VEC8 – Celsus – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 8 – Celsus – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Celsus and responding to his “Case against Christianity.”

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

The man’s name was Aulus Cornelius Celsus, and he was one of those remarkable people who seem to know a little bit about everything. Today we remember him most as a physician, because the main work of his that survives is a treatise on medicine; but that book was actually part of a book on practically all the world knowledge that Celsus had put together. He dealt with law, war, politics, farming, and other subjects as well. And if he knew as much about them as he did about medicine, Celsus must have been a one-man Wikipedia.

The fact that Celsus was so insatiably curious about so many things may be why he bothered to try to learn about the Christians. They were a phenomenon to be studied. But his studies did not go so far as to ask the best authorities on the subject—the bishops and teachers he might have found if he had looked around. Instead, he seems to have relied on what he heard secondhand. That was probably because, although he was a scientist, Celsus was, like any good educated man in the Roman Empire, a snob first and foremost.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

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

 

 

VEC7 – Valentinus – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 7 – Valentinus – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Valentinus and Gnostic teaching.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

We know almost nothing about Valentinus the man except that he was well educated. He had much more higher education than the average Christian: he had studied at Alexandria, so he had the ancient equivalent of a Harvard or Oxford degree. He had specialized in Platonic studies, meaning that he knew Plato backwards and forwards, at least as Plato was interpreted by later students who claimed to have understood him. (Like many philosophy students today, Valentinus probably learned about Plato from secondary sources more than from actually reading Plato.)

In about 130, Valentinus came to Rome and he stayed there for about twenty years. Thus, he was in Rome at the same time as Marcion. Valentinus later ended up in Cyprus.1

One thing his opponents gave Valentinus credit for was his brain. Tertullian and, much later, Jerome both considered him to have a formidable mind. But he applied that mind to creating an incredibly convoluted mythology rather than simply understanding the Scriptures. In this Valentinus was just like all the other Gnostics: incredibly convoluted mythologies were their stock in trade. The simple truth was for simple people. Like some academics today, the Gnostic teachers felt a need to prove their intellectual worth by filling their writings with jargon nobody but other Gnostics could understand.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

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

 

 

VEC6 – Marcion – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 6 – Marcion – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Marcion and the dangers of money…to the extreme!

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

Marcion was a rich businessman who thought he had figured out the real meaning of the Gospel. He used the power of money to found a kind of parallel church, and he was very successful for a while—which tells you a little about the state of Christianity at the time, and a lot about what you could do with money in the Roman Empire in those days.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

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

 

 

VEC5 – Nero – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 5 – Nero – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Nero and the hallmarks and dangers of an “antichrist.”

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

Pilate was a waffling dupe. Judas was a tortured soul who didn’t have the courage to repent. But perhaps no villain in Christian legend comes out as completely and utterly villainous as Nero. He isn’t just a sinner who made the wrong choice: in much of Christian legend, and even theology, he is literally the Antichrist.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

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

 

 

DC24 St. Anslem pt 2 – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson

Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Anslem pt 2

From Vatican.va, an excerpt from the teachings oPope Benedict XVI General Audience 2009

Anselm immediately became involved in a strenuous struggle for the Church’s freedom, valiantly supporting the independence of the spiritual power from the temporal. Anselm defended the Church from undue interference by political authorities, especially King William Rufus and Henry I, finding encouragement and support in the Roman Pontiff to whom he always showed courageous and cordial adherence. In 1103, this fidelity even cost him the bitterness of exile from his See of Canterbury. Moreover, it was only in 1106, when King Henry I renounced his right to the conferral of ecclesiastical offices, as well as to the collection of taxes and the confiscation of Church properties, that Anselm could return to England, where he was festively welcomed by the clergy and the people. Thus the long battle he had fought with the weapons of perseverance, pride and goodness ended happily. This holy Archbishop, who roused such deep admiration around him wherever he went, dedicated the last years of his life to the moral formation of the clergy and to intellectual research into theological topics. He died on 21 April 1109, accompanied by the words of the Gospel proclaimed in Holy Mass on that day: “You are those who have continued with me in my trials; as my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom…” (Lk 22: 28-30). So it was that the dream of the mysterious banquet he had had as a small boy, at the very beginning of his spiritual journey, found fulfilment. Jesus, who had invited him to sit at his table, welcomed Anselm upon his death into the eternal Kingdom of the Father.

“I pray, O God, to know you, to love you, that I may rejoice in you. And if I cannot attain to full joy in this life may I at least advance from day to day, until that joy shall come to the full” (Proslogion, chapter 14). This prayer enables us to understand the mystical soul of this great Saint of the Middle Ages, the founder of scholastic theology, to whom Christian tradition has given the title: “Magnificent Doctor”, because he fostered an intense desire to deepen his knowledge of the divine Mysteries but in the full awareness that the quest for God is never ending, at least on this earth. The clarity and logical rigour of his thought always aimed at “raising the mind to contemplation of God” (ibid., Proemium). He states clearly that whoever intends to study theology cannot rely on his intelligence alone but must cultivate at the same time a profound experience of faith. The theologian’s activity, according to St Anselm, thus develops in three stages: faith, a gift God freely offers, to be received with humility; experience, which consists in incarnating God’s word in one’s own daily life; and therefore true knowledge, which is never the fruit of ascetic reasoning but rather of contemplative intuition. In this regard his famous words remain more useful than ever, even today, for healthy theological research and for anyone who wishes to deepen his knowledge of the truths of faith: “I do not endeavour, O Lord, to penetrate your sublimity, for in no wise do I compare my understanding with that; but I long to understand in some degree your truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, that unless I believed, I should not understand” (ibid., 1).

Dear brothers and sisters, may the love of the truth and the constant thirst for God that marked St Anselm’s entire existence be an incentive to every Christian to seek tirelessly an ever more intimate union with Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. In addition, may the zeal full of courage that distinguished his pastoral action and occasionally brought him misunderstanding, sorrow and even exile be an encouragement for Pastors, for consecrated people and for all the faithful to love Christ’s Church, to pray, to work and to suffer for her, without ever abandoning or betraying her. May the Virgin Mother of God, for whom St Anselm had a tender, filial devotion, obtain this grace for us. “Mary, it is you whom my heart yearns to love”, St Anselm wrote, “it is you whom my tongue ardently desires to praise”.

For more visit Vatican.va

Dr. Matthew Bunson, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is one of the United States’ leading authorities on the papacy and the Church.

His books include: The Encyclopedia of Catholic History; The Encyclopedia of Saints; Papal Wisdom; All Shall Be Well; Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire; and The Angelic Doctor: The Life and World of St. Thomas Aquinas; The Pope Encyclopedia; We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, the first Catholic biography of the Holy Father in the English language; the Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History; Pope Francis. His also the editor of OSV’s “The Catholic Answer” magazine.

VEC2 – Caiaphas – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast CaiaphasEpisode 2 – Caiaphas – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Caiaphas and the temptation of unholy compromises.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

CAIAPHAS IS mentioned everywhere in the Church Fathers, but almost as furniture—“ and Jesus was brought before Caiaphas.” If the early Christian writers are interested in anything about him, it’s that he could prophesy truly because of his office. Otherwise, they don’t seem to find much remarkable in him. He’s the banality of evil. A bureaucrat.

Yet, Caiaphas, like many of the characters caught up in the Passion story, was in a complicated position—more complicated than we may realize when we hear the story in the Gospels.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians (Kindle Locations 304). Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

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

 

 

VEC1 – Judas – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast JudasEpisode 1 – Judas – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss the “mystery of Judas.”

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

What happened to Judas? Was it simple greed that snapped him? That seems unlikely. Thirty pieces of silver was a good bit of money, but Judas was doing all right with his embezzling racket. The Gospels don’t tell us his motivation most likely because their writers just didn’t know. It was a mystery to them as it is to us. And a lot of the Christian legends that later grew up about Judas seem like popular attempts to psychoanalyze him.

Judas was also present for the Last Supper, having a miserable time as Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray him: “The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24).

John tells us that the disciple whom Jesus loved—John himself—asked Jesus who the betrayer would be. “It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it,” Jesus responded, and then dipped the morsel and handed it to Judas. Yet the others still didn’t understand what Jesus meant when he said to Judas, “What you are going to do, do quickly” (John 13:26–27). Was he sending Judas out to buy more food? Or to make a donation to the poor from the money box?

“So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out,” John says, adding the significant detail “and it was night.” Judas walked out of the Last Supper and into the very symbolic darkness (John 13:30).

But he knew where to look for Jesus when he came with the police. Judas and the rest of the disciples had often been with Jesus in that pleasant park across the Kidron Valley, the garden of Gethsemane (see John 18:2; Mark 14:32). That was where Judas led the soldiers to arrest Jesus.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians (Kindle Locations 190-203). Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

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

 

 

IP#34 Joseph Pearce – The Heart of Newman on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

We will be praying with and learning from Blessed John Henry Newman for many, many years to come. Joseph Pearce has been an excellent student, as well as an instructor of (or should I say “illuminator of”) the life and work of this great man, John Henry Newman, and who is now a bonafide member of the Cloud of Witnesses.  It’s ALWAYS a joy to talk with Joseph, but it was fantastic to speak with him in particular about Blessed John Henry Newman and the book released by Ignatius Press to help us grow in our awareness of him!

 

Check it out here

This is an edition of a classic anthology of the writings and sermons of John Henry Newman that gives a new generation access to the timeless wisdom of this great teacher.

IP#305 Dr. Peter Kreeft – I Burned for Your Peace on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Peter Kreeft
These are indeed good days for book lovers because we are so blessed to have yet another Christian spiritual classic broken open for us by Dr. Peter Kreeft!  In “I Burned for Your Peace: Augustine’s Confessions Unpacked“, Dr. Kreeft gives us a  guided tour through one of the finest works in all Western literature.  In our conversation, we discuss how St. Augustine, in many ways, is the everyman and why is life is so important for us today. Written in a personal dialogue with God, the saint’s “Confessions” is more than an autobiography or a book of theology, it is, in the end, a living prayer.   It is one man’s compelling witness that is, as  Dr. Kreeft will say, astonishingly contemporary.  St. Augustine looks at himself, so honestly, we can’t help but see ourselves in the reflection.  “I Burned for Your Peace” is the must have book to accompany you on this spiritual journey, especially if your heart is a restless one.  So plan your pilgrimage now!  Get the Frank Sheed translation of the “Confessions” as mentioned by Dr. Kreeft in our conversation and grab this book today

I_Burned_for_Your_Peace.inddYou can find the book here

“Two teachers we all know and trust enter into a dialogue to bring forth a Confessions for our day.”
— Fr. David Meconi, S.J., Editor, The Confessions of St. Augustine

“Kreeft is always brilliant, and in this book he is even more astonishing than ever. If I were allowed only one book on the Confessions, this would be it.”
Joseph Pearce, Author, Catholic Literary Giants

“Kreeft illustrates the truth of Augustine’s comment that God is more intimate to us than we are even to ourselves. Only when we realize that we are loved into being by the Triune God, will we experience the profound peace that sustains the pilgrimage to eternal life.”
Fr. Matthew Lamb, Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University

 

CA-5 St. Thomas Aquinas – Is Sacred doctrine a matter that can be argued? – Christian Apologetics w/ Dr. R. R. Reno – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 5 – Whether sacred doctrine is a matter of argument?

Question 1 Article 8 Whether sacred doctrine is a matter of argument?

Objection 1: It seems this doctrine is not a matter of argument. For Ambrose says (De Fide 1): “Put arguments aside where faith is sought.” But in this doctrine, faith especially is sought: “But these things are written that you may believe” (Jn. 20:31). Therefore sacred doctrine is not a matter of argument.

Objection 2: Further, if it is a matter of argument, the argument is either from authority or from reason. If it is from authority, it seems unbefitting its dignity, for the proof from authority is the weakest form of proof. But if it is from reason, this is unbefitting its end, because, according to Gregory (Hom. 26), “faith has no merit in those things of which human reason brings its own experience.” Therefore sacred doctrine is not a matter of argument.

On the contrary, The Scripture says that a bishop should “embrace that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9). Dr. Matthew Bunson - Insights on the Church Yesterday and Today 2

I answer that, As other sciences do not argue in proof of their principles, but argue from their principles to demonstrate other truths in these sciences: so this doctrine does not argue in proof of its principles, which are the articles of faith, but from them it goes on to prove something else; as the Apostle from the resurrection of Christ argues in proof of the general resurrection (1 Cor. 15). However, it is to be borne in mind, in regard to the philosophical sciences, that the inferior sciences neither prove their principles nor dispute with those who deny them, but leave this to a higher science; whereas the highest of them, viz. metaphysics, can dispute with one who denies its principles, if only the opponent will make some concession; but if he concede nothing, it can have no dispute with him, though it can answer his objections. Hence Sacred Scripture, since it has no science above itself, can dispute with one who denies its principles only if the opponent admits some at least of the truths obtained through divine revelation; thus we can argue with heretics from texts in Holy Writ, and against those who deny one article of faith, we can argue from another. If our opponent believes nothing of divine revelation, there is no longer any means of proving the articles of faith by reasoning, but only of answering his objections—if he has any—against faith. Since faith rests upon infallible truth, and since the contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated, it is clear that the arguments brought against faith cannot be demonstrations, but are difficulties that can be answered.

Read moreCA-5 St. Thomas Aquinas – Is Sacred doctrine a matter that can be argued? – Christian Apologetics w/ Dr. R. R. Reno – Discerning Hearts Podcast