BKL#62 – “Happy Easter!!!! Have You Encountered Jesus?” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Gospel JN 20:1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine;

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30th, 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. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.

BTP-IC3 – First Mansions: Chapter 2 part 1 – The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles Podcast

In this episode, Dr. Lilles discusses, in a first of a two part conversation, the First Mansions: Chapter two of the “Interior Castle” which covers:

1. Effects of mortal sin. 2. It prevents the soul’s gaining merit. 3. The soul compared to a tree. 4. Disorder of the soul in mortal sin. 5. Vision of a sinful soul. 6. Profit of realizing these lessons. 7. Prayer. 8. Beauty of the Castle. 9. Self-knowledge 10. Gained by meditating on the divine perfections. 11. Advantages of such meditation. 12. Christ should be our model. 13. The devil entraps beginners. 14. Our strength must come from God. 15. Sin blinds the soul. 16. Worldliness. 17. The world in the cloister. 18. Assaults of the devil. 19. Examples of the devil’s arts. 20. Perfection consists in charity. 21. Indiscreet zeal. 22. Danger of detraction.

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


For 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.

 

HR-LP3 Encountering Foreign Worlds with The Little Prince – The Holy Rule of St. Benedict with Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B

Listening with the ear of the heart, Fr. Mauritius Wilde guides us through  “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  In this episode, Fr. Mauritius talks about our differences and the danger of judging others.

One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.  The story of a stranded pilot, an extraordinary little boy, and their remarkable friendship, The Little Prince has become a cherished fable for generations of readers. As enchanting as it is wise, this beloved classic captures the mysteries of the heart and opens us to the meaning of life and the magic of love.

taken from the back an edition of the book no longer in print

Father Mauritius Wilde, OSB, Ph.D., did his philosophical, theological and doctoral studies in Europe. He is the author of several books and directs retreats regularly. He serves as Prior at Sant’Anselmo in Rome. For more information about the ministry of the the Missionary Benedictines of Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, Nebraska 

DC8 St. Ambrose of Milan (part 2) – The Doctors of the Church /w Dr. Matthew Bunson Podcast


St. Ambrose (part 2): “To Us, Christ is All!”

Born: 340 AD
Died: January 1, 397  AD

 

For more from Dr. Matthew Bunson check out his Discerning Hearts page

Dr. Matthew E. Bunson is a Register senior editor and senior contributor to EWTN News. For the past 20 years, he has been active in the area of Catholic social communications and education, including writing, editing, and teaching on a variety of topics related to Church history, the papacy, the saints, and Catholic culture. He is faculty chair at Catholic Distance University, a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and the author or co-author of over 50 books including The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, The Pope Encyclopedia, We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, The Saints Encyclopedia and best-selling biographies of St. Damien of Molokai and St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

CALG1 – The Notes, The Preludes and The First Prayer – The Contemplation to Attain the Love of God with Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V. Podcast

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher  “Contemplation to Attain the Love of God” Part 1 – Fr. Gallagher looks at an exercise of prayer that St. Ignatius places at the end of the spiritual journey of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises but because of their richness they can also be fruitful outside of that original context and in daily life. In this episode, he covers an introduction to the prayer, the Notes, the Preludes, and the First Poi

CONTEMPLATION TO ATTAIN THE LOVE OF GOD

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, [1914], at sacred-texts.com

Note. First, it is well to remark two things: the first is that love ought to be put more in deeds than in words.

The second, love consists in the interchange between the two parties; that is to say in the lover’s giving and communicating to the beloved what he has or out of what he has or can; and so, on the contrary, the beloved to the lover. So that if the one has the knowledge, he gives to the one who has it not. The same of honors, of riches; and so the one to the other.

CONTEMPLATION TO GAIN LOVE

Prayer. The usual Prayer.

First Prelude. The first Prelude is a composition, which is here to see how I am standing before God our Lord, and of the Angels and of the Saints interceding for me.

Second Prelude. The second, to ask for what I want. It will be here to ask for interior knowledge of so great good received, in order that being entirely grateful, I may be able in all to love and serve His Divine Majesty.

First Point. The First Point is, to bring to memory the benefits received, of Creation, Redemption and particular gifts, pondering with much feeling how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He has, and then the same Lord desires to give me Himself as much as He can, according to His Divine ordination.

And with this to reflect on myself, considering with much reason and justice, what I ought on my side to offer and give to His Divine Majesty, that is to say, everything that is mine, and myself with it, as one who makes an offering with much feeling:

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, and all my will — all that I have and possess. Thou gavest it to me: to Thee, Lord, I return it! All is Thine, dispose of it according to all Thy will. Give me Thy love and grace, for this is enough for me.

 

Second Point. The second, to look how God dwells in creatures, in the elements, giving them being, in the plants vegetating, in the animals feeling in them, in men giving them to understand: and so in me, giving me being, animating me, giving me sensation and making me to understand; likewise making a temple of me, being created to the likeness and image of His Divine Majesty; reflecting as much on myself in the way which is said in the first Point, or in another which I feel to be better. In the same manner, will be done on each Point which follows.

Third Point. The third, to consider how God works and labors for me in all things created on the face of the earth — that is, behaves like one who labors — as in the heavens, elements, plants, fruits, cattle, etc., giving them being, preserving them, giving them vegetation and sensation, etc.

Then to reflect on me.

Fourth Point. The fourth, to look how all the good things and gifts descend from above, as my poor power from the supreme and infinite power from above; and so justice, goodness, pity, mercy, etc.; as from the sun descend the rays, from the fountain the waters, etc.

Then to finish reflecting on myself, as has been said.

I will end with a Colloquy and an OUR FATHER.

Be sure to check out Fr. Timothy Gallaghers latest book

You can find this book 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

CTD#6 – “The Oasis of Lent” – Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion with Deacon James Keating Podcast

Episode 6 -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “The Oasis of Lent”.  

Moral conversion occurs in ordinary experience when we hit a wall or break through one. In other words, moral conversion can be ignited when we reach our limits and experience failure or finitude, or it can be ushered in when we transcend our limits and go beyond the self. We transcend the self by falling in love and/ or following the prompting of conscience at the cost of our own ego.

The traditional disciplines of Lent— prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, as well as communal worship— aim at fostering or preparing a person to welcome such limiting or breakthrough experiences. Most importantly, we are prepared to receive the truths known in these experiences, since we can rarely, if ever, orchestrate them. More than likely, we are taken up into such experiences, and our preparation beforehand can enhance our acceptance of the truths they carry.

(In regards to communal worship) …We usually imagine worship as a break in our secular lives, or sometimes even an obstacle to achieving other goals. With this attitude, worship is sometimes simply seen as “time out” from what is really important. Without denying the importance of secular realities for the laity, could we look at worship in another way? Worship is not an obstacle to daily living; it is not time off from more vital realities. Worship is, in fact, the great doorway into all that is both secular and holy. It is our way into real living. In worship, we find the great integration of the simple, ordinary, and plain (people, bread, wine, words) with the holy and transcendent (paschal mystery, incarnation, grace, transformation, salvation). The call of the laity is to carry into each day of work and domestic commitment the truth that the ordinary and the holy are not opposed. Only sin and the holy are opposed. Lenten worship services help us bring this truth to the world.

The more we come to see the presence of Christ in worship as a presence that permeates our being in the world, the more we will hunger to participate in worship as the source of our moral witness in everyday life. The Eucharist primarily is our participation in Christ’s Paschal Mystery, which is his self-offering to the Father, both in his life and upon the cross, and is also the Father’s response in raising him from the dead. Christ came to us; he came to dwell upon Earth and take on created goodness so that all in creation that is not good (sin) may be transformed by his presence, by grace. We too, in communion with him through the grace of the sacramental life, fill the ordinary world with his presence and become witnesses to this salvation through virtue and grace cooperating in moral activity.

 

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha.

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

SJ4 – “Hey, Turn Around Bright Eyes” – The Spiritual Journey w/Kris McGregor Podcast

“Hey, Turn Around Bright Eyes”

“Hey, Turn Around Bright Eyes,” or conversion, is the lead topic of this episode of “The Spiritual Journey Podcast with Kris McGregor.”  A portion of this podcast was originally recorded during an episode of “The Good Book Club” segment on the Spirit Morning Show.  Kris reflects on the story of King David and the composing of Psalm 51.

 

PSALM 51  

Miserere

For the choirmaster

Psalm Of David

When the prophet Nathan came to him because he had been with Bathsheba

51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness, in your great tenderness wipe away my faults;

51:2 wash me clean of my guilt, purify me from my sin.

51:3 For I am well aware of my faults, I have my sin constantly in mind,

51:4 having sinned against none other than you, having done what you regard as wrong. You are just when you pass sentence on me, blameless when you give judgement.

51:5 You know I was born guilty, a sinner from the moment of conception.

51:6 Yet, since you love sincerity of heart, teach me the secrets of wisdom.

51:7 Purify me with hyssop[*a] until I am clean; wash me until I am whiter than snow.

51:8 Instil some joy and gladness into me, let the bones you have crushed rejoice again.

51:9 Hide your face from my sins, wipe out all my guilt.

51:10 God, create a clean heart in me, put into me a new and constant spirit,

51:11 do not banish me from your presence, do not deprive me of your holy spirit.

51:12 Be my saviour again, renew my joy, keep my spirit steady and willing;

51:13 and I shall teach transgressors the way to you, and to you the sinners will return.

51:14 Save me from death, God my saviour, and my tongue will acclaim your righteousness;

51:15 Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will speak out your praise.

51:16 Sacrifice gives you no pleasure, were I to offer holocaust, you would not have it.

51:17 My sacrifice is this broken spirit, you will not scorn this crushed and broken heart.

51:18 Show your favour graciously to Zion, rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.[*b]

51:19 Then there will be proper sacrifice to please you – holocaust and whole oblation – and young bulls to be offered on your altar.

Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.
Other resources that might be helpful:

HR38 – Make Peace Before The Sun Goes Down – The Holy Rule of St. Benedict with Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B

BKL#254 – The Key to Inner Healing – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

POA3 – “Temptation” – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

IP#231 Vinny Flynn – The 7 Secrets of Confession on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts mentioned in the podcast:

Scriptural Stations of the Cross

Audio Scriptural Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Mp3 and Verse Texts

Kris McGregor Founder and editor/producer/executive director of “Discerning Hearts ®. To learn more about Kris visit here

 

CTD#5 – “Leaving the Desert” – Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion with Deacon James Keating Podcast

Episode 5 -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “Leaving the Desert”.  

“Celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation is, for many Catholics, a most daunting prospect.  This sacrament has been the source of many jokes, composed perhaps by persons seeking to reduce the level of stress they feel regarding one of its main components:  naming personal sin.

The naming of one’s own sin to oneself and to a priest is self-revelatory to the point of evoking anxiety.  Initially, it can be true that some level of apprehension may accompany this sacrament, but over time  with regular celebration of this form of worship, anxiety diminishes.  Most positively  the sacrament of reconciliation promotes truthful self-knowledge regarding sin in the context of Christ’s saving presence.  Once someone experiences both the naming of sin and the reception of God’s mercy in this sacrament, he or she actually begins to celebrate this sacrament and see it as a great gift from Christ and his Church.”

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha.

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

DC6 St. Gregory of Nazianzus – The Doctors of the Church /w Dr. Matthew Bunson Podcast

Born: 329 AD
Died: January 1, 390 AD
For more on St. Gregory of Nazianzus and his teachings

 

For more from Dr. Matthew Bunson check out his Discerning Hearts page

Dr. Matthew E. Bunson is a Register senior editor and senior contributor to EWTN News. For the past 20 years, he has been active in the area of Catholic social communications and education, including writing, editing, and teaching on a variety of topics related to Church history, the papacy, the saints, and Catholic culture. He is faculty chair at Catholic Distance University, a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and the author or co-author of over 50 books including The Encyclopedia of Catholic History, The Pope Encyclopedia, We Have a Pope! Benedict XVI, The Saints Encyclopedia and best-selling biographies of St. Damien of Molokai and St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

SD10 – Recalling the Responses to Spiritual Desolation – Spiritual Desolation: Be Aware, Understand, Take Action with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 10  – Fr. Gallagher recalls the pointed responses to desolation found in Rules 5 – 14.  He then shares some personal reflections which demonstrate how helpful the rules helpful in resisting Spiritual Desolation.

From  Setting the Captives Free: Personal Reflections on Ignatian Discernment of Spirits

“The Enemy Claims Power over the Future”

I wrote this next entry after a further surgery, when I could not yet see what lay ahead. The following are notes on a conversation of spiritual direction:

Ed spoke of the fear about the “what-ifs.” This is the taunting of the enemy, meant to discourage you, claiming power over the future. You’ll never return to active ministry, never be able to share community life as before. The enemy wants you to focus on what is dark, and to pull you into the future seen in this way.

The Holy Spirit is helping you to pray in this, and Mary is present to you. Turn quickly to the Lord, ask Mary’s intercession, in such times.

The enemy is all about the negatives, the “nos.” The truth, even on a medical level, is that there is progress, and you are getting stronger. The medical situations are moving ahead. There is real hope, and the Lord with his love is with you. So, be quick to turn away from the negative thoughts. Don’t even open the door! Renounce the lies. Even imagining what might happen is a temptation. Be in the present, be open to his grace today, surrender to his will today. As Ed said this, I realized that this I could do.

Surrender to his Heart as best you can today. The surrender is not a surrender to “the worst” but to his faithful love for you. This is the one you surrender to.

I found it very helpful to talk about this spiritual desolation and receive guidance regarding the enemy’s discouraging tactics (rule 13). This was a nonspiritual vulnerability after a surgery that gave the enemy an opening for spiritual desolation. A common trait of spiritual desolation—the enemy’s claim of power over the future, always seen in a dark light— was also evident that day. Ed’s advice to reject this tactic of the enemy immediately reflected Ignatius’s counsel in rule 12: resist in the very beginning, before the burden can grow. Ed was right, too, that objectively things were improving on the medical level. In the nonspiritual and spiritual desolation, I found it hard to see that on my own, and it was encouraging to hear Ed and recognize the truth of what he said.

You can find this book 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

For the other episodes in this series check out Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page

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