IP#279 Fr. Michael Gaitley MIC – “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor


Fr.-Michael-Gaitley-2

I LOVE this book!  “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told: Now is the Time of Mercy” is outstanding!  Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC is able to once again provide just the right amount of insight, depth, and practical application to an important aspect of our collective spiritual experience!  He brings forward to us the “School of Trust” whose curriculum is the continuing story of our salvation revealed to us over the last 2000 years and lived out and taught to us through the lives of the saints.  Fr. Gaitley’s storytelling is thoroughly engaging.  This a page turner you truly will not want to set aside.  Filled with so many “ah-ha” moments you’ll be saying to yourself over and over again “Oh, I knew that, but I didn’t know I knew that” or “Ok, wow, now I see the connection!”  This is also a book that you’ll want to give to others…follow through with that impulse, they will be glad you did!  HIGHLY recommended!

 

Second-Greatest-Story-Ever-You can find the book here

From the book description:

In The Second Greatest Story Ever Told bestselling author Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, reveals St. John Paul II’s witness for our time. Building on the prophetic voices of Margaret Mary Alacoque, Thérèse of Lisieux, Maximilian Kolbe, and Faustina Kowalska, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told is more than a historical account of the Great Mercy Pope. This book expounds on the profound connection between Divine Mercy and Marian consecration. It serves as an inspiration for all those who desire to bear witness to the mercy of God, focused on Christ and formed by Mary. Now is the time of mercy. Now is the time to make John Paul’s story your own.

Mike Aquilina – Lent, Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and the Early Church

Mike Aquilina - Fathers of the Church and so much more... 5There’s nobody I enjoy spending Ash Wednesday with more than Mike Aquilina. Mike offers us rich insights on the practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving from the perspective of the early church.  He also helps us to see how we can concretely live out all three and further enrich our spiritual lives and help those around us to see Christ more fully in us and the Church.  We like Mike!  He’s awesome!

Be sure to visit Mike’s Discerning Hearts page for more from Mike.

IP#163 Vivian Dudro – Evelyn Waugh’s “Edmund Campion” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro

I love the writing of Evelyn Waugh…his prose are some of the best of our time, if not of all time.  And when that talent is used to pen a biography of the heroic English martyr, Edmund Campion, a tremendous blessing has been given to all who glean it’s pages.  What a story…what a life.  We are joined once again by the wonderful Vivian Dudro to discuss this incredible work, as well as the life and times of this great saint.

edmundcampion-bookYou can find the book here

From the description:

evelyn-waugh
Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh presented his biography of St. Edmund Campion, the Elizabethan poet, scholar, and gentleman who became the haunted, trapped and murdered priest as “a simple, perfectly true story of heroism and holiness.”

 

But it is written with a novelist’s eye for the telling incident and with all the elegance and feeling of a master of English prose. From the years ofsuccess as an Oxford scholar, to entry into the newly founded Society of Jesus and a professorship in Prague, Campion’s life was an inexorable progress towards the doomed mission to England. There followed pursuit, betrayal, a spirited defense of loyalty to the Queen, and a horrifying martyr’s death at Tyburn.edmund-campion-220x300

IP#302 Mike Aquilina – The World of Ben Hur on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Mike Aquilina - Fathers of the Church and so much more... 5Thank you Mike Aquilina for complying an incredible book which explores “The World of Ben Hur”!  One of the most popular Christian novels of all-time, “Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ” was penned by Lew Wallace and has served as the basis for plays, television productions, and several film adaptations for over 100 years. The 1959 production starring Charlton Heston still holds up as one of the finest cinematic masterpieces of all time!  Mike not only covers the background of the book, the compelling conversion of its author, and it’s place in our cultural experience, but he also offers us the historical facts of the era and the Christian experience.  As always, Mike’s writing is compelling, thoughtful and inspiring.  A fantastic addition to the Mike Aquilina library of books!

9781622823178You can find the book here

From the book description:

As you strip away centuries of accumulated tradition and look at Jesus of Nazareth with fresh eyes, you’ll also share with Ben-Hur the exciting, confusing, and life-changing experience of meeting Jesus for the first time. Armed with new wisdom and keen insights into the fascinating history of the Roman Empire, you’ll never watch Ben-Hur the same way again.

“Mike Aquilina has done a masterful job placing us in the life and times of Judah Ben-Hur and Jesus Christ. This is a must-read for any fan of Ben-Hur.”
Scott Hahn

IP#302 Mike Aquilina – The World of Ben Hur on Inside the Pages from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

IP#299 Dr. Rodney Stark – Bearing False Witness on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Dr. Rodney StarkOnce again, Dr. Rodney Stark, the author of the best-selling “The Rise of Christianity” brings clarity to history with his book “Bearing False Witness:  Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History“!  A professor of social science and co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, Dr. Stark is a master of research and source analysis.  With his eagle’s eye, he assess the landscape of history and systematically debunks anti-Catholic “myths” one after another.  Whether he is untying the knot of the “Spanish Inquisition” or placing in proper perspective the motivation and actions of the Church in the various Crusades, he never fails to place before his readers an engaging presentation of the “truth”.  He remains one of our all-time favorite guests and authors…take a listen!

Bearing False WitnessYou can find the book here

Rodney Stark gives the last acceptable prejudice a sound thrashing and clears up a lot of confused history along the way. Give this fine book to anyone you know who’s been subjected to ‘social studies.’” —George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

“Growing up Catholic in the United States is to hear a constant stream of stuff that, one’s experience shows, is just not true. Still I have always trusted that some unbiased non-Catholic scholar would one day look at the evidence (even its simple logic) again. Little did I imagine that this expected dispassionate historian would be so deeply informed, lucid, thorough, and blunt. Rodney Stark has done justice to neglected historical truth, and I am deeply grateful for his steady toughmindedness. His aim was to honor the truth, so now it remains for historians to look again, face his challenges, and come refreshed to their own verdicts.” —Michael Novak, winner of the Templeton Prize (1994), author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

“A majestically argued, gorgeously written, and essential book by one of the truly indispensable minds of our time. Bearing False Witness is one more gift to history from Rodney Stark. It should in turn be given to and read by students and professors everywhere, whatever their beliefs.” —Mary Eberstadt, author of How the West Really Lost God and It’s Dangerous to Believe

DC4 St. Cyril of Jerusalem – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom with Dr. Matthew Bunson

Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of  St. Cyril of JerusalemMatthew-Bunson

Born: 313 AD, Caesarea Maritima, Israel
Died: March 18, 386 AD, Jerusalem, Israel

For more on St. Cyril and his teachings

From Vatican.va, an excerpt from the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI  General Audience 2007:

Taken as a whole, Cyril’s homilies form a systematic catechesis on the Christian’s rebirth through Baptism.

He tells the catechumen: “You have been caught in the nets of the Church (cf. Mt 13: 47). Be taken alive, therefore; do not escape for it is Jesus who is fishing for you, not in order to kill you but to resurrect you after death. Indeed, you must die and rise again (cf. Rom 6: 11, 14)…. Die to your sins and live to righteousness from this very day” (Procatechesis, 5).

From the doctrinal viewpoint, Cyril commented on the Jerusalem Creed with recourse to the typology of St.-Cyril-of-Jerusalem-1the Scriptures in a “symphonic” relationship between the two Testaments, arriving at Christ, the centre of the universe.

The typology was to be described decisively by Augustine of Hippo: “In the Old Testament there is a veiling of the New, and in the New Testament there is a revealing of the Old” (De catechizandis rudibus 4, 8).

As for the moral catechesis, it is anchored in deep unity to the doctrinal catechesis: the dogma progressively descends in souls who are thus urged to transform their pagan behaviour on the basis of new life in Christ, a gift of Baptism.

The “mystagogical” catechesis, lastly, marked the summit of the instruction that Cyril imparted, no longer to catechumens but to the newly baptized or neophytes during Easter week. He led them to discover the mysteries still hidden in the baptismal rites of the Easter Vigil.

Enlightened by the light of a deeper faith by virtue of Baptism, the neophytes were at last able to understand these mysteries better, having celebrated their rites.

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.

DC6 St. Gregory of Nazianzus – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom with Dr. Matthew Bunson

Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of  St. Gregory of Nazianzus

Born: 329 AD
Died: January 1, 390 AD
For more on St. Gregory of Nazianzus and his teachings

It was because of these orations that Gregory acquired the nickname: “The Theologian”.

This is what he is called in the Orthodox Church: the “Theologian”. And this is because to his way of thinking theology was not merely human reflection or even less, only a fruit of complicated speculation, but rather sprang from a life of prayer and holiness, from a persevering dialogue with God. And in this very way he causes the reality of God, the mystery of the Trinity, to appear to our reason.

In the silence of contemplation, interspersed with wonder at the marvels of the mystery revealed, his soul was St.-Gregory-of-Nazengrossed in beauty and divine glory.

While Gregory was taking part in the Second Ecumenical Council in 381, he was elected Bishop of Constantinople and presided over the Council; but he was challenged straightaway by strong opposition, to the point that the situation became untenable. These hostilities must have been unbearable to such a sensitive soul.

What Gregory had previously lamented with heartfelt words was repeated: “We have divided Christ, we who so loved God and Christ! We have lied to one another because of the Truth, we have harboured sentiments of hatred because of Love, we are separated from one another” (Orationes 6: 3; SC 405: 128).

Thus, in a tense atmosphere, the time came for him to resign.

In the packed cathedral, Gregory delivered a farewell discourse of great effectiveness and dignity (cf. Orationes 42; SC 384: 48-114). He ended his heartrending speech with these words: “Farewell, great city, beloved by Christ…. My children, I beg you, jealously guard the deposit [of faith] that has been entrusted to you (cf. I Tm 6: 20), remember my suffering (cf. Col 4: 18). May the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all” (cf. Orationes 42: 27; SC 384: 112-114).

Gregory returned to Nazianzus and for about two years devoted himself to the pastoral care of this Christian community. He then withdrew definitively to solitude in nearby Arianzo, his birthplace, and dedicated himself to studies and the ascetic life.

It was in this period that he wrote the majority of his poetic works and especially his autobiography: the De Vita Sua, a reinterpretation in verse of his own human and spiritual journey, an exemplary journey of a suffering Christian, of a man of profound interiority in a world full of conflicts.

He is a man who makes us aware of God’s primacy, hence, also speaks to us, to this world of ours: without God, man loses his grandeur; without God, there is no true humanism.

Consequently, let us too listen to this voice and seek to know God’s Face.

In one of his poems he wrote, addressing himself to God: “May you be benevolent, You, the hereafter of all things” (Carmina [dogmatica] 1: 1, 29; PG 37: 508).

And in 390, God welcomed into his arms this faithful servant who had defended him in his writings with keen intelligence and had praised him in his poetry with such great love.

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.

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

Matthew-Bunson

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. St.-AnslemJesus, 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.

IP#277 Steve Weidenkopf – The Glory of the Crusades on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

How can the Crusades be considered “glorious”?  That was the first question that popped up in my mind when I saw “The Glory of the Crusades” come across my desk.   Steve-WeidenkopfAs I found myself caught up in the history unfolding inside the pages of this incredible book, I found that author Steve Weidenkopf approached this subject in an incredibly balanced, engaging and thoughtful way.  By far one of the best books I have ever read on the subject.  Steve is a lecturer of Church History at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College and the creator and author of Epic: A Journey through Church History, an adult faith-formation program on the 2,000-year history of the Church.  Meticulous researched (just check out the end notes), with little hint of any political agenda, Steve lets history stand on its own solid clear footing.  Thank you Catholic Answers for this outstanding book!

The-Glory-of-the-CrusadesYou can find the book here

The Glory of the Crusades is valuable not only as history but also as a scholarly debunking of centuries of Protestant and Enlightenment distortion of the facts about the West s struggles against militant Islam. –Rev. C. John McCloskey Research fellow, Faith and Reason Institute

This excellent book employs decades of scholarly research to show average readers what medieval historians have long known that popular culture s image of the Crusades has nothing at all to do with the events themselves. Catholics who cringe at the mention of the Crusades will find in this work a surprising and inspiring story of faith. –Thomas F. Madden Director, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis University

IP#87 James Hannam – The Genesis of Science on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

I love “The Genesis of Science:  How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution”! James Hannam has written a fascinating study of the Christian Middle Ages and its foundational importance to the science of our day.  He’s brought back the important contributions of half-forgotten thinkers.  James demonstrates how they were brought to such a state because of the political agendas of the last 500 years.  Why is this important?  Because it has everything to do with fundamental Truth, and what is ordered in the Universe.  And at the heart, it is faith in God which drives science and it’s healthy functioning in society and culture.  It was, and should be today, rooted in the Christian understanding of faith, reason, philosophy, theology and all the other things that round out the wholeness of the human person and the created world.  Fascinating stuff indeed!

Be sure to visit James’ website.

Click here to pick up a copy of the book

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