In Your Embrace
By Deacon Matthew Knight
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In Your EmbraceJun 22, 2022
Rebuild Our Church
Have Faith Also In Me
Called From All Eternity
Hide and Seek
His Mercy Endures Forever
The First Alleluia
Episode 123: The Gift of Life
3 April 2023 | Monday of Holy Week | Menlo Park, Calif.
At the outset of this holiest of weeks, we contemplate life as a precious, unmerited gift of God, given freely out of love to be used for His glory. We then continue our reading of the Interior Castle with a discussion of extraordinary phenomena in the sixth dwelling places: locutions, visions, and raptures (oh my!)
Friends, I hope you have a most blessed Holy Week and a joyful celebration of Easter!
Opening music: “Hosanna filio David,” introit for Palm Sunday, sung by Chœur grégorien de Paris, 2013. All rights reserved.
The Passion According to St. Matthew / Don't Miss Him!
This homily was given at Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church, South San Francisco, CA on Sunday, April 2, 2023, Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.
Episode 122: Ever Onward
27 March 2023 | Monday of the First Week in Passiontide | Menlo Park, Calif.
This week, I share what I learned recently from Dr. Suzanne Baars about affirmation therapy and one simple way we can help people experience the love of God. Then we continue our journey “ever onward” into the sixth dwelling places with St. Teresa and consider the place of trials in the spiritual life.
Opening music: “Tantum ergo,” written by St. Thomas Aquinas, composed by Frank La Rocca, sung by the Benedict XVI Schola, St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, CA, 2021. All rights reserved.
Episode 121: Conforming Union
20 March 2023 | St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary | Menlo Park, Calif.
Celebrating the solemnity of St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church (and fresh from our community celebration of St. Patrick, patron of the seminary, last Friday!), I share some thoughts about St. Joseph’s spiritual fatherhood and his role as father for each one of us in the Christian life. Then we continue our journey with St. Teresa into the fifth dwelling places and the state of conforming union. With Teresa, la maestra de amor divina, I share the fruits of this stage of prayer and address a question about the role of loving relationships and evidence-based therapy alongside contemplative prayer in the healing of the soul.
Opening music: “I Bind unto Myself Today,” written by St. Patrick, composed by C. F. Alexander, sung by the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, 2006. All rights reserved.
To Become the Light
Deep in the Desert
Episode 120: Into the Desert
6 March 2023 | Second Monday of Lent | Menlo Park, Calif.
This week on the podcast, I share about the “dark night” which marked the beginning of Lent here, as well as my petition for Holy Orders and plans for ordination. We catch up with the Dickens Chronological Reading Club on Dombey and Son, the first book of Dickens’s “second act,” and then dive into the fourth dwelling places of the soul with St. Teresa, the beginning of the supernatural way of prayer.
Today’s Word: “Keep on praying and never lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
Opening music: “Prayer of St. Ephraim,” sung by Presvytera Pat Tsagalakis, Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, Shoreline, WA, 2017. All rights reserved.
To the Father's House
This homily was given at Byzantine Divine Liturgy at Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church, South San Francisco, CA on Sunday, March 5, 2022, the Second Sunday of Great Lent.
Episode 119: Ten Years Ago
27 February 2023 | First Monday of Lent | Menlo Park, Calif.
On this very special episode of In Your Embrace, in honor of the recent five-year anniversary of the podcast, I’m joined by my friend and fellow seminarian Ramón Camacho to discuss the question: What would you say to yourself ten years ago if you could see him today?
Today’s Word: “As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him. (Matthew 9:11).
Opening music: “Do Not Be Afraid,” composed and directed by Philip Stopford, sung by the Ecclesium Choir, 2012. All rights reserved.
Our True Story
Episode 118: A New Beginning
20 February 2023 | Seventh Monday in Ordinary Time | Menlo Park, Calif.
As winter shades into spring and we stand again on the threshold of Lent, I share some thoughts on this season as a new beginning, as well as two recommendations for spiritual reading (see the links below)! Then we continue our journey into the third dwelling places of the interior castle and consider the dispositions needed to receive the gift of infused prayer.
Today’s Word: “Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live” (Ezekiel 37:5).
- Athirst for the Spirit by Dr. Nina Sophie Heereman: https://www.amazon.com/Athirst-Spirit-Biblical-Wisdom-Desert/dp/1645852741
- Born of Fire by Fr. Innocent Montgomery, CFR: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Fire-Father-Innocent-Montgomery/dp/B09V3WCG85
Opening music: “Kyrie,” from Missa Presulem ephebeatum, composed by Heinrich Isaac, sung by Cappella Mariana, dir. Vojtěch Semerád, 2019. All rights reserved.
Episode 117: Sabbath Rest
13 February 2023 | Sixth Monday in Ordinary Time | Menlo Park, Calif.
Where do we go with our weariness? On this night walk under a starlit sky, I share about the need for Sabbath rest and time away with the Lord. Then we revisit the Dickens Chronological Reading Club with friend of the podcast Rachel Murphy, discussing Martin Chuzzlewit as a “problem novel” and the conditions for the possibility of conversion.
Today’s Word: “Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Opening music: “Manducaverunt,” communion antiphon for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, sung by Bros. Stefan Ansinger and Andrew-Thomas Kang, O.P., 2023. All rights reserved.
The Yes of Jesus Christ
This homily was given at St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park, CA on Friday, February 10, 2023, the memorial of St. Scholastica.
Episode 116: Overflow
6 February 2023 | Ss. Paul Miki and Companions | Menlo Park, Calif.
This week, on a rain-soaked walk to a coffee shop, I share some thoughts from Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard on being reservoirs rather than channels, and what it means to live from the overflow of God’s love. In our ongoing Carmelite conversation, we follow St. Teresa into the second dwelling places, where we learn how the Devil tempts souls to turn back and the necessity of perseverance in the practice of prayer.
Today’s Word: “Let brotherly love continue” (Heb 13:1).
You can read The Soul of the Apostolate online here: https://books.google.at/books?id=yyBfk6ROlEkC&printsec=frontcover
Opening music: “Adorna thalamum,” composed by William Byrd, sung by The Cardinall’s Musick, 2021. All rights reserved.
Episode 115: The Next Good Step
30 January 2023 | Fourth Monday in Ordinary Time | Menlo Park, Calif.
It’s the five year anniversary of In Your Embrace! Half a decade in, it’s amazing we’re still taking morning walks and talking about Jesus. To celebrate this historic occasion, I share with you some exciting news about a new musical project, and we continue our journey with St. Teresa into the very first dwelling places of the Interior Castle, where we learn that all we need to make progress is the determination to take the next good step.
Listen to the first two songs from Cantica Iesu on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLga4ORX1wn3OC1OPwPM4vUNeyxmFy7BYI
Opening music: “Afferte illos mihi huc,” sung by Cantica Iesu, 2022. All rights reserved.
Episode 114: The Innermost Room
22 January 2023 | Third Monday in Ordinary Time | Menlo Park, Calif.
This week, I share about our silent retreat with Bishop Daly of Spokane, Washington, and the first days of the spring semester, with comprehensive exams right around the corner. We also begin our new series of Carmelite conversations on St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle. What does it mean for the soul to go within itself, even to the innermost room?
Opening music: “Shalom lakh, Miryam,” sung by Harpa Dei, 2021. All rights reserved.
Episode 113: My Yoke is Easy
16 January 2023 | Second Monday in Ordinary Time | Menlo Park, Calif.
Although I’m away on retreat this week, I’m delighted to share this pre-recorded conversation with Fr. John Plass of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, in which we discuss the particular challenges faced by young people today and the wisdom offered by the Carmelite masters on living the spiritual life in our busy, modern world. Don’t miss this one!
Opening music: “Simon Ioannis,” communion antiphon for the Third Sunday in Easter (C), sung by the Schola of St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchinson, KS, 2022. All rights reserved.
Episode 112: We Two Make Only One
9 January 2023 | Baptism of the Lord | Menlo Park, Calif.
Speaking to you all once again from St. Patrick’s Seminary on this happy feast, I am very excited to share a conversation I’ve been “saving up” with Dr. Nina Sophie Heereman! This week, allow us to introduce our mutual friend and co-disciple of St. Thérèse: Marcel Van, the “pocket saint” of Vietnam.
Opening music: “Baptizatur Christus,” Benedictus antiphon for the Baptism of the Lord, sung by the Schola des Moines de l’Abbaye de Kergonan, 2012. All rights reserved.
Episode 111: The Word of the Year
4 January 2023 | St. Elizabeth Ann Seton | Roseburg, Ore.
Happy New Year! In this episode, which I recorded a few days ago back home in Roseburg, I share about my first (and hopefully only) Christmas as a deacon, my preparations for my last semester of seminary, and my word of the year for 2023.
Opening music: “Vidimus stellam,” communion antiphon for the Epiphany of the Lord, sung by Bros. Stefan Ansinger and Pier Giorgio Galassi, OP, 2023. All rights reserved.
Episode 110: A Christmas Carol
26 December 2022 | St. Stephen the Deacon | Menlo Park, Calif.
Merry Christmas, one and all! On this very special holiday episode, I share a little Christmas carol by G.K. Chesterton and a lively and delight-full discussion of Dickens’ Christmas Carol with Rachel and Boze of the DCRC. God bless us, every one!
Opening music: “Chesterton Carol,” written by G.K. Chesterton, composed by Mark Nowakowski, sung by Vos Omnes Virtual Choir, 2020. All rights reserved.
Episode 109: The Virtues and the Passions
19 December 2022 | Fourth Monday in Advent | Menlo Park, Calif.
This week, I share some thoughts from a recent discussion on authenticity and relatability. Are they virtues, and if so, how do they fit into our moral life and pastoral work? We continue to prepare for Christmas with the Carmelites, reading St. John of the Cross’s beautiful “Romances on the Incarnation.” Finally, Rachel and I discuss Barnaby Rudge, discussing the passions that give rise to mob violence and the role of fathers and sons.
Opening music: “Rorate cæli,” composed by William Byrd, sung by the Gesualdo Six, dir. Owain Park, 2021. All rights reserved.
Episode 108: An Unpetalled Rose
12 December 2022 | Our Lady of Guadalupe | Menlo Park, Calif.
Christ’s peace be with you! In the midst of the busiest season of the year, we could all use a little break to contemplate something beautiful and discuss the deeper meaning of things. This week on the podcast, I wanted to pause and give you just that gift. We read a beautiful poem by St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, then enjoy a lovely conversation with Rachel on Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop and the themes of martyrdom, memory, and much more.
Opening music: “Aue Maria” from the Mass of the Americas, composed by Frank La Rocca, dir. Ash Walker, 2018. All rights reserved.
Return to Joy
This homily was given at Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church, South San Francisco, CA on Sunday, December 11, 2022, the Third Sunday in Advent.
Fight, Flight, Freeze
Busy and Blind
Episode 107: Advent Rest
28 November 2022 | First Monday of Advent | Menlo Park, Calif.
At the beginning of this new year of grace and mercy, I share some little ways I’m trying to combat the spirit of busyness and live into the spirit of Advent rest. In our Carmelite segment, Dr. Nina Sophie Heereman of St. Patrick’s Seminary joins the podcast to share her testimonies of St. Thérèse and some practical counsel for hearing and living the will of God. You don’t want to miss this one!
Opening music: “Alma redemptoris mater,” sung by Harpa Dei, 2020. All rights reserved.
Give Thanks in Everything
Episode 106: With God By Night
21 November 2022 | Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary | Menlo Park, Calif.
I’m back from my classmate’s diaconate ordination (the last of our class to be ordained!) with some thoughts on the virtue of “unassuming authority,” as the Rite of Ordination calls it. In this week’s Carmelite conversation, Daniel and I conclude our series on the dark night of the soul with some personal testimonies and closing reflections.
Opening music: “Christus vincit,” arr. Martin Baker, sung by the Choir of King’s College Cambridge, dir. Daniel Hyde, 2021. All rights reserved.
The Poorest King Who Ever Lived
Episode 105: A Lover’s Quest
14 November 2022 | XXXIII Monday in Ordinary Time | Menlo Park, Calif.
This week, recording in a brief break between classes, I share what it’s been like to practice saying Mass and hearing confessions, and beginning to prepare for priestly ordination! Daniel Murphy joins us again to share his insights on the dark night and the gift of faith.
Opening music: “Kyrie,” Mass for Voice Voices, composed by William Byrd, sung by the Choir of Christ Church, Oxford, 2010. All rights reserved.
Christ is Passing By
This homily was given at Byzantine Divine Liturgy at Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church, South San Francisco, CA on Sunday, November 13, 2022, the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.
Episode 104: Sense and Spirit
7 November 2022 | XXXII Monday in Ordinary Time | Menlo Park, Calif.
This week, amid the falling leaves that mark the changing of the seasons, we discuss transitions: the “dark nights” of the senses and the spirit, and the active and passive movements, in the theology of St. John of the Cross. In the Dickens segment, Dcn. Matthew, Rachel and Boze continue last week’s discussion of Oliver Twist through the theme of memory.
Opening music: “Gratias agimus tibi,” 4th movement of “Gloria in D major,” composed by Antonio Vivaldi, dir. R. Mlkeyan, sung by the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, 2012. All rights reserved.
The Great Ones
Episode 103: Found Families
31 October 2022 | Vigil of All Saints | Menlo Park, Calif.
I may not have managed to get it up by 6:00, but I’m delighted to be back this week with a new episode of In Your Embrace podcast! This Hallow’s Eve, we join the founders of the Dickens Chronological Reading Club to discuss Oliver Twist: how lost souls find a home, how hospitality can be a double-edged sword, and just why this novel is tremendously compelling and relevant for readers today. Plus, what is the dark night of the soul, and how can St. John call it “more lovely than the dawn”?
Opening music: “Gaudeamus omnes,” composed by WIlliam Byrd, dir. John Rutter, sung by The Cambrige Singers, 2021. All rights reserved.
A Different Standard
Episode 102: Keeping Vigil
17 October 2022 | St. Ignatius of Antioch | Menlo Park, Calif.
This week, I share my experiences teaching my first confirmation class of the year, and some thematic resonances between Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites and Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge. In our latest Carmelite conversation, Daniel Murphy returns to discuss some of the basic virtues and dispositions necessary for progress in prayer, and shares one tip for beginners who want to set out into the deep.
Opening music: “Ave Maria,” act II of Dialogues des Carmélites, composed by François Poulenc, dir. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, sung at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, 2019. All rights reserved.
Never Lift Alone
Episode 101: A Matter of Style
10 September 2022 | XXVIII Monday in Ordinary Time | Menlo Park, Calif.
As its first season draws to a close, let’s return this week to Amazon’s Rings of Power: the highs, the lows, the reasons I’m cooling on the show, and why I’m still holding out hope for a surprising conclusion. We also welcome back friend of the podcast Daniel Murphy to discuss the distinctive Carmelite “style” of prayer and how it stands as a sign of contradiction to certain modern tendencies in spirituality.
Opening music: “Ecce quam bonum,” sung by the Discalced Carmelite Friars of Czerna Monastery, 2016. All rights reserved.
Episode 100: Waiting for God
26 September 2022 | Ss. Cosmas and Damian | Menlo Park, Calif.
We’re four and a half years old, and this is our one hundredth episode! This week, I share some new things I’m trying for better sleep and intentional rest, and some thoughts on the commandment to rest on the Sabbath. Rachel and I discuss the themes of friendship and fatherhood in the Pickwick Papers, including celibate love and the motif of the benevolent bachelor. Finally, we rejoin the Prophet Elijah in the cave and consider what it means to wait for God.
Send me a message at inyourembrace.com/contact to let me know you’re listening!
Please note there will be no new episode next Monday. The podcast will resume the following Monday, Oct 10.
Opening music: “The Lord’s Prayer,” from the Mass in Honor of Saint Isaac Jogues, composed by Jeff Ostrowski, sung by Corpus Christi Watershed, 2022. All rights reserved.