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AR#6 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.Keating 21 AR#6   Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

One of our greatest sufferings as Christians, is our own impatience with ourselves. We want to be good and holy immediately. St. Francis de Sales said “Have patience with all things. But chiefly, have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage, in considering your own imperfections. But instantly set about to remedy them. Begin every day a task anew.”  During Advent, lets make our new task a deeper prayer life, entrusting all our desires for goodness and holiness, to the Most Holy Trinity, who has infinite patience with us. And as we receive this amazing love from the Trinity, let us ask that our own characters be reformed, so that we might have real patience with one another.

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 


6 hours, 31 minutes ago Posted in: Mark Hart, Podcast, Recent, Series, Sunday, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

Mark Hart 31 218x300 Fourth Sunday of Advent   Sunday, Sunday, Sunday with Mark HartThe Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Podcast is a reflection on the upcoming Sunday Mass readings presented by LifeTeen.com and hosted by Mark Hart.

Sunday Readings from the USCCB

Reading 1 2 sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16

Responsorial Psalm ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27-29

Reading 2 rom 16:25-27

Gospel lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

 

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine;

 



21 hours, 51 minutes ago Posted in: 1, Devotional Prayer, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 1

Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.


O Key of David O Clavis David:“O Key of David”O Key of David,

O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven:

Come, break down the prison walls of death for those

who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death;

and lead your captive people into freedom.

 

Isaiah had prophesied, AI will place the Key of the House of David on His shoulder; when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open.” (22:22), and “His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.” (9:6).

For greater text and musical credit visit

the  Discerning Hearts O Antiphon page

 


Anthony Lilles Faith Contemplates the Advent Mystery Because He Leads into Captivity All Powers by Dr. Anthony Lilles

From Anthony’s “Beginning to Pray” blog

Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity helps us open our hearts to the coming of Christ.  On the twelfth day of her Last Retreat, she offers a reflection on “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  Jesus has come to give us peace through opening up access to the Father’s house.

Whoever sees Christ sees the Father, and to see this love is to find that for which our hearts most long.  This seeing, this contemplation, this knowledge is by faith.   Here, faith is no mere assent to a body of information but a contemplative reality that seeks the saving truth and savors it.  Faith is an encounter with the One whom the truths of our faith bear to us, and we believe what the Church proposes to us because we want to know Him.  Whoever has surrendered his personal existence in response to the surpassing totality of love revealed by Christ crucified, this soul has gained access to the Father’s house, the freedom to go to our real spiritual home, the liberty that leads to our true peace.

Blessed Elisabeth sees the peace of Christ through the eyes of Saint Paul.  Through the Blood of the Cross, the Lord leads all oppressive “Principalities and Powers” away “as captives, triumphing over them in Himself” (Col 2:15).  Without the knowledge of Christ’s love, our dignity is vulnerable to all kinds of dehumanizing forces.  But with the surpassing love we know in Christ Jesus, we are free from every form of irrational oppression — indeed, rather than rob of us dignity, the Lord permits all kinds of spiritual hardships only so that we might know the full extent of the greatness He calls us to and makes possible in our lives.

What the Apostle beheld in terms of oppressive cosmic forces, the Mystic of Dijon applies to our psychological powers.  Our interior battle with ambiguity and darkness in terms of our own patterns of thought and behavior is part of a cosmic struggle where evil powers attempt to overcome the light.  Just as Christ has taken diabolical powers captive, He also takes our psychological powers captive so that the ambiguity and confusion the emerges from them no longer robs us of our dignity as long as we persevere in believing in His love.  Her application  sees beyond the darkness of our interior frustrations to see the limitlessness of His mercy.

Beholding the unsurpassable love of the Lord, she understood how our limited powers of imagination, emotion, intuition, cognition and volition often hold us back.  Without the Word of the Father, these powers subject us to a labyrinth of fears, anxieties, false judgments because they are subject, not to the truth, but to sin and disintegration.  Left to their own, the powers of our soul frustrate that peace for which our hearts truly long.

Blessed Elisabeth also knew that Christ has the power to captivate, to hold even our own psychological powers captive.  He does not lead our psychological powers by oppression and He is never violent.  He attracts.  He fascinates.  He captivates – because in Him is the fullness of God, in Him all that is good, holy and true about humanity is revealed.  His love is that beautiful and she knew this and longed for her friends to see it too.  To see this love is to be freed from sin, to be raised up, to be capable of true praise.Blessed Elizabeth of the Tr Faith Contemplates the Advent Mystery Because He Leads into Captivity All Powers by Dr. Anthony Lilles

Techniques and methods rooted primarily in our own powers lack the freedom to achieve moral rectitude and cannot access the peace of the Father’s house.  Instead, Blessed Elisabeth invites us this Advent to allow our hearts to be drawn into a greater silence and solitude.  The surpassing love of Christ is known in our weakness, poverty, and thirst.  By humbling accepting this poverty of heart, the beatitude of His presence is ours.

Our faith truly accesses God.   Instead of attempting spiritual feats of devotion, Blessed Elisabeth invites us to simply surrender to His presence breaking in all around us.  To turn our thoughts to His great love is already to lift up our hearts.  To waste time thinking on what He has done for us by humbly entering our human poverty, this is already to begin to taste eternity.

He is the light in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome Him.  So in the inconvenience and difficult of our poverty and lack of love, He remains, waiting for us so that we, each of us, is awaited by an uncommon love.  She invites us to allow ourselves to be captivated: this Word, the Word made flesh, does not disdain humble humanity but cherishes his own birth in its frail freedom.


1 day, 21 hours ago Posted in: 1, Devotional Prayer, Novena, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0
“O Flower of Jesse’s stem,O Jesse 238x300 O Radix Jesse (O Flower of Jesse’s stem)

you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples;

kings stand silent in your presence;

the nations bow down in worship before you.

Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.”

Isaiah had prophesied, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (11:1), and A On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.” (11:10). Remember also that Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).

For greater text and musical credit visit
the  Discerning Hearts O Antiphon page

 

300x300 150x150 O Radix Jesse (O Flower of Jesse’s stem)

Man I Sing

Choral Music by Bob Chilcott
Performed by the BBC Singers


2 days, 7 hours ago Posted in: LOH, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

From the Imitation of Christ

On humility and peace

Do not care much who is with you and who is against you; but make it your greatest care that God is with you in everything you do.

Have a good conscience, and God will defend you securely; no one can hurt you if God wishes to help you.

If you know how to suffer in silence, you will surely receive God’s help. Since he knows best the time and the way to set you free, resign yourself to him, for God helps you and frees you from all confusion.

It is often good for us, and helps us to remain humble, if others know our weaknesses and confront us with them.

When a man humbles himself for his faults, he more easily pleases others and mollifies those he has angered.

God protects and frees a humble man; he loves and consoles a humble man; he favors a humble man; he showers him with graces; then, after his suffering, God raises him up to glory.

He reveals his secrets to a humble man and in his kindness invitingly draws that man to himself. When a humble man is brought to confusion, he experiences peace, because he stands firm in God and not in this world. Do not think that you have made any progress unless you feel that you are the lowest of all men.

Above all things, keep peace within yourself, then you will be able to create peace among others. It is better to be peaceful than learned.

The passionate man often thinks evil of a good man and easily believes the worst; a good and peaceful man turns all things to good.

A man who lives at peace suspects no one. But a man who is tense and agitated by evil is troubled with all kinds of suspicions; he is never at peace with himself, nor does he permit others to be at peace.

He often speaks when he should be silent, and he fails to say what would be truly useful. He is well aware of the obligations of others but neglects his own.

So be zealous first of all with yourself, and then you will be more justified in expressing zeal for your neighbor.

You are good at excusing and justifying your own deeds, and yet you will not listen to the excuses of others. It would be more just to accuse yourself and excuse your neighbor.

If you wish others to put up with you, first put up with them.

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.

tp 2a 0 On Humility and Peace  The Imitation of Christ from the Office of Readings


2 days, 21 hours ago Posted in: 1, Novena, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

Moses on Burning Bush O Adonai (O sacred Lord of ancient Israel)“O sacred Lord of ancient Israel,

who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush,

who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come,

stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.”

Isaiah had prophesied, “But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” (11:4-5); and “Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” (33:22).

For greater text and musical credit visit
the  Discerning Hearts O Antiphon page

 

300x300 150x150 O Adonai (O sacred Lord of ancient Israel)

Man I Sing

Choral Music by Bob Chilcott
Performed by the BBC Singers


AR-SP2- THE GIFT OF HOLINESS AT CHRISTMAS w/ Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B., PhD. Fr. Mauritius3 AR SP2  THE GIFT OF HOLINESS AT CHRISTMAS w/ Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B., PhD.

This reflection was given during a special advent evening of prayer and meditation service at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, in Omaha, NE on December 16. Fr.Mauritius  was joined by Deacon James Keating PhD. This if the second of two talks

Father Mauritius Wilde, OSB, Ph.D., did his philosophical, theological and doctoral studies in Europe. He is the author of several books and directs retreats regularly. He serves as Prior of our monastery in Schuyler.

St. Benedict Center 2 AR SP2  THE GIFT OF HOLINESS AT CHRISTMAS w/ Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B., PhD.For more information about the ministry of the the Missionary Benedictines of Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, Nebraska visit here:



AR-SP1- THE GIFT OF HOLINESS AT CHRISTMAS w/ Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.Keating 21 AR SP1   THE GIFT OF HOLINESS AT CHRISTMAS w/ Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

This reflection was given during a special advent evening of prayer and meditation service at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, in Omaha, NE on December 16. Deacon Keating was joined by Fr. Mauritius Wilde OSB. This if the first of two talks.

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 


3 days, 21 hours ago Posted in: 1, Novena, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0
O Wisdom O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

O Wisdom, O holy Word of God,

you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care.

Come and show your people the way to salvation.

Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).

For greater text and musical credit visit

the  Discerning Hearts O Antiphon page

 

300x300 150x150 O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

Man I Sing

Choral Music by Bob Chilcott
Performed by the BBC Singers


Omar F. A. Gutierrez RN 3   Value # 3 – Look , Judge, Act    Regnum Novum w/ Omar Gutierrez

Omar F. A. Gutierrez

Episode 3 – Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Guiterrez – Value # 3 – Look , Judge, Act – Communion not opposition

procession 800x600 RN 3   Value # 3 – Look , Judge, Act    Regnum Novum w/ Omar Gutierrez3.  Look, Judge, Act

Blessed Pope John XXIII gave us this practical suggestion in his letter Mater et magistra. The Social Doctrine provides us with principles for reflection, criteria for judgment, and directives for action. Social justice is supposed to be lived out in our every day. That’s the point, and so this Holy Father gave us the paradigm.

Look at the world around you, that which is most immediate to you. Start with your family. Proceed to your culture. Witness the social and economic realities/policies near you. Know the political landscape of your city, county, state, and nation. See your neighbors close at hand and around the world. Use the principles of the Social Teaching as you look so that you know what to look for.

Judge what is best for the family, for the culture, for the society and the economy, for the state, for the world. Use the criteria provided by the Social Doctrine. What is missing? Why is it missing? What can be done?

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.
omar cover 11031 187x300 RN 3   Value # 3 – Look , Judge, Act    Regnum Novum w/ Omar GutierrezOmar 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


4 days, 9 hours ago Posted in: 1, Daily Prayer, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

The Morning Offering

Sacred Heart of Jesus 10 256x300 The Morning Offering   Mp3 audio download and textO Jesus,
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Amen.


4 days, 10 hours ago Posted in: 1, Daily Prayer, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

The Daily Examen Prayerb24 300x264 The Examen Prayer   An audio guided reflection for daily use

The Examen can be done anytime of the day, but it is highly recommended for midday and the close of the evening.

Transition:
Become aware of the love with which God looks upon me as I begin this examen.

Gratitude
Note the gifts that God’s love has given you this day and  give thanks to God for them.

Petition
Ask God for an insight and a strength that will make this examen a work of grace, fruitful beyond your human capacity alone.

Review
With  God, review the day. Look for the stirrings in your heart and the thoughts which God has given you this day.
Look also for those which have not been of God.
Review your choices in response to both, and throughout the day in general.

Forgiveness.
Ask for the healing touch of the forgiving God who, with love and respect for you, removes your heart’s burdens.

Renewal.
Look to the following day and, with God, plan concretely how to live it in accord with God’s loving desire for your life.

Transition:
Aware of God’s presence with you, prayerfully conclude the examen

*The above text was adapted from a pdf online entitled “The Examen” found here


5 days, 4 hours ago Posted in: LOH, Podcast, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

From The Memoirs by the secretary of St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Love is as strong as death

 

One day Saint Jane spoke the following eloquent words, which listeners took down exactly as spoken:

“My dear daughters, many of our holy fathers in the faith, men who were pillars of the Church, did not die martyrs. Why do you think this was?” Each one present offered an answer; then their mother continued. “Well, I myself think it was because there is another martyrdom: the martyrdom of love. Here God keeps his servants and handmaids in this present life so that they may labor for him, and he makes of them both martyrs and confessors. I know,” she added, “that the Daughters of the Visitation are meant to be martyrs of this kind, and that, by the favor of God, some of them, more fortunate than others in that their desire has been granted, will actually suffer such a martyrdom.”

One sister asked what form this martyrdom took. The saint answered: “Yield yourself fully to God, and you will find out! Divine love takes its sword to the hidden recesses of our inmost soul and divides us from ourselves. I know one person whom love cut off from all that was dearest to her, just as completely and effectively as if a tyrant’s blade had severed spirit from body.”

We realized that she was speaking of herself. When another sister asked how long the martyrdom would continue, the Saint replied: “From the moment when we commit ourselves unreservedly to God, until our last breath. I am speaking, of course, of great-souled individuals who keep nothing back for themselves, but instead are faithful in love. Our Lord does not intend this martyrdom for those who are weak in love and perseverance. Such people he lets continue on their mediocre way, so that they will not be lost to him; he never does violence to our free will.”

Finally, the saint was asked whether this martyrdom of love could be put on the same level as martyrdom of the body. She answered: “We should not worry about equality. I do think, however, that the martyrdom of love cannot be relegated to a second place, for love is as strong as death. For the martyrs of love suffer infinitely more in remaining in this life so as to serve God, than if they died a thousand times over in testimony to their faith and love and fidelity.”

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. Jane de Chantal Love as strong as death   St. Jane Frances de Chantal from the Office of the Readings


5 days, 6 hours ago Posted in: Podcast, Recent, Series, The Discerning Hearts Blog 0

USCCA3- Episode 3- Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature


Archbisop George Lucas USCCA3   Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature   U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults w/ Arch. George LucasArchbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 3:

Blessed John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council itself illustrate how the Church constantly draws upon Tradition and Sacred Scripture.  This chapter examines these foundations of the Church teaching because its through Tradition and Scripture that the Church knows God’s Revelation and transmits it from one generation to another.

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:

United States Catechism for USCCA3   Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature   U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults w/ Arch. George Lucas

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 Deacon Chuck Adams and Denise Wharton for their vocal talents in this episode.