Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 8 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Eight
Mary, Mother of the Church, your apparitions at Tepeyac and the miraculous image you left fostered unity between Catholic conquerors and clergy and the millions of Aztec converts. Bring unity, Mother, to the various factions within the Church and the wider public so that all may work to establish a culture of life.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

“Virgin Mary, all nature is blessed by you” – St. Anselm from the Office of Readings

From a sermon by Saint Anselm, bishop

Virgin Mary, all nature is blessed by you

Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendour by men who believe in God. The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Saviour of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.

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.”

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 7 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Seven
Mystical Rose, your miraculous signs of Castilian roses in winter and your image on the tilma of Juan Diego led to the conversion of eight million Aztec people to Catholicism in just seven years. Mary, Mother of the Americas, intercede again for your children in the Americas, and convert the hearts of all who deny the sanctity of every human life.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

“The Second Sunday of Advent” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Second Sunday of Advent 2019

Reading 2   PHIL 1:4-6, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.

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.  

 

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 6 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Six
Holy Mary, comfort of the troubled, you sought out Juan Diego when in fear and confusion he took a different route to avoid encountering you. Then you restored his hope and confidence so he could carry out the task you had entrusted to him. Many people today face decisions of life and death filled with fear and confusion. Mother, we ask you to restore their trust and hope in God so that their actions will always affirm the sanctity of human life.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 5 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Five
Virgin gentle in mercy, in Juan Diego’s anxiety, to bring a priest to his dying uncle he failed to keep his appointment with you. Yet, you rewarded his filial love by restoring his uncle to health. Your compassion allowed Juan Diego to fulfill the mission you gave him, returning to the bishop with the proof the bishop sought. Teach us, Mother, to put God’s holy will ahead of all created things, including our loved ones, and help remove the obstacles that prevent us from following God’s will.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 4 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Four

Virgin most wise, you chose a humble farmer to announce your motherly concern to the people of Mexico. Although Juan Diego felt unequal to the mission you gave him, you encouraged him to persevere. Faced with powerful anti-life forces today, we also feel unequal to the mission God has given us of building a culture of life and a civilization of love. Help us to persevere always in this great campaign for life, assured of your help and prayers. Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 3 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

OLG3Day Three
Mother of God, your ribboned sash identified you as a pregnant woman, a woman who bore the Christ Child to a world in darkness and who through two millennia has borne the light and love of Christ to a world that has largely rejected Him. May the love of your Son awaken a hymn of thanksgiving and praise in all pregnant mothers, as happened long ago in the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe Day 2 – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Please visit the Discerning Hearts Our Lady of Guadalupe page for the text and audio for the remaining days.

Day Two
Mary, Mother of divine grace, you appeared to Juan
Diego standing on the moon and robed in a royal mantle adorned with stars, showing that you are the Queen of Heaven and Earth, yet far from a haughty or distant Queen. With hands folded in supplication, eyes cast downward in humility and compassion, you did not ask for a temple where you could be honored, but one where you could attend to the “weeping and sorrows of … all the people of this land, and of the various peoples who  love me….” May all who are sorrowing due to abuse, violence, exploitation, neglect, and all sins against the dignity of life, fly to you, Mother, for comfort and hope.
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be …

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.