DC32 St. Gregory of Narek – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson

St. Gregory of Narek Doctors of the Church with Dr. Matthew Bunson Podcast

Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Gregory of Narek

Born: 951 Rshtunik, Vaspurakan, Bagratid Armenia
Died 1003 Narekavank, Vaspurakan, Armenia
Feast 13 October (Holy Translators day); 27 February (Roman Catholic Church)

For more on St. Gregory of Narek and his teachings visit this excellent website:

“Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart”

From the Vatican Insider:

Pope Francis has approved the decision of the Congregation for Saints. The Armenian saint was born in 950 AD in present-day Turkey

ANDREA TORNIELLI
vatican city

An Armenian saint has been declared a Doctor of the Church. In last Saturday’s audience with the cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the proposal put forward by the Plenary Session of the Congregation, agreeing for the title of Doctor of the Universal Church to be conferred upon Gregory of Narek.

 St. Gregory, a priest and monk, was born circa 950 AD in Andzevatsik (formerly Armenia, present-day Turkey) to a family of writers. He died circa 1005 in Narek (formerly Armenia, present-day Turkey). His father, Khosrov, was an archbishop. Having lost his mother at a young age, Gregory was brought up by his cousin, Anania of Narek, founder of the local school and village. The saint lived most of his life in the monasteries of Narek (in what was once called Great Armenia), where he taught at the monastic school. He is considered one of Armenian literature’s greatest poets.

 The cult of St. Gregory of Narek will be marked on 27 February in the Roman Martyrology. He will be defined as “monk, doctor of the Armenians, distinguished for his writings and mystic science”.

 The papal decision comes just weeks before Francis is due to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian massacre on 12 April in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Medz Yeghern as the Armenian massacre is called, took place in 1915.

For more from Dr. Matthew Bunson check out his Discerning Hearts page

Dr. Matthew E. Bunson is a Register senior editor and a senior contributor to EWTN News. For the past 20 years, he has been active in the area of Catholic social communications and education, including writing, editing, and teaching on a variety of topics related to Church history, the papacy, the saints, and Catholic culture. He is faculty chair at Catholic Distance University, a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and the author or co-author of over 50 books including The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, The Pope Encyclopedia, We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, The Saints Encyclopedia and best-selling biographies of St. Damien of Molokai and St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

VEC8 – Celsus – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 8 – Celsus – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Celsus and responding to his “Case against Christianity.”

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

The man’s name was Aulus Cornelius Celsus, and he was one of those remarkable people who seem to know a little bit about everything. Today we remember him most as a physician, because the main work of his that survives is a treatise on medicine; but that book was actually part of a book on practically all the world knowledge that Celsus had put together. He dealt with law, war, politics, farming, and other subjects as well. And if he knew as much about them as he did about medicine, Celsus must have been a one-man Wikipedia.

The fact that Celsus was so insatiably curious about so many things may be why he bothered to try to learn about the Christians. They were a phenomenon to be studied. But his studies did not go so far as to ask the best authorities on the subject—the bishops and teachers he might have found if he had looked around. Instead, he seems to have relied on what he heard secondhand. That was probably because, although he was a scientist, Celsus was, like any good educated man in the Roman Empire, a snob first and foremost.

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

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

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

 

 

IP#271 Dr. Peter Kreeft – Practical Theology on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Peter Kreeft

“Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas” by Dr. Peter Kreeft is outstanding! 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 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 returning to this book over and over again throughout your spiritual journey.  An excellent gift to give yourself and those you love!  Highly Recommended!!!

 

practical-theology

You can find the book here

“Its notoriously difficult to synopsize Aquinas on anything. However, if I were to choose someone to do the job well, it would be Peter Kreeft. Many will find this presentation helpful to develop their own replies to the questions that bother the minds of today’s searchers.”
– Romanus Cessario, O.P., Saint John’s Seminary, Brighton, Mass.

“A scintillating commentary on the deepest book by the greatest mind. Expert guide Peter Kreeft points out every foothold and crevice you need to scale Mount Summa, and feeds you plenty of oxygen along the way. Brimming with Kreeftian profundity and levity, this book scores a hat trick: it’s informative, formative, and transformative.” —Patrick Coffin, Radio Host, Catholic Answers

“How can we know the living God and attain to everlasting union with God? This is really the only question of life. Kreeft’s dialogue with Aquinas shows us what it means–existentially, not solely academically–to learn from a saint.” —Matthew Levering, Professor of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

POA7 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 2 – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. – Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts

Spiritual Warfare Dr. Paul Thigpen podcastEpisode 7 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 2- Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 4:

The weapon of the sacraments Christ has given the seven sacraments to His Church as channels of grace into our lives. That grace is powerful to transform us into the image of Christ and to see us safely home to heaven. No wonder, then, that the Devil hates the sacraments and tries to keep us from receiving them. They, too, are weapons of our warfare, each one with a special power to protect us and to send the demons away from us.

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

Spiritual Warfare Dr. Paul Thigpen Discerning Hearts podcast

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.

 

RN39 – “Pastoral Action – What it looks like” – Compendium of Social Doctrine ch. 12 pt.1 w/ Deacon Omar Gutierrez podcast

Omar Gutierrez Catholic Social Teaching Episode 39- 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 12 “Social Doctrine and Ecclesial Action”

CHAPTER TWELVE
SOCIAL DOCTRINE AND ECCLESIAL ACTION

I. PASTORAL ACTION IN THE SOCIAL FIELD
a. 
Social doctrine and the inculturation of faith
b. 
Social doctrine and social pastoral activity
c. 
Social doctrine and formation
d. 
Promoting dialogue
e. 
The subjects of social pastoral activity

 

 

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

ROHC-6 – The Light at the End of the Tunnel – The Heart of Hope w/ Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – Discerning Hearts podcast

Heart of Hope Part 6 – Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?  Am I being punished?  Why do the innocent and faithful suffer?  Behold the wood of the cross. The core of redemptive suffering.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha

This extraordinarily popular series explores the work of suffering in the Christian life and how God can use it to transform the heart of the individual and the world.

The “Heart of Hope”  tackles a very tough subject…the gift of suffering in the Christian life.  Deacon Keating guides us well.

You can find other episodes in the Heart of Hope – Discerning Hearts series page

 

VEC7 – Valentinus – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 7 – Valentinus – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Valentinus and Gnostic teaching.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

We know almost nothing about Valentinus the man except that he was well educated. He had much more higher education than the average Christian: he had studied at Alexandria, so he had the ancient equivalent of a Harvard or Oxford degree. He had specialized in Platonic studies, meaning that he knew Plato backwards and forwards, at least as Plato was interpreted by later students who claimed to have understood him. (Like many philosophy students today, Valentinus probably learned about Plato from secondary sources more than from actually reading Plato.)

In about 130, Valentinus came to Rome and he stayed there for about twenty years. Thus, he was in Rome at the same time as Marcion. Valentinus later ended up in Cyprus.1

One thing his opponents gave Valentinus credit for was his brain. Tertullian and, much later, Jerome both considered him to have a formidable mind. But he applied that mind to creating an incredibly convoluted mythology rather than simply understanding the Scriptures. In this Valentinus was just like all the other Gnostics: incredibly convoluted mythologies were their stock in trade. The simple truth was for simple people. Like some academics today, the Gnostic teachers felt a need to prove their intellectual worth by filling their writings with jargon nobody but other Gnostics could understand.

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

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

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

 

 

The Centrality of Jesus Christ – Building a Kingdom of Love w/Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. John Esseff Jesus Christ Podcast Devil Satan Exorcist

The Centrality of Jesus.

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the significance of the proclamation of John the Baptist.  He is the Lamb of God!  What does that mean for our lives?  Who is the devil and what are his deceptive tactics that confuse and frustrate the believer and society.

Gospel JN 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. 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 that was established by St. 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.

ST-John Ep 13 – John 6: I am the Bread of Life part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 13 – John 6:  I Am the Bread of Life pt 1  

As we begin our lecture on John 6, Sharon reminds us that Jesus came for all:  the common Jew, the Jewish aristocracy, the Samaritans, the Edomites and ultimately for the entire world.  We also recall from the end of John 5 that Moses wrote of Jesus (DEUT 18:15) who is the THEE prophet raised from his own people.  Moving on to the feeding of the 5000, Sharon teaches about the typology of Jesus, the new Moses.  The signs of Moses and the signs of Jesus are strikingly similar:  Moses turns the water of the Nile into blood and Jesus turns the water at Cana into wine and through the Eucharist, wine into blood; Moses receives the Law at Mt. Sinai and Jesus fulfills the Law; Israel receives manna, the bread from heaven and Jesus IS the Eucharistic bread from heaven; Moses battles Pharaoh, whose hardened heart embodies Satan and Jesus battles Judas, whose heart is entered by Satan.  Sharon then goes on to teach us about the harrowing of Hades, outlining the scriptural basis for this belief that we profess each time we recite the Apostles Creed.   Moving then into the heart of John 6, Sharon shows us the Old Testament prefigurement of the Eucharist, beginning with the animal sacrifices prescribed throughout the Torah.  We learn that animal blood was necessary for the atonement of sin, but consuming the animal blood was expressly forbidden (LEV 17:10) which helps us understand the scandal of Jesus’ word: “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (JN 6:53).”  Even though the Israelites ate manna in the desert, they still died.  Jesus, the new Moses, is the heavenly bread that gives us eternal life.   Sharon transitions to a wonderful teaching about the Jewish feast days, showing us how Jesus fulfills the feast days that are law as described in Torah.  Beginning with Passover, we see how the blood of the Lamb that protected the Israelites from the angel of death prefigures the blood of the Lamb of God who saves us from death.  The feast of Unleavened Bread that follows is likewise fulfilled in Jesus, the sin-free bread that is broken, yet whole; the Eucharistic sacrifice that brings us into union with God.  Next, the Feast of First Fruits is realized in the risen Jesus, the first fruits of all that have died (1 COR 15:20).  The lecture concludes as it began, looking once again at the feeding of the 5000, showing us the symbolic importance of the barley loaves and the counting of the Omer, which connects the Passover with the Jewish Pentecost and then by extension, connecting the crucifixion of Christ with the descent of the Holy Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost.

 

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

POA6 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 1 – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. – Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts

Spiritual Warfare Dr. Paul Thigpen Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 6 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 1- Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 4:

The weapon of prayer In writing to the Ephesians, St. Paul goes on to identify several specific pieces of armor, and weapons as well. Indispensable in this list of the spiritual warrior’s equipment is prayer. “With all prayer and supplication,” he insists, “pray at all times in the Spirit, and  .  .  . be vigilant in all perseverance and all supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6: 18).

The weapon of worship Of course, prayer isn’t just a private matter. Praying not just for others, but with others, forms an important part of spiritual warfare. And the most perfect prayer in which we can join with our fellow warriors is the prayer of the Mass.

Worship is a spiritual weapon. When we worship God, we enter into His presence in a powerful way. Because demons tremble at His presence, they are reluctant to follow us there.

The weapon of Eucharistic adoration Outside of Mass, the other great refuge from the Devil and his wiles is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

The weapon of fasting Throughout Sacred Scripture, we find that when God’s people fast, the power of their prayers is increased, especially when they are engaged in spiritual warfare. In the Old Testament, the Lord told Isaiah that a fast properly undertaken would “loose the bonds of wickedness  .  .  . undo the thongs of the yoke  .  .  . let the oppressed go free” (Is 58: 6).

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

manual-for-spiritual-warfar-189x300

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.