BKL#80 – Are you prepared for the Lord’s coming? – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts

Msgr. Esseff asks the question, “Are you prepared for the Lord’s coming?”  He challenges us to take a good look at our prayer lives and to prepare for the coming of Jesus in your life today.

Gospel MK 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

 

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th, 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. 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.  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.   

AR#6 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

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One of our greatest sufferings as Christians is our own impatience with ourselves. We want to be good and holy immediately. St. Francis de Sales said “Have patience with all things. But chiefly, have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage, in considering your own imperfections. But instantly set about to remedy them. Begin every day a task anew.”  During Advent, lets make our new task a deeper prayer life, entrusting all our desires for goodness and holiness, to the Most Holy Trinity, who has infinite patience with us. And as we receive this amazing love from the Trinity, let us ask that our own characters be reformed, so that we might have real patience with one another.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope.”

 

 

 

AR#5 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

Keating123As human beings, we tend to sin. We all know this about our characters. And many times, it moves us to despair. God sees our sin, but He never loses his patience with us. And one of the reasons why God never loses His patience with His creation, is, of course, because He loves us. But also because His happiness is already fully possessed by Himself. He’s not like us when we get angry at our children, and try to move time forward; try to make things happen quickly. God is perfectly happy in Himself, and so He does no violence to time, or to people’s development. He waits. He calls. He shares His own happiness with us. And He knows in this patience that He fully possesses, that some day we will be attracted to such a powerful person, to such a peaceful person as he revealed Himself to be in Jesus. This Advent, don’t lose patience with yourself.  Convert all desires to sin into Jesus’ own heart. Give it to him and He will give you a share in His own happiness.

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

AR#4 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

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Human beings are called by God, to find their fulfillment patiently, to a life of cultivating virtue. We don’t become saints immediately; we don’t even grow in disdain of our sins immediately. For we are so attached to them, and the immediacy of pleasure that they give us, that it takes time for us to disconnect from that pleasure, and to cultivate a new love, for the only pleasure that lasts, God sharing His own happiness with us. This Advent lets ask the Lord to open our hearts more deeply so that we can receive this happiness from Him. And in so receiving it, be healed of our impatience. For what is being given, and what is coming to us, is more than we could ever imagine.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

AR#3 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

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As human beings, we have disordered desires.  One of our greatest disordered desires is to want things now, to be impatient, to want things through our own efforts, without waiting or co-operating with God’s will. To wait and cooperate with God’s will, is to unleash the wonderful character trait of trust. To entrust all of our desires, and all that we wish would be fulfilled into the person of Jesus Christ, whose only desire is our goodness, our happiness, our holiness. This Advent, let’s trust that God is thinking about us all the time and moving creation in such a way that all that is good will be given to us. Let us ask him to heal our desire to want things now. And to renew within us the desire to want only holiness, to want only what God wants for us, for he knows what is best.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

AR#2 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

AR#2 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.Keating-2

We want everything accomplished right away. God only knows that accomplishment follows one thing after another. He knows that it takes time for us to learn what it means to be human, to be those who are loved so deeply by His most Sacred Heart, His mother, and the saints. He knows that it takes time for us to understand that His love, and the reception of His love, is the very origin of our joy. During Advent, we ask even with more fervor, to receive this love. And we ask for the grace to release this joy, especially through the intercession of the saints and the Blessed Mother.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

AR#1 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – Discerning Hearts

AR#1 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.Keating-2

One of God’s attributes is patience. He suffers His own creation, as it comes to fulfillment in His love. The God that we worship is a God who truly loves us. And in this great love, He waits. He waits for us to respond to all that He has given us. And He doesn’t simply wait in a passive way. He keeps loving us, keeps directing His love toward our hearts to awaken them with a response. This is near the very core of what Advent is about. God loving us so deeply, directing His love toward us, and Him sharing His life with us so that we might respond in kind. So that we might wait and receive, and then respond to His great love

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

 

 

 

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Day 7

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O Mary, Help of Christians,
you assured us that wearing your Scapular worthily
would keep us  from harm.
Protect us in both body and soul
with your continual aid.
May all that we do be pleasing to your Son and to you.
(State your request here…)

Recite the following prayers…

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
pray for us.

AR#15 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

AR#15 – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating, Ph.D.Keating-2

Family life can be very stressful. We all have expectations. We all have dreams for our families. But sometimes, our expectation and our dreams can be imposed and cause stress. Each member of our family is growing at the rate that God wants them to grow. Grace is maturing in our children. Grace is transforming our spouses. This Advent, in the very heart of our homes, let’s practice the virtue of Patience. Let’s practice the charitable act of allowing each person to grow according to the grace that they can receive. This Advent let’s rejoice, in the very midst of our family, that each member of our family is different, growing and maturing in God in their own way, and at their own pace. And let’s not despair at this growth or maturation, for God loves your children more than you do. God loves your spouse more than you do. Entrust your children and your spouse to God, and then watch them grow.

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to “Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.

 

 

 

First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, Sunday, Sunday with Mark Hart

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The Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Podcast is a reflection on the upcoming Sunday Mass readings presented by LifeTeen.com and hosted by Mark Hart.

Sunday Readings from the USCCB

Reading 1  IS 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7

Responsorial Psalm  PS 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

Reading 2  1 COR 1:3-9

Gospel  MK 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

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;