In Conversation with Dr. Anthony Lilles – The Spiritual Impact of Pope Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger)
In this special In Conversation podcast, Dr. Anthony Lilles and Kris McGregor discuss the life of Joseph Ratzinger and the impact he has had on the spiritual life and growth of the church, especially in some of its darkest moments. Anthony also shares a personal anecdote about a time he met then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in Rome.
Here a the books that were referenced in the conversation with Dr. Lilles:
In Conversation with Fr. Vincent Twomey – The Heart of Pope Benedict XVI’s Spiritual Legacy (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger)
In this special In Conversation podcast, Fr. Vincent Twomey and Kris McGregor discuss the life of Joseph Ratzinger as priest and professor before becoming a bishop, cardinal, and eventually Pope. Fr. Twomey, a one-time student of Pope Benedict and life-long friend, reflects on his spirituality and contribution to theology.
During the conversation, Fr. Twomey mentions several books that he feels are important for those seeking a greater experience of Pope Benedict’s writings.
Here a the books that were referenced in the conversation with Fr. Twomey:
In Conversation with Fr. Joseph Fessio – The Spiritual Legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger)
In this special In Conversation podcast, Fr. Joseph Fessio and Kris McGregor discuss the profound spiritual legacy of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) and the long-lasting impact he will have upon the Church and the world. Fr. Fessio also shares several stories from their time together over the years.
During the conversation, Fr. Fessio mentions several books that he feels are important for those seeking a greater experience of Pope Benedict’s writings.
Here a the books that were referenced in the conversation with Fr. Fessio:
In Conversation with Dr. Larry Chapp – The Life and Legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger)
In this special In Conversation podcast, Dr. Larry Chapp and Kris McGregor have an in-depth conversation about the life and legacy of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) and the long-lasting spiritual impact he will have upon the world.
Remember the encouragement of Pope Benedict when he said, “Do not be afraid to cast out into the digital sea” Kris and Dr. Chapp reflect on how Benedict’s words have inspired and influenced their respective ministries within the digital landscape and the challenges now faced by Christians within it.
A personal reflection on St. Clare by Kris McGregor:
In 2007, I had a chance to visit Assisi…I just wanted to be near St. Clare. I didn’t plan it, but my hotel ended up being right across the street from St. Clare’s Basilica (it seems wrong to call it a street, its width is so small). Early one morning, I got up and began walking outside of the Basilica. No one else was out; all the shops closed, and the sun was just coming up. On a whim, I thought I would see if the church’s doors were open (thinking to myself, of course, they wouldn’t be), but to my surprise, they were, so I entered. No one was around. I saw steps leading down to a lower level. I stepped over the rope blocking the entrance (boorish American that I am) and walked down. The path led down to an area with a display of relics, clothing, and other items (I assumed they were Clare’s), and then I turned and saw something incredible…the crypt of St. Clare. I quietly walked over to the enclosure grates. I knelt and unexpectedly started to weep…I just couldn’t help it. It was so quiet and peaceful; it was such a gift. I brought to St. Clare all the petitions I held deeply in my heart. And when that was done, silence once more filled the space. After about 10 minutes, I could hear the sound of the Poor Clare Sisters in the distance chanting their morning office. I knelt at that spot and listened with St. Clare. After about 30 minutes, I praised God for this special moment and left the basilica. St. Clare has been with me in a special way ever since a friendship I continue to cherish. Dear St. Clare, pray for us.
With Dr. Larry Chapp, we take a closer look at the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, more commonly known as Gaudium et Spes (“Joy and Hope”) one of the four constitutions resulting from the Second Vatican Council in 1964.
22. The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come,(20) namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. It is not surprising, then, that in Him all the aforementioned truths find their root and attain their crown.
He Who is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15),(21) is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled,(22) by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice(23) and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.(24)
As an innocent lamb He merited for us life by the free shedding of His own blood. In Him God reconciled us(25) to Himself and among ourselves; from bondage to the devil and sin He delivered us, so that each one of us can say with the Apostle: The Son of God “loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20). By suffering for us He not only provided us with an example for our imitation,(26) He blazed a trail, and if we follow it, life and death are made holy and take on a new meaning.
The Christian man, conformed to the likeness of that Son Who is the firstborn of many brothers,(27) received “the first-fruits of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:23) by which he becomes capable of discharging the new law of love.(28) Through this Spirit, who is “the pledge of our inheritance” (Eph. 1:14), the whole man is renewed from within, even to the achievement of “the redemption of the body” (Rom. 8:23): “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the death dwells in you, then he who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also bring to life your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).(29) Pressing upon the Christian to be sure, are the need and the duty to battle against evil through manifold tribulations and even to suffer death. But, linked with the paschal mystery and patterned on the dying Christ, he will hasten forward to resurrection in the strength which comes from hope.(30)
All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way.(31) For, since Christ died for all men,(32) and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery.
Such is the mystery of man, and it is a great one, as seen by believers in the light of Christian revelation. Through Christ and in Christ, the riddles of sorrow and death grow meaningful. Apart from His Gospel, they overwhelm us. Christ has risen, destroying death by His death; He has lavished life upon us(33) so that, as sons in the Son, we can cry out in the Spirit; Abba, Father(34)
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.
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.
One of the best interviews Bruce and I ever had discussing the many aspects of the Holy Saturday experience. Dr. Regis Martin is a professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and the author of several books on spirituality and theology.
Making sense of human suffering is a challenge in every age, and many a person confronted with man’s inhumanity to his fellow man has lost his faith in a good God. The Holocaust, in particular, because of the scope of its ruthlessness, has raised the question for modern man: “What kind of God allows the horrible and systematic murder of so many innocent people?”
Quoting widely from Christian, Jewish and secular sources, Regis Martin makes an unflinching examination of this universal question on the meaning of suffering. By meditating on Christ’s passion, death and descent into Hell, he asks us to consider anew the God who overcomes evil by plunging himself into the depths of human misery.
“Walk Humbly Before Your God: Simple Steps to a Virtuous Life” is an all-time favorite. Fr. Andrew Apostoli, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and a frequent host on the Eternal Word Television Network, had a beautiful way of shining new light on fundamental truths. He graciously took time to teach us about the nature of prayer, how it develops in our lives and how we can nurture it. He spoke of Jesus and several aspects of his prayer: praise, thanksgiving, intercession, and how it aids in our suffering. Our traditional vocal prayers, as well as the depths of contemplation, were also discussed including how do we deal with distractions, Fr. Apostoli, a humble, holy priest, was a master spiritual catechist! He died on December 13, 2017, the morning after the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Contained in this 50-minute discussion, you’ll find guidance that can last a lifetime.
Christians, if they are to have any impact in today s world, have something of the same code: we fight the good fight, side by side, ready to lay down our lives for one another. Such heroism doesn t come naturally. As Walk Humbly With Your God points out, it is in the day-to-day training, in taking the simple steps to holiness, that heroism becomes second nature.
Fr. Apostoli provides an inspirational guide to conquering our faults, growing in prayer and acquiring the virtues that enable us to walk with God and live for others.
Bruce and I were deeply blessed to have a conversation with the late Fr. Benedict Groeschel on “The Virtue Driven Life“. Engaging, humble, funny, and saintly, Fr. Groeschel has left us such a tremendous legacy of teaching on the spiritual life! In this conversation, we discuss the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity; as well as the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. Fr. Groeschel, always practical, shares the wisdom of a spiritual father which illuminates more clearly the travails of the spiritual journey. How blessed were we to have such a spiritual master in our midst!
May eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May Fr. Benedict Groeschel, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen!
It’s a word that has gotten a bad rap, misused and misunderstood even by great thinkers, philosophers, and theologians, and mocked in the cynical sound bites of the media.
Rediscover virtue as it should be understood in our lives. With wit, warmth, and wisdom, Father Groeschel reintroduces the seven virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, faith, hope, and charity. One by one he makes them meaningful for modern men and women, shaking off the dusty mantle of pretentiousness and demonstrating how each has a real role in a whole and holy life.
Father Groeschel’s charming conversational style entertains even as he educates and challenges us. History, politics, an advertisement, the neighbor down the street … all are reference points for Father Groeschel as he explores the meaning of each virtue for Christians today. By the end of the book, you will understand that being labeled virtuous is the ultimate compliment!