Rome – pilgrimage, images, audio and Mp3 downloads from Scott & Kimberly Hahn and Mike Aquilina


(Just scroll down a little further for the Rome 2007
Scott & Kimberly Hahn, Mike Aquilina Pilgrimage)

May 2008 Pilgrimage

The Holy Father is trying to get Denise’s attention during his audience…she was giving directions to her house to this Cardinal we were sitting next to in case he ever made it to America. She just wanted to make sure he had a place to stay.

In the audio below we talk about all kind of things…Scavi tour, Papal audiences and Gelato

May 2008 Trip – Part. 1 Kris, Fr. Roza and Denise Wharton.>
May 2008 Trip – Part.2 Kris, Fr. Roza and Denise Wharton>

Fr. Andy Roza and Denise with our table side Bavarian Marching Band (You know what they say…”When in Rome…”)

Boy did I get blasted by an Italian woman for taking this shot (I didn’t use a flash, and everyone was doing it…Gee touchy)

Here is Denise at the top of St. Peter’s. I’m taking the picture (barely), it was such an exhaustive trek! Denise actually carried me the last 1500 steps…what a pal. (She wants you to know her nose is not that big, I was using a wide angle lens…really)

Rome 2007

05-21-07 1st Call Kris walking outside the Colosseum

05-21-07 2nd Call Kris with Cheryl Hove

05-21-07 3rd Call Scott Hahn

05-21-07 4th Call Mike Aquilina

05-22-07 1st Call Kris

05-22-07 2nd Call Kimberly Hahn outside St. Mary Major

05-23-07 1st Call Kris

05-23-07 2nd Call Mike Aquilina

05-23-07 3rd Call Scott Hahn

05-23-07 Kris and Mike at the Truck Stop

05-24-07 1st Call Kris in Assisi-

05-24-07 2nd Call Mike Aquilina in Assisi

05-25-07 1st Call Kris

The Holy Rosary for Discerning Hearts – Our Lady’s Garden of Prayer

Outside of the Sacramental prayers of the Church, for me, there is no other prayer more important then the prayerful recitation/meditation/contemplation of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Our late great Holy Father, Pope John Paul II put it beautifully in His Apostolic Letter On the Rosary of the Virgin Mary:

“A path of contemplation”

“But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine “training in holiness”: “What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of

The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation. Developed in the West, it is a typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the “prayer of the heart” or “Jesus prayer” which took root in the soil of the Christian East.”- His Apostolic Letter On the Rosary of the Virgin Mary

Pope Benedict XVI reflects on “the great” St. Clare of Assisi

Vatican City, Sep 15, 2010 Pope Benedict’s General Audience, from Saint Clare of Assisi Dear Brothers and Sisters, One of the best loved Saints is without a doubt St Clare of Assisi who lived in the 13th century and was a contemporary of St Francis. Her testimony shows us how indebted the Church is […]

IP#53 Sir Gilbert Levine – The Pope’s Maestro on Inside the Pages

A very special “Inside the Pages” with Sir Gilbert Levine, who shares from his heart, this compelling tale of faith, friendship, and the healing power of music to bring people together. “The Pope’s Maestro” is an extraordinary and inspirational story of the unlikely friendship of Sir Gilbert Levine and Pope John Paul II, who collaborated on symbolic acts of reconciliation: a series of internationally broadcast concerts designed to bring together people from all religious backgrounds under the auspices of the Vatican. Sir Gilbert invites us all in to share in the special relationship bonded in music, prayer, and…love.

Faith Check 17 – Apostolic Succession of Bishops

There are many forms of church governance among Christians today. In some churches congregations vote to make decisions; in others the church is run by a group of elders; and in still others, authority resides with bishops.

While all Christians point to Scripture to support their church structure, it is very difficult to determine the precise way the early Church was governed from the Bible alone.
But in the year 110 A.D., only about 50 years after most of the New Testament was written, St. Ignatius of Antioch described the early church leadership in his letters: Each area was led by a single bishop who was accompanied by priests and deacons in ministry.

Ignatius wrote, “let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he appoints. … [T]his … is pleasing to God, so that whatever is done will be secure and valid.”1

Ignatius himself was with the apostle John, so we have every reason to trust that this basic church structure which the Catholic Church has to this day comes from the apostles themselves.

1 – Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8:1

St. Clement of Rome, first of the Apostolic Fathers of the Church with Mike Aquilina

Clemens Romanus was born in Rome in Italy during the time that the Christian faith was being spread and Christians were being persecuted by the Roman Emperors. He is believed to be of Jewish descent and a freeman of Rome. He worked as a tanner during the early part of his life. He was then converted to Christianity and became a disciple of St. Peter and of St. Paul. Following the death of Saint Peter he took over his position and became the fourth Pope and Bishop of Rome continuing to convert Romans from the religion of the old Roman gods to Christianity.

Saint Clement was banished from Rome during the reign of the Emperor Trajan (September 18, 53 – August 9, 117) due to his beliefs and unpopularity with the Roman rabble. He was banished to Chersonesus, which was an ancient Greek colony under Roman rule, in the south western part of Crimea (part of the Ukraine). In Chersonesus he was sentenced to work with other prisoners in a sto [Saintclementmartyr] ne quarry where he continued to convert people. The number and success of his conversions attracted the attention of the Roman prefect who sentenced him to death. Clement was he was bound to an anchor and cast into the sea. He died in A.D.100.

IP#234 Mike Aquilina – Good Pope, Bad Pope on Inside the Pages

“Good Pope, Bad Pope: Their Lives, Our Lesson” is another terrific book by the prolific Mike Aquilina. This is a much needed resource for all Catholics. Those of us who love and appreciate the gift of the Papacy in the life of the Church, if we are honest with ourselves, cringe a bit inside when the facts of history uncover those Popes who were…well…bad. Leave it to Mike Aquilina to guide us through those notorious lives and times, while helping us to see the lesson we can learn from those particular experiences. Mike also lifts up those outstanding men who were more than just “good” Popes (which the overwhelming majority were), but reminds of popes like Bl. John Paul II, who could be called “great”. Be not afraid of history, especially when its in the hands of Mike Aquilina.

St. Gregory the Great…with Mike Aquilina

St. Gregory the Great…with Mike Aquilina

The tradition of the Church considers him one of the four great doctors of the Latin Church. Born in Rome, Italy, in AD 540, St. Gregory was the son of Gordianus, a wealthy senator, and Silvia, who later became a saint. (Saints make saints after all…).

He is known for his magnificent contributions to the Liturgy of the Mass and Office. The “Gregorian Chant” is named in honor of Saint Gregory’s patient labor in restoring the ancient chant of the Church and in setting down the rules to be followed so that Church music might more perfectly fulfill its function.

Saint Gregory the Great died on the twelfth of March, 604, at the age of sixty-four. He was canonized immediately after his death. Later, because of the volume, the extraordinary insight and the profundity of his writings, the depth and extent of his learning, and the heroic holiness of his life, the Church gratefully placed him beside Jerome and Ambrose and Augustine. Saint Gregory the Great became the fourth of the Church’s four great Doctors of the West. -

St. Ignatius of Loyola – Fr. James Martin and the Holy Father on the life and influence of St. Ignatius of Loyola

St Ignatius of Loyola was first and foremost a man of God who in his life put God, his greatest glory and his greatest service, first. He was a profoundly prayerful man for whom the daily celebration of the Eucharist was the heart and crowning point of his day.

Thus, he left his followers a precious spiritual legacy that must not be lost or forgotten. Precisely because he was a man of God, St Ignatius was a faithful servant of the Church, in which he saw and venerated the Bride of the Lord and the Mother of Christians. And the special vow of obedience to the Pope, which he himself describes as “our first and principal foundation” (MI, Series III, I., p. 162), was born from his desire to serve the Church in the most beneficial way possible.

The Biblical Basis for the Papacy … In Conversation with John Salza

This is such an interesting conversation Bruce and I had with author John Salza! We discussed this time around, “The Biblical Basis for the Papacy”. Fascinating.

St. John of the Cross – Purify the heart in order to meet Christ

St. John of the Cross, said Benedict XVI, “is considered one of most important lyric poets of Spanish literature. He wrote four major works: ‘Ascent of Mount Carmel’, ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, ‘Spiritual Canticle’ and ‘Living Flame of Love’.

“In his ‘Spiritual Canticle’ St. John outlines the soul’s journey of purification”, the Holy Father added. “The ‘Living Flame of Love’ continues in the same line, describing in greater detail the condition of union with God. … ‘Ascent of Mount Carmel’ outlines the spiritual itinerary from the point of view of a progressive purification of the soul, which is necessary in order to scale the heights of Christian perfection, symbolised by the summit of Mount Carmel”.

The Pope continued his catechesis by explaining how “the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ describes the ‘passive’ aspect; in other words, God’s contribution to the process of purifying the soul. Human effort alone, in fact, is incapable of reaching the deepest roots of a person’s bad inclinations and habits. It can halt them but not eradicate them completely. To do this, we need a special action by God which radically purifies the spirit and disposes it to the union of love with Him”.

Pope Benedict on Prayer – Prayer in the Book of Revelation: ” God is not indifferent to our prayers”

An excerpt from the audience:
The assembly must therefore know how to interpret in depth the history it is living, by learning to discern events with faith in order to cooperate by its action in the growth of the Kingdom of God. And this work of interpretation and discernment, as well as action, is linked to prayer.

This image signifies that God is not indifferent to our prayers; he intervenes and makes his power felt and his voice heard on the earth, he makes the systems of Evil tremble and disrupts them. Often, when faced with evil, we feel incapable of doing anything, but prayer is the first and most effective response that we can give and that strengthens our daily commitment to spreading goodness. The power of God makes our weakness fruitful (cf.Romans 8:26-27).

Pope Benedict on Prayer – Prayer in the Book of Revelation: “prayer is, above all, a listening to God Who speaks.

The first part of Revelation presents us with the assembly in prayer in three successive phases. The first of these highlights how “prayer is, above all, a listening to God Who speaks. Engulfed as we are by so many words we are little used to listening, and especially to adopting an interior and exterior attitude of silence so as to attend to what the Lord wishes to say to us. These verses also teach us that our prayers, often merely prayers of request, must in fact be first and foremost prayers of praise to God for His love, for the gift of Jesus Christ which brought us strength, hope and salvation. … God, Who reveals Himself as the beginning and the end of the story, welcomes and takes to heart the assembly’s request”.

This first phase also includes another important element. “Constant prayer revives in us a sense of the Lord’s presence in our life and history. His presence supports us, guides us and gives us great hope. … Prayer, even that pronounced in the most extreme solitude, is never a form of isolation and it is never sterile, it is a vital lymph which nourishes an increasingly committed and coherent Christian existence”.

In the second phase of the prayer of the assembly “the relationship with Jesus Christ is developed further. The Lord makes Himself visible, He speaks and acts, and the community, increasingly close to Him, listens, reacts and accepts”.

In the third phase “the Church in prayer, accepting the word of the Lord, is transformed. … The assembly listens to the message, and receives a stimulus for repentance, conversion, perseverance, growth in love and guidance for the journey”.

“The Revelation”, Benedict XVI concluded, “presents us with a community gathered in prayer, because it is in prayer that we gain an increasing awareness of Jesus’ presence with us and within us. The more and the better we prayer with constancy and intensity, the more we are assimilated to Him, and the more He enters into our lives to guide them and give them joy and peace. And the more we know, love and follow Jesus, the more we feel the need to dwell in prayer with Him, receiving serenity, hope and strength for our lives”.

St. Augustine Zhao Rong and the Church in China

2. “The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart” (Responsorial Psalm). These words of the Responsorial Psalm clearly reflect the experience of Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions, martyrs in China. The testimonies which have come down to us allow us to glimpse in them a state of mind marked by deep serenity and joy.

Faith Check 2 – Primacy of Peter

Primacy of Peter On this faith check let’s talk about our first pope, St. Peter.  I remember well a conversation I once had with a Protestant pastor who told me that if Peter were truly the first pope, he thought he’d see him exercising his papacy more in the Bible. Peter was no ordinary apostle.  […]

Faith Check 1 – The Keys of the Kingdom

In the ancient world, kingdoms would have a leader underneath the king who was responsible for the administration of the government—we might call them the prime ministers.  We find an example of this in Isaiah 22,2 when God declares that Shebna, the Prime Minister of Israel, will be deposed for his sins and replaced by Eliakim, whom God says will be a father to Israel and will carry the key of the house of David—“what he opens none shall shut; and what he shuts none shall open.”

When Jesus gave Peter the keys in Matthew 16, the apostles already understood their significance.  Peter was to be their leader, the prime minister that will shepherd Christ’s Church.  “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”3

Pope Benedict on Prayer 19 – The Prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper

“In contemplating Jesus’ words and gestures that night, we can clearly see that it was in His intimate and constant relationship with the Father that He accomplished the gesture of leaving to His followers, and to all of us, the Sacrament of love”, said the Pope. During the Last Supper Jesus also prayed for His disciples, who likewise had to suffer harsh trials. With that prayer “He supported them in their weakness, their difficulty in understanding that the way of God had to pass through the Paschal mystery of death and resurrection, which was anticipated in the offer of bread and wine. The Eucharist is the food of pilgrims, a source of strength also for those who are tired, weary and disoriented”.

Pope Benedict on Prayer 18 – The Holy Family is the model for the School of Prayer

“The Holy Family”, Benedict XVI concluded, “is an icon of the domestic Church, which is called to pray together. The family is the first school of prayer where, from their infancy, children learn to perceive God thanks to the teaching and example of their parents. An authentically Christian education cannot neglect the experience of prayer. If we do not learn to pray in the family, it will be difficult to fill this gap later. I would, then, like to invite people to rediscover the beauty of praying together as a family, following the school of the Holy Family of Nazareth”.

Pope Benedict on Prayer 15 – Jesus’ Prayer – “ Listening, meditating and remaining in silence before the Lord is an art”.”

By praying after His Baptism, Jesus demonstrates His intimate bond with the Father, “experiencing His paternity and apprehending the demanding beauty of His love. Speaking to God, Jesus receives confirmation of His mission”, with the words that resound from on high: “This is my son, the Beloved” and with the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Him. “Through prayer”, the Pope said, “Jesus lives in uninterrupted contact with the Father in order to achieve His project of love for mankind”. It is in this profound union with the Father that Jesus made the move for the hidden life of Nazareth to His public ministry.

Pope explains to children in Benin, how he prays

November 19, 2011. ( The pope visited a shelter that welcomes dozens of abandoned children, some of whom are sick or malnourished. It’s called “Peace and Joy,” and it’s run by the Missionaries of Charity in Benin. Cotonou’s Archbishop and the Mother Superior welcomed the pope, while children sang and danced for Benedict XVI. Another 800 […]

Pope Benedict on Prayer 13 – Psalm 119: “Open to hope and permeated with faith”

Psalm 119 is constructed around this Word of life and blessing. Its central theme is the Word and the Law, and its verses are replete with synonyms thereof such as “precepts, decrees, promises”, associated with verbs such as “to know, to love, to meditate, to live”, the Holy Father explained. “The entire alphabet features in the twenty-two verses of the Psalm, as does the entire vocabulary of the believer’s relationship of trust with God. We find praise, thanksgiving and trust, but also supplication and lamentation; however, all of them are pervaded by the certainty of divine grace and the power of the Word of God. Even those verses most marked by suffering and darkness remain open to hope and are permeated with faith”.

Pope Benedict: Holiness vocation of all the baptized – Vatican Radio

During his Angelus on Tuesday, Pope Benedict said “the Feast of All Saints is a good time to lift our gaze from the realities of the world… to the enormity of God, who encompasses all eternity and holiness. “

He said holiness is the vocation of all the baptized, and all the people of God are called to be saints.

The Pope then turned his thoughts to Wednesday’s commemoration of All Souls

IP#43 Dr. Matthew Bunson – John Paul II’s Book of Saints on Inside the Pages

Matthew and Margaret Bunson did an incredible job of chronicling all those holy men and women who were brought Matthew-Bunsonforward by our late great Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. The only thing that even comes close to reading this great book is hearing Dr. Matthew Bunson talk about those tremendous Blesseds and Saints. “John Paul II’s Book of Saints” is truly a treasury of sanctity!

Pope Benedict XVI “Bruckner asked this beloved God to let him enter His mystery…”

“Bruckner asked this beloved God to let him enter His mystery, … to let him praise the Lord in heaven as he had on earth with his music. ‘Te Deum laudamus, Te Dominum confitemur'; this great work we have just heard – written at one sitting then reworked over fifteen years as if reconsidering how better to thank and praise God – sums up the faith of this great musician”, Pope Benedict concluded. “It is also a reminder for us to open our horizons and think of eternal life, not so as to escape the present, though burdened with problems and difficulties, but to experience it more intensely, bringing a little light, hope and love into the reality in which we live”.

Our Holy Father has a “spiritual weapon” and he’s not afraid to use it (and he wants all of us to use it too…The Holy Rosary!)

In still other languages, he asked that the faithful “rediscover the value” of the “simple but efficient prayer” of the Rosary “as a way for a personal encounter with Christ.

Silence and Word: path of evangelization – Vatican Radio

No surprise to readers and listeners of Discerning Hearts (especially those who follow the teachings of Deacon James Keating)….”Silence is Golden”! Pope Benedict XVI has chosen “Silence and Word” as the theme for World Communication Day.

Don’t you just love it…earlier we heard from Vatican Radio that the symposium of former theological students of the Holy Father that met with him this past summer reflected on what exactly is meant by the “new evangelizaation”. As reported it ultimately comes down to HUMILITY (click here to read and to listen to more on this report).

“Silence and Word” is that path to humility? It works for me!

St. Vincent de Paul – “a great hero of charity”

The French priest St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) organized works of charity, founded hospitals, and started two Roman Catholic religious orders.

Vincent de Paul was born into a peasant family on April 24, 1581, in the village of Pouy in southwestern France. He became a priest at the age of 19, and would go on to found hospitals, charitable organizations and many other ministries and works that would serve the needs of the poor. With Louise de Marillac, a talented and sensitive friend, he started the first religious group of women dedicated entirely to works of charity outside the cloister, a group called the Daughters of Charity.

Vincent was a man of action rather than of theory. The religious spirit he communicated was simple, practical and straightforward. He looked to Christ as his leader and tried to translate the Gospel message into concrete results. He died on Sept. 27, 1660, and was canonized a saint in the Roman Catholic Church in 1737.

9 – 11

Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI at Ground Zero

“We ask you, in your compassion to bring healing to those who, because of their presence here that day, suffer from injuries and illness. Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

“We are mindful as well of those who suffered death, injury, and loss on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Our hearts are one with theirs as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

“God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the Earth. Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred.

“God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance as we confront such terrible events. Grant that those whose lives were spared may live so that the lives lost here may not have been lost in vain. Comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all.” AMEN

Pope Benedict on Prayer 8 – Dialectic of Prayer: Human Cry and Divine Response

In the Psalm, the king’s enemies are many and powerful, and the imbalance between David’s forces and those of his persecutors “justifies the urgency of his cry for help”. Nonetheless his adversaries “also seek to break his bond with God and to undermine the faith of their victim by insinuating that the Lord cannot intervene”.

Thus, the aggression “is not only physical, it also has a spiritual dimension” aimed at “the central core of the Psalmist’s being. This is the extreme temptation a believer suffers: the temptation of losing faith and trust in the closeness of God”, the Holy Father said.

Pope Benedict – “…be open to beauty and to allow it to move you to prayer and praise of the Lord”

The Holy Father concluded: “I invite you to rediscover the importance of this path for prayer, for our living relationship with God. The cities and towns all over the world preserve works of art that express the faith and remind us of our relationship with God. Visiting places of art, it is not only an occasion for cultural enrichment, but above all it can be a moment of grace, an encouragement to strengthen our relationship and our dialogue with the Lord, to stop and contemplate, in the transition from simple external reality to a deeper reality, the ray of beauty that strikes us, that almost wounds us in our inner selves and invites us to rise towards God. “

Pope Paul VI

Pray for the Holy Father’s Intentions for August 2011

General Intention: That the World Youth Day taking place in Madrid may encourage all the young people of the world to root and found their lives in Christ.

Missionary Intention: That Christians of the West, docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, may re-encounter the freshness and enthusiasm of their faith.

Pray for the Holy Father’s Intentions for July 2011

JULY 2011 General Intention: That Christians may contribute to alleviating the material and spiritual suffering of AIDS patients, especially in the poorest countries. Missionary Intention: For the religious who work in mission territories, that they may be witnesses of the joy of the Gospel and living signs of the love of Christ.  

CA-7 Christian Apologetics with Dr. R. R. Reno episode 7 – Blessed John Paul II Faith and Reason

Episode 7- Blessed John Paul II – Fides et Ratio : Faith and Reason
In this episode Dr. Reno examines Faith and Reason through Blessed John Paul II’s “Fides et Ratio”. “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves (cf. Ex 33:18; Ps 27:8-9; 63:2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2).”

Pope Benedict on Prayer 7: The Psalms: The Book of Prayer Par Excellence

The Psalms teach us to pray”, the Holy Father explained. “In them, the Word of God becomes the word of prayer. … People who pray the Psalms speak to God with the words of God, addressing Him with the words He Himself taught us.

Pope Benedict on Prayer 6: through prayer God reveals His saving power

“Firstly”, he said, “is the priority of the first commandment of God’s Law: having no god but God. When God disappears man falls into slavery, into idolatry, as has happened in our time under totalitarian regimes and with the various forms of nihilism which make man dependent on idols and idolatry, which enslave”. Secondly, he continued, “the main objective of prayer is conversion: the fire of God which transforms our hearts and makes us capable of seeing God and living for Him and for others”. Thirdly, “the Church Fathers tell us that this story is … a foretaste of the future, which is Christ. It is a step on the journey towards Christ”.

Pope Benedict XVI – New Evangelization Begins with the Heart

EVANGELISATION IS A TASK FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH VATICAN CITY, 14 JUN 2011 (VIS) – Yesterday at 7.30 p.m. in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran Benedict XVI inaugurated an ecclesial congress marking the close of the pastoral year of the diocese of Rome. The congress, which will run from 13 to […]

Pray for the Holy Father’s Intentions for June

JUNE 2011 General Intention: That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God. Missionary Intention: That the Holy Spirit may bring forth from our communities numerous missionary vocations, willing to fully consecrate themselves to spreading the Kingdom of God.

Pope Benedict on Prayer 4: Prayer is a struggle that requires strength and tenacity

For Complete Updated Text in English click here VATICAN CITY, 25 MAY 2011 (VIS) – Continuing with his catecheses on prayer, Benedict XVI spoke in today’s general audience about the Patriarch Jacob and his fight with the unknown man at the ford of the Jabbok. The audience was held in St. Peter’s Square with 15,000 […]

Pope Benedict on Prayer 3: The prayer of each man will find its answer

From (the extended version translated into English from the Italian) GENERAL AUDIENCE (the fuller catechesis translated into English from the Italian text) Dear brothers and sisters, In the two previous catechesis we thought that prayer is a universal phenomenon, which – although in different forms – is present in the cultures of all time. Today […]

Pope Benedict on Prayer 2 – “Prayer is part of the universal human experience”

From (the extended version translated into English from the Italian) GENERAL AUDIENCE (the fuller catechesis translated into English from the Italian text) Piazza San Pietro Wednesday, May 11, 2011 Dear brothers and sisters, Today I wish to continue my reflection on how prayer and the sense of religion have been part of man throughout […]

Pope Benedict on Prayer 1 – “Life without prayer has no meaning or points of reference”

Here is the This is the English translation of the extended remarks of the Holy Father,  found on the Vatican website, from his audience on May 4 on “The man in prayer” Dear brothers and sisters, Today I would like to begin a new series of Catecheses. After the series on the Fathers of the […]

Pope Benedict XVI declares John Paul II Blessed

Here is Pope Benedict XVI’s homily for the Mass of beatification: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Six years ago we gathered in this Square to celebrate the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Our grief at his loss was deep, but even greater was our sense of an immense grace which embraced Rome and the whole […]

IP#90 Mark Brumley – Light of the World on Inside the Pages

I can’t get enough from Pope Benedict XVI, especially when he shares with all of us his innermost thoughts and insights! “Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and the Signs of the Times” by Peter Seewald had such a fascinating conversation with our Holy Father that it seems to be the gift that just keeps giving. Mark Brumley took time out of his busy day as president of Ignatius Press to shed more “light” on this incredible book and the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

IP#89 Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J. – Introduction to Christianity on Inside the Pages

“Introduction to Christianity” by Cardinal Joseph Ratizinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is a modern day classic! Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., founder of Ignatius Press and student of Pope Benedict, joins us to break open the gift of insight and wisdom contained in this inspirational work of our Holy Father.  As the Pope Benedict states in the […]

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, preacher and architect of peace

VATICAN CITY, 23 MAR 2011 (VIS) – In his general audience this morning, Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis to St. Lawrence of Brindisi (born Giulio Cesare Rossi, 1559-1619), a Doctor of the Church. The saint, who lost his father at the age of seven, was entrusted by his mother to the care of the Friars […]

IP#85 Mark Brumley – Pope Benedict’s XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth part 2 on Inside the Pages ep 2

Episode 2 Jesus of Nazareth part 2: Holy Week From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrction by Pope Benedict XVI is INCREDIBLE…absolutely worth the wait! It would be like making a “sophie’s choice” to pick between the two, but if I had to, this work by our Holy Father would be it. A meditation […]

Jesus of Nazareth part 2 by Pope Benedict XVI…I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!

And I love our Holy Father too!

St. Robert Bellarmine, doctor of the Church…”an outstanding figure of a troubled age”

VATICAN CITY, 23 FEB 2011 (VIS) – Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning’s general audience, held in the Paul VI Hall in the presence of 7,500 people, to St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), an outstanding figure of a troubled age in which “a serious political and religious crisis provoked a split between entire nations […]

The Chair of St. Peter – the gift of the Papacy

The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter is not so much a feast celebrating a “chair”, but more a feast celebrating what the chair symbolizes…the gift of the Papacy. I remember seeing it for the first time…not only the stunning piece used to preserve it  by Bernini…but the whole altar piece setting at St. […]

St. Joan of Arc “Bringing the Light of the Gospel Into History”

< VATICAN CITY, 26 JAN 2011 ( – Today I would like to talk to you about Joan of Arc, a young Saint who lived at the end of the Middle Ages who died at the age of 19, in 1431. This French Saint, mentioned several times in theCatechism of the Catholic Church, is particularly […]

St. Catherine of Genoa and the Experience of Purgatory

VATICAN CITY, 12 JAN 2011 ( – Dear Brothers and Sisters,     After Catherine of Siena and Catherine of Bologna, today I would like to speak to you about another Saint: Catherine of Genoa, known above all for her vision of purgatory. The text that describes her life and thought was published in this Ligurian city […]

Saint Catherine of Bologna: Spiritual Weapons Against Evil

From Pope Benedict XVI’s audience:

In her autobiographical and didactic treatise, The Seven Spiritual Weapons, Catherine offers in this regard teaching of deep wisdom and profound discernment. She speaks in the third person in reporting the extraordinary graces which the Lord gives to her and in the first person in confessing her sins. From her writing transpires the purity of her faith in God, her profound humility, the simplicity of her heart, her missionary zeal, her passion for the salvation of souls. She identifies seven weapons in the fight against evil, against the devil:

1. always to be careful and diligently strive to do good;

2. to believe that alone we will never be able to do something truly good;

3. to trust in God and, for love of him, never to fear in the battle against evil, either in the world or within ourselves;

4. to meditate often on the events and words of the life of Jesus, and especially on his Passion and his death;

5. to remember that we must die;

6. to focus our minds firmly on memory of the goods of Heaven;

7. to be familiar with Sacred Scripture, always cherishing it in our hearts so that it may give direction to all our thoughts and all our actions.

A splendid program of spiritual life, today too, for each one of us!

“God is always faithful to His promises”

“Recalling with great fondness my four-day visit to the United Kingdom last September, I am glad to have the opportunity to greet you once again, and indeed to greet listeners everywhere as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. Our thoughts turn back to a moment in history when God’s chosen people, the children […]

Pope: God is not far, but near, and His face is that of Jesus

St. Veronica Giuliani – “a courageous witness of the beauty and power of divine Love”

“In an instant, I saw five brilliant rays of light shine forth from his most holy wounds, and all came to my face.” St. Veronica Giuliani wrote these words more than three centuries ago, describing her mystical experience of Christ. Vatican City, Dec 15, 2010 / 07:37 pm ( Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I […]

RN-3 Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Gutierrez Episode 3

Episode 3 – Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Guiterrez -Value # 3 – Look , Judge, Act Discerning Hearts is blessed to present Omar F. A. Guiterrez, M.A. , Special Assistant  to Archbishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, in a groundbreaking series which breaks open the heart of  Catholic […]

IP#58 Amy Welborn – Light of the World on Inside the Pages

An unprecedented book-length interview given by a Pope, Light of the World by German journalist Peter Seewald, is an absolute must for those who look to our Holy Father for guidance and direction as we attempt to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ. I am beyond delighted to have Amy Welborn with us to discuss this important conversation Pope Benedict XVI is actually having with us all. Amy, the author of numerous books, has written extensively on the teachings of Pope Benedict; I couldn’t have anyone better to go “Inside the Pages” of this work that tackles some the greatest issues facing the world today.

IP#57 Dr. Scott Hahn – Verbum Domini part 2 on Inside the Pages

Going deep into the heart of the Word has never taken on more meaning than when discussing Pope Benedict XVI Apostolic Exhortation “Verbum Domini” (The Word of the Lord). Since the Holy Father is rather busy at this time, the next best person to discuss it with would be Dr. Scott Hahn. Though he too […]

Julian of Norwich – “God’s Promises Are Always Greater Than Our Hopes”

“God’s Promises Are Always Greater Than Our Hopes” VATICAN CITY, DEC. 1, 2010 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience in Paul VI Hall. Dear Brothers and Sisters, I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September. England is […]

Pray for the Holy Father’s Intentions for December

Audio prayer for the Holy Father’s Intentions DECEMBER The Experience of Personal Suffering as a Help to Others who Suffer General: That our personal experience of suffering may be an occasion for better understanding the situation of unease and pain which is the lot of many people who are alone, sick or aged, and stir […]

IP#54 Dr. Scott Hahn – Verbum Domini part 1 on Inside the Pages

Going deep into the heart of the Word has never taken on more meaning than when discussing Pope Benedict XVI Apostolic Exhortation “Verbum Domini” (The Word of the Lord).  Since the Holy Father is rather busy at this time, the next best person to discuss it with would be Dr. Scott Hahn.  Though he too […]

ROF#8 – Roots of the Faith with Mike Aquilina

Episode 8 – The Papacy:  The Apostolic Throne Roots of the Faith – From the Church Fathers to You with Mike Aquilina, makes clear that just as an acorn grows into a tree and yet remains the same plant, so the Catholic Church is a living organism that has grown from the faith of the earliest Christians […]

St. Catherine of Siena, our spiritual “mamma”, teach us to love Christ and the Church with courage

Vatican City –From Pope Benedict’s Wednesday General Audience from Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I would like to talk to you about a woman who played an eminent role in the history of the Church: St Catherine of Siena. The century in which she lived — the 14th — was a troubled period in […]

IP#52 Dr. Matthew Bunson – Pope Benedict’s Verbum Domini part 2 on Inside the Pages

Part 2 – A very special edition of “Inside the Pages” as we explore Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Exhortation, “Verbum Domini” (The Word of the Lord), with Dr. Matthew Bunson. A magnificent gift for the Church, Dr. Bunson breaks open in part 2 of our discussion the liturgy, homelitics and the significance of the document.  We encourage you […]

Saint Juliana of Liège, patron of the feast of Corpus Christi (now there is a dream job to have…forever!)

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the origins of Corpus Christi can be traced to St. Juliana of Mount Cornillon. From Pope Benedict’s General Audience from Dear Brothers and Sisters, This morning too I would like to introduce a female figure to you. She is little known but the Church is deeply indebted to her, […]

IP#49 Dr. Matthew Bunson – Pope Benedict’s Verbum Domini part 1 on Inside the Pages

A very special edition of “Inside the Pages” as we explore Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Exhortation, “Verbum Domini” (The Word of the Lord), with Dr. Matthew Bunson. A magnificent gift for the Church, Dr. Bunson breaks open in part 1 of our discussion the significance of the document and how it was comprised.  We encourage you to […]

St. Marguerite d’Oingt – A “book lover” after my own heart

From Pope Benedict’s General Audience from With Marguerite d’Oingt, of whom I would like to speak to you today, we are introduced to Carthusian spirituality which draws its inspiration from the evangelical synthesis lived and proposed by St Bruno. We do not know the date of her birth, although some place it around 1240. […]

St. Bridget of Sweden…a “powerful example of feminine sanctity”

On the eve of the Great Jubilee in anticipation of the Year 2000 the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II proclaimed St Bridget of Sweden Co-Patroness of the whole of Europe. This morning I would like to present her, her message and the reasons why — still today — this holy woman has much to teach the Church and the world.

We are well acquainted with the events of St Bridget’s life because her spiritual fathers compiled her biography in order to further the process of her canonization immediately after her death in 1373. Bridget was born 70 years earlier, in 1303, in Finster, Sweden, a Northern European nation that for three centuries had welcomed the Christian faith with the same enthusiasm as that with which the Saint had received it from her parents, very devout people who belonged to noble families closely related to the reigning house.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary “It Is Christ Whom You Have Washed, Fed and Looked After”

From Pope Benedict’s General Wednesday Audience from Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I would like to speak to you about one of the women of the Middle Ages who inspired the greatest admiration; she is St Elizabeth of Hungary, also called St Elizabeth of Thuringia. Elizabeth was born in 1207; historians dispute her birthplace. […]

Blessed Angela of Foligno – once again our Holy Father brings us a gifted mystic

Thank God for our Holy  Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and his desire to teach us about the heritage contained in our faith.  I love it now, because once again he is lifting up one of the truly gifted women mystics of the Church for all of us to learn from.  I didn’t know much about her, […]

St. Gertrude the Great, “a very powerful champion of justice and truth

BENEDICT XVI GENERAL AUDIENCE (the entire text translated in English) from Dear Brothers and Sisters, St Gertrude the Great, of whom I would like to talk to you today, brings us once again this week to the Monastery of Helfta, where several of the Latin-German masterpieces of religious literature were written by women. Gertrude […]

St. Matilda, God’s Nightingale, pray for us

  Describing the exemplary life of a 13th-century German nun, Pope Benedict XVIstressed the importance of liturgy in building a close relationship with God. VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2010  Pope Benedict’s General Audience Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I want to talk to you about St Matilda of Hackeborn, one of the great figures […]

IP#32 – George Weigel – The End and The Beginning on Inside the Pages

George Weigel give us “The End and The Beginning: Pope John Paul II – The Victory of of Freedom, The Last Years, The Legacy”. What a tremendous blessing to reflect once again on the life of a modern day saint…our very own late great Holy Father, John Paul II. George Weigel doesn’t disappoint. The first part of the book reads like a spy novel…even more compelling because it’s true. The second part, covers the last 6 years of the Pope John Paul’s life, the jubilee and so much more. The last part sets the stage for a legacy which will be reflected and pondered on for generations, if not centuries. It’s as much our story as Church as it is the life of Pope John Paul II. Don’t miss this one…it is essential reading!!!

“Heart speaks unto heart” -

“Much loved father of souls…” Pope Benedict XVI As reported by the Catholic Herald UK Pope Benedict XVI today beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman in a historic Mass at Cofton Park, Birmingham – the first beatification ever to take place on British soil. In his homily, the Pope placed Cardinal Newman in a tradition of […]

IP#27 Gregory Erlandson – Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal Part 1 on Insides the Pages

Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal is an important contribution to the understanding and healing of the great heartache that has inflicted the Church over the last 30 years.  Talking with Gregory Erlandson was a great opportunity to realize the nuisances of what got us here, but also the response and hope that […]

IP#28 Gregory Erlandson – Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal Part 2 on Insides the Pages

Part 2 of the discussion with Gregory Erlandson.  Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal is an important contribution to the understanding and healing of the great heartache that has inflicted the Church over the last 30 years.  Talking with Gregory Erlandson was a great opportunity to realize the nuisances of what got us here, […]

St. Hildegard…once again Pope Benedict XVI speaks

Once again the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI speaks of the importance of St. Hildegard of Bingen. Vatican City – Pope Benedict’s General Audience from Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I would like to take up and continue my Reflection on St Hildegard of Bingen, an important female figure of the Middle Ages who […]

St. Hildegard of Bingen….from Pope Benedict XVI

There has been a strange dismissal of St. Hildegard over the years, and I am not sure why. This was a woman who was a great mystic, writer, poet, musician, artist…oh you name it AND a Benedictine nun!  Maybe this distancing of Catholics from her is in part because of New Agers, like Anglican Episcopal priest Matthew Fox, […]

St. Pius X – to renew all things in Christ

The Pope of the Blessed Sacrament “Itching Ears Among Us Saint Pius X exemplified the words of the Apostle to Timothy: “Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, […]

Ora pro nobis, Paulus Sextus. + August 6, 1978

I was a junior in high school when Pope Paul VI died…was it really 32 years ago? Wow. It makes me sad to think it took so long for me to really appreciate and understand his legacy.

IP#10 Mark Brumley – Ignatius Press and The Catholic Truth Society on Inside the Pages

Have you ever heard of  “The Catholic Truth Society”? Well thanks to Ignatius Press, you are about to.  In this edition of “Inside the Pages”, I talk with Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press and whois one of the leading Catholic apologists in the country (he’s also a really nice guy as well).  Ignatius Press […]

IP#8 Matthew Bunson – Pope Benedict XVI and Sexual Abuse Scandal pt 2 on Inside the Pages

Here is part 2 of the discussion with Dr. Matthew Bunson, with the emphasis on the renewal and reform that has occured in the Church since the outbreak of the sexual abuse scandal.  Dr. Bunson is once again EXCELLENT in articulating the problems which have surfaced, but also the response of the Church from its heart to the issue.  It […]

IP#7 Matthew Bunson – Pope Benedict XVI and Sexual Abuse Scandal pt 1 on Inside the Pages

For 100+ reasons, I love Dr. Matthew Bunson.  No one I know has quite the depth of knowledge that he has and the ability to calmly disseminate it!  His new book, co-authored with Gregory Erlandson, is OUTSTANDING!  Please don’t say you have  formed your final opinion on this tragic period in Church history without reading […]