IP#183 Dr. Regis Martin – Still Point: Loss, Longing and Our Search for God on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor



Dr. Regis Martin, as Dr. Scott Hahn has said, is “a sage for our times”.
 By presenting the truths of our faith with such beauty, he evangelizes directly the heart.  Dr. Martin is a joy to read.

I didn’t want “Still Point:  Loss, Longing and Our Search for God” to end.  That is the mark of a great book for me…it is one I desire to return to over and over again.  He offers the rich insights of the saints,  poets, and philosophers, to direct us to the “still point”   where  “one encounters the mingling of past and future, grit and grace, man and God.”  Wonderful, enchanting, poignant and compelling…don’t miss.

You can find the book here

“With the eloquence and poignancy of a poet, Regis Martin gets to the heart of life’s most urgent questions, forging a link between our ‘desperate desires’ and our “homesickness for God” in this profound and beautiful book.”–Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P. , Editor-in-Chief, Magnificat

“Regis Martin is one of Catholicism’s trustworthy guides to the spiritual life in all its dimensions–including, as he demonstrates here, its hard and challenging dimensions.”–George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

“Regis Martin’s moving reflection on our death-haunted and restless search for God is both beautiful and bracing. Drawing on the profound imaginings of our poets and our theologians, Martin’s meditation takes place on the lip of the abyss as he shows us Who it is our hearts so restlessly long for.” —Gregory Erlandson, President, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing

IP#347 Joel Stepanek – Chasing Humility on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast


I cannot recommend this book and the work of Joel Stepanek more highly!  Based on the great Litany of Humility, “Chasing Humility: 8 Ways to Shape a Christian Heart” is a game-changer in the formation of the Christian heart.  It’s no wonder St. Teresa of Calcutta had her Missionaries of Charity pray this prayer every morning (and they still do)!  It’s a challenging prayer when you first contemplate exactly what it is you are asking of the Lord.  But if you trust in the fruits which it brings into your life, your spiritual journey will never be the same.  Run, don’t walk, to get this book!  A modern-day spiritual classic!

You can find this book here

“In Chasing Humility, Joel Stepanek does a masterful job giving the reader practical steps for cultivating authentic humility. Drawing on scripture, engaging stories, and good old common sense, this book is funny and wise, raw and relatable. Stepanek’s insights offer a soul-stirring read to any soul looking to improve. The question isn’t whether we need to be humble, but who can be humble enough to do something about it. This book is the perfect way to grow in holiness and ultimately, happiness, one achievable step at a time.” —Mark Hart, Executive Vice President, Life Teen International

“This book was like a punch to the gut—a much needed, very welcome, life-changing gut punch. It is bold, honest, and raw. Joel has given us an absolutely delightful read that is also really challenging, and it was just what we (and so many others) need to be reminded of the necessity to both seek humility and live and walk humbly with the Lord. Read this book. Absorb this book. Let Joel and his words on humility sucker-punch you and you’ll be so grateful.” —Katie Prejean McGrady and Tommy McGrady, Catholic speakers and cohosts of The Electric Waffle

“Joel Stepanek highlights for us the proper and sacred space of humility in the Christian life. Exploring the Litany of Humility, he provides a delightful roadmap for embracing the virtue not as a weakness but as a strength in our personal prayer lives and leadership outreach. There could not be a better time for leaders to be reintroduced to the virtue of humility in a world that very often values self-centeredness over seeing and supporting others.” —Rev. Dan Felton, Vicar General, Diocese of Green Bay

IP#323 John Galten – The Spiritual Direction of St. Claude De La Colombiere on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

What a joy to discuss the 2nd edition of “The Spiritual Direction of St. Claude de la Colombiere” with John Galten, who wrote the forward to the book.  Filled with an abundance of wisdom this little work is a must for those seeking solid spiritual guidance.  In this podcast, we discuss the great legacy of St. Claude as well as the historical and spiritual richness of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  John is a delight to talk with him, his joy for Christ and deep respect for St. Claude is utterly engaging.

To obtain a copy of the book visit here

This book contains a great treasure of spiritual insight and guidance for the soul who is seeking God. –Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Author, Inside the Bible

Saint Claude has been one of my most important spiritual guides for a half century. This little jewel is a must for those who seek God’s will and mercy expressed in the most authentic devotion to Christ. –Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., Author, Arise from Darkness

IP#78 Abby Johnson – unPlanned on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

An ordinary woman who has experienced extraordinary grace and wow, look what God has done!  Abby Johnson, author of “unPlanned: the dramatic true story of a former Planned Parenthood leader’s eye-opening journey across the life line”, is a courageous woman who has brought forward not just the Planned Parenthood story (at times nightmarish in their behavior), but more importantly, her story…the journey of conversion, forgiveness, and witness.  Abby didn’t go looking for the spotlight, but she didn’t say “no” when it fell on her either.  Now she is standing up for life and exposing the reality of Planned Parenthood and the beautiful options for life that are truly available.  She can truly say, with all integrity, that she knows both sides of the battle, and she is choosing life!  Be sure to get the “Catholic Edition” by Ignatius Press.  Visit Abby’s website here.

 

You can pick up the book here

From the book description:

“What I have told people for years,
what I’ve believed and taught and defended, is a lie.
What if I’d known the truth,
and what if I’d told all those women?”

Abby Johnson quit her job in October 2009. That simple act became a national news story. Abby was director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, but not long after assisting in an actual abortion procedure for the first time, she crossed the line to join the Coalition for Life. What happened in that clinic to cause this Planned Parenthood leader and Employee of the Year to take such drastic action? And how did Planned Parenthood react to her abrupt departure?

Abby reveals her full story in Unplanned: a heart-stopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation. Now in an updated edition, Abby’s unique vantage point from both sides of the abortion clinic property line shines light and compassion into the personal and political controversy that surrounds this issue. For anyone who cares about the life-versus-rights debate and helping women who face crisis pregnancies, Unplanned is a must-read.

 

IP#348 Ashley Hales – Finding Holy in the Suburbs on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

  What a delight to talk with Ashley Hales about her book “Finding Holy in the Subrubs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much.”  This book is about bringing things out into the light.  We discuss the “idols” of the suburbs and the challenges of being truly present to our neighbors. 

.”

Can find the book here

From the book description:

What does it look like to live a full Christian life in the suburbs? Suburbs reflect our good, God-given desire for a place to call home. And suburbs also reflect our own brokenness. This book is an invitation to look deeply into your soul as a suburbanite and discover what it means to live holy there.

IP#322 – Fr. Donald Haggerty – Conversion on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Conversion:  Spiritual Insights Into an Essential Encounter with God” is another wonderful offering of spiritual reflections by Fr. Donald Haggerty!  What is “conversion”?   Fr. Haggerty brings us to a clearer understanding by relating it in our life in God.  Sin, mercy, and responding to the will of God are just some of the elements he addresses in this deeply penetrating book. Take a listen to our conversation and then obtain a copy of the book for yourself and friend.  An excellent gift for the questing heart.

You can find the book here

“Fr. Haggerty uses a clear and direct style to make the point that conversion is the daily heartfelt response of a disciple to the Master.”
—Fr. George Rutler, Author, He Spoke to Us

 

“This is that rarest book, one that needs no praise because its spiritual truth and radical love are evident on every page.”
—Matthew Levering, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

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

 

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.