BTP-LR20 The “Last Retreat” Day 14 pt. 1 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 14 ” pt 1 – “Be rooted in Jesus Christ.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 14” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

36. “It seems to me that all is loss since I have known the excelling knowledge of my Lord, Jesus Christ. For love of Him I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish that I may gain Christ, so as to be found in Him, not with my own justice but with the justice that comes from God through faith. What I want is to know Him, to share in His sufferings, to become like Him in His death. I pursue my course, striving to attain to what Christ has destined me for by taking hold of me; my whole concern is to forget what is behind and to strain forward constantly to what is ahead; I run straight to the goal . . . , to the prize of the heavenly vocation to which God has called me in Christ Jesus.” 212 The Apostle has often revealed the greatness of this vocation: “God,” he says, “has chosen us in Him before the creation of the world that we might be holy and immaculate in His presence in love. . . . We have been predestined by the decree of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we may be the praise of His glory.” 213

37. But how do we respond to the dignity of this vocation? This is the secret: “Mihi vivere Christus est! . . . Vivo enim, jam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus. . . .” 214 We must be transformed into Jesus Christ; again it is St. Paul who teaches me this: “Those whom God has foreknown, He has predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” 215 It is important then that I study this divine Model so as to identify myself so closely with Him that I may unceasingly reveal Him to the eyes of the Father. First of all, what did He say when He came into the world? “Here I am, O God, I come to do your will.” 216 I think that this prayer should be like the bride’s heartbeat: 217 “Here we are, O Father, we come to do your will!”Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

We would like to offer heartfelt thanks to
Miriam Gutierrez for providing for us “the voice” of Blessed Elizabeth for this series

For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity. After graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville, he completed licentiate and doctoral studies in spiritual theology at the Angelicum in Rome. In 2012, he published Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: a theological contemplation of prayer by Discerning Hearts. Married with two young adult children pursuing their careers and a teenager still at home, he has settled in family in Oxnard, California.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR21 The “Last Retreat” Day 14 pt. 2 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 14 ” pt 2 – “My food…is to do the will of Him who sent Me.”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 14” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

38. The Master was truth itself in this first oblation! His life was as it were but the consequence of it! “My food,” He liked to say, “is to do the will of Him who sent Me.” 218 It should also be that of the bride, and at the same time the sword that immolates her. . . . “If it is possible, let this cup pass me by, yet not as I will but as You will.” 219 And then she will joyfully go in peace to every sacrifice with her Master, rejoicing to “have been known” by the Father since He crucifies her with His Son. “Your decrees are my inheritance forever; they are the joy of my heart”: 220 my Master sang this in His soul, and it should echo resoundingly in that of the bride! It is by her constant fidelity to these “decrees,” whether exterior or interior, that she will “bear witness to the truth” 221 and will be able to say “He who sent me has not left me alone. He is always with me because I do always the things that are pleasing to Him.” 222 And by never leaving Him, by remaining in closest contact with Him, she will radiate “this secret power” 223 which saves and delivers souls. Stripped and set free of self and all else, she can follow the Master to the mountain224 to pray there with Him in her soul, “a prayer of God.” 225 Then, still through the divine Adorer, He who is the great praise of glory to the Father, she will “ceaselessly offer a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips praising His name” 226 (St. Paul). And, as the psalmist sings, she will praise Him “in the expansion of His power, and for the immensity of His grandeur.” 227 we could find no other way to express the force of the text” (p. 205).

39. Then, when her hour of humiliation, of annihilation comes, she will recall this little phrase, “Jesus autem tacebat”; 228 and she will be silent, “keeping all her strength for the Lord”; 229 this strength which “we draw from silence.” 230 And when the hour of abandonment, of desertion, and of anguish comes, the hour that drew from Christ this loud cry, “Why have You abandoned Me?” 231, she will recall this prayer: “that they may have in themselves the fullness of My joy”; 232 and drinking to the dregs “the cup prepared by the Father,” 233 she will find a divine sweetness in its bitterness. Finally, after having said so often “I am thirsty,” 234 thirsty to possess You in glory, she will sing: “Everything is consummated; into Your hands I commend my spirit.” 235 And the Father will come for her to “bring her into His inheritance,” 236 where in “the light she will see light.” 237 “Know that the Lord has marvelously glorified His Holy One,” David sang. 238 Yes, the Holy One of God will have been glorified in this soul, for He will have destroyed everything there to “clothe it with Himself,” 239 and it will have lived in reality the words of the Precursor: “He must increase and I must decrease.” 240

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

We would like to offer heartfelt thanks to
Miriam Gutierrez for providing for us “the voice” of Blessed Elizabeth for this series

For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity. After graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville, he completed licentiate and doctoral studies in spiritual theology at the Angelicum in Rome. In 2012, he published Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: a theological contemplation of prayer by Discerning Hearts. Married with two young adult children pursuing their careers and a teenager still at home, he has settled in family in Oxnard, California.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR22 The “Last Retreat” Day 15 pt. 1 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 15 ” pt 1 -“The Virgin kept all these things in her heart”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 15” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

40. After Jesus Christ, doubtless at the distance that there is between the Infinite and the finite, there is one who was also the great praise of glory of the Holy Trinity. She responded fully to the divine election of which the Apostle speaks: she was always “pure, immaculate, and without reproach” 241 in the eyes of the thrice-holy God. Her soul is so simple. Its movements are so profound that they cannot be detected. She seems to reproduce on earth the life which is that of the divine Being, the simple Being. And she is so transparent, so luminous that one would mistake her for the light, yet she is but the “mirror” of the Sun of Justice: “Speculum justitiae!” 242

“The Virgin kept all these things in her heart”: 243 her whole history can be summed up in these few words! It was within her heart that she lived, and at such a depth that no human eye can follow her. When I read in the Gospel “that Mary went in haste to the hill country of Judea” 244 to perform her loving service for her cousin Elizabeth, I imagine her passing by so beautiful, so calm and so majestic, so absorbed in recollection of the Word of God within her. Like Him, her prayer was always this: “Ecce, here I am!” Who? “The servant of the Lord,” 245 the lowliest of His creatures: she, His Mother! Her humility was so real for she was always forgetful, unaware, freed from self. And she could sing: “The Almighty has done great things for me, henceforth all peoples will call me blessed.” 246

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

We would like to offer heartfelt thanks to
Miriam Gutierrez for providing for us “the voice” of Blessed Elizabeth for this series

For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity. After graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville, he completed licentiate and doctoral studies in spiritual theology at the Angelicum in Rome. In 2012, he published Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: a theological contemplation of prayer by Discerning Hearts. Married with two young adult children pursuing their careers and a teenager still at home, he has settled in family in Oxnard, California.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR23 The “Last Retreat” Day 15 pt. 2 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 15 ” pt 2 -“This Queen of virgins is also Queen of martyrs”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 15” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

41. This Queen of virgins is also Queen of martyrs; but again it was in her heart that the sword pierced, 247 for with her everything took place within! . . . Oh! How beautiful she is to contemplate during her long martyrdom, so serene, enveloped in a kind of majesty that radiates both strength and gentleness. . . . She learned from the Word Himself how those must suffer whom the Father has chosen as victims, those whom He has decided to associate with Himself in the great work of redemption, those whom He “has foreknown and predestined to be conformed to His Christ,” 248 crucified by love.

She is there at the foot of the Cross, standing, full of strength and courage, and here my Master says to me: “Ecce Mater tua.” 249 He gives her to me for my Mother. . . . And now that He has returned to the Father and has substituted me for Himself on the Cross so that “I may suffer in my body what is lacking in His passion for the sake of His body, which is the Church,” 250 the Blessed Virgin is again there to teach me to suffer as He did, to tell me, to make me hear those last songs of His soul which no one else but she, His Mother, could overhear.

When I shall have said my “consummatum est,” 251 it is again she, “Janua coeli,” 252 who will lead me into the heavenly courts, whispering to me these mysterious words: “Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi; in domun Domini ibimus!” 253

Complete-WorksThis the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

We would like to offer heartfelt thanks to
Miriam Gutierrez for providing for us “the voice” of Blessed Elizabeth for this series

For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity. After graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville, he completed licentiate and doctoral studies in spiritual theology at the Angelicum in Rome. In 2012, he published Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: a theological contemplation of prayer by Discerning Hearts. Married with two young adult children pursuing their careers and a teenager still at home, he has settled in family in Oxnard, California.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

BTP-LR24 The “Last Retreat” Day 16 – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Beginning to Pray: “The Last Retreat – Day 16 ” pt 1 -“ My soul thirsts for the living God! ”Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

From “Last Retreat Day 16” found in The Complete Works vol 1:

42. “As the thirsty doe longs for the springs of fresh water, so my soul longs for You, O God! My soul thirsts for the living God! When will I appear before His face? . . .” 254

And yet, as “the sparrow has found a home,” and “the turtledove a nest in which she may lay her young,” 255 so Laudem Gloriae has found while waiting to be brought to the holy Jerusalem, “beata pacis visio” 256— her retreat, her beatitude, her anticipated Heaven in which she begins her life of eternity. “In God my soul is silent; my deliverance comes from Him. Yes, He is the rock in which I find salvation, my stronghold, I shall not be disturbed!” 257 This is the mystery my lyre sings of today! My Master has said to me as to Zacchaeus: “Hurry and come down, for I must stay in your house today. . . .” 258 Hurry and come down, but where? Into the innermost depths of my being: after having forsaken self, withdrawn from self been stripped of self in a word, without self.

Blessed-Elizabeth-4

Complete-Works

This the text we are using to discuss “Heaven in Faith” you can find it here and order from the Carmelite Sisters

We would like to offer heartfelt thanks to
Miriam Gutierrez for providing for us “the voice” of Blessed Elizabeth for this series

For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity. After graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville, he completed licentiate and doctoral studies in spiritual theology at the Angelicum in Rome. In 2012, he published Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: a theological contemplation of prayer by Discerning Hearts. Married with two young adult children pursuing their careers and a teenager still at home, he has settled in family in Oxnard, California.Hidden-Mountain-cover-195x300

IP#225 Al Kresta – Dangers to the Faith on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor part 1

With a pastor’s heart and eagle-eye accuracy,  the gifted Al Kresta addresses “Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Al-Kresta-257x300Catholicism’s 21st Century Opponents” in his newest book published by Our Sunday Visitor.     The secular world has presented many twisted versions of the “Truth” over the years: from New Age thought to Isalm,  Scientism to Consumerism, Oprah and Shirley to Bart Erhman and Carl Sagan.  Al Kresta challenges the “opponents” of faith with Christ-like love and wisdom.  In the process, he teaches us all how to evangelize as a true disciple of Christ.  A must have work for all those who may have a seeking heart and a desire to grow in their faith and to share it with family, friends and all they may encounter. One of the best books offered in this Year of Faith….a modern classic that should be in every Catholic home!

Here is part 1 of our discussion.

Dangers-to-the-FaithYou can find the book here

Be sure to listen to “Kresta in the Afternoon” on the Ave Maria Radio Network

From the description:

Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st Century Opponents is the perfect springboard for discussing the new world in which the Catholic Church exists today. Learn how to better carry out the missionary mandate of the Church. The question isn’t whether you will be a witness to Christ, but whether you will be a faithful witness.

St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 3


Day 3

The Eternal Father speaks to Catherine:St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

Dearest daughter, contemplate the marvelous state of the soul who receives this bread of life, this food of angels, as she ought. When she receives this sacrament she lives in me and I in her. Just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish, so am I in the soul and the soul in me, the sea of peace. Grace lives in such a soul because, having received this bread of life in grace, she lives in grace.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

For the complete novena visit the St. Catherine of Siena Novena Page

St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 2

St.-Catherine-of-Siena-4
Day 2

The Eternal Father speaks to Catherine:

My Truth invited you to call out thus when He said: “Call and you will be answered; knock and it shall be opened to you; ask and it shall be given to you.” So I am telling you what I want you to do. Never relax your desire to ask for My help. Never lower you voice in crying out to Me to be merciful to the world. Never stop knocking at the door of my Truth by following in His footsteps. Find your delight with Him on the cross by feeding on souls for the glory and praise of My Name.

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

(First paragraph excerpt taken from  Dialogue of St Catherine,(Chapter 107), Translated by Suzanne Noffke, Classics of Western Spirituality Series.)

For the complete novena visit the St. Catherine of Siena Novena Page

St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 1


Day 1St. Catherine of Siena Novena Day 1

From a letter to Frate Giusto di Giovanni da Volterra:

“He gave His blood out of love and it is with this love that He asks us for a drink. I mean that Jesus, who loves, is asking to be loved and served. It is only right that the one who loves ought to be loved. This is how we give our Creator a drink: when we give Him love for love. But we cannot give it to Him through any service we can render Him; no we must give it to Him in the person of our neighbor.”

Heavenly Father, your glory is in your saints. We praise your glory in the life of the admirable St. Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church. Her whole life was a noble sacrifice inspired by an ardent love of Jesus, your unblemished Lamb. In troubled times she strenuously upheld the rights of His beloved spouse, The Church. Father, honor her merits and hear her prayers for each of us. Help us to pass unscathed through the corruption of this world, and to remain unshakably faithful to the church in word, deed, and example. Help us always to see in the Vicar of Christ an anchor in the storms of life, and a beacon of light to the harbor of your Love, in this dark night of your times and men’s souls. Grant also to each of us our special petition . . . (pause to pray for your own intentions). We ask this through Jesus, your Son, in the bond of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. Catherine of Siena, Pray for us.

(First paragraph excerpt taken from Letter 8 in Letters of St Catherine of Siena, Volume II translated by Suzanne Noffke OP,- published by Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies,2001)

For the complete novena visit the St. Catherine of Siena Novena Page

RN-6 – Value # 4 – Truth, Freedom, Justice, and Love part 3 – Regnum Novum w/ Omar Gutierrez podcast

 Truth, Freedom, Justice, and Love part 3 “Love”

These are the four values of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church as they’re enumerated in the Compendium and as they were laid out by, again, St. Pope John XXIII in Mater et Magistra and Pacem in Terris. Without these values, the work of social justice becomes an albatross around our necks. It pulls us down, threatening to poison all the work we do, no matter how well intentioned.

We are seeking to build a civilization of love. Love is an encounter with God. Love begets love, and the experience of love can heal many more wounds than can socio-economic trivialities.

(Truth, Freedom and Justice are covered in other episodes)

True social justice requires that we drop these paradigms of opposition: management vs. labor; bourgeois vs. proletariat; state vs. individual. We own the great Catholic both/and. It applies to the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church more than ever.
Urging of Christ's LoveOmar F. A. Guiterrez, M.A. , Special Assistant to Archbishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha. He’s also the author of “The Urging of Christ’s Love: The Saints and The Social Teaching of the Catholic”