SP19 – Feast of All Souls – In Search of the Still Point with Dr. Regis Martin – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Episode 19 – Feast of All Souls

Dr. Regis Martin

Discerning Hearts is honored to host the reflections of Dr. Regis Martin.  Filled with profound insights, wisdom, and joy, he is one of the most trustworthy guides one can have on the spiritual journey.

For years Regis Martin, STD, has been regaling audiences about the mysteries of God and Church, most especially his students at Franciscan University of Steubenville where he teaches theology. Author of half-dozen or more books, including The Suffering of Love (Ignatius, 2006), The Last Things (Ignatius Press, 2011), Still Point (Ave Maria, 2012), The Beggar’s Banquet (Emmaus Road, 2012), Witness to Wonder (Emmaus Road, 2017) his work frequently appears in Crises and The Catholic Thing.

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The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – a fitting tabernacle to hold the Word made Flesh with Teresa Monaghen

Teresa Monaghen, of Pro Sanctity, and Fr. John Sianchuck, C.Ss.R., a Ukrainian Byzantine priest do a great job of explaining the Western and Eastern understanding of the great mystery of the Immaculate Conception.  Teresa poses a provocative question:  Could the Blessed Virgin Mary say no to the Angel Gabriel?  What would your answer be?

For more information on the Dogma of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Immaculate Conception, 

490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135

492 The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137

493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long. ”

 

 

“Virgin Mary, all nature is blessed by you” – St. Anselm from the Office of Readings

From a sermon by Saint Anselm, bishop

Virgin Mary, all nature is blessed by you

Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendour by men who believe in God. The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Saviour of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.

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.”

IP#483 – Thomas Jacobi – How Saints Die by Fr. Antonio Maria Sicari on Inside the Pages w/Kris McGregor


Thomas Jacobi

How Saints Die: 100 Stories of Hope is more about how to live than how to die.  With Ignatius Press editor, Thomas Jacobi, we discuss life and death, and the challenges of living a life which strives for holiness.  We discuss how the saints are great beacons of hope for the world and our essential companions for the spiritual journey.

Thomas Jacobi will say in our conversation:

“Each Saint is a unique revelation actually of the personality of God, in Christ. Each Saint is so different and each saint reveals something new that we didn’t or couldn’t see before about Christ, about God. And that’s why it’s so important to get to know the saints. They reveal to us who God is in a fresh and exciting way. So I would encourage people to pick up this book for that reason.”

We would agree with Thomas!

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Italian Carmelite Antonio Maria Sicari’s vibrant biographies of saints—from Augustine to Catherine of Siena to Faustina Kowalska—have been read across Europe for decades. In How Saints Die, Sicari turns to the most difficult challenge in the life of a Christian: the hour of death.

What he uncovers in this darkest moment, however, is not desolation, but inexplicable joy. “I have recounted the death of many saints,” he writes, “but all of them have confirmed for me the truth of this ancient Christian intuition: in the death of a saint, it is death that dies!”

With in-depth research and a flair for storytelling, Sicari brings before our eyes the gracious last hours of one hundred men and women—lovers and martyrs, thinkers and workers, ancients and moderns, old men and teens. Included are Kateri Tekakwitha, Maximilian Kolbe, Mother Teresa, Thomas Aquinas, Josephine Bakhita, Jérôme Lejeune, Clare of Assisi, and many more. In each, a new shade of the divine light shines through.

Those seeking insight into the mystery of death and suffering will find in this book not only wisdom, but rich and realistic consolation.

Day 9 – A Novena to the Immaculate Conception




O God,
who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that,
as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son,
You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us,
purified through Her intercession,
to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

O Mother of the King of the Universe,
most perfect member of the human race,
“our tainted nature’s solitary boast,”
we turn to you as mother,
advocate, and mediatrix. O Holy Mary,
assist us in our present necessity.
By your Immaculate Conception,
O Mary conceived without sin,
we humbly beseech you from the bottom of our heart
to intercede for us with your Divine Son
and ask that we be granted the favor for which we now plead…

(State your intention here…)

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth;
you have the same influence now in heaven.
Pray for us
and obtain for us from him
the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

On the last day of this Novena, recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin.

For the complete 9 day novena visit the Discerning Hearts:

The Immaculate Conception Novena page

 

WM17 – Vatican II – Introduction pt. 2 – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction 3

Episode 17  Vatican II – Introduction pt. 2 – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas

In this episode with Archbishop Lucas, we continue the introduction to Vatican II.

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, was the 21st ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church. The council met in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome for four periods (or sessions), each lasting between 8 and 12 weeks, in the autumn of each of the four years 1962 to 1965. Preparation for the council took three years, from the summer of 1959 to the autumn of 1962. The council was opened on 11 October 1962 by John XXIII (pope during the preparation and the first session), and was closed on 8 December 1965 by Paul VI (pope during the last three sessions, after the death of John XXIII on 3 June 1963). – wikipedia

Vatican II at St. Peter’s in Rome

For the documents of Vatican II visit here

For more episodes in this series visit the

Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast page

For more teachings and information about Archbishop George J. Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, visit:   archomaha.org

Day 8 – A Novena to the Immaculate Conception



O God,
who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that,
as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son,
You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us,
purified through Her intercession,
to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

O Most gracious Virgin Mary,
beloved Mother of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer,
intercede with him for us
that we be granted the favor which we petition
for so earnestly in this novena…

(State your intention here…)

O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
we feel animated with confidence
that your prayers in our behalf
will be graciously heard before the throne of God.
O Glorious Mother of God,
in memory of your joyous Immaculate Conception,
hear our prayers and obtain for us our petitions.

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth;
you have the same influence now in heaven.
Pray for us
and obtain for us from him
the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

 

For the complete 9 day novena visit the Discerning Hearts:

The Immaculate Conception Novena page

 

The Second Sunday of Advent – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Second Sunday of Advent 2021

Reading 1 LUKE 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  Msgr. Esseff served as 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 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.  

 

Day 7 – A Novena to the Immaculate Conception


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O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, and my mother,
from the sublime heights of your dignity
turn your merciful eyes upon me while I,
full of confidence in your bounty
and keeping in mind your Immaculate conception
and fully conscious of your power,
beg of you to come to our aid
and ask your Divine Son to grant the favor
we earnestly seek in this novena,
if it be beneficial for our immortal souls
and the souls for whom we pray.

Amen.

(State your intention here…)

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception,
Mother of Christ,
you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth;
you have the same influence now in heaven.
Pray for us
and obtain for us from him
the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

For the complete 9 day novena visit the Discerning Hearts:

The Immaculate Conception Novena page

 

ST-Luke Ep 1 – The Gospel of Luke – An Overview Part 1 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 1 – The Gospel of Luke – An Overview Part 1

We begin our study of the Gospel of Luke with an overview lecture, beginning with what we know about the author himself.  From the historian, Eusebius, we learn that Luke was a physician from Antioch, an ancient Greek city located in Asia Minor.  Antioch was the center of the early Church, and it was here that the followers of Jesus came to be known as “Christians.”  Luke, a companion of St. Paul, is responsible for the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which comprise the greatest percentage of the New Testament.

The word “Gospel” means “Good News” and comes from the Greek word, “euangelion.”   During the first century, the fastest growing religion was the imperial cult of Roman emperor worship. The word “euangelion” took on religious significance with the announcement of the “good news” of a new emperor, a new “god.”  For Christians, however, the “euangelion” meant the “good news” of the new King of Kings, Jesus Christ.

As a physician, Luke wrote his Gospel to bring the medicine needed for our wounded souls.  The new medicine came from the new tree of life, the cross, and the medicine of immortality is the Eucharist.  “Every time this mystery is celebrated, “the work of our redemption is carried on” and we “break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ (CCC 1405).”

Through the incarnation, Christ joined in our humanity and introduced His kingdom to the world.  As the final High Priest, Jesus completes the perfect sacrifice on the cross.  God desires that we cooperate with His plan of salvation, joining in His suffering, to complete “what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church (Col 1:24).”  “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Eph 5:25-27).”

Christ has cleansed the Church, making her holy, yet we know that the Church is made up of sinners in need of healing.  Jesus, the divine physician, has left us with the healing sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick.  What is hidden in shame and secrecy needs to be brought to the light so that healing can take place:  “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God (John 3:20-21).”
Further details about St. Luke come from the Church Father St. Hippolytus, a disciple of Irenaeus, who was a disciple of Polycarp who followed St. John the Evangelist. Hippolytus tells us that Luke was one of the 70 disciples mentioned in Luke 10 who were sent out to spread the Good News to the surrounding countries.  These 70 were also the same disciples who walked away from Jesus when they could not understand Jesus’ command to eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6: 66).  Later, St. Mark was persuaded back to the fold by St. Peter and it was St. Paul who encouraged Luke to return as a follower of Jesus, and the two became great friends.
As we will learn this year, despite being one of the Synoptics that “see together”, the Gospel of Luke has many unique stories not found in the other Gospels.  Luke likely personally interviewed Mary, bringing us the beautiful infancy narratives.  The stories behind the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, can all be found in the first two chapters of Luke.  From Luke, we receive the Canticles of Mary, Zechariah, and Simeon.  Only in Luke are found the stories of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.  The Gospel of Luke is the Gospel of joy, mercy and the Holy Spirit.

©2019 Seeking Truth Catholic Bible Study

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