RN18 – St. John Paul II – Laborem Exercens, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, and the Centesimus Annus – Regnum Novum with Deacon Omar Gutierrez

Deacon Omar Gutierrez

St. John Paul II – Laborem Exercens (1981), Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (1987), and the Centesimus Annus (1991)

John Paul II , sometimes called John Paul the Great, born Karol Józef Wojtyła 18 May 1920, Wadowice, Republic of Poland – 2 April 2005, Vatican City), reigned as Pope of theCatholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was the second-longest serving Pope in history and the first non-Italian since 1523.

We live at a very special time. The confluence of many things has brought forth the clear need to be able to articulate the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church in a way that is accessible and applicable. This is not to be an effort where high-minded theories are to be bandied about. Rather, this is a time of opportunity wherein we can apply the Social Doctrine to the concrete so as to bring about a New Kingdom, a Revolution. – Omar G.

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

Visit Omar’s “Discerning Hearts” page Catholic Social Teaching 101

BTP#36 – The Prayer of St. John Paul II – Special Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

In this episode, Dr. Lilles discusses The Prayer of St. John Paul II. He reflects on “Sign of Contradiction” The Lenten Retreat preached in 1976 by Karol Cardinal Wojtyla to Pope Paul VI and the papal household.

St. John Paul II

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of St. Elisabeth of the Trinity. For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

BKL77 – “What is the garment you wear?” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Gospel MT 22:1-14

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
in parables, saying,
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
The king said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine;

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 St. Teresa of Calcutta.    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.

IP#100 Fr. Andrew Apostoli – Fatima For Today on Inside the Pages

Fr. Andrew Apostoli does a tremendous job covering all the varied aspects of the events of Fatima and the call  of Our Lady of Fatima. He conveys the “immaculate” heart of the message, as well as tackling the “controversies” that have plagued the events over the years.  Because of the prophetic nature of her messages, Our Lady of Fatima has been the subject of much controversy and speculation. In this book, Father Andrew Apostoli carefully analyzes the events that took place in Fatima and clears up lingering questions and doubts about their meaning. He also challenges the reader to hear anew the call of Our Lady to prayer and sacrifice, for the world is ever in need of generous hearts willing to make reparation for those in danger of losing their way to God.

 

 

Check out the book here

“As was so dramatically obvious during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Fatima in May, 2010, Our Lady’s apparitions in 1917 remain powerfully compelling for us today. There she was an evangelist, calling us to prayer, conversion of heart, and penance, pointing to Jesus and repeating her words at Cana, ‘Do whatever He tells you.’ This book brings it all home.”
-Most Reverend Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“For us, Fatima is a sign of the presence of faith, of the fact that it is precisely from the little ones that faith gains new strength, one which is not limited to the little ones but has a message for the entire world and touches history here and now, and sheds light on this history . . . Even now there is tribulation, in every conceivable form, and power threatens to trample down faith. Even now, then, there is a need for the answer about which the Mother of God spoke to the children at Fatima.”
-Pope Benedict XVI

FG#12 The Way of Trust and Love episode 1 – Fountains of Grace with Donna Garrett

FG#12 – The Way of Trust and Love Ep 1 – Fountains of Grace: Reflections on contemporary spiritual classics with Donna GarrettDonna

Join host Donna Garrett, with Fr. James Perez, LC, as they discuss the spiritual classic “The Way of Trust and Love: A Retreat Guided By St. Therese of Lisieux”  by Fr.  Jacques Philippe.

Discussed in this episode, among other topics,  from “The Way of Trust and Love” page 9

This is what Thérèse said:

Fr. James Perez, LC, joins Donna for this series
Fr. James Perez, LC, joins Donna for this series

You know, Mother, that I have always desired to be a saint, but alas, I have always realized, when I compared myself to the saints, that there is between them and me the same difference as exists between a mountain whose summit is lost in the skies, and the obscure grain of sand trodden underfoot by passers-by. Instead of getting discouraged, I said to myself: “God could not inspire us with desires that were unrealizable, so despite my littleness I can aspire to holiness. It is impossible for me to grow up, I must put up with myself as I am , with all my imperfections; but I want to find how to get to Heaven by a little way that is quite straight, quite short: a completely new little way. We are in an age of inventions; now one doesn’t have to make the effort to climb up a stairway in rich people’s houses, because an elevator does the work much better. I too would like to find an elevator to lift me up to Jesus, for I am too little to climb up the steep stairway of perfection.” Then I looked in the holy books for some sign of the elevator that I desired, and I read these words that had come forth from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: “Whoever is VERY LITTLE let him come to me” [Proverbs 9: 4]. So I came, guessing that I had found what I sought. Wishing to know, O my God, what you would do for a little child who answered your call, I continued my search and this is what I found: “As a mother caresses her baby, so I will comfort you; I will carry you at my breast and rock you in my lap” [Isaiah 66: 13, 12]. Ah! never had such tender, melodious words come to rejoice my soul; the elevator that would lift me up to Heaven is your arms, O Jesus! To reach perfection, I do not need to grow up. On the contrary, I need to stay little, to become more and more little. O my God, you have surpassed my expectations, and I wish to sing of your mercies.For other episodes in the this series click here “Fountains of Grace w/Donna Garrett

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You can find “The Way of Trust and Love” here

 

Fr.-Philippe
Fr. Jacques Philippe

CW3 St. Francis of Assisi – Conversion, Crisis, Relationship, and Prayer – The Great Cloud of Witnesses: Guides for Prayer with Fr. Mark Cyza

 Fr.-Mark-Cyza

Fr. Mark Cyza discusses the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.  He speaks of the radical intimacy of St. Francis and Jesus Christ and how it was born from the saint’s continuing conversion and how it was fueled by his relationship with Christ in prayer.  How can his prayer be a beacon for our own: the center of our spiritual life must be focused on Christ….if it gazes on anything else we fall off track.

 

st-francis-4Resources:

Fr. Paschal Robinson’s circa 1906 translations of The Writings of St. Francis, in pdf from Sister’s Bookshelf

Biographies of him were written soon after his death, by people who knew him and by people who interviewed those who knew him. We have many near contemporary sources, aside from Francis’ own writings, through which we can come to know Francis.

The Little Flowers of St. Francis is the only one of these source documents commonly available on the web for reading free. There are several sources, which we give here for you to read this work, or listen to it, if you download the MP3s from CCEL.

Attributed to Br. Ugolino, The Little Flowers of St. Francis from Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Another copy of The Little Flowers, this one from EWTN

 

St. Therese, the Little Flower – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the life and prayer of St. Therese, the Little Flower.  He speaks of her simplicity of heart and great humility in her “little way”.  He shares his experience of his own mother’s prayer and that of Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who both loved and prayed with the “Little Flower”.   The key is her “hiddenness”  and the beauty of a child.  She has a special message for women the world over, especially for our culture in the United States.

He would encourage all of us to ask in petition you may have need of, an educational issue, a job decision, a health issue, whatever it might be, turn to  St. Therese in prayer, especially today and tomorrow (the feast of the Guardian Angels).  He shares the story of his cousin Jimmy, his accident and a stranger who came to his aid, and why the angels and the saints and the power of prayer have such an influence on our lives.

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 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.   

CW2 Praying with the Angels – The Great Cloud of Witnesses: Guides for Prayer with Fr. Mark Cyza

Fr.-Mark-Cyza

Fr. Mark Cyza discusses the Angels.  Guardian Angels and their purpose, as well as, how to pray with our Guardian Angel is part of the teaching he touches upon.  He also touches upon the difference between the Holy Angels and the Fallen Angels, what is the proper understanding we should have concerning them.

 From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

 THE ANGELS

The existence of angels – a truth of faith

328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.

Who are they?

329 St. Augustine says: “‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.'”188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word”.189

330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.190

angel423_guardian_angelChrist “with all his angels”

331 Christ is the center of the angelic world. They are his angels: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. . “191 They belong to him because they were created through and for him: “for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.”192 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?”193

332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham’s hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples.194 Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.195

Read more

BKLSpecial2 – Enduring Love – The Grace of the Canonization with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr-Esseff-2Having just returned from Rome, Msgr. Esseff reflects on his experience of the canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta.

“The Touch of Love”  was a standout experience of the day, as well as the abiding presence of the saint, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Carrier of God’s Tender Love and Mercy

rs27582_web-pope-francis-mother-teresa-canonization-e294acc499-antoine-mekary-aleteia_dsc1988Lord Jesus, merciful Face of the Father, you came to give us the Good News of the Father’s mercy and tenderness.

We thank you for the gift of our dearest Mother, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who will be canonized in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. You chose her to be your presence, your love and compassion to the brokenhearted, the unwanted, the abandoned and the dying. She responded wholeheartedly to your cry, ‘I Thirst,’ by the holiness of her life and humble works of love to the poorest of the poor.

We pray, through her intercession, for the grace to experience your merciful love and share it in our own families, communities and with all our suffering brothers and sisters. Help us to give our “hearts to love and hands to serve” after the example of Mother Teresa. Lord Jesus, bless every member of our family, our parish, our diocese, our country, especially those most in need, that we all may be transformed by your merciful love. Amen.

Text © Mother Teresa Center of the Missionaries of Charity

 

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

SP#7 “The Heart to Heart Conversation with a Spiritual Companion” – The School of Prayer w/ Fr. Scott Traynor

Fr. Scott Traynor - The School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization 1SP#7 The School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization

Fr. Scott Traynor talks about the importance of “spiritual friendship or companionship”.  He discusses “heart-sharing” between spouses, but also in friendship with others.  He give us models on how this can look.  Fr. Scott also helps us to understand the difference between ordinary relationships and the unique gift of the “spiritual friendship”.  What is a healthy sharing relationship and what are the signs of unhealthy ones which we may want to avoid.

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.

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