A Year-End Examination – Preparing Our Hearts For the New Year

Msgr. Esseff  leads us through a year-end examination of conscious.Msgr. John Esseff

Here are some scripture to reflect on:

Reading 1 1 jn 2:3-11

The way we may be sure that we know Jesus
is to keep his commandments.
Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:
whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.
Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you
but an old commandment that you had from the beginning.
The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
And yet I do write a new commandment to you,
which holds true in him and among you,
for the darkness is passing away,
and the true light is already shining.
Whoever says he is in the light,
yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness.
Whoever loves his brother remains in the light,
and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.
Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;
he walks in darkness
and does not know where he is going
because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Colossians, chapter 3

Renunciation of Vice.*

5Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:c immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.*

6Because of these the wrath of God* is coming [upon the disobedient].d

7By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.

8But now you must put them all away:* anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.e

9Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practicesf

10* and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator.g

11Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian,* slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.h

12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,i

13bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.j

14And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.k

15And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.l

16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.m

17And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.n

GWML#6 Jonathan Swift and “Gulliver’s Travels” – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce

Episode 6- Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – Jonathan Swift

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift is one of the greatest satirical works ever written. Through the misadventures of Lemuel Gulliver, his hopelessly “modern” protagonist, Swift exposes many of the follies of the English Enlightenment, from its worship of science to its neglect of traditional philosophy and theology. Swift’s satire on the threats posed by the Enlightenment and the embryonic spirit of secular fundamentalism makes Gulliver’s Travels priceless reading for today’s defenders of tradition.

Based on the Ignatius Critical Edition, this series examines, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, the life,the times, and influence of authors of great works in literature .

Joseph Pearce is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is  co-editor of the Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (Family Publications) and the United States (Sapientia Press). He is also the author of many books, including literary biographies of Solzhenitsyn, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Oscar Wilde..

To learn more about the authors and titles available in the Ignatius Critical Editions

IP#102 Msgr. John Esseff – Building a Kingdom of Love on Inside the Pages

Msgr. John Esseff is one of the most extraordinary men I have ever spoken with. He is the author of “Building A Kingdom of Love: Your Role in the Triumph of the Sacred Heart”.  Msgr. Esseff is widely known as a spiritual master who works with the Institute for Priestly Formation. Ordained a priest in 1953  for the Diocese of Scranton, PA, Msgr. Esseff served in parishes and as an exorcist for the diocese.  Serving the poor in areas around the world, he would become a confessor and retreat director for Blessed Mother Teresa, and continues that role today for the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity.  He would encounter St. Padre Pio and would be considered one of the St Pio’s spiritual children.

Msgr. John Esseff is on a mission from God. He is one of the founders of the Sacred Heart Apostolate.  He hopes to have the Sacred Heart of Jesus enthroned as King of the entire world, family by family, church by church, dioceses by diocese…country by country.

Everyone can participate and support this mission. For information about enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus in your home, go to www.sacredheartapostolate.com. Then, you can keep Msgr. Esseff and his mission in your prayers. For more insights and information about Msgr. Esseff, his website is:http://home.catholicweb.com/msgrjohnesseff/index.cfm.

“BE NOT AFRAID” – Msgr. John Esseff on the role of fear in suffering…and the remedy…faith

Msgr. Esseff discusses the crippling effects of fear and it’s remedy.  Fear, in a very real way, is the opposite of faith.  There’s an adage in spirituality that says that if we can name the demon we can tame it.  Jesus wants us not to be afraid.  He may challenge us in some ways, so that we can name it and bring it out of the darkness into peace.  The Light dispels the fear!  Fear fuels sin.  Ultimately, it’s a fear of not being loved and losing relationship in some way.  Luke 15 ( the parable of the Prodigal Son) shows us how much the Father loves us…no matter what!  He’s waiting with open arms to relieve the pain and suffering.  Look at the One who wants to pick you up!  Some suffer in silence, especially when falsely accused…stand with Jesus at the first station of the cross.  Do not take your eyes off the face of Jesus…we are meant for eternal life.  Learn from the examples of the saints… BELIEVE.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff”s website:  “Building A Kingdom of Love

Sobornost – Catherine Doherty “The falling in love with God”

Catherine Doherty addresses the Eastern Catholic Charismatic Renewal conference in 1979. Her subject is sobornost, a Russian term, translatable as "unity".

“Faith is the father of love, faith is the father of hope also, and its in faith, and faith alone, that we can plunge ourselves, like in a warm sea, to swim the strange currents that will come our way.”

On the beginning of unity “…you become a prayer…you contemplate God, because He always contemplates you…see how simple it is?”

To learn more about Catherine Doherty visit www.madonnahouse.org

BKL#24 – The joy that flows from Mary’s simplicity – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Evil is crushed by the lowly!  The joy that flows from Mary’s simplicity.

Msgr. Esseff talks about the Blessed Virgin Mary and how a little girl named Marilee helped him come to a greater understanding of Our Lady.  Our salvation came about because of obedience and humility; our Mother,  Mary, was the exemplar of that submission.  God has such a love for the humble and small.  Msgr. Esseff recalls his past Christmas times with the poor in foreign lands and how they experienced such an extraordinary joy because of their simplicity.  For us to experience that same type of simplicity and joy think of Mary.  He looks at the Nativity scene in a the light of this simplicity and goodness.
Mother Teresa would say that those in prosperous lands are spiritually poor and those in third world lands are spiritual rich.  Hopefully, our homes this Christmas will find our homes resplendent with the Christian virtues, especially those of humility and love.

Reading 2 Heb 10:5-10

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'”First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Lk 1:39-45

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

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.   



To obtain a copy of Msgr. Esseff’s book by visiting here


Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff’s website “Building a Kingdom of  Love


Fourth Sunday of Advent – Sunday, Sunday, Sunday with Mark Hart

Mark-Hart-3The Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Podcast is a reflection on the upcoming Sunday Mass readings presented by LifeTeen.com and hosted by Mark Hart.

Sunday Readings from the USCCB

Reading 1 2 sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16

Responsorial Psalm ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27-29

Reading 2 rom 16:25-27

Gospel lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.


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;


O Radix Jesse (O Flower of Jesse’s stem)

“O Flower of Jesse’s stem,

you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples;

kings stand silent in your presence;

the nations bow down in worship before you.

Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.”

Isaiah had prophesied, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (11:1), and A On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.” (11:10). Remember also that Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1).

For greater text and musical credit visit
the  Discerning Hearts O Antiphon page


Man I Sing

Choral Music by Bob Chilcott
Performed by the BBC Singers

O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

O Wisdom, O holy Word of God,

you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care.

Come and show your people the way to salvation.

Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).

For greater text and musical credit visit

the  Discerning Hearts O Antiphon page


Man I Sing

Choral Music by Bob Chilcott
Performed by the BBC Singers

USCCA3 – Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature – U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults w/ Arch. George Lucas

USCCA3- Episode 3- Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 3:

Blessed John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council itself illustrate how the Church constantly draws upon Tradition and Sacred Scripture.  This chapter examines these foundations of the Church teaching because its through Tradition and Scripture that the Church knows God’s Revelation and transmits it from one generation to another.

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha.

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This program is based on:

More information can be found here.

We wish to thank the USCCB for the permissions granted for use of relevant material used in this series.