SJ3 – “You are bait on the hook” – The Spiritual Journey with Kris McGregor – A Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast

“You are bait on the hook”

“You are bait on the hook” is the lead topic of this episode of “The Spiritual Journey Podcast with Kris McGregor.”  A portion of this podcast was originally recorded during an episode of “The Good Book Club” segment on the Spirit Morning Show.  Kris reflects on six martyrs, two which died over 1800 years, Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, and four Missionary of Charity Sisters who were killed in recent years in Yemen.  The Paschal Mystery and the grace of Martyrdom are explored and the question becomes what does that look like in my life.  Kris also offers a book recommendation further delve into this mystery:  “The Cross: Word and Sacrament” by Adrienne von Speyr


The Passion of St. Perpetua
Sister Anselm from India, Sister Marguerite from Rwanda, Sister Judit from Kenya and Sister Reginette also from Rwanda

 

Resources mentioned by Kris in the podcast:

The Passion of St. Perpetua and St. Felicity can be found here

More on the deaths of the Missionaries of Charity can be found here


 

The Cross: Word and Sacrament can be found here

From the forward (by Kris McGregor):

There is no greater mystery to be contemplated than the Paschal Mystery. In this spiritual gem, von Speyr leads us to the foot of the Cross, and with her we gaze upon the crucified Christ and listen deeply. The Word, who became flesh and made his dwelling among us, cries out in his suffering seven last words, which open up the portals of divine grace that are known as the sacraments. These mysterious gifts, which come at such an indescribable cost, deserve to be cherished, reverenced, and contemplated.

The Cross: Word and Sacrament will challenge, surprise, and encourage the reader to welcome the Paschal Mystery into his own life. Guided into the depths of this mystery by von Speyr, the reader encounters a very real Jesus, who knows us all too well and still loves us without end. He speaks to us personally. The words he utters from the Cross contain not only gifts experienced in the sacraments of the Church but also questions: Do you truly understand what is being offered to you? Will you accept my gifts? Will you suffer the mystery contained in such love?

This small book contains the spiritual richness that is the fruit of her deep meditation on the Word. It calls the reader to conversion, which is a continual process of turning toward the Son, who leads us, in union with the Holy Spirit, into an ever-deepening relationship with the Father. Thus is the reader brought into the very life of the Trinity, that communion of love without end.

Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts mentioned in the podcast:

Crossing the Desert with Deacon James Keating, PhD

Scriptural Stations of the Cross

Audio Scriptural Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Mp3 and Verse Texts

Kris McGregor Founder and editor/producer/executive director of “Discerning Hearts ®. To learn more about Kris visit here

 

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

 

St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland… In Conversation with Dr. Philip Freeman

Join Bruce and I as we discuss with Dr. Philip Freeman, PhD, author of “St. Patrick of Ireland”, the life of this great saint.

A reading from the Confession of St Patrick (Conf 34,36,37,38,39)

“I give thanks to my God tirelessly who kept me faithful in the day of trial, so that today I offer sacrifice to him confidently, the living sacrifice of my life to Christ, my Lord, who preserved me in all my troubles. I can say therefore: Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling that you should cooperate with me with such divine power? Today, among heathen peoples, I praise and proclaim your name in all places, not only when things go well but also in times of stress. Whether I receive good or ill, I return thanks equally to God, who taught me always to trust him unreservedly. His answer to my prayer inspired me in these latter days to undertake this holy and wonderful work in spite of my ignorance, and to imitate in some way those who, as the Lord foretold, would preach his Good News as a witness to all nations before the end of the world.

How did I come by this wisdom which was not my own, I who neither knew what was in store for me, nor what it was to relish God? What was the source of the gift I got later, the great and beneficial gift of knowing and loving God, even if it meant leaving my homeland and my relatives?

I came to the Irish heathens to preach the Good News and to put up with insults from unbelievers. I heard my mission abused, I endured many persecutions even to the extent of chains; I gave up my free-born status for the good of others. Should I be worthy I am ready to give even my life, promptly and gladly, for his name; and it is there that I wish to spend it until I die, if the Lord should graciously allow me.

I am very much in debt to God; who gave me so much grace that through me many people were born again in God and afterwards confirmed, and that clergy were ordained for them everywhere. All this was for a people newly come to belief whom the Lord took from the very ends of the earth as he promised long ago, through his prophets: ‘To you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and will say, “How false are the idols our fathers made for themselves, how useless they are.” ‘And again: ‘I have made you a light for the nations so that you may be a means of salvation to the ends of the earth.’

I wish to wait there for the promise of one who never breaks his word, as he promises in the gospel: ‘They will come from the east and the west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob,’ just as we believe the faithful will come from every part of the world.”

Prayer

We give you thanks, almighty God, for sending Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the people of Ireland. Grant that we who are proud to call ourselves Christians may never cease to proclaim to the world the good news of salvation.
(We make our prayer) through our Lord.
Through Christ our Lord .

SJ2 – That Jonah is You – The Spiritual Journey with Kris McGregor – A Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast

“That Jonah is You”

“That Jonah is You” is the lead topic of this episode of “The Spiritual Journey Podcast with Kris McGregor.”  A portion of this podcast was originally recorded during an episode of “The Good Book Club” segment on the Spirit Morning Show.  Kris reflects on the story of Jonah, the working of the Holy Spirit and the prophetic call.  She also addresses the call to listen to the small still voice of God and how we, like Jonah, are reluctant to respond to the will of the Father.

The book of Jonah Chap 1: 1-10 (RSVCE)

1Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” 3But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

4But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god; and they threw the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call upon your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we do not perish.”

7And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And whence do you come? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 12:38-42

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nin′eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts mentioned in the podcast:

Crossing the Desert with Deacon James Keating, PhD

Fr Timothy Gallagher – Praying the Liturgy of the Hours

Stations of the Cross According to St. Francis

Scriptural Stations of the Cross

Audio Scriptural Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Mp3 and Verse Texts

Gary Jansen – MicroShifts on Inside the Pages

 

Resources:

For the Liturgy of the Hours:  Universalis    and  iBrevary

 

Kris McGregor Founder and editor/producer/executive director of “Discerning Hearts ®. To learn more about Kris visit here

 

Scripture:  Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

IP#346 Gary Jansen – MicroShifts on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

Gary Jansen is one of my favorite authors; I love our conversations.  He has a spiritual tenderness that appreciates the practical need to help the everyman find a way to deepen his relationship with God.  “MicroShifts: Transforming Your Life One Step at a Time” is a beautiful response to that need!  In its pages, Gary offers an effective way to navigate the travails of the spiritual journey. We highly recommend this and all of Gary’s books.

 

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Is it really possible to change my life—in ways that will last?

Author Gary Jansen knows how difficult it can be to create significant, sustainable change in our lives. Sometimes we feel too overwhelmed to even start, and in other cases this self-work seems like one more burden. In his new book he offers an answer that he calls “microshifting”—small, incremental adjustments that gradually reshape our deeply rooted patterns.

With a blend of masterful storytelling and dozens of practical tips, MicroShifts suggests simple, small changes across many aspects of our lives—everything from how we greet others to how we try to talk to God—to generate big results physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you are looking for steps to improve your life that are achievable, sustainable, and potentially life-changing, MicroShifts is a powerful place to begin.

IP#121 Fr. Larry Richards – Surrender on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will” is another outstanding offering from Fr. Larry Richards!  From start to finish Fr. Larry challenges us to place Jesus Christ first in our lives and our relationships with others and the world.  Once we can do that, things begin to fall into place.  Then he helps us to recognize the difference between God’s will and our will, and to trust that His will be better for us if we trust, love and….SURRENDER!

Fr. Larry Richards is an engaging writer, who never fails to keep us hooked through the entire book.  This will be one of those books that you want to purchase at least two copies, because you’ll want to pass it on to another, and you’ll want to keep one for yourself for years to come.

 

You can find the book here

From the book description:

…Surrender outlines concrete steps you can take to dwell in peace. Simply put, God wants every one of us to be a saint which is a lot of work! It requires developing a plan for your life, in accordance with the Lord’s will.

Prayer is the key to this, as it opens the soul to hearing God’s voice and accepting his guidance. But prayer too requires discipline and planning. Father Richards is the life coach every one of us needs on the sidelines of our daily life the tough love coach who calls it like he sees it.

Allow yourself to move out of the driver seat and surrender to the one who knows all God.

 

 

St. Bakhita, to follow after Jesus the Crucified Lord with unremitting love… In Conversation with Sr. Joan Mueller

Sr.-Joan-Mueller

One of my very favorite storytellers is Sr. Joan Mueller…give yourself the gift of hearing her share the story of St. Bakhita during this podcast…

St.-JosephineJOSEPHINE BAKHITA (1869-1947)

from vatican.va

Mother Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869 and died in Schio (Vicenza)  in 1947.

This African flower, who knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery, bloomed marvelously in Italy, in response to God’s grace, with the Daughters of Charity.

Mother “Moretta”

In Schio (Vicenza), where she spent many years of her life, everyone still calls her “our Black Mother”. The process for the cause of Canonization began 12 years after her death and on December 1st, 1978 the Church proclaimed the Decree of the heroic practice of all virtues.
Divine Providence which “cares for the flowers of the fields and the birds of the air”, guided the Sudanese slave through innumerable and unspeakable sufferings to human freedom and to the freedom of faith and finally to the consecration of her whole life to God for the coming of his Kingdom.

In Slavery

Bakhita was not the name she received from her parents at birth. The fright and the terrible experiences she went through made her forget the name she was given by her parents. Bakhita, which means “fortunate”, was the name given to her by her kidnappers.
Sold and resold in the markets of El Obeid and of Khartoum, she experienced the humiliations and sufferings of slavery, both physical and moral.

Towards freedom

In the Capital of Sudan, Bakhita was bought by an Italian Consul, Callisto Legnani . For the first time since the day she was kidnappeSt.-Josepnine-2d, she realized with pleasant surprise, that no one used the lash when giving her orders; instead, she was treated in a loving and cordial way. In the Consul’s residence, Bakhita experienced peace, warmth and moments of joy, even though veiled by nostalgia for her own family, whom, perhaps, she had lost forever.
Political situations forced the Consul to leave for Italy. Bakhita asked and obtained permission to go with him and with a friend of his, a certain Mr. Augusto Michieli.

In Italy

On arrival in Genoa, Mr. Legnani, pressured by the request of Mr. Michieli’s wife, consented to leave Bakhita with them. She followed the new “family”, which settled in Zianigo (near Mirano Veneto). When their daughter Mimmina was born, Bakhita became her babysitter and friend.
The acquisition and management of a big hotel in Suakin, on the Red Sea, forced Mrs. Michieli to move to Suakin to help her husband. Meanwhile, on the advice of their administrator, Illuminato Checchini, Mimmina and Bakhita were entrusted to the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice. It was there that Bakhita came to know about God whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” ever since she was a child. “Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage…”

Daughter of God

After several months in the catechumenate, Bakhita received the sacraments of Christian initiation and was given the new name, Josephine. It was January 9, 1890. She did not know how to express her joy that day. Her big and expressive eyes sparkled, revealing deep emotions. From then on, she was often seen kissing the baptismal font and saying: “Here, I became a daughter of God!”
With each new day, she became more aware of who this God was, whom she now knew and loved, who had led her to Him through mysterious ways, holding her by the hand.When Mrs. Michieli returned from Africa to take back her daughter and Bakhita, the latter, with unusual firmness and courage, expressed her desire to remain with the Canossian Sisters and to serve that God who had shown her so many proofs of His love.
The young African, who by then had come of age, enjoyed the freedom of choice which the Italian law ensured.

St.-Josepnine-PrayingDaughter of St. Magdalene

Bakhita remained in the catechumenate where she experienced the call to be a religious, and to give herself to the Lord in the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa.
On December 8, 1896 Josephine Bakhita was consecrated forever to God whom she called with the sweet expression “the Master!”
For another 50 years, this humble Daughter of Charity, a true witness of the love of God, lived in the community in Schio, engaged in various services: cooking, sewing, embroidery and attending to the door.
When she was on duty at the door, she would gently lay her hands on the heads of the children who daily attended the Canossian schools and caress them. Her amiable voice, which had the inflection and rhythm of the music of her country, was pleasing to the little ones, comforting to the poor and suffering and encouraging for those who knocked at the door of the Institute.

Witness of love

Her humility, her simplicity and her constant smile won the hearts of all the citizens. Her sisters in the community esteemed her for her inalterable sweet nature, her exquisite goodness and her deep desire to make the Lord known.
“Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!”As she grew older she experienced long, painful years of sickness.
Mother Bakhita continued to witness to faith, goodness and Christian hope. To those who visited her and asked how she was, she would respond with a smile: “As the Master desires.”

Final test

During her agony, she re-lived the terrible days of her slavery and more then once she begged the nurse who assisted her: “Please, loosen the chains… they are heavy!”
It was Mary Most Holy who freed her from all pain. Her last words were: “Our Lady! Our Lady!”, and her final smile testified to her encounter with the Mother of the Lord.
Mother Bakhita breathed her last on February 8, 1947 at the Canossian Convent, Schio, surrounded by the Sisters. A crowd quickly gathered at the Convent to have a last look at their «Mother Moretta» and to ask for her protection from heaven.  The fame of her sanctity has spread to all the continents and many are those who receive graces through her intercession.St.-Josephine-Bakhita-3

 

Every line of the Collect for Saint Bakhita merits attention; every phrase needs to be repeated in meditation.

O God, who led Saint Josephine Bakhita
from abject slavery
to the dignity of being your daughter and the bride of Christ,
give us, we beseech you, by her example,
to follow after Jesus the Crucified Lord with unremitting love
and, in charity, to persevere in a ready mercy.

IP#318 Fr. John Burns – Lift Up Your Heart on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast


“Lift Up Your Heart: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis de Sales” is outstanding.  A wonderful “introduction to the devout life”… literally!  Fr. John Burns breaks open up the teachings of the great spiritual director and Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales in a wonderfully fresh new way.  Very practical and perfect for meditation during prayer times during the day, this is a mini-retreat we can all benefit from.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

This practical book goes right to the heart of helping you kick the habit of floating along on your spiritual journey to start actively pursuing holiness and devotion to God. During the course of the retreat, you ll learn the basics of forming a daily prayer routine, including how to offer yourself to God, meditate on his love, and maintain peace in the face of suffering and clarity in the midst of temptation.

The meditations will help you:

  • Adopt gratitude as a daily prayer practice.
  • Examine and reorder your priorities and relationships to better reflect your love for God.
  • Discern between good and evil in your life.
  • Desire to love and serve as Jesus did.

In a very real sense, Burns helps you take St. Francis de Sales as your spiritual director for ten days. As you do so, you’ll feel God’s fatherly love and restart your faith life, equipped with the tools to connect with God and live for heaven now.

IP#334 Veronica Mary Rolf – An Explorer’s Guide to Julian of Norwich on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and thou shalt see thyself that all manner of thing shall be well,”  such are the words found in the Revelations of Divine Love written by the 14th century English Christian mystic Julian of Norwich. Her Revelations is the first book in English known to be have been written by a woman and offers a unique contribution to Christian theology. For some, her writing can be a challenge to grasp, but it becomes a wonderful delight to any seeking soul with the help Veronica Mary Rolf and  “An Explorer’s Guide to Julian of Norwich“.  This work is such a delight!  It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a read this much; it was like unwrapping a wonderful gift that’s been under the Christmas tree for far too long.  The world is in need of Julian and her message today and no one communicates her message better than Veronica Mary Roth!

You can find the book here

“Julian of Norwich is among the most radiant of Christian mystics. The radiance is all the brighter for Julian’s frankness in questioning the darkness she experienced in her culture and in herself in a deeply troubled time. The unequivocal and insatiable love of God for all his creatures rings in her words throughout her book. Veronica Mary Rolf is a scholar with a deep heart that probes the mysteries Julian probes and uses her historical and textual research to shed clarity and light on Julian’s teaching that speaks to our own time with increasing urgency.”  – Andrew Marr, OSB, author of Moving and Resting in God’s Desire, abbot of St. Gregory’s Abbey in Three Rivers, MI

“Rolf’s work is more than an informative guide by an expert in Julian scholarship. The reader begins to feel the heartbeat of this great mystic as the author works around key texts and highlights choice quotations. This could only have come from someone who is intimately acquainted with her. Whether one is a first-time or seasoned explorer, this book will not disappoint.” – Simon Chan, Trinity Theological College, Singapore

 

Here is a link to the website we discussed in our conversation:  Julian’s Voice 

 

 

 

Here is Veronica’s first book on the life of Julian of Norwich, you can find it here

2014 CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION BOOK AWARD WINNER!

2014 NAUTILUS BOOK AWARD – GOLD in Religion/Spirituality: Western Traditions

THE NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE BOOK AWARDS – 2014 WINNER in Religion Non-Fiction

Julian of Norwich, a medieval English mystic who spent the latter part of her life as an enclosed anchoress, is largely known through her extraordinary Revelations, one of the most popular and influential works of Christian mysticism. It was also the first book ever written by a woman in the English language. But until now, the woman herself was an elusive figure. In this fascinating work, Veronica Mary Rolf has offered a convincing reconstruction of Julian’s life, along with a comprehensive commentary on her Revelations—rendered here in a new translation from the Middle English.

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