SBN #4 Heaven – Salvation Begins Now: Last Things First with Deacon James Keating

Episode 4 Salvation Begins Now: Last Things First –  Deacon Keating discusses Heaven

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1024    This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity—this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed—is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Hearts” page

Abba, Father – Healing the Father Wound with Sonja Corbitt

“To reflect on this mystery … is demanded by the pleas of many human hearts, their sufferings and hopes, their anxieties and expectations…Believing in the crucified Son means ‘seeing the Father,’ means believing that love is present in the world and that this love is more powerful than any kind of evil in which individuals, humanity, or the world are involved” (Dives in Misericordia, JPII).

For other episodes in this series, visit the Discerning Hearts Sonja Corbitt page

Out now! My newest book with Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers: Ignite, Read the Bible Like Never Before. Get a preview of the introduction and first chapter here. 

Here’s the private Facebook discussion page for the Healing the Father Woundseries, if you want to join in the conversation with a little more privacy, as I do.

JPII’s Encyclical Letter, Dives in Misericordia, on God as Father

Catechism references 233, 238, 2779

Scripture references

Mar 14:36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Gal 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

LOVE the Word™ is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin. This week’s LOVE the Word™ exercise is according to a Thomistic* personality approach.

Listen (Receive the Word.)

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”

Observe (Connect the passage to recent events.)

How do you feel about calling God “Abba”? What emotions arise at the thought of intimacy with Him? How do your relationships with your earthly mother and father distort your view of how God relates to you? Where are you afraid concerning your relationship to God the Father? Considering Jesus’s relationship to God as Abba, what does He teach you about the Father that you had not considered before?

Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

In your journal or on your journal page (get a free page to the right), write down your fears, and what you believe the Holy Spirit is saying to you through this verse about God as your Abba:

This is what I think you are telling me about yourself…

My fears about my relationship with you are…

I need your help here…

Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.

 

Visit here for more on Sonja’s “LOVE the Word” journal

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*LOVE the Word™ exercises vary weekly according to the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Ignatian, Augustinian, Franciscan, and Thomistic. These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.

Our Lady of Guadalupe – From the Office of Readings

From the Office of Readings:

From a report by Don Antonio Valeriano, a Native American author of the sixteenth century
(Nicon Mopohua, 12th ed., 3-9, 21)

The Voice of the Turtledove has been heard in our land

At daybreak one Saturday morning in 1531, on the very first days of the month of December, an Indian named Juan Diego was going from the village where he lived to Tlatelolco in order to take part in divine worship and listen to God’s commandments. When he came near the hill called Tepeyac, dawn had already come, and Juan Diego heard someone calling him from the very top of the hill: “Juanito, Juan Dieguito.”

He went up the hill and caught sight of a lady of unearthly grandeur whose clothing was as radiant as the sun. She said to him in words both gentle and courteous: “Juanito, the humblest of my children, know and understand that I am the ever virgin Mary, Mother of the true God through whom all things live. It is my ardent desire that a church be erected here so that in it I can show and bestow my love, compassion, help, and protection to all who inhabit this land and to those others who love me, that they might call upon and confide in me. Go to the Bishop of Mexico to make known to him what I greatly desire. Go and put all your efforts into this.”

When Juan Diego arrived in the presence of the Bishop, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, a Franciscan, the latter did not seem to believe Juan Diego and answered: “Come another time, and I will listen at leisure.”

Juan Diego returned to the hilltop where the Heavenly Lady was waiting, and he said to her: “My Lady, my maiden, I presented your message to the Bishop, but it seemed that he did not think it was the truth. For this reason I beg you to entrust your message to someone more illustrious who might convey it in order that they may believe it, for I am only an insignificant man.”

She answered him: “Humblest of my sons, I ask that tomorrow you again go to see the Bishop and tell him that I, the ever virgin holy Mary, Mother of God, am the one who personally sent you.”

But on the following day, Sunday, the Bishop again did not believe Juan Diego and told him that some sign was necessary so that he could believe that it was the Heavenly Lady herself who sent him. And then he dismissed Juan Diego.

On Monday Juan Diego did not return. His uncle, Juan Bernardino, became very ill, and at night asked Juan to go to Tlatelolco at daybreak to call a priest to hear his confession.

Juan Diego set out on Tuesday, but he went around the hill and passed on the other side, toward the east, so as to arrive quickly in Mexico City and to avoid being detained by the Heavenly Lady. But she came out to meet him on that side of the hill and said to him: “Listen and understand, my humblest son. There is nothing to frighten and distress you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and let nothing upset you. Is it not I, your Mother, who is here? Are you not under my protection? Are you not, fortunately, in my care? Do not let your uncle’s illness distress you. It is certain that he has already been cured. Go up to the hilltop, my son, where you will find flowers of various kinds. Cut them, and bring them into my presence.”

When Juan Diego reached the peak, he was astonished that so many Castilian roses had burst forth at a time when the frost was severe. He carried the roses in the folds of his tilma (mantle) to the Heavenly Lady. She said to him: “My son, this is the proof and the sign which you will bring to the Bishop so that he will see my will in it. You are my ambassador, very worthy of trust.”

Juan Diego set out on his way, now content and sure of succeeding. On arriving in the Bishop’s presence, he told him: “My lord, I did what you asked. The Heavenly Lady complied with your request and fulfilled it. She sent me to the hilltop to cut some Castilian roses and told me to bring them to you in person. And this I am doing, so that you can see in them the sign you seek in order to carry out her will. Here they are; receive them.”

He immediately opened up his white mantle, and as all the different Castilian roses scattered to the ground, there was drawn on the cloak and suddenly appeared the precious image of the ever virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the same manner as it is today and is kept in her shrine of Tepeyac.

The whole city was stirred and came to see and admire her venerable image and to offer prayers to her; and following the command which the same Heavenly Lady gave to Juan Bernardino when she restored him to health, they called her by the name that she herself had used: “the ever virgin holy Mary of Guadalupe.”

LOH2-V2 – Praying with the Psalms – Praying the Liturgy of the Hours with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

LOH2 – Praying the Psalms – Praying the Liturgy of the Hours with Fr. Timothy Gallagher from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 2 – Praying the Psalms – Praying the Liturgy of the Hours with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

From “Praying the Liturgy of the Hours”, Fr. Gallagher shares:

My psalter is my joy. —Saint Augustine

SINCE THE OLD TESTAMENT times when they were written, people of faith have loved the Psalms. Devout Jews turned to these one hundred fifty prayers in times of joy and sorrow, of peace and desperate need. Jesus knew, quoted, and prayed the Psalms; in him, the fullness of divine revelation, the Psalms acquired their deepest meaning. 1 The early Christians likewise prayed them and, when the persecutions of the first centuries ceased, gathered for this prayer in their churches.

For the audio podcast only:

For more episodes in this series visit Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Praying the Liturgy of the Hours

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

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours

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

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

BKL218 “Prepare In A New Way” – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Gospel

MK 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

 

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 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 St. 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 St. 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.   

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 9

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Nine
Mother of our Savior, the conversion of your Aztec children brought an end to infant sacrifice in Mexico. Holy Mary, we implore your help to end the infant sacrifice by abortion throughout the Americas.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

“In Christ, God has spoken to us” – St. John of the Cross from the Office of Readings

From a treatise on The Ascent of Mount Carmel, by St John of the Cross, priest
(Lib.2 cap. 22)

Saintly Masters of Prayer - writings, teachings, biographies 3

In Christ, God has spoken to us

Under the ancient law prophets and priests sought from God revelations and visions which indeed they needed, for faith had as yet no firm foundation and the gospel law had not yet been established. Their seeking and God’s responses were necessary. He spoke to them at one time through words and visions and revelations, at another in signs and symbols. But however he responded and what he said and revealed were mysteries of our holy faith, either partial glimpses of the whole or sure movements toward it.

But now that faith is rooted in Christ, and the law of the gospel has been proclaimed in this time of grace, there is no need to seek him in the former manner, nor for him so to respond. By giving us, as he did, his Son, his only Word, he has in that one Word said everything. There is no need for any further revelation.

This is the true meaning of Paul’s words to the Hebrews when he urged them to abandon their earlier ways of conversing with God, as laid down in the law of Moses, and set their eyes on Christ alone: In the past God spoke to our fathers through the prophets in various ways and manners; but now in our times, the last days, he has spoken to us in his Son. In effect, Paul is saying that God has spoken so completely through his own Word that he chooses to add nothing. Although he had spoken but partially through the prophets he has now said everything in Christ. He has given us everything, his own Son.

Therefore, anyone who wished to question God or to seek some new vision or revelation from him would commit an offense, for instead of focusing his eyes entirely on Christ he would be desiring something other than Christ, or beyond him.

God could then answer: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear him. In my Word I have already said everything. Fix your eyes on him alone for in him I have revealed all and in him you will find more than you could ever ask for or desire.

I, with my Holy Spirit, came down upon him on Mount Tabor and declared: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear him. You do not need new teachings or ways of learning from me, for when I spoke before it was of Christ who was to come, and when they sought anything of me they were but seeking and hoping for Christ in whom is every good, as the whole teaching of the evangelists and apostles clearly testifies.

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.

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 8

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Eightolg-11
Mary, Mother of the Church, your apparitions at Tepeyac and the miraculous image you left fostered unity between Catholic conquerors and clergy and the millions of Aztec converts. Bring unity, Mother, to the various factions within the Church and the wider public so that all may work to establish a culture of life.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 7

Our-Lady-of-Guadalupe-with-Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Seven
Mystical Rose, your miraculous signs of Castilian roses in winter and your image on the tilma of Juan Diego led to the conversion of eight million Aztec people to Catholicism in just seven years. Mary, Mother of the Americas, intercede again for your children in the Americas, and convert the hearts of all who deny the sanctity of every human life.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

The Immaculate Conception with Fr. Mark Cyza

We discuss with Fr. Mark Cyza the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

For more on the Immaculate Conception from St. John Paul II:

HOLY MASS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 150th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE DOGMA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday, 8 December 2004

 

  1. Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Lk 1: 28).

We address the Virgin Mary several times a day with these words of the Archangel Gabriel. Let us repeat them with fervent joy today, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, remembering 8 December 1854 when Blessed Pius IX proclaimed this wonderful Dogma of the Catholic faith in this very same Vatican Basilica.

I cordially greet those who are gathered here today, especially the representatives of the National Mariological Societies who have taken part in the International Mariological Congress, organized by the Pontifical Marian Academy.Blessed Virgin Mary - Devotionals, Prayers, Chaplets, Novenas text and Mp3 audio downloads 4

I then greet all of you present here, dear brothers and sisters, who have come to pay filial homage to the Immaculate Virgin. I offer a special greeting to Cardinal Camillo Ruini. I renew to him my warmest wishes for the jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood and express to him my deep gratitude for the service that with generous dedication he has and continues to render to the Church as my Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

  1. How great is the mystery of the Immaculate Conception that the Liturgy presents to us today! A mystery that never ceases to invite the contemplation of believers and inspires the reflection of theologians. The theme of the Congress that has just been mentioned: “Mary of Nazareth welcomes the Son of God into history”, has fostered a deep examination of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a presupposition for receiving in her virginal womb the Word of God Incarnate, the Saviour of the human race.

“Full of grace”, “κεχαριτωµευη”: in the original Greek of Luke’s Gospel, the Angel greets Mary with this title. It is the name that God, through his messenger, chose to use to describe the Virgin. This is how he had always seen and thought of her, ab aeterno (from all eternity).

  1. In the hymn of the Letter to the Ephesians just now proclaimed, the Apostle praises God the Father “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1: 3). What a special blessing God addressed to Mary from the beginning of time! Mary was truly blessed among women (cf. Lk 1: 42)!

The Father chose her in Christ before the creation of the world, so that she might be holy and immaculate before him in love, preordaining her as the first fruits of filial adoption through the work of Jesus Christ (cf. Eph 1: 4-5).

  1. The predestination of Mary, like that of each one of us, is linked to the predestination of the Son. Christ is that “seed” that was “to bruise the head” of the ancient serpent, according to the Book of Genesis (cf. Gn 3: 15); he is the Lamb “without blemish” (cf. Ex 12: 5; I Pt 1: 19), immolated to redeem humanity from sin.

With a view to the saving death of the Son, Mary, his Mother, was preserved free from original sin and from every other sin. The victory of the new Adam also includes that of the new Eve, Mother of the redeemed. The Immaculate Virgin is thus a sign of hope for all the living who have triumphed over Satan by the blood of the Lamb (cf. Rv 12: 11).

  1. Today let us contemplate the humble young girl of Nazareth, holy and blameless before God in love (cf. Eph 1: 4), in that “love” whose original source is God himself, one and triune.

How sublime an act of the Most Holy Trinity is the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of the Redeemer! Pius IX, in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, recalls that the Almighty “by one and the same decree had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of divine Wisdom” (Pii IX Pontificis Maximi Acta, Pars prima, p. 559).

The Virgin’s “yes” to the announcement of the Angel fits into the reality of our earthly condition, with humble respect for the divine will to save humanity not from history but in history. Indeed, ever preserved free from all taint of original sin, the “new Eve” benefited uniquely from the work of Christ as the most perfect Mediator and Redeemer. The first to be redeemed by her Son, she shares to the full in his holiness; she is already what the entire Church desires and hopes to be. She is the eschatological icon of the Church.

  1. Consequently the Immaculate Virgin, who marks “the very beginning of the Church, Bride of Christ, without spot or wrinkle, shining with beauty” (Preface), always precedes the People of God in the pilgrimage of faith, bound for the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 58; Redemptoris Mater, n. 2).

In Mary’s Immaculate Conception the Church sees projected and anticipated in her most noble member, the saving grace of Easter.

In the event of the Incarnation the Church encounters Christ and Mary indissolubly united: “he who is the Church’s Lord and Head and she who, uttering the first fiat of the New Covenant, prefigures the Church’s condition as spouse and mother” (Redemptoris Mater, n. 1).

  1. To you, Virgin Immaculate, predestined by God above every other creature to be the advocate of grace and model of holiness for his people, today in a special way I renew the entrustment of the whole Church.

May you guide your children on their pilgrimage of faith, making them ever more obedient and faithful to the Word of God.

May you accompany every Christian on the path of conversion and holiness, in the fight against sin and in the search for true beauty that is always an impression and a reflection of divine Beauty.

May you obtain peace and salvation for all the peoples. May the eternal Father, who desired you to be the immaculate Mother of the Redeemer, also renew in our time through you, the miracles of his merciful love. Amen!

 

 

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