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In Your Presence
30 minutes | Jun 22, 2022
Do I Love the Church Like St. Thomas More?
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: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
32 minutes | Jun 18, 2022
The Wonder of Corpus Christi
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: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
29 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
The Lamp of Your Body is Your Eye
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: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos
30 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
The Charity of Friendship
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 For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
31 minutes | Jun 11, 2022
Just One Look: On Holy Purity
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: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
31 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
You are Salt and You are Light
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: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
28 minutes | Jun 5, 2022
The Power of Pentecost Sunday
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: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.opusdei.ca
28 minutes | Jun 4, 2022
Prepare well for Corpus Christi
Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” (Lk 22) "Do this inn remembrance of me," as a memorial of me. Thus Christ directed the apostles (and successors) to celebrate a new “memorial" that would replace the one celebrated in the Jewish Passover. This memorial rite has a special efficacy: it not only helps the community of believers to “remember" Christ's redeeming love, his words and gestures during the Last Supper, but also, as a sacrament of the New Law, makes the reality signified truly present: Christ himself, 'our Paschal Lamb' (1 Cor. 5:7), and his redeeming sacrifice: this would take place the next day on the cross. Fr. Eric Nicolai preached this meditation in preparation for the solemnity of Corpus Christi, in Ernescliff College, June 4, 2022. Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
28 minutes | May 31, 2022
Our Real Ode to Joy
Lk 24, 46-53: The account of the ascension: Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. St John Chrysostom says. “The cloud was a sure sign that Jesus had already entered heaven; it was not a whirlwind or a chariot of fire, as in the case of the prophet Elijah (cf. 2 Kings 2:11), but a cloud, which was a symbol of heaven itself. Jesus is in heaven, as our mediator, he is hidden from view, but is active and present as our saviour. This must bring us joy, to sing with Beethoven who was deaf when he composed his Ninth Symphony (1824) using the Ode to Joy, written by his friend Friedrich Schiller. A meditation preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai on May 29, 2022, solemnity of the Ascension. Music: Ludwig Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 - IV. Presto - Allegro Assai from European archive in Museopen.org.
17 minutes | May 28, 2022
The Solemnity of the Ascension
Acts 1,3: Tells us about those absolutely luminous days that our Lord spent with the disciples. He was teaching, they were learning everything they needed to know for their mission. He was entrusting them. He was opening their horizons. With Jesus there are no improvisations. Success comes from careful planning, and then rigorous and constant execution. They were being prepared for Pentecost.
29 minutes | May 28, 2022
How The Holy Spirit Energizes
The Lord said: "I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you shall know him because he will dwell with you, and be in you" (Jn 14: 16-17). Think how great the HS must be for Christ to utter these words: "It is to your advantage that I go away…" (Jn 16,7) Picture the invisible Holy Spirit active in your soul now. Are you aware of him acting in your mind? In your will? In guiding your conscience? The first Christians were. It certainly made them move. Gave them deep sense of responsibility. St. Josemaria had a prayer to the Holy Spirit. Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai at Ernescliff College. Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink. For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
30 minutes | May 22, 2022
The Holy Spirit Dwells in my Soul as in a Home
John 14: Jesus said to his disciples: "If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him. Those who do not love me do not keep my words." Yes, you are a living house, a home for God. But you should allow Him to do what He pleases to shape you into the person you need to be. This is applied to how faithfully we live our vocation. A meditation preached on Sunday May 22, 2022 in Lyncroft Centre, Toronto. Music: Andrian Berenguer, Fall (Album Multiplicity, 2017) Thumbnail: Gian Lorenzo Bernini St. Peter's Baldachino in Rome, the Holy Spirit, dated 1623-1634. For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
30 minutes | May 19, 2022
How do I live Temperance?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1809: Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. Fr. Eric Nicolai speaks about how we can live this virtue. Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink. Thumbnail: Cardinal virtues painting in Holy Rosary Parish, Toronto.
28 minutes | May 14, 2022
St. Matthias and True Humility
In the Church of Jerusalem two men were proposed to the community, and then lots were cast for their names: "Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias" (Acts 1: 23). Precisely the latter was chosen, hence, "he was enrolled with the eleven apostles" (Acts 1: 26). The apostles understood firstly that they absolutely needed to be 12, in line with the 12 tribes of Israel. To have been chosen by lot means he was not chosen for his qualities, that he could maybe have vented about. Let's meditate on how well anchored we are in the virtue of humility, especially now when the main emphasis is always gaining in self esteem. Preached in Kintore College by Fr. Eric Nicolai, May 14, 2022. Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
29 minutes | May 12, 2022
Blessed Alvaro del Portillo: The Charism of Normality
Today, May 12, is the feast of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo (1914-1994). He was the first successor of Saint Josemaria Escriva. He was an engineer who became a priest and worked closely with Saint Josemaria Escriva until his death in 1975. His life was imbued with that "charism of normality" which characterizes all those humble people who reach the summit of perfection without doing anything out of the ordinary. Fr. Eric Nicolai preached in Lyncroft Centre in Toronto, on May 12, 2022. Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink. For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
26 minutes | May 7, 2022
It's the Month of Mary. What are you doing?
It's the month of May, the month of Mary. Josemaria said: Our Opus Dei was born and grew up under the mantle of our Lady. She has been a good Mother, comforting us, smiling at us, helping us in the difficult moments of the blessed battle to bring forward this army of apostles in the world". It is amazing to see that when she appeared on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico in 1531 to Juan Diego. How can we increase our devotion this month? What can we do? Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai in Kintore College, May 7, 2022 Music: Iniquitates by Arnold den Teuling. from https://imslp.org. Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 3.0 For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca Thumbnail: Piero della Francesca, Madonna del Parto, 1457. Museum of Monterchi, in the province of Arezzo, Italy.
26 minutes | May 6, 2022
Go and Sin No More: Prayer as Intimacy
Introductory meditation for a retreat at Kintore College, May 5, 2022. Starting with the passage of the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8), Fr. Eric Nicolai speaks about possibilites of entering into true prayer. Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink Thumbnail: Rembrandt Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery 1644 National Gallery, London. For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
26 minutes | Apr 28, 2022
Look, It is the Lord!
John 21:1-14: Jesus showed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias. One senses in Peter’s return to fishing that he is invaded by discouragement. As though all had gone back to normal. No real sense yet of what the real meaning of the resurrection was. It had not sunk in. But they captured 153 fish. What does this mean? Preached at Lyncroft Centre, April 22, 2022. Music: Handel, Opera Rinaldo, Aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", arranged for guitar by Bert Alink. Open source Thumbnail: James Tissot, Jesus at the Sea of Tiberius. 1886-1894. Brooklyn Museum. For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
30 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
Have the Courage to Evangelize
St. Mark, Evangelist. What was his life like to be able to write such a best seller? Fr. Eric Nicolai recounts the adventures of his life, and how he went on apostolic voyages with Paul and Barnabas. He had great courage. Music: Amores de Estudiante (composed by Carlos Gardel) arranged by Bert Alink 2018. Public domain in Canada Thumbnail: Andrea Mantegna, St. MArk Evangelist (1448) Städelsches Kunstinstitut Frankfurt. For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
27 minutes | Apr 17, 2022
Easter Vigil: How to Acquire Supernatural Vision
This night’s Vigil is the greatest and most noble of all solemnities. Augustine said his wounds were the badges of his victory, the same wounds now decorate him, now embellish the beauty of his risen body. Faith in the truth of the resurrection of Christ can imbed itself in us so that we live always with a true, deeply-rooted supernatural vision. Preached by Fr. Eric Nicolai in Cedarcrest Conference centre in Belfountain, Ontario, during a High School Retreat. Music: Lobo de Mesquita Dominica in Palmis by Regencia Maria Ines Guimaraes. Open Source. Thumbnail: The Resurrection of Our Lord Tapestry in the Vatican Museum. "Scuola Nuova" series episodes of the Christ Life. From a Cartoon of Raphael's school. Brussels, 1524-1531. Workshop of Pieter van Aelst. For more meditations, check my channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EricNicolai/videos www.ernescliff.ca www.opusdei.ca
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