What it means to “put on Christ” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Discerning Hearts podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians Chapter 4 v. 20 -24:

22 Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – RCVCE

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 as a retreat director and confessor to St. Teresa of Calcutta. 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.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders around the world.

ST-John Ep 36 – John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 36 – John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer part 2

The High Priestly Prayer of John 17 is the conclusion of the Farewell Discourse of Jesus.   Sharon begins her lecture with some additional insights on the Trinity, whose image is reflected in the marriage between man and woman and between Christ in both his Church and priesthood.  Because they image God and can bear eternal life, these spiritual marriages are targeted by Satan.  Because of the fall, we lost our immortality, and death entered the world, but through Jesus, death is conquered, and the prospect of eternal life is restored, which John discussed at least 19 times in his gospel.

In Chapter 17, Jesus proclaims that his hour of glory has arrived.  Yet, we also learn that the glory of Jesus was present before the creation of the world.  What is this glory?  John the Evangelist was an eyewitness to the glory of Jesus at the Transfiguration, yet he did not include this story in his Gospel.  Sharon shows how Revelation 11 is perhaps the Evangelist’s Transfiguration account in the symbolic language of the apocalypse.

Two witnesses are mentioned in Revelation 11, but 4 entities are mentioned.  Two olive trees and two lampstands have the power to shut the sky and the power to turn water into blood, which recalls the stories of Elijah (who foretold a drought to King Ahab) and Moses (who turned the waters of the Nile into blood).  Elijah, the Old Testament olive tree, prefigures John the Baptist; Moses, the Old Testament lampstand, prefigures Jesus.   These two witnesses experienced the glory of the Lord in their own lifetimes:  Elijah, in the silence of the cave at Horeb, and Moses, in the flame of the burning bush.  The synoptic gospels have them in glory with Jesus Christ as well.

Sharon goes on to focus on the priesthood.  The Levitical priesthood, born out of violence, was a temporary solution to the permanent problem of sin.  Jesus re-established a new priesthood in the order of Melchizedek.  The priesthood is the first priesthood mentioned by name in the bible in Genesis chapter 14 when Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness, blessed Abram.  The Levitical priests offered yearly sacrifice for the atonement for sin.  Jesus, the eternal high priest and king, offers a once for all, perpetual sacrifice that is continually celebrated at mass on earth and in the heavenly wedding banquet of the New Jerusalem.  After completing the hour of glory of his death and crucifixion, Jesus ascends to the Father and sits down at his right hand, taking his rightful position on the mercy seat of the Trinity.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series, visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page.

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more, go to www.seekingtruth.net

SP3 – Leaves Fall But They Do Not Die – In Search of the Still Point with Dr. Regis Martin – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Episode 3 – Leaves fall but they do not die…

Dr. Regis Martin

Discerning Hearts is honored to host the reflections of Dr. Regis Martin.  Filled with profound insights, wisdom, and joy, he is one of the most trustworthy guides one can have on the spiritual journey.

For years Regis Martin, STD, has been regaling audiences about the mysteries of God and Church, most especially his students at Franciscan University of Steubenville where he teaches theology. Author of half-dozen or more books, including The Suffering of Love (Ignatius, 2006), The Last Things (Ignatius Press, 2011), Still Point (Ave Maria, 2012), The Beggar’s Banquet (Emmaus Road, 2012), Witness to Wonder (Emmaus Road, 2017) his work frequently appears in Crises and The Catholic Thing.

.

The Good Shepherd & The New Evangelization….In Conversation w/ Fr. Nicholas Cachia – Discerning Hearts Podcasts

Fr. Nicholas Cachia is a truly insightful and gifted spiritual director and theologian.  From the beautiful island of Malta, Fr. Cachia spends a portion of his summer as a faculty member with the Institute for Priestly Formation located at Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska.  This discussion occurred in the summer of 2015.

In this particular conversation we discuss various topics:

    • God’s infinite and unique love for each of us
    • The need for authentic discernment in our daily life
    • One of the  biggest blocks to God’s great love for us…the fear of losing control and surrendering
    • Why the prayer at the end of the day is so important.
    • The risk of loving God and others
    • The need for being open to the Word of God receiving the Word
    • What is  “Lectio Continua”

Then he leads us in a meditation on

The Good Shepherd  –  The great image of Compassion.

The-Good-Sheherd-Statue

This statue of “The Good Shepherd” was chosen by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2012 to represent the image for the New Evangelization

Rev. Dr Nicholas Cachia is Lecturer in Spiritual Theology at the Faculty of Theology since 1996. His areas of interest include the spirituality of the various stages of life as well as the spirituality of the different states in life, particularly that of the diocesan priesthood. After receiving his undergraduate degree (S.Th.B.) and a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology from the Faculty of Theology at Tal-Virtù (1980-1988), he continued his tertiary studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. There he read a Licentiate in Biblical Theology and a Doctorate in Spiritual Theology (1988-1995). His doctoral thesis was published in 1997 in the series Tesi Gregoriana with the title: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10, 11). The Image of the Good Shepherd as a source for the Spirituality of the Ministerial Priesthood.

He is also Spiritual Director at the Major Seminary in Malta (1994-2000; 2003-present). Since 2003, he is president of the Spiritual Formation Commission within the Secretariat for the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Malta.

Previously he presided over the Commission for the Permanent Formation of the Clergy within the same Secretariat (1994-2000). He was also Deputy Chairman (2000-2001) and then Executive Chairman (2001-2003) of the Media Centre and of RTK Radio. During this time he was also member of the Executive Board of the European Catholic Radio Conference (CERC).

Fr Cachia is a member of the Centro di Studi di Mistica Cristiana, Italy and of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (USA). Since 2004 he teaches at the Summer Session of the Seminarians’ programme of the Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska USA.

 

Episode 5 – In Defense of Sanity – Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., Vivian Dudro, and Joseph Pearce FBC Podcast


From the Book of Job to the philosophy of cheese. We discuss two fantastic essays by G.K. Chesterton as we continue to work our way through In Defense of Sanity.

This discussion is part of the FORMED Book Club—an online community led by Fr. Joseph Fessio, Joseph Pearce, and Vivian Dudro that reads and discusses a different book each month.


 

You can find the book here

G.K. Chesterton was a master essayist. But reading his essays is not just an exercise in studying a literary form at its finest, it is an encounter with timeless truths that jump off the page as fresh and powerful as the day they were written. The only problem with Chesterton’s essays is that there are too many of them. Over five thousand!

For most GKC readers it is not even possible to know where to start or how to begin to approach them.  So three of the world’s leading authorities on Chesterton – Dale Ahlquist, Joseph Pearce, Aidan Mackey – have joined together to select the best Chesterton essays, a collection that will be appreciated by both the newcomer and the seasoned student of this great 20th-century man of letters.

The variety of topics are astounding: barbarians, architects, mystics, ghosts, fireworks, rain, juries, gargoyles, and much more. Plus a look at Shakespeare, Dickens, Jane Austen, George MacDonald, T.S. Eliot, and the Bible. All in that inimitable, formidable but always quotable style of GKC. Even more astounding than the variety is the continuity of Chesterton’s thought that ties everything together.

A veritable feast for the mind and heart. While some of the essays in this volume may be familiar, many of them are collected here for the first time, making their first appearance in over a century.


Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J.
Vivian Dudro
Joseph Pearce

 

Chapter 2 – The Little Back Room – How to Pray with David Torkington – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Chapter 2 – The Little Back Room

We should keep for ourselves a little back room, all our own, untouched by others, in which we establish our true freedom and chief place of seclusion and solitude.     Montaigne

It is time to start again by setting up that little back room so that we can retire into it every morning and evening to find there the inner freedom to receive and experience the love that inspired Jesus and transformed everything he did, enabling us to love those we already love more deeply, and even those we have never loved before.


You can find the book here.

This little book How to Pray – A Practical Guide to the Spiritual life by David Torkington, was published by Our Sunday Visitor. It was written for those prepared to restructure their daily lives to make time for the prayer where they can be transformed by the love that only God can give.

In the foreword to this new book from OSV, “How to Pray: A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Life,” Sister Wendy Beckett wrote,

“There are no hideaways here, no excuses, but no alarming demands, either. Instead, Torkington seeks only to show us the truth, that truth that sets us free and convinces us that the yoke of Jesus is easy and his burden light. All we need is to understand and to choose. This book offers us the help we need to understand, and then the choice is ours.”⁠

This is not your standard “prayer book” – it is not a compilation of Catholic prayers for you to just read. Rather, this is a series of 40 reflections on prayer intended to open you up to the transformation that is possible through prayer, through the love that God can give us through prayer.⁠


Endorsement

“From here to eternity! For those drawn to contemplative prayer, David Torkington offers compelling clarity and common sense. Gentle kindness guides his practical counsel, and he is careful to help us see the solid principles in which he roots his insights. An authentic and reliable guard against counterfeits, his wisdom points to the heights and grounded-ness of the Catholic mystical tradition at a time when it is most needed.”

Dr. Anthony Lilles, STD: Associate Professor and Academic Dean of St John’s Seminary in Camarillo, as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the diocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years, he served the Church in Northern Colorado, where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.


Visit his website:  www.davidtorkington.com.

The author of the popular Peter Calvay series, his books include Wisdom from the Western Isles, Wisdom from Franciscan Italy, Wisdom from the Christian Mystics, Prayer Made Simple (CTS), and How to Pray by Our Sunday Visitor. His books have been translated into 13 different languages.

 

PSM6 – The Synergy of Liturgy – Pathway to Sacred Mysteries with Dr. David Fagerberg – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Dr. David Fagerberg

Episode 6 – The Synergy of Liturgy – Pathway to Sacred Mysteries with Dr. David Fagerberg Ph.D.

Dr. David Fagerberg and Kris McGregor discuss what is meant by full and active participation in the liturgy.

Here are some of the topics explored in this episode:

The difference between being involved with ministry and being consciously present to the mystery of God.

The nature of synergy in regards to liturgy, and in particular the celebration of the mass.

From the discussion with Dr. Fagerberg:

God plans to be fully, actively, and consciously present in liturgy. That’s His presence from above. What should I do in response? Maybe I should be full, active, conscious response to his presence. That would be a nice filling out of the idea of participation because participation doesn’t mean activity that I generate. Participation is my response to his presence. He’s full, active, consciously present. I’m full, actively, consciously responding.

The Greek word for that is synergy, S Y N E R G Y. And syn means “together”, enérgeia means an energy or an activity at work. Here are two examples. One of them is synergy. One of them is not synergy. Mom is coming. The apartment is a mess. You clean up that room. I’ll clean up this room. Together, they cleaned up the apartment. The second, example is in order to have fire, you must have matter, spark, and oxygen. They have to operate together. The first example is just two people doing an activity at the same time. In the second example, the one makes possible the other makes it occur. Well, synergy is that second example. It’s co operatio (co-operate), synergy.  God’s graces and we faith. God energizes and we synergize. He takes the lead in the ballroom dancing and we follow. We co-operate. Well, that leads me to suppose that it’s not a matter of laity co-operating with the clergy. Rather laity and clergy should co-operate the liturgy which is occurring at this moment. And in our liturgy, the human liturgy, the liturgy of the Church, it is a cooperation with the full, active and conscious presence of God. He makes himself present. We make this response.


For more podcast episodes of this series, visit the
Pathways to Sacred Mysteries w/Dr. David Fagerberg page


David W. Fagerberg is a Professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He holds master’s degrees from Luther Northwestern Seminary, St. John’s University (Collegeville), Yale Divinity School, and Yale University. His Ph.D. is from Yale University in liturgical theology.

Fagerberg’s work has explored how the Church’s lex credendi (law of belief) is founded upon the Church’s lex orandi (law of prayer). This was expressed in Theologia Prima (Hillenbrand Books, 2003). He has integrated into this the Eastern Orthodox understanding of asceticism by considering its role in preparing the liturgical person. This was treated in On Liturgical Asceticism (Catholic University Press, 2013). And these two themes come together in Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology (Angelico Press, 2016).

He also has an avocation in G. K. Chesterton, having published Chesterton is Everywhere (Emmaus Press, 2013) and The Size of Chesterton’s Catholicism (University of Notre Dame, 1998).


Here are a few of Dr. Fagerberg’s books:
Liturgical Theology Liturgical Mysticism Liturgical Theology Theological Theology

ST-John Ep 35 – John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 35 – John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer part 1

The High Priestly Prayer of John 17 is the conclusion of the Farewell Discourse of Jesus.   Sharon begins her lecture with some additional insights on the Trinity, whose image is reflected in the marriage between man and woman and between Christ in both his Church and priesthood.  Because they image God and can bear eternal life, these spiritual marriages are targeted by Satan.  Because of the fall, we lost our immortality, and death entered the world, but through Jesus, death is conquered, and the prospect of eternal life is restored, which John discussed at least 19 times in his gospel.

In Chapter 17, Jesus proclaims that his hour of glory has arrived.  Yet, we also learn that the glory of Jesus was present before the creation of the world.  What is this glory?  John the Evangelist was an eyewitness to the glory of Jesus at the Transfiguration, yet he did not include this story in his Gospel.  Sharon shows how Revelation 11 is perhaps the Evangelist’s Transfiguration account in the symbolic language of the apocalypse.

Two witnesses are mentioned in Revelation 11, but 4 entities are mentioned.  Two olive trees and two lampstands have the power to shut the sky and the power to turn water into blood, which recalls the stories of Elijah (who foretold a drought to King Ahab) and Moses (who turned the waters of the Nile into blood).  Elijah, the Old Testament olive tree, prefigures John the Baptist; Moses, the Old Testament lampstand, prefigures Jesus.   These two witnesses experienced the glory of the Lord in their own lifetimes:  Elijah, in the silence of the cave at Horeb, and Moses, in the flame of the burning bush.  The synoptic gospels have them in glory with Jesus Christ as well.

Sharon goes on to focus on the priesthood.  The Levitical priesthood, born out of violence, was a temporary solution to the permanent problem of sin.  Jesus re-established a new priesthood in the order of Melchizedek.  The priesthood is the first priesthood mentioned by name in the bible in Genesis chapter 14 when Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness, blessed Abram.  The Levitical priests offered yearly sacrifice for the atonement for sin.  Jesus, the eternal high priest and king, offers a once for all, perpetual sacrifice that is continually celebrated at mass on earth and in the heavenly wedding banquet of the New Jerusalem.  After completing the hour of glory of his death and crucifixion, Jesus ascends to the Father and sits down at his right hand, taking his rightful position on the mercy seat of the Trinity.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series, visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page.

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more, go to www.seekingtruth.net

Ep 15 – A Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope w/Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMVA Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Episode 15

 

 

In our final episode of this series, we explore the last letters of Léonie to her surviving sisters, Pauline and Celine, and get an insight into how she is preparing herself for death.

We hear the details of her passing, through the experience of her Visitation sisters, via an obituary. It touches upon how she had followed the “little way” of her saintly sister, St. Therese, until the very end.

While this series has concluded, the story of Leonie is not over! In fact, one might say it has just begun! Fr. Gallagher and Kris take a look back on Léonie’s life and provide resources where one can learn more about her cause.

Servant of God, Léonie Martin, pray for us!


Fr. Gallagher says, “Léonie’s life holds a significant story because she was the forgotten one; she was the one who was in the last place; she was the one who was less gifted than the others. Today we would call her a ‘problem child,’ and we’ll see that she certainly was the source of great anxiety to her parents, especially to her mother, Zélie, who loved her dearly.”

As a child, Léonie suffered from severe illnesses and physical maladies that would plague her entire life. She also struggled with understanding social clues and interactions and with behaving appropriately. Conventional educational models of the day failed to meet her particular needs, and she was labeled “developmentally delayed.” Yet those who knew her well described her as having a “heart of gold.”

Who was Léonie and what were her struggles? Why has her cause of canonization begun?  Father Gallagher, along with Kris McGregor,  answers these questions and explains why Léonie is “a bearer of hope” in this landmark series.

A sister of St. Therese: Servant of God, Leonie Martin

A resource used for this series

Images in this post of the Martin/Guerin family are used with permission from the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux website for strictly non-commercial use.  We encourage you to visit the website for more information on this remarkable family.


For more series Fr. Timothy Gallagher podcasts, visit here

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.  Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life:  The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola.” For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit  his  website:   frtimothygallagher.org

BTP-IC26 – Sixth Mansions Chapter 7 part 1 – The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles Podcast

In this episode, Dr. Lilles discusses the Sixth Mansions Chapter 7 part 1 of the “Interior Castle” which covers:

DESCRIBES THE GRIEF FELT ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR SINS BY SOULS ON WHOM GOD HAS BESTOWED THE BEFORE MENTIONED FAVOURS. SHOWS THAT HOWEVER SPIRITUAL A PERSON MAY BE, IT IS A GREAT ERROR NOT TO KEEP BEFORE OUR MIND THE HUMANITY OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST AND HIS SACRED PASSION AND LIFE, AS ALSO THE GLORIOUS MOTHER OF GOD AND THE SAINTS. THE BENEFITS GAINED BY SUCH A MEDITATION. THIS CHAPTER IS MOST PROFITABLE.

1. Sorrow for sin felt by souls in the Sixth Mansion. 2. How this sorrow is felt. 3. St. Teresa’s grief for her past sins. 4. Such souls, centered in God, forget self-interest. 5. The remembrance of divine benefits increases contrition. 6. Meditation on our Lord’s Humanity. 7. Warning against discontinuing it. 8. Christ and the saints are models. 9. Meditation of contemplatives. 10. Meditation during aridity. 11. We must search for God when we do not feel His presence. 12. Reasoning and mental prayer. 13. A form of meditation on our Lord’s Life and Passion. 14. Simplicity of contemplatives’ meditation. 15. Souls in every state of prayer should think of the Passion. 16. Need of the example of Christ and the saints. 17. Faith shows us our Lord as both God and Man. 18. St. Teresa’s experience of meditation on the sacred Humanity. 19. Evil of giving up such meditation.

For the Discerning Hearts audio recording of the “Interior Castle” by St. Teresa of Avila  you can visit here


St. Teresa of Avila Interior Castle Podcast Anthony Lilles Kris McGregorFor other audio recordings of various spiritual classics you can visit the Discerning Hearts Spiritual Classics page

For other episodes in the series visit
The Discerning Hearts “The Interior Castle with Dr. Anthony Lilles”

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of St. Elisabeth of the Trinity.