Episodes

  • From the Gospel of Sunday 20th Week in Ordinary Time: Ignem veni mittere in terra, et quid volo nisi ut accendatur? I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! (Lk 12:49.)

    Like Moses standing before the bringing bush, let us now take off our shoes, our sandals, because we are on holy ground, we are close to the love of God. In this oratory, we are used to coming in here, and we may forget that it is a truly holy place.

    In the Bible, fire is often used to describe God’s burning love for men. St. Maximilian Kolbe is an example of a saint whose heart was on fire with the Love of God. How can my love of God spread like a wildfire?

    Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Lyncroft Centre, Toronto, Sunday, August 14, 2022.

    Music: Calos Gabriel (1890 – 1935), Soledad, arranged by Bert Alink.

    Thumbnail: Sébastien Bourdon Moses and Burning Bush 17th century Hermitage Museum.

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  • Today, August 9, is the 80th anniversary of the death of St. Edith Stein, killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz along with thousands if other Jews.

    She was a profound and an intense woman. Just look at her photo as a Carmelite, with those penetrating eyes. It is said she was always an over-achiever. Born in Germany in 1891, she studied under Edmund Husserl, and converted to Catholicism, and eventually known by her religious name, St. Teresa Benedicta of the cross. How beautifully she embraced the cross that God sent her, and her people. Here is a meditation to help us deep in the meaning of humility. Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Copper Ridge Conference Centre, north of Vancouver, BC.

    Music: Bert Alink, Mossy Garden.

    Thumbnail: The so-called "passport" photo taken in the doorway of Cologne Carmel. A passport picture that Edith Stein (1891–1942) had to have taken for her passport (ca. December 1938-1939) before moving to Echt, Netherlands.

    For more meditations, see my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos

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  • One of those central untouched aspects of the spirit of Opus Dei turns around friendship: our surrounded by friends, how we deepen in them, experience them, encourage our friends, get help from them. The Beatles used to say I Get By with A little Help from my Friends. It was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, released on their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.

    How painful that must have been when some disciples stopped going with him, after the discourse of the bread of Life in John 6. These were not simply followers that had accepted his ideas, they were his friends. They could have disagreed with what he said, but stayed as his faithful friends. Things would eventually fall into place. Yet then some left.

    John 6, 61: "Aware that His disciples were grumbling about this teaching, Jesus asked them, “Does this offend you?  Then what will happen if you see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?

    Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Copper Ridge Conference Center in Britannia Beach, July 31, 2022.

    Music: Beatles, With A Little Help From My Friends (Remastered 2009) · The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ℗ 2009 Calderstone Productions Limited (a division of Universal Music Group)

    Released on: 1967-06-01 Producer: George Martin. Composer  Lyricist: John Lennon. Composer  Lyricist: Paul McCartney

    Music at beginning and end: Guitar arranged by Bert Alink, Mossy Garden.

    Thumbnail: Christ Calling His First Disciples, by Adam Brenner (1800–1891) from Leicester Museum & Art Gallery

    For more meditations: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos

  • Jeremiah 26, 11-16: First reading is from a sermon by the prophet Jeremiah in the temple. He’s warning them that the temple will be destroyed. So there is this confrontation between Jeremiah and the authorities of Judah. He declares his innocence like Christ and is eventually saved by the intervention of the king. 

    In the Gospel of the day we have the account of the death of John the Baptist (Matt 14, 1-12). Now Herod is in his own party, so he is in his own element. The wine is flowing. He has nobody to guide him. He has already a pretty hedonistic attitude, and this leads to the beheading of John the Baptist. Titian has a spectacular painting of the moment when Salome gives the head of John the Baptist to her mother, Herodias. It dates to around 1515 and I remember seeing it with excitement in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome. Lord, let me not be afraid of the cross, or what people call the cross.

    The seal of Opus Dei: the Cross at the heart of the world. It is not like a medal that encircles the cross, or restricts its extent, or where it ought to be. The circle is not just a circle. It is a globe.

    Music: J.S. Bach, "Jesu, meine Freude", BWV 227.

    Thumbnail: Titian, "Salome with the head of John the Baptist," 1515, Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome.

    See more meditations on my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos

  • Matt 13, 24-30: The parable of the seeds sown in the field. There was good seed, but also weeds.

    Weeds all through the wheat is a dangerous poison. You think you're collecting some good wheat, but it is actually quite toxic. This meditation was preached at Copper Ridge Conference Centre, in Britannia Beach, BC, about an hour north of Vancouver, Canada. July 23, 2022.

    Music: Adoramus Te, Christe was composed by Théodore Dubois (1837-1924).

    Thumbnail: Vincent Van Gogh, The Sower, 1988. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation).

    For more meditations on YouTube see: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos

  • Matthew 12:46-50: While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

    Picture now the Lord stretching out his arms in a gesture of inclusion, as though he were embracing everyone in the family, as part of that covenant, as though he were saying that his followers are part of an intimate family, and can really feel at home, feel welcomed, feel together.

    The people of Israel too felt themselves to be part of a family. There were foreigners, outsiders, but also those of our family. A chosen people, the apple of God’s eye.But now the Lord extends that inclusion in the family, by referring to God’s will, not to blood, not to the people of Israel.“For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

    Music: Una rosa me diste, by the Choir of the Roman College of Holy Mary in Rome. 

    Thumbnail: 1940s Belgian art deco holy card of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary by Jos Speybrouck.

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • Pope Francis, in referring to the saints, gives us this answer: God chooses certain people so that we might see more clearly the reality of sanctity, so that we might see that it is He who sanctifies . . . This is the first rule of sanctity: Christ must increase and we must decrease (Homily, 9 May 2014).

    In Todays Gospel, from Luke 10:38-42, Jesus tells Martha: "Por unum est necessarium". One thing is necessary. What is that necessary thing in my life? We must search for sanctity like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, as the only real way home.

    Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai in Lyncroft centre, Toronto, July 17, 2022.

    Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink 

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • Gospel from the fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary time (c): Luke 10:25-37: There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live".

    Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Lyncroft Centre, July 10, 2022.

    Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink.

    Thumbnail: Rembrandt, The good samaritan, Etching, 1633, fourth (final) state. Sotheby's.

  • In her book "Maybe You Should talk to someone" (2019), Lori Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives.  We too are like patients, with all these inner chambers. These are chambers that we must prepare to open up, so that we can be helped to see how all the machinery is working. Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Lyncroft Centre on July 6, 2022.

    Music: Andrian Berenguer, Fall (Album Multiplicity, 2017)

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • One of the most inspiring, and hopeful passages in St. Paul is in his letter to Timothy, where he gives him pastoral instruction in dealing with the people of God.

    1 Tim 2, 4: God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    It is our dream. To be illuminated by the truth itself.

    St. Josemaria Escriva said in Furrow 221: Be sure of this: you need to be fully formed to face the rush of people that is going to press upon us with a specific and urgent question: “Well then, what’s to be done?”

    What does it mean to be fully formed? Fr. Eric Nicolai peaches at Chipnee Camp in Fort Burwell, Ontario, July 2, 2022.

    Music: Handel’s Rinaldo opera, aria, “Lascia ch’io pianga”, arranged for guitar by Bert Alink.

    Thumbnail: Fra Angelico St Peter Preaching in the Presence of St Mark 1433, museum of San Marco, Florence. Wiki Commons.

    For more videos: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos

  • Matthew 9:1-8: Jesus got in the boat, crossed the water and came to his own town. Then some people appeared, bringing him a paralytic stretched out on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, my child, your sins are forgiven.’ Do I trust in God's forgiveness of my sin? What really is sin?

    Fr. Eric Nicolai preaches to some campers at Chipnee camp, at Port Burwell, Ontario, on June 30, 2022.

    Music: Handel’s Rinaldo opera, aria, “Lascia ch’io pianga”, arranged for guitar by Bert Alink.

    Thumbnail: Christ healing the paralytic at Bethesda, by Palma il Giovane, 1592, Collezione Molinari Pradelli, Castenaso, Italy.

  • Acts 12:1-11: tells us about Herod who had James executed by the sword. Since this was pleasing to the Jews, he thought he would go after Peter too. You can imagine the hostility in the air when you execute someone and it makes them happy. Though Paul and Peter had some differences, their unity is symbolized by the famous kiss of peace, where they embrace on their way to their martyrdom.

    Preached in Ernescliff College on June 29, 2022.

    Music: Faith of Our Fathers | Fountainview Academy | The Great Controversy.

    Thumbnail: Greek Icon of Peter and Paul embrace.

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • The opening prayer for today’s feast has to squeeze the spirit of Saint Josemaria and all his dreams into one simple and brief Collect.  It is hard to reduce something you love and have dedicated yourself to just a few words. But this collect is like the directors cut, approved and vetted by our holy mother the church.

    "O God, who raised up your priest Saint Josemaría in the Church to proclaim the universal call to holiness and the apostolate, grant that by his intercession and example we may, through our daily work, be formed in the likeness of Jesus your Son and serve the work of redemption with burning love."

    Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Lyncroft Centre, on June 26, 2022.

    Music: Lauda Jérusalem (Psalm 147) - Choir of Blessed Pier Giorgio – Aumônerie de Nantes, France. Mélodie : Théodore DECKER. Harmonisation : Pierre BAGNERIS. Director : Cécile DUVIVIER. Sung online on Palm Sunday 2020.

    Thumbnail: From a children's book by Miguel Ángel Cárceles; Isabel Torra, "Historia de un sí. Vida de San Josemaría Escrivá". (Rialp, Madrid 1993).

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • St. Josemaria would be moved deeply when he said with faith that part of the Creed, that produced a pause, when he prayed:

    Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam! I believe in one Holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.  — I can understand why you pause to relish your prayer: I believe in the Church, one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.. (The Way 517)

    It is as though he wanted to savour something to taste its beauty. Savour it, like a good wine. To re-acknowledge the mystery, which he well understood that he did not understand.

    Today is feast of Thomas More and John Fisher. Both are stellar examples of love and fidelity to the Church, during times of great confusion in the 16th century.

    Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Lyncroft Centre in Toronto, June 22, 2022.

    Music: Franz Schubert Impromptu no. D899 by Chiara Bertoglio.

    Thumbnail: Hans Holbein, The Younger, Sir Thomas More 1527 Frick Collection(Google Art Project)

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • With his encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia," Pope John Paul II intended to reawaken "Eucharistic wonder" in the Church.

    "The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways she joyfully experiences the constant fulfillment of the promise: “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20), but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity." (Ecclesia de Eucharistia 1)

    A meditation given at Kintore College, June 18th, 2022, on the eve of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

    Music: Andrian Berenguer, Fall (Album Multiplicity, 2017)

    Thumbnail: Tabernacle from Kintore College, Toronto.

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • Matt 6, 19-23: Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and woodworms destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworms destroy them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    ‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be all darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkness, what darkness that will be!’

    The Lord is warning us of the apparent treasures that we can be seduced by. Treasures on earth.

    Jesus’ illustration of the two eyes points to two ways a person can view the riches of this world. A bad eye alludes to the ancient Near Eastern notion of the evil eye, which looks at other people’s possessions with envy and covetousness and is miserly with one’s own. In contrast to this selfish spirit, the sound eye is a generous one (see Prov 22:9 RSV).

    Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Ernescliff College, June 17, 2022.

    Music: Prelude -Cello Suite 3- J.S. Bach. https://musopen.org.

    Thumbnail: https://www.laurajdavis.com

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • Matt 5, 43: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike.

    We make friends by loving them.

    The answer to our loving others is almost always a deep and abiding friendship. No matter who they are, or what they believe.

    The example of the healing of the centurion's servant in Luke 7.

    Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai, June 15, 2022 at Lyncroft Centre.

    Music:  Ave Verum Corpus II

    Thumbnail: Healing the servant of the Centurion, fresco, Dionysiou Monastery, Holy Mountain, 1547

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  • Matthew 5: But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

    The Lord is suggesting something to us about our gaze, about how we look at others. I want to understand what you mean here Lord: it seems that the way we look at someone expresses his deeper intention, our deeper desires. Jesus says this to us in the section where he speaks about adultery. He reminded his disciples of the old law, how it prohibited adultery, but in the new law, there is a push to integrity, to authenticity, greater interior and exterior coherence. 

    A meditation preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Ernescliff College (Toronto), June 10, 2022.

    Music: Linda Ronstadt - Just One Look (Live) From Youtube: https://youtu.be/IsEwBzfdMnk

    Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink

    Thumbnail: Toller Cranston from Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-N0324-0010,_Toller_Cranston. Wikipedia.

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down his disciples came to him. And He opened his mouth and taught them (Matt 5:1-2).

    And the Beatitudes begin.

    Matthew 5:13-16: Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.

    ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’

    Fr. Eric Nicolai preaches at Ernescliff College in Toronto, June 7, 2022.

    Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink

    Thumbnail: The Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch (1834 - 1890), oil own copper (1873). In The Museum of National History, Frederiksborg, Denmark.

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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  • John 20, 19-23: Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    This breathing of Jesus recalls God's action who, in the creation, "formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being" (cf. Genesis 2:7). Only God can pick up a bit of mud, look at it, breathe, and bring it to life.

    How conscious am I of God's Holy Spirit breathing in my soul?

    A meditation preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai on the solemnity of Pentecost, at Lyncroft Centre, June 5, 2022.

    Music: Gregorian chant: Veni Creator Spiritus, from Youtube channel Adoration of the Cross.

    Thumbnail: Hours of the Holy Spirit: Pentecost | Hours of Henry VIII, in Latin | Illuminated by Jean Poyer | France, Tours | ca. 1500 | The Morgan Library & Museum, New York City.

    For more meditations, check my channel:

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