CTD#1 – “The Desert of Consumerism” – Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion with Deacon James Keating

Episode 1 -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “The Desert of Consumerism”.  

Lent wants to remind us of our real identity. At first appearance a seeming “obligation,” Lent is actually a great gift. Are we brave enough to enter this desert, and then let it affect us so deeply as to turn us away from sin and false identities, turn us toward communion with the living God? The Church presents this season to us every year because it is hoped that this year will be our year to say “Yes” to Lent’s call to repentance. Lent should not be something we go through alone, but together. As the Hebrews wandered the desert for forty years, so we should enter Lent through the ecclesial community and share its challenges with brothers and sisters in Christ. Lent should not be what the elderly man in the barbershop characterized as “life as usual.” With our goal being moral conversion, let us now turn to see how God can facilitate that conversion when we take on a “lenten mind.”

Keating, James (2012-07-20). Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion (Kindle Locations 200-207). Liguori Publications. Kindle Edition.

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha.

 

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

IP#484 – Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – Abiding in Christ on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

In this compelling conversation with Deacon James Keating, a spiritual master of the highest order, we discuss those things that block us from having a closer relationship with God. We also discuss the importance of making time for Lectio Divina, living in the liturgy of the Church, and the danger of letting prayer become too complex.

Abiding in Christ: Staying with God in a Busy World is a wonderful 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. We highly recommend this book to those souls seeking a deeper relationship with God.

Deacon James KeatingYou can find the book here

Here are excerpts from our conversation in the podcast –

Sin, to some extent, possesses us, usually at the level of pleasure. Even if you think about the sin of anger, it always seems like it’s mayhem, but it’s actually pleasurable. People get a rush out of being angry. They get a rush out of being greedy. There’s a pleasure in sloth, in daydreaming, in fantasizing, in not doing the duty or the work we’re supposed to do right in front of us. There’s a pleasure in sloth.

And so that pleasure is the glue, the adhesive that keeps us in love with our sins. And that’s what God is alwaying fighting. He’s trying to displace that false love that we have set up by the way of pleasure.  God knows that pleasure is not the deepest reality of existence. And so he’s not going to play the game back and like trump the pleasure of sin. He is going to attract us away from the pleasure of sin, by the beauty of truth.

As Joseph Ratizinger used to say, “The face of God, is the beauty of God’s face.” What’s that mean? That means that the truth, the radiance of truth will eventually win us over even against the strong undertow of sin’s pleasure. If we give him a chance, spend time with him, open our hearts to be affected by him, then over time, this beauty of his own face, the truth of who God is will move us away from the immediacy, the gratification of the pleasure that’s hiding within all of our sins. And that’s what salvation is. Salvation is finally surrendering to truth and its beauty over and against the fleeting pleasure of self-involvement

also

The liturgy is your participation in being loved and loving back. Catechesisis not learning in a classroom style. It’s learning how to pray. If we don’t learn how to pray, we won’t even be interested in the catechism. Why would you be interested in the catechism if you don’t know the person whose voluminous beauty fills the catechism? Why would you want to open that book?

The Catechism at its heart is learning how to be with Him, to receive Him. And then your intellect is a flame to want to know Him. We do it backwards. We’ve always done it backwards. I don’t know for how long, but since my birth, we’ve done it backwards. Reducing the mystery to academics. And that’s inherently boring because to study anybody you don’t know, to study anyone that you have no motivation to learn about, is boredom. So we have to let them be burned by the fire first. This is why to some extent, parishes have to be remodeled. Maybe God is doing this by making our parishes so much smaller.

People are leaving. They’re not saying this. They’re leaving because they’re bored. They’re leaving because they haven’t encountered. They’re leaving because they don’t know God. And they’re looking for God, but maybe we have to make our parishes more like retreat centers than some type of bureaucratic paperwork center where you go through and get certified to receive this sacrament or that sacrament. It has to be more of a retreat encounter so that people will want to know God because they’ve met to God.

For more Deacon James Keating on Discerning Hearts visit his podcasts here

St. Therese – Advent Reflections with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

St. Therese of Lisieux said the following: “If I did not simply live from one moment to another, it would be impossible for me to be patient. But I only look at the present. I forget the past, and I take good care not to forestall the future.” In these remarks, St. Therese is trying to point to the truth that is buried deep within the Christian revelation. God only lives in the present moment. He holds all time together in the present. For ourselves, we get lost many times in the past, which could breed nostalgia and grief. Or we anxiously and fearfully try to make the present come quicker. This Advent, ask the Lord for the grace to live in the present so that our gratitude towards all that He is giving us now will deepen. And in our deepening gratitude, will be born a new fervor for worship. For worship is the fruit of the grateful heart.

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. 

The Gift of Holiness – Advent Retreat Reflection by Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

This reflection was given during a special Discerning Hearts Advent evening of prayer and meditation at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, in Omaha, NE

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. 

 

 

 

CWC8 – The Wellsprings of Prayer – Communion with Christ with Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 8 – Communion with Christ – Practical Prayer – The “wellsprings”  where Christ awaits us.  Responding at the moment when the subtle interior movements of the Holy Spirit calls to us.  The Word of God becomes a place of encounter. The danger of  Scripture becoming all academic. People are converted when the Word approaches them as living.  The liturgy is also a place of encounter.  The heart is an “altar” in the liturgy.

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. 

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:

The book addresses their mutual dedication to remain with Christ in prayer even in the service of parishioners. Once prayer finds a place in the heart, compassion grows for those who look for God “like sheep without a shepherd.” Through interior prayerfulness, clerical unity in ministry can be better ensured Remain in Me is for priests and deacons to use as prayer, on retreat, or during the holy seasons of Lent and Advent.

 

 

CWC7 The Will To Pray – Communion with Christ with Deacon James Keating- Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 7 – Communion with Christ – Practical Prayer – The will to pray.   To listen, to search, to see Him…to become prayer ourselves.  You know are progressing by the fruit of your life.  The parish is the “school of prayer”  and the pastor as a teacher of prayer, the spiritual father.  The disordered demands we may place on the priest.  What is the remedy?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2650and 2651

2650 Prayer cannot be reduced to the spontaneous outpouring of interior impulse: in order to pray, one must have the will to pray. Nor is it enough to know what the Scriptures reveal about prayer: one must also learn how to pray. Through a living transmission (Sacred Tradition) within “the believing and praying Church,”1 The Holy Spirit teaches the children of God how to pray.

2651 The tradition of Christian prayer is one of the ways in which the tradition of faith takes shape and grows, especially through the contemplation and study of believers who treasure in their hearts the events and words of the economy of salvation, and through their profound grasp of the spiritual realities they experience.2

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. 

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:

The book addresses their mutual dedication to remain with Christ in prayer even in the service of parishioners. Once prayer finds a place in the heart, compassion grows for those who look for God “like sheep without a shepherd.” Through interior prayerfulness, clerical unity in ministry can be better ensured Remain in Me is for priests and deacons to use as prayer, on retreat, or during the holy seasons of Lent and Advent.

 

CWC6 – The Reception of Grace – Communion with Christ with Deacon James Keating

Episode 6- Communion with Christ – Practical Prayer – How we receive prayer.   The reception of grace and the great gift of memory. Through prayer, heaven begins. Prayer is a battle…it isn’t easy.  Western culture is a “culture of distraction”.  We need to receive the coming of God when it enlights upon us.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2610and 2611

2610 Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will.”66 Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: “all things are possible to him who believes.”67 Jesus is as saddened by the “lack of faith” of his own neighbors and the “little faith” of his own disciples68 as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman.69

2611 The prayer of faith consists not only in saying “Lord, Lord,” but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father.70 Jesus calls his disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.71
2612 In Jesus “the Kingdom of God is at hand.”72 He calls his hearers to conversion and faith, but also to watchfulness. In prayer the disciple keeps watch, attentive to Him Who Is and Him Who Comes, in memory of his first coming in the lowliness of the flesh, and in the hope of his second coming in glory.73 In communion with their Master, the disciples’ prayer is a battle; only by keeping watch in prayer can one avoid falling into temptation.74

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. 

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:

The book addresses their mutual dedication to remain with Christ in prayer even in the service of parishioners. Once prayer finds a place in the heart, compassion grows for those who look for God “like sheep without a shepherd.” Through interior prayerfulness, clerical unity in ministry can be better ensured Remain in Me is for priests and deacons to use as prayer, on retreat, or during the holy seasons of Lent and Advent.

 

CWC5 – Ask, Seek, Knock – Communion with Christ: Practical Prayer w/ Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Episode 5- Communion with Christ – Practical Prayer –  ” How did I ever live without prayer?”  A sustained communion with Christ is the beginning of heaven.  “Ask..seek…knock”.  Are you knocking to receive a relationship or are you knocking to get more stuff?  Are you seeking to surrender and entrust or are you seeking to satisfy more of a passing desire or mood?  Even in our coming to prayer Jesus wants to purify our motive for doing so.  The challenge of entering into deep prayer leads to the great maturity of prayer.

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. 

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:

The book addresses their mutual dedication to remain with Christ in prayer even in the service of parishioners. Once prayer finds a place in the heart, compassion grows for those who look for God “like sheep without a shepherd.” Through interior prayerfulness, clerical unity in ministry can be better ensured Remain in Me is for priests and deacons to use as prayer, on retreat, or during the holy seasons of Lent and Advent.