Holy Family Sunday – Honoring Mother and Father – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

The Feast of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Msgr. Esseff discusses  honoring our parents (especially when it’s hard) – The reality of our society and the challenge – The wounds and the need for healing

Reading 1 SIR 3:2-6, 12-14

God sets a father in honor over his children;
a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.  

 

IP#345 Dr. David Pinault – The Crucifix on Mecca’s Front Porch on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

A fascinating conversation with Dr. David Pinault Ph.D. about his book “The Crucifix on Mecca’s Front Porch: A Christian’s Companion for the Study of Islam.”  One of the best books on the subject of Islam, particularly for those who are seeking to understand the religion within the context of the Christian faith.  An outstanding resource and excellent read.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

This book on Islam has an unusual perspective. It argues that a critically minded examination of Islam can help Christians achieve a deeper appreciation of the unique truths of their own faith. It draws on the author’s personal experiences living in Islamic countries and his fieldwork with persecuted Christian-minority communities, especially in Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, and Indonesia. It includes the author’s own original translations of Islamic texts in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, as well as primary-source materials in Latin that were written by Christian participants in the Crusades.

The author focuses on Muslim interactions with the Christian tradition. He examines and takes issue with the misguided approach of Christians like Hans Küng and Muslims like Mustafa Akyol, who in the interests of Christian-Muslim rapprochement, minimize theological differences between the two faiths, especially in the area of Christology. Such attempts at rapprochement, he writes, do a profound disservice to both religions.

Illustrating the Muslim view of Christ with Islamic polemical texts from the eleventh to the twenty-first centuries, the author draws on Hans Urs von Balthasar, and other theologians of kenotic Christology, to show how Islamic condemnations of divine “weakness” and “neediness” can deepen our appreciation of what is most uniquely Christian in our vision of Jesus, as God-made-man, who voluntarily experiences weakness, suffering, and death in solidarity with all human beings.

A book that’s both timely and urgently needed, The Crucifix on Mecca’s Front Porch invites readers to reflect on the stark differences between Christianity and Islam and come to a fresh appreciation of the Christian faith.

 

IP#344 Timothy Muldoon – The Discerning Parent on Inside the Pages Podcast with Kris McGregor Podcast

What a great conversation with Dr. Timothy Muldoon, who with his wife, Sue, has written a wonderfully rich spiritual resource for today’s family entitled “The Discerning Parent:  An Iganatius Guide to Raising Your Teen.”  Fr. Timothy Gallagher said it so well, this is “An engaging book for parents who desire that God be the center of raising their teenage children. Applying Ignatian discernment to this specific task–a valuable contribution–the authors offer clarity and hope to all parents.”

You can find the book here

From the book description:

This thoughtful approach shows you how to talk with your children openly about freedom vs. limits, friendships, family time, sexuality, the use and abuse of technology, faith and Catholic practice, recognizing the needs of others, and getting through hard times together. You’ll discover when to be tough and when to be forgiving, when to control and when to give freedom, when to give feedback and when to wait. You will learn the importance of praying for your teens, and the important of praying together as a family.

Daily and weekly prayers, devotions, and meditations will guide you as the Muldoons show how this is a time of discernment for you as well as your teens–and create a way for you to move through these challenging years together. The Discerning Parent offers you an opportunity to pause and consider your life and your teen’s in the light of faith.

IP#343 Fiorella Nash – The Abolition of Woman on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast


“The Abolition of Woman:  How Radical Feminism is Betraying Women” is a powerful book and so needed today.  Author and international pro-life advocate Fiorella Nash is an incredible advocate for authentic feminism.  With this work, she shines a bright penetrating light on the destructive twistings and distortions projected onto women throughout the world by extraordinarily dark forces that many cannot or do not want to see.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

This book unashamedly calls mainstream feminists, journalists and Western politicians to account for their silence and – in some cases – vocal justification of the persecution of women because of an absolutist loyalty to abortion. It asks uncomfortable questions to those who claim to believe in women’s empowerment: Where is their passionate outrage when Chinese women are forcibly aborted and sterilised? Where is their concern for the thousands of baby girls killed by abortion every year because their lives are held as worthless simply for being female? What about the thousands of women used as surrogates for wealthy Western couples, treated as chattels and denied their most basic human rights?

But the book also tackles difficult issues for the pro-life side—the need for a sensitive, realistic approach to problematic pregnancies and the importance of confronting the continued exploitation and abuse of women within a sexualised society.

Pro-life feminism is not only possible; it is vital if the complex struggles facing women are to be adequately met. The Abolition of Woman is a rallying cry to feminists to stand with the pro-life movement, fighting to build a society in which women are equal and every human life is protected.

 

GWML#23 William Shakespeare (Julius Caesar) – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 10 – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – William Shakespeare

Though a staple in high school English classes, Julius Caesar is not a simple play. Seemingly irreconcilable forces are at work: fate and free will, the changeableness and stubbornness of ambitious men, the demands of public service and the desire for private gain. Drawn from history as recorded by Plutarch, the major characters-Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, and Mark Antony-are complex, as are the twists and turns of their fortunes. What kind of man rises to power? What price does he pay when he becomes a politician? These questions raised by Shakespeare are relevant in every age, whether ancient Rome, Elizabethan England, or even in our own day.

William Shakespeare

Based on the Ignatius Critical Edition, this series examines, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, the life, the times, and influence of authors of great works in literature.

Joseph Pearce is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is co-editor of the Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (Family Publications) and the United States (Sapientia Press). He is also the author of many books, including literary biographies of Solzhenitsyn, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Oscar Wilde.

To learn more about the authors and titles available in the Ignatius Critical Editions

IP#341 Elizabeth Lev – How Catholic Art Saved the Faith on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast


What a delight to speak with Elizabeth Lev about her phenomenal book “How Catholic Art Saved the Faith: The Triumph of Beauty and Truth in Counter-Reformation Art!”  This book is a feast for your mind and heart.  It is filled with Church history and illuminated by a cast of extraordinary characters and beautiful images.  Professor Lev is a master storyteller who never disappoints!  It will be difficult for anyone who begins to enter its pages to put this book down.  This work reflects the best in Catholic cultural apologetics.   Along with the podcast, check out the absorbing TED talk Liz gave on the story of Sistine Chapel embedded in this post!  Give yourself treat, don’t wait, get a copy of the book for yourself and plan on gifting it to many of your friends!

You can find the book here

“In a series of finely crafted and absorbing essays, Elizabeth Lev actually demonstrates how, at a crucial moment in the Church’s history, artists used paintbrush and chisel to proclaim the Gospel. This book will be extremely helpful for catechists, teachers, preachers, and I daresay, for artists themselves. ”
Bishop Robert Barron

“Liz Lev so brilliantly connects art and faith that you will experience every painting, statue and church in a deeper, emotionally powerful and spiritually fulfilling way.”
Newt Gingrich

“A treat for the eye and the soul.”
Peggy Noonan
Wall Street Journal

IP#340 Dr. Timothy O’Malley – Off the Hook on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

A great conversation with Dr. Timothy O’Malley, Director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy and author of “Off the Hook:  God, Love, Dating and Marriage in a Hook-up World. ”  He had me at “nuptial mystagogy.”  I love a theologian who deeply appreciates the font of grace present in our liturgical expression and sacramental experience.  From this point forward, this is THE book for practical, life-sustaining marriage formation.  Outstanding!

You can. find the book here

From the book description:

Hookup culture is about much more than the quest for pleasure. It offers an easy way out of real communication and lasting relationships. It also teaches us to treat each other as objects for personal satisfaction. Even those who reject the hookup culture can still be negatively affected by it and develop poor habits of relating to others. In Off the Hook, Timothy P. O’Malley, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, shows how God’s plan for love serves to heal the wounds of hookup culture and is a medicine for what ails our understanding of sex, romance, love, and marriage.

In Off the Hook, O’Malley explains how the ethics of hooking up shape relationships between men and women and examines the considerable harm to individuals and society that results. By exploring the sacrament of marriage in its biblical, theological, and liturgical dimensions, he offers Catholic young adults and those charged with their formation and pastoral care a wealth of insight into God’s plan for love.

Young people will find help grappling with the Church’s countercultural understanding of sex, love, and marriage. Parents and pastoral workers will discover a refreshing presentation of the Catholic theology of marriage and wise counsel about forming young people in the Church’s vision. Newly married, and even long-married couples will find hope, courage, and the promise of sacramental love that can sustain them for a lifetime.

GWML#10 William Shakespeare (Hamlet and Macbeth) – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 10 – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – William Shakespeare

Arguably Shakespeare’s finest and most important play, Hamlet is also one of the most misunderstood masterpieces of world literature. “To be or not to be”, may be the question, but the answer has eluded many generations of critics. What does it mean “to be”? And is everything as it seems to be?

William ShakespeareProbably the darkest of all Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth is also one of the most challenging. Is it a work of nihilistic despair, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”, or is it a cautionary tale warning of the dangers of Machiavellianism and relativism? Does it lead to hell and hopelessness, or does it point to a light beyond the darkness?

Macbeth hamlet Based on the Ignatius Critical Edition, this series examines, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, the life, the times, and influence of authors of great works in literature.

Joseph Pearce is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is co-editor of the Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (Family Publications) and the United States (Sapientia Press). He is also the author of many books, including literary biographies of Solzhenitsyn, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Oscar Wilde.

To learn more about the authors and titles available in the Ignatius Critical Editions

IP#337 Mark Joseph – Overwhelming Pursuit on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

What a delight to talk with Mark Joseph about “Overwhelming Pursuit: Stop Chasing Your Life and Live.”  He presents in this very compelling book a practical approach to transforming your life.  I simply could not have put any better than Dr. Scott Hahn who said in his ringing endorsement of Mark’s work: “In these pages you’ll learn, step by step, how to do the hard stuff: forgive from the heart, apologize, open yourself to the healing power of God’s mercy. If these graces have seemed remote, theoretical, or elusive to you, seek here and find everything you need: a prescription for spiritual health and lifelong conversion.”  Excellent!  Get a copy for yourself and someone in your life who really needs this solid yet caring message.  Mark’s website is: https://markjosephministries.com

You can by the book here

From the book description:

“Success lets me and everybody else know that I’m important – that I’m worth loving. Success is how I prove my worth in this world.”

That’s what Mark Joseph thought.

He was driven to achieve, and he did. Through his success, he felt loved and respected. He worked night and day to keep feeling important.

But success came at a price.

If you’re overwhelmed, unfulfilled, and running in circles chasing happiness, this is the book for you.

You’ll learn, as Mark did, that the overwhelming pursuit of success stems from our underlying belief that we need to earn love, and that striving for it will somehow cure our lack of self-love. He’ll show you, through his experiences and those of others, that fulfillment has nothing to do with success. It comes from knowing that – despite success or failure you were created by God for greatness, for love and to be loved.

GWML#8 Jane Austen “Pride & Prejuidice” and “Mansfield Park” – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce

Episode 8 – Great Works in Western Literature with Joseph Pearce – Jane Austen

Jane Austen is arguably the finest female novelist who ever lived and Pride and Prejudice is arguably the finest and is certainly the most popular, of her novels. An undoubted classic of world literature, its profound Christian morality is all too often missed or willfully overlooked by today’s (post)modern critics.

jane-austen-1In all things, Jane Austen was a woman of faith. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in Mansfield Park, her most neglected, abused, and misunderstood novel. Like Austen’s other novels, it can be fully appreciated only when illuminated by the virtuous life and Christian beliefs of the author herself.

Jane Austen saw the follies and foibles of human nature, and the frictions and fidelities of family life, with an incisive eye that penetrates to the very heart of the human condition.

mansfield-parkpride-and-prejudice-2Based on the Ignatius Critical Edition, this series examines, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, the life, the times, and influence of authors of great works in literature.

Joseph Pearce is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is also Visiting Scholar at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, New Hampshire. He is co-editor of the Saint Austin Review (or StAR), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (Family Publications) and the United States (Sapientia Press). He is also the author of many books, including literary biographies of Solzhenitsyn, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Oscar Wilde.

To learn more about the authors and titles available in the Ignatius Critical Editions