IP#284 Fr. Mike Driscoll – “Demons, Deliverance, and Discernment” on Inside the Pages

Fr.-Michael-Driscoll_

In “Demons, Deliverance, and Discernment : Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World” Fr. Mike Driscoll offers a Fr.-Michael-Driscoll_fascinating glimpse into a subject much discussed these days.  Published by the great folks at Catholic Answers, this work is informative and well researched.  Fr. Driscoll is a counselor/chaplain and did his doctoral dissertation on the area of possession and exorcism. He covers many areas in this work, including possession and exorcism in Sacred Scripture and in various cultures.  How a diagnosis is made in regards to a particular activity and the discernment process which actually ascertains whether or not the occurrence is rooted in a psychological issue or something potentially demonic is rather interesting. 

One chapter in particular was a standout for me: it was entitled the “Deliverance Drama”.  This portion of the book will bring peace of mind to many and for others shake up particular paradigms. Fr. Driscoll makes the strong point that this area of “ministry” for laity is not found in any official authorized rite or teaching issued by the Roman Catholic magisterium.  When practiced by laity, they are actually working “outside” of the genuine authority of Roman Catholic Church.  Founded by what Fr. Driscoll terms “deliverance professionals” (for again there is nothing in the Roman Catholic Church which authorizes this activity to be truly termed “deliverance ministry”),  he offers a strong cautionary note to Catholic laity who participate in these “rituals” founded in Protestant practices.  He offers plenty of warnings regarding this and suggests what true lay involvement could be in this area (if any).  A very interesting chapter indeed.

Demons,-Deliverance,-and-DiYou can find here

From the book publisher, Catholic Answers Press:

Drawing on his experience as a priest and counselor, and on his research with exorcists, Fr. Driscoll clears up many popular misconceptions about demons and the spirit world and offers sound information and pastoral advice rooted in Catholic tradition, including: – What we know about demons from history, Scripture, and Church teaching -How to tell whether personal problems come from mental illnesses or demonic attacks – What exorcists actually do and don t do when they help people suffering possession – Why homemade deliverance ministries are not a truly Catholic way to counter the influence of demons – Authentic prayers and practices that will make evil spirits flee and invite God s grace into your heart The devil has designs on our soul and hosts of wickedness who want to win it for him. Know your enemy! Read Demons, Deliverance, and Discernment and prepare yourself for the fight.

POA10 – “Know your Armor – The Virtues” – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual DirectionEpisode 10 – “Know your Armor – The Virtues” – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 5:

Prayer and fasting, worship and adoration, Scripture and sacraments and sacramentals all provide the weapons of our spiritual warfare. With them we go on the offensive against the Evil One. But the virtues provide our defensive armor.

As Blessed Pope Paul VI once observed, St. Paul “used the armor of a soldier as a symbol for the virtues that can make a Christian invulnerable.” They are our best defense against his attacks, for they guard our minds and hearts from his deceptions and temptations. A lapse in virtue is in fact a chink in our armor that makes us vulnerable.

Each of these virtues, then, and all the others as well, play a vital role in protecting us from enemy assault as the armor we must wear. St. Paul sums it up: “Put on, therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience. Bear with one another, if anyone has a grievance against any other; even as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection” (Col 3: 12– 14). Only with such armor will we be fully covered and protected from the Evil One’s attacks.

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

manual-for-spiritual-warfar-189x300

The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here

Paul Thigpen, Ph.D, is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.

Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.

In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings,speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.

 

Chap 4 – The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus – Mp3 audio

St.-Teresa-of-Avila


The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus,
of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel

Chapter 4St.-Teresa-of-Avila

Our Lord Helps Her to Become a Nun. Her Many Infirmities.

 

For the pdf containing the complete text and footnotes click here

For other chapters of the audio book visit: The Life of Teresa of Avila (autobiography) audio page

The Life
St. Teresa of Jesus,
of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel.
Written by Herself.
Translated from the Spanish by
David Lewis.
Third Edition Enlarged

Chap 3 – The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus – Mp3 audio

St.-Teresa-of-Avila


The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus,
of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel

Chapter 3St.-Teresa-of-Avila

The Blessing of Being with Good People. How Certain Illusions Were Removed.

For the pdf containing the complete text and footnotes click here

For other chapters of the audio book visit: The Life of Teresa of Avila (autobiography) audio page

The Life
St. Teresa of Jesus,
of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel.
Written by Herself.
Translated from the Spanish by
David Lewis.
Third Edition Enlarged

DC36 St. Catherine of Siena pt 1– The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson

DC33 St. Anthony of Padua – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson 1


Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Catherine of SienaMatthew-Bunson

  1. Born: March 17, 1347, Siena, Italy
  2. Died: April 29, 1380, Rome
  3. Nationality: Italian

For more on St. Catherine of Siena and her teachings visit her Discerning Hearts page

From Vatican.va, an excerpt from the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI

From the General Audience on St. Catherine of Siena

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 the life of the Church and throughout the social context of Italy and Europe. Yet, even in the most difficult times, the Lord does not cease to bless his People, bringing forth Saints who give a jolt to minds and hearts, provoking conversion and renewal.Fr. Thomas McDermott - Prayer and the Dominican Tradition 2

Catherine is one of these and still today speaks to us and impels us to walk courageously toward holiness to be ever more fully disciples of the Lord.

Born in Siena in 1347, into a very large family, she died in Rome in 1380. When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate. While living at home, she confirmed her vow of virginity made privately when she was still an adolescent and dedicated herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, especially for the benefit of the sick.

When the fame of her holiness spread, she became the protagonist of an intense activity of spiritual guidance for people from every walk of life: nobles and politicians, artists and ordinary people, consecrated men and women and religious, including Pope Gregory xi who was living at Avignon in that period and whom she energetically and effectively urged to return to Rome.

She travelled widely to press for the internal reform of the Church and to foster peace among the States. It was also for this reason that Venerable Pope John Paul ii chose to declare her Co-Patroness of Europe: may the Old Continent never forget the Christian roots that are at the origin of its progress and continue to draw from the Gospel the fundamental values that assure justice and harmony.

Like many of the Saints, Catherine knew great suffering. Some even thought that they should not trust her, to the point that in 1374, six years before her death, the General Chapter of the Dominicans summoned her to Florence to interrogate her. They appointed Raymund of Capua, a learned and humble Friar and a future Master General of the Order, as her spiritual guide. Having become her confessor and also her “spiritual son”, he wrote a first complete biography of the Saint. She was canonized in 1461.

For more visit Vatican.va

Dr. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is one of the United States’ leading authorities on the papacy and the Church.

His books include: The Encyclopedia of Catholic History; The Encyclopedia of Saints; Papal Wisdom; All Shall Be Well; Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire; and The Angelic Doctor: The Life and World of St. Thomas Aquinas; The Pope Encyclopedia; We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, the first Catholic biography of the Holy Father in the English language; the Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History; Pope Francis. His also the editor of OSV’s “The Catholic Answer” magazine.

SP#4 “The Suffering of Fear” – The School of Prayer – with Fr. Scott Traynor

Fr. Scott Traynor - The School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization 1

SP#4 “Prayer in the Heart of Suffering” – The School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

Fr. Scott Traynor talks about the suffering of fear.  Thoughts, feelings, and desires all come into play in our understanding of  this topic.  Wherever there is fear there dwells an experience of pain and wounding, which perfect love desires to heal.  The love of God is the remedy and our prayer opens the door to healing and/or union with the One that loves perfectly.  Our response in not trusting that love and areas of unforgiveness can be a block to that healing.  How do we, in our united  prayer with God, overcome this obstacle?

Parish-School-of-PrayerIn Father Scott Traynor’s book, Blessed John Paul II’s memorable call to make of the parish a school of prayer takes on flesh and becomes concretely attainable. Those you read these faith-filled pages will find renewed desire to create such parishes and a clear road-map toward this goal.
–Father Timothy Gallagher, OMV

Father Scott Traynor received his STB from the Pontifical Gregorian University and his JCL from Catholic University of America. He has been an instructor and spiritual director for many of the programs at the Institute for Priestly Formation.
Father Traynor is a retreat master and spiritual director who has travelled the country as a speaker at various conferences, diocesan gatherings and national conferences.. He is especially sought after to present on the topics of prayer, discernment and priestly identity and mission.
He serves the Rector of the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver Colorado.

“The Cross exemplifies every virtue” – Saint Thomas More from the Office of Readings

St.-Thomas-More

From a letter written in prison to his daughter Margaret by Saint Thomas More
(The English Works of Sir Thomas More, London, 1557, p. 1454)

With good hope I shall commit myself wholly to God

Although I know well, Margaret, that because of my past wickedness I deserve to be abandoned by God, I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness.  His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to loose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience.  God’s grace has given the king a gracious frame of mind toward me, so that as yet he has taken from me nothing but my liberty.  In doing this His Majesty has done me such great good with respect to spiritual profit that I trust that among all the great benefits he has heaped so abundantly upon me I count my imprisonment the very greatest.  I cannot, therefore, mistrust the grace of God.  Either he shall keep the king in that gracious frame of mind to continue to do me no harm, or else, if it be his pleasure that for my other sins I suffer in this case as I shall not deserve, then his grace shall give me the strength to bear it patiently, and perhaps even gladly.

By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine and far surpassing in merit for me all that I can suffer myself, his bounteous goodness shall release me from the pains of purgatory and shall increase my reward in heaven besides.

I will not mistrust him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear.  I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help.  And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.
And if he permits me to play Saint Peter further and to fall to the ground and to swear and forswear, may God our Lord in his tender mercy keep me from this, and let me lose if it so happen, and never win thereby!  Still, if this should happen, afterward I trust that in his goodness he will look on me with pity as he did upon Saint Peter, and make me stand up again and confess the truth of my conscience afresh and endure here the shame and harm of my own fault.

And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost.  I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him.  And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice.  But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercy.

And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world.  Nothing can come but what God wills.  And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.

 

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.-Thomas-More

 

POA9 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 4 – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual DirectionEpisode 9 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 4 – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 4:

Blessings and blessed objects. Both the blessings that are properly given by clergy (such as those in the Liturgy) and the blessings spoken by lay people as part of their daily lives (such as a table grace) are important sacramentals. They can sanctify our thoughts, our actions, and our surroundings in a way that repels the Enemy. We see their power most clearly when used to remedy the demonic infestation of a building or object through a priestly blessing with holy water. Throughout the centuries, the testimony of many Christians, including a number of saints, confirms that objects blessed by a priest, through the power of the Church’s intercession, can repel demonic powers. Again and again, evil spirits have recoiled in dread, not just from the Sign of the Cross, but also from holy water and blessed oil, crosses, crucifixes, medals, candles, or salt. These can be used by priests in exorcisms as well as by lay Christians in everyday life. So the faithful sometimes keep such sacramentals in their homes. The home itself (as well as other buildings) can be blessed by a priest as well.

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

manual-for-spiritual-warfar-189x300

The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here

Paul Thigpen, Ph.D, is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.

Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.

In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings,speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.

 

BKL95 – “Why Do You Worry? ”– Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" a reflection from Msgr. John Esseff - Discerning Hearts

Msgr. Esseff reflects on Matthew Chap 6:24-34 and asks the question “Why do you worry?” He shares several compelling stories, including a poignant encounter with a woman, who, surrounded by her husband, children, mother, and sister, prepares for death.

Gospel Mt 6:24-34"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" a reflection from Msgr. John Esseff - Discerning Hearts

Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

 

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to Blessed Mother Teresa. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world. Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio, who would become a spiritual father to him. He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Bl. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.

Building-A-Kingdom-of-Love-

To obtain a copy of Msgr. Esseff’s book byvisiting here

 

Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff’s website “Building a Kingdom of Love

Chap 2 – The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus – Mp3 audio

St.-Teresa-of-Avila


The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus,
of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel

Chapter 2St.-Teresa-of-Avila

Early Impressions—Dangerous Books and Companions—
The Saint is placed in a Monastery.

For the pdf containing the complete text and footnotes click here

For other chapters of the audio book visit:  The Life of Teresa of Avila (autobiography) audio page

The Life
St. Teresa of Jesus,
of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel.
Written by Herself.
Translated from the Spanish by
David Lewis.
Third Edition Enlarged