St. Clare of Assisi Novena Day 1 – Discerning Hearts podcast


St.-Clare-1

Day 1

From a letter to St. Agnes of Prague

Place your mind in the mirror of eternity;
Place your soul in the splendour of glory;
Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance;
And, through contemplation, transform your entire being into the image of the Divine One himself,
So that you, yourself, may also experience what his friends experience when they taste the hidden sweetness that God alone has kept from the beginning
For those who love him.

Dear St. Clare,

As a young girl you imitated your mother’s love for the poor of your native Assisi.

Inspired by the preaching of St. Francis, who sang enthusiastically of His Lord Jesus and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing St. Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit.

All through your life you offered your great suffering for your Sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls. You greatly aided St. Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscans after his death.

Most of all you had a deep love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which fueled your vocation to love and care for the poor.

Please pray for me (mention your request) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me to grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament, to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of St. Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer, in the name of Jesus Your Son.

Amen.

For the complete novena visit the St. Clare Novena Discerning Hearts Page

A Novena in Honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri Day 7 – Mp3 audio and Text


A Novena in honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri, founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary

Day 7 – Acquiring Spiritual Joy Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discernment of Spirits 1

“Means for acquiring Joyfulness:

1. Ask the Lord for joyfulness. Joy or cheerfulness is the second fruit of the Holy Spirit [Galatians 5:22]. Blessed [John] Berchmans [1599-1621] was always so joyful that many called him Saint Leto [joy] and Saint IIario [laughter]. Joy was a grace he daily prayed for at Mass.
2. Think frequently of the Lord and thank Him for the goods that we possess and hope to possess. For example, thank him for the grace of God that we possess, and for the Paradise that we hope for. Let us go often to take from the Angels and Blessed above, an air of joyfulness, thinking that from now on we are citizens of Heaven and fortifying ourselves in Christian hope.
3. Perform good deeds with holy readiness and simplicity. Do things with good intention. Do them immediately, without reasoning too much on them, becoming over-reflective. Rather, cut off all ruminations, saying to oneself: ‘I should not dwell on this, one needs only to do what is good.’ Likewise, it is helpful to act with holy freedom of spirit,
despising every fear that is not founded on offending God, not waiting for tomorrow that which you can do today.”

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you created me in your plan of love. You created all the things on the face of the earth to help me find true happiness. Fully aware of my weakness, I resolve this day to love my life, and to approach my duties with a joyful spirit.

Daily Novena Prayer 

Venerable Bruno Lanteri, I come to you confident in the words of Jesus: Ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7). You said, “It is impossible to hope too much; the one who hopes for everything attains everything.” You taught that the greatest miracles are those that change the heart. Through your intercession, may the good God, whose infinite mercy surpasses all the malice of the world, console my heart and grant my request.

By your prayers keep my poor heart in peace, protect me from discouragement, and help me to serve God with a holy joy. Amen.

O Father, fountain of all life and holiness you gave Father Bruno Lanteri great faith in Christ, your Son, a lively hope, and an active love for the salvation of his brethren. You made him a prophet of your Word and a witness to your Mercy. He had a tender love for Mary and by his very life he taught fidelity to the Church. Father, hear the prayer of your family and, through the intercession of Fr. Lanteri, grant us the grace for which we now ask…. May he be glorified on earth that we may give you greater praise.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For more teachings from Ven. Bruno Lanteri visit
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Begin Again” Discerning Hearts series


What it means to “put on Christ” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Discerning Hearts podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians Chapter 4 v. 20 -24:

22 Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – RCVCE

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 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 St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders around the world.

A Novena in Honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri Day 6 – Mp3 audio and Text


A Novena in honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri, founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary

Day 6 – Protecting against Sin and ViceFr. Timothy Gallagher – Discernment of Spirits 1

“Through joyfulness one avoids sins and easily triumphs over temptation. It is proper to temptations to begin to instill despondency and sadness. And in these troubled waters the devil begins to fish. The joyful man has great regard for and always enjoys the spiritual goods he hopes for and possesses. When these are compared to the apparent goods temptations offer, he quickly decides the question with the exclamation of St. Philip, “Paradise, Paradise.” Therefore, he sins less and gains much more merit… With joyfulness, one drives out the sloth which impedes the practice of virtue.

With joyfulness one easily acquires holiness and perfects oneself through virtuous actions. “God loves a joyful giver” (2 Corinthians 9: 7). Joyful giving is done not as a burden, but by good grace, with love. If one thinks too much about a good action that is to be performed [and thus hesitates], the merit of that action will be diminished… So act promptly… The one who gives promptly, gives double.

Compare a sad person with a joyful one in their daily activities. The despondent one behaves like an old lazy man, who is sleepy, cold, frozen…. The joyful one behaves like a young man who carries himself well, is graceful, robust, and energetic. In fact, if one prays, if one meditates with joy, if one approaches the sacraments joyfully, if one converses with his neighbor with joy, how many sins against God and neighbor will be avoided!

With joyfulness one’s perseverance in good is more easily assured, because doing things with sadness and against one’s will constitutes a violent state that cannot last. In such a case, if great difficulties are encountered, how much more easily is everything abandoned. The joyful man, on the other hand, is resolute, generous, energetic, and so he easily overcomes the difficulty of perseverance.”

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you created me in your plan of love. You created all the things on the face of the earth to help me find true happiness. Fully aware of my weakness, I resolve this day to think often of heaven, and to be generous in love.

Daily Novena Prayer 

Venerable Bruno Lanteri, I come to you confident in the words of Jesus: Ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7). You said, “It is impossible to hope too much; the one who hopes for everything attains everything.” You taught that the greatest miracles are those that change the heart. Through your intercession, may the good God, whose infinite mercy surpasses all the malice of the world, console my heart and grant my request.

By your prayers keep my poor heart in peace, protect me from discouragement, and help me to serve God with a holy joy. Amen.

O Father, fountain of all life and holiness you gave Father Bruno Lanteri great faith in Christ, your Son, a lively hope, and an active love for the salvation of his brethren. You made him a prophet of your Word and a witness to your Mercy. He had a tender love for Mary and by his very life he taught fidelity to the Church. Father, hear the prayer of your family and, through the intercession of Fr. Lanteri, grant us the grace for which we now ask…. May he be glorified on earth that we may give you greater praise.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For more teachings from Ven. Bruno Lanteri visit
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Begin Again” Discerning Hearts series


ST-John Ep 36 – John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 36 – John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer part 2

The High Priestly Prayer of John 17 is the conclusion of the Farewell Discourse of Jesus.   Sharon begins her lecture with some additional insights on the Trinity, whose image is reflected in the marriage between man and woman and between Christ in both his Church and priesthood.  Because they image God and can bear eternal life, these spiritual marriages are targeted by Satan.  Because of the fall, we lost our immortality, and death entered the world, but through Jesus, death is conquered, and the prospect of eternal life is restored, which John discussed at least 19 times in his gospel.

In Chapter 17, Jesus proclaims that his hour of glory has arrived.  Yet, we also learn that the glory of Jesus was present before the creation of the world.  What is this glory?  John the Evangelist was an eyewitness to the glory of Jesus at the Transfiguration, yet he did not include this story in his Gospel.  Sharon shows how Revelation 11 is perhaps the Evangelist’s Transfiguration account in the symbolic language of the apocalypse.

Two witnesses are mentioned in Revelation 11, but 4 entities are mentioned.  Two olive trees and two lampstands have the power to shut the sky and the power to turn water into blood, which recalls the stories of Elijah (who foretold a drought to King Ahab) and Moses (who turned the waters of the Nile into blood).  Elijah, the Old Testament olive tree, prefigures John the Baptist; Moses, the Old Testament lampstand, prefigures Jesus.   These two witnesses experienced the glory of the Lord in their own lifetimes:  Elijah, in the silence of the cave at Horeb, and Moses, in the flame of the burning bush.  The synoptic gospels have them in glory with Jesus Christ as well.

Sharon goes on to focus on the priesthood.  The Levitical priesthood, born out of violence, was a temporary solution to the permanent problem of sin.  Jesus re-established a new priesthood in the order of Melchizedek.  The priesthood is the first priesthood mentioned by name in the bible in Genesis chapter 14 when Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness, blessed Abram.  The Levitical priests offered yearly sacrifice for the atonement for sin.  Jesus, the eternal high priest and king, offers a once for all, perpetual sacrifice that is continually celebrated at mass on earth and in the heavenly wedding banquet of the New Jerusalem.  After completing the hour of glory of his death and crucifixion, Jesus ascends to the Father and sits down at his right hand, taking his rightful position on the mercy seat of the Trinity.

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

A Novena in Honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri Day 5 – Discerning Hearts podcast


A Novena in honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri, founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary

Day 5 – Honoring God by Joy Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discernment of Spirits 1

“Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent. And yet God has spoken. He has replied, and his answer is the cross of Christ: a word that is love, mercy, forgiveness.”

With spiritual joy, one gives greater honor and glory to God, manifesting with deeds that he thinks well of God and is content in His service and with His treatment. With persistent unhappiness, by contrast, one dishonors God, slights God by one’s deeds and manifests that he thinks poorly of God. …If it is such a horrible thing to demean one’s neighbor, what then will it be to demean God? A sad servant dishonors his master, but a joyful and content servant honors him. For that reason we want to give to others a great idea of God our Father in order to give Him the glory that is His due. We want to serve Him with joy and delight, and not with sadness and against our will. We esteem, we appreciate, we magnify His gifts. We pray by hoping in Him, and we glorify Him again, as a God absolutely good, merciful, generous, and faithful. Let those be sad who serve tyrants, such as the world, the flesh, and the devil.

”Speak about God with all, however, in a way that is worthy of Him. It is in accordance with the counsel of the Holy Spirit: Think of God in a spirit of goodness (Wisdom 1:1).”

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you created me in your plan of love. You created all the things on the face of the earth to help me find true happiness. Fully aware of my weakness, I resolve this day to think of you as you really are: merciful, compassionate, loving, and determined to bring me happiness.

Daily Novena Prayer 

Venerable Bruno Lanteri, I come to you confident in the words of Jesus: Ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7). You said, “It is impossible to hope too much; the one who hopes for everything attains everything.” You taught that the greatest miracles are those that change the heart. Through your intercession, may the good God, whose infinite mercy surpasses all the malice of the world, console my heart and grant my request.

By your prayers keep my poor heart in peace, protect me from discouragement, and help me to serve God with a holy joy. Amen.

O Father, fountain of all life and holiness you gave Father Bruno Lanteri great faith in Christ, your Son, a lively hope, and an active love for the salvation of his brethren. You made him a prophet of your Word and a witness to your Mercy. He had a tender love for Mary and by his very life he taught fidelity to the Church. Father, hear the prayer of your family and, through the intercession of Fr. Lanteri, grant us the grace for which we now ask…. May he be glorified on earth that we may give you greater praise.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For more teachings from Ven. Bruno Lanteri visit
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Begin Again” Discerning Hearts series


SP3 – Leaves Fall But They Do Not Die – In Search of the Still Point with Dr. Regis Martin – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Episode 3 – Leaves fall but they do not die…

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.

.

A Novena in Honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri Day 4 – Mp3 audio and Text


A Novena in honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri, founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary

Day 4 – Strengthening the Reasons to be Joyful Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discernment of Spirits 1

1. Our gratitude requires it. We have an obligation to be thankful for the spiritual goods we possess. How will we ever show enough appreciation for them unless we really enjoy them and celebrate them?
2. Our honor demands it. How can we rejoice and show gratitude [for spiritual goods] if we are sad and melancholy? One would enjoy, most certainly, being favored by a prince, receiving worldly riches and the hope for even more. Do we have any excuse for not enjoying being favored by God, receiving spiritual riches and the well-founded hope of eternal riches yet to come?
3. Sacred Scripture testifies that God’s manifest desire is our joy. Here are some of the Lord’s invitations:
• “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
• “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
• “I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12)
• “Nothing is more delightful than joy of the heart.” (Sirach 30:16)
• “Go, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart, because your works are pleasing to God.” (Ecclesiastes 9:7)
• “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; exult, all you upright of heart.” (Psalm 32:11)”

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you created me in your plan of love. You created all the things on the face of the earth to help me find true happiness. Fully aware of my weakness, I resolve this day to open my heart to your gifts of consolation. Even if I struggle, I will rejoice that you are with me.

Daily Novena Prayer 

Venerable Bruno Lanteri, I come to you confident in the words of Jesus: Ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7). You said, “It is impossible to hope too much; the one who hopes for everything attains everything.” You taught that the greatest miracles are those that change the heart. Through your intercession, may the good God, whose infinite mercy surpasses all the malice of the world, console my heart and grant my request.

By your prayers keep my poor heart in peace, protect me from discouragement, and help me to serve God with a holy joy. Amen.

O Father, fountain of all life and holiness you gave Father Bruno Lanteri great faith in Christ, your Son, a lively hope, and an active love for the salvation of his brethren. You made him a prophet of your Word and a witness to your Mercy. He had a tender love for Mary and by his very life he taught fidelity to the Church. Father, hear the prayer of your family and, through the intercession of Fr. Lanteri, grant us the grace for which we now ask…. May he be glorified on earth that we may give you greater praise.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For more teachings from Ven. Bruno Lanteri visit
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Begin Again” Discerning Hearts series


St. Ignatius of Loyola Novena Day 9 – Discerning Hearts podcast


Day 9

From the writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola:

I recommend that virtue to you which includes all others, and which our Lord so greatly praised by calling it His great commandment: “This is My commandment that you love one another” (John 15:12). You are not only to maintain a union of love among yourselves, but you must extend it to every one and set your hearts on fire with the desire for your neighbor’s salvation, realizing that each soul is the price of our Lord’s life and blood [Ep. 1:507].

Prefer the glory of God above everything else . . . .Let your thoughts, words, and actions be in Him. . .and let God’s commandments take first place over everything else that is good. This is what He desires, and this is what He commands [Ep. 1:72].

Our Father….

With St. Ignatius we pray:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from thee.
From the malignant enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come unto Thee,
That with all Thy saints,
I may praise thee Forever and ever.

Amen.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us

The Good Shepherd & The New Evangelization….In Conversation w/ Fr. Nicholas Cachia – Discerning Hearts Podcasts

Fr. Nicholas Cachia is a truly insightful and gifted spiritual director and theologian.  From the beautiful island of Malta, Fr. Cachia spends a portion of his summer as a faculty member with the Institute for Priestly Formation located at Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska.  This discussion occurred in the summer of 2015.

In this particular conversation we discuss various topics:

    • God’s infinite and unique love for each of us
    • The need for authentic discernment in our daily life
    • One of the  biggest blocks to God’s great love for us…the fear of losing control and surrendering
    • Why the prayer at the end of the day is so important.
    • The risk of loving God and others
    • The need for being open to the Word of God receiving the Word
    • What is  “Lectio Continua”

Then he leads us in a meditation on

The Good Shepherd  –  The great image of Compassion.

The-Good-Sheherd-Statue

This statue of “The Good Shepherd” was chosen by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2012 to represent the image for the New Evangelization

Rev. Dr Nicholas Cachia is Lecturer in Spiritual Theology at the Faculty of Theology since 1996. His areas of interest include the spirituality of the various stages of life as well as the spirituality of the different states in life, particularly that of the diocesan priesthood. After receiving his undergraduate degree (S.Th.B.) and a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology from the Faculty of Theology at Tal-Virtù (1980-1988), he continued his tertiary studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. There he read a Licentiate in Biblical Theology and a Doctorate in Spiritual Theology (1988-1995). His doctoral thesis was published in 1997 in the series Tesi Gregoriana with the title: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10, 11). The Image of the Good Shepherd as a source for the Spirituality of the Ministerial Priesthood.

He is also Spiritual Director at the Major Seminary in Malta (1994-2000; 2003-present). Since 2003, he is president of the Spiritual Formation Commission within the Secretariat for the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Malta.

Previously he presided over the Commission for the Permanent Formation of the Clergy within the same Secretariat (1994-2000). He was also Deputy Chairman (2000-2001) and then Executive Chairman (2001-2003) of the Media Centre and of RTK Radio. During this time he was also member of the Executive Board of the European Catholic Radio Conference (CERC).

Fr Cachia is a member of the Centro di Studi di Mistica Cristiana, Italy and of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (USA). Since 2004 he teaches at the Summer Session of the Seminarians’ programme of the Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska USA.