Episode 2 – Chance or the Dance – Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., Vivian Dudro, and Joseph Pearce FBC Podcast

Thomas Howard tells us why poetry matters—part two of our series on Chance or the Dance?: A Critique of Modern Secularism. This and more in this week’s discussion of Chance or the Dance.



You can find the book here

Contrasting the Christian and secular worldviews, Dr. Thomas Howard refreshes our minds with the illuminated view of Christianity as it imbued the world in times past—showing that we cannot live meaningful lives without this Christian understanding of things. An inspiring apology for Christianity, and a stirring critique of secularism.

Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J.
IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro
Joseph Pearce


ST-John Ep 28- John 13 – Jesus: The Servant of Love part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 28 – John 13 – Jesus:  The Servant of Love part 2

“Chapter 13 of the Gospel of John marks the end of the Book of Signs and the beginning of the Book of Glory.  The hour of glory—the hour of the crucifixion—has started.

Chapters 13-16 are an extended discourse by Jesus, who is preparing his disciples for his exodus, his departure from this world back to his heavenly Father.  The washing of the disciples’ feet is laden with nuptial imagery, a theme that runs throughout the entire Bible.

Beginning with Adam and Eve, the story of salvation is the story of the marriage between God and His people.  God entered into a spiritual marriage with Adam and Eve, but this perfect union was shattered by original sin.  But through our bodily nature, God has given us a glimpse into the image of the trinity.  As John Paul II states in his Theology of the Body, “only the body is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It has been created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the mystery hidden from eternity in God, and thus to be a sign of it.”  The eternal mystery is the union of the three persons of the Trinity. Man’s spiritual union with God, fractured by sin, is restored at the crucifixion, the wedding celebration of Christ and His Church.

Mary is the perfect model of spiritual marriage with Christ.  She and John the Evangelist stayed in communion with Jesus as he hung on the cross.   The message for us is to stay in communion with God and with each other, avoiding the temptation to run away from the messy crosses of our lives.  Over the years, a number of saints have experienced a spiritual marriage with Jesus, and Sharon tells us the story of Catherine of Siena who suffered from the invisible stigmata in her union with Christ.

Turning back to the foot-washing, Sharon shows us the spiritual meaning of this story.  Before a wedding, the bride must be blemish-free, washed free of the stain of sin.  Baptism cleanses us from original sin, while reconciliation removes the filth of all other sin in our lives.  When Jesus washes the feet of the apostles, he is spiritually washing away the guilt of sin, prefiguring the sacrament of reconciliation, “that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:27).”  Stripping down to his linen ephod, Jesus performs the intimate, yet priestly ritual of washing the apostles’ feet, preparing them to enter into the spiritual union of the crucifixion and to become the first priests of a new priesthood of which he is the Eternal High Priest. ”

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

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes Day 5 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


O Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our mother, from the heights of your dignity look down mercifully upon us while we, full of confidence in your unbounded goodness and confident that your Divine Son will look favorably upon any request you make of Him in our behalf, we beseech you to come to our aid and secure for us the favor we seek in this novena.
(make your request)

O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Ep 9 – A Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope w/Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMVA Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Episode 9

In this episode, Fr. Gallagher shares more letters exchanged between Léonie and her sister, Thérèse.

In this episode, Léonie has returned to the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen for a second time, hoping once again to enter fully into religious life.  Her beloved younger sister, Thérèse, who is now a Carmelite sister in Lisieux, sends spiritual words of encouragement during her time there.  Two years pass, and with great sadness, Léonie finds she must leave the Monastery. This marks her third failure to become a religious sister. Her family rally around her, but the question becomes once again, “What will become of poor Léonie?”

Fr. Gallagher says, “Léonie’s life holds a very important story because she was the forgotten one; she was the one who was in the last place; she was the one who was less gifted than the others. Today we would call her a ‘problem child,’ and we’ll see that she certainly was the source of great anxiety to her parents, especially to her mother, Zélie, who loved her dearly.”

As a child, Léonie suffered from severe illnesses and physical maladies that would plague her entire life. She also struggled with understanding social clues and interactions and with behaving appropriately. Conventional educational models of the day failed to meet her particular needs, and she was labeled “developmentally delayed.” Yet those who knew her well described her as having a “heart of gold.”

Who was Léonie and what were her struggles? Why has her cause of canonization begun?  Father Gallagher, along with Kris McGregor,  answers these questions and explains why Léonie is “a bearer of hope” in this landmark series.




St. Thérèse

St. Louis Martin

A resource used for this series

Images in this post of the Martin/Guerin family are used with permission from the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux website for strictly non-commercial use.  We encourage you to visit the website for more information on this remarkable family.

For more series Fr. Timothy Gallagher podcasts, visit here

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.  Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life:  The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”. For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit  his  website:   frtimothygallagher.org

A Short Primer for Unsettled Laymen with Dr. Angela Franks pt. 1 – “Balthasar: Beauty, Goodness, Truth” Podcast

 A Short Primer for Unsettled Laymen with Dr. Angela Franks – pt. 1

With Dr. Angela Franks, we begin our discussion with an understanding of where we are today and why there is a crisis of identity.  She will discuss Balthasar’s emphasis on the importance of thinking with the Church and properly understanding Word, Sacrament, and Authority and his warnings concerning the corrosive effects of the “-isms” of our age.

Balthasar: Beauty, Goodness, Truth is a series of conversations with noted theological scholars about the life and teachings of Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar who is considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and writers of the twentieth century.


Find the paperback book here
Find the e-book here


From the book description:

Hans Urs von Balthasar addresses the critical issues that have been unsettling the Catholic laity since the Second Vatican Council. In a clear and readable manner, he focuses on the core elements of the faith: the Word of God; the life, death, and resurrection of Christ; the sacraments; the structure of the Church; and Mary.

Speaking plainly about the polarization within the Catholic Church, he also discusses the various ideological trends—such as liberalism, progressivism, and traditionalism—that have undermined the confidence and the unity of the faithful

“In this Primer, Balthasar addresses today’s faithful laity who feel that [the] solidity of the Church is shifting beneath their feet. He speaks to those who fear that the Church has done what she ought not to do: that she is in fact relaxing her demands in order to win favor, not from God, but from man. Into this situation Balthasar re-proposes the’form’ of Jesus Christ as revealed in his Church. This form is ‘only the whole’: the whole, concrete reality of Christ, conveyed within Catholic tradition. This form is ‘spun from three strands’ of Word, sacrament, and ecclesial authority. These three provide the Church with the ability to remain on course despite the winds blowing through history.”
— Angela Franks, Ph.D., From the Foreword

For more podcast episodes with Dr. Angela Franks discussing A Short Primer for Unsettled LaymenA Short Primer for Unsettled Laymen Podcasts

For Audio and Text Excerpts from A Short Primer for Unsettled LaymenAudio and Text Excerpts


Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes Day 4 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


O Immaculate Queen of Heaven, we your wayward, erring children, join our unworthy prayers of praise and thanksgiving to those of the angels and saints and your own-the One, Holy, and Undivided Trinity may be glorified in heaven and on earth. Our Lady of Lourdes, as you looked down with love and mercy upon Bernadette as she prayed her rosary in the grotto, look down now, we beseech you, with love and mercy upon us. From the abundance of graces granted you by your Divine Son, sweet Mother of God, give to each of us all that your motherly heart sees we need and at this moment look with special favor on the grace we seek in this novena.

(make your request)

O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

BTP-IC25 – Sixth Mansions Chapter 6 part 2 – The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles Podcast

In this episode, Dr. Lilles discusses the Sixth Mansions Chapter 6 part 2  of the “Interior Castle” which covers:


1. The soul longs for death. 2. The soul cannot help desiring these favours. 3. St. Teresa bewails her inability to serve God. 3. Fervour resulting from ecstasies. 5. Excessive desires to see God should be restrained. 6. They endanger health. 7. Tears often come from Physical causes. 8. St. Teresa’s own experience. 9. Works, not tears, are asked by God. 10. Confide entirely in God. 11. The jubilee of the soul. 12. Impossibility of concealing this joy. 13. The world’s judgment of this jubilee. 14. Which is often felt by the nuns of St. Joseph’s. 15. The Saint’s delight in this jubilee.

For the Discerning Hearts audio recording of the “Interior Castle” by St. Teresa of Avila  you can visit here

St. Teresa of Avila Interior Castle Podcast Anthony Lilles Kris McGregorFor other audio recordings of various spiritual classics you can visit the Discerning Hearts Spiritual Classics page

For other episodes in the series visit
The Discerning Hearts “The Interior Castle with 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 St. Elisabeth of the Trinity.


Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes Day 3 – Discerning Hearts Podcasts

Our-Lady-of-Lourdes-2Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes Day 3

“You are all fair, O Mary, and there is in you no stain of original sin.” O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. O brilliant star of sanctity, as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes you spoke to the child Bernadette and a fountain broke from the plain earth and miracles happened and the great shrine of Lourdes began, so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek.

(make your request)

O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.


BBFA5 – The Renunciation of Satan & the Profession of Faith – Baptism: Born from Above w/ Deacon James Keating

Episode 5 -Baptism: Born from Above– The renunciation of Satan on the part of parents and godparents and their profession of faith…what does this mean?  What are we called actually to do?

Deacon Keating takes a careful look at the Baptismal Rite and offers prayerful reflection and insight to help us live out the faith and nurture the domestic church.

From the Baptismal Rite for Children:

94. The celebrant questions the parents and godparents:

Celebrant: Do you reject Satan?
Parents and Godparents: I do.

Celebrant: And all his works?
Parents and Godparents: I do.

Celebrant: And all his empty promises?
Parents and Godparents: I do

95. Next the celebrant asks for the threefold profession of faith from the parents and godparents:

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth?
Parents and Godparents: I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
who was born of the Virgin Mary,
was crucified, died, and was buried,
rose from the dead,
and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Parents and Godparents: I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting?
Parents and Godparents: I do.

The celebrant and the congregation give their assent to this profession of faith:

This is our faith.
This is the faith of the Church.
We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.

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. 

More episodes of Baptism: Born from Above with Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

Deacon Keating is also the author of:

You can find the book here.
(A great gift for clergy)

From the book description:

Deacon James Keating’s book Abiding in Christ: Staying with God in a Busy World is a 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.

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes Day 2 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Our-Lady-of-Lourdes-1Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest yourself shining with light, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child Saint Bernadette: “I am the Immaculate Conception!” O Mary Immaculate, inflame our hearts with one ray of the burning love of your pure heart Let them be consumed with love for Jesus and for you, in order that we may merit one day to enjoy your glorious eternity. O dispenser of His graces here below, take into your keeping and present to your Divine Son the petition for which we are making this novena.

(make your request)

O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.