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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 it’s 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 an opportunities for greater unity with Christ; such periods provide the fonts of grace which nurtures the work in ministry. For anyone who severs in ministry of any kind, either as an employee or as a volunteer, if you pass this indispensable book by, you do so at your own peril!
“Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will” is another outstanding offering from Fr. LarryRichards! From start to finish Fr. Larry challenges us to place Jesus Christ first in our lives and in our relationships with others and the world. Once we can do that, things begin to fall in 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!
It was great to talk with Sr. Ann Shields, of “Food for the Journey”, about her new book “To Be Like Jesus – Inspiration From the Gospel of Luke” . In her maternal nurturing way she encourages us to “feed” on the great gift of God’s Holy Word. You can find the book here. From … Read more…
“Three Moments of the Day: Praying with the Heart of Jesus” by Fr. Christopher Collins S.J. is outstanding!
Our conversation with Fr. Collins may leave you feeling that you’ve received a wonderful spiritual “booster shot”! What seemed old is beautifully new again. What we may have taken for granted is revealed to have delightfully renewing facets for us to explore. Highly, highly recommended!
From the book description:
On the strength of the Apostleship of Prayer’s worldwide reach, retreat master Christopher Collins introduces a powerful approach to both the Sacred Heart devotion and classic Ignatian spirituality.
In the tradition of Michael Gaitley’s bestselling 33 Days to Morning Glory, Three Moments of the Day presents a classic Catholic tradition in a way that is fresh and compelling. Jesuit retreat master Christopher Collins introduces three simple, yet powerful prayer habits that are at the foundation of both the Sacred Heart devotion and Ignatian spirituality and that assist the reader in turning intentionally toward the Sacred Heart of Christ. Readers are guided through morning offering, evening reflection, and how to ponder the gift of the Eucharist throughout the day.
What a delight to talk and to LEARN from Fr. Ed Broom, of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary! His book “From Humdrum to HOLY: A Step-by-Step Guide to Living Like a Saint” is great! In our conversation, we discuss the value of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the great legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri and of having a spiritual program in our lives. He offers in this work, among other things, “10 Ways to Start (or Continue) Becoming a Saint” . Through the “10 M’s” he presents practical entryways to help souls who desire to establish spiritual practices in their everyday life. Fr. Ed speaks of the importance of self-knowledge and the practice of the Daily Examen Prayer as well as, the need to form a healthy conscience. We are only able to touch the tip of the iceberg in this episode, but that’s the beauty of having the “From Humdrum to HOLY” your hands! Fr. Ed Broom’s writing is so engaging and filled with clarity. Take an important first step in growing in holiness and get this book!
“Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas” by Dr. Peter Kreeft is probably the best and most important book published in 2014! An incredible work that transforms the potentially intimidating Summa Theologiae into a vital life-giving, soul-nurturing work for the pilgrim soul. Dr. Kreeft offers us the religious wisdom of Aquinas in in 359 bite size pieces that can aid our growth in holiness. He has framed these readings as answers to questions that people actually ask their spiritual directors. Each answer is taken word for word from Aquinas. So many topics are covered. You’ll be return to this book over and over again throughout your spiritual journey. An excellent gift to give yourself and those you love! Highly Recommended!!!
BA7 – “The Nature of Spiritual Direction” – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher
Episode 7 – The Nature of Spiritual Direction – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher In this episode, Fr. Timothy Gallagher discusses the importance of spiritual direction in the life of Ven. Lanteri and in his instruction to his spiritual directees. Fr. Gallagher addresses what is it to be a … Read more…
BA12 – “Spiritual Accompaniment and it’s Fruits ” pt 1 – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher
Episode 12 – Spiritual Accompaniment and it’s Fruits pt 1 – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher In this episode, Fr. Timothy Gallagher discusses the actual spiritual direction Ven. Bruno Lanteri offered to a laywoman, Gabriella Solaro della Margarita, mother of Clemente Solara della Margarita, well known in … Read more…
BA15 – “The Quality and Aim of Our Actions” – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher
Episode 15 – “The Quality and Aim of Our Actions” – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher In this episode, Fr. Gallagher offers that a clear understanding of one’s state of life and of one’s specific path toward holiness—one’s vocation—forms a basic point of the spiritual direction which … Read more…
SP#6 “The Spiritual Director” The School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization with Fr. Scott Traynor
Fr. Scott Traynor talks about how God wants to have an intimate relationship with us. What is the dynamic of this relationship? He longs for us to freely give ourselves to Him. Fr. Scott talks about the gift of our imagination and what is true spiritual reality as opposed to fantasy. How do I tell the difference? What is the nature of the effect? Is it lasting or does it evaporate after the experience? Is Jesus in the center of the reality we are encountering? He describes the use of Lectio Divina, the praying with Sacred Scripture, that helps us to enter into the deeper relationship we are called to by God. Fr. Scott explains the difference between the Ignatian and Carmelite understandings of “contemplation”. Is there an ordinary Catholic “mysticism”? Do we miss it?
WOM#13 – Purgative and Illuminative Way – The Way of Mystery w/ Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts
The spiritual life and moral living… understanding the journey through the Purgative and Illuminative Way and their role in the moral life.
IJCY4- The 4th & 5th Spiritual Lesson – Is Jesus Calling You w/ Fr. Paul Hoesing ep 4 – Discerning Hearts
The Fourth Spiritual Lesson: It Takes Time. “The Father simply wants you to trust him enough to take the next step, not the 10th or 20th step. He wants you to focus on going from A to B, not on going from A to Z. When you take that step, Jesus will reveal the next one.”
Questions: What is the next step God is asking of you? Are you afraid to take it? If you are, ask him into the situation or reality that causes you fear. Are you focusing too far down the road?
The Fifth Spiritual Lesson: Your Peace is Found in Jesus. “Christ’s presence is enjoyable; it gives us peace, stillness, clarity and gratitude. Our job is to desire it.”
Questions: Where do you experience peace, stillness, clarity or gratitude in God? Wherever that is happening in your life, you need to do two things: (1) realize that this is the presence of Christ and ; (2) desire it throughout your day…above all thins. Relish his presence, enjoy his presence, long fro his presence, keep coming back to his presence, adore his presence and express gratitude for his presence.
What a delight to speak once again to Fr. Joseph Fessio, this time about “The Transforming Power of Faith” by Pope Benedict XVI. Ignatius Press has once again brought to us a wonderful compilation of the final sixteen talks given at his weekly audience from October 2012 to the end of his papacy in February 2013. These talks explore how and why faith is relevant in the contemporary world.
In this discussion, Fr. Fessio offers his insights on the pontificate of Pope Francis, a brother in the Jesuit order. He also addresses an issue concerning the work of Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar as found in his book “Dare We Hope That All May Be Saved”, which has, in some cases recently, been mistakenly understood and represented to others. He breaks open a bit Fr. von Balthasar’s teachings on hell, the mercy of God, and the proper understanding of “hope”. Another engaging conversation with the ever fascinating Fr. Fessio.
It’s a rare believer that doesn’t feel challenged at times in the area of faith. For those occasions, Fr. R. Scott Hurd provides wise counsel and encouragement in “When Faith Feels Fragile: Help for the Wary, Weak, and Wandering.” Fr. Scott has an engaging and pastorally sensitive approach to many of the common issues that cause us to stumble on the journey of faith. A great book even if you feel your faith is strong, and to passed on to those you may know who are struggling.
I cannot recommend a book more highly than this, “Answer Your Call: Reclaim God’s Purpose For Faith, Family, and Work” is OUTSTANDING! The combined gifts of Dick and Martha Lyles have brought us must a gem which serves as a practical everyday guide for prayer and discernment. The book description below and the interview I have with Dick can provide just some of the reasons why this work is so important, but neither really goes far enough. I have heard from so many men and women looking for spiritual directors, guides, mentors, anyone or anything that could help them to respond to that “still, small voice” deep inside themselves; here is the book I’ll now tell them to start with. While this isn’t the answer to all questions and quests, this is work offers a great start and foundation. Great for individual study, as well as for groups. For pastors, deacons, pastoral ministers, parents, but most importantly, for the every day man or woman trying to “answer God’s call”!
“Walk Humbly Before Your God: Simple Steps to a Virtuous Life” is an all-time favorite. Fr. Andrew Apostoli,
member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and a frequent host on the Eternal Word Television Network, has a beautiful way of shining new light on basic truths. He graciously takes time to teach us on the nature of prayer, how it develops in our lives and how we can nurture it. He speaks on Jesus and several aspects surrounding His prayer: praise, thanksgiving, intercession, and how it aids in our suffering. Our traditional vocal prayers, as well as the depths of contemplation are also discussed including how do we deal with distractions, . Fr. Apostoli, a humble holy priest, is a master spiritual catechist! Contained in this 50 minute discussion, you’ll find guidance that can last a lifetime.
In “7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness,” best-selling author Joe Paprocki provides a prescription for spiritual health based on the rich wisdom of Catholic Tradition.
The Saints have taught us repeatedly that our souls can get spiritually sick and die as well.
Joe’s new book focuses on the root causes of spiritual sickness. Each chapter identifies a specific threat to the health of our souls and offers strategies for beating that virus.
His keys to spiritual wellness are:
1. Seeing Yourself as You Really Are
2. Actively Seeking the Good of Others
3. Thinking Before Acting
4. Holding on Loosely
5. Recognizing and Setting Limits
6. Channeling, Not Repressing, Your Desires
7. Unleashing Your Imagination
What is Marian Consecration? What is the role the Blessed Virgin Mary in our lives? How can this bring us even more fully into the heart of Divine Mercy? What a joy to talk with Fr. Michael Gaitley, who serves as director of the Association of Marian Helpers, about “33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration”. He answers the above the questions above and so much more. The goal of the retreat contained in the book is to learn how to ponder more deeply in our hearts what it means to enter into Marian consecration. With the help of not only St. Louis de Montfort, but also St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. John Paul II, and Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Fr. Gaitley reveals to us the great connection between the heart of Mary and beautiful depth of Divine Mercy…and the key to it all is…TRUST.
Here is the book for Lent (and any other time of the year for that matter), “Simplifying Your Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit” is “simply” wonderful! Paula Huston has such a gentle way of helping us to penetrate into what our hearts so we can draw closer to what we truly long for…a deeper relationship with God…the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A benedictine oblate, Paula, draws from the best of the monastic traditions and helps us to apply those practices in our modern day circumstances. I have to believe that Sts. Benedict and Scholastic would be overjoyed how this 21 century daughter of the church as responded to their initial teachings offered so a long ago. NOT TO BE MISSED…HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck is fantastic…a remedy for spirituality seekers in the workplace (and in the home as well)! You have to love a work that begins with conversion as a goal. Kevin Lowry offers concrete helps which assist all of us deepen our relationship with Christ and His Church, and live authentic lives as Catholics in the world. Great for individuals and for group study as well.
“Too many Christians treat ambition and success as if they’re four-letter words…. For a Catholic in business, they can be touchstones of sanctification.”— Scott Hahn, Ph.D., professor of biblical theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
“The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God based on the Wisdom of the Saints” is one of my all time favorite books…period! What Ralph Martin accomplishes is extraordinary. He synthesizes the teachings of the great mystical doctors of the Church (St. Augustine, St. Francis De Sales, St. Catherine of Siena, … Read more…
Fr. Robert Spitzer is fantastic and his gift to us in this work is tremendous for those seeking to grow deeper in the spiritual life. These five dimensions of the spiritual life: (1) the Holy Eucharist, (2) spontaneous prayer, (3) the Beatitudes, (4) partnership with the Holy Spirit, and (5) the contemplative life itself, generally do not develop simultaneously or even in parallel ways. Some develop very quickly, but do not achieve significant depth; while others develop quite slowly, but seem to be almost unending in the depth of wisdom, trust, hope, virtue, and love they engender. The best way of explaining this is to look at each of the pillars individually.
No stranger to Discerning Hearts, Deacon James Keating once again takes us all into the depths of our interiority with “A Deacon’s Retreat”. Yes, written primarily for deacons of the Church, as usual, this work is a wonderful spiritual work that can touch us all. Deacon Keating uses the setting of our great prayer, the … Read more…
This is the book for anyone desires to cherish the beautiful gift of “spiritual friendship”. Mary DuTurris Poust exhorts us all to recognize this gift of friendship given to us by God, and shows us how to nuture the special bond that helps us, ultimately, to grow in a deeper relationship with Him. “Walking Together: Discovering the Tradition of Spiritual Friendship”, with the help of biblical images and the lives of the saints, helps us with the connections we have made with others, those persons we trust with the matter of our souls.
Dr. Patricia Cooney Hathaway concentrates on helping women understand the relationship between faith and human experience during the middle years within the context of the whole life cycle. This book is EXCELLENT! She explores the wrenching and puzzling questions women in their middle years need to ask: Who am I? Who am I with? Where am I … Read more…
Gary Jansen’s book is a great way to help any and all who are seeking to “Exercise” their soul. As Fr. James Martin has said, “Jansen offers straightforward advice on how to begin, or deepen, your relationship with the One who loved us into being”. I couldn’t agree more…let the workout begin!
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