DC25 St. Bede the Venerable – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast

Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Bede the Venerable

From Vatican.va, an excerpt from the teachings oPope Benedict XVI General Audience 2009

By his way of creating theology, interweaving the Bible, liturgy and history, Bede has a timely message for the different “states of life”: a) for scholars (doctores ac doctrices) he recalls two essential tasks: to examine the marvels of the word of God in order to present them in an attractive form to the faithful; to explain the dogmatic truths, avoiding heretical complications and keeping to “Catholic simplicity”, with the attitude of the lowly and humble to whom God is pleased to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom; b) pastors, for their part, must give priority to preaching, not only through verbal or hagiographic language but also by giving importance to icons, processions and pilgrimages. Bede recommends that they use the vulgate as he himself does, explaining the “Our Father” and the “Creed” in Northumbrian and continuing, until the last day of his life, his commentary on the Gospel of John in the vulgate; c) Bede recommends to consecrated people who devote themselves to the Divine Office, living in the joy of fraternal communion and progressing in the spiritual life by means of ascesis and contemplation that they attend to the apostolate no one possesses the Gospel for himself alone but must perceive it as a gift for others too both by collaborating with Bishops in pastoral activities of various kinds for the young Christian communities and by offering themselves for the evangelizing mission among the pagans, outside their own country, as “peregrini pro amore Dei”.

Making this viewpoint his own, in his commentary on the Song of Songs Bede presents the Synagogue and the Church as collaborators in the dissemination of God’s word. Christ the Bridegroom wants a hard-working Church, “weathered by the efforts of evangelization” there is a clear reference to the word in the Song of Songs (1: 5), where the bride says “Nigra sum sed formosa” (“I am very dark, but comely”) intent on tilling other fields or vineyards and in establishing among the new peoples “not a temporary hut but a permanent dwelling place”, in other words, intent on integrating the Gospel into their social fabric and cultural institutions. In this perspective the holy Doctor urges lay faithful to be diligent in religious instruction, imitating those “insatiable crowds of the Gospel who did not even allow the Apostles time to take a mouthful”. He teaches them how to pray ceaselessly, “reproducing in life what they celebrate in the liturgy”, offering all their actions as a spiritual sacrifice in union with Christ. He explains to parents that in their small domestic circle too they can exercise “the priestly office as pastors and guides”, giving their children a Christian upbringing. He also affirms that he knows many of the faithful (men and women, married and single) “capable of irreproachable conduct who, if appropriately guided, will be able every day to receive Eucharistic communion” (Epist. ad Ecgberctum, ed. Plummer, p. 419).

The fame of holiness and wisdom that Bede already enjoyed in his lifetime, earned him the title of “Venerable”. Pope Sergius I called him this when he wrote to his Abbot in 701 asking him to allow him to come to Rome temporarily to give advice on matters of universal interest. After his death, Bede’s writings were widely disseminated in his homeland and on the European continent. Bishop St Boniface, the great missionary of Germany, (d. 754), asked the Archbishop of York and the Abbot of Wearmouth several times to have some of his works transcribed and sent to him so that he and his companions might also enjoy the spiritual light that shone from them. A century later, Notker Balbulus, Abbot of Sankt Gallen (d. 912), noting the extraordinary influence of Bede, compared him to a new sun that God had caused to rise, not in the East but in the West, to illuminate the world. Apart from the rhetorical emphasis, it is a fact that with his works Bede made an effective contribution to building a Christian Europe in which the various peoples and cultures amalgamated with one another, thereby giving them a single physiognomy, inspired by the Christian faith. Let us pray that today too there may be figures of Bede’s stature, to keep the whole continent united; let us pray that we may all be willing to rediscover our common roots, in order to be builders of a profoundly human and authentically Christian Europe.

For more visit Vatican.va

Dr. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is one of the United States’ leading authorities on the papacy and the Church.

His books include The Encyclopedia of Catholic History; The Encyclopedia of Saints; Papal Wisdom; All Shall Be Well; Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire; and The Angelic Doctor: The Life and World of St. Thomas Aquinas; The Pope Encyclopedia; We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, the first Catholic biography of the Holy Father in the English language; the Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History; Pope Francis. His also the editor of OSV’s “The Catholic Answer” magazine.

IP#356 “What Really Happens After We Die” pt. 2 – James Papandrea on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

What a delight to be joined once again by Dr. James Papndrea, especially to discuss his book “What Really Happens After We Die:  There Will Be Hugs in Heaven.”  In part 2 of this podcast, we discuss Heaven and the reality of Hell.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Here professor of Church history Dr. James Papandrea gathers in one place all that is known about the afterlife — drawn from the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles, the Church Fathers, and the Church’s Magisterium — affording, for the first time ever, a complete, authoritative, detailed portrait of the state of souls after death and the realms we enter. The following are among the many questions he answers:

-If, as St. Paul says, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God,” how can our bodies enter Heaven?

-After death but before the final resurrection, are we simply unconscious?

-What is our resurrection like? (And does it differ from Jesus’ Resurrection?)

-Are ghosts real? (You’ll be surprised at what the Church Fathers have to say.)

-What is the difference between Heaven and Paradise?

-Which of our parts will accompany us to Heaven (and which must be left behind)?

-In Heaven, do we still eat and drink?

-If, as Jesus says, there’s no marrying in heaven, are we still male and female there?

-After our resurrection, will we, like Jesus, be able to pass through matter?

-And many more fascinating questions answered!

Other conversations with James Papandrea on Inside the Pages:

IP#355 What Really Happens After We Die” pt. 1 – James Papandrea on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

IP#327 Dr. James Papandrea – From Star Wars to Superman on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

IP#355 “What Really Happens After We Die” pt. 1 – James Papandrea on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

What a delight to be joined once again by Dr. James Papndrea, especially to discuss his book “What Really Happens After We Die:  There Will Be Hugs in Heaven.”  In part 1 of this podcast, we discuss the relationship between body and soul, the nature of Purgatory,  and the teachings of the Fathers (and Mothers) of the Church.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Here professor of Church history Dr. James Papandrea gathers in one place all that is known about the afterlife — drawn from the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles, the Church Fathers, and the Church’s Magisterium — affording, for the first time ever, a complete, authoritative, detailed portrait of the state of souls after death and the realms we enter. The following are among the many questions he answers:

-If, as St. Paul says, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God,” how can our bodies enter Heaven?

-After death but before the final resurrection, are we simply unconscious?

-What is our resurrection like? (And does it differ from Jesus’ Resurrection?)

-Are ghosts real? (You’ll be surprised at what the Church Fathers have to say.)

-What is the difference between Heaven and Paradise?

-Which of our parts will accompany us to Heaven (and which must be left behind)?

-In Heaven, do we still eat and drink?

-If, as Jesus says, there’s no marrying in heaven, are we still male and female there?

-After our resurrection, will we, like Jesus, be able to pass through matter?

-And many more fascinating questions answered!

Other conversations with James Papandrea on Inside the Pages:

IP#327 Dr. James Papandrea – From Star Wars to Superman on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

LST13 – Joy and Gratitude – The Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcast

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 13 – In this conversation, Fr. Gallagher reflects on the joy and gratitude of St. Therese and our call to become a saint.

St. Therese of Liesuex

Here are some of the various texts Fr. Gallagher refers to in this episode:

The Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux, Vol. I: 1877-1890 (Critical edition of the complete works of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux)

Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux, Vol. II

St. Therese to her sister Celine:

“Gratitude is the thing that brings us the most grace.  I have learned this from experience.  Try it and you will see.  I am content with whatever God gives me and I show him this in a thousand different ways”


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 “The Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts” page

ST-John Ep 8 – John 3: Born Again part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 8 – John 3:  Born Again pt. 2

Before focusing on John 3, Sharon gives us a teaching on how Catholics approach scripture study.  We are encouraged to use a canonical approach when studying the Bible; that is, we should consider the entire canon of the Bible whenever trying to understand a particular passage.  The Bible is not meant to be a collection of isolated stories.

In addition, we learn about the senses of scripture: literal and spiritual, with the spiritual sense further divided into allegorical (a foreshadowing of future events and people), moral (virtues that can be learned) and anagogical (referencing eternity or the eschaton).

We then turn our attention back to John 3 and learn about Nicodemus, whose spiritual journey is a beautiful example of progressive growth in faith.  Nicodemus was a member of the Great Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court of first-century Israel.  At the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, the president of the Sanhedrin was Rabbi Gamaliel, the teacher of Paul.  Gamaliel also advised his fellow members of the Great Sanhedrin to reduce their scrutiny over Jesus’ followers lest they find themselves fighting against God himself.   Tradition holds that both Nicodemus and Gamaliel converted to Christianity.   Nicodemus and Deacon Stephen the martyr of Acts 7 were buried together at Gamaliel’s estate outside of Jerusalem.  Gamaliel and his son ultimately shared this same grave.  Turning back to John 3, Sharon then focuses on the interaction between Jesus and Nicodemus, who struggles with understanding the meaning of being born from above by water and spirit.  Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, would have understood the significance of his earthly lineage, yet he failed to recognize the divine lineage of Jesus Christ, who was born from above, by the Holy Spirit overshadowing a pure earthly creature named Mary of Nazareth.  Being in the form of God, Jesus did not think equality with God was something to be grasped so he lowered himself and took on human form (Phil 2).  By taking on human form he showed us the face of God the Father and by His humble obedience made a way for us to get back to the Father and partake once again in our divine nature in the heavenly beautiful vision.

John 3 concludes with nuptial imagery, as John the Baptist identifies himself as the best man to Jesus, the bridegroom.  Sharon teaches us about a traditional Jewish wedding, shedding light on the significance of John as the best man, whose role was to bear witness to the consummation of the marriage.  Jesus the bridegroom had come and the best man’s job was done.  John would decrease and allow Jesus to increase.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

VEC3 – Pontius Pilate – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast Pontius PilateEpisode 3 – Pontius Pilate – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Pontius Pilate and learning from his weakness.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate. Countless millions of Christians recite that simple historical fact when they profess their faith. It reminds us that this is real history we’re dealing with. The death and Resurrection of Jesus are not just metaphors or allegories: they really happened at a particular moment in history.

Pilate is our anchor to that historical moment. He is our grounding in historical fact.

But he’s also one of the most fascinating characters in the Gospels. His doubt and dithering in the face of an unpredictable mob make him more than just a villain. They make him human, and we feel real sympathy for him. He’s doing a bad job, but in his position it was nearly impossible to do a good job.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians (Kindle Locations 391). Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

BKL272 – The true King has conquered Sin and Satan! – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures on the feast of Christ the King…the victory of Jesus over sin and the defeat of Satan:

Gospel     Lk 23:35-43

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30, 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 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.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.

 

RN33 – “Economic Life” in the Compendium of Social Doctrine Chap 7 part 1 with Deacon Omar Gutierrez podcast

gutierrez-headEpisode 33- Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Gutierrez – We continue the study of the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church”  Chapter 7 – What is “economics” and why does the Church have a role in how it is lived out?  Who are the poor?  How are we called to live out our Catholic faith in the area of the “economy”?

CHAPTER SEVEN
ECONOMIC LIFE

I. BIBLICAL ASPECTS
a. 
Man, poverty and riches
b. 
Wealth exists to be shared

328. Goods, even when legitimately owned, always have a universal destination; any type of improper accumulation is immoral, because it openly contradicts the universal destination assigned to all goods by the Creator. Christian salvation is an integral liberation of man, which means being freed not only from need but also in respect to possessions. “For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith” (1 Tim 6:10). The Fathers of the Church insist more on the need for the conversion and transformation of the consciences of believers than on the need to change the social and political structures of their day. They call on those who work in the economic sphere and who possess goods to consider themselves administrators of the goods that God has entrusted to them.

II. MORALITY AND THE ECONOMY

 

 

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.

 

Also visit Omar’s “Discerning Hearts” page Catholic Social Teaching 101  urging-of-christs-love

IP#44 Susan Tassone – Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

No one I know has the passion, zeal and just sheer love for the Holy Souls in Purgatory like Susan Tassone!  She has an incredible depth of knowledge on the subject.  You will never feel you are without companions on the journey after you hear Susan plead the Holy Souls cause.

  You can find the book here

Let the saints inspire you to intercede for the holy souls in purgatory!
Throughout the ages the devotions, prayers, and practices of the Communion of Saints have been offered up on behalf of souls in purgatory, the Church Suffering. The saints ardent desire to intercede for the holy souls impelled them to pray ceaselessly for their eternal rest.
This inspiring book shows how you can join the saints in this act of divine charity, thereby attaining spiritual gifts for acts done for the souls that cry out to us for relief.
–See the firsthand experiences that saints have had with the holy souls
–Learn the power of intercessory prayer on behalf of souls in purgatory
–Seasonal Devotions & Spiritual Aids prepare all members of the family to plead the cause of souls

  Susan Tassone’s Official Website

DC24 St. Anslem pt 2 – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson

Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Anslem pt 2

From Vatican.va, an excerpt from the teachings oPope Benedict XVI General Audience 2009

Anselm immediately became involved in a strenuous struggle for the Church’s freedom, valiantly supporting the independence of the spiritual power from the temporal. Anselm defended the Church from undue interference by political authorities, especially King William Rufus and Henry I, finding encouragement and support in the Roman Pontiff to whom he always showed courageous and cordial adherence. In 1103, this fidelity even cost him the bitterness of exile from his See of Canterbury. Moreover, it was only in 1106, when King Henry I renounced his right to the conferral of ecclesiastical offices, as well as to the collection of taxes and the confiscation of Church properties, that Anselm could return to England, where he was festively welcomed by the clergy and the people. Thus the long battle he had fought with the weapons of perseverance, pride and goodness ended happily. This holy Archbishop, who roused such deep admiration around him wherever he went, dedicated the last years of his life to the moral formation of the clergy and to intellectual research into theological topics. He died on 21 April 1109, accompanied by the words of the Gospel proclaimed in Holy Mass on that day: “You are those who have continued with me in my trials; as my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom…” (Lk 22: 28-30). So it was that the dream of the mysterious banquet he had had as a small boy, at the very beginning of his spiritual journey, found fulfilment. Jesus, who had invited him to sit at his table, welcomed Anselm upon his death into the eternal Kingdom of the Father.

“I pray, O God, to know you, to love you, that I may rejoice in you. And if I cannot attain to full joy in this life may I at least advance from day to day, until that joy shall come to the full” (Proslogion, chapter 14). This prayer enables us to understand the mystical soul of this great Saint of the Middle Ages, the founder of scholastic theology, to whom Christian tradition has given the title: “Magnificent Doctor”, because he fostered an intense desire to deepen his knowledge of the divine Mysteries but in the full awareness that the quest for God is never ending, at least on this earth. The clarity and logical rigour of his thought always aimed at “raising the mind to contemplation of God” (ibid., Proemium). He states clearly that whoever intends to study theology cannot rely on his intelligence alone but must cultivate at the same time a profound experience of faith. The theologian’s activity, according to St Anselm, thus develops in three stages: faith, a gift God freely offers, to be received with humility; experience, which consists in incarnating God’s word in one’s own daily life; and therefore true knowledge, which is never the fruit of ascetic reasoning but rather of contemplative intuition. In this regard his famous words remain more useful than ever, even today, for healthy theological research and for anyone who wishes to deepen his knowledge of the truths of faith: “I do not endeavour, O Lord, to penetrate your sublimity, for in no wise do I compare my understanding with that; but I long to understand in some degree your truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, that unless I believed, I should not understand” (ibid., 1).

Dear brothers and sisters, may the love of the truth and the constant thirst for God that marked St Anselm’s entire existence be an incentive to every Christian to seek tirelessly an ever more intimate union with Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. In addition, may the zeal full of courage that distinguished his pastoral action and occasionally brought him misunderstanding, sorrow and even exile be an encouragement for Pastors, for consecrated people and for all the faithful to love Christ’s Church, to pray, to work and to suffer for her, without ever abandoning or betraying her. May the Virgin Mother of God, for whom St Anselm had a tender, filial devotion, obtain this grace for us. “Mary, it is you whom my heart yearns to love”, St Anselm wrote, “it is you whom my tongue ardently desires to praise”.

For more visit Vatican.va

Dr. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is one of the United States’ leading authorities on the papacy and the Church.

His books include: The Encyclopedia of Catholic History; The Encyclopedia of Saints; Papal Wisdom; All Shall Be Well; Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire; and The Angelic Doctor: The Life and World of St. Thomas Aquinas; The Pope Encyclopedia; We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, the first Catholic biography of the Holy Father in the English language; the Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History; Pope Francis. His also the editor of OSV’s “The Catholic Answer” magazine.