The Gift of Holiness – Advent Retreat Reflection by Deacon James Keating Ph.D.

This reflection was given during a special Discerning Hearts Advent evening of prayer and meditation at St. Margaret Mary’s Church in Omaha, NE

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. 

 

 

 

TSP7 – Entering the Fifth Mansion – St. Teresa of Avila, Spiritual Warfare, and the Progress of the Soul with Dan Burke – Discerning Hearts Podcasts


Episode 7 – Entering the Fifth Mansion – St. Teresa, Spiritual Warfare, and the Progress of the Soul with Dan Burke

Join Dan Burke and Kris McGregor as they discuss the teachings of the great spiritual master and Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila.  The focus of their conversations will primarily reside in St. Teresa’s “Interior Castle” and her wisdom in regard to the activity of the enemy and the reality of spiritual warfare.


You can find the book here

An excerpt from the book:

Have you ever considered that the devil is active in your prayer life? In the parish church where you attend Mass? In the lives and actions of people of goodwill all around you? The saints remind us of a key aspect of living the spiritual life that we are wont to forget simply because we can’t see it and because we have been conditioned by the media and popular culture to think the devil works visibly only in “bad” people or in extraordinary ways, as in the movies. And although demons are certainly capable of extravagant or extraordinary manifestations, their ordinary work flies under our radar because it just isn’t that spectacular, though it is deadly.

In fact, subtlety, illusion, and deceit are their preferred methods of attack. An invisible battle for souls is being waged in and around us without reprieve, and we remain ignorant of it to our peril. St. Teresa of Avila, great mystic and Doctor of the Church, is best known for her writings on the way God leads souls along the path to union with Him through prayer. What many do not know about St. Teresa is that she also observed the actions of demons working with militant force to lead even good souls astray in ways that might surprise you. She shares these experiences freely in her autobiography, which she was commanded to write under obedience to her spiritual director.

Burke, Dan; Burke, Dan. The Devil in the Castle: St. Teresa of Avila, Spiritual Warfare, and the Progress of the Soul (p. 12). Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition.


For more episodes in this series visit Dan Burke’s Discerning Hearts page here


Dan Burke is the founder and President of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, which offers graduate and personal enrichment studies in spiritual theology to priests, deacons, religious, and laity in 72 countries and prepares men for seminary in 14 dioceses.

Dan is the author and editor of more than 15 books on authentic Catholic spirituality and hosts the Divine Intimacy Radio show with his wife, Stephanie, which is broadcast weekly on EWTN Radio. Past episodes can be found, along with thousands of articles on the interior life, at SpiritualDirection.com.

In his deep commitment to the advancement of faithful Catholic spirituality, he is also the founder of Apostoli Viae, a world-wide, private association of the faithful dedicated to living and advancing the authentic spiritual patrimony of the Church.

Most importantly, Dan is a blessed husband, father of four, grandfather of one—and grateful to be Catholic.

AR-SP2- THE GIFT OF HOLINESS AT CHRISTMAS w/ Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B., PhD.

AR-SP2- THE GIFT OF HOLINESS AT CHRISTMAS w/ Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B., Ph.D.

This reflection was given during a special advent evening of prayer and meditation service at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, in Omaha, NE.

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.

PSM10 – The Inward then Outward, Upward then Downward Movement of Liturgy – Pathway to Sacred Mysteries with Dr. David Fagerberg – Discerning Hearts Podcast



Dr. David Fagerberg

Episode 10 – The Inward then Outward, Upward then Downward Movement of Liturgy – Pathway to Sacred Mysteries with Dr. David Fagerberg Ph.D.

Dr. David Fagerberg and Kris McGregor discuss the Anabatic and Katabatic movements of the liturgy.

Here are some of the topics explored in this episode:

From the discussion with Dr. Fagerberg:

This is from my theological diary once more. There are two movements in the liturgy and the Greek language identified them as anabatic and katabatic. Basis means to go. Anabatic is to go up. Katabatic is to go down. The anabatic movement in liturgy is our ascent into the heavenly realms. Lift up your hearts. The katabatic is the spirit’s descent upon the assembly and the sacrifice.

Oh, the dictionary includes a meteorological definition for Anabasis as well. It says pertaining to an uphill wind produced by the effects of local heating. No wait. That’s a Pentecostal definition. The dictionary also gives a spatial metaphor. Anabasis, it says, is a march from the coast to the interior, where in silence one will find the Holy Spirit waiting. While Catabasis is a march from the interior of a country to the coast, where in need one will find the world waiting.

Every liturgy is a two-way march inward then outward, or upward then downward. But here’s the paragraph that made me think of it now and this is just especially for you in your tornado. The prefix acro means aloft. The Holy Spirit restores Adam and Eve’s wings making us liturgical acrobats, acrobasis, tumbling twirling, doing barrel rolls with the angels above the altar. Liturgical aestheticism lightens one’s gravity and increases the measure of our liturgical capacity.

So I’ll open a summer camp for liturgical acrobats and the people who have a thin definition will think that I’m actually doing something like a clown liturgy, but will actually start with prayer fasting and alms giving. Try to overcome the passions, learn how to overcome the passions so that we could become lofty liturgists twirling aloft. Acrobasis. I told you I don’t know other languages. I mean, I’m just bad at it. I passed my language exams, but I do like single words and they just turn like a ruby. They don’t have all those other words cluttering up the sentence, those single words are just gems to me.


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

SJC15 – Receptivity to God’s Presence – St. John of the Cross with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast


SJC15 – Receptivity to God’s Presence – St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast

In this series Fr. Donald Haggerty and Kris McGregor discuss the depths of prayer as explored by St. John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor of the Church.

An excerpt from St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation 

The whole matter is nonetheless very delicate in description. The beginning of contemplation is not just a passive drifting with an interior current of grace that carries the soul away easily into the presence of God. A soul must learn to give itself to a quiet, loving attentiveness and discover that in the silence itself the mystery of God is hidden. There is a need to learn that nothing is lost in relinquishing active, reflective thought, as long as one’s attentiveness remains turned toward the mystery of the divine presence. Letting go in this way, so that God himself permeates the inner “activity” of prayer, requires a gradual adjustment to a new attraction felt inwardly in the soul. Receptivity is certainly the key word of advice. The soul must receive the inclination of quiet and respond to it with surrender, without seeking to grasp at an experience that it can claim as its own. It has to trust that God is mysteriously near and strive to be receptive to his hidden, drawing action. Saint John of the Cross offers this description: The proper advice for these individuals is that they must learn to abide in that quietude with a loving attentiveness to God and pay no heed to the imagination and its work. At this stage, as was said, the faculties are at rest and do not work actively but passively, by receiving what God is effecting in them. If at times the soul puts the faculties to work, it should not use excessive efforts or studied reasonings, but it should proceed with gentleness of love, moved more by God than by its own abilities. (AMC 2.12.8)

The essential adjustment into this new stage of prayer is thus twofold in nature. The four earlier signs demonstrate a need to relinquish meditative prayer because it no longer works. If a soul perceives itself at fault for the inability to meditate, it tends to impede and block the desire it feels delicately for a silence alone with God. It has to fight off, if necessary, an anxious concern that it is failing in diligence if it no longer pursues meditative prayer. The advice to trust one’s heart and its deeper desire at this time is apt. The choice to leave behind meditation happens more easily to the degree a person is more docile to the deeper inclination. Nonetheless, there remains the dilemma what to do now in a quiet and solitary state, without giving thought and imagination to any subject. This is the second aspect of a necessary adjustment. A soul almost always finds itself initially in a transitional state of some confusion. It needs to cross a bridge not knowing what it means to be on the other side of a silence without thought. The recommendation to embrace a “loving knowledge” of God is not refined sufficiently in most lives to be identified clearly as a target of desire.

The soul may be subject to gentle waves of intermittent desire and feel an inclination drawing it. When it abandons meditation and gives way to the desire “to remain alone in loving awareness of God” (AMC 2.13.4), forsaking considerations, it is possible that it may soon find a new satisfaction. “Interior peace and quiet and repose” (AMC 2.13.4) may now gradually permeate it, without any need to respond with acts and exercises. A preference to stay in that quiet and peace may be gently felt, without realizing so well that it is being drawn to a deeper love for God. At the same time, a lack of perception is often experienced because a painful aridity is also felt. The aridity can be strong despite the obscure desire to enter into a greater love for God. A passage from The Dark Night exposes some of the difficulty of this moment of adjustment. It also identifies benefits that accrue precisely from the difficulty.

Haggerty, Donald. Saint John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation (pp. 189-191). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition. (AMC 2.13.7).


For more episodes in this series visit Fr. Haggerty’s Discerning Hearts page here


You find the book on which this series is based here

WM35 – The First Sunday of Advent and the Kerygma – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction 3

Episode 35 –  First Sunday of Advent and the Kerygma – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas

Archbishop Lucas and Kris McGregor discuss the season of Advent and its particular nature in relation to the Kerygma (the pronouncement of the Good News).  In this episode, they discuss the gospel reading found in the First Sunday of Advent.

Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

For more episodes in this series visit the

Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast page

For more teachings and information about Archbishop George J. Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, visit:   archomaha.org

The First Sunday of Advent with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast

Msgr-Esseff-2-e1442263119679-497x526-283x300Msgr. Esseff reflects on the start of this new Advent season in the life of the Church.  He makes suggestions on how we can make our spiritual journey more fruitful, not only for ourselves but also for the world.

Reading 2  ROM 13:11-14

Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
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

Thanksgiving – Cultivating a Spirit of Gratitude – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the Sacred Scriptures chosen for the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.  The greatest gift we have is the relationship with Jesus Christ.

Reading 1 SIR 50:22-24

And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
to deliver us in our days

Gospel LK 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  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 Pope St. 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.

 

HIDT8 – Conference 8 – Hope in Difficult Times with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts


Conference 8 – Hope in Difficult Times: with Sts. Therese, Louis, and Zelie and Their Family with Fr. Timothy Gallagher O.M.V.

Fr. Timothy Gallagher reflects on the lives of  St. Thérèse, Sts. Zelie and Louis, Servant of God Leonie, and many others from the Martin family. You will often hear in the family’s own words, through their letters and other writings, how they too were challenged by the same things that affect us today.  How they struggled and persevered through all the above questions to become the beloved family of saints we know today.

In Conference 8, Fr. Gallagher concludes the retreat with letters from St. Therese to a fellow Sister in the Carmelites, showing the depths of Therese’s sanctity in loving others, even the “difficult” ones.


Did you know that Fr. Timothy Gallagher has 14 different podcasts series on Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts?  Visit here to discover more!

 

TSP6 – Obstacles to Contemplative Spirituality – St. Teresa of Avila, Spiritual Warfare, and the Progress of the Soul with Dan Burke – Discerning Hearts Podcasts


Episode 6 – Obstacles to Contemplative Spirituality – St. Teresa, Spiritual Warfare, and the Progress of the Soul with Dan Burke

Join Dan Burke and Kris McGregor as they discuss the teachings of the great spiritual master and Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila.  The focus of their conversations will primarily reside in St. Teresa’s “Interior Castle” and her wisdom in regard to the activity of the enemy and the reality of spiritual warfare.


You can find the book here

An excerpt from the book:

Have you ever considered that the devil is active in your prayer life? In the parish church where you attend Mass? In the lives and actions of people of goodwill all around you? The saints remind us of a key aspect of living the spiritual life that we are wont to forget simply because we can’t see it and because we have been conditioned by the media and popular culture to think the devil works visibly only in “bad” people or in extraordinary ways, as in the movies. And although demons are certainly capable of extravagant or extraordinary manifestations, their ordinary work flies under our radar because it just isn’t that spectacular, though it is deadly.

In fact, subtlety, illusion, and deceit are their preferred methods of attack. An invisible battle for souls is being waged in and around us without reprieve, and we remain ignorant of it to our peril. St. Teresa of Avila, great mystic and Doctor of the Church, is best known for her writings on the way God leads souls along the path to union with Him through prayer. What many do not know about St. Teresa is that she also observed the actions of demons working with militant force to lead even good souls astray in ways that might surprise you. She shares these experiences freely in her autobiography, which she was commanded to write under obedience to her spiritual director.

Burke, Dan; Burke, Dan. The Devil in the Castle: St. Teresa of Avila, Spiritual Warfare, and the Progress of the Soul (p. 12). Sophia Institute Press. Kindle Edition.


For more episodes in this series visit Dan Burke’s Discerning Hearts page here


Dan Burke is the founder and President of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, which offers graduate and personal enrichment studies in spiritual theology to priests, deacons, religious, and laity in 72 countries and prepares men for seminary in 14 dioceses.

Dan is the author and editor of more than 15 books on authentic Catholic spirituality and hosts the Divine Intimacy Radio show with his wife, Stephanie, which is broadcast weekly on EWTN Radio. Past episodes can be found, along with thousands of articles on the interior life, at SpiritualDirection.com.

In his deep commitment to the advancement of faithful Catholic spirituality, he is also the founder of Apostoli Viae, a world-wide, private association of the faithful dedicated to living and advancing the authentic spiritual patrimony of the Church.

Most importantly, Dan is a blessed husband, father of four, grandfather of one—and grateful to be Catholic.