Novena to the Holy Spirit Day 3

Novena to the Holy Spiritholy-spirit-colleen-shay

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and enriched the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God,
with all favors,
I ask you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek…

State your request here…

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth, come into our hearts:

DAY THREEpentecost

Heavenly Father,
You have called me to be a member
of the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ,
and to be a temple of the Holy Spirit.
I ask You to give me these gifts of the Holy Spirit:
wisdom, that I may understand the follies of this world;
understanding, that I may grasp more fully
the meaning of my existence
and the purpose of all things in the world;
counsel, that I may always choose the proper way;
fortitude, that I may remain faithful to You
under the pressure of temptation.;
piety, that I may revere You in all I do, think or say;
fear of the Lord, that should the motive of love fail me,
I may quickly be awakened to the eternal consequences of my deeds.
Visit me by Your grace
and Your love
and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena…

State your request here…


Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.


HM-5 “Confession” – A Handmaid of the Lord: the Life and Legacy of Adrienne von Speyr with Dr. Adrian Walker

HM-5 “A Handmaid of the Lord”: the Life and Legacy of Adrienne von Speyr with Dr. Adrian Walker from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

AdrianEpisode 5 – “Confession” – A Handmaid of the Lord: The life and legacy of Adrienne von Speyr with Dr. Adrian Walker, Ph.D.

With Dr. Adrian Walker, we reflect on various aspects of Adrienne’s insight of the nature of confession as described in her book of the same name.

An excerpt from “Confession” Chapter 1: Introduction – The Search for Confession

If a person—in however primitive a fashion—comprehends himself as standing before God, and if he knows that he, like Adam, was created by God and redeemed by Christ and that Christ opens for him the way to the Father and the doors of heaven, then between the two poles of his existence, birth and death, where he unconditionally feels himself to be a sinner, he will expect confession with a kind of necessity. He will expect that God offers him the possibility to return again and again to a center which God himself points out and makes accessible. Every person understands in some fashion that “things can’t go on as they are.” From this angle of vision he encounters the question of how things might go on, and  perhaps of how things ought to go on considered from God’s perspective. How has God pictured his life, not only as a whole but at this moment? Does God have any particular expectation which he could and should fulfill in a particular way suggested by God himself? He feels perhaps that if he can rely only on his own freedom, or only on other human beings who live in the same kind of freedom as he, he cannot do justice to God’s expectation. He senses that to talk something out according to his own or someone else’s formula and to burden someone else with the problem is not enough if he wants to find his way back to that most profound correctness, the straight line connecting his birth and death. Everything he may accomplish outside confession in the way of self-expression and discussion may indeed offer momentary relief; but even the most simple person will see that this moment of relief remains merely one moment among others in life and that it is necessary to comprehend all these moments as a unity.

Let us assume you are my friend, and I say to you, “I can’t go on like this.” We discuss the situation together; perhaps we discover where I got off the track, and perhaps we even refer to my childhood. What we find will help me to make a new start. In every discussion of this sort, however, the individual is viewed as an isolated person, and it does not become clear that he lives in a community both of saints and sinners. Only God knows the laws both of the community of saints and of the community of sinners. In confession I am, of course, this individual sinner, but I am simultaneously a part of humanity, one of its fallen members. Thus conceptual factors are completely different in confession than in analysis. They are both personal and social; indeed, they comprise a totality that draws into focus the world as a whole, its relationship to God, and the first and last things, even if this larger context only falls into our field of vision momentarily and is experienced only indirectly. And since the situation is different, so also are the means of healing. The truth of God is involved, not the truth of the human being, nor the truth of his soul, his existence or the structure of his deeper being, but decisively the truth of God. None of the human techniques takes this divine truth seriously; at most they save it for the hour of death, and they do not help a man to become the kind of person he will need to be in that hour.

As long as aid for the human being is offered by other human beings and is mobile within the human sphere, it can operate only with human means. Everything approaching a person from external sources can be considered only as accidental and external and be supplied with a positive or negative label; the unity between interior and exterior, however, cannot be effected. The psychological session can offer me only “modes of behavior” applicable to the present, which themselves can and must change under altered conditions. Confession, on the other hand, brings a person face to face with his divine destiny and places him directly within it—within that which is final and ultimate.

As long as a person is not confessing, he feels free to speak or keep silent about whatever he wishes. What he then hates in confession is not the humbling experience of revealing himself, and not the fact that he is a sinner—he already knows that somehow—but the necessity of capitulating before and within total confession, the fact that the freedom of selection has been withdrawn and that the only choice remaining is to reveal everything or nothing. He is sick as a whole person and must be healed as such, and not eclectically. That is the first humbling experience. The second is that he is only one of many and has to accept the same conditions as do the others, even external conditions such as having to appear at the confessional at an appointed hour: a kind of marked condition, the elimination of all external differentiation—the factory owner and the watchman, the lady and her cook, all on equal footing. Precisely when one confesses that which is most intimate, one no longer has a choice or selection, is put on a level with all other sinners and is merely one penitent in the line of other sinners. The peculiarities of my particular “case”, which made it seem so interesting to me and which I would so gladly have explained to the listener, do not matter at all any more. Confession [Beichten] is above all precisely that: a confession [Bekenntnis] not only of my sins but also a confession to God and to God’s precepts and institutions, indeed to his Church with her own weakness and her myriad ambiguous, even disturbing, aspects.

The act of “speaking” with someone about my life does not oblige me further. Afterward, I can experience a certain feeling of gratitude or of awkwardness toward the person who has listened to me, but I remain the free person who can detach himself again. Confession is not an individual act in the same sense; nothing in it can be isolated. The act of confession expressly involves the whole person, his whole life, his whole world-view, his whole relationship to God.



adrienne_von_speyr1Adrienne von Speyr was a Swiss convert, mystic, wife, medical doctor and author of over 60 books on spirituality and theology. She’s inspired countless souls around the world to deepen their mission of prayer and compassion. She entered the Catholic Church under the direction of the great theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar. In the years that would follow, they would co-found the secular institute, the Community of St. John.


For more episodes in this series visit Dr. Adrian Walker’s Discerning Hearts page

Adrian Walker is an editor of the journal Communio, an International Catholic Review, who received his doctorate in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Dr. Walker has served as a translator for the English edition of Pope Benedict XVI’s, ” Jesus of Nazareth”, as well as numerous other theological works, including those of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr.

Our series recorded at “Casa Balthasar“, a house of discernment for men located in Rome, Italy. The Casa, was founded in 1990 by a group of friends and is directed by Rev. Jacques Servais, S.J.; Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) has been closely associated with the Casa Balthasar from the very beginning as its Cardinal Protector.

Many of Adrienne von Speyr’s books can found through Ignatius Press



SP#1 “Opening Our Hearts in Prayer” – The School of Prayer – with Fr. Scott Traynor

SP#1 “Opening Our Hearts in Prayer” – The School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual DirectionFr. Scott Traynor begins this series on prayer by describing how Jesus Christ desires a deep personal relationship of the heart with each of us and how this is the true foundation for the New Evangelization. He discusses the adventure of the life of faith and the gifts the Father wishes to shower upon us in union with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. He breaks open the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is the great teacher of prayer. Fr. Traynor encourages us to grow in union with Trinity through opening our hearts in prayer.
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.

Novena to the Holy Spirit Day 2

holy-spirit-medium-sized-pi-300x300 (1)

Begin be reciting the following prayer…

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and enriched the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
with all favors,
I ask you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek…

State your request here…

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth, come into our hearts:
shed the brightness of your light on all nations,
that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You.



pentecost51 (1)O Holy Spirit,
make me faithful in every thought,
and grant that I may always listen to your voice,
and watch for Your light,
and follow Your gracious inspirations.
I cling to You,
and give myself to You,
and ask You by Your compassion
to watch over me in my weakness.
Holding the pierced feet of Jesus,
looking at His Five Wounds,
trusting in His Precious Blood,
adoring His opened side and stricken heart,
I implore You adorable Spirit,
helper of my infirmity,
to keep me in Your grace,
now and always,
and grant us the favor we ask in this novena…

State your request here…

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.


 For the complete novena visit :  The Discerning Hearts’ Holy Spirit Novena page

HR#10 “Instead of leaning on others, standing on one’s own feet” – The Holy Rule of St. Benedict with Fr. Mauritius Wilde OSB

Instead of leaning on others, standing on one’s own feet

St.-Benedict-dFrom the Holy Rule of St. Benedict:


That in the Monastery No One Presume to Defend Another
Care must be taken that on no occasion one monk try to defend another in the monastery, or to take his part, even though they be closely related by ties of blood. Let it not be attempted by the monks in any way; because such conduct may give rise to very grave scandal. If anyone overstep this rule, let him be severely punished.



Father Mauritius Wilde, OSB, Ph.D., did his philosophical, theological and doctoral studies in Europe. He is the author of several books and directs retreats regularly. He serves as Prior at Sant’Anselmo in Rome.

FG#9 Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Phillippe ep 9 – Fountains of Grace with Donna Garrett

Join host Donna Garrett, with Fr. Daniel Brandenburg, LC, as they discuss the spiritual classic “Interior Freedom” by Fr.  Jacques Philippe  a priest of  Communaute des Beatitudes, an international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right founded in France in 1973.  The members of the Community, which has a contemplative vocation based on Carmelite spirituality, are actively engaged in the service of the poor and the proclamation of the Gospel.

Discussed in this episode, among other topics,  from “Interior Freedom” page 121-122

Donna Garrett is joined in this particular series by Fr. Daniel Brandenburg, LC
“Identity is not rooted in the sum of one’s aptitudes. Individuals have a unique value and dignity independently of what they can do. Someone who doesn’t realize this is at risk of having a real identity crisis. on the day he or she experiences failure, or of despising others when faced with their limitations. Where is there room for the poor and handicapped in a world where people are measured by the efficiency and the profit they can produce?
Here it is worth reflecting on the problem of pride. We are all born with a deep wound, experienced as a lack of being. We seek to compensate by constructing a self different than our real self. This artificial self requires large amounts of energy to maintain it, being fragile it needs protecting. Woe to anyone who contradicts it, threatens it, questions it, or inhibits its expansion. When the Gospel says we must ‘die to ourselves’, it means this artificial ego, this constructed self must die so that the real self given us by God can emerge.”

For other episodes in this series click here “Fountains of Grace w/Donna Garrett

You can find “Interior Freedom” here

Fr. Jacques Philippe

“Your Grief Will Become Joy” – a reflection by Msgr. John Esseff

On the feast of St. Philip Neri, Msgr. Esseff shares a special reflection on the Gospel of the Day.  Also, he asks if you have unforgiveness in your heart towards someone who has died.  He offers a remedy to that alienation.

Gospel JN 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
you will be weeping and wailing
while the world will rejoice;
you will be sorrowful,
but your sorrow will turn to joy.
A woman in childbirth suffers,
because her time has come;
but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering
in her joy that a man has been born into the world.
So it is with you: you are sad now,
but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy,
and that joy no one shall take from you.
When that day comes,
you will not ask me any questions.’

The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world.

Novena to the Holy Spirit Day 1

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Begin be reciting the following prayer…

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore you as my True God.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and enriched the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
with all favors,
I ask you to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favor
I so earnestly seek…

State your request here…

O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth, come into our hearts:

DAY ONEpentecost-holy-spirit-desce

O Holy Spirit,
bestow upon us Your seven holy gifts.
Enlighten our understanding that we may know You.
Give us wisdom that Your will may be clear to us
and that we may accept it.
Grant us the gift of counsel
that we may always perceive what is right.
Fortify us that we may always be capable
of fulfilling Your Divine Will.
Inspire us with the spirit of learning
that we may be able to penetrate more deeply
into the truths that You have revealed.
Let our hearts be steeped in the spirit of childlikeness
that we may bring You joy.
Let us have proper fear of God
that we may never grieve You
or wander from the path of goodness. Give us the fulness of Your gifts
that we may glorify You.

Look with compassion upon us,

O Holy Spirit,
and grant us the favor we seek in this novena…

State your request here…

if it be in accordance with Your Holy Will.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.


 For the complete novena visit :  The Discerning Hearts’ Holy Spirit Novena page

BA-V11 Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary Pt 2 – Begin Again with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary Pt 2 – Begin Again /w Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Ep. 11 from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

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

In this episode, Fr. Timothy Gallagher discusses the deep devotion Ven. Bruno Lanteri had for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was a deep relationship of love between Ven. Lanteri and Our Lady. Fr. Gallagher offers what a Marian devotion can bring to the spiritual life. He goes on to say that there is something safe about turning to the Blessed Mother in our struggles which is deeply rooted in our Catholic tradition.

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

You can obtain just the audio podcast if you would prefer

For a copy of the Spiritual Counsels of Ven. Lanteri visit here:



My Spirit Rejoices in God My Savior – Mary’s Magnificat, Word by Word with Sonja Corbitt

Can you imagine how deliriously happy Mary must have been at the miraculous word of that angel as it took root in her? I wonder how many motherhood scenarios she imagined in her heart in the months before He arrived. What would He smell like, what would He look like, what would He be like? Did she fight heartburn and sew tiny clothes and embroider swaddling cloths?

What am I waiting for? When will my life take on that breathless anticipation with which I barely sleep three winks, and awaken before dawn to charge into whatever the new day holds?

I asked the Lord, once, why adulthood is solemnly bereft of such excitement, if we’re supposed to be such a joyful people. I asked if, just one more time, He might give me that experience, the I-can’t-sleep-I’m-so-excited giddiness of Christmas Eve. What followed has been a breathless discovery of His full-blown love and the desire of His heart for me through the Scriptures, faith to faith (Rom 1:17), word upon word.

Mary knows. It’s the Word of God that brings the crazy, twirly, fist-pumping joy.

Scripture References for The Show

Luke 1:46-55, the words of the Magnificat

And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”

Romans 6:23, The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wisdom 11:16, One is punished by the very things by which he sins.

Revelation 12, Mary as Queen of Heaven and “the woman” of Genesis 3.

Revelation 12:17,  Mary as our Mother: Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. 



This week’s lectio exercise is based on an Augustinian approach. Go on! Try it!

Read (Lectio)

As you read through the words of the Magnificat, above, imagine that Mary is speaking them directly to you about herself.

Meditate (Meditatio)

Revelation 12:7 (see above) is one place the Bible speaks of Mary as the mother of all Christians. Spend a few moments rewriting or re-wording Mary’s Magnificat so that it could be a prayer that Mary is praying for you and over you as your Mother, at this very moment in your life. Change or omit whatever words or phrases that do not apply to you. Close your eyes and imagine Mary praying this song over you today. Like this:

And Mary said: “Sonja’s (your name’s) soul magnifies the Lord, and her spirit rejoices in God her Savior…”

Pray (Oratio)

Pray your new prayer back to God for your own children and/or grandchildren. As you consider yourself, and then your own children or grandchildren as the object(s) of this prayer, what emotions and/or inspirations arise in you? What does God want you to do now?

Rest (Contemplatio)

Perhaps you’d like to take a few minutes to simply bask in the warmth of God’s love in giving you a spiritual mother in addition to His Son.

 For more resources and Sonja’s scripture meditation exercise for this episode visit  the Bible Study Evangelista website  

Sonja’s books can found here

Sonja Corbitt is the Bible Study Evangelista. She’s a Catholic Scripture teacher with a story teller’s gift – a Southern Belle with a warrior’s heart and a poet’s pen.

We’re all sweating and dirty with the effort to love and lift all He’s given to us – those people, duties, callings, and longings that break our hearts and make them sing, sometimes at the same time. But most times, we need to be loved and lifted ourselves.

So her Bible study media are created with you in mind, bites of spinach that taste like cake, to help you make space in your busy heart and schedule for God to love and lift you all the way up into His great lap, where all you’ve been given is loved and lifted too.