SJ9 – A Brief Reflection on Prudence – St. Joseph and His World with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode  9 – A Brief Reflection on Prudence

In this final episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss St. Joseph and the virtue of prudence

An excerpt from St. Joseph and His World:

The prudent way—the way of St. Joseph—begins with self-knowledge. People cannot see reality clearly as long as they have those planks in their eyes. They cannot have radical openness to reality if they harbor fears of the truth.

In his discussion of prudence, Pieper warns of something called falsification of memory. He sees this as the great destroyer of the sense of reality. People tend to mythologize their days. They make themselves out to be heroes. They make their adversaries and rivals out to be villains, just because they want the same things. It is hard not to see life in this way. But there is no doubt that it is a falsification of memory—and it is corrosive to our sense of reality.

The Christian tradition offers remedies for this. A good spiritual director will not permit his charges to hold on to this kind of thought. He will humanize the rivals they demonize.

Anyone can cultivate that attitude, too, by means of a daily examination of conscience and regular confession. Reality is something that must be faced squarely, deliberately, consciously, with the means God has provided—first, the inner reality of one’s self and then the reality of the world.

Joseph can be misunderstood, as prudence is misunderstood. His silence can be mistaken for passivity, but it is not.

Joseph is the prudent man whose thoughts correspond to reality, and whose actions flow from those thoughts. He is the image of God and yet a model for every Christian. He is the one who keeps the constant company of Jesus Christ.

Aqualina, Mike. St. Joseph and His World (pp. 75-76). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in this series visit – St. Joseph and His World with Mike Aquilina page

You can find the book on which this series is based here.

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

Other Mike Aquilina series’ found on Discerning Hearts:

Roots the Faith

The Resilient Church

Villains of the Early Church

How Can You Be the Light of Christ? -The Epiphany – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Do people see Christ in you?

Epiphany Msgr. John Esseff Light of Christ

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the meaning of the “Epiphany” and how we can manifest the light of Christ to the world.  He shares how the saints are the stars that show us the way.

Reading 1 IS 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!  Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

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.    

 

 

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

Holy Family Sunday – Honoring Mother and Father

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.  

 

Our Lady of Guadalupe – From the Office of Readings – Discerning Hearts Podcast


From the Office of Readings:

From a report by Don Antonio Valeriano, a Native American author of the sixteenth century
(Nicon Mopohua, 12th ed., 3-9, 21)

The Voice of the Turtledove has been heard in our land

At daybreak one Saturday morning in 1531, on the very first days of the month of December, an Indian named Juan Diego was going from the village where he lived to Tlatelolco in order to take part in divine worship and listen to God’s commandments. When he came near the hill called Tepeyac, dawn had already come, and Juan Diego heard someone calling him from the very top of the hill: “Juanito, Juan Dieguito.”

He went up the hill and caught sight of a lady of unearthly grandeur whose clothing was as radiant as the sun. She said to him in words both gentle and courteous: “Juanito, the humblest of my children, know and understand that I am the ever virgin Mary, Mother of the true God through whom all things live. It is my ardent desire that a church be erected here so that in it I can show and bestow my love, compassion, help, and protection to all who inhabit this land and to those others who love me, that they might call upon and confide in me. Go to the Bishop of Mexico to make known to him what I greatly desire. Go and put all your efforts into this.”

When Juan Diego arrived in the presence of the Bishop, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, a Franciscan, the latter did not seem to believe Juan Diego and answered: “Come another time, and I will listen at leisure.”

Juan Diego returned to the hilltop where the Heavenly Lady was waiting, and he said to her: “My Lady, my maiden, I presented your message to the Bishop, but it seemed that he did not think it was the truth. For this reason I beg you to entrust your message to someone more illustrious who might convey it in order that they may believe it, for I am only an insignificant man.”

She answered him: “Humblest of my sons, I ask that tomorrow you again go to see the Bishop and tell him that I, the ever virgin holy Mary, Mother of God, am the one who personally sent you.”

But on the following day, Sunday, the Bishop again did not believe Juan Diego and told him that some sign was necessary so that he could believe that it was the Heavenly Lady herself who sent him. And then he dismissed Juan Diego.

On Monday Juan Diego did not return. His uncle, Juan Bernardino, became very ill, and at night asked Juan to go to Tlatelolco at daybreak to call a priest to hear his confession.

Juan Diego set out on Tuesday, but he went around the hill and passed on the other side, toward the east, so as to arrive quickly in Mexico City and to avoid being detained by the Heavenly Lady. But she came out to meet him on that side of the hill and said to him: “Listen and understand, my humblest son. There is nothing to frighten and distress you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and let nothing upset you. Is it not I, your Mother, who is here? Are you not under my protection? Are you not, fortunately, in my care? Do not let your uncle’s illness distress you. It is certain that he has already been cured. Go up to the hilltop, my son, where you will find flowers of various kinds. Cut them, and bring them into my presence.”

When Juan Diego reached the peak, he was astonished that so many Castilian roses had burst forth at a time when the frost was severe. He carried the roses in the folds of his tilma (mantle) to the Heavenly Lady. She said to him: “My son, this is the proof and the sign which you will bring to the Bishop so that he will see my will in it. You are my ambassador, very worthy of trust.”

Juan Diego set out on his way, now content and sure of succeeding. On arriving in the Bishop’s presence, he told him: “My lord, I did what you asked. The Heavenly Lady complied with your request and fulfilled it. She sent me to the hilltop to cut some Castilian roses and told me to bring them to you in person. And this I am doing, so that you can see in them the sign you seek in order to carry out her will. Here they are; receive them.”

He immediately opened up his white mantle, and as all the different Castilian roses scattered to the ground, there was drawn on the cloak and suddenly appeared the precious image of the ever virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the same manner as it is today and is kept in her shrine of Tepeyac.

The whole city was stirred and came to see and admire her venerable image and to offer prayers to her; and following the command which the same Heavenly Lady gave to Juan Bernardino when she restored him to health, they called her by the name that she herself had used: “the ever virgin holy Mary of Guadalupe.”

Excerpts from the English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) © 1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Wonder of the Incarnation – St Gregory Nazianzen from the Office of Readings Podcast

St Gregory Nazianzen
The wonder of the Incarnation

The very Son of God, older than the ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the incorporeal, the beginning of beginning, the light of light, the fountain of life and immortality, the image of the archetype, the immovable seal, the perfect likeness, the definition and word of the Father: he it is who comes to his own image and takes our nature for the good of our nature, and unites himself to an intelligent soul for the good of my soul, to purify like by like. He takes to himself all that is human, except for sin. He was conceived by the Virgin Mary, who had been first prepared in soul and body by the Spirit; his coming to birth had to be treated with honour, virginity had to receive new honour. He comes forth as God, in the human nature he has taken, one being, made of two contrary elements, flesh and spirit. Spirit gave divinity, flesh received it.

He who makes rich is made poor; he takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of his divinity. He who is full is made empty; he is emptied for a brief space of his glory, that I may share in his fullness. What is this wealth of goodness? What is this mystery that surrounds me? I received the likeness of God, but failed to keep it. He takes on my flesh, to bring salvation to the image, immortality to the flesh. He enters into a second union with us, a union far more wonderful than the first.

Holiness had to be brought to man by the humanity assumed by one who was God, so that God might overcome the tyrant by force and so deliver us and lead us back to himself through the mediation of his Son. The Son arranged this for the honour of the Father, to whom the Son is clearly obedient in all things.

The Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for the sheep, came in search of the straying sheep to the mountains and hills on which you used to offer sacrifice. When he found it, he took it on the shoulders that bore the wood of the cross, and led it back to the life of heaven.

Christ, the light of all lights, follows John, the lamp that goes before him. The Word of God follows the voice in the wilderness; the bridegroom follows the bridegroom’s friend, who prepares a worthy people for the Lord by cleansing them by water in preparation for the Spirit.

We needed God to take our flesh and die, that we might live. We have died with him, that we may be purified. We have risen again with him, because we have died with him. We have been glorified with him, because we have risen again with him.

Excerpts from the English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) © 1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 9 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Day Nine:  For the grace to become the praise of the glory of the Holy Trinity

In the heart of the Holy Trinity, the music of eternal praise echoes without ceasing in an eternal “now.” The Son reveals to the Father His glory in the power of the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Spirit the Father blesses His Son anew. This blessing is not a reality of the past or future, but of the eternal present. This means that this very moment we have together resounds with this canticle of love that the Three Divine Persons share with one another. The world came from this music and is directed to it – and the contemplative soul helps this mystery be realized.

The Praise of Glory. Saint Elizabeth believed that this was her vocation – the secret name that God had given her from all eternity. She believed that Saint Paul had revealed it to her.

In Ephesians, we learn that we have been predestined in Christ, the Beloved of the Father, for this great purpose. This is the Father’s plan of love for us. This praise of glory is what the Holy Spirit produces in us – if we will surrender ourselves completely to His Divine touch.

Saint Elizabeth sees us as musical instruments capable of joining in the Holy Trinity’s this great hymn of praise. This music is beautiful, but to produce it, the Holy Spirit must “tune” us first. This is painful. As long as we get caught up in internal emotional storms or else allow ourselves to be distracted by things that are not God’s will, we are out of tune. Conversely the more our interior life is in harmony with His mystery, the more beautiful the praise we are able to offer.

To ponder this is to begin to understand the last petition of Saint Elizabeth’s prayer to the Trinity – namely – she asks the Trinity to be buried in her so that she might bury herself in the Trinity. To be buried – this speaks about a death and being laid to rest. Saint Elizabeth understands the radical extent to which the Holy Trinity has given itself to humanity. Revealed in Christ crucified and buried in the tomb., the humanity of Christ makes known that God will hold nothing back to rescue us from death and to win our heart to join His eternal praise of glory. She sees her own heart as the tomb in which God has buried Himself. The death of Christ is always personal for her – “He gave Himself for me.”

To accept this gift in a personal way is to be caught up in the mystery of salvation. Just as Jesus was laid in the tomb on Good Friday, the Trinity can come into a soul and rest there in a new way – and the more it rests in the soul, the more that soul has the opportunity to rest in the Trinity. This feels like a total annihilation, but it is a radical identification with Christ’s salvific offering. Just as Jesus transformed His tomb into a sign of victory – He transforms hearts that accept his total gift of love on the Cross. If they will die to themselves, He will give them life. To believe in Jesus is to die to oneself in the Trinity, to be laid to rest in the Trinity, to be buried in the Trinity – in order that the mystery of the Holy Trinity through the life of Christ within might raise one up on high.

In this mystical death, the new life of Christ takes root in our souls.

He is the praise of the Father’s glory and when we die to ourselves, we allow His praise to swell up anew within us. The Holy Spirit “tunes’ our hearts by communicating the whole mystery of Christ into us and identifying all the inner movements of our hearts with the movements of Christ’s. Every thought is captive and every inordinate desire dies away, and our inner strength is perfected. The new desires and glorious thoughts of Christ Himself make it possible to praise the Father as the Risen Lord praises Him together with all of the heavenly hosts. Together, delighting the Heart of the Father anew, we have found a way extend the salvific work of Christ in our lives and in our communities – at a time when our neighbors most need a word of hope. Let us pray that the vocation of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity becomes our own vocation too – to be this praise of glory.

O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light.

O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love, come over me until my soul is render into an incarnation of the Word; may I be for Him another humanity in which he renews His whole Mystery.

And you, O Father, bend over your little creature, cover her with your shadow, and see in her only the Beloved in whom You are well-pleased.
O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I loose myself, I surrender myself as prey. Bury yourself in me in order that I might bury myself in you, while waiting to contemplate in your light the immeasurable depths of your grandeur.

Amen

The Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is authored by Dr. Anthony Lilles S.T.D.

For the entire 9-Day Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 8 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Day Eight:  For the grace of possessing heaven already in this life by faith.

For Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, the veil between heaven and earth is thin.  If we listen carefully with the ear of our heart, we can hear Mary share with us what she heard from Christ as He offered His great hymn of praise from the Cross. It is a canticle so beautiful, so exquisite, it reaches the very heart of the Father and fills the whole world with a salvific love. Through Mary’s presence in our agony, if we let her, Saint Elizabeth explains that the Mother of the Lord will teach us how to sing this same canticle– so that we can do something beautiful for God. She is with us to the very end. This is why Saint Elizabeth calls Mary “Gate of Heaven.”

As beautiful as this is, there are other canticles of praise that Elizabeth invites us to hear.  She hears the 144,000 gathered around the throne of the lamb and she hears the elders who cry out “holy, holy, holy” as they cast down their crowns before the Risen Lord. The glory, praise, and silence of the saints echo in this life so that we too might know their joy.  Saint Elizabeth wants us to hear this eternal hymn of praise and imitate it.  A life lived in humility, simplicity, and recollection avails itself to such imitation – and when it does, heaven becomes present in this life by faith.

By faith, what is in heaven becomes present on earth. In the humble limits of the present moment and circumstances, we can participate in the great praise of glory that the angels and saints offer in heaven.

Heaven is not a remote or future reality. Heaven, even if hidden from our earthly eyes, is close by and present.  It is present in the Mass. It is also present in everything – because by faith, everything and anything can become a sacrament that gives us God.

The love of heaven is present to us by faith.  This is because faith makes us open to the presence of God dwelling in our souls.  Wherever God dwells, there is heaven.  The heaven of glory, with all the angels and saints, is present in our soul because this heaven is never separate from God.  This means in the heaven of our souls where God dwells, the heaven of glory is already breaking in.

For the person of faith already implicated in the glory of heaven, nothing and no one is ever ordinary or commonplace.  Every life event, no matter how small or large, how disappointing or joyful, is always a new opportunity for the soul to encounter the immensity of God’s love.  The Trinity’s excessive love changes everything – even the most ordinary tasks become charged with new and everlasting meaning. This means that no one who believes ever really has an “ordinary” life – through faith, this passing life is opened to the greatness of eternity. Time for Saint Elizabeth is nothing other than “eternity begun and still in progress.”

In relation to the grace of living heaven by faith, Saint Elizabeth’s mission finds its footing in the great prayer of Jesus the night before He died.  On that night, He offered his supreme prayer and his heart’s desire – that we might dwell where He dwells – the Son of the Father dwells in the Fathers love, and Saint Elizabeth is praying that we might realize Jesus’ divine dream and dwell with Him in this great love too. For this purpose, let us pray:

O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light.

O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love, come over me until my soul is render into an incarnation of the Word; may I be for Him another humanity in which he renews His whole Mystery.

And you, O Father, bend over your little creature, cover her with your shadow, and see in her only the Beloved in whom You are well-pleased.
O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I loose myself, I surrender myself as prey. Bury yourself in me in order that I might bury myself in you, while waiting to contemplate in your light the immeasurable depths of your grandeur.

Amen

The Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is authored by Dr. Anthony Lilles S.T.D.

For the entire 9-Day Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 7 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Day Seven – For the grace to become, like Mary, the “prey” of the Trinity – a soul consumed by love.

In the spiritual mission of Saint Elizabeth, the Virgin Mary, humble handmaid of the Lord, is the model of radical surrender to the Trinity. When we look to her, we see what it means to be the “prey” of the Trinity – a grace that we have been asking for throughout this Novena. When the Angel appeared to her, Mary responded: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, Let it be done to me according to your will.”  Out of this humble “yes”, the Holy Trinity was able to bring to fulfillment the loving plan of salvation. This humble “yes” reveals a great spiritual truth for how God desires to work in every soul: God’s saving plan is always unleashed in the world through humble loving obedience to the Trinity.

For Saint Elizabeth, Mary’s obedient “yes” was more than a one-time event – Mary’s “fiat” reveals a continual attitude that she kept throughout her life, as she followed Jesus and stood before the Cross.  This attitude was no mere human achievement.  Mary’s constant awareness and readiness to respond with obedience to God was itself a work of the Trinity within her.  Every act of surrender begets an even deeper act of surrender. In this way, Saint Elizabeth describes the humble handmaid of the Lord as the “prey” of the Trinity.  Every prayerful soul, according to Saint Elizabeth, should make this same humble offering and become the “prey “ of the Trinity.

Just as the Virgin Mary became the “prey” of the Trinity through her peaceful and recollected surrender, through our surrender to the Holy Trinity, we can learn to live in humble recollection in each moment.  In both peaceful moments of silence and difficult moments of trial, the Lord is just as present to us – He never changes. We simply need to believe in His immense love and have confidence in Him. This means we must renounce every disturbance of worry, anxiety, self-pity, or despair that would interrupt our own “fiat” to the Lord.

Such prayer is difficult, but allowing Mary to show us how to be this humble and recollected is an important aid. Christ has saved her maternal presence for our sake – He wants us to know His Mother because she is ready to help us if we ponder her example.  A soul recollected in God’s presence can become like Mary, abandoned to the Father, docile to the Holy Spirit, and devoted to the Son, When this happens, this believer has also become the “prey” of the Trinity – a soul consumed by love.

Let us pray

O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light.

O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love, come over me until my soul is render into an incarnation of the Word; may I be for Him another humanity in which he renews His whole Mystery.

And you, O Father, bend over your little creature, cover her with your shadow, and see in her only the Beloved in whom You are well-pleased.
O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I loose myself, I surrender myself as prey. Bury yourself in me in order that I might bury myself in you, while waiting to contemplate in your light the immeasurable depths of your grandeur.

Amen

The Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is authored by Dr. Anthony Lilles S.T.D.

For the entire 9-Day Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 6 – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Day Six  For the grace of living in the shadow of the FatherCatholic Devotional Prayers and Novenas - Mp3 Audio Downloads and Text 8

Jesus lived in the shadow of the Father. To be under this shadow is to accept a paradoxical mystery. In his humiliation, He was exalted. In his rejection, He was beloved. By His Wounds, we are healed. In His death, He became the source of life. Conversely, He humiliated the haughty and the proud who could not recognize Him. He declared the poor blessed, and the rich were not able to follow him. He held up the meek as conquerors, and the violent could not seize Him. He calmed storms but humbly accepted the kiss that betrayed Him. He saved others, but out of love for the Father, would not save Himself. It is in this shadow that Jesus gave Himself for us, and in this same shadow, we learn to how to give ourselves in love for Him.

Saint Elizabeth sees the shadow of the Father as a mystery that separates us from everything that might distract or impede our efforts to seek God by a wholly loving and simple movement of the heart. Sometimes being overshadowed in this way means embracing difficult and trying circumstances. Often it means having trust and confidence in God when we do not understand how or feel or even intuit that He is acting in our lives. The Trinity works at a level more fundamental than any state of consciousness, deeper than any feeling, higher than any understanding, beyond any intuition to sense or grasp. Saint John of the Cross, to whom Saint Elizabeth was devoted as a spiritual daughter, understood this secret place could only be entered by faith. Saint John of the Cross identifies the shadow of the Father with a mysterious darkness – and enchanting dark night in which love transforms by faith. In this night, God has the freedom to realize the plan of love that He has for each of us. The Father will detach us from every other support until we cleave to Him alone – allowing Him to transform us in the image of His Son. He wants us by faith to imitate His Son – who did everything with total trust and confidence in the goodness of the Father, even when that goodness seemed so hidden.

The spiritual mission of Saint Elizabeth encourages us to desire to live in the shadow of the Father, even though it is sometimes difficult to do so. She encourages this because she knows the joy and peace that one can find in this shadow – not only for oneself, but for everyone God entrusts to us. For this grace, let us pray

O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light.

O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love, come over me until my soul is rendered into an incarnation of the Word; may I be for Him another humanity in which he renews His whole Mystery.

And you, O Father, bend over your little creature, cover her with your shadow, and see in her only the Beloved in whom You are well-pleased.
O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself as prey. Bury yourself in me in order that I might bury myself in you while waiting to contemplate in your light the immeasurable depths of your grandeur.

Amen

The Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is authored by Dr. Anthony Lilles S.T.D.

For the entire 9-Day Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 5 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Dr. Anthony Lilles STD - Beginning to Pray 3
 Day Five – For the Grace of being overcome by the Fire of God’s Love

For Saint Elizabeth, the Holy Spirit is the consuming Fire of God’s Love. To fully offer oneself to the Lord, one needs to allow one’s whole existence to be set on fire by this Divine Love. This means a total offering of oneself analogous to the offering of holocaust proscribed in the Mosaic Law. Before Christ, such an offering would be completely consumed in the sacred fire before the altar of sacrifice. It was a sign of what God deserves from us, and with that acknowledgment, the people’s worship was deemed acceptable to the Lord. Christ’s offering of Himself on the Cross was the perfect fulfillment of this practice. Only it was not earthly flames that consumed His self-offering. Instead, He burned with the Gift of the Father’s Love and through this obedient love, opened up a pathway for us to render the Holy Trinity a hymn of praise so beautiful, God is utterly delighted by it.

Why should God be delighted by what we offer Him? It is because the Holy Spirit renews the mystery of the Word made flesh in us through our faith in Christ. The Word of the Father, the Radiant One, not only captivates the hearts of those who seek Him, but He is also the greatest delight of the Father. The Father delights in His Son because His Son communicates the truth about His love – and this is the Father’s glory. Born out of the silent fullness of the Father’s heart, the glory that the Word reveals makes all things new. When the Father spoke His Word into our humanity, He renewed humanity so that Christ’s humanity became the instrument to reveal the glory of God.

The Holy Spirit renews this whole mystery in us when we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by His coming into our hearts. When we accept what Christ has done for us out of love for the Father, the love with which Christ burned, burns in us. This fire purifies us of our attachments to sin and at the same time implicates us in the plight of those whom God has sent into our lives. In this way, we discover new liberty to give ourselves in love of God and our neighbor that we did not have before. It is the freedom of Christ – the One crucified by love. Through this Gift of the Holy Spirit, the Father even recognizes the beauty of Christ in us – a beauty that delights Him and a beauty that saves the world.

Saint Elizabeth understands that, in a certain sense, being overwhelmed by the Fire of the Holy Spirit extends the mystery of the Incarnation through our humanity – into the circumstances, relationships and events of our lives. The more we surrender our humanity to the love of Christ and die to our plans, the more vulnerable we are to this movement of Love at work in us.

The mission that Saint Elizabeth exercises from heaven is geared to the total transformation of our lives that the Holy Spirit accomplishes when we make ourselves vulnerable to His wholly simple and wholly loving movement in us. For this kind of openness, let us pray:

O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light.

O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love, come over me until my soul is rendered into an incarnation of the Word; may I be for Him another humanity in which he renews His whole Mystery.

And you, O Father, bend over your little creature, cover her with your shadow, and see in her only the Beloved in whom You are well-pleased.
O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself as prey. Bury yourself in me in order that I might bury myself in you, while waiting to contemplate in your light the immeasurable depths of your grandeur.

Amen

The Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is authored by Dr. Anthony Lilles S.T.D.

For the entire 9-Day Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity