POA11 – “Keep the Enemy Out of the Camp” – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.


Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 11:

Satan has his Trojan horses as well. He sometimes tempts us to embrace what looks like a desirable gift. But despite the attractive appearance, it’s actually a catastrophe waiting for an invitation to invade. Playing with a Ouija board, for instance, may seem innocent enough, a diversion indulged in for the simple pleasure of satisfying curiosity. But such boards have been known to provide demons with easy access to those who thought them only a harmless game. To play with them is to play with fire.

Exorcists have in fact reported cases in which this practice— and other, more obviously serious, sins— have opened the gates of a soul to extraordinary demonic phenomena. Actions and activities commonly reported to have such terrifying consequences include satanic rituals; witchcraft, sorcery and so-called “white magic”; participation in religious cults; occult practices, such as Ouija boards and fortunetelling; séances, channeling, and other forms of necromancy (attempts to contact the dead); substance abuse; sexual sin; and abortion.Seeking the attractive “gift” of pleasure, power, secret knowledge, or (in the case of abortion) even escape from responsibility, some have committed these sins, and in doing so have opened themselves to demonic infestation, oppression, obsession, and even possession.

Blessed Pope Paul VI noted this danger when he warned that many Christians in modern times are “exposing their souls— their baptized souls, visited so often by the Eucharistic Presence and inhabited by the Holy Spirit!— to licentious sensual experiences and to harmful drugs, as well as to the ideological seductions of fashionable errors. These are cracks through which the Evil One can easily penetrate and change the human mind.”

In addition, forgiveness is crucial to deliverance from the Evil One, because a bitter heart gives him a foothold in our lives. “Take heed lest anyone be lacking in the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it, many be defiled” (Heb 12: 15). Those especially who have suffered a grave injustice must seek the grace to let go of the offense and pray for the offender, so that resentment doesn’t ferment into malicious bitterness.

If we’re ever tempted to invite the Enemy into our “camp” in any of these ways, we must recognize the Adversary’s deception and reject his offer firmly and immediately. And if we’ve ever committed such sins in the past, but have never confessed them, we need to confess them to God, seeking forgiveness and healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Visit here for other episodes in this series:
Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.
Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 4

The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here
 Paul Thigpen, Ph.D, is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.
Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.
In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings,speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.


Chap 6 – The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus – Mp3 audio

The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus,
of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel

Chapter 6St.-Teresa-of-Avila

Of the great debt she owes God for giving her conformity of her will (with His) in her trials, and how she turned towards the glorious St. Joseph as her helper and advocate, and how much she profited thereby.


For the pdf containing the complete text and footnotes click here

For other chapters of the audio book visit: The Life of Teresa of Avila (autobiography) audio page

The Life
St. Teresa of Jesus,
of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel.
Written by Herself.
Translated from the Spanish by
David Lewis.
Third Edition Enlarged

St. Bridget of Sweden with Teresa Monaghen


Once again, Teresa Monaghen brings a saint, who lived over 600 years ago, to vivid life and connects St.-Bridget-1them into our modern day circumstances.  St. Bridget of Sweden was an ordinary woman who was open to receiving extraordinary grace because of her great love for Christ.  Teresa tells the remarkable story with joy and enthusiasm.


For the 15 prayers of St. Bridget click here

For more on her life and teachings, check out this teaching from Pope Benedict XVI

From the teachings of Blessed Pope John Paul II:

4. The first of these three great figures, Bridget, was born of an aristocratic family in 1303 at Finsta, in the Swedish region of Uppland. She is known above all as a mystic and the foundress of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour. Yet it must not be forgotten that the first part of her life was that of a lay woman happily married to a devout Christian man to whom she bore eight children. In naming her a Co-Patroness of Europe, I would hope that not only those who have received a vocation to the consecrated life but also those called to the ordinary occupations of the life of the saint bridgetlaity in the world, and especially to the high and demanding vocation of forming a Christian family, will feel that she is close to them. Without abandoning the comfortable condition of her social status, she and her husband Ulf enjoyed a married life in which conjugal love was joined to intense prayer, the study of Sacred Scripture, mortification and charitable works. Together they founded a small hospital, where they often attended the sick. Bridget was in the habit of serving the poor personally. At the same time, she was appreciated for her gifts as a teacher, which she was able to use when she was required to serve at Court in Stockholm. This experience was the basis of the counsel which she would later give from time to time to princes and rulers concerning the proper fulfilment of their duties. But obviously the first to benefit from these counsels were her children, and it is not by chance that one of her daughters, Catherine, is venerated as a Saint.

But this period of family life was only a first step. The pilgrimage which she made with her husband Ulf to Santiago de Compostela in 1341 symbolically brought this time to a close and prepared her for the new life which began a few years later at the death of her husband. It was then that Bridget recognized the voice of Christ entrusting her with a new mission and guiding her step by step by a series of extraordinary mystical graces.

Read moreSt. Bridget of Sweden with Teresa Monaghen

The 15 Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden – Discerning Hearts

There’s something that happens when you not only read and recite but when you also hear…when you listen deeply and profoundly.  The private revelation which was given to St. Bridget of Sweden that day in the chapel of the church of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome over 600 years ago is still one of the most poignant and compelling moments in all mystical experiences.  The Church has deemed this worthy of belief to the extent that it can edify one’s faith rather than hurt; that indeed if practiced and nurtured it could open the heart for an outpouring of grace.

The “Pieta Prayers” of St. Bridget of Sweden can be a challenging practice in today’s world.  To help foster a greater understanding and devotion to Our Lord’s Passion, Discerning Hearts has produced an MP3 Downloadable Audio, which we hope will assist you in some way.

  (featuring Bruce McGregor and Denise Wharton)

For the complete texts, promises, and ecclesial advisements click here

St. Mary Magdalene – the Apostle to the Apostles..In Conversation with Amy Welborn


Who is she? Men and women throughout the centuries have tried to define her…all we know for sure is that she was freed and healed from 7 demons, stayed with Our Lady at the foot of the Cross, and was chosen by Christ to be the first witness to the Resurrection…she would become the Apostle to the Apostles.


One of the best conversations we’ve had about St. Mary Magdalene was with the wonderful Amy Welborn, author of “Decoding Mary Magdalene”

Artists and musicians have tried to capture Mary Magdalene; here’s a beautiful tribute to their efforts:

BKL96 – “The Identity of the Christian”– Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the Christian identity.  Before the world was made He chose us.  Who are we?  What does that mean for our lives and the life of the world?

"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" a reflection from Msgr. John Esseff - Discerning Hearts

Reading 2 Eph 1:3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In him we have redemption by his blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory”

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 byvisiting here


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

USCCA14 – The Celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ – U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults w/ Arch. George Lucas

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

USCCA14- Episode 14 –  The Celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 14:

Through the liturgical celebrations of the Church, we participate in the Paschal Mystery of Christ, that is, his passing through death from this life into eternal glory, just as God enabled the people of ancient Israel to pass from slavery to freedom through the events narrated int he Book of Exodus (cf. Ex 11-13).  The liturgies of the Church also help to teach us about Jesus Christ and the meaning of the mysteries we are celebrating.

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

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This programs 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.
Also we wish to thank Fr. Ryan Lewis for his vocal talents in this episode.

IP#266 David Clayton – The Little Oratory on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

David-Clayton“The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home” by David Clayton and Leila M. Lawler is absolutely wonderful.  More than just a “prayer-how-to”, this book is about the beauty of God and embracing the relationship in all areas of our lives.  Clayton and Lawler help us to reverence the sacred found in our homes, in the rhythm of the day, the blessings we have been given, and the gift of the present moment.  This is for every home, whether one filled with children or a sanctuary for the single life, this is a must have for those who wish to be surrounded in prayer.


You can find the book here

“This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. How I wish I had it when I first became a Catholic, not just for myself, as a husband and father, but for my family, too. If one book has the potential to transform the Catholic family (and society), this is it.” – Scott Hahn

“This book is a rare treasure.”  – Thomas Howard

“Wonderful, inspiring, and deeply practical.” – Joseph Pearce, Editor of The Saint Austin Review

“A great blessing to Catholic families.” – Stratford Caldecott, an editor of Magnificat UK