BKL386 – “When was your Transfiguration” – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the feast of the Transfiguration.  He asks us to take time and prayerfully reflect and ask God to show you those moments of “transfiguration” in our lives.

Gospel   MK 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
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; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved

ST-John Ep 30 – John 14 – I am the Way, the Truth and the Life part 2- The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 30 – John 14 – I am the Way, the Truth and the Life part 2

We continue our study of John’s Gospel with Chapter 14.  This beautiful chapter has an abundance of nuptial imagery.  God designed marriage as a way to image the Trinity.  Just as life flows from the one-flesh union of man and woman, the life of the Holy Spirit flows from the union of the Father and Son, who are one.

From the beginning in Genesis, to the end in Revelation, the story of salvation is the story of the marriage between God and His people.  To nullify the marital covenant between God and Israel, one of the parties needed to die.  As we learn in Romans 7, through Jesus’ death on the cross, the marital covenant with Israel ends, freeing Christ to take a new bride, the universal Church.   We learn, though, that in order for the wedding to take place, the bride must be pure and blemish-free.  As we learned last time, through Baptism we are purified of original sin, and through Reconciliation, we are purified of the sins of our lives.

Returning to John 14, Sharon gives us a wonderful teaching about first-century Jewish wedding customs, which helps us to better understand the rich symbolism found in this chapter.  In ancient Palestine, extended families lived together in an expansive house called an insula.  With each successive generation, the sons would build additional rooms to accommodate their own wife and children.  After the wedding, the young bride would leave her own home and move in with the groom’s family.  The groom’s entire family, especially the parents, had to be willing to accept the bride into the insula, and her virtue was valued even more than her wealth or beauty.  The marital ritual began when the groom and his father journeyed to the bride’s home and negotiated the terms of the marriage, with the best man (aka the shushbin) acting as an intermediary between the two parties.

Once the terms were set, the couple was now officially betrothed, though not yet married.  The son announces he will go and prepare a place for his bride, returning when all the necessary preparations were complete.  The son would return home and prepare the insula for the arrival of his bride.  The bride prepares herself for the return of the groom, but she does not know how long it will take for him to return.  After the necessary construction is completed, the father gives his son permission to return for his bride.

On the day of the wedding, the return of the groom to his bride is announced with the blowing of the shofar horn.  The shushbin stands by as the marriage is consummated, and then offers proof of the bride’s purity through the display of the marital bedding.  Knowing this, we now have a much better understanding of Jesus’ promise to return to us after he prepares a place for us in his Father’s house.  Jesus invites us into marital union with him, a blood covenant that was consummated with his death on the cross, the cup of acceptance of this New Blood Covenant that we drink from the chalice at Mass.  The Holy Spirit, the shushbin, guarantees the purity of the Church, the bride of Christ by keeping her pure and blemish-free through the sacraments.

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

Ep 10 – A Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope w/Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMVA Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Episode 10

In this episode, Fr. Gallagher shares more letters exchanged between Léonie and her sister, Thérèse.

In this episode, Léonie has returned home after her second failed attempt to enter into religious life at the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen.  Her father, Louie, has passed away, and her sister Céline has entered the Carmel with her three other sisters.  Her aunt and uncle have warmly welcomed her into their home, but she feels uncomfortable and out of place given the family’s outgoing social nature.  What will become of poor Léonie?

As Thérèse nears her death, she continues to write words of encouragement to Léonie.   She reassures Léonie that she will be even closer to her once she reaches heaven and will never stop praying for her.

After reading and re-reading Thérèse’s writings, Léonie is more determined than ever to return to the Visitation Sisters, where major changes have occurred within the Monastery.  The next chapter of Léonie’s story is about to begin.


Fr. Gallagher says, “Léonie’s life holds a very important story because she was the forgotten one; she was the one who was in the last place; she was the one who was less gifted than the others. Today we would call her a ‘problem child,’ and we’ll see that she certainly was the source of great anxiety to her parents, especially to her mother, Zélie, who loved her dearly.”

As a child, Léonie suffered from severe illnesses and physical maladies that would plague her entire life. She also struggled with understanding social clues and interactions and with behaving appropriately. Conventional educational models of the day failed to meet her particular needs, and she was labeled “developmentally delayed.” Yet those who knew her well described her as having a “heart of gold.”

Who was Léonie and what were her struggles? Why has her cause of canonization begun?  Father Gallagher, along with Kris McGregor,  answers these questions and explains why Léonie is “a bearer of hope” in this landmark series.

Marie

Pauline

Céline

St. Thérèse

A resource used for this series

Images in this post of the Martin/Guerin family are used with permission from the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux website for strictly non-commercial use.  We encourage you to visit the website for more information on this remarkable family.


For more series Fr. Timothy Gallagher podcasts, visit here

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 more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit  his  website:   frtimothygallagher.org

SC-2 – The 3rd and 4th Stations – Stations of the Cross with Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 2 -Stations of the Cross: Reflections with Deacon James Keating 
The Stations of the Cross – one of the most powerful devotionals alive in the heart of the Church. Reflecting and deeply meditating on the Passion of the Christ, Deacon Keating guides us through the 3rd station (Jesus falls the first time), the 4th station (Jesus encounters His Blessed Mother), and the 5th station (Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the Cross) along the Way of the Cross.

For other episodes in the “Stations of the Cross” series click here

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

More episodes of Stations of the Cross with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

Deacon Keating is also the author of:


You can find the book here.

From the book description:

Deacon James Keating’s book Abiding in Christ: Staying with God in a Busy World is a how-to-pray resource. This book helps readers to find a quiet space wherein they can be present to God and offers suggestions of how they can be more open to God s movement within them.

SWR-10 – Rule 5 and an introduction to Rule 6 – The Second Week Rules for the Discernment of Spirits w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast



Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMV

Episode 10 – Rule 5 and introduction to Rule 6 – The Second Week Rules for the Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide to a Greater Discernment of Spirits with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Fr. Gallagher completes his teachings on Rule 5 and moves to understanding Rule 6.  Once we have learned from the course of things, the beginning, middle, and the end, and perceive the work of the enemy, now it is time to learn from the “little by little” how the enemy works to tempt us with the “good.”

Fifth Rule.

The fifth: We should give much attention to the course of the thoughts; and if the beginning, middle and end is all good, inclined to all good, it is a sign of the good angel; but if in the course of the thoughts that he brings, it ends in something bad, or distractive, or less good than the soul had proposed to do before, or if it weakens it, or disquiets, or troubles the soul, taking away the peace, tranquility and quiet, which it had before, it is a clear sign that it proceeds from the bad spirit, the enemy of our profit and eternal salvation.(333)

 

Sixth Rule.

The sixth: When the enemy of human nature has been perceived and known by his serpent’s tail and the bad end to which he induces, it profits the person who was tempted by him, to look immediately at the course of the good thoughts that he brought, and the beginning of them, and how little by little he procured to make him descend from the sweetness and spiritual gladness in which he was, till he brought him to his depraved intention; so that with such an experience known and noted he may guard himself in the future from his customary deceits. (334)

Through a series of compelling conference talks, Fr. Gallagher carefully breaks open St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Second Week Rules for Greater Discernment.  This set of 8 “rules” (or guidelines) helps us to discern whether a seemingly good, noble, holy idea or feeling, often understood as a “spiritual consolation,” could be a working of the enemy intending to lead us astray. He shows how all of us can learn to listen to and follow God’s gentle leading in our daily lives.

For other episodes in this series, visit The Second Week Rules for the Discernment Spirits with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – DH Page.


Spiritual Consolation
This series is based on Spiritual Consolation by Fr. Timothy Gallagher.

You can find the book here.

Also, here are the 2 handouts mentioned by Fr. Gallagher in Talk 2:

Guidance for a Greater Discernment of Spirits with Fr. Timothy Gallagher O.M.V.

For the  PDF document:  

Handout Number 1 – The Text of the 8 Rules of the Second Week
https://www.discerninghearts.com/Gallagher/The_Text_of_the_Rules.pdf

Handout Number 2 – Examples – Discernment of Spirits – 2nd Week rules
https://www.discerninghearts.com/Gallagher/EXAMPLES-DISCERNMENT_OF_SPIRITS-SECOND_WEEK_RULES.pdf


Ep 5 – Wisdom from the Western Isles: The Hermit with David Torkington – Discerning Hearts Podcast


David Torkington, author and narrator of this work

Episode 5:  Abba – Father, Context and Direction

It is James’ fourth meeting with Peter and he realizes that there are only two more days left to speak with the hermit about his spiritual life. James asks Peter to teach him how to pray from the very beginning. The first time that question was asked of  Christ by his first followers, was by giving them the prayer that we call the ‘Our Father’.  Peter uses the first two words of that prayer,  the word Our and the word Father, to sum up, the context and direction of all Christian prayer.

You can find more episodes of the series here: Wisdom from the Western Isles: The Hermit w/ David Torkington page.


You can find the book here.

David Torkington, the author of Wisdom from the Western Isles has re-edited and abridged the work for broadcast; he is also the narrator. The book was published originally as three separate spiritual novels: Peter Calvay – HermitPeter Calvay – Prophet and Peter Calvay – Mystic. We begin with the first part, The Hermit but including some passages from Peter Calvay – Mystic so as to give an overall view of the spiritual journey for listeners.


David Torkington is an English Spiritual Theologian, author, and speaker, specializing in Prayer, Christian Spirituality, and Mystical Theology. Educated at the Franciscan Study Centre, England, he served as Dean of Studies at the National Catholic Radio and Television Centre, London. He was an extra-mural lecturer in Mystical Theology at the Angelicum, the Dominican University in Rome, and has received invitations to speak to Religious, Monks, Diocesan Priests, and laypeople from all over the world, including Equatorial Africa, where he gave three prolonged lecture tours speaking on Christian prayer.

Visit his website:  www.davidtorkington.com.

The author of the popular Peter Calvay series, his books include Wisdom from the Western Isles, Wisdom from Franciscan Italy, Wisdom from the Christian Mystics, Prayer Made Simple (CTS), and How to Pray by Our Sunday Visitor. His books have been translated into 13 different languages.

 

SJ5 – Joseph and His Angels – St. Joseph and His World with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode  5 – Joseph and His Angels

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss St. Joseph and his interactions with the Angels.

An excerpt from St. Joseph and His World:

The great difficulty in sketching the character of Joseph of Nazareth is that Scripture never shows him speaking. He never says yes or no. He never makes a nod or gesture. And not only is he never shown to speak, the Gospels never show a single human being speaking to him—not even his wife or son.

No humans speak to him; but four times, an angel speaks to him.

Christian tradition makes much of Mary’s Annunciation. The Church commemorates it by a feast day and dedicates a daily prayer to it (the Angelus). But Joseph’s “annunciations” are also worthy of scrutiny—certainly for what they reveal about him, but also for what they reveal about angels. The Gospels present almost every episode in Joseph’s life as an encounter with an angel.

Aqualina, Mike. St. Joseph and His World (p. 43). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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

Other Mike Aquilina series’ found on Discerning Hearts:

Roots the Faith

The Resilient Church

Villains of the Early Church

BKL386 – The First Sunday of Lent – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the First Sunday of Lent and the need in our lives for true prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Mk 1:12-15
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.

”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; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

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

Episode 3 – Chance or the Dance – Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., Vivian Dudro, and Joseph Pearce FBC Podcast



This week, author Thomas Howard tells us the point of art—from Vermeer’s landscapes to Andy Warhol’s soup cans. And we debate it. Join us in our ongoing discussion of Howard’s book Chance or the Dance?


 

 

You can find the book here

Contrasting the Christian and secular worldviews, Dr. Thomas Howard refreshes our minds with the illuminated view of Christianity as it imbued the world in times past—showing that we cannot live meaningful lives without this Christian understanding of things. An inspiring apology for Christianity, and a stirring critique of secularism.


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

SC-1 – The 1st and 2nd Stations – Stations of the Cross with Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 1 -Stations of the Cross: Reflections with Deacon James Keating
The Stations of the Cross is one of the most powerful devotionals alive in the heart of the Church.  While reflecting deeply on the Passion of the Christ, Deacon Keating guides us through the 1st and 2nd stations along the Way of the Cross.

For other episodes in the “Stations of the Cross” series click here

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

More episodes of Stations of the Cross with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

Deacon Keating is also the author of:


You can find the book here.

From the book description:

Deacon James Keating’s book Abiding in Christ: Staying with God in a Busy World is a how-to-pray resource. This book helps readers to find a quiet space wherein they can be present to God and offers suggestions of how they can be more open to God s movement within them.