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January 28 is the day the Catholic Church honors St. Thomas Aquinas. The Italian saint was a priest and is widely recognized as being one of the most influential figures in the study of theology. Here we have more on St. Thomas Aquinas from Mike Aquilina who he refers to as the “poet laureate of heaven”.

Check out  Mike’s wonderful site “The Way of the Fathers”

From the Pope Benedict’s audience (from Vatican.va) reflecting on St. Thomas Aquinas….

 The life and teaching of St Thomas Aquinas could be summed up in an episode passed down by his ancient biographers. While, as was his wont, the Saint was praying before the Crucifix in the early morning in the chapel of St Nicholas in Naples, Domenico da Caserta, the church sacristan, overheard a conversation. Thomas was anxiously asking whether what he had written on the mysteries of the Christian faith was correct. And the Crucified One answered him: “You have spoken well of me, Thomas. What is your reward to be?”. And the answer Thomas gave him was what we too, friends and disciples of Jesus, always want to tell him: “Nothing but Yourself, Lord!”

 

 

Mike’s book that really helps to pray with St. Thomas you can find it here

This is the poem spoke about in our conversaton:

O Godhead hid, devoutly I adore Thee,
Who truly art within the forms before me;
To Thee my heart I bow with bended knee,
As failing quite in contemplating Thee.

Sight, touch, and taste in Thee are each deceived;
The ear alone most safely is believed.
I believe all the Son of God has spoken :
Than Truth’s own word there is no trucer token.

God only on the Cross lay hid from view,
But here lies hid at once the manhood too :
And I, in both professing my believe,
Make the same prayer as the repentant thief.

Thy wounds, as Thomas saw, I do not see;
Yet Thee confess my Lord and God to be.
Make me blieve Thee ever more and more,
In Thee my hope, in Thee my love to store.

O Thou, memorial of our Lord’s own dying!
O living bread, to mortals life supplying!
Make Thou my soul henceforth on Thee to live;
Ever a taste of heavenly sweetness give.

O loving Pelican! O Jesu Lord!
Unclean I am, but cleanse me in Thy Blood :
Of which a single drop, for sinners spilt,
Can purge the entire world from all its guilt.

Jesu! whom for the present veiled I see,
What I so thirst for, oh, vouchasafe to me :
That I may see Thy countenance unfolding,
And may be blest Thy glory in beholding. Amen.


Fr.-GallagherEpisode 3 – The Crucible of Suffering and the Gift of Faith – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

In this episode, Fr. Timothy Gallagher discusses the crucible of suffering that occurred in the young Bruno Lanteri’s life. The tragedies became the stepping stones for newness in the spiritual journey. So are the opportunities that may arise in our lives when we are challenged with failure, suffering, and illness. Like Ven. Lanteri, will we “begin again” and allow faith to support and guide us through the storms of life?

During the course of this series we find that the Ven. Bruno Lanteri’s life and mission contains significant spiritual relevance to nurture the hearts of today’s religious and lay faithful.

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”.

For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit his website: frtimothygallagher.org

For the other episodes in this series check out Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page

Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests

Lanteri-website

 

Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.


23 hours, 29 minutes ago Posted in: Omar F. A. Gutierrez, Podcast, Recent, Series, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

Omar F. A. Gutierrez

Omar F. A. Gutierrez

Episode 7 – Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Guiterrez – Value 5 The Common Good, Universal Destination of Goods, Subsidiarity, Participation, Solidarity part 1

procession 800x600 RN 1 Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Gutierrez  Episode 1

From episode 7… Point 5: The Common Good, Universal Destination of Goods, Subsidiarity, Participation, Solidarity

These are the five principles laid out in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. If we understand these principles, then the work of the Revolution can begin. We are made now for a New Kingdom with Christ as our King in all things. Let us discover this place together, and make the devil cringe and know the suffering of defeat.

In this episode we focus on “The Common Good”.

Urging of Christ's LoveOmar F. A. Guiterrez, M.A. , Special Assistant to Archbishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha. He’s also the author of “The Urging of Christ’s Love: The Saints and The Social Teaching of the Catholic”

 

Also visit Omar’s “Discerning Hearts” page Catholic Social Teaching 101


1 day, 1 hour ago Posted in: LOH, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

From the Spiritual Testament by Saint Angela Merici, virgin

“He has disposed all things pleasantly”

Mothers and sisters most dear to me in Christ: in the first place strive with all your power and zeal to be open. With the help of God, try to receive such good counsel that, led solely by the love of God and an eagerness to save souls, you may fulfil your charge.

Only if the responsibilities committed to you are rooted firmly in this twofold charity will they bear beneficial and saving fruit. As our Saviour says: A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit.

He says: A good tree, that is, a good heart as well as a soul inflamed with charity, can do nothing but good and holy works. For this reason Saint Augustine said: Love, and do what you will, namely, possess love and charity and then do what you will. It is as if he had said: Charity is not able to sin.

I also beg you to be concerned about every one of your daughters. Bear them, so to speak, engraved upon your heart – not merely their names, but their conditions and states, whatever they may be. This will not be difficult for you if you embrace them with a living love.

Mothers of children, even if they have a thousand, carry each and every one fixed in their hearts, and because of the strength of their love they do not forget any of them. In fact, it seems that the more children they have the more their love and care for each one is increased. Surely those who are mothers in spirit can and must act all the more in the same way, because spiritual love is more powerful than the love that comes from a blood relationship.

Therefore, mothers most dear to me, if you love these your daughters with a living and unaffected charity, it will be impossible for you not to have each and every one of them engraved upon your memory and in your mind. I beg you again, strive to draw them by love, modesty, charity, and not by pride and harshness. Be sincerely kind to every one according to the words of our Lord: Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart. Thus you are imitating God, of whom it is said: He has disposed all things pleasantly. And again Jesus said: My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

You also ought to exercise pleasantness toward all, taking great care especially that what you have commanded may never be done by reason of force. For God has given free will to everyone, and therefore he forces no one but only indicates, calls, persuades. Sometimes, however, something will have to be done with a stronger command, yet in a suitable manner and according to the state and necessities of individuals; but then also we should be impelled only by charity and zeal for souls.

Excerpts from the English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) © 1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

Saint-Angela-Merici


paulthigpen

Episode 3 – “Temptation” – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 2:

he ordinary activity of demons is subtle and occurs within our thought life. They plant ideas within our minds seeking to influence our reason, memory, and imagination — and ultimately, our will. They can suggest such ideas indirectly through our senses, especially through what we see and hear. The ideas may come through conversations, reading, or various social and communications media. Demons may also have a role in arranging circumstances around us in a way that leads to certain thoughts.

Meanwhile, thoughts may come into our mind directly from the Enemy as well. How is that possible? As we’ve noted, when words come to us from outside ourselves, they normally come through our senses, which help us to discern the physical medium that is their source.

But the demons have no physical bodies. So when they communicate thoughts to us without using a physical medium, we may not discern that the thoughts come from outside us. Instead, we may mistake the thoughts as our own — and that misperception is obviously to the Enemy’s advantage.

What kinds of thoughts do evil spirits suggest to us? Most often, they influence us through temptation. They entice us to commit sin. But how exactly do they provide us occasions of sin?

Visit here for other episodes in this series:

Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

manual-for-spiritual-warfar

The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here
Paul Thigpen, Ph.D, is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.
Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.
In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings,speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.

 


Episode 8- The Saving Death and Resurrection of Christ

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 8:

Because Christ’s suffering and death was the instruments of salvation, from what did he save us?  We needed to be saved from sin and its damaging effects.  God’s plan to save us involved having the Son of God enter into this world to be like us in all things except sin.  Divine love made this possible.

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha.

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This programs is based on:

More information can be found here.

We wish to thank the USCCB for the permissions granted for use of  relevant material used in this series.
Also we wish to thank Omar and Miriam Gutierrez  for their vocal talents in this episode.

 


THE WAY OF PERFECTIONSt.-Teresa-2
By
St. Teresa of Avila

Chapter 40

For the pdf containing the complete text and footnotes click here

Describes how, by striving always to walk in the love and fear of God, we shall travel safely amid all these temptations.

 

For other audio chapters of
“The Way of Perfection”

THE WAY OF PERFECTION
by
ST. TERESA OF AVILA
Translated & Edited by
E. ALLISON PEERS
from the Critical Editon of
P. SILVERIO DE SANTA TERESA, C.D.


Fr.-GallagherEpisode 2 – The Value of Spiritual Reading – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

In this episode, Fr. Timothy Gallagher discusses the influence of Fr. Nikolaus Joseph Lanteri-1Albert von Diesbach on the young Bruno Lanteri.  An encounter with a good spiritual book facilitates the conversion of Fr. Diesbach at a critical time in his life.  Spiritual reading and the use of “media” of the time is a precursor to what we now call the “New Evangelization”.  That use of Spiritual reading to aid in conversion and growth in the spiritual life is discussed in depth by Fr. Gallagher.  He also reflects on a moment of great suffering in the life of Fr. Diesbach, which became a time of tremendous grace, but subsequently, for others as well.

During the course of this series we find that the Ven. Bruno Lanteri’s life and mission contains significant spiritual relevance to nurture the hearts of today’s religious and lay faithful.

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”.

For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit his website: frtimothygallagher.org

For the other episodes in this series check out Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page

Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests

Lanteri-website

 

Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.


Omar F. A. Gutierrez

Omar F. A. Gutierrez

Episode 6 – Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar GuiterrezValue 4 Truth, Freedom, Justice, and Love part 3 “Love”

procession 800x600 RN 1 Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Gutierrez  Episode 1

From episode … 6. Truth, Freedom, Justice, and Love part 2 “Justice”

These are the four values of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church as they’re enumerated in the Compendium and as they were laid out by, again, Blessed Pope John XXIII in Mater et magistra and Pacem in terris. Without these values, the work of social justice becomes an albatross around our necks. It pulls us down, threatening to poison all the work we do, no matter how well intentioned.

We are seeking to build a civilization of love. Love is an encounter with God. Love begets love, and the experience of love can heal many more wounds than can socio-economic trivialities.

(Truth, Freedom and Justice are covered in other episodes)

 

True social justice requires that we drop these paradigms of opposition: management vs. labor; bourgeois vs. proletariat; state vs. individual. We own the great Catholic both/and. It applies to the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church more than ever.
Urging of Christ's LoveOmar F. A. Guiterrez, M.A. , Special Assistant to Archbishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha. He’s also the author of “The Urging of Christ’s Love: The Saints and The Social Teaching of the Catholic”

 

Also visit Omar’s “Discerning Hearts” page Catholic Social Teaching 101


From a letter to the Ephesians by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr
(Nn. 13-18,1: Funk 1, 183-187)

Have Faith in Christ, and love

Try to gather together more frequently to give thanks to God and to praise him. For when you come together frequently, Satan’s powers are undermined, and the destruction that he threatens is done away with in the unanimity of your faith. Nothing is better than peace, in which all warfare between heaven and earth is brought to an end.

None of this will escape you if you have perfect faith and love toward Jesus Christ. These are the beginning and the end of life: faith the beginning, love the end. When these two are found together, there is God, and everything else concerning right living follows from them. No one professing faith sins: no one possessing love hates. A tree is known by its fruit. So those who profess to belong to Christ will be known by what they do. For the work we are about is not a matter of words here and now, but depends on the power of faith and on being found faithful to the end.

It is better to remain silent and to be than talk and not be. Teaching is good if the speaker also acts. Now there was one teacher who spoke, and it was made, and even what he did in silence is worthy of the Father. He who has the word of Jesus can truly listen also to his silence, in order to be perfect, that he may act through his speech and be known by his silence. Nothing is hidden from the Lord, but even our secrets are close to him. Let us then do everything in the knowledge that he is dwelling within us that we may be his temples, and he God within us. He is, and will reveal himself, in our sight, according to the love we bear him in holiness.

Make no mistake, my brothers: those who corrupt families will not inherit the kingdom of God. If those who do these things in accordance with the flesh have died, how much worse will it be if one corrupts through evil doctrine the faith of God for which Jesus Christ was crucified? Such a person, because he is defiled, will depart into the unquenchable fire, as will anyone who listens to him.

For the Lord received anointing on his head in order that he might breathe incorruptibility on the Church. Do not be anointed with the evil odor of the teachings of the prince of this world, that he may not lead you captive away from the life that is set before you. But why is it that we are not all wise when we have received the knowledge of God, which is Jesus Christ? Why do we perish in our stupidity, not knowing the gift the Lord has truly sent us?

My spirit is given over to the humble service of the cross which is a stumbling block to unbelievers but to us salvation and eternal life.

Excerpts from the English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) © 1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

st.ignatius-of-antioch


THE WAY OF PERFECTIONSt.-Teresa-2
By
St. Teresa of Avila

Chapter 39

For the pdf containing the complete text and footnotes click here

Continues the same subject and gives counsels concerning different kinds of temptation. Suggests two remedies by which we may be freed from temptations.

 

For other audio chapters of
“The Way of Perfection”

THE WAY OF PERFECTION
by
ST. TERESA OF AVILA
Translated & Edited by
E. ALLISON PEERS
from the Critical Editon of
P. SILVERIO DE SANTA TERESA, C.D.


Paul-Thigpen

Episode 2 – “Why does God allow evil?” – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 1:

God is infinitely more powerful than the Devil and his hosts. So why doesn’t God prevent them from their evildoing on planet earth? We could ask a similar question about why God doesn’t stop human beings from committing wicked deeds. Evil’s continuing presence among us is a mystery we can’t fully figure out in this life.
Nevertheless, we can say this much: God allows evil because He’s powerful enough to bring out of even the greatest evil a much greater good.

Visit here for other episodes in this series:
Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.
manual-for-spiritual-warfar

The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here
Paul Thigpen, Ph.D, is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.
Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.
In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings,speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.

 


Episode 7- The Good News:  God Has Sent His Son

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 7:

We ponder Christ’s person and his earthly words and deeds in terms of mystery.  His earthly life reveals his hidden divine Sonship and plan for our salvation.  His parables, miracles, sermons, and wisdom sayings help us “to see our God made visible, and so we are caught up in love of the God we cannot see” (First Preface for Christmas).

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha.

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This programs is based on:

More information can be found here.

We wish to thank the USCCB for the permissions granted for use of  relevant material used in this series.
Also we wish to thank Chuck Adams and Miriam Gutierrez  for their vocal talents in this episode.

 


Faith Check/Greg Youell

Faith Check/Greg Youell

What is Truth?

In our culture religion is often considered a mere matter of personal taste.  Just as some prefer vanilla and others chocolate, you have your religion and I have mine.

But Jesus Christ did not just claim to be another prophet or spiritual teacher; He claimed to be Truth itself, as when He said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father but through me.”

Upon hearing Jesus’ truth claims, Pilate scoffed, “What is truth?,”1 sounding very much like a skeptic in our own day.

But every person, ancient or modern, must confront Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah, the Son of God, whose blood atones for our sins, who dies and rises again, and will return as King and Judge of the world.

Such claims have only two possible responses: true or false.  For if you claim to be God and the Savior of the Jesus-before-Pilateworld, you either are or you aren’t.  As C.S. Lewis wrote, Jesus could have either been a lunatic, a liar, or the Lord—but the one thing he could not have been was a mere “good moral teacher,” as so many say.2

But if Jesus is truly the Lord, then He is the Lord of all—and that’s not a matter of personal taste!

1 –  Jn. 18:8

2 –  See Mere Christianity, Book 2, Chapter 3.

 

 


St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 5

Day 5St.-Francis-de-Sales-17

This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do no accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart’s door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation,” … a man’s anger does not fulfill God’s justice.” [Jas 1:20] (INT. Part III, Ch. 8; O. III, p. 162)

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue, especially in the love of God and neighbor, I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection. Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart. Grant that all people, especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love. Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth. Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion, to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Encouraged by your prayers and example, help me to live fully my sacred dignity with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny: eternal life with God. Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need). O God, for the salvation of all, you desired that St. Francis de Sales—preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—should befriend many long the road to salvation. Mercifully grant that we, infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity, guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

For the complete novena visit here