IP#347 Dr. Peter Kreeft on Symbol or Substance: A Dialogue on the Eucharist on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

Peter Kreeft
What an extraordinary conversation we are allowed to experience! Because of the pious imagination of master philosopher/apologist Dr. Peter Kreeft, we get to eavesdrop as three Christian spiritual masters ponder together the mysteries of the Christian faith. Anyone who picks up a copy of “Symbol or Substance: A Dialogue on the Eucharist with C. S. Lewis, Billy Graham and J. R. R. Tolkien” will indeed be in the “presence” of faith-filled transcendence.

You can find the book here

“We’ve all wished that we could be the proverbial fly on the wall. Peter Kreeft makes it possible in this wonderful book, which allows us to listen to an imaginary conversation between C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Billy Graham on the thorny topic of the Eucharist. Their imaginary presence enlightens our minds on the Real Presence.”
— Joseph Pearce, Author, Catholic Literary Giants

“For one riveting evening we are invited to eavesdrop on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Billy Graham. Rarely have I learned so much while being so entertained. Perhaps this book’s greatest achievements lie in Kreeft’s tender analysis of what unites the different churches, his gift of charitable listening, and his singular ability to illuminate.”
— Sally Read, Author, Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story

 

Christian Meditation with Dr. Anthony Lilles pt. 1 – “Balthasar: Beauty, Goodness, Truth” Podcast

An Introduction to the Christian Meditation and the first section entitled  “The Mediating Word”

With Dr. Anthony Lilles, we discuss the first section of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Christian Mediation.

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:

While von Balthasar’s classic Prayer is unparalleled in its development of the Trinitarian, Christological, Mariological and ecclesiological dimensions of prayer, Christian Meditation is a short, readable and eminently practical guide to that form of prayer which God’s revelation in Jesus Christ has made indispensable: meditation on the word of God revealing the inner depths of God to man and–since it comes from God made man–the inner depths of man to himself.

In a treatment that is both fresh and profound, Balthasar describes the central elements of all Christian meditation, provides a guide for making the meditation and then points the way to the union that prayer achieves in the footsteps of Mary, within the Church and in and for the world.

“Consequently, Christian meditation is entirely trinitarian and at the same time entirely human. In order to find God, no one need reject being human personally or socially, but in order to find God all must see the world and themselves in the Holy Spirit as they are in God’s sight.”
– Hans Urs von Balthasar


For more podcast episodes with Dr. Anthony Lilles discussing Christian MeditationChristian Meditation Podcasts


For Audio and Text Excerpts from Christian MeditationAudio and Text Excerpts


 

IP#305 Dr. Peter Kreeft – I Burned for Your Peace on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Peter Kreeft
These are indeed good days for book lovers because we are so blessed to have yet another Christian spiritual classic broken open for us by Dr. Peter Kreeft!  In “I Burned for Your Peace: Augustine’s Confessions Unpacked“, Dr. Kreeft gives us a  guided tour through one of the finest works in all Western literature.  In our conversation, we discuss how St. Augustine, in many ways, is the everyman and why is life is so important for us today. Written in a personal dialogue with God, the saint’s “Confessions” is more than an autobiography or a book of theology, it is, in the end, a living prayer.   It is one man’s compelling witness that is, as  Dr. Kreeft will say, astonishingly contemporary.  St. Augustine looks at himself, so honestly, we can’t help but see ourselves in the reflection.  “I Burned for Your Peace” is the must have book to accompany you on this spiritual journey, especially if your heart is a restless one.  So plan your pilgrimage now!  Get the Frank Sheed translation of the “Confessions” as mentioned by Dr. Kreeft in our conversation and grab this book today

I_Burned_for_Your_Peace.inddYou can find the book here

“Two teachers we all know and trust enter into a dialogue to bring forth a Confessions for our day.”
— Fr. David Meconi, S.J., Editor, The Confessions of St. Augustine

“Kreeft is always brilliant, and in this book he is even more astonishing than ever. If I were allowed only one book on the Confessions, this would be it.”
Joseph Pearce, Author, Catholic Literary Giants

“Kreeft illustrates the truth of Augustine’s comment that God is more intimate to us than we are even to ourselves. Only when we realize that we are loved into being by the Triune God, will we experience the profound peace that sustains the pilgrimage to eternal life.”
Fr. Matthew Lamb, Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University

 

IP#365 – Michael O’Brien – The Art of Michael D. O’Brien on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

What a delight to talk once again with Michael O’Brien.  His prolific novels have become modern-day classics in Catholic literature.  In this episode, we discuss the transcendent nature of beauty and prayer as experienced in The Art of Michael D. O’Brien, published by Ignatius Press. During our conversation, he also reflects on the exceptional challenges we now face throughout the world.  We absolutely love his work and could not recommend it more highly.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

In this book, Michael O’Brien presents many of his stunning works of art. His vibrancy, originality, and variety are on display in more than 120 full-page, full-color reproductions of his paintings and Byzantine-style icons. Also included are some of his drawings and other works in black and white. O’Brien’s pieces are introduced by Dr. Clemens Cavallin of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, who analyses the artist’s influences, principles, and unique style. In O’Brien’s preface, he explains his development as a visual artist and his philosophy of sacred art.

 

“Freed from stylistic and formal fads, Michael O’Brien’s images arrest viewers in the here and now before propelling them into the depths of spirituality. His story recalls that of Fra Angelico—living Truth while painting Truth.”
Elizabeth Lev, Art Historian and Author, How Catholic Art Saved the Faith

“O’Brien’s time spent as a writer of Byzantine icons has influenced all his work: these pieces are indeed ‘windows to heaven’.”
Sally Read, Poet and Author, Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story

“Those of us who know Michael O’Brien’s fiction will delight in this volume of his art. His work is quintessentially personal, in the sense that it incarnates the extraordinary vision of this marvelous man.”
Joseph Pearce, Author, Literature: What Every Catholic Should Know

IP#136 Vivian Dudro – Gertrude von le Forte’s “The Song at the Scaffold” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro

“The Song at the Scaffold” by Gertrude von le Forte’s is one of the finest novellas ever written!   Vivian Dudro, writer and editor at Ignatius Press engages in a wonderful conversation about the work of German author Gertrude von le Forte who was a writer of novels, poems, and essays.  A convert to Catholicism in 1926, most of von le Forte’s work came after her conversion. In 1952 she won the Gottfried-Keller Prize, an esteemed Swiss literary award.

Set during the French Revolution, this classic novella is based on the true story of the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne, who offered their lives for the preservation of the Church in France. The Song at the Scaffold was the original inspiration for the opera Dialogues of the Carmelites written by Francis Poulenc, which premiered in 1957. The opera was based on a libretto with this same title written by Georges Bernanos.

Gertrude von le Forte
Gertrude von le Forte

As Vivian points out in our discussion, von le Forte’s work is as relevant today as it was in the last century. In the course of our conversation, we discuss the influence of the Carmelite tradition and it’s influence on Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) and Bl. John Paul II, as well the role of redemptive suffering in the life of the Christian.

A novella in it’s truest sense, this book contains as much meaning as any tome made up 10x the pages.  A NOT TO BE MISSED READ.

You can find it at Ignatius.com

One of the great Christian classics of all time. —Michael O’Brien, Author, Father Elijah

A poignant reminder that, for the Christian, fearlessness lies on the far side of Gethsemane and the Cross. —George Weigel, Author, Witness to Hope

IP#364 Fr. John Bartunek – The Better Part: The Gospels pt. 2 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

 With Fr. John Bartunek, we continue with part 2 of our discussion on “The Better Part: The Gospels.” During our conversation, we discuss the importance of prayer and the scriptures, the nature of spiritual direction, and how we can develop our friendship with Christ.  It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Bartunek.  We couldn’t recommend this 4-volume set more highly.

You can find the set here

From the book description

Every saint and renowned spiritual director through the ages has said the same thing: if we desire to become saints, we must spend time daily in meditation. With this set, Fr. John Bartunek has created an extensive, Christ-centered resource to serve as your daily meditation companion. The Better Part offers a practical explanation of Christian meditation, as well as material to draw from during your meditations, including a Bible study on the Gospels, a survey of saints writings, and a handy guide to prayer.

As you learn to read, meditate upon, absorb, and apply the Gospels to your life, you’ll also find ways to personalize your times of prayer, allowing you to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead along the path of holiness. Open these pages to discover the methods of meditation that best suit you, develop your friendship with Christ, and experience the true Christian joy of a deep, fruitful life of prayer.

 

IP#363 Fr. John Bartunek – The Better Part: The Gospels pt. 1 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

 With Fr. John Bartunek, we begin part 1 of our discussion on “The Better Part: The Gospels.” During our conversation, we discuss the importance of prayer and the scriptures, the nature of spiritual direction, and how we can develop our friendship with Christ.  It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Bartunek.  We couldn’t recommend this 4-volume set more highly.

You can find the set here

From the book description

Every saint and renowned spiritual director through the ages has said the same thing: if we desire to become saints, we must spend time daily in meditation. With this set, Fr. John Bartunek has created an extensive, Christ-centered resource to serve as your daily meditation companion. The Better Part offers a practical explanation of Christian meditation, as well as material to draw from during your meditations, including a Bible study on the Gospels, a survey of saints writings, and a handy guide to prayer.

As you learn to read, meditate upon, absorb, and apply the Gospels to your life, you’ll also find ways to personalize your times of prayer, allowing you to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead along the path of holiness. Open these pages to discover the methods of meditation that best suit you, develop your friendship with Christ, and experience the true Christian joy of a deep, fruitful life of prayer.

 

IP#362 Scott Weeman – The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

  The wisdom that comes from experience is a gift that is meant to be shared, especially in times of challenge and heightened anxiety. In “The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments: A Catholic Journey of Recovery,” Scott Weeman shares his recovery journey and offers a hand up to many today who find themselves in a time of darkness and struggle, especially during the circumstances arising from the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Catholic in Recovery is a nonprofit organization founded by Scott Weeman that seeks to serve those suffering from addictions and unhealthy attachments (including alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography addiction, sex and relationship addiction, compulsive overeating and food addictions, gambling addiction, codependency and the impact on family, and general fear, control, and anxiety).  To learn visit: www.catholicinrecovery.com

You can find the book here

From the book description:

In The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments, Weeman candidly tackles the struggle he and other addicts have with getting to know intimately the unnamed Higher Power of recovery. He shares stories of his compulsion to find a personal relationship with God and how his tentative steps back to the Catholic Church opened new doors of healing and brought him surprising joy as he came to know Christ in the sacraments.

Catholics in recovery and those moving toward it, as well as the people who love them will recognize Weeman’s story and his spiritual struggle to personally encounter God. He tells us how:
Baptism helps you admit powerlessness over an unmanageable problem, face your desperate need for God, and choose to believe in and submit to God’s mercy.
Reconciliation affirms and strengthens the hard work of examining your life, admitting wrongs, and making amends.
The Eucharist provides ongoing sustenance and draws you to the healing power of Christ.
The graces of Confirmation strengthen each person to keep moving forward and to share the good news of recovery and new life in Christ.
Weeman’s words are boldly challenging and brimming with compassion and through them you will discover inspiration, hope, sage advice, and refreshingly practical help.

IP#177 Dr. Matthew Bunson – St. Kateri on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

With Dr. Matthew Bunson, we discuss his book “St. Kateri: Lily of the Mohawks”.  The humble daughter of a Mohawk chief and a Roman Catholic mother, Kateri (named after St. Catherine of Siena) Tekakwitha lived a short life (she died at the age of 24). She was a powerful witness to her Christian faith, so much so, that even the famed “black robe” Jesuit missionaries were awed  “by her perfection of the virtues, her mystical prayer life, and her total love for Christ.”  Her last words were: “Jesus, I love you.”  No one tells a story like Dr. Bunson, and he doesn’t fail to captivate this time when describing the life of this remarkably holy woman.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

This authoritative account of the first Native American woman to be declared a saint by the Church is sure to inspire you. Discover an extraordinary young woman who was called by Pope Blessed John Paul II, God’s “bountiful gift” to His Church and a “sweet, frail yet strong figure of a young woman who died when she was only twenty-four years old: Kateri Tekakwitha, the ‘Lily of the Mohawks.'”

Kateri was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980 and canonized in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Kateri Tekakwitha’s faith and love for Christ in the face of overwhelming hostility and her own debilitating illnesses will encourage you as you seek God’s grace to overcome challenges in your own life! She is a powerful role model for converts to the Church, young people striving for chastity, and anyone looking to deepen their own prayer life. She is also a shining example that God’s call to holiness is truly universal and is heard by men and women in all walks of life and all ages.

Written by experienced and prolific authors Matthew and Margaret Bunson, St. Kateri: Lily of the Mohawks is the most definitive biography of Kateri Tekakwitha.

Experience the extraordinary stories of the French Jesuit missionaries, the famed Blackrobes,” in the wilderness of North America and the heroic conversions of the Native Americans to the Catholic faith. Follow Kateri’s life from when she contracted smallpox as a toddler – a disease that swept through her village – claiming her family and leaving her severely disfigured and half-blinded. Drawn to the Catholic faith by the Bible stories and teachings of the French Jesuits, Kateri amazed them by her perfection of the virtues, her mystical prayer life, and her total love for Christ.

Kateri Tekakwitha’s life of faith is an inspiration to everyone!

 

 

IP#272 Dr. Vincent Ryan – Sven Stolpe’s “The Maid of Orleans” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Dr. Vincent Ryan joins us to discuss Sven Stolpe’s “The Maid of Orleans: The Life and Mysticism of Joan of Arc”.

There have been many books written about this fascinating French saint, but this one is a standout because it’s author sees Joan of Arc as primarily a mystic.  By making this shift, from the nationalistic accomplishments of Joan the leader to Joan the woman steeped in prayer and called to respond, Stolpe provides a refreshing understanding of her motivation and legacy. Dr. Ryan, assistant professor of history at Aquinas College, Nashville, TN, who wrote the introduction to this Ignatius Press release,  provides wonderful insights that help readers better appreciate the book as well as Joan of Arc the mystical saint.  Marvelous.


You can find the book here

“There have been many books about Joan of Arc, but none surpass this study by a Swedish biographer in its recreation of Joan’s milieu, the vividness of its narrative, and its sensitive understanding of the mystery of her life and death.” —James Hitchcock, Ph. D., Author, History of the Catholic Church

“As an actress who portrayed Joan of Arc on stage, this beautiful work by Sven Stolpe made her come alive again, but in a much deeper mystical way for me. Stolpe leads us through the complex and incredible journey Heaven asked of Joan the maid. He strips away the legends about her and gets to the heart of her profound sanctity.” —Mother Dolores Hart, OSB, Author, The Ear of the Heart