MM1 – A Marian Moment – Reflections on the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sassoferrato_Madonna_And_ChFrom the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard:

All Mary’s life—taken as a whole—may be summed up in this one word—adoration; for adoration is the perfect service of God, and it embraces all the duties of the creature toward the Creator. It was Mary who first adored the incarnate Word. He was in her womb, and no one on earth knew of it. Oh! How well was our Lord served in Mary’s virginal womb! Never has he found a ciborium, a golden vase more precious or purer than was Mary’s womb! . . .

Prayer: O Mary! Teach us the life of adoration. Teach us to see, as you did, all the mysteries and all the graces in the Eucharist.


Our Lady of Sorrows

The Seven Sorrows  of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Virgin Mary, who believed in the word of the Lord, did not lose her faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, abused and crucified. Rather she remained beside Jesus, suffering and praying, until the end. And she saw the radiant dawn of His Resurrection. Let us learn from her to witness to our faith with a life of humble service, ready to personally pay the price of staying faithful to the Gospel of love and truth, certain that nothing that we do will be lost.

— Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus – September 13, 2009


as Your Son was raised on the cross,
His mother Mary stood by Him, sharing His sufferings.
May Your Church be united with Christ
in His suffering and death
and so come to share in His rising to new life,
where He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Devotion from the revelation to St. Bridget of Sweden:

For more prayers for Our Lady of Sorrows

USCCA12 – Mary: The Church’s First and Most Perfect Member – U. S. Catholic Catechism w/ Arch. George Lucas

USCCA12- Episode 12- Mary: The Church’s First and Most Perfect MemberCatholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 12:

The Second Vatican Council remains us that Mary is a member of the Church who “occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and also closest to us” (LG, no. 54). She is the first and the greatest of all the disciples of Christ.

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha.

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This programs is based on:


More information can be found here.

We wish to thank the USCCB for the permissions granted for use of relevant material used in this series.
Also we wish to thank Fr. Ryan Lewis for his vocal talents in this episode.

BKL#24 – The joy that flows from Mary’s simplicity – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Evil is crushed by the lowly!  The joy that flows from Mary’s simplicity.

Msgr. Esseff talks about the Blessed Virgin Mary and how a little girl named Marilee helped him come to a greater understanding of Our Lady.  Our salvation came about because of obedience and humility; our Mother,  Mary, was the exemplar of that submission.  God has such a love for the humble and small.  Msgr. Esseff recalls his past Christmas times with the poor in foreign lands and how they experienced such an extraordinary joy because of their simplicity.  For us to experience that same type of simplicity and joy think of Mary.  He looks at the Nativity scene in a the light of this simplicity and goodness.
Mother Teresa would say that those in prosperous lands are spiritually poor and those in third world lands are spiritual rich.  Hopefully, our homes this Christmas will find our homes resplendent with the Christian virtues, especially those of humility and love.

Reading 2 Heb 10:5-10

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'”First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel Lk 1:39-45

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

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 Blessed 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 established by Bl. 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.   



To obtain a copy of Msgr. Esseff’s book by visiting here


Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff’s website “Building a Kingdom of  Love


STSG4 – Preparation for the Coming of the Messiah (PART 2) – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran

Episode 4- Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Preparation for  the Coming of the Messiah (PART 2) 

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 every day life.

Episode 4 –

This 2 part lecture is a “must listen to” as Sharon gives us the Biblical basis for the perpetual … (more info)virginity of Mary as well as for her Immaculate Conception. Drawing from both Old and New Testament scripture, Sharon shows us how Mary was filled with grace head-crushingfrom the moment of her conception and remained sinless throughout her entire life.

We also learn that through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary becomes Theotokos, God-Bearer, and is the Ark of the New Covenant. Like the Ark of the Old Covenant, Mary is not meant to be touched, and she remains perpetually virgin. 

 But wait! There’s more! Sharon also reveals to us the amazing fulfillment of Old Testament Messianic Prophecies through the birth of John the Baptist. 

You won’t want to miss this foundational lecture.


“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

The Presentation of the Virgin Mary – St. Augustine from the Office of Readings


The Presentation of Mary in the Temple

From a sermon by Saint Augustine

She believed by faith; She conceived by faith

Stretching out his hand over his disciples, the Lord Christ declared: Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of my Father who sent me is my brother and my sister and my mother. I would urge you to ponder these words. Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Savior was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her –- did she not do the will of the Father? Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’’s will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ’’s disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master.

Now listen and see if the words of Scripture do not agree with what I have said. The Lord was passing by and crowds were following him. His miracles gave proof of divine power, and a woman cried out: Happy is the womb that bore you, blessed is that womb! But the Lord, not wishing people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship, replied: More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it. Mary heard God’’s word and kept it, and so she is blessed. She kept God’’s truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying his body in her womb. The truth and the body were both Christ: he was kept in Mary’’s mind insofar as he is truth, he was carried in her womb insofar as he is man; but what is kept in the mind is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.

The Virgin Mary is both holy and blessed, and yet the Church is greater than she. Mary is a part of the Church, a member of the Church, a holy, an eminent -– the most eminent -– member, but still only a member of the entire body. The body undoubtedly is greater than she, one of its members. This body has the Lord for its head, and head and body together make up the whole Christ. In other words, our head is divine -– our head is God.

Now, beloved, give me your whole attention, for you also are members of Christ; you also are the body of Christ. Consider how you yourselves can be among those of whom the Lord said: Here are my mother and my brothers. Do you wonder how you can be the mother of Christ? He himself said: Whoever hears and fulfills the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother. As for our being the brothers and sisters of Christ, we can understand this because although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the only Son, his mercy would not allow him to remain alone. It was his wish that we too should be heirs of the Father, and co-heirs with himself.

Now having said that all of you are brothers of Christ, shall I not dare to call you his mother? Much less would I dare to deny his own words. Tell me how Mary became the mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ? You, to whom I am speaking, are the members of Christ. Of whom were you born? ““Of Mother Church”,” I hear the reply of your hearts. You became sons of this mother at your baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ. Now you in your turn must draw to the font of baptism as many as you possibly can. You became sons when you were born there yourselves, and now by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power to become the mothers of Christ.

Excerpts from the English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) © 1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo
Congregation for Divine Worship
Chapter II-III. Office of Readings
55. The office of readings seeks to provide God’s people, and in particular those consecrated to God in a special way, with a wider selection of passages from sacred Scripture for meditation, together with the finest excerpts from spiritual writers. Even though the cycle of scriptural readings at daily Mass is now richer, the treasures of revelation and tradition to be found in the office of readings will also contribute greatly to the spiritual life.

IP#202 Fr. Donald Calloway – Under the Mantle on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest” is fantastic!  Fr. Donald Calloway’s books just keep getting better and better.  In this work, he Fr.-Callowaybegins this journey with Our Lady, who then guides the reader through the rich treasures found in the Church established by her Son, Jesus Christ.  Through the Sacraments, to the depth of devotion found in our spiritual practices, and then with a  rich appreciation of what authentic manhood and femininity truly are,  Fr. Calloway explores the many facets of our faith.   This book is a book well suited for everyday mystagogia.  Without ever dumbing down the content, Fr. Calloway’s writing style is engaging and designed for “joe or josephine”  pew person.  This book is perfect for those who are in the RCIA, for folks who have completed a consecration preparation to Our Lady, or for anyone just looking for a more penetrating study of the faith.  You will not be disappointed!  And what a beautiful tribute to Our Blessed Mother!

Under-the-MantleYou can find the book here

“We are living in an extraordinary time of grace and mercy. It is a time in which many people, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, are experiencing a renewed appreciation for the sacred and unchanging truths of Catholicism. Though the vast majority of universities and colleges today indoctrinate their students into the dictatorship of moral relativism, the media puts forth an ideology of rampant secularism, and the political realm is filled with proponents of a culture of death, nevertheless, it is in these times that Jesus, through the Immaculata, is raising up a new generation of Catholics. In Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest, Fr. Calloway masterfully blends together aspects of his own conversion story with profound theological insights into Catholicism, presenting everyone from “Joe six-pack in the pew” to a seminary rector with incredibly vivid and thought-provoking analogies into why it is so important for a Christian to live under the mantle of Mary. I very highly recommend that everyone read this book! ”
-Very Rev. Douglas Mosey, C.S.B., Ph.D. President-Rector
Holy Apostles College & Seminary. Cromwell, CT

Also check out: IP#16 Fr. Donald Calloway – No Turning Back on Inside the Pages

BG4 Mark Hart the Bible Geek “Answers from the Word” – Could Mary Have said “no”? and What about those Magi?

Mark answers

1. What makes Mary any different than you or me? What if Mary had said, “No”?

2. How did the tradition of there being three magi start up if Matthew:2 doesn’t give a number of Magi? How did they get named? Basically, I need some more information on how this Catholic tradition got started.

Mark Hart is an author, speaker, director and teacher, Mark’s work both written and spoken, is known across the country and world. While he serves as the Vice President of LIFE TEEN, he is known to tens of thousands simply as the “Bible Geek ®” Mark passionately echoes the gospel to all he encounters. He is as deep as he is funny, and his love for his wife and daughters is second only to his immense love for Jesus Christ.

Visit Mark at

St. Bernadette, “A Holy Life”…In Conversation with Patricia McEachern

Patricia-McEachernOne of the finest translations of St. Bernadette’s writings (her diary, etc) has been done by Patricia McEachern. The book is  called “A Holy Life:  The Writings of St. Bernadette of Lourdes”.  It’s just beautiful.  It reveals so much about this holy soul, St. Bernadette!  Her “little way” was much like another holy soul, St. Therese…who knew these daughters of France would have so much in common.  But then again, should we really be surprised?

You can find the book here



USCCA12 – Mary: The Church’s First and Most Perfect Member – U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults w/ Arch. George Lucas

USCCA12- Episode 12-  Mary:  The Church’s First and Most Perfect Member

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 12:

The Second Vatican Council remains us that Mary is a member of the Church who “occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and also closest to us” (LG, no. 54).  She is the first and the greatest of all the disciples of Christ.

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha. 

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This programs is based on:

More information can be found here.

We wish to thank the USCCB for the permissions granted for use of  relevant material used in this series.
Also we wish to thank Fr. Ryan Lewis   for his vocal talents in this episode.