inscriptions on them that were engraved by God Himself,” he finds that they have “exchanged their glory,” present so really, so physically, in the Law he carries in his hands, “for the image of a grass-eating bullock.”  They could not wait.  The God they sought in vain image was coming to them in truth with His Law written in stone, but they did not perceive His approach; and so, taking matters into their own hands, they crafted their condemnation.  For now it is but chastisement that awaits them; this, too, comes gradually, and is unavoidable.  As the Lord says to Moses, “When it is time for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.” “So grave a sin” the Israelites commit.  It is only because “Moses, His chosen, withstood Him in the breach, to turn back His destructive wrath,” that the people were not struck out of the book the Lord has written.  Indeed, though they shall all die in their sin in the desert, their generation shall maintain the promise.  But it shall not be until Christ Jesus stands in the breach for all, that we who are so prone to evil shall be saved entirely.  Only He makes the absolute atonement for the sin of the people, which Moses prefigures in our first reading today. And now that the Son has come, now the seed is planted in our hearts, now the yeast begins to rise in our souls – now the kingdom of God is nigh.  From the desert we are thus led, the angel of God going before us.  We have but to listen to the word He speaks to us in His blessed parables and apply its truth to our lives, and thus staying the path set before us we will come in time to the kingdom that awaits us.  We shall yet see the Lord descend from on high, not carrying tablets in His arms, but carrying us and our salvation in full bloom.  And on that holy day we shall eat of the bread He has caused to rise in our hearts and in our lives. ******* O LORD, may your kingdom grow ever in our midst, and may we patiently await its coming. YHWH, your Son comes to stand in the breach, to reveal to us your holy kingdom.  For it now we must but wait, and allow your will to be accomplished. We have sinned gravely against you, LORD.  Our hearts hav[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072511-M_17_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 30 - Prayer to St. Peter Chrysologus

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

O you of golden words, of angelic tongue, of sermons refined seven times by the Spirit of God… O how you made present on earth the invisible Creator even as He was made for us in the womb of the Virgin, so tangible had His grace become through the preaching the Lord inspired in your soul – pray we shall indeed be vivified by the eternal grace of God, by the gift of His becoming Man, to become like Him, heavenly spirits in His reign. How could we comprehend such blessing; how could such surpassing joy these earthen vessels hold? Let us come close to Christ our Savior, close to Him as now you stand in His radiant glory.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_30_Peter_Chrysologus.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 30 - Sunday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

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

 (1Kgs.3:5,7-12;   Ps.119:57,72,76-77,97,127-130;   Rm.8:28-30;   Mt.13:44-52)   “The revelation of your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple.”   Wisdom.  The “pearl of great price.”  How precious the ability “to distinguish right from wrong” by the grace of God, and to choose the right way at all times.  For finding the pearl is one thing, a gift from the Lord, but wisdom is revealed in him who “goes and sells all that he has and buys it,” knowing there is no treasure greater than the heavenly light shining from the face of God. It is heaven we must desire.  What else is of any worth, my friend?  And in His justice, in His truth, in the wisdom and understanding that come from the touch of His hand and the words from His mouth alone will we find what is the desire of all the righteous souls.  Solomon demonstrates that he “love[s] [the Lord’s] commands more than gold,” and this pleases the God who seeks to rule His heart.  He shows that he is the son of his father David by coming humbly before the Lord, recognizing that he is “a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.”  And such utter dependence on the Lord’s grace He cannot but bless, declaring to His servant: “I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.”  Because the young king has made the desire to “know what is right” his request of his God, he receives this, and so much more. All knowledge, all wisdom is given to Solomon, and shall not be taken away.  But perhaps we should note that what he is given here in such abundance, he shall not heed throughout his life – for he shall not always sell all else to follow in the light of the Lord’s decrees.  Perhaps none but Jesus Himself can do this wholeheartedly; but none should also make the riches of the earth, which contradict the heavenly treasure, his abiding desire, as the older king shall do.  All must strive to remain in His light, to be as “the scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven… who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old,” who serves as the angels that “separate the wicked from the righteous” – even on this earth distinguishing evil from good. “Brothers and sisters, we know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”  Paul’s words reflect the wisdom of God.  For truly His elect are known to Him from before time; truly He calls us “to be conformed to the image of His Son.”  And truly we know that by the justification of our souls under the cross of Christ we shall come to the glorious presence of the Father in heaven.  And this is all that matters.  “Do you understand all these things?”  Then place all in His hands. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: ""Heaven" from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, you yourself are the pearl of the greatest price – let us find you and your Word at[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072411-Su_17_OT_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 29 - Prayer to St. Martha

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

O servant of the Lord who welcomed Him into your home, fulfilling all the duties of hospitality, and yet realized as He taught that it is He who serves us poor creatures, who is the resurrection and the life… in whose House we make our home – pray that even as we fulfill the duties of our station in life we too shall come to believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who comes to us to serve us in His need, allowing Himself to be fed by us that He might feed our souls with everlasting life, with the Spirit that passes not away with the body.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_29_Martha.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 29 - Saturday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Ex.24:3-8;   Ps.50:1-2,5-6,14-15;   Mt.13:24-30)   “All that the Lord has said, we will heed and do.”   But will they?  Who among them will remain faithful to the covenant they make with God?  All the Israelites vow as one to follow “the words and ordinances of the Lord,” yet only two men shall come from the desert and enter the Promised Land.  Their children shall exhibit greater fidelity, but these, too, shall falter – throughout the history of the chosen people there shall be weeds, sometimes in abundance, sown among the good seed. And in our psalm, God declares: “Gather my faithful ones before me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”  For “God Himself is the judge,” and He will tell how well the “twelve pillars” “erected at the foot of the mountain” stand before Him.  He will make known how efficacious has been our sacrifice.  Jesus teaches us of God’s justice in His parable: “At harvest time I will order the harvesters, first collect the weeds and bundle them up to burn, then gather the wheat into my barn.”  Indeed, the weeds shall be separated out into everlasting fire, while the wheat which has been true to His Word enters heaven.  If we have been faithful to our covenant with the Lord, if we have been hearers and doers of His Word, we have nothing to fear.  Love overcomes all fear, and the Lord assures us of His grace: “Call upon me in time of distress; I will rescue you.”  But if our vows have been in vain, we have much to fear at the hand of the harvest master.  All shall be brought before Him – “The Lord has spoken and summoned the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting.”  From east to west they shall be gathered before His judgment seat, and on that last day Jesus shall speak the sentence which awaits us all.  The weeds may seem to grow and thrive in this day, but be assured that this day is passing away; His Day shall last for eternity.  The enemy shall be cast from His presence forever. In the desert the people of God were excited to pledge allegiance to the Lord.  But what is promised must be done or the pledge is worthless.  We, too, profess our faith in God, and indeed His blood is sprinkled upon us daily as we raise the cup of blessing in His Name.  This New Covenant far surpasses the Old and puts the onus upon us thus to a far greater degree to heed the words of the psalmist: “Fulfill your vows to the Most High.”  Let us therefore truly heed and do all that the Lord calls us to.  Let us not hesitate to come into the Lord’s presence offering Him a sacrifice of praise, but let us not forget the promise inherent in our worship of Him; each day let us grow as wheat before the master of the harvest, His Word providing nourishment for our souls.   ******* O LORD, make us faithful to our covenant with you, that we shall not be burned in the fire.   YHWH, let us hear and heed your voice and vow our faithfulness to you, yes, but most of all let us stand with you, carrying out your will in all things.  [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072311-Sa_16_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 28 - Friday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Ex.20:1-17;   Ps.19:8-11,Jn.6:69;   Mt.13:18-23)   “What was sown on good soil is the man who hears the message and takes it in.”   “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul…  The command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye…  More precious than gold” and “sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb” is the word of God.  How beautifully our psalm speaks of the words of everlasting life which issue forth from the mouth of God, the Law of the Lord embodied in Christ Jesus.  And those who follow the command of God shall bear a mighty yield, for “the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.”  In our first reading we find the great Law written on stone, our Ten Commandments – the blessed guide of man’s walk through this world of sin.  They give light to our steps, teaching us ever the way we should go.  But great as these words are and necessary as they may be to keep our steps from faltering, to prevent our eye from entering darkness, so much greater is He who sums them up and brings them to completion in His flesh and blood.  The love of God and neighbor commanded so clearly to Moses on Mount Sinai here shines in a light beyond our human comprehension.  Indeed, to hear its call, to become good soil, we must be made as He is, walking in the grace of divine perfection.  Only then will the Word which stirs our souls – in whose light we long to cleanse our hearts and by which we hope to enter God’s reign – only through the intercession of Jesus the Son of God, the eternal Word of the Father, will we come to know the realization of the call of God to His children, rendered in His commands. Thirst for the Word, brothers and sisters.  Our souls must indeed have a deep hunger for His presence, for the light that comes only by following Him.  Our worship must not be in vain, and we must not be distracted by the allure of this world.  Standing fast through any suffering, we must take in deeply the Word spoken to our hearts, ever making greater place for Jesus in our lives.  We must put flesh to the words of everlasting life, we must be as the Law walking the face of the earth – we must be as our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Then it is we shall know His blessing; then we shall labor with Him and yield a great harvest.  Then we shall share in the sweetness of the glory of Him who commands us to walk rightly by His side. Today let us rejoice in the Lord and in His Law; let us find the light it brings and become children of that light.  With Jesus and all His saints in heaven let us hear the Word whispered deeply in our spirits and become doers of that word of God.  Then we shall bear fruit unto eternal life.   ******* O LORD, let nothing take us from you; in your Word let us make our home. YHWH, let us hear and heed your commands, for you have the words of everlasting life and by your instruction we are saved and produce fruit in your holy NAME. To Moses you gave your Law, O LORD, that we might remember to love you always and so [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072211-F_16_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 27 - Thursday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Ex.19:1-2,9-11,16-20;   Dn.3:52-56;   Mt.13:10-17)   “Blest are your eyes because they see and blest are your ears because they hear.”   Jesus tells us today, “Many a prophet and many a saint longed to see what you see but did not see it, to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”  How blessed are we, for the light of His face now shines upon us, for His teaching is now in our ears. With fear and trembling the Israelites came to Mount Sinai to witness the presence of God.  They wished not to be there as He revealed Himself in mighty signs: “There were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.”  What an astounding scene!  For “the whole mountain trembled” and “the trumpet blast grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking and God answering Him with thunder.”  Here is the revelation of  God in all His majesty as He communicates Himself to His people.  Our psalm, too, sings of the glory of the Lord and the praise due Him: “Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,” “on the throne of your kingdom,” “in the firmament of heaven.”  The Lord is indeed “exalted above all for all ages.” But overwhelming as the Lord is and difficult as it may be to find Him, we must never close our hearts to His presence.  Yes, there must always be proper fear for the awesome glory of God, but our eyes must yet be open to see Him and our ears open to hear Him.  He comes now to us not in thunder, not in earthquakes – but in a still, small voice… in the gentle presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  And though this pregnant silence radiating the Word of God may be just as fearful to the heart darkened by the cares of the world, though the refining fire it is may bring a greater pain to the soul being cleansed of its sin, we must not turn away as did the ancient Israelites, as did many of Jesus’ time: we must not allow our hearts to be “sluggish” to understand. He stands before us now, present here at Mass and in all His holy sacraments.  Indeed, He comes to us speaking through the people and all the things around us.  He is ever calling to our hearts, ever shining His light upon our minds.  Do we open ourselves to Him?  Do we seek to grow in the Spirit each day, every day…?  Blessed are we now that Jesus has come and on the third day been raised from the dead.  The Lord instructed Moses: “On the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people.”  That day is now fulfilled in our sight; let us cleanse our hearts, that we might be prepared to see Him.   ******* O LORD, what we see and hear, what we taste and touch, each day at your altar! YHWH, how can we look upon you who are so far beyond our understanding, who are exalted above all for all ages, we who are so sluggish of heart?  The ancient Israelites trembled at your glorious presence revealed to them at Mount Sinai.  [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072111-Th_16_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 26 - Prayer to Sts. Joachim and Anne

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O parents of the Virgin Mary, grandparents of the Lord our God, you who gave birth to our Blessed Mother, through whom we are blessed for all ages… O you through whom the promise to David came to be fulfilled, you whose virtues found favor with the Lord, you whom He chose to bring forth His Mother and the Mother of all the redeemed – pray our posterity shall endure even as your own, that we shall bear fruit even in our old age and see our children’s children in a happy Jerusalem. Pray we shall know the Virgin as intimately as you and so come to know our Lord in the kingdom where He reigns.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_26_Joachim_and_Anne.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 26 - Wednesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

Ex.16:1-5,9-15;   Ps.78:18-19,23-28;   Mt.13:1-9)   “I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.”   He gives us bread to eat; He gives us wine to drink.  All our food comes from His hand.  He provides for our every need.  It is not by our own strength we are fed.  It is not by our own strength we produce fruit to feed others.  All our grain is from His hand and grows only with His blessing. The Israelites find themselves in a barren desert and begin to fear for their empty bellies.  “Can God spread a table in the desert?” they ask in doubt, and begin to dissemble before the Lord.  But it is God’s will to teach them a lesson, to show them from whom their sustenance comes, for even when in Egypt their “fleshpots” were provided by Him.  But they are a blind and ignorant race, and so He must show them the power of His grace, of His providence.  He thus gives them a food they have never seen before, whose very name, “manna”, reveals its mystery.  And so they partake of this food of the angels; “even a surfeit of provisions He sent them,” though their flesh shall not be long satisfied with this heavenly food. And we, do we realize all our food comes from the Lord?  Do we see His hand at work in all things?  Or do we go blindly along through this desert as well, listening too carefully to our grumbling stomachs while ignoring His Word in our hearts and presence in our midst?  Do we, too, forget all He has done for us?  Or do we turn faithfully to Him for His heavenly provisions and find ourselves satisfied with the food from His hands?  And thus, do we ourselves yield grain from the good soil He sets us on, increasing “a hundred- or sixty- or thirty-fold” His word in our hearts, that others might be fed too by our God?  Jesus sits before us today and calls us to such fruitfulness in His name.  Let us not be choked by the cares of this world or fail to have depth of faith within our souls, but let us take the blessed food He provides in His Word and in His Body and His Blood and so be nourished well to provide for others. The desert in which we find ourselves, by which the Lord tests our faith, can seem to overwhelm us at times.  May it never cause us to act as the Israelites, who “tempted God in their hearts by demanding the food they craved.”  Let us remember that only the “heavenly bread” rained upon us by Him will save us from the temptations and emptiness of this life.  I pray He fill you with His bread of eternal life.    ******* O LORD, you give us bread to eat; yes, you provide holy seed – and we must produce fruit unto Heaven. YHWH, our trust in you increase this day; let us know it is by your hand we are fed.  And what food is ours by your grace!  Even the Body and Blood of your Son. Bread from Heaven you give us, LORD, feeding us with the flesh of Christ.  As once you gave the Israelites bread in the desert, so now you open the doors o[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-072011-W_16_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 25 - Prayer to St. James

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

O martyred apostle, first to endure the death of Christ, you have indeed drunk of His cup, fully accepting the sacrifice to which all are called, and so blazed the path of service for others to follow – pray all God’s children, all those blessed to be called as sons, as brothers of the Lord, will have the courage and strength that comes from the Spirit to lay down their lives as a ransom for many and so find a place beside our Savior Jesus in His heavenly kingdom. Pray the blood of Christ in which you shared so intimately pour upon His Church and all souls be blessed to drink thereof unto the world’s salvation.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_25_James.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 25 - St. James

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

(2Cor.4:7-15;   Ps.126:1-6;   Mt.20:20-28)    “Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus,    so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed.”   In His apostles the death and resurrection of Jesus are most clearly shown.  It is particularly their place to suffer persecution, to be “afflicted” and “crushed”, “constantly being delivered to death for Jesus’ sake”; and it is particularly their grace to show forth the glory of the resurrection.  In this selfless service of the Lord, what comes through them is the preaching of the Word; “the spirit of faith” prompts them to speak, and though it bring their death, they do not hesitate: “We believe and so we speak, knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up along with Jesus and place both us and you in His presence.”  Paul speaks here for all the apostles, and for the grace which comes to us as well through their service. The Son of Man has come “to give His life as ransom for the many,” and James truly moves quickly “to drink of the cup” of which the Lord partakes.  As the first apostle martyred for the faith, he leads all the apostles forth to such sacrifice, in which they shall all soon join him.  Once the Spirit is upon them, speaking through them, they will have the unquestioned faith necessary to confront without fear, but indeed with holy joy, the death to which each is called.  They “possess a treasure in earthen vessels” and the vessels must be broken for the “surpassing power” of God to come to fulfillment in them and through them.  Willingly do they lay down their lives once the Spirit inspires them, once their faith has been strengthened – once they have lost entirely any preoccupation with honors and attachments of this life, they come preaching and serving, facing the death the world inflicts therefore without a thought to run and hide, but knowing the joy it shall bring deep inside. “Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.”  We are taken as captives from this world, our hands tied behind us.  But upon returning from this exile, after this death we suffer, we know our mouth will be “filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing.”  So surpassing is the peace which awaits us, the troubles of this life of mission in His Name are as nothing.  Let us pray to the Lord that we shall always speak freely in His Name.  Let us pray to imitate James and all the apostles in their selfless service of Christ.  May we have always that Spirit of faith that led them forth, that in the death of our bodies, we, too, may know and reveal the life of Jesus Christ.    Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.   Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.   ******* O LORD, may the sacrifice of the apostles bring many souls into the gates of your kingdom.  YHWH,[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/St._James_2011.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 24 - Prayer to St. Sharbel Makhluf

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

O solitary prayer, alone with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament you offered your life for the salvation of souls; in penance you lived, and so a light shone even from your tomb to show the presence of Christ and His miraculous powers at work in the world – pray all souls seek perfection in prayer, the perfection of being with Jesus, of remaining always in His presence with a heart of love poured out for our fellow man. Pray even now for the salvation of all, for what else matters but that we come to dwell with you in the light of our Lord, adoring Him forever?


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_24_Sharbel_Makhluf.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 24 - Monday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Ex.14:5-18;   Ex.15:1-6;   Mt.12:38-42)   “The Lord Himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”    But the scribes and the Pharisees cannot keep still, cannot hold faith firmly in their hearts, but are anxious for a sign.  But it is “an evil and unfaithful age” that is “eager for a sign,” and so no sign will bring it salvation.  Jesus indeed will die and rise again, but it will be of no avail to those whose hearts are closed, to those who blindly fight by their own power.  Indeed, a sign was not needed by either the queen of the South or by Ninevah; the wisdom and the preaching that come from the Lord were enough for them to bend the knee and to repent.  These pagans, these foreigners, had hearts open and seeking the word of the Lord – and so shall be saved thereby.  But these scribes and Pharisees who hear the wisdom and truth pouring forth from the lips of Christ are deaf to its significance, and so shall be condemned. The Lord indeed it must be who fights for us, and not we ourselves.  We must sing with Moses, “My strength and my courage is the Lord, and He has been my savior.”  Knowing we can do nothing by our own power, let us shout to our God, “Your right hand, O Lord, has shattered the enemy.”  Is it Moses’ staff and “hand outstretched” which part the Red Sea, or is it indeed the Lord’s power?  Is it we who save ourselves from the pursuit of sin marching like Pharaoh’s army against us, or is it God who hurls “Pharaoh’s chariots and army… into the sea”? “Fear not!  Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the Lord will win for you today,” brothers and sisters.  As He saved the Israelites from the relentless pursuit of the Egyptians, so He will save your soul from the onslaught of sin upon your soul.  You must but trust in Him.  Take not refuge in signs and wonders, which you might forget upon their passing, but be still and wait for the Lord, listening for His voice, remaining steady in the faith He instills in your heart, and you will not be shaken by the temptations and distractions and fears brought by the world and its blinded mind.  “They sank into the depths of the sea like a stone,” Scripture tells us: so it will be with your sins and the temptations which surround you.  “These Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again.”  Have but faith in your hearts.   Jesus, may we simply know that you are with us and follow in your footsteps each day. Fight for us, O Lord, for the battle is always yours.   ******* O LORD, greater even than Moses is your Son Jesus Christ; should we not listen to Him and reform our lives? YHWH, Jesus has drowned our sins in the sea, buried them in the belly of the earth, and we have been raised up with Him, saved from the pursuit of evil.  In glory is He covere[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-071811-M_16_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 23 - Prayer to St. Bridget

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

O seer of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the scourges and the nails, of the blows and mockery He endured, of the blood which covered His face and all His skin… O you who have witnessed all His suffering and sought so diligently to share in it with Him – pray that we who are so blind to the pain and anguish our Savior bore under the weight of the Cross we build by our sin may by His grace have our eyes opened, and so turn from our own condemnation to the blood of redemption He has shed for our sakes and take refuge in the penance that leads all souls to the kingdom.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_23_Bridget.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 23 - Sunday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

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

 (Ws.12:13,16-19;   Ps.86:5-6,9-10,15-16;   Rom.8:26-27;   Mt.13:24-43)   “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”   Such are the Lord’s instructions to the harvesters, His angels that come “at the end of the age,” when “just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,” so will “all who cause others to sin and all evildoers” be thrown “into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”  Though the Lord is a God “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity”; though He is “good and forgiving… attend[ing] to the sound of [our] pleading” and “permit[ting] repentance for our sins” – though while the grass grows He is patient and waits for the weeds which have been sown to turn to Him, yet the time of harvest shall come: the time to judge the living and the dead.  And so it is that the One who is “lenient toward all” shall reveal to all that indeed He does “show [His] might when the perfection of [His] power is disbelieved.”  The obstinate of heart shall not remain forever; sin must be burnt with fire, and so those who cling to it and its sower, the evil one. There is time.  There is time and He who has “the cure of all” reveals indeed that “the just must be kind.”  But the end presses on; it is upon us.  And the time and lenience granted those who toil vainly for the evil one will but serve to prove their deserving of the Lord’s inevitable justice.  They will but harden themselves further, to their own perfection of sin, meriting in the end the undeniable punishment of the loving and just One. And the same is true of the just themselves.  The time given by our gracious God, though it seem troublesome for the weeds of sin that prick our hearts, is but a means of proving, is but a refinement of the perfection of our God’s love within us.  And so we must be patient as the tree does grow, acceptant of the pains it brings.  And so we must but watch as the leaven rises, and we with it come to Christ.  Yes, “the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit.”  Take confidence in this.  Just as the Lord knows the path to perdition the wicked sow within their souls, so He knows clearly the hope we have for heaven.  And all shall reach their perfection in Him. Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt. Music: "Salvation Army" from Bearing the Birth Pangs, tenth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. ******* O LORD, in your greatness have mercy on our souls and let us grow unto your kingdom.  YHWH, you are all good [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-071711-Su_16_OT_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 22 - Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O woman of great love whose heart burned with desire for the Lord, whose soul thirsted for the living God… the tears you cried became the source of the greatest joy as from your sins the Christ released you, as your eyes beheld your blessed Teacher – pray for us this day, O Mary, that our hearts shall be set aflame with faith and love as we hear the news you bring us: that our Lord is no longer in the tomb, that He lives and so we with Him, that He is ascending to the Father and we shall join Him there. O pray His love dispel the coldness of our hearts that we shall be like you, remaining with Him forever.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_22_Mary_Magdalene.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene

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

(Sg.3:1-4 or 2Cor.5:14-17;   Ps.63:2-6,8-9;   Jn.20:1-2,11-18) "Whom are you looking for?" Let us stand with Mary Magdalene at the tomb of our risen Lord. Let us weep a little that our hearts might bleed with her same love, and so our eyes be opened to see Jesus standing before us. Let us hear Him call us by name. O let us search night and day for our God, thirsting for Him “like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.” Let us know that without Him we are lost in darkness, empty as the tomb. May it be “the love of Christ [that] impels us” further outside of ourselves and toward the Lord, allowing nothing to impede our progress as we pass every watchman, as we leave even our senses behind to become one with our lover, partaking of “the riches of [His] banquet.” Let us “regard no one according to the flesh anymore,” not even the Christ, but release His body from our grasp that He might ascend to Heaven and we follow in His wake. A “new creation” let us be with a heart burning with love, a love that transcends all the world and discovers our Lord within. In the shadow of [His] wings [we] shout for joy,” declaring His glory to all, for He looks upon our tears, upon every heart longing for His presence, and our desire He does not disappoint.   Written, read, and produced by James Kurt. Music - "Cry Mercy," from Remove the Mask of Lies, second album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_22_-_Mary_Magdalene.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 21 - Prayer to St. Lawrence of Brindisi

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

O great preacher of the Word of God, you who were entrusted with this angelic office to bring light to Christian minds and dispel the darkness of sin and error – pray all souls this day may be blessed with hearing the Word of God you spoke so well, that all hearts might turn in faith to the Lord purged by its cleansing fire. O blessed teacher, pray men of every tongue be told of the truth, that all might live by the Spirit of God in grace, that the renewal of the Church and every soul might be made complete and the ranks of the New Jerusalem be filled to overflowing.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_21_Lawrence_of_Brindisi.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 21 - Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Ex.11:10-12:14;   Ps.116:12-13,15-18;   Mt.12:1-8)   “The Son of Man is indeed the Lord of the sabbath.”   “There is something greater than the temple here,” greater than the Passover and all the feasts of the Lord, greater than the Law… for Jesus and His mercy subsume all these by His holy sacrifice, by His very presence amongst us.  And now on the new sabbath day, the words of the psalmist are fulfilled: “The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord,” as we offer now even daily the “sacrifice of thanksgiving” – the Holy Eucharist – as each day becomes a “memorial feast” for us.  Here we remember and partake of the Lamb “without blemish”; here the blood of the firstborn Son slaughtered for our sakes is applied to the temples our bodies become by its anointing, by our raising of the cup.  And heeding Christ’s words to be on watch, we are made ever ready for flight from this world of sin and into the arms of our God. It is an ominous night, that first Passover.  The darkness upon the land, the cries of mothers for their firstborn sons foreshadows the horror of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, and the piercing of our consciences which comes thereby.  By His sacrifice we cry for our sins; but by this death are we released from bondage to that same sin.  By it His mercy is poured upon us from age to age until the end of all time.  For now the Passover is made complete; now the sacrifice is truly whole.  And all of the old is made new as it is brought to fulfillment in the only Son. “You have loosed my bonds,” O Lord.  Each day you prepare my soul for flight from this world by the cup of thanksgiving, the sharing in your sacrifice, you offer to us each day at the hands of your priests.  As it is raised and as we “call upon the name of the Lord,” you come to us with your merciful anointing, and all guilt we may have incurred is cleansed thereby.  O Lord of the Sabbath, O Son of the Most High, O Temple of God and perfection of the Law, see the Lamb we eat at your Command; see the blood which marks our houses, and pass over us in the Day of Judgment – bring us freely into the celebration of your eternal feast in heaven. As we come to the altar today, brothers and sisters, let us remember the merciful sacrifice the Lord has made for our blessed protection and fulfillment of the hunger we have for His presence.  Freely let us partake now of His Body and Blood and so become one with Him who is Lord of all and master of our souls.  And let us share His merciful love with the waiting world.  Let us enter now the eternal Sabbath.   **[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-071511-F_15_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 20 - Prayer to St. Apollinaris

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O suffering shepherd severely persecuted for your work of evangelization, you ever continued to preach the faith and convert multitudes despite all the tortures the ravenous beasts of this earth could muster; a true apostle you proved to be, martyred even as Christ’s Twelve – how shall we find a measure of your conviction, of your persistence in spreading the Gospel of the Lord? Pray for us, blessed shepherd, that we who are weak of will and so fearful of the slightest disturbance to our comfort and ease shall learn by God’s grace to give our lives as freely as you in the service of man’s salvation.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_20_Apollinaris.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 20 - Thursday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ex.3:11-20;   Ps.105:1,5,8-9,24-27;   Mt.11:28-30)   “My yoke is easy and my burden light.”   I AM has come and led His people “up out of the misery of Egypt,” up out of slavery.  The heavy yoke of sin He breaks from our necks, and in its place we find His gentle presence. How this world can make us weary!  How the Israelites suffered under the iron hand of the Pharaoh.  But the Lord says to them, “I am concerned about you and about the way you are being treated in Egypt.”  And He says to us the same: “Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.”  To Moses as proof of His presence He even gives His NAME, the silent WORD – “YHWH” – which speaks volumes of His being here and everywhere always: “I AM WHO AM.”  That gentle, all-present Spirit, that WORD that is Life, is made known to us now in Jesus, the WORD made flesh, He who is “gentle and humble of heart.”  And so salvation is fulfilled: release from slavery ultimately comes in the gentle yoke of the Son of God.  Let us place it upon our shoulders. I repeat, this world can be burdensome.  As it works its way into our hearts and souls, it brings terrible chains which bind us.  As the culture of death which surrounds us in this land of exile finds inroads into our homes and penetrates our minds, it can bring a slavish weight to bear.  But though the prince of this world and his subjects might harden their hearts against the emancipating Word of God, though they might refuse to allow us to worship our God freely and with all our beings and belongings… yet the Lord “remembers forever His covenant”; from age to age His word is true.  And He shall not be lacking for “wondrous deeds,” “portents,” and “judgments” to assure His people’s freedom, to assure their coming gently and wholly into His sacred presence. “I will stretch out my hand,” the Lord tells us.  He will stretch forth His hand and break the yoke from our backs with a word from His mouth.  And rest shall be ours.  Eternal rest in His sacred presence, in the light of His holy face, is inevitably ours as we follow in His humble ways.  Come, brothers and sisters.  Fear not Pharaoh.  The evil upon us is passing away; only what is real, only what is of His Word – only I AM shall remain.  Take His yoke upon you, and be led gently forth.   ******* O LORD, by your NAME and by the Cross we are unburdened of words, unburdened of thoughts and fears – let us walk with you! YHWH, our burden you wish to remove, for our plight in this world you see, and take pity.  And so[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-071411-Th_15_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 19 - Wednesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ex.3:1-6,9-12;   Ps.103:1-4,6-8;   Mt.11:25-27)   “An angel of the Lord appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush.”   The Lord appears to Moses.  “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob,” reveals Himself on Horeb, the mountain of God.  He comes to him who, as we are told elsewhere, is the humblest of men, calling him – much as He will later call Peter, James, and John from their nets to be fishers of men – from “leading the flock across the desert” to lead His people out of slavery, out of Egypt, through the desert and to the Promised Land. In our gospel, Jesus tells us that the Father reveals Himself “to the merest children,” not to “the learned and the clever.”  And so He has come here to Moses, a man whose speech is weak but whose heart is indeed humble as a child, to call him to be the greatest, most godly of men, and to this great task set before him.  Like John the Baptist after him – who will be the greatest of men born of woman – he is entirely deferential to the Lord.  Here he hides his face, “afraid to look at God,” and questions sincerely: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?”  Such as these the Lord calls; to such as these He reveals Himself.  These are they “to whom the Son wishes to reveal” the Father. “Merest children.”  Only to these does the Lord reveal Himself.  Only to those whose hearts are pure, who take no pride in themselves.  In a word, “humble” must we be.  “He has made known His ways to Moses, and His deeds to the children of Israel.”  To them He will show that “the Lord secures justice and the rights of all the oppressed.”  And as their lives are redeemed from destruction, they will “bless His holy name.”  Of the kindness of the Lord the earth is filled, but only those who come as children before Him will know “all His benefits.”  Only those who humble themselves before Him will be raised up to see His glory and live in the light of His presence. O Jesus, we pray that you will reveal the Father to us.  We pray that our hearts will be circumcised and that we will ever bow before the glory that is God.  Bring the fire of the Holy Spirit upon us to purge all our iniquity and prepare us to hear your voice, O Word of God.  Call us forth to do your will and lead us ever to your holy mountain, that always we might be in your presence, that forever we might worship you in spirit and in truth, as merest children, as sons and daughters of your eternal light.  May we never be consumed by sin or the vestig[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-071311-W_15_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 18 - Prayer to St. Camillus de Lellis

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O servant of the sick whose compassionate heart melted at the sight of every suffering soul, who constantly visited Christ as He lay in hospital… how deep was your charity, how complete your love and dedication to the poor – pray that we too shall leave the cares of the world behind and have only concern for serving Christ and our fellow man; pray the hard hearts of this age will be saved by the Lord’s grace even as they look upon Him in the face of those in need. How shall we match your stature, which was so like Jesus’ own; how shall we find perfect charity, taking the Lord into our homes? Pray our hearts be set on Him alone.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_18_Camillus_de_Lellis.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 18 - Tuesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ex.2:1-15;   Ps.69:3,14,30-31,33-34;   Mt.11:20-24)   “I drew him out of the water.”   Moses was drawn from “the watery depths” by Pharaoh’s daughter and nursed by his own mother.  Into the river all male Hebrew children were ordered cast, but by the providential hand of God, this “Moses” is saved.  And it is through him his people shall be drawn out from amongst the Egyptians and the slavery put upon them; and it is by the Law spoken through him that those who believe are kept from “the abysmal swamp where there is no foothold,” that one finds release from the bonds of sin. But now Moses’ zealous concern for his people has caused him to slay an Egyptian, so now he must flee from the face of Pharaoh who seeks to kill him for his sin.  And what irony is there that having fought one day for a Hebrew oppressed by an Egyptian, the next day he finds two Hebrews fighting!  And what apparent lack of appreciation for his concern for their plight – he who has no fear of being enslaved, living in Pharaoh’s palace as he does – do the Hebrews show.  How similar is this lack of appreciation to the cities which Jesus reproaches for “their failure to reform” at His preaching and at the miracles He has worked among them.  Here is an even greater than Moses, the very Son of God, coming to heal them of all their ills and bring them eternal salvation, but they refuse even to turn from their sins that they might find such blessing.  What hope is there for them?  If the power of God cannot convince them, then indeed the flood shall overwhelm them and they “shall go down to the realm of death,” for they refuse to be drawn up out of their sins. Oh that this not be said of us, brothers and sisters!  We indeed have been drawn out of the water.  Baptized by the Spirit who moves upon the waters and nourished at the breast of holy Mother Church, eating the Lord’s own Body and Blood and ever finding forgiveness for our sins by his priests’ commission, we have been graced with all we need to be led from the darkness of this world, from the abysmal swamp where there is no foothold.  We must be ever mindful not to slip back into the watery mire of sin to which this world would draw us and lose the blessing the Lord has provided us to maintain us for the day of judgment.  Great miracles the Lord has worked in us; great miracles He works for us this day.  Let us never fail to reform our lives and conform ourselves to His grace.  Our own death sentence has been removed, washed from us by the[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-071211Tu_15_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 17 - Monday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Ex.1:8-14,22;   Ps.124:1-8;   Mt.10:34-11:1)   “The more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread.”   The Israelites lived and worked side by side with the Egyptians for some four hundred years; they had virtually become members of the same household.  But jealousy overcame a “new king” of Egypt, who determined “to oppress them with forced labor,” hoping to break their will as well as their backs.  But they only grew stronger because, as our psalm tells us so vividly, the Lord was with them.  “Had not the Lord been with us… when men rose up against us, then would they have swallowed us alive.”  And, quite literally, “then would the waters have overwhelmed” them, for it was commanded that their newborn males be thrown into the river.  But the Lord was with them, and through all this oppression they only grew stronger. The Israelites stand as an example for our own faith and its struggle with the world today.  Jesus tells us in our gospel that peace shall not be found with the earth, and even those of our own flesh, by following His call.  Indeed, He has come, “in short, to make a man’s enemies those of His own household.”  How true this was for the first Christians, all of whom were Jews, and all of whom would find resistance and even persecution for following this way in which Jesus calls us.  Division among the family must have been common.  But it is no less true today that a man who truly seeks to follow the way of the Lord will meet with the same resistance, even from those who profess to be Catholic and Christian (even from within himself), because the same jealousy the Egyptians had toward the Israelites exists now, and always will, and the same fears the Jews had of Christ also will not easily pass away.  The world is ever in opposition to the cross, yet knowing this, Jesus emphasizes that “he who will not take up his cross and come after [Him] is not worthy of [Him].”  We are eternally called to turn from the world, in all its forms, and lay down our lives and our wills. But we are not alone in this mission to overcome the sins of the world.  As the Lord was with the Israelites, He is certainly with us.  Following Him so closely, it cannot but be that He is near at our sides.  And not only He and His Spirit but His people as well are present to us in this struggle we undertake.  We do have brothers and sisters in the struggle; there are many who give us “a cup of cold water” along the way.  Still the Lord [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-071513-M_15_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 16 - Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O Mother of contemplation who heard the Word of God and kept it, pondering its wonder in your heart, you who were so faithful to His call and remain ever in His presence – how shall we know our Lord if you do not pray for us, if you do not intercede for souls so blinded by the distractions and temptations of a fallen world? Our prayers are with you, dear Mother, who pray as one with our dear Lord, who are so one with Him in body and soul, who stand at His side this day in the kingdom of Heaven… There on His holy mountain help us to make our home.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_16_Our_Lady_of_Mt_Carmel.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 16 - Sunday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

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

 (Is.55:10-11;   Ps.65:10-14,Lk.8:8;   Rom.8:18-23;   Mt.13:1-23)   “The seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit.”   Comes the Word of God.  To our eyes, to our ears.  A seed sown within our hearts.  May it find rich soil in which to grow, that we might know “the redemption of our bodies.” “The rain and the snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth… so shall [God’s] word be that goes forth from [His] mouth.”  For indeed it makes the earth “fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats”: it nourishes the expectant soul and provides seed for its increased growth.  All is given life by the Word of God. What Isaiah prophesies, David sings – “You prepared the land: drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods, softening it with showers, blessing its yield.”  And by this grace which falls from heaven, consuming the manna which is its fruit, His children know the “bounty” of the Lord; for His “paths overflow with a rich harvest.”  Hardly can we contain the blessings of “the valleys blanketed with grain.” Jesus has come.  The Lord has “visited the land and watered it.”  The grace of God is in our midst in heavenly flesh and blood.  And we are left dumb; for the Word of God indeed silences our tongue.  What can we say as we see His fields coming to life?  How can we speak of the beauty of a land bathed in light?  Deeply into our souls His words do fall, and we awaken, we arise as His children of light, beginning now to understand the blessing at our fingertips, the redemption we do find in the Body and Blood of Christ.  And though we “groan within ourselves,” we know these are the “labor pains” of growth.  For in this cleansing rain purging our hearts we come to be “set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” What a wonderful word we have from our Lord: “Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.”  What a promise He makes to those who gaze upon that which the prophets longed to possess: “To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich.”  And so, what confidence we who are granted “knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” should have in His grace-filled Spirit; and what fruit we should thus bear, even to life everlasting. Wr[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-071011-Su_15_OT_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 15 - Prayer to St. Bonaventure

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O good doctor who taught the way to God by death to things outside the Cross, by resting with Christ in the tomb that we might pass from this world to the Father – pray our passions indeed be silenced that the fire of God will carry our soul to Him who is beyond the operations of our mind; pray our surrender to Him may be complete and the Holy Spirit lead us in loving flame to the kingdom. Where is the longing of our soul for God, and who will assist us on the journey? Speak to our hearts this day, good teacher, from your place in His radiant presence.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_15_Bonaventure.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 15 - Saturday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.49:29-32,50:15-24;   Ps.105:1-4,6-7,33;   Mt.10:24-33)   “Whoever acknowledges me before men I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”   Joseph does well in acknowledging God before his brothers, as, refusing to take revenge on them, he states of his suffering that “God meant it for good.”  He thus proves himself a servant of the Lord; realizing that “no pupil outranks his teacher, no slave his master,” he asks, “Can I take the place of God?” and so simultaneously accepts the scourgings that come with being a servant of his “father’s God.”  Indeed, further applying the Lord’s words to the apostles in our gospel to Joseph, we know that it has been his proclaiming before the world, before Pharaoh himself, the dreams the Lord has spoken to him in the secret of his room that has brought Joseph to this position of eminence wherein he can so dutifully and kindly provide for “the survival of many people.”  And so, as he prepares to die, as this sparrow falls – even as his father before him “drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was taken to his kindred” – it is with confidence the Lord will acknowledge him before the Father of all that his life ends, as well as with the faith that his children shall be blessed and come into the land promised them by Him who holds both body and soul in His all-powerful hands. And what of our own witness?  Have we the forgiveness of Joseph, which is the forgiveness of God?  Do we “seek to serve Him constantly” and “proclaim all His wondrous deeds,” as our psalmist encourages us today?  Are we true pupils of this great teacher, faithful to our call to live and to die in His light?  Or are we afraid for the body and judging by the dictates of this earthly life? These are questions we must ask ourselves each day, for each day and at every moment our souls are required of us, lest we die for want of the Bread which comes to us by His holy hands.  The Lord holds our life’s breath in His hand and “every hair of [our] head has been counted” by Him, so indeed we should fear Him.  But that fear is born and finds recompense in love; the fear that comes from the world and its power brings only death to our bodies and souls.  Let us simply recognize the truth of His presence and His power to all we meet, to all for whom we are responsible, and our salvation and the blessing of ou[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070911-Sa_14_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 14 - Friday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.46:1-7,28-30;   Ps.37:3-4,18-19,27-28,39-40;   Mt.10:16-23)   “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation.”   We are as exiles in this world.  Indeed, the Lord sends us forth “like sheep among wolves.”  In Egypt must we dwell for a time, until we are prepared for the coming of Christ. But here He meets us.  Here He weeps over us and so enables us to face the death which is upon us, which indeed surrounds us in this foreign land.  Even in our trials, in all our persecutions, He is there: He suffers with us, and we with Him.  And His Spirit is very present to lead us; it burns in our hearts to guide us, giving us the words we must speak, assuring us that Jesus is with us in all we do. As Israel sets forth for Egypt, he is fearful.  But he calls upon the Lord in his sacrifices, and in vision once again God comes to him, providing His assurance, His continued blessing.  David’s psalm speaks so well of the protection and blessing which is ours in this land of exile: “The Lord watches over the lives of the wholehearted; their inheritance lasts forever.  The salvation of the just is from the Lord; He is their refuge in time of distress.”  Yes, He is our refuge in this land where we walk as exiles, in this world which would persecute the Word of God, pursuing it to kill it, to destroy it.  But it is even in Egypt that a great nation shall be made of Israel; here, even under slavery, the people of God shall multiply and prosper.  And so it is with us who follow Jesus: here in this world of persecution we are refined and made whole, as individuals and as a people; here under the threat of death we come to life, for His gentle yoke is upon us, and in Him we find refuge and even joy in all our sufferings.  By undergoing persecution in His Name, we draw so very close to Him; and laying down our lives we find the great love which is without end. Jesus speaks to us; the Spirit is here with us.  There is no need to fear.  “Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and enjoy security.”  Have faith in the word He speaks to your hearts and be assured that He watches over you here in this land of exile, not only protecting you from the wolves that surround you, but even increasing your blessings all the while.  Your home in heaven is assured; see that Jesus is alive now and[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070811F_14_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 13 - Prayer to St. Henry

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

O you who were king and emperor yet set your sights on the reign of Heaven and the reform and upbuilding of the Church on earth, who dedicated yourself to the Lord of all and service of His apostles – pray our cares and responsibilities will not distract us from remembrance of our God and His mercy but that we shall indeed dedicate these and all our lives into the hands of our Savior, that He might dispose of them and us as He sees fit. Pray our kingdom not be of this earth but of Heaven and that we shall make our home at the foot of the throne of the Almighty.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_13_Henry.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 13 - Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.44:18-21,23-29,45:1-5;   Ps.105:5,16-21;   Mt.10:7-15)   “It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.”   Remarkable words from the mouth of Joseph as the brothers who sold him into slavery in Egypt stand dumbfounded before him, fearing indeed for their own lives.  And indeed Joseph may have been justified to command the ending of their lives to avenge his treatment at their hands.  But the Lord has looked with favor upon him who had been “bound with chains,” raising him up to be lord of Pharaoh’s house and “ruler of all his possessions,” and Joseph rightfully attributes such blessing to God and sees His hand at work in all this matter.  Here is the great example of trust in God’s providential care.  And Joseph has but a deep love for his brothers, and will now care for their lives and that of his father. The same trust in God’s providence is asked of the disciples in our gospel.  Jesus sends them forth with “no traveling bag, no change of shirt, no sandals, no walking staff,” telling them, “Provide yourselves with neither gold nor silver nor copper in your belts”: “the workman, after all, is worth his keep,” and God will always provide for those who serve Him. Certainly a great lesson is in this for all of us.  Do we have such trust in God?  Joseph says that it is God who has, in effect, sold him into slavery that he might later be made a leader in Egypt and save his family from famine, this despite the fact that his own brothers have treated him with such disdain.  Do we have such a blessed view of the trials which come our way?  Can we see them as the hand of God working, and working for the good?  Can we forgive so beautifully those by whom the trials come?  Have we such vision that sees the hand of God at work in all things?  “All things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose,” Paul tells us elsewhere (Rm.8:28).  Can we give all things which happen to us to God and trust that His will shall be done, is done, in them all? Where is our trust?  Is it in money and the things of this world?  Do we think that these things will provide for us, will make us happy, will keep us satisfied – are these our gods?  Or do we seek and accept the reign of God which the Lord tell[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070711-Th_14_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 12 - Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Gn.41:55-57,42:5-7,17-24;   Ps.33:2-3,10-11,18-19,22;   Mt.10:1-7)   “The eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him.”   In our gospel, Jesus commissions the twelve apostles to go forth after “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” in order “to expel unclean spirits and cure sickness and disease of every kind” and bring His people into “the reign of God.”  In our first reading, we see that “famine had gripped the whole world,” and the lost and hungry sheep of Israel, the sons of Jacob themselves come to Egypt and their forsaken brother Joseph to find food, to find healing for their ills.  They have sinned terribly against Joseph, and against God, by selling their younger brother into slavery because of their jealousy of him.  Now that God has favored him who was so forsaken, he stands above them with their very lives in his hands, holding not only their food as procurator of Egypt, but also with the power to cast them into prison, or to release them. Do we see the similarity between Joseph and Jesus?  Jesus is the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Savior of the nation of Israel and, in the flesh, one of their own – their favored Son.  And He who will be forsaken and sold to the Romans for crucifixion, He whose elder brothers will betray Him into the power of this world, is He who holds their, and our, very lives in His hands.  It is when He opens His hands that they are fed; when He says the word, they, and we, are cast into prison – or released.  By His word all demons are expelled and all infirmities healed.  He indeed has every right to cast our souls into everlasting prison and torment; but, like Joseph, He takes pity on those who have wounded Him: like Joseph, we know that “He wept.” But His weeping does not come automatically.  Just as with Joseph, it is prompted by the repentance of His brothers, who have so despised him but now recognize their sin and bewail it to the Lord.  His forgiveness and His healing – His salvation – come to those who in like manner “fear Him.”  Upon these the Lord looks with pity.  With these Jesus Himself cries.  For these the Lord sends forth His apostles, to heal them and call them into the reign of God.  As for the repentant, He will indeed “deliver them from death and preserve [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070611-W_14_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 11 - Prayer to St. Benedict

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

O monastic father who led the way into the desert where the Lord speaks to men’s hearts, where He calls souls to perfect worship, putting Christ before all else and treating others as He Himself… O you who prayed most perfectly, you who knew God so intimately – pray that our distracted minds will somehow be conformed to listening for His voice and answering His call to serve Him with all our lives. Help us, dear brother, dear father in the faith, to find our dwelling place in the kingdom, to live so completely according to God’s Word, that with great fervor, with overflowing love, we may accomplish His will and join you in His presence.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_11_Benedict.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 11 - Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Gn.32:23-33;   Ps.17:1-3,6-8,15;   Mt.9:32-38)   “You test my heart, searching it in the night.”   “You have contended with divine and human beings,” the angel says of Jacob; and so he receives his new name, Israel: “he strives with God”.  Such striving with the Lord in this night which has set upon the earth is our lot in life.  May we prevail upon Him as has Jacob. As he is about to reenter the Promised Land after fourteen years away, fearful for what awaits – particularly in the face of the potential anger of his brother Esau, whose birthright and blessing he has assumed – Jacob sets himself apart from all things and alone prepares to confront the Lord.  We are told he wrestles all the night with a “man,” for indeed as such does God appear to him through His messenger.  In contending with the Lord, Jacob remains strong and earns the blessing of his new name.  He is a worthy combatant in the struggle to know God in this life, and so, “on waking” the next morning, as he goes forth at dawn, he is “content” in God’s presence; he is prepared for any danger which lies before him.  And reconciliation with Esau he shall find.  And the father of the Israelites he has become. How much easier it is for us to behold the face of God, to come to know Him whom our souls long to see, now that Christ has come.  And yet the struggle goes on; it is not over, but rather finds a certain intensification through clarification in the shadow of the cross.  We see in our gospel how Jesus Himself struggles.  His children are “like sheep without a shepherd,” “lying prostrate from exhaustion,” and He must become exhausted as they, as He tours their towns, constantly teaching and preaching and healing all their infirmities – and all this while being accused of doing the work of “the prince of demons” by those in the role of leaders.  The struggle Jesus undergoes is most evident in His entreaty to His disciples: “Beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather His harvest.”  Jesus desperately needs assistance. The Lord shall find assistance in His apostles; they, too, shall carry the cross of Christ, laying down their lives for the building up of the Church.  But all of us a[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070511-Tu_14_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 10 - Monday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Gn.28:10-22;   Ps.91:1-4,14-15;   Mt.9:18-26)   “Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go.”   What the Lord says here to Jacob, He says indeed to all of us:  He will protect us on our journey; let us but take refuge in Him.  Our dearest Jesus is the abode of God, and in Him our souls are safe. As Jacob sets forth alone from the land of Canaan, he fears that he shall not return to this place of His promised inheritance.  But the Lord comes to him in a dream to stand “beside him” and assure him that the promise is firm: “I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.”  With these words of encouragement and the vision of heaven’s ladder still in his mind, Jacob cries out in “solemn wonder” of that place in which the Lord revealed Himself to His servant.  He sets up a memorial stone, thereby to mark “God’s abode.” Our psalm today sings of the Lord’s protection upon those who trust in Him.  He answers our call in distress, rescues us from “the snare of the fowler,” and gives us refuge.  Thus we “dwell in the shelter of the Most High,” abiding in His shadow, covered by His wings of blessed protection.  “Because he clings to me, I will deliver him,” says our psalmist in the voice of the Lord; and indeed we know that trusting in Him is our salvation. And in our gospel we discover where such refuge lies; we find Him who is the true house of God, and we are shown the faith which is necessary to make our home there.  What Jesus says to the woman, He says to His whole Church: “Courage, daughter!  Your faith has restored you to health.”  Her great faith told her she needed but to “touch his cloak,” but to press up against the walls of the temple that is Christ to find healing.  And the synagogue leader states simply and clearly his faith in the Lord: “My daughter has just died.  Please come and lay your hand on her and she will come back to life.”  Yes, indeed the protection of the Lord, the refuge and strength He is to us in our faith, reaches beyond the grave. Our own journeys can be arduous, brothers and sisters.  At times it can seem as if the Lord is leaving us, as if He is far away.  Faith.  [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070411-M_14_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 9 - Prayer to St. Augustine Zhoa Rong and Companions

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O righteous band of martyrs united by faith in Christ and His Church in a nation of religious oppression: children and grandparents, workers and teachers, lay and ordained, native and foreign-born… all as one you gave your lives, led by your convictions – pray the Word of the Lord come to a land so cold to conversion, to the love and worship of Jesus, all men’s Savior. Pray the Holy Spirit fall like purging and redeeming fire upon every soul in the country where you so honorably died; pray His power spread and bring renewal upon the face of all the earth.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_9_Augustine_Zhao_Rong_and_Companions.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 9 - Sunday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

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

 (Zec.9:9-10;   Ps.145:1-2,8-11,13-14;   Rom.8:9,11-13;   Mt.11:25-30)   “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”   A remarkable confluence of Scripture today, extolling the “great kindness” of our King, who comes to us “meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass,” and inviting us to take refuge in Him and in His blessed humility. Yes, upon a beast of burden, upon the young offspring of a beast of burden comes He who bears the burden of all our sins.  Not on horse or in chariot does He come, for horse and chariot He casts into the sea: by Him “the warrior’s bow shall be banished, and He shall proclaim peace to the nations.”  It is not the rich and powerful of this world He dies for, it is not their stead in which He stands, for the Lord has “hidden these things from the wise and the learned” of this world and “revealed them to little ones.”  This we see in the “little one” His Son has become.  This we find when we imitate His sacrifice. David’s psalm echoes the Lord’s own words – “The Lord lifts up all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down” – and Paul says the same when he declares, “The one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through His Spirit that dwells in you.”  For what is it to “put to death the deeds of the body,” that by the Spirit we may live, but to humble ourselves in the sight of God, to bow down before God and men and bear His light burden?  For though we be crushed by the weight of labor and persecution in Jesus’ name, yet we live eternally in “His dominion [which] shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.” The Lord Jesus states clearly, “I am meek and humble of heart,” and like Him, and like His Father, we are called to be.  And for the grace of Him who is “compassionate toward all His works” we should “rejoice heartily” with our Savior, who exclaims today, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth”; for all His works “give [Him] thanks” and “[His] faithful ones bless [Him]” for His f[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070311-Su_14_OT_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 8 - Saturday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Gn.27:1-5,15-29;   Ps.135:1-6;   Mt.9:14-17)   “Pour new wine into new wineskins, and in that way both are preserved.”   “Jacob.”  The name means “the supplanter”.  Here he supplants his twin brother, Esau, whose name means “red earth”.  Though born second, Jacob receives the blessing of the firstborn.  Of what significance is this supplanting, is this blessing of Jacob, who is to be “Israel”, and from whom the twelve tribes shall proceed?  Far more than some sibling rivalry, it shows the coming of the New Covenant of the spirit which shall supplant the Old of the flesh. It is not the will of Isaac to bless Jacob; his love is for Esau – who before this time has forfeited his birthright to Jacob in order to feed his hungry belly.  But Isaac is blind.  He is blind because he, too, is a natural man, a man of the flesh seeking to feed his belly.  And so the Lord inspires Rebekah to intercede, to see that His will is accomplished.  Notice please the words of Isaac when Jacob comes to him dressed in the hairy skin of a beast and the clothes of Esau: “Although the voice is Jacob’s, the hands are Esau’s.”  Indeed, the voice is of the spirit; the skin he feels is of the flesh.  And the Word must go to the word, the Spirit to the spirit; and so it is Jacob who must receive the blessing, despite the will of Isaac.  And how is Isaac brought to do the Father’s will?  He is deceived by his own preoccupation with the flesh, with the old wineskin.  Upon eating his fill, and drinking his fill of the old wine, he is blinded further.  And smelling the clothes of Esau he is inspired to pronounce his blessing.  But what Esau possesses in his clothes, Jacob holds in his spirit – this fragrance is that which rises to the nostrils of the Lord.  And it is His will which must be done.  He chooses the spiritual man. And in our gospel, too, we see the blindness of the natural man in his preoccupation with the flesh.  John’s disciples, like the Pharisees – whose stomachs growl from fasts in which they find no blessing – looked jealously upon the disciples of Jesus, who do no[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070211-Sa_13_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 7 - Friday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Gn.23:1-4,19,24:1-8,62-67;   Ps.106:1-5;   Mt.9:9-13)  “In his love for [Rebekah] Isaac found solace after the death of his mother Sarah.” And of this love Jacob shall be born; and from him shall come the twelve tribes of Israel, who shall people the earth as the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. Sarah had died and “Abraham had now reached a ripe old age.”  Now conscious of his mortality, Abraham sets his sights firmly on his son and his coming progeny.  Now with great resolve he sets to seek a wife for Isaac, telling his servant as he sends him to his people: the Lord “will send His messenger before you, and you will obtain a wife for my son there.”  And Abraham’s faith in God’s promise is rewarded, as the servant is led directly to Rebekah.  And how inspired is the meeting of Isaac and Rebekah.  We are told they are both looking about for one another, and seem to recognize each other immediately, even from a great distance.  Indeed, they are brought together by God to fulfill His promise to Abraham. Notice in our gospel that Jesus seems to be looking around as well: “As Jesus moved about, He saw a man named Matthew at his post where taxes are collected.”  Like Abraham, Jesus, too, is concerned for His progeny, for those who will follow Him – those who will bring His promise of salvation forth when He has returned to the Father.  And He chooses Matthew as an apostle to follow Him.  And notice Matthew’s response to Jesus’ call: “Matthew got up and followed Him.”  It seems here, too, the love is mutual, that Matthew, too, has been looking about for the Lord, and that the two are drawn together by the Father to ensure the fulfillment of the covenant with His Son.  And Jesus, who has just come from public forgiveness of sin, seems not so much to be speaking to the Pharisees’ complaining of His eating with sinners, as to Matthew, whom He’s calling to carry out His mission of teaching and healing, when He says: “I have come to call, not the self-righteous, but sinners.” The word goes forth.  The promise is sure.  It comes to us ev[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-070111-F_13_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 6 - Prayer to St. Maria Goretti

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O perpetual virgin who defended your purity even with your life and so earned the crown of martyrdom at a tender age… O bride of Christ who prayed even for your murderer and so served to inspire his conversion – pray for us, too, dear child; pray the lust and violence so prevalent in this world of sin, and in our own hearts, be purged from our midst that we, too, might turn to Jesus and find the purity He offers. O pray innocence and chastity overtake this age and all souls stand in the light of Christ.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_6_Maria_Goretti.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 6 - Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Gn.22:1-19;   Ps.115:1-6,8-9;   Mt.9:1-8)   “God put Abraham to the test.”   And so is his faith in the living God made known.  And so we see to what faith and obedience we are called.  All that we hold back from the Lord, all that is due our God – and our neighbor – we must give without hesitation at the voice of His command. In Leviticus 5, a ram is prescribed as the sacrifice for those who have withheld their tithe, who have shorted the Lord of His due offering.  And the same is prescribed for those who cheat their neighbor of what is justly theirs.  It is a ram Abraham finally offers “in place of his son,” to satisfy the sacrifice called for by the Lord.  And what the Lord teaches us in this passage is that, really, what is due to Him is beyond our ability to pay.  Not only are our children in His hands (and any other blessings), but our very lives as well are His – all comes to us only as a gift of His love.  And His greatest gift shall be His only Son, whom He shall offer without reservation, not withholding Him from such sacrifice on the cross, that what is due Him may be fulfilled by Him, since it is beyond our ability to do so. Isaac carried the wood of his own sacrifice to “the place of which God had told [Abraham]” to travel.  He is as the unknowing sheep led to his own slaughter and is a sign of the Christ who will carry the wood of His own cross, without a word, to His own crucifixion.  How can we understand all this?  What a test it puts us to!  Abraham prepares to slaughter the son of the promise; by the Father’s will Jesus is nailed to a cross like the worst of criminals…  How can the mind of man fathom the workings and will of God?  The question seems overwhelming but the answer is simple – and it is but that we trust in Him and in His love. In our gospel, “when Jesus saw [the] faith” of the people in “His own town,” He was moved to forgive the sins of the paralytic; and in the same breath, by the same power, to heal him.  The scribes were indignant at His presump[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-063011-Th_13_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 5 - Prayer to St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

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

O child of the Apostle Paul, follower in his steps, preacher of the Word he proclaimed so completely with his very life, you who desired so to bear the fruit of love in patience, to share in the hardships of the apostles as well as in their glory, and led your fellow ordained zealously to desire the same – pray there shall be reform in this day among our priests and among the people of God, that all will so zealously follow the teaching and way of the Apostle, which is, of course, the way of Christ: to die, to lay down our lives, to suffer indignation and pray for our enemies, all the while calling souls to the Lord’s undying love, to His saving blood.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_5_Anthony_Mary_Zaccaria.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 5 - Wednesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Gn.21:5,8-20;   Ps.34:7-8,10-13;   Mt.8:28-34) “When the afflicted man called out, the Lord heard, and from all his distress He saved him.” Ishmael is the model of the afflicted man calling out to the Lord and being heard in all his distress.  His very name means “he whom God hears” and indeed we see clearly today how, though “it is through Isaac that descendants shall bear [Abraham’s] name,” nonetheless, the Lord has pity on Ishmael and his plight – his rejection by the mother of the promised child and his wandering in a trackless waste – and declares that of him a “great nation” shall come.  Indeed he is left to die by his mother, so desperate had their situation become; but upon the child’s crying out, the Lord hears and sends His angel to assist them and assure them of the boy’s future greatness. Ishmael is a son of Abraham; though born of a slave woman, yet “he too is [Abraham’s] offspring,” and so for this the Lord takes special care to watch over him.  For God has chosen Abraham to be the father of many nations and does not wish to see His blessed patriarch distressed.  We have already seen how God has heard the prayer of Abraham for Lot; now we see the same regarding Abraham’s concern for Ishmael.  We must, brothers and sisters, understand whence our own blessing comes.  We are spiritual sons of Abraham, of Moses, of David… but most particularly we are children of Jesus and His apostles, the Church.  A far greater intercessor have we in the Son of God Himself, so let us not be afraid to cry out to Him in our need.  For if God heard the prayers of Abraham, how much more will He hear the prayers of His Son?  And if God watched over the kin and offspring of the blessed patriarch, how much more concern does He have for the children of light born of the blood of Jesus Christ? Our confidence must be sure in Him, for He cannot help but hear our prayer.  Indeed, our gospel tells us that when “the demons kept appealing to Him,” ev[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-062911-W_13_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 4 - Prayer to St. Elizabeth of Portugal

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

O reconciler of warring sons, tranquility in the midst of great disturbance, though born of royal blood and married to a king, the Lord you preferred to all the riches of this world, and so His peace became your own – pray we, too, may keep our hearts set upon that which passes not away and the peace which passes understanding; pray our prayers be deep as your own and reflect the same tranquility, that those in our own families and those under our care, all those whom we meet and to whom we relate, may find the Lord’s peace dwelling in us with His divine charity and so be reconciled to Him and to one another.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_4_Elizabeth_of_Portugal.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 4 - Tuesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

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

(Gn.19:15-29;   Ps.26:2-3,9-12;   Mt.8:23-27)   “Even the winds and the sea obey Him.”   “The Lord rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah,” and “without warning a violent storm came up on the lake, and the boat began to be swamped by the waves.”  The Lord saved Lot from the destruction of Sodom, and Jesus calmed the winds and the sea, saving the disciples; but how little faith either showed in His power.  Lot seems oblivious to the annihilation about to be wrought by God, hesitating to flee even at the urging of angels.  Indeed, he is brought from that place only by force and “by the Lord’s mercy,” by all appearances deserving to be swept away with the others in their sin.  Then upon being carried the greater part of the way, he is too tired to complete the salvation the Lord has begun.  And as for the apostles, they quickly dissemble at the threat of the elements, forgetting entirely in whose hands all these forces rest.  Indeed, where Lot fails in proper fear for his own protection, the disciples are filled too greatly with concern for their mortal lives.  Neither has the holiness or faith necessary for eternal glory. “Gather not my soul with those of sinners,” we should all cry out to the Lord, for indeed we all fall short of the glory of God; and if it were not for His mercy and protection, all would die in their sins.  But He has the power to save us, and the kindness besides.  Only let us not presume upon His mercy, nor fail to stand strong in His grace and faith.  We have one greater than Abraham watching over us and interceding for us with God; let us no longer question His will for us or wonder who it is that controls the wind and the sea, the earth and the fire.  Now we should know clearly that these obey Him, and that we must do the same. Brothers and sisters, can we say to the Lord with David: “Test my soul and try my heart”?  Are we prepared to expose ourse[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-062811-Tu_13_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 3 - Prayer to St. Thomas

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O believing apostle who declared the divinity of Jesus, our Lord and our God, all doubt disappears in the light of your faith, for we see with you what is beyond all eyes – pray for an increase in our faltering faith, that we shall indeed believe though we do not see; let it be as if we ourselves have touched the nail marks in His hands and feet and placed our hands into His side. So firmly let our faith be founded that we shall reach out to all mankind and the truth of Christ as the Son of God will grow in all hearts until that Day we see the Lord with our own eyes.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/July_3_Thomas.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 3 - St. Thomas

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Eph.2:19-22;   Ps.117:1-2,Mk.16:15;   Jn.20:24-29)  “Blest are they who have not seen and have believed.” The faith of Thomas.  By his faith we find faith.  In his desire to know beyond all doubt that the Lord has risen, all our doubt is taken away, and we declare with him, “My Lord and my God!”  If Thomas had not doubted so much, we would not believe so much his clear proclamation of the divinity of Jesus.  As it is, we no longer have room for doubt.  Indeed, Thomas’ ardent need to touch the nail marks in the Lord’s hands and sides is a cry to believe as firmly as bedrock, and indeed his declaration of faith is the strongest in all Scripture.  “My Lord and my God!”  In this we take refuge. And how beautifully Paul speaks today of the faith, of the Church wherein we take refuge and dwell as one with “all the saints and members of the household of God… with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.”  It is architectural fact that in the cornerstone “the whole structure is fitted together and takes shape”; first it is laid, and then the rest of the foundation extends from it, giving the foundation its direction, its form.  And, of course, the entire building rests on and is supported by this cornerstone and foundation.  And so is the Church.  Christ is our cornerstone around which we are all formed, and the apostles, those who have seen Him and proclaimed His glory, are the foundation upon which our faith rests.  And we are all one structure, all made one in faith by the apostles and, of course, by the Lord, who is present in every stone of the building. Let us firm up our faith this day, brothers and sisters.  Wherever we may be throughout the world and at whatever time, let us feel beneath our feet the solid foundation upon which we are built and the blessed cornerstone which is its very source and so the source of all the life and th[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/St._Thomas_2010.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 2 - Sunday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

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

(2Kgs.4:8-11,14-16a;   Ps.89:2-3,16-19;   Rom.6:3-4,8-11;   Mt.10:37-42)  “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”       The Lord encourages us today to “take up [our] cross and follow [Him],” to place Him first in our lives to find the reward He holds. And in our second reading Paul says the same, reminding us that “we were indeed buried with Christ through baptism into death,” that we have “died with Christ… to sin once and for all” – this is our cross – and that laying down our lives before the Lord we now find ourselves “living for God in Christ Jesus”; we now find ourselves “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father [that] we too might live in newness of life” with Him who is Life itself.      And Jesus sends us forth as His disciples, saying, “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” Thus, by our lives we call others to die with Christ that they too might live with Him in eternity, that they too might be blessed as we. Others should see in us the Lord and be prompted to give of themselves as we do, as He does – that in Him all might rejoice.      In our first reading we find a woman who has proven the truth of Christ’s statement, “Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward.” Quite literally does she give her “cup of cold water” to the great prophet Elisha, feeding him “whenever he passed by” and even making a place for him to stay in her home. She has recognized “that he is a holy man of God” and is drawn to him, desiring to have his godliness near her life. And by sharing her food and her home, she is laying down her life; by serving this “righteous man” she is serving God, and so she will know the blessing of God.      “This time next year you will be fondling a[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-062611-Su_13_OT_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




July 1 - Saturday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.18:1-15;   Lk.1:46-50,53-55;   Mt.8:5-17)   “Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?”   Our theme again is faith.  Do we believe as Abraham, as Mary, as the centurion?  Only such trust will save us. In our first reading the Lord appears to Abraham.  We have here the marvelous scene of faith being born, being conceived.  Abraham sits patiently, waiting, praying – expectant of the Lord’s return to confirm His word to him.  Then, “looking up, he saw three men nearby.”  There is the Lord before him.  His reaction is one we all must learn to follow: he does not hesitate an instant.  He runs to them, bows before them (even to the ground), and begs them to stay with him that he might serve them.  With haste he has food prepared for them, “and he waited on them under the tree while they ate”; his eyes “like the eyes of a servant on the hand of his master” (Ps.123:2), he watches their every move to be certain they are well pleased.  (In addition to this quote from Psalms, one cannot help but think of Jesus’ words to the church at Laodicea in the Book of Revelation (3:20): “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”) As Abraham sits there gazing at the Lord, He speaks to His servant: “Where is your wife, Sarah?”  Here comes that which Abraham has been longing to hear.  His heart leaps up, and the Lord states His promise in no uncertain terms.  Now Sarah laughs.  But Abraham is no longer laughing.  The Lord tests him with the question, “Why did Sarah laugh?” to show to Abraham that he no longer thinks the promise too marvelous for the Lord to fulfill.  The Lord repeats the promise.  Abraham believes to the depths of his soul; He knows the word spoken to him is of [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-062511-Sa_12_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 30 - Prayer to the First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O first of souls to shed blood, whose sacrifice began the great persecution, you indeed handed your bodies over to torture, to the mad king of this dark world, but everlasting reward you have gained for yourselves and for the Church; your robes washed clean in the blood of the Lamb, you served to nourish the growth of the people of God – pray your holy offering shall always be remembered, that the Church in this day and in all days may be blessed by your witness of faith, that you might light our path to Heaven until our crucified Lord returns again to gather all of faith and courage into His redeeming arms.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/June_30_The_First_Martyrs_of_the_Holy_Roman_Church.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 30 - Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.17:1,9-10,15-22;   Ps.128:1-5;   Mt.8:1-4)  “Can Sarah give birth at ninety?” Abraham laughs to himself as he asks the question; and indeed many scoff at the idea today, or simply choose to reason the possibility away.  And can a leper be made clean in an instant, just by a touch of Jesus’ hand and the words “Be cured”?  Is the arm of God, who created the universe, somehow shortened to such miracles?  Why do we think it so?  Wherefore our lack of faith? God appears to this ninety-nine-year-old man and tells him whose wife is barren, in the words of our psalm: “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table.”  And Abraham laughs.  (As will Sarah, too, upon hearing such news – thus the name of their child Isaac: “he laughs”.)  It’s an understandable reaction.  Who would not find the thought humorous?  But Abraham does something more than laugh: he also “prostrates himself” before the Lord, face to the floor.  How many of our modern scoffers would do such as this?  It is human to question, to doubt; but it is godly to humble oneself in faith.  There is a world of difference between a laugh of wonder and the scoffing of the skeptic.  The latter shall remain barren, never finding the living water that would make him fertile and fruitful; the former by his fear of the Lord opens himself to His favor, to His blessing – and such life-giving breath of blessing will make him bear fruit abundantly. This humble faith is perfectly evident in the leper as well, and is indeed the catalyst of his healing.  We are told the leper “came forward and did Him homage” – falling on his face like Abraham – and said to the Lord, “If you will to do so, you can cure [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-062411-F_12_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 29 - Prayer to Sts. Peter and Paul

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O most blessed apostles of the Lord upon whom the Church is founded and the faith goes forth, in you we cannot be shaken and the Lord’s reign extends to the ends of the earth – pray we always take refuge in His House and in the teaching of His mouth. It is you who preserve the authenticity of the faith; through you we may be assured the Spirit of God is with us, leading us out of the dark prison of this world along the narrow path to Heaven. Pray the chains fall from our hands and we heed the angel’s command, remaining faithful to the end, pouring out our lives like a libation. Feed the poor sheep in your care.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/June_29_Peter_and_Paul.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 29 - Sts. Peter and Paul

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:00:00 +0000

Acts 12:1-11;   Ps.34:2-9;   2Tm.4:6-8,17-18;   Mt.16:13-19)   “On this rock I will build my Church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it.”   We go through death to life, for death has no power over us: the power of Jesus founded firmly on Peter, brought forward by Paul, and present in all the members of the Church and in its faith, has conquered death and leads us all to heaven. Today we celebrate the solid foundation of the Church in Peter, the man of faith, first of the apostles and rock upon whom we are firmly set; and Paul, the great Apostle, through whom that faith went out to “all the nations.”  Our readings today clearly manifest the faith we possess, which overcomes even death, in Jesus’ commissioning of Peter and in the example shown in the lives of both Peter and Paul. Our first reading describes Peter’s mystical release from prison and reveals in this act our own coming to the heavenly kingdom: the chains of sin fall from us, we are clothed in righteousness, and led through the snares of this world to freedom.  And it is he who holds “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” who is led out; and indeed by these keys, by this office and its grace, “the iron gate leading out to the city” opens before us “of itself.”  And in our second reading we find Paul declaring the faithful life he has led even unto the end, which he now faces, and that his fighting of the good fight has merited the crown which awaits him on the Day of Lord.  He is able to state with confidence, “The Lord will continue to rescue me from all attempts to do me harm and will bring me safe to His heavenly kingdom.”  Finally, our psalm confirms the protection the Lord grants His faithful [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Sts._Peter_and_Paul_2011.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 28 - Prayer to St. Irenaeus

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O great teacher of the Catholic faith who served to set a foundation upon which she could grow in peace and in truth, in the Spirit of God, you who valiantly defended her against attacks of heresy and shed your blood in the battle – pray we shall find shepherds today to explicate the faith of the apostles as clearly and loyally as you have done, that none shall be led astray into false doctrine by whim and fancy, by pride and envy, but drink rather the pure milk of our Mother and of the one true God. To vision of the Father let us come by revelation of His only-begotten Son.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/June_28_Irenaeus.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 28 - Wednesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.15:1-12,17-18;   Ps.105:1-4,6-9;   Mt.7:15-20)   “Abram put his faith in the Lord, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.”   In our gospel today, Jesus teaches us, “You can tell a tree by its fruit.”  And what can we tell of Abram but that he is a bountiful tree, faithful and strong.  Indeed, in his faith is his goodness, and in his children, who reach down even unto this day, his blessed fruit is known. What holy, gentle conversation the Lord has with Abram, coming to him in visions to speak to his soul, to thus nourish this tree which He has planted upon the earth.  And how faithful Abram is, patiently awaiting the growth which comes from God.  Here, my friends, is the Lord’s relationship with man exemplified.  This is how we should be with our God… seeking the Lord, asking Him the questions which are upon our hearts, believing Him as He speaks to us – as He surely does.  For such is our God to us: coming to us in our fears, reassuring our souls, remaining ever faithful to us as He brings to maturity the fruit He has planted in our spirit.  No doubt we should have of His blessing.  His promise is sure. And so with our psalmist we should celebrate; we should “glory in His holy name.”  For we are “descendants of Abraham,” partakers of the faith brought to fulfillment in Jesus, fruit of the tree of life.  And the Lord “remembers forever His covenant.”  This grace we have been given shall never leave us; the life within us shall remain.  And in our days, through our time, as we partake of our daily bread, the Lord continually speaks to us and blesses us, bringing our fruit to maturity as we progress a[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-062211-W_12_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 27 - Prayer to St. Cyril of Alexandria

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O great defender of the Mother of God and of the faith itself, courageously you declared that Jesus is God indeed, become Man in Mary His Mother; this you made plain for all to see, O shepherd of the people of God, that truth might reign and the Virgin might find her proper place among us – pray, O brave teacher, that we shall not be afraid to proclaim the truths inscribed by the Spirit upon the heart of the Church and in her inspired writings; and may indeed our Mother, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, be recognized for her preeminence amongst the saints, that the Word of the Lord might be fulfilled and all generations call her blessed.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/June_27_Cyril_of_Alexandria.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 27 - Tuesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.13:2,5-18;   Ps.15:1-5;   Mt.7:6,12-14;)   “How narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it!”   In our first reading today, the way Abram walks with God is contrasted with the path Lot chooses for himself.  Though the road seems wide and clear, this gate leads to damnation, and indeed, as our gospel states, is one which is chosen by the traveler himself; whereas the narrow path is one which is found in God. Lot and Abram could no longer dwell together; their possessions were too great and the tensions were too high among their servants.  Taking “no reproach against his neighbor,” acting as the just soul spoken of in our psalm, “Abram said to Lot: ‘Let there be no strife between you and me,’” and put the whole land at his disposal, offering to take what remained.  So “Lot looked about,” Scripture tells us, to see what pleased his eyes, and then “chose for himself,” again the words of Scripture, that broad expanse of land which he thought would be fruitful for his needs.  And where does this decision he takes by the sight of his own eyes lead him?  To the depraved, to the reprobate, to the dogs and swine – to the infamous land of Sodom, whose people “were very wicked in the sins they committed against the Lord.”  To such we are led by our senses. Once Lot is gone, how is Abram led to his destination – are his feet led by his own eyes as well?  No, the Lord comes to Him as guide.  It is He who tells him to “set forth and walk about in the land.”  It is again God and his faith which serve as his light.  A[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-062111-Tu_12_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 26 - Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(Gn.12:1-9;   Ps.33:12-13,18-20,22;   Mt.7:1-5)   “The eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him.”   There is a plank in our own eye; there is but a speck in our brother’s.  This is what the Lord sees.  And this is what we see if we fear the Lord.  If we fear the Lord, we remain humble before Him.  If we fear the Lord, we will be released from judgment.  If we fear the Lord, we indeed will be as Abram, following His blessed commands.  “Abram went as the Lord directed him,” our first reading tells us so aptly today.  He left his father’s house at a word from God and followed wherever God led, his path illumined only by faith.  He walked not by his eyes but only by his faith in the Lord’s promise to him; the Lord became his eyes and he trusted himself and all his family and all his possessions to these eyes which watched over him.  In darkness and in quiet he sets out, the Lord as his only light and His voice as his only guide.  Such faith, such blessed faith and humility. Such faith must we all have, brothers and sisters, for it cannot be otherwise but that the Lord calls each one of us to such faith, to such trust; He calls each of us from our “father’s house” to walk with Him alone and find our way in His presence.  Do we fear Him?  Do we love Him?  Are we humble before Him?  If so, we will know the path upon which the Lord leads us; we will hear His voice speaking quietly in our ears and in our hearts.  And we will follow Him.  And He will bless us and fulfill His own call for our lives.  He will remove the plank from our eyes and [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-062011-M_12_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 25 - Sunday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 04:00:00 +0000

(Jer.20:10-13;   Ps.69:8-10,14,17,33-35;   Rom.5:12-15;   Mt.10:26-33)  “For your sake I bear insult, and shame covers my face.”       Jeremiah “hear[s] the whisperings of many” who seek to “denounce him”; those who “watch for any misstep” plot his destruction: “Perhaps he will be trapped, then we can prevail, and take our revenge on him.” Like David he has “become an outcast to [his] brothers, a stranger to [his] mother’s children.” And for what does he suffer such persecution but for speaking the truth of God’s word to his fellow Israelites? As David declares to the Lord, “The insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me”; both the prophet and the king endure persecution for righteousness’ sake.      But both prophet and king declare victory in their struggle: “The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion; my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.” Through the power of God it is they who “will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion.” The Lord hears their pleas for help, their prayers come before Him, “for the Lord hears the poor, and His own who are in bonds He spurns not.” And so both king and prophet end in joy, in utter hope, as David proclaims, “Let the heavens and the earth praise Him, the seas and whatever moves in them”; and Jeremiah likewise calls all to honor our unfailing God: “Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for He has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked.”      And, brothers and sisters, in what greater way is this sal[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-061911-Su_12_OT_A.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 24 - Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O Sanctuary of the Father, Temple of the Holy Spirit, Mother of the Son of God who carried Him in your womb and contemplated Him in your heart – how shall we find Jesus within us; how shall we become the temples of the Spirit the Lord calls us all to be if you do not pray for us, if we are not formed in your womb, in the love with which you are blessed? Hold us in your soul, dear Mother, that our spirits might join with your own and we might thus become one with our Lord and brother. In us also let Him make His home.


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




June 24 - Prayer on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:00:00 +0000

O greatest of men born of woman, before you were formed in the womb the Lord called you; while still in this cave you leapt for joy at His presence come to you… a sharp, two-edged sword He made you to hail the coming Messiah, the Light in our midst, the New Covenant born of the Old – how shall we humble ourselves as you have done; how shall our call be realized in flesh and blood as was your own? Pray, dear brother, that from darkness we be taken, from blindness and inability to speak we be rescued, that the Word among us we may know and raise our voices to proclaim His salvation to all.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/June_24_Nativity_of_John_the_Baptist.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 24 - The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Is.49:1-6;   Ps.139:1-3,13-15;   Acts 13:22-26:   Lk.1:57-66,80)   “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”   The voice of one crying in the wilderness, he who hails the coming of the Lord, is born today.  This voice speaks of the Word among us.  And from before his birth he is called, in the womb he is formed, to proclaim with the sword of truth God’s salvation for His people.  “Surely the hand of the Lord was with him,” and surely we find the grace of God by walking the path he blazed for us in the desert; for surely that way leads to the glory who is the Son of David. Yes, “to us this word of salvation has been sent.”  To us this light has been brought forth.  We “distant peoples” hear now the call of the voice which pierces our souls: Make straight the way of the Lord!  The tongue now speaks; no longer silenced, no longer hidden, it has risen from “the depths of the earth” to plainly declare the coming of Christ.  Yes, in the womb of the Old Testament the Lord wonderfully formed the salvation of Israel, probing and scrutinizing all its ways and preparing it for birth in the light of day.  And now what He hid in His quiver He shoots forth to wound with amazement the hearts who have waited to hear the Word of life.  “John heralded His coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel”; by his voice a place is made for the Savior, Jesus. At the tur[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/Birth_of_St._John_the_Baptist_2011.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 23 - The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Year A

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:00:00 +0000

(Dt.7:6-11;   Ps.103:1-4,8,10,17;   1Jn.4:7-16;   Mt.11:25-30)   “He has loved us and has sent His Son as an offering for our sins.”   Who better to hear from on this blessed feast than John, the Lord’s beloved disciple, whose words indeed continually breathe the fact that “God is love” and who eternally exhorts us to “love one another.”  John cannot but speak of the love God has for His children and the love we must offer in return; and all of our Scripture today echoes his understanding and calls us to be washed in the blood of Christ. In our gospel Jesus calls unto the hearts of all: “Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.”  He invites His little ones: “Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”  O so gentle and humble of heart is the Lord our God… so loving, so kind!  David sings of Him so well in his psalm of praise and thanksgiving: “Merciful is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness.”  Why does God’s king “bless the Lord” with “all [his] being” today?  Because “not according to our sins does He deal with us.”  Because of His forgiving grace – this greatest sign of His love, embodied in His only Son.  And so, as Moses says to all the people in our hearing on this holy feast, we should “love Him and keep His commandments,” for He is “the faithful God who keeps His merciful [...]


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




June 22 - Prayer to Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:05:00 +0000

O kings of martyrdom who indeed laid down your very lives rather than heed the dictates of an evil emperor, whose loyalty to the Lord and the Church He established stands unparalleled, your defense of the faith and conscience written in the blood you shed – pray that the mediocrity, the utter inability to stand for truth in this relativist age, will be defeated by souls founded firmly in the Spirit of Christ and in the Cross He offers forth for our salvation. Pray for leaders of Church and State to embrace your singular devotion.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/June_22_John_Fisher_and_Thomas_More.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 22 - Prayer to St. Paulinus of Nola

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000

O lover of poverty who gave up great wealth to find her abiding within the walls of your heart, a heart which turned thus to God’s people and the shepherding of them with great care – pray that we too may hear and come to realize in our lives the call of our Lord to give up all things for the sake of the kingdom, to be attached to nothing but service of the poor, service of God Himself in the humble of this earth; pray that like you we may have the heart of a shepherd, of a laborer in Jesus’ vineyard, united in the Spirit with all God’s children with whom we share His Heaven.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/June_22_Paulinus_of_Nola.mp3?dest-id=17188




June 22 - Thursday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

(2Cor.11:1-11;   Ps.111:1-4,7-8;   Mt.6:7-15)   “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”   And what we need is to be holy as He is holy.  And it is this we ask for in the Lord’s Prayer.  We simply seek to be like Him, and that all obstacles to holiness be removed from us.  And like a loving father He meets our needs. And Paul is a father to the community at Corinth; he loves them “with the jealousy of God Himself.”  He has given them in marriage to Christ and is solicitous that the wedding chamber not be corrupted by false doctrine.  “Super apostles” have come among them who “win a hearing by the sheer multiplication of words,” rattling on like empty wind and taking money from Paul’s children for the sound and the fury they bring.  But they signify nothing by all their skill; they are but ravenous wolves amidst the flock. Paul says of himself, “I may be unskilled in speech but I know that I am not lacking in knowledge”; and how his words echo Christ’s own, that we should not get lost in mere words.  And how like a father knowing and caring for the needs of his children is Paul.  In our psalm, too, is reflected the Father’s “gracious and merciful” nature which Paul shows to the Corinthians: “Sure are all His precepts… wrought in truth and equity.”  This knowledge of God is what must be conveyed, and [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/hermitinthecity/BC-061611-Th_11_OT_I.mp3?dest-id=17188