BTP#22 St. Catherine of Siena – Passion for Truth: Beginning to Pray w/ Dr. Anthony Lilles

Episode 22 Beginning to Pray:  St. Catherine of Siena

From Dr. Lilles’ “Beginning to Pray”  blog site:Dr. Anthony Lilles STD - Beginning to Pray 5

Catherine of Siena – passion for truth

She is an important figure for those who see a rediscovery of prayer as the force of renewal in the Church. Because she put her devotion to Christ first, she found herself with a spiritual mission to help restore the life and unity of Christ’s body. Some of her efforts met with a little success. But as she approached her death at the age of 33, her lifetime of effort in building up the Church seemed to be in vain. Corruption, scandal, cowardice – and most of all indifference – seemed to infect the Church even more. (For more on her life, go tohttp://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03447a.htm.) Yet she never lost hope and she persevered in prayer. This is because she understood the love and mercy of God.

She was uneducated, but in 1377, by a miracle, she learned to write. Even so she retained secretaries to whom she dictated most of her thoughts. Her master work on the spiritual life is known as the Dialogues. These are conversations between her soul and God the Father. God the Father reveals his deep love for his Son and his plan to build up the Church. One of the beautiful aspects of this conversation is the Father’s explanation for how each soul can come to know Jesus.
St. Catherine of Siena Novena - Mp3 audio and text 3Christ is the bridge to the Father and we cross this bridge by allowing our hearts to be pierced by what the Lord has done for us. The passion of Christ reveals at once the truth about who God is and who we are in his sight. For her, among the greatest blocks to the spiritual life is ignorance. Knowledge of God and knowledge of self go hand in hand in progressing toward spiritual maturity. But the knowing is not simply an intellectual trip. It as the kind of knowing informed by the loving affection of a real friendship. The friendship she describes in tender terms evokes the deepest joys and sorrows all at once.

The gift of tears, so central to early Dominican spirituality, is a beautiful part of this description. She presents those holy affections as the only proper response to the great love revealed in Christ crucified. These tears move us away from sin and into the very heart of God. She describes this as a journey that begins with kissing the feet of Jesus and entering into his wounded side. For her, intimacy with the Lord is always through the Cross and informed by a profound gratitude and humility.

One other beautiful feature of her spirituality is her understanding of virtue. This understanding is not quite classical in that she goes beyond the generic definition of a virtue as a good habit. Instead, she addresses a problem that is related to life in the Church. She notices that different Christians excel at different virtues. One might have a special aptitude for the art of getting on with others and is a special source of justice in the community. Another may be especially able to enter into the heart of someone enduring great difficulty and brings to the Church a particular awareness of mercy. Still another might have a profound gift of prayer. The question she takes up is why has the Father given different gifts to different members of the Body of Christ.

In the Dialogues, the Father explains to her that He has distributed his bountiful gifts in this way so that each member of the Body of Christ must rely on all the other members and at the same time each member bears a particular responsibility to support the Body of Christ commensurate to the gifts he has been given. In other words, his has distributed his gifts in a manner that disposes us to love one another. And the Father is counting on this mutual love, this genuine fellowship. It is part of His plan that as we cross Christ the Bridge we enter into communion with Him not merely individually, but together as a family.

The family of God requires a new kind of love, a love which only God can give us. A beautiful foundation is laid for what will later be understood as a “call within a call,” that particular mission each one is entrusted with in the eternal loving plan of God. On one hand, answering this call involves some suffering – just as Mother Theresa in our own time discovered. But those who endure this would not have it any other way. There is a certain joy and fullness of life that one discovers when one generously embraces the loving plan of the Father. The possibility of this joyful fulness makes Catherine’s message to the Church dynamically attractive.

For those beginning to pray, Catherine sheds light on the importance of truth, devotion to Christ and the life of the Church. These things organically hang together in her vision of the spiritual life so that growing in prayer goes beyond the merely therapeutic: it opens up the possibility of fully thriving, of living life to the full.

Dr. Anthony Lilles is a Catholic husband and father of three teaching Spiritual Theology at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. He  teaches spiritual theology and spiritual direction to transitional deacons, and the spiritual classics to the men who enter the Spirituality Year, a year of prayer in preparation for seminary formation.  He is the author of the “Beginning to Pray”  catholic blog spot.

For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

 

Prayers of St. Catherine of Siena

O Supreme PhysicianFr. Thomas McDermott - Prayer and the Dominican Tradition 2

O Supreme Physician! O unspeakable Love of my soul! I have recourse to Thee. O infinite and eternal Trinity, I, though unworthy, ardently sigh for Thee! I turn to Thee in the mystical body of Thy holy Church, so that Thou mayest wash away with Thy grace all stains of my soul. I beseech Thee through the merits of St. Peter, to whom Thou hast committed the care of Thy Bark, to delay no longer to help Thy Spouse, who hopes in the fire of Thy charity and in the abyss of Thy admirable wisdom. Despise not the desires of Thy servants, but do Thou Thyself guide Thy holy Bark. O Thou, the Author of peace, draw unto Thyself all the faithful; dispel the darkness of the storm, so that the dawn of Thy light may shine upon the Head of Thy Church, and pour down upon him zeal for the salvation of souls. O eternal and merciful Father, Thou hast given us the means of restraining the arms of Thy justice in the humble prayer and ardent desires of Thy devoted servants, whom Thou hast promised to hear when they ask Thee to have mercy upon the world. O powerful and eternal God, I thank Thee for the peace which Thou wilt grant to Thy Spouse! I will enter into Thy gardens, and there I will remain until I see the fulfilment of Thy promises, which never fail. Wash away our sins, O Lord, and purify our souls in the blood which Thy only-begotten Son shed for us, so that with joyful countenances and pure hearts we may return love for love, and, dying to ourselves, live for Him alone. Amen.

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My Nature Is Fire

In your nature, eternal Godhead,
I shall come to know my nature.
And what is my nature, boundless love?
It is fire,
because you are nothing but a fire of love.
And you have given humankind
a share in this nature,
for by the fire of love you created us.
And so with all other people
and every created thing;
you made them out of love.
O ungrateful people!
What nature has your God given you?
His very own nature!
Are you not ashamed to cut yourself off from such a noble thing
through the guilt of deadly sin?
O eternal Trinity, my sweet love!
You, light, give us light.
You, wisdom, give us wisdom.
You, supreme strength, strengthen us.
Today, eternal God,
let our cloud be dissipated
so that we may perfectly know and follow your Truth in truth,
with a free and simple heart.
God, come to our assistance!
Lord, make haste to help us!

Amen.

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St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 1 O Supreme and Ineffable God

O Supreme and Ineffable God, I have sinned! Therefore, I am unworthy to pray to Thee. But Thou canst make me less unworthy. Punish my sins, O Lord, but turn not away from my misery. From Thee I have received a body which I offer to Thee. Behold my body and my blood! Strike, destroy, reduce my bones to dust, but grant me what I ask for the Sovereign Pontiff, the one Bridegroom of Thy Spouse. May he always know Thy will, may he love it and follow it, so that we may not perish. O my God, create a new heart in him! May he ever receive an increase of Thy grace; may he never tire of bearing the standard of Thy holy cross; and may he bestow the treasures of Thy mercy upon unbelievers as he bestows them upon us who enjoy the benefits of the passion and blood of Thy most beloved Son, the Lamb without a spot. O Lord, eternal God, have mercy on me for I have sinned.

 

 

For the Novena to St. Catherine of Siena page

 

AW222 Negativity Among Catholics Thwarts the Good – Among Women with Pat Gohn

In this episode:

“Among Women” Guest: Jaymie Stuart Wolfe

Pat’s guest is Jaymie Stuart Wolfe, writer of a provocative article — “Uncomfortable” — that challenges the in-fighting that can happen between members of the Church. Together we discuss the harmful effects of disparaging each other and each other’s projects with a kind of litmus Catholic test. This kind of negativity is contrary to the Christian mission. This show is a call to check our own witness, and to tend to our own efforts at reaching out to others.

Links for this episode:

“Uncomfortable”, as found in The Boston Pilot by Jaymie Stuart Wolfe

Jaymie Stuart Wolfe’s ministry, Loaves and Fishes 

Adoption: Room for One More? by Jaymie Stuart Wolfe

Other shows of related interest:

AW 144: a previous show with Jaymie Stuart Wolfe

About your host, Pat Gohn: After decades of leading women’s and family ministries in local churches in New York and Massachusetts, Among Women combines Pat’s love of learning and teaching the Catholic faith with her passion of using media for the new evangelization. A wife and mother of three young adults, Pat is both a writer and speaker on Catholic subject matter. She holds a Masters in Theology, and a Bachelors in broadcast communications. Visit her column, “A Word in Season”, at the Catholic Portal at Patheos.com, and find her other columns at CatholicMom.com, AmazingCatechists.com, Catholic Digest, or by searching PatGohn.com. Her book for women, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the gift of Catholic womanhood, was published by Ave Maria Press in 2013.  Pat’s newest book is “All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters

FG#6 Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Phillippe ep 6 – Fountains of Grace with Donna Garrett

Join host Donna Garrett, with Fr. Daniel Brandenburg, LC, as they discuss the spiritual classic “Interior Freedom” by Fr.  Jacques Philippe  a priest of  Communaute des Beatitudes, an international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right founded in France in 1973.  The members of the Community, which has a contemplative vocation based on Carmelite spirituality, are actively engaged in the service of the poor and the proclamation of the Gospel.

Discussed in this episode, among other topics,  from “Interior Freedom” page 84

Donna Garrett is joined in this particular series by Fr. Daniel Brandenburg, LC

“We can suffer for Only one Moment.”

This effort to live in the reality of each moment is of the greatest importance in times of suffering. St Therese of Lisieux said during her illness; “ I only suffer for one moment. It is because people think about the past and the future that they become discouraged and despair. Nobody has the capacity to suffer for ten or twenty years; but we have the grace to bear today the suffering that is ours now. Projecting things into the future crushes us not experiencing suffering but anticipating it.”

For other episodes in this series click here “Fountains of Grace w/Donna Garrett

You can find “Interior Freedom” here

Fr. Jacques Philippe

LR6 A “Lord of the Rings” Spiritual Retreat with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher In this episode, Fr. Gallagher reflects on the character of Sam Wyse who represents the hobbit who is the “ordinary person”.  He is an image of what it is to be faithful to the task the Lord has given us.

Frodo looked at Sam rather startled, half expecting to see some outward sign of the odd change that seemed to have come over him. It did not sound like the voice of the old Sam Gamgee that he thought he knew. But it looked like the old Sam Gamgee sitting there, except that his face was unusually thoughtful.

‘Do you feel any need to leave the Shire now – now that your wish to see them has come true already?’ he asked.

‘Yes, sir. I don’t know how to say it, but after last night I feel different. I seem to see ahead, in a kind of way. I know we are going to take a very long road, into darkness; but I know I can’t turn back. It isn’t to see Elves now, nor dragons, nor mountains, that I want – I don’t rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end, and it lies ahead, not in the Shire. I must see it through, sir, if you understand me.’ ‘I don’t altogether.

But I understand that Gandalf chose me a good companion. I am content. We will go together.’

Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings (p. 87). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

He shook his head, and as he worked things out, slowly a new dark thought grew in his mind. Never for long had hope died in his staunch heart, and always until now he had taken some thought for their return. But the bitter truth came home to him at last: at best their provision would take them to their goal; and when the task was done, there they would come to an end, alone, houseless, foodless in the midst of a terrible desert. There could be no return.

‘So that was the job I felt I had to do when I started,’ thought Sam: ‘to help Mr. Frodo to the last step and then die with him? Well, if that is the job then I must do it.

But I would dearly like to see Bywater again, and Rosie Cotton and her brothers, and the Gaffer and Marigold and all. I can’t think somehow that Gandalf would have sent Mr. Frodo on this errand, if there hadn’t a’ been any hope of his ever coming back at all. Things all went wrong when he went down in Moria. I wish he hadn’t. He would have done something.’

Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Return of the King: Being the Third Part of the Lord of the Rings (Kindle Locations 3769-3775). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in this series:  A “Lord of the Rings” Spiritual Retreat with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

 

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”.

For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit his website: frtimothygallagher.org

For the other episodes in this series check out Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page

Divine Mercy…In Conversation with Vinny Flynn

Bruce and I were delighted to talk with Vinny Flynn about the origin of the Divine Mercy message and devotion.

Vinny Flynn is a popular speaker at Catholic conferences around the world, and is the best-selling author of 7 Secrets of the Eucharist, 21 Ways to Worship, 7 Secrets of Confession, and Mercy’s Gaze. Vinny has helped train many of the people writing and speaking about Divine Mercy today. He also has been singing the original “Chaplet of Divine Mercy” on EWTN with some of his children for over 20 years.

IP#279 Fr. Michael Gaitley MIC – “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor


Fr.-Michael-Gaitley-2

I LOVE this book!  “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told: Now is the Time of Mercy” is outstanding!  Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC is able to once again provide just the right amount of insight, depth, and practical application to an important aspect of our collective spiritual experience!  He brings forward to us the “School of Trust” whose curriculum is the continuing story of our salvation revealed to us over the last 2000 years and lived out and taught to us through the lives of the saints.  Fr. Gaitley’s storytelling is thoroughly engaging.  This a page turner you truly will not want to set aside.  Filled with so many “ah-ha” moments you’ll be saying to yourself over and over again “Oh, I knew that, but I didn’t know I knew that” or “Ok, wow, now I see the connection!”  This is also a book that you’ll want to give to others…follow through with that impulse, they will be glad you did!  HIGHLY recommended!

 

Second-Greatest-Story-Ever-You can find the book here

From the book description:

In The Second Greatest Story Ever Told bestselling author Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, reveals St. John Paul II’s witness for our time. Building on the prophetic voices of Margaret Mary Alacoque, Thérèse of Lisieux, Maximilian Kolbe, and Faustina Kowalska, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told is more than a historical account of the Great Mercy Pope. This book expounds on the profound connection between Divine Mercy and Marian consecration. It serves as an inspiration for all those who desire to bear witness to the mercy of God, focused on Christ and formed by Mary. Now is the time of mercy. Now is the time to make John Paul’s story your own.

IP#255 Mark Brumley – To Know Jesus as the Christ on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor with Kris McGregor

Why is it essential for the Christian to truly “know” Jesus as the “Christ”?  Why is a relationship with Jesus Christ paramount for the spiritual life?  What is it be an authentic disciple of Christ?  These questions are just a few that are answered by master apologist and president of Ignatius Press, Mark Brumley as we discuss the phenomenal book by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn,  the Archbishop of Vienna. Class A catechesis and rich source of spiritual reading, not only for Catholics, but for the entire Body of Christ.  Highly Recommended!

You can find the book here

From the book description:

An inspiring and practical work by a great churchman about the eternal importance of the Christian faith, and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and how it is crucial for our everyday life.

“Catechesis is something different from a theological discourse. Catechesis is actually a way, and we are invited to set out on such a catechetical way. For catechesis is very closely connected with the mission of Jesus himself. It is actually the direct translation of his mission, which he gave to the apostles at the end of his life: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.’ “