Day 4 Novena to St. Alphonsus Liguori – Discerning Hearts podcast

st.-alphonsus-liguori-bisho

St. Alphonsus you have said:

If you wish to strengthen your confidence in God still more, often recall the loving way in which He has acted toward you, and how mercifully He has tried to bring you out of your sinful life, to break your attachment to the things of earth and draw you to His love. With such thoughts in your mind, now that you have resolved to love Him and please Him with all your strength, your only fear should be to fear God too much and to place too little confidence in Him.

GLORIOUS Saint Alphonsus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, devoted servant of our Lord and loving child of Mary, I invoke you as a Saint in heaven. I give myself to your protection that you may always be my protector and my guide in the way of holiness and salvation. Aid me in observing the duties of my state of life. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life after your own example.

Great lover of the Blessed Sacrament and the Passion of Jesus Christ, teach me to love Holy Mass and Holy Communion as the source of grace and holiness. Give me a tender devotion to the Passion of my Redeemer.

Promoter of the truth of Christ in your preaching and writing, give me a greater knowledge and appreciation of the Divine truths.

Gentle father of the poor and sinners, help me to imitate your charity toward others in word and deed.

Consoler of the suffering, help me to bear my daily cross patiently in imita tion of your own patience in your long and painful illness and to resign myself to the Will of God.

Good Shepherd of the flock of Christ, obtain for me the grace of being a true child of Holy Mother Church.

Saint Alphonsus, I humbly implore your powerful intercession for obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I recommend to you in particular this favor: (Mention your request).

I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy Will, my petition will be granted through your intercession for me at the throne of God.

Saint Alphonsus, pray for me and for those I love. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon us in our needs. May we experience the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.

Prayer

HEAVENLY Father, You continually build up Your Church by the lives of Your Saints. Give us grace to follow Saint Alphonsus in his loving concern for the salvation of people and so come to share his reward in heaven. Walking in the footsteps of this devoted servant of Yours, may we be consumed with zeal for souls and attain the reward he enjoys in Your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

For the entire 9 Day Novena please visit here:  The Alphonsus Liguori 9 Day Novena

 

 

HR#15 “In place of wanting the latest….sustainability” – The Holy Rule of St. Benedict with Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B

In place of wanting the latest….sustainability

From the Holy Rule of St. Benedict:

CHAPTER XXXI

The Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Ought to Be

Let there be chosen from the brotherhood as Cellarer of the monastery a wise man, of settled habits, temperate and frugal, not conceited, irritable, resentful, sluggish, or wasteful, but fearing God, who may be as a father to the whole brotherhood.

Let him have the charge of everything, let him do nothing without the command of the Abbot, let him do what hath been ordered him and not grieve the brethren. If a brother should perchance request anything of him unreasonably let him not sadden the brother with a cold refusal, but politely and with humility refuse him who asketh amiss. Let him be watchful of his own soul, always mindful of the saying of the Apostle: “For they that have ministered well, shall purchase to themselves a good degree” (1 Tm 3:13). Let him provide for the sick, the children, the guests, and the poor, with all care, knowing that, without doubt, he will have to give an account of all these things on judgment day. Let him regard all the vessels of the monastery and all its substance, as if they were sacred vessels of the altar. Let him neglect nothing and let him not give way to avarice, nor let him be wasteful and a squanderer of the goods of the monastery; but let him do all things in due measure and according to the bidding of his Abbot.

Above all things, let him be humble; and if he hath not the things to give, let him answer with a kind word, because it is written: “A good word is above the best gift” (Sir 18:17). Let him have under his charge everything that the Abbot hath entrusted to him, and not presume to meddle with matters forbidden him. Let him give the brethren their apportioned allowance without a ruffle or delay, that they may not be scandalized, mindful of what the Divine Word declareth that he deserveth who shall scandalize one of these little ones: “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Mt 18:6).

If the community is large, let assistants be given him, that, with their help, he too may fulfil the office entrusted to him with an even temper. Let the things that are to be given be distributed, and the things that are to be gotten asked for at the proper times, so that nobody may be disturbed or grieved in the house of God.

Father Mauritius Wilde, OSB, Ph.D., did his philosophical, theological, and doctoral studies in Europe. He is the author of several books and directs retreats regularly. He serves as Prior at Sant’Anselmo in Rome.

Day 3 Novena to St. Alphonsus Liguori – Discerning Hearts podcast

alfonso

Day 3

St. Alphonsus you have said:

“The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone.”

GLORIOUS Saint Alphonsus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, devoted servant of our Lord and loving child of Mary, I invoke you as a Saint in heaven. I give myself to your protection that you may always be  my protector and my guide in the way of holiness and salvation. Aid me in observing the duties of my state of life. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life after your own example.

Great lover of the Blessed Sacrament and the Passion of Jesus Christ, teach me to love Holy Mass and Holy Communion as the source of grace and holiness. Give me a tender devotion to the Passion of my Redeemer.

Promoter of the truth of Christ in your preaching and writing, give me a greater knowledge and appreciation of the Divine truths.

Gentle father of the poor and sinners, help me to imitate your charity toward others in word and deed.

Consoler of the suffering, help me to bear my daily cross patiently in imita tion of your own patience in your long and painful illness and to resign myself to the Will of God.

Good Shepherd of the flock of Christ, obtain for me the grace of being a true child of Holy Mother Church.

Saint Alphonsus, I humbly implore your powerful intercession for obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I recommend to you in particular this favor: (Mention your request).

I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy Will, my petition will be granted through your intercession for me at the throne of God.

Saint Alphonsus, pray for me and for those I love. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon us in our needs. May we experience the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.

Prayer

HEAVENLY Father, You continually build up Your Church by the lives of Your Saints. Give us grace to follow Saint Alphonsus in his loving concern for the salvation of people and so come to share his reward in heaven. Walking in the footsteps of this devoted servant of Yours, may we be consumed with zeal for souls and attain the reward he enjoys in Your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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Episode 12 – The Day Is Now Far Spent – Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., Vivian Dudro, and Joseph Pearce FBC Podcast

Should we all fast from social media? Hear what Cardinal Sarah has to say about “the thieves of the sacred fire”.

This discussion is part of the FORMED Book Club—an online community led by Fr. Joseph Fessio and Joseph Pearce that reads and discusses a different book each month. Go to formedbookclub.ignatius.com to sign up for free!


You can find the book here

Robert Cardinal Sarah calls The Day Is Now Far Spent his most important book. He analyzes the spiritual, moral, and political collapse of the Western world and concludes that “the decadence of our time has all the faces of mortal peril.”

A cultural identity crisis, he writes, is at the root of the problems facing Western societies. “The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is. Many countries today ignore their own history. This self-suffocation naturally leads to a decadence that opens the path to new, barbaric civilizations.”

While making clear the gravity of the present situation, the cardinal demonstrates that it is possible to avoid the hell of a world without God, a world without hope. He calls for a renewal of devotion to Christ through prayer and the practice of virtue.


Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J.
IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro
Joseph Pearce

 

The Legacy of St. Charbel Makhluf and St Nimatullah Kassab with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts

Msgr. Esseff shares with us the great legacy of prayer and reform left to us by St. Charbel Makhluf and St. Nimatullah Youssef Kassab Al-Hardini (1808-1858) powerful saints for our times.

Reading 1  JER 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13

This word of the LORD came to me:
Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear!

I remember the devotion of your youth,
how you loved me as a bride,
Following me in the desert,
in a land unsown.
Sacred to the LORD was Israel,
the first fruits of his harvest;
Should any presume to partake of them,
evil would befall them, says the LORD.

When I brought you into the garden land
to eat its goodly fruits,
You entered and defiled my land,
you made my heritage loathsome.
The priests asked not,
“Where is the LORD?”
Those who dealt with the law knew me not:
the shepherds rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
and went after useless idols.

Be amazed at this, O heavens,
and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD.
Two evils have my people done:
they have forsaken me, the source of living waters;
They have dug themselves cisterns,
broken cisterns, that hold no water.

St. Charbel Makhlouf... some call him the Padre Pio of Lebanon 1
Saint Charbel Makhluf, O.L.M. (or Sharbel Maklouf)
St Nimatullah Youssef Kassab Al-Hardini

Day 2 St. Alphonsus Liguori Novena – Discerning Hearts podcast

Day 2St.-Alphonsus-2

St. Alphonsus you have said:

“Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends. Speak to Him often of your business, your plans, your troubles, your fears— of everything that concerns you. Converse with Him confidently and frankly; for God is not wont to speak to a soul that does not speak to Him.”

GLORIOUS Saint Alphonsus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, devoted servant of our Lord and loving child of Mary, I invoke you as a Saint in heaven. I give myself to your protection that you may always be  my protector and my guide in the way of holiness and salvation. Aid me in observing the duties of my state of life. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life after your own example.

Great lover of the Blessed Sacrament and the Passion of Jesus Christ, teach me to love Holy Mass and Holy Communion as the source of grace and holiness. Give me a tender devotion to the Passion of my Redeemer.

Promoter of the truth of Christ in your preaching and writing, give me a greater knowledge and appreciation of the Divine truths.

Gentle father of the poor and sinners, help me to imitate your charity toward others in word and deed.

Consoler of the suffering, help me to bear my daily cross patiently in imita tion of your own patience in your long and painful illness and to resign myself to the Will of God.

Good Shepherd of the flock of Christ, obtain for me the grace of being a true child of Holy Mother Church.

Saint Alphonsus, I humbly implore your powerful intercession for obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I recommend to you in particular this favor: (Mention your request).

I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy Will, my petition will be granted through your intercession for me at the throne of God.

Saint Alphonsus, pray for me and for those I love. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon us in our needs. May we experience the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.

Prayer

HEAVENLY Father, You continually build up Your Church by the lives of Your Saints. Give us grace to follow Saint Alphonsus in his loving concern for the salvation of people and so come to share his reward in heaven. Walking in the footsteps of this devoted servant of Yours, may we be consumed with zeal for souls and attain the reward he enjoys in Your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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BTP-IC16 – Sixth Mansions Chapter 1 part 1 – 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 Sixth Mansions Chapter 1 part 1 of the “Interior Castle” which covers:

THIS CHAPTER SHOWS HOW, WHEN GOD BESTOWS GREATER FAVOURS ON THE SOUL, IT SUFFERS MORE SEVERE AFFLICTIONS. SOME OF THE LATTER ARE DESCRIBED AND DIRECTIONS HOW TO BEAR THEM GIVEN TO THE DWELLERS IN THIS MANSION. THIS CHAPTER IS USEFUL FOR THOSE SUFFERING INTERIOR TRIALS

1. Love kindled by divine favours. 2. Our Lord excites the soul’s longings. 3. Courage needed toreach the last mansions. 4. Trials accompanying divine favours. 5. Outcry raised against souls striving for perfection. 6. St. Teresa’s personal experience of this. 7. Praise distasteful to an enlightened soul. 8. This changes to indifference. 9. Humility of such souls. 10. Their zeal for God’s glory. 11. Perfect and final indifference to praise or blame. 12. Love of enemies. 13. Bodily sufferings. 14. St. Teresa’s physical ills. 15. A timorous confessor. 16. Anxiety on account of past sins. 17. Fears and aridity. 18. Scruples and fears raised by the devil. 19. Bewilderment of the soul. 20. God alone relieves these troubles. 21. Human weakness. 22. Earthly consolations are of no avail. 23. Prayer gives no  comfort at such a time. 24. Remedies for these interior trials. 25. Trials caused by the devil. 26. Other afflictions. 27. Preparatory to entering the seventh mansions.

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.

 

Day 1 St. Alphonsus Liguori Novena Day 1 – Discerning Hearts podcast

Day 1

St. Alphonsus you have said:

“If we would completely rejoice the heart of God, let us strive in all things to conform ourselves to His divine will. Let us not only strive to conform ourselves, but also to unite ourselves to whatever dispositions God makes of us. Conformity signifies that we join our wills to the will of God. Uniformity means more. Uniformity means that we make one will of God’s will and our will. In this way we will only what God wills. God’s will alone is our will. “

GLORIOUS Saint Alphonsus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, devoted servant of our Lord and loving child of Mary, I invoke you as a Saint in heaven. I give myself to your protection that you may always be  my protector and my guide in the way of holiness and salvation. Aid me in observing the duties of my state of life. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life after your own example.

Great lover of the Blessed Sacrament and the Passion of Jesus Christ, teach me to love Holy Mass and Holy Communion as the source of grace and holiness. Give me a tender devotion to the Passion of my Redeemer.

Promoter of the truth of Christ in your preaching and writing, give me a greater knowledge and appreciation of the Divine truths.

Gentle father of the poor and sinners, help me to imitate your charity toward others in word and deed.

Consoler of the suffering, help me to bear my daily cross patiently in imita tion of your own patience in your long and painful illness and to resign myself to the Will of God.

Good Shepherd of the flock of Christ, obtain for me the grace of being a true child of Holy Mother Church.

Saint Alphonsus, I humbly implore your powerful intercession for obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I recommend to you in particular this favor: (Mention your request).

I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy Will, my petition will be granted through your intercession for me at the throne of God.

Saint Alphonsus, pray for me and for those I love. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon us in our needs. May we experience the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.

Prayer

HEAVENLY Father, You continually build up Your Church by the lives of Your Saints. Give us grace to follow Saint Alphonsus in his loving concern for the salvation of people and so come to share his reward in heaven. Walking in the footsteps of this devoted servant of Yours, may we be consumed with zeal for souls and attain the reward he enjoys in Your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For the entire 9 Day Novena please visit here:  The Alphonsus Liguori 9 Day Novena

 

 

WOM18 – The Gift of Grace – The Way of Mystery with Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts

Episode 18 -The Way of Mystery: The Eucharist and Moral Living The final installment of the series.  The challenge of living the moral life and the gift of grace from the sacrament of the Eucharist.

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

 

Mary Magdalen an excerpt from Three Women and the Lord by Adrienne von Speyr


Mary Magdalene by Giovanni Bellini

An excerpt from “Mary Magdalen: Faith” from  Three Women and the Lord by Adrienne Von Spey

No account is given of how Magdalen was tormented by the demons nor of how she found her way to the Lord. No mention is made of whether she came to the Lord through the mediation of others or whether he simply addressed her directly because from all eternity he had determined to do so. Nor are we told how grateful she was as a result and how liberated she felt; there is no account of how the miracle happened nor whether the demons concerned were those that, according to the Lord’s word, can only be driven out by prayer and fasting. There is nothing about all this. Scripture only speaks of service as a result of liberation. And Magdalen remains in this service, although her being with the Lord was bound to mean that she was never to forget the past: she was and is marked by her erstwhile demonic possession. But that is of no concern to her. For her there is only one constant factor: she follows the Lord because he has set her free. Her life is so perfectly instrumental that we are simply presented with her current existence, not with its background nor its development.

The others who are referred to together with Mary have an easier time, in a way. Although two of them are named, their past is not exposed. All we know of the rest is that they were among those who served the Lord out of their means; their names are not revealed. Magdalen is the only one to be exposed. It was not her wish; she was singled out by grace. The stain of her past and the grace of her liberation are ineradicably associated with her name. The distance between them gives us a standard, a hallmark—for in Scripture nothing is mentioned in vain. She was possessed by devils, and now she is one of the Lord’s most intimate associates. Her past history must be of service in reaching her destination: her demonic possession provides the point of departure for the subsequent manifestation of grace. The distance between these poles is a precise one: the intention here is that grace shall be manifested in such a way that its point of departure is not lost sight of. But the characteristics of this distance can be different: for one person the eternally significant factor is that he was baptized; for another, like Saul, for instance, what is fundamental is that the Lord converted him. What is decisive in the case of Magdalen is that she, formerly the victim of possession, is now privileged to be close to the pure God-man and to minister to him whose Holy Spirit has shown his sovereign power over her impure spirits.

In Saul’s conversion we can trace all the various stages: his being blinded by the vision of the Lord, his prayer by night, the sending of Ananias and so forth. We see none of this in the case of Magdalen. Much remains inscrutable, hidden in the Lord by whom she is being carried. No doubt faith grows within her; she is baptized and then takes up her exhausting itinerant life with the Lord. But all this is hidden from our gaze because the Lord has taken over the entire responsibility for it. It is enough for us to know that she has been set free; the rest remains an unspoken mystery between her and the Lord. No doubt her contemporaries knew a little more about her, but what they knew died with them, and it is the Lord who determines what shall be known about her in the Church. This example shows us that even in cases where more is known, where we think we have a certain insight into the soul of a saint and can enter into his conversion process—perhaps through reading his own account of it—there is always much more that is unsaid, known only to the Lord. Between every person and the Lord there is a mystery, and everyone is entitled to privacy and silence. On the other hand it is always up to the Lord to determine and alter the boundaries. According to our way of seeing things the Lord often seems all too discreet in certain cases and almost indiscreet in others. But whether or not we are permitted a glimpse of the former grievous sinfulness of a converted person, the decision rests with the Lord. In the case of Magdalen the Lord has not thought it important for us to know the details of her demonic possession; we only need to know in general that she has emerged from the darkness into the brightness of faith.

Nor is her faith itself described in more detail. It is enough that she is with the Lord, in close discipleship. Later, beneath the Cross, her abiding in the Lord’s presence will reveal its effects. For the moment the spotlight rests briefly on her, as on some figure in a story—and only the author knows how the story is going to proceed. The listeners’ excitement is aroused, but it is immediately subdued by the lack of further information. We do not know how she feels, how she sees her own past, how she prays or how she lives her faith. The curtain is raised on a stage that promises some great forthcoming action: the tension between the seven demons on the one hand and her intimacy with the Lord on the other is so unusual that something highly dramatic seems imminent. But the scene lacks any definition. It remains open in all directions, and in the end we shall see that this openness is the openness of Magdalen’s faith, which is stronger than anything. She will be portrayed as the first person to live her faith beyond the hiatus of death.

For the present, however, she is close to the Lord. She is so exposed to his nearness that he can bring about whatever he wishes within her. She is presented to our contemplative gaze as a saint, but in such a way that, while some features are clearly discernible, God veils others, making them totally inaccessible to us. In Magdalen God teaches us not to ask more, not to wish to know more than he shows us. It is part of her effect on us, in God’s deliberate plan, that she is described thus and not otherwise. It is extraordinarily important for God that he not simply show us everything, but that he open and close, reveal things and veil them again according to his good pleasure. Magdalen has been handed over to the entire Church and to each one of us; we are free to imagine her life with the Lord in whatever way we wish, provided that it fits with what is subsequently reported. It is not a case of making good or bad “guesses” as to how things may have been; it is not a case of guessing at all, but of a kind of shared experience within a given perspective and direction. We can follow the tracks for a short space, and we know the destination; the path in between is up to us.

Part of the life of the saints is turned toward us; the other and larger part is open only to God in solitude and mystery. This area is closed to psychological analysis. Psychology always acts as if the soul can be exhaustively understood, as if there is no hiding place from the objectivity of its laws. But the nearer a soul is to God and the more it shares a common life with God, the more God covers it with his veil, letting us see only what he wishes us to see.

However, God can also use some jejune text of holy Scripture to lead us further in our contemplation. If a person simply reads Scripture in order to get to know the text as such, the meaning of the words and the sequence and context of events, he will be content with the written word. But if a person meditates on the same passages in a spirit of adoration, laying hold of them not only with his reason but with a concretely lived faith, in thorough determination to seek God and find him, God will often initiate him more deeply into the reality behind the words. Contemplation is not merely a psychological process, it is not the soul’s monologue with itself; it is prayer, dialogue with God, in the course of which God’s word acts in sovereign freedom. In contemplation God is always unveiling and veiling himself: there is both day and night. Some of the things he gives are brightly illuminated; others are in darkness because God wishes them to remain wrapped in his mystery. But at this stage it is no longer merely a question of human knowledge and ignorance; it is a question of sharing in a specific manner in the way God sees things, as far as he enables us as meditating believers to do so.

God sees everything. If he were to read Scripture, he would not find the least obscurity in any of its words. He would know precisely the way Mary Magdalen believed, prayed and was converted and the shape of her love. God does not just happen to be all-knowing; he actively uses his omniscience. It is a part of his love, a form of its expression. For the one who worships and contemplates, love is the way to God’s omniscience—in which, as he wills, he allows us to share—but God’s omniscience is also a path to his love. The fact that God knows everything must cause the praying soul to love him even more unreservedly.

Von Speyr, Adrienne. Three Women and the Lord, 2nd Edition. Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

You find the book at ignatius.com
Adrienne von Speyr, author of Three Women and the Lord