WOM1 – “The Eucharist and Moral Living” – The Way of Mystery with Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts

The Eucharist and Moral Living Deacon James Keating Kris McGregor Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 1 -The Way of Mystery:  The Eucharist and Moral Living

Placing the Eucharist as the center of who we are as Catholics part 1

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

The Vatican II documents remind us that the spiritual journey is not made in a vacuum, that God has chosen to save us, not individually, but as The People of God. The Eucharist must help Christians to make their choices by discerning out of Christ’s paschal mystery. For this process to take place, however, Christians must first understand how the Eucharist puts them in touch with Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection, and what concrete implications being in touch with this mystery has for their daily lives.

Check out more episodes at “The Way of Mystery” Discerning Hearts podcast page

DC33 St. Anthony of Padua – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson

St. Anthony of Padua Doctor of Church Matthew Bunson Podcast
Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Anthony of Padua

  1. Born: August 15, 1195, Lisbon, Portugal
  2. Died: June 13, 1231, Padua, Italy
  3. Buried: Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, Padua, Italy
  4. Parents: Vicente Martins , Teresa Pais Taveira
For more on St. Anthony of Padua and his teachings

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

From the General Audience on St. Anthony of Padua

With his outstanding gifts of intelligence, balance, apostolic zeal and, primarily, mystic fervour, Anthony contributed significantly to the development of Franciscan spirituality.

In St Anthony’s teaching on prayer we perceive one of the specific traits of the Franciscan theology that he founded: namely the role assigned to divine love which enters into the sphere of the affections, of the will and of the heart, and which is also the source from which flows a spiritual knowledge that surpasses all other knowledge. In fact, it is in loving that we come to know.

Anthony writes further: “Charity is the soul of faith, it gives it life; without love, faith dies” (Sermones Dominicales et Festivi II, Messagero, Padua 1979, p. 37).

It is only the prayerful soul that can progress in spiritual life: this is the privileged object of St Anthony’s preaching. He is thoroughly familiar with the shortcomings of human nature, with our tendency to lapse into sin, which is why he continuously urges us to fight the inclination to avidity, pride and impurity; instead of practising the virtues of poverty and generosity, of humility and obedience, of chastity and of purity. At the beginning of the 13th century, in the context of the rebirth of the city and the flourishing of trade, the number of people who were insensitive to the needs of the poor increased. This is why on various occasions Anthony invites the faithful to think of the true riches, those of the heart, which make people good and merciful and permit them to lay up treasure in Heaven. “O rich people”, he urged them, “befriend… the poor, welcome them into your homes: it will subsequently be they who receive you in the eternal tabernacles in which is the beauty of peace, the confidence of security and the opulent tranquillity of eternal satiety” (ibid., p. 29).

Anthony, in the school of Francis, always put Christ at the centre of his life and thinking, of his action and of his preaching. This is another characteristic feature of Franciscan theology: Christocentrism. Franciscan theology willingly contemplates and invites others to contemplate the mysteries of the Lord’s humanity, the man Jesus, and in a special way the mystery of the Nativity: God who made himself a Child and gave himself into our hands, a mystery that gives rise to sentiments of love and gratitude for divine goodness.

For more visit Vatican.va

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.

ST-John Ep 14 – John 6: I am the Bread of Life part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 14 – John 6:  I Am the Bread of Life pt 2  

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

BTP-IC13 – Fifth Mansions Chapter 2 – The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles Podcast

Dr. Anthony Lilles St. Teresa of Avila Interior Castle PodcastIn this episode, Dr. Lilles discusses the Fifth Mansions Chapter 2 of the “Interior Castle” which covers:


1. The soul compared to a butterfly. 2. The grandeur of creation. 3. Symbol of the soul and the silkworm. 4. Preparation of the soul for God’ s indwelling. 5. Mystic death of the silkworm. 6. Effects of divine union. 7. Increase of fervor and detachment. 8. Trials succeeding the prayer of union. 9. Longing for death and zeal for God’s honor. 10. This zeal supernatural. 11. God alone works this grace. 12. The same zeal as that felt by our Lord on earth. 13. Christ’s keenest suffering.

For the Discerning Hearts audio recording of the “Interior Castle” by St. Teresa of Avila  you can visit here

St. Teresa of Avila Interior Castle Podcast Anthony Lilles Kris McGregorFor other audio recordings of various spiritual classics you can visit the Discerning Hearts Spiritual Classics page

For other episodes in the series visit
The Discerning Hearts “The Interior Castle with Dr. Anthony Lilles”

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of St. Elisabeth of the Trinity.


POA8 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 3 – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. – Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction
“Know your Weapons” pt. 3 – 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 sacramentals The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes sacramentals as sacred signs that bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, especially of a spiritual kind, that are obtained through the Church’s intercession. Through sacramentals, we are disposed to receive the primary effect of the sacraments, and they make holy various occasions in life (see CCC 1667).

Exorcism. Since ancient times, Christians have recognized the power of the Church’s intercession as it’s displayed through the use of sacramentals. Most notably, the ministry of exorcism is itself a sacramental. In an exorcism, the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the Devil’s power and withdrawn from his dominion. Just as Jesus performed exorcisms, He has given the Church the power and office to perform them (see CCC 1673).

According to Church law, only a priest with the bishop’s permission can perform a major (or solemn) exorcism— that is, the rite required to free a demon-possessed person. Any priest, however, can perform a minor exorcism in cases other than possession. These involve private prayers and blessings, either spontaneous or as provided by the ritual of the Church. They may be helpful in cases of oppression, obsession, and even infestation. In addition, the Rite of Infant Baptism and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) contain prayers of exorcism.

The Sign of the Cross. St. Athanasius wrote that before the coming of Christ, demonic powers used to deceive the pagans into worshipping them and obeying their oracles. “But now,” he observed in the fourth century, “since the divine appearance of the Word [Christ], all this deception has come to an end. For by the Sign of the Cross, if a man will only use it, their deceptions are driven out.”

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


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.


Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement: Conference 4 with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast Seminar

Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMV

Conference 4  -Living with Hope – Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Conference talk 4 from the Discerning Hearts Seminar/Retreat held online in late spring 2020 with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Personal Spiritual Directory: If I should fall even a thousand times, I will not lose courage, I will not be troubled, but I will always say immediately with peace, Nunc coepi [Now I begin]. My God, I have acted in accord with what I am, what else could you have expected from me, nor would I have stopped here had you not held me back; act now in accordance with what you are, I do not desire to think so poorly of you, that I could think that you allow yourself to be conquered by my faults, when I know that you hold my conversion and salvation so deeply in your heart.

For a lay woman: “If I should fall a thousand times a day, a thousand times a day I will begin again, with new awareness of my weakness, promising God, with a peaceful heart, to amend my life. I will never think of God as if he were of our condition and grows weary of our wavering, weakness, and negligence. Rather, I will think of what is truly characteristic of him and what he prizes most highly, that is, his goodness and mercy, knowing that he is a loving Father who understands our weakness, is patient with us, and forgives us.”

Letters of Spiritual Direction: “Keep constantly before you these two proposals that I urge you to renew often and with a holy persistence: first, never to offend God knowingly, and, second, if you should fall, never to persevere in this with your will, but, with humility and courage, to rise immediately and begin again, firmly convinced that God forgives you in the instant itself that with humility and trust you ask his forgiveness.”

“It is very important that we understand deeply how good God is, and not measure him by our own limitations or think that he tires of our wavering, weakness, and negligence. Our God is not such. Let us think of him as he truly is, filled with goodness, mercy, and compassion, and let us know him as the loving Father he is, who raises us when we have fallen, who never tires of forgiving us, and to whom we give great joy and honor when we seek forgiveness.”

“Say then with boldness, “Now I begin,” and go forward constantly in God’s service. Do not look back so often, because one who looks back cannot run. And do not be content to begin only for this year. Begin every day, because it is for every day, even for every hour of the day, that the Lord taught us to say in the Our Father, ‘Forgive us our trespasses,’ and ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’”

“Be on guard against discouragement and lack of trust. Strive to do well all that you do, but do this with respect for your humanity, without striving for an impossible perfection, focusing simply on the day at hand. Remember that ‘The just man falls seven times a day,’ and so you will find blessing in beginning not only every day, but every hour.”

“Holiness does not consist in never failing, but in rising immediately, recognizing our weakness and asking God’s forgiveness, and in doing this with peace of heart, without letting ourselves be troubled.”

Counsels to a married woman: I will never give in to discouragement, no matter what fault I fall into. Convinced that I will fall often, I will immediately ask forgiveness of God and will always try to correct myself. If I fall one thousand times a day, one thousand times I will-begin again. I will recognize my misery, but with equal peace of spirit I will promise God to amend my life.

I will take care not to think of the Divine Majesty as if he were of our condition, that is, that he were weary of so much instability, weakness, and forgetfulness, punishing me, therefore, by removing the help and graces I need…. We do a great wrong to God when we measure him by our own limits. I will always attribute to him that which is proper to him, that which is most precious to him, that is, to be filled with goodness, merciful and compassionate, to be a loving Father who knows our weakness, bears with us and forgives us.


Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Bruno Lanteri
Venerable Bruno Lanteri
The image of Our Lady of Consolation referred to by Fr. Gallagher

Visit the “Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of the Venerable Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Discerning Hearts podcast” for more episodes of this series

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 books on the life and teachings of Ven. Bruno Lanteri:

Overcoming Spiritual discouragement Podcasts. Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts Counsels fo Mercy Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts

Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcasts

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

Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests



Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross, infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

The Presentation in the Temple – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Heart Podcast

 The Presentation in the Temple

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures for the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple. Do your recognize His Presence?

Gospel lk 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
—and you yourself a sword will pierce—
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

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;

Msgr. Esseff also offers a prayer often offered by St. Pio:

Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus text and audio