St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland… In Conversation with Dr. Philip Freeman

Join Bruce and I as we discuss with Dr. Philip Freeman, PhD, author of “St. Patrick of Ireland”, the life of this great saint.

A reading from the Confession of St Patrick (Conf 34,36,37,38,39)

“I give thanks to my God tirelessly who kept me faithful in the day of trial, so that today I offer sacrifice to him confidently, the living sacrifice of my life to Christ, my Lord, who preserved me in all my troubles. I can say therefore: Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling that you should cooperate with me with such divine power? Today, among heathen peoples, I praise and proclaim your name in all places, not only when things go well but also in times of stress. Whether I receive good or ill, I return thanks equally to God, who taught me always to trust him unreservedly. His answer to my prayer inspired me in these latter days to undertake this holy and wonderful work in spite of my ignorance, and to imitate in some way those who, as the Lord foretold, would preach his Good News as a witness to all nations before the end of the world.

How did I come by this wisdom which was not my own, I who neither knew what was in store for me, nor what it was to relish God? What was the source of the gift I got later, the great and beneficial gift of knowing and loving God, even if it meant leaving my homeland and my relatives?

I came to the Irish heathens to preach the Good News and to put up with insults from unbelievers. I heard my mission abused, I endured many persecutions even to the extent of chains; I gave up my free-born status for the good of others. Should I be worthy I am ready to give even my life, promptly and gladly, for his name; and it is there that I wish to spend it until I die, if the Lord should graciously allow me.

I am very much in debt to God; who gave me so much grace that through me many people were born again in God and afterwards confirmed, and that clergy were ordained for them everywhere. All this was for a people newly come to belief whom the Lord took from the very ends of the earth as he promised long ago, through his prophets: ‘To you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and will say, “How false are the idols our fathers made for themselves, how useless they are.” ‘And again: ‘I have made you a light for the nations so that you may be a means of salvation to the ends of the earth.’

I wish to wait there for the promise of one who never breaks his word, as he promises in the gospel: ‘They will come from the east and the west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob,’ just as we believe the faithful will come from every part of the world.”

Prayer

We give you thanks, almighty God, for sending Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the people of Ireland. Grant that we who are proud to call ourselves Christians may never cease to proclaim to the world the good news of salvation.
(We make our prayer) through our Lord.
Through Christ our Lord .

IP#313 Fr. Sean Davidson – Saint Mary Magdalene on Inside the Pages

Fr. Sean Davidson offers one of the best books I’ve encountered on St. Mary Magdalene.  More than a biography of the person, Fr. Davidson reflects on the heart of the one known as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” “Saint Mary Magdalene: Prophetess of Eucharistic Love,”  based on the Biblical texts traditionally associated with St. Mary Magdalene, this book shines a beautiful bright light on her love for Jesus and how it translates to the devotion of Eucharistic Adoration.  A truly excellent work which we highly recommend!

You can find the book here

“Saint Mary Magdalene reminds us of the need to recover the primacy of God and the primacy of adoration in the life of the Church and in the liturgical celebration.”
— Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Author, God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith

“Saint Mary Magdalene has finally been given her deserved praise and understanding. Her amazing story of renewed life, restored love and relentless devotion to Christ as Savior is deeply inspiring!”
— Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., Author, The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows

IP#312 Mike Aquilina – How the Choir Converted the World on Inside the Pages

Mike Aquilina - Fathers of the Church and so much more... 5Another phenomenal book from the prolific Mike Aquilina!  Filled with historical perspective and faith-filled insight, “How the Choir Converted the Word: Through Hymns, With Hymns, and In Hymns” isn’t just for the church choir!  Our conversation covers the spectrum and encourages all of us to remember we are called not a perfect song to the Lord, but a joyful song!  And isn’t that what our faith fills our hearts with?  As always, Mike’s enthusiasm for the subject is contagious and encourages us to spread the “Good News” with a hymn in our heart! Highly recommended.

You can find the book here

“This is the perfect gift for your parish music director—and the whole choir—and everyone who should be singing in the congregation. When we sing, we pray, and we evangelize too. That’s one way the early Christians changed the world.”
Scott Hahn, Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville and best-selling author of The Creed

“Aquilina has all the qualities that a good guide should possess: he knows the terrain (taking the reader through Scripture, antiquity, and the Church Fathers), he has a discerning eye (spotting the place of music in the Church), and is an engaging wit (the reader feels like he has been brought to stand outside the Jerusalem Temple, or in Ephrem’s choir, or beside Ambrose in the great cathedral at Milan). This book considers an important but overlooked element of theologia prima, namely, how the Church performs her theology in what is actually sung doctrine. Easily accessible, fascinating, and inspiring to believers today.”
David Fagerberg, Professor of Liturgical Studies at Notre Dame University and author of On Liturgical Asceticism

IP#114 Michael Novak – Living the Call: An Introduction to the Lay Vocation on Inside the Pages

Michael Novak is a shining witness of what occurs in the soul when the head makes the journey to the heart.  What a gift he is to all of us and what a profound sage of wisdom…when he so gently speaks, I listen….we all should!  In “Living the Call: An Introduction to the Lay Vocation,” Michael, along with his co-author William E. Simon, Jr, establishes, in Part 1, of the book, the need for the lay vocation in the Church today.  They chronicle that need with a national and global perspective.  They also present how “living the call”  looks in the lives of nine committed lay faithful working in parish life today.

Part 2 is worth its weight in gold! It outlines the absolute necessity of growth in the interior life of the laity.  How essential it is to deepen the spiritual life.  They give voice to the need to appreciate the desert experiences of our lives as opportunities for greater unity with Christ; such periods provide the fonts of grace which nurtures the work in ministry.   For anyone who severs in a ministry of any kind, either as an employee or as a volunteer, if you pass this indispensable book by, you do so at your peril!

 

Michael Novak’s website can be found here

 You can find “Living the Call” here

“This is the book that countless Catholic laypeople have been waiting for as they ponder how to respond to Vatican II’s challenge to take more active roles in the life of the Church and to bring Christian principles to life in the secular world. It’s a gem of a book that speaks to laypeople in all walks of life and at all stages of their earthly journeys.”

Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University

IP#217 Pat Gohn – Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious on Inside the Pages

What a sheer delight to talk with Pat Gohn about “Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious:  Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood”!  This book is a tour de force of insight on the unique gift of the authentic feminine nature.  Pat has an engaging writing ability which richly and warmly blends the teachings of the Church and the Saints with her personal experience and witness.  She is informative, sensitive,  affirming and challenging; in her you will find the best qualities of the maternal nurturing nature.  Pat Gohn can be considered a trusted spiritual mentor for the seeking hearts of women.  After reading this book, if a woman is ever asked “Do you believe you are a beloved daughter of God?” she will more than likely be compelled to answer beautifully and bodaciously, “YES”!

Blessed-BeautfulYou can find the book here

Be sure to visit Pat Gohn’s wonderful website found here

“In a simple and heartfelt manner, Pat Gohn breaks open the meaning of being a woman, offering insights and encouragement from her own experience. In a world filled with messages distorting the real beauty of womanhood, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious is a breath of fresh air. Inspirational, yet very practical!” —Anastasia Northrop, President of Theology of the Body International Alliance, Founder of the National Catholic Single Conference

“Pat Gohn makes a convincing argument that–contrary to most media messaging–the Catholic Church has been sharing a view of the fullness of feminine genius, strength, and beauty that is downright holistic at its well-rounded depths. Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious is such a perfectly-timed (and sanely, gently offered) look at the ‘being’ part of modern womanhood that I cannot help but think the Holy Spirit wants this message out!” —Elizabeth Scalia, Author of Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life

IP#221 Dr. Scott Hahn – Consuming the Word on Inside the Pages

What a delight to be joined once again by Dr. Scott Hahn to share in a conversation about the delicious meal contained in our Sacred Scriptures. In “Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church”, Dr. Hahn helps us to make an important paradigm shift in our contemplation of the Word of God. Not just words transmitted in the pages of a book,  The Word is meant to be seen as an action of Love. That action is best related in the gift of the Eucharist. St. John Paul II asked Catholics to “base the New Evangelization on the Eucharist”. As Catholics, we know Christ as the Eucharistic Lord and that is how the early Church proclaimed him. Dr. Hahn reminds us that in the early Church there was no book that could be called the “New Testament”. That phrase was used to describe the Mass. Dr. Hahn will also go on to warn us of the dangers found in  “intellectualizing the Bible, by recalling for us what St. Paul has said, “Knowledge puffs up, love builds up… It’s not love instead of knowledge, but knowledge ordered to love, because you can’t love what you do not know, but you can know and not love”. What an outstanding book, yet again, brought to us by Dr.Scott Hahn!

You can find the book here

“Scott Hahn has a well-earned reputation as a vivid guide to the Word of God.  That skill is elegantly on display here. Consuming the Word is erudite and accessible, rich in content and lucid in style — an engaging read for anyone who seeks to better understand the profound interplay of Scripture, Liturgy and the role of the Church in Christian life.” Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

“With words that are both accessible and erudite, Dr. Scott Hahn introduces us anew to the Eternal Word of the New Testament, a word that is given to us, not simply as a text in a book, but as the living and real presence of the Lord Jesus himself.” Very Reverend Robert Barron, author of Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith

IP#312 Dr. Kevin Starr – Contiental Ambitions on Inside the Pages

IP#312 Dr. Kevin Starr – Contiental Ambitions on Inside the Pages from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

For the Audio only:

What a delight to speak with Dr. Kevin Starr about “Continental Ambitions: Roman Catholics in North America: the Colonial Experience”!  This volume is a  beautifully massive work of “historical art”; so thorough and engaging, I couldn’t stop turning the pages!  Dr. Starr is a master storyteller.  It’s as though he has you on a high precipice overlooking a grand vista, and with the broad swipe of his arm, he points out all the personalities and movements shaping an ever changing view. And during our conversation, it was an absolute joy to hear the enthusiasm and love he has for history and for this particular subject.  I simply cannot recommend this book more highly!

You can find the book here

“These accounts of a human drama heroic and villainous, saintly and sanguineous, are a feast for the historian and, more importantly, food for our generation starved of the story of its own past. The romantic whose knowledge is airbrushed and the cynic whose knowledge is cobbled together with clichés will jointly be challenged. For everyone, reading this book could be a transforming experience, and a delight as well.”
Fr. George Rutler, Author, He Spoke to Us: Discerning God in People and Events

“To see in one book the history of Catholics in the New World, its glories and its tragedies, is almost like reading a secret history of a lost tribe. Kevin Starr s magisterial narration of European Catholic presence in North America the Norse, the Spanish, the French, the English, plus a few others is a contribution of the first order to our understanding of the whole foundation of this land of the free.”
James V. Schall, S.J. Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University

IP#295 Dr. Peter Kreeft – How to be Holy on Inside the Pages

Inside the Pages – How to be Holy with Peter Kreeft from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

Peter KreeftOnce again a spiritual classic has been given to us from the prolific Catholic philosopher Dr. Peter Kreeft!.  “How to be Holy: First Steps in Becoming a Saint” derives it’s direction from the incredible “Abandonment to Divine Providence” by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J.  and it’s simple message that God reveals himself through the daily events of our lives.  How we respond is the key to faith and our opportunity to grow in holiness.  Do you place your trust the Father’s will?  Can you respond in love?  Do you truly believe Romans 8:28 “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (RSV)?  To be holy, we must take the first step…Dr. Kreeft shows us the way.  Outstanding!

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You can find the book here

From the book description:

The ever-popular and prolific Peter Kreeft says that the most important question he has written about is how one becomes holy; or to put it another way, how one becomes a saint. This question is central to all the great religions, Kreeft demonstrates, for striving toward holiness, moving toward perfect love, is the whole purpose of life.

Kreeft admits that he is only a beginner on the climb to holiness, and it is to novices like him that he has written this engaging and encouraging book. Using the insights and experiences of saints and great spiritual writers throughout history, Kreeft shows what holiness is and how it can be achieved.

IP#311 Vivian Dudro – Grzegorz Gorny’s Three Kings, Ten Mysteries on Inside the Pages

IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro

Another delightful conversation with editor, Vivian Dudro, about another great Ignatius Press book!  This time we discuss Grzegorz Gorny’s “Three Kings, Ten Mysteries:  The Secrets of Christmas and Epiphany.”  Not only do we discuss, the Wise Men of the Bible, but we also explore the importance of their presence and witness to our world today!  A beautiful book that is the perfect gift for anyone who is on the journey “seeking
Truth.”

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Were the Three Kings, or Magi, who the Bible says traveled to Bethlehem in search of the Christ Child real, historical figures or simply the stuff of legend?

For generations, the Magi have inspired art and music. Epiphany, the important Christian feast twelve days after Christmas, is a national holiday in many countries throughout the world. What lies at the heart of this celebration and is it still relevant today?

Turning to discoveries made by historians, scientists, and theologians, Polish author Grzegorz Górny answers these questions. With gorgeous four-color photographs on every page, he traces the mysteries of the Magi from the Gospel of Matthew to modern-day astronomy to revived Epiphany celebrations on the streets of secularized European capitals.
1. The Phantom Apostle
2. The Gospel’s Veracity
3. Messianic Prophecies
4. Magi or Kings?
5. The Magi’s Homeland
6. Jesus’ Birth Date
7. Signs in the Sky
8. Bethlehem’s Secrets
9. The Case of King Herod
10. The Oldest Feast

IP#121 Fr. Larry Richards – Surrender on Inside the Pages

“Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will” is another outstanding offering from Fr. Larry Richards!  From start to finish Fr. Larry challenges us to place Jesus Christ first in our lives and our relationships with others and the world.  Once we can do that, things begin to fall into place.  Then he helps us to recognize the difference between God’s will and our will, and to trust that His will be better for us if we trust, love and….SURRENDER!

Fr. Larry Richards is an engaging writer, who never fails to keep us hooked through the entire book.  This will be one of those books that you want to purchase at least two copies, because you’ll want to pass it on to another, and you’ll want to keep one for yourself for years to come.

 

You can find the book here

From the book description:

…Surrender outlines concrete steps you can take to dwell in peace. Simply put, God wants every one of us to be a saint which is a lot of work! It requires developing a plan for your life, in accordance with the Lord’s will.

Prayer is the key to this, as it opens the soul to hearing God’s voice and accepting his guidance. But prayer too requires discipline and planning. Father Richards is the life coach every one of us needs on the sidelines of our daily life the tough love coach who calls it like he sees it.

Allow yourself to move out of the driver seat and surrender to the one who knows all God.