Regular Posts Tagged ‘conversion’

Episode 4 -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “The Desert of Sin”.  Keating-2

“Any moral conversion, if it is to be real, must work its way into our minds and hearts.  The conversion we undergo is one that transforms our entire person, and so our thought processes, habits, perceptions, and affections all become realigned to a new way of seeing good and evil Patience with ourselves, as well as with ohters who are also in the midst of conversion, becomes the key virtue to cultivate.  God knows we are on the right track once we embrace such a conversion, and so being gentle on ourselves is not a sign of laxity or weakness of will, but a sign of wisdom.

Of course, the start of a moral conversion can be dramatic and jumpstart a change, but over the long haul of life, the heart of a person must be fully cooperative;  otherwise, the person will not adhere to the moral truth for long.”

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 “Crossing the Desert”.

Crossing-the-Desert

IPF logo small ROHC#6 Deacon James Keating – Heart of Hope part 6 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

For more information on the “Institute of Priestly Formation” and for other material available by Deacon Keating, just click here

 

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page


Episode 2Deacon-James-Keating -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “The Desert of Ordinary Life”.  

 –The only location for God to interact with us is deep within the ordinariness of our days. We are called to cherish the ordinary day, not because of its routine or common features, but because within this daily forum God reaches us through others, through worship, charity, and our relational commitments. Our daily lives carry an invitation from God to become morally good and holy; it is the only medium through which this invitation can come. Cherish the days.

 Keating, James  (2012-07-20).  Liguori Publications. Kindle Edition.

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 “Crossing the Desert”.

Crossing-the-Desert

IPF logo small ROHC#6 Deacon James Keating – Heart of Hope part 6 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

For more information on the “Institute of Priestly Formation” and for other material available by Deacon Keating, just click here

 

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page


Episode 1Deacon-James-Keating -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “The Desert of Consumerism”.  

Lent wants to remind us of our real identity. At first appearance a seeming “obligation,” Lent is actually a great gift. Are we brave enough to enter this desert, and then let it affect us so deeply as to turn us away from sin and false identities, turn us toward communion with the living God? The Church presents this season to us every year because it is hoped that this year will be our year to say “Yes” to Lent’s call to repentance. Lent should not be something we go through alone, but together. As the Hebrews wandered the desert for forty years, so we should enter Lent through the ecclesial community and share its challenges with brothers and sisters in Christ. Lent should not be what the elderly man in the barbershop characterized as “life as usual.” With our goal being moral conversion, let us now turn to see how God can facilitate that conversion when we take on a “lenten mind.”

Keating, James (2012-07-20). Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion (Kindle Locations 200-207). Liguori Publications. Kindle Edition.

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 “Crossing the Desert”.

Crossing-the-Desert

IPF logo small ROHC#6 Deacon James Keating – Heart of Hope part 6 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

For more information on the “Institute of Priestly Formation” and for other material available by Deacon Keating, just click here

 

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page


Episode 5 – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – Charles Dickens

St. Pope John Paul II described Dickens’ books as “filled with love for the poor and a sense of social regeneration . . . warm with imagination and humanity”. Such true charity permeates Dickens’ novels and ultimately drives the characters either to choose regeneration or risk disintegration. In Great Expectations, Pip — symbolic of the pilgrim convert — gains both improved fortunes and a growth in wisdom, but as he acquires the latter, he must relinquish the former — ending with a wealth of profound goodness, not of worldly goods.

That the Dickensian message was a Christian one is unmistakable. Reminiscent of an Augustinian model, one of reflection, conversion, and moral improvement, Pip undergoes an internal change that manifests itself in his profound contrition for his earlier deeds and his equally profound resolution to make amends. As we travel with Pip, we find that Dickens leads us to an acceptance of worldly limitations and an anticipation of final salvation.

Based on the Ignatius Critical Edition, this series examines, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, the life,the times, and influence of authors of great works in literature .

Joseph Pearce is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is co-editor of the Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (Family Publications) and the United States (Sapientia Press). He is also the author of many books, including literary biographies of Solzhenitsyn, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Oscar Wilde.

To learn more about the authors and titles available in the Ignatius Critical Editions


Joseph-Pearce-1Episode 15 – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – St. Augustine

St.-Augustine-of-HippoThe Confessions of Saint Augustine is considered one of the greatest Christian classics of all time. It is an extended poetic, passionate, intimate prayer that Augustine wrote as an autobiography sometime after his conversion, to confess his sins and proclaim God’s goodness. Just as his first hearers were captivated by his powerful conversion story, so also have many millions been over the following sixteen centuries. His experience of God speaks to us across time with little need of transpositions.

 

The-ConfessionsBased on the Ignatius Critical Edition, this series examines, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, the life, the times, and influence of authors of great works in literature .

Joseph Pearce is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is  co-editor of the Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (Family Publications) and the United States (Sapientia Press). He is also the author of many books, including literary biographies of Solzhenitsyn, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Oscar Wilde.

To learn more about the authors and titles available in the Ignatius Critical Editions


4 years, 2 months ago Posted in: History, Podcast, Saints, Spirituality, The Discerning Hearts Blog 2
Image from "Lucy's Eyes and Margaret's Dragon: The Lives of the Virgin Saints" Giselle Potter

Image from “Lucy’s Eyes and Margaret’s Dragon: The Lives of the Virgin Saints”
Giselle Potter

A Prayer to St. Christina

Today is the feast day of St. Christina the Astonishing.  Why is she astonishing…well, if everyone thought you were dead and during the course of your funeral you shot up and proceeded to levitate to the rafters of the church, they’d probably call you astonishing too.  Now I’ve been known to fly into a panic and fly into a rage, and I even fly to Costco for a good deal…but fly in church? Nope, not me.  But all things are possible, with God.  This is just one of the stories I read about her a long time ago in an old version of Bulter’s Lives of the Saints.   What else do we know:

After her death experience, she related that she had witnessed heaven, hell, and purgatory. It is written that she said “As soon as my soul was separated from my body it was received by angels who conducted it to a very gloomy place, entirely filled with souls” where the torments there that they endured “appeared so excessive” that it was “impossible to give an idea of their rigor.”

She continued,”I saw among them many of my acquaintances” and touched deeply by their sad condition asked if this was Hell, but was told that it was Purgatory. Her angel guides brought her to Hell where again she recognized those she had formerly known. Next she was transported to Heaven, “even to the Throne of Divine Majesty” where she was “regarded with a favorable eye” and she experienced extreme joy and these words were spoken to her, ” Assuredly, My dear daughter, you will one day be with Me. Now, however, I allow you to choose, either to remain with Me henceforth from this time, or to return again to earth to accomplish a mission of charity and suffering. In order to deliver from the flames of Purgatory those souls which have inspired you with so much compassion, you shall suffer for them upon earth: you shall endure great torments, without however dying from their effects. And not only will you relieve the departed, but the example which you will give to the living, and your continual suffering, will lead sinners to be converted and to expiate their crimes. After having ended this new life, you shall return here laden with merits.”

Christina, at hearing this and “seeing the great advantages for souls” without hesitation she agreed to return to life and arose that same moment. She told those around her that for the sole purpose of relief of the departed and conversion of sinners did she return and that none should be astonished at the penances that she would practice, nor the life that she would lead hence forth, she is quoted as saying, “It will be so extraordinary that nothing like it has ever been seen.” Making penances for the souls of Purgatory and Hell would henceforth become a major theme in her life.

As chronicled by her contemporaries, she threw herself into burning furnaces and there suffered great tortures for extended time uttering frightful cries, yet coming forth with no sign of burning upon her. In winter she would plunge into the frozen Meuse River for hours and days and weeks at a time all the while praying to God and imploring His Mercy. She allowed herself to be carried by the currents down river to the mill where the wheel “whirled her round in a manner frightful to behold” yet she had no dislocations or broken bones. She was chased by dogs that bit and tore her flesh. She ran from them into thickets of thorns, and though covered in blood she would return with no wound or scar.

Christina died in 1224 of natural causes, aged 74. – Wikipedia

After reading this, maybe you might want to, at least, pray with St. Christina the Astonishing, for the Poor Souls in Puragatory…click on this link to join in


What a delight to talk with Tom Peterson!  With a joyful enthusiasm fueled by his rich prayer life, Tom has become a compelling leader in the New Evangelization, especially in the United Tom-PetersonStates.  With his book ,”Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life” , he expands his list of significant contributions to that effort  which have encouraged countless souls to embrace the gift of the Catholic faith.  Not only does he share his own powerful witness, but he offers practical catechesis to foster on-going conversion in the heart of the seeking soul and encouragement to all to share the Good News.  Excellent!

Catholic-Come-Home

You can find the book here

Also check out Tom’s work at virtuemedia.org and CatholicComeHome.org

“We are in the midst of a New Evangelization; and I believe this book is a signal moment in its success. It is also a sign that will lead many folks back home to the family of God, which is Catholic Church.”
—Dr. Scott W. Hahn, author of The Lamb’s Supper and Signs of Life
 
“Catholics Come Home is a powerful sacramental, a means of grace. It is a willing, waiting taxi to take us home, to our home away from Home, the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.”
—Dr. Peter Kreeft, author of Handbook of Christian Apologetics


Msgr. Esseff reflects on the interior movement of St. Augustine that led to his conversion and witness. He also shares a powerful story of a man in a prison and his conversion. The story takes a poignant twist at the end, one that exemplifies the power of conversion and forgiveness. When our hearts are united with the heart of Christ a death takes place…the old self dies so that Christ may live.



The importance of his life and contribution to the Church cannot be overstated. St. Augustine, one of the greatest of the Church Fathers, has not only influenced the Church, but the thought of the world as we know it.  The story of his conversion as chronicled in his “Confessions”, would be enough, but then add the body of his theological work and you have nothing less than a glimpse of what is truly the power of  “grace and mercy”.

Mike Aquilina is one of the best at bringing this great saint’s life into perspective.


For a more detail accounting of St. Augustine’s  life, you can visit  Lives of the Saints

 

 

Spiritual Writings:

– Confessions 
– Letters
– City of God
– Christian Doctrine
– On the Holy Trinity
– The Enchiridion
– On the Catechising of the Uninstructed
– On Faith and the Creed
– Concerning Faith of Things Not Seen
– On the Profit of Believing
– On the Creed: A Sermon to Catechumens
– On Continence
– On the Good of Marriage
– On Holy Virginity
– On the Good of Widowhood
– On Lying
– To Consentius: Against Lying
– On the Work of Monks
– On Patience
– On Care to be Had For the Dead
– On the Morals of the Catholic Church
– On the Morals of the Manichaeans
– On Two Souls, Against the Manichaeans
– Acts or Disputation Against Fortunatus the Manichaean
– Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental
– Reply to Faustus the Manichaean
– Concerning the Nature of Good, Against the Manichaeans
– On Baptism, Against the Donatists
– Answer to Letters of Petilian, Bishop of Cirta
– Merits and Remission of Sin, and Infant Baptism
– On the Spirit and the Letter
– On Nature and Grace
– On Man’s Perfection in Righteousness
– On the Proceedings of Pelagius
– On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin
– On Marriage and Concupiscence
– On the Soul and its Origin
– Against Two Letters of the Pelagians
– On Grace and Free Will
– On Rebuke and Grace
– The Predestination of the Saints/Gift of Perseverance
– Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount
– The Harmony of the Gospels
– Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament
– Tractates on the Gospel of John
– Homilies on the First Epistle of John
– Soliloquies
– The Enarrations, or Expositions, on the Psalms

For me, out of all the St. Augustine’s work,  this is the piece that deeply touches my heart and is one of my all-time favorite prayers:

Late Have I Loved You
A Prayer of Saint Augustine

Late have I loved you, O Beauty, so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!
And behold, you were within me and I was outside, and there I sought for you, and in my deformity I rushed headlong into the well-formed things that you have made.

You were with me, and I was not with you. Those outer beauties held me far from you, yet if they had not been in you, they would not have existed at all.

You called, and cried out to me and broke open my deafness; you shone forth upon me and you scattered my blindness.

You breathed fragrance, and I drew in my breath and I now pant for you.

I tasted, and I hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

This prayer is from his book, “Confessions.”

                                                  


St. Monica (331-387) a “shining light of Christ” example of perserverance in prayer!  We have her as an outstanding model of never giving up…what a gift to us!  Today we can turn to her and see what sticking to it can do, but did you ever think, “Who was her example?”  She didn’t know how the story of her son, St. Augustine would turn out.  She didn’t know that he would be transformed by grace into one of the greatest Doctors of the Church  who ever lived. Monica must have become frustrated, and at times filled with anxiety and maybe even  a degree of despair, but she persevered through it all!  She surely suffered emotionally for her lost son, but she never gave up her hope in God and faith in His promises…the energy of her love for her son fueled her prayer and grace transformed his seeking heart.  It took 30 years, but it happened.

A few months after his conversion, Augustine, Monica and Adeodatus (her other son), set out to return to Africa, but Monica died at Ostia, the ancient port city of Rome, and she was buried there. Some pictures show her so old, but when you think of it, she was only 56 when she died. Augustine was so deeply moved by his mother’s death that he was inspired to write his Confessions, “So be fulfilled what my mother desired of me–more richly in the prayers of so many gained for her through these confessions of mine than by my prayers alone” (Book IX.13.37)

An account of Monica’s early life, her childhood, marriage, her final days and her death, is given in Confessions Book IX, 8-12. He expresses his gratitude for her life:

“I will not speak of her gifts, but of thy gift in her; for she neither made herself nor trained herself. Thou didst create her, and neither her father nor her mother knew what kind of being was to come forth from them. And it was the rod of thy Christ, the discipline of thy only Son, that trained her in thy fear, in the house of one of thy faithful ones who was a sound member of thy Church” (IX.8.7).

Centuries later, Monica’s body was brought to Rome, and eventually her relics were interred in a chapel left of the high altar of the Church of St. Augustine in Rome (see below).




Day 7St.-Clare-6

From the testament of St. Clare

In the Lord Jesus Christ, I admonish and exhort all my sisters, both those present and those to come, to strive always to imitate the way of holy simplicity, humility, and poverty and [to preserve] the integrity of [our] holy manner of life, as we were taught by our blessed Father Francis from the beginning of our conversion to Christ. Thus may they always remain in the fragrance of a good name (cf. 2 Cor 2:15), both among those who are afar off and those who are near. [This will take place] not by our own merits but solely by the mercy and grace of our Benefactor, the Father of mercies (cf. 2 Cor 1:3).

Dear St. Clare,

As a young girl you imitated your mother’s love for the poor of your native Assisi.

Inspired by the preaching of St. Francis, who sang enthusiastically of His Lord Jesus and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing St. Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit.

All through your life you offered your great suffering for your Sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls. You greatly aided St. Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscans after his death.

Most of all you had a deep love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which fueled your vocation to love and care for the poor.

Please pray for me (mention your request) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me to grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament, to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of St. Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer, in the name of Jesus Your Son.

Amen.

For the complete novena visit the St. Clare Novena Discerning Hearts Page


Day 6

From a letter to St. Agnes of PragueSt.-Clare-8

The kingdom of heaven is promised and given by the Lord only to the poor: for he who loves temporal things loses the fruit of love. Such a person cannot serve God and Mammon, for either the one is loved and the other is hated, or the one is served and the other despised.

You also know that one who is clothed cannot fight with another who is naked, because he is more quickly thrown who gives his adversary a chance to get hold of him; and that one who lives in the glory of earth cannot rule with Christ in heaven.

Dear St. Clare,

As a young girl you imitated your mother’s love for the poor of your native Assisi.

Inspired by the preaching of St. Francis, who sang enthusiastically of His Lord Jesus and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing St. Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit.

All through your life you offered your great suffering for your Sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls. You greatly aided St. Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscans after his death.

Most of all you had a deep love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which fueled your vocation to love and care for the poor.

Please pray for me (mention your request) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me to grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament, to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of St. Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer, in the name of Jesus Your Son.

Amen.

For the complete novena visit the St. Clare Novena Discerning Hearts Page


Episode 7-Listening For Truth Resurrection people who live out of the power of the Resurrection.  Theological virtues, faith, hope and love, are given to us in the fullest sense through the sacraments and how we receive and open our hearts to that gift.  Moving our affection from sin to truth.   How do we prepare ourselves to receive moral truth?

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 “Listening For Truth”.

Listening for Truth leads men and women in a search for a fuller experience of God that begins in prayer, grows in the rediscovery of our spiritual being, and grounds itself in the truth of Jesus Christ. A presentation of the Christian life as an engagement of the whole person — body, mind, and soul — in the challenge of daily living.

 

 

 

IPF logo small WOM#1   Deacon James Keating – Way of Mystery episode 1 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

For more information on the “Institute of Priestly Formation” and for other material available by Deacon Keating, just click here

Communion with Christ WOM#1   Deacon James Keating – Way of Mystery episode 1 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

Don’t forget to pickup a copy of “Communion with Christ” , it is one of the best audio sets on prayer…ever!

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page


6 years, 3 months ago Posted in: Uncategorized 0

The Scripture Study Library

Back To Home Entrance
Back To Study of Scritpure

 

You will find conversations and teachings from a host of teachers, authors, religious and others who have gathered to discuss the beauty and wisdom in Sacred Scripture.

Dr. Scott Hahn and Colleagues

Scott Hahn From the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology – Hour 1 Segment 1.mp3

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Scott Hahn From the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology – Hour 1 Segment 2.mp3 

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Scott Hahn From the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology – Hour 2 Segment 1.mp3 

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Scott Hahn From the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology – Hour 2 Segment 2.mp3

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Scott Hahn “Ordinary Work , Extraordinary Grace” – Reflections on Opus Dei.mp3 Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Scott Hahn talking about the “Catholic Bible Dictonary” and “The New Atheism”.mp3 

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Scott Hahn EWTN 25 Segment.mp3 Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”) 
Scott Hahn 8-09 From the Spirit studios.mp3 Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)
Also:

Kimberly Hahn Chosen and Cherished.mp3 

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)
Kimberly Hahn Grace and Gifted – Segment 1.mp3 Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Kimberly Hahn Grace and Gifted – Segment 2.mp3 

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Jeff Cavins The Great Adventure Bible Study.mp3 

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

 

Gary Michuta Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger.mp3  

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

 Other Standouts:

Allan Wright Jesus in the House Segment 1.mp3

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)   Allan Wright Jesus in the House Segment 2.mp3Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Robert Hutchinson PIG to the Bible.mp3  

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Roy Schoeman Honey from the Rock 2009.mp3  

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Dr. Ben Witherington The Jesus Tomb.mp3  Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Tim Fallon What Jesus Said.mp3  

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Judith Dunlap Bringing Home the Gospel.mp3  

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Karen Dwyer WRAP.mp3  

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Also:

 Mark Brumley

Mark Brumley Jesus of Nazareth Study Guide.mp3  Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Mark Brumley Lost Gospels.mp3  Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

  • Other rooms and resources in “Scripture Study”

    top

 


An ordinary woman who has experienced extraordinary grace and wow, look what God has done!  Abby Johnson, author of “unPlanned: the dramatic true story of a former Planned Parenthood leader’s eye-opening journey across the life line”, a courageous woman who has brought forward not just the Planned Parenthood story (at times nightmarish in their behavior), but more importantly, her story…the journey of conversion, forgiveness, and witness.  She didn’t go looking for the spotlight, but she didn’t say “no” when it fell on her and now she is standing up for life and exposing the reality of Planned Parenthood and the beautiful options for life that are truly available.  She can truly say, with all integrity, that she knows both sides of the battle, and she is choosing life!  Be sure to get the “Catholic Edition” by Ignatius Press.  Visit Abby’s website here.

 

You can pick up the book here