VEC7 – Valentinus – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 7 – Valentinus – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Valentinus and Gnostic teaching.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

We know almost nothing about Valentinus the man except that he was well educated. He had much more higher education than the average Christian: he had studied at Alexandria, so he had the ancient equivalent of a Harvard or Oxford degree. He had specialized in Platonic studies, meaning that he knew Plato backwards and forwards, at least as Plato was interpreted by later students who claimed to have understood him. (Like many philosophy students today, Valentinus probably learned about Plato from secondary sources more than from actually reading Plato.)

In about 130, Valentinus came to Rome and he stayed there for about twenty years. Thus, he was in Rome at the same time as Marcion. Valentinus later ended up in Cyprus.1

One thing his opponents gave Valentinus credit for was his brain. Tertullian and, much later, Jerome both considered him to have a formidable mind. But he applied that mind to creating an incredibly convoluted mythology rather than simply understanding the Scriptures. In this Valentinus was just like all the other Gnostics: incredibly convoluted mythologies were their stock in trade. The simple truth was for simple people. Like some academics today, the Gnostic teachers felt a need to prove their intellectual worth by filling their writings with jargon nobody but other Gnostics could understand.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

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

 

 

The Centrality of Jesus Christ – Building a Kingdom of Love w/Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. John Esseff Jesus Christ Podcast Devil Satan Exorcist

The Centrality of Jesus.

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the significance of the proclamation of John the Baptist.  He is the Lamb of God!  What does that mean for our lives?  Who is the devil and what are his deceptive tactics that confuse and frustrate the believer and society.

Gospel JN 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  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 that was 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.

ST-John Ep 13 – John 6: I am the Bread of Life part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 13 – John 6:  I Am the Bread of Life pt 1  

As we begin our lecture on John 6, Sharon reminds us that Jesus came for all:  the common Jew, the Jewish aristocracy, the Samaritans, the Edomites and ultimately for the entire world.  We also recall from the end of John 5 that Moses wrote of Jesus (DEUT 18:15) who is the THEE prophet raised from his own people.  Moving on to the feeding of the 5000, Sharon teaches about the typology of Jesus, the new Moses.  The signs of Moses and the signs of Jesus are strikingly similar:  Moses turns the water of the Nile into blood and Jesus turns the water at Cana into wine and through the Eucharist, wine into blood; Moses receives the Law at Mt. Sinai and Jesus fulfills the Law; Israel receives manna, the bread from heaven and Jesus IS the Eucharistic bread from heaven; Moses battles Pharaoh, whose hardened heart embodies Satan and Jesus battles Judas, whose heart is entered by Satan.  Sharon then goes on to teach us about the harrowing of Hades, outlining the scriptural basis for this belief that we profess each time we recite the Apostles Creed.   Moving then into the heart of John 6, Sharon shows us the Old Testament prefigurement of the Eucharist, beginning with the animal sacrifices prescribed throughout the Torah.  We learn that animal blood was necessary for the atonement of sin, but consuming the animal blood was expressly forbidden (LEV 17:10) which helps us understand the scandal of Jesus’ word: “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (JN 6:53).”  Even though the Israelites ate manna in the desert, they still died.  Jesus, the new Moses, is the heavenly bread that gives us eternal life.   Sharon transitions to a wonderful teaching about the Jewish feast days, showing us how Jesus fulfills the feast days that are law as described in Torah.  Beginning with Passover, we see how the blood of the Lamb that protected the Israelites from the angel of death prefigures the blood of the Lamb of God who saves us from death.  The feast of Unleavened Bread that follows is likewise fulfilled in Jesus, the sin-free bread that is broken, yet whole; the Eucharistic sacrifice that brings us into union with God.  Next, the Feast of First Fruits is realized in the risen Jesus, the first fruits of all that have died (1 COR 15:20).  The lecture concludes as it began, looking once again at the feeding of the 5000, showing us the symbolic importance of the barley loaves and the counting of the Omer, which connects the Passover with the Jewish Pentecost and then by extension, connecting the crucifixion of Christ with the descent of the Holy Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost.

 

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

POA6 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 1 – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. – Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

Episode 6 – “Know your Weapons” pt. 1- Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 4:

The weapon of prayer In writing to the Ephesians, St. Paul goes on to identify several specific pieces of armor, and weapons as well. Indispensable in this list of the spiritual warrior’s equipment is prayer. “With all prayer and supplication,” he insists, “pray at all times in the Spirit, and  .  .  . be vigilant in all perseverance and all supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6: 18).

The weapon of worship Of course, prayer isn’t just a private matter. Praying not just for others, but with others, forms an important part of spiritual warfare. And the most perfect prayer in which we can join with our fellow warriors is the prayer of the Mass.

Worship is a spiritual weapon. When we worship God, we enter into His presence in a powerful way. Because demons tremble at His presence, they are reluctant to follow us there.

The weapon of Eucharistic adoration Outside of Mass, the other great refuge from the Devil and his wiles is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

The weapon of fasting Throughout Sacred Scripture, we find that when God’s people fast, the power of their prayers is increased, especially when they are engaged in spiritual warfare. In the Old Testament, the Lord told Isaiah that a fast properly undertaken would “loose the bonds of wickedness  .  .  . undo the thongs of the yoke  .  .  . let the oppressed go free” (Is 58: 6).

Visit here for other episodes in this series:
Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

manual-for-spiritual-warfar-189x300

The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here

Paul Thigpen, Ph.D, is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.

Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.

In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings,speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.

 

DC29 St. Hildegard pt 2 – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson

Dr. Matthew Bunson St. Hildegard Catholic Podcast

Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Hildegard von Bingen

Born: September 16, 1098, Bermersheim vor der Höhe, Germany
Died: September 17, 1179, Bingen am Rhein, Germany
Film music credits: Vision – From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen

For more on St. Hildegard von Bingen and his teachings

5. Hildegard’s anthropology begins from the biblical narrative of the creation of man (Gen 1:26), made in the image and likeness of God. Man, according to Hildegard’s biblically inspired cosmology, contains all the elements of the world because the entire universe is recapitulated in him; he is formed from the very matter of creation. The human person can therefore consciously enter into a relationship with God. This does not happen through a direct vision, but, in the words of Saint Paul, as “in a mirror” (1 Cor 13:12). The divine image in man consists in his rationality, structured as intellect and will. Thanks to his intellect, man can distinguish between good and evil; thanks to his will, he is spurred to action.

Human beings are seen as a unity of body and soul. The German mystic shows a positive appreciation of corporeity and providential value is given even to the body’s weaknesses. The body is not a weight from which to be delivered. Although human beings are weak and frail, this “teaches” them a sense of creatureliness and humility, protecting them from pride and arrogance. Hildegard contemplated in a vision the souls of the blessed in paradise waiting to be rejoined to their bodies. Our bodies, like the body of Christ, are oriented to the glorious resurrection, to the supreme transformation for eternal life. The very vision of God, in which eternal life consists, cannot be definitively achieved without the body.

St. Hildegard of Bingen Dr. Matthew Bunson Discerning Hearts PodcastThe human being exists in both the male and female form. Hildegard recognized that a relationship of reciprocity and a substantial equality between man and woman is rooted in this ontological structure of the human condition. Nevertheless the mystery of sin also dwells in humanity, and was manifested in history for the first time precisely in the relationship between Adam and Eve. Unlike other medieval authors who saw Eve’s weakness as the cause of the Fall, Hildegard places it above all in Adam’s immoderate passion for her.

Even in their condition as sinners, men and women continue to be the recipients of God’s love, because God’s love is unconditional and, after the Fall, acquires the face of mercy. Even the punishment that God inflicts on the man and woman brings out the merciful love of the Creator. In this regard, the most precise description of the human creature is that of someone on a journey, homo viator. On this pilgrimage towards the homeland, the human person is called to a struggle in order constantly to choose what is good and avoid evil.

The constant choice of good produces a virtuous life. The Son of God made man is the subject of all virtues, therefore the imitation of Christ consists precisely in living a virtuous life in communion with Christ. The power of virtue derives from the Holy Spirit, poured into the hearts of believers, who brings about upright behaviour. This is the purpose of human existence. In this way man experiences his Christ-like perfection.

So as to achieve this goal, the Lord has given his Church the sacraments

6. So as to achieve this goal, the Lord has given his Church the sacraments. Salvation and the perfection of the human being are not achieved through the effort of the will alone, but rather through the gifts of grace that God grants in the Church.

The Church herself is the first sacrament that God places in the world so that she may communicate salvation to mankind. The Church, built up from “living souls”, may rightly be considered virgin, bride and mother, and thus resembles closely the historical and mystical figure of the Mother of God. The Church communicates salvation first of all by keeping and proclaiming the two great mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation, which are like the two “primary sacraments”; and then through administration of the other sacraments.

The summit of the sacramental nature of the Church is the Eucharist. The sacraments produce the sanctification of believers, salvation and purification from sin, redemption and charity and all the other virtues. However, to repeat, the Church lives because God within her has manifested his intraTrinitarian love, which was revealed in Christ. The Lord Jesus is the mediator par excellence. From the Trinitarian womb he comes to encounter man and from Mary’s womb he encounters God. As the Son of God, he is love incarnate; as the Son of Mary, he is humanity’s representative before the throne of God.

The human person can have an experience of God. Relationship with him, in fact, is not lived solely in the sphere of rationality, but involves the person totally. All the external and internal senses of the human being are involved in the experience of God. “But man was created in the image and likeness of God, so that he might act through the five bodily senses; he is not divided by them, rather through them he is wise, knowledgeable and intelligent in doing his work (…). For this very reason, because man is wise, knowledgeable and intelligent, he knows creation; he knows God — whom he cannot see except by faith — through creation and his great works, even if with his five senses he barely comprehends them” (Explanatio Symboli Sancti Athanasii in PL 197, 1073). This experiential process finds once again, its fullness in participation in the sacraments.

Hildegard also saw contradictions in the lives of individual members of the faithful and reported the most deplorable situations. She emphasized in particular that individualism in doctrine and in practice on the part of both lay people and ordained ministers is an expression of pride and constitutes the main obstacle to the Church’s evangelizing mission to non-Christians.

One of the salient points of Hildegard’s magisterium was her heartfelt exhortation to a virtuous life addressed to consecrated men and women. Her understanding of the consecrated life is a true “theological metaphysics”, because it is firmly rooted in the theological virtue of faith, which is the source and constant impulse to full commitment in obedience, poverty and chastity. In living out the evangelical counsels, the consecrated person shares in the experience of Christ, poor, chaste and obedient, and follows in his footsteps in daily life. This is fundamental in the consecrated life.

The monastic liturgy and the interiorization of sacred Scripture are central to her thought

7. Hildegard’s eminent doctrine echoes the teaching of the Apostles, the Fathers and writings of her own day, while it finds a constant point of reference in the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monastic liturgy and the interiorization of sacred Scripture are central to her thought which, focusing on the mystery of the Incarnation, is expressed in a profound unity of style and inner content that runs through all her writings.

The teaching of the holy Benedictine nun stands as a beacon for homo viator. Her message appears extraordinarily timely in today’s world, which is especially sensitive to the values that she proposed and lived. For example, we think of Hildegard’s charismatic and speculative capacity, which offers a lively incentive to theological research; her reflection on the mystery of Christ, considered in its beauty; the dialogue of the Church and theology with culture, science and contemporary art; the ideal of the consecrated life as a possibility for human fulfilment; her appreciation of the liturgy as a celebration of life; her understanding of the reform of the Church, not as an empty change of structure but as conversion of heart; her sensitivity to nature, whose laws are to be safeguarded and not violated.

For these reasons the attribution of the title of Doctor of the Universal Church to Hildegard of Bingen has great significance for today’s world and an extraordinary importance for women. In Hildegard are expressed the most noble values of womanhood: hence the presence of women in the Church and in society is also illumined by her presence, both from the perspective of scientific research and that of pastoral activity. Her ability to speak to those who were far from the faith and from the Church make Hildegard a credible witness of the new evangelization.

By virtue of her reputation for holiness and her eminent teaching, on 6 March 1979 Cardinal Joseph Höffner, Archbishop of Cologne and President of the German Bishops’ Conference, together with the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops of the same Conference, including myself as Cardinal Archbishop of Munich and Freising, submitted to Blessed John Paul II the request that Hildegard of Bingen be declared a Doctor of the Universal Church. In that petition, the Cardinal emphasized the soundness of Hildegard’s doctrine, recognized in the twelfth century by Pope Eugene III, her holiness, widely known and celebrated by the people, and the authority of her writings.

Doctor of th Universal Church

As time passed, other petitions were added to that of the German Bishops’ Conference, first and foremost the petition from the nuns of Eibingen Monastery, which bears her name. Thus, to the common wish of the People of God that Hildegard be officially canonized, was added the request that she be declared a “Doctor of the Universal Church”.

With my consent, therefore, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints diligently prepared a Positio super Canonizatione et Concessione tituli Doctoris Ecclesiae Universalis for the Mystic of Bingen. Since this concerned a famous teacher of theology who had been the subject of many authoritative studies, I granted the dispensation from the measures prescribed by article 73 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus. The cause was therefore examined and approved by the Cardinals and Bishops, who met in Plenary Session on 20 March 2012. The proponent (ponens) of the cause was His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

At the audience of 10 May 2012, Cardinal Amato informed us in detail about the status quaestionis and the unanimous vote of the Fathers at the above-mentioned Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. On 27 May 2012, Pentecost Sunday, I had the joy of announcing to the crowd of pilgrims from all over the world gathered in Saint Peter’s Square the news of the conferral of the title of Doctor of the Universal Church upon Saint Hildegard of Bingen and Saint John of Avila at the beginning of the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and on the eve of the Year of Faith.

Today, with the help of God and the approval of the whole Church, this act has taken place. In Saint Peter’s Square, in the presence of many Cardinals and Prelates of the Roman Curia and of the Catholic Church, in confirming the acts of the process and willingly granting the desires of the petitioners, I spoke the following words in the course of the Eucharistic sacrifice: “Fulfilling the wishes of numerous brethren in the episcopate, and of many of the faithful throughout the world, after due consultation with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with certain knowledge and after mature deliberation, with the fullness of my apostolic authority I declare Saint John of Avila, diocesan priest, and Saint Hildegard of Bingen, professed nun of the Order of Saint Benedict, to be Doctors of the Universal Church. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

For more visit Vatican.va

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

Dr. Matthew E. Bunson is a Register senior editor and a 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.

RN38 – “Promotion of Peace” in the Compendium of Social Doctrine Ch 9 w/ Deacon Omar Gutierrez podcast

Omar Gutierrez Catholic Social Teaching Episode 38- Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Gutierrez – We continue the study of the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church”  Chapter 11 “Promotion of Peace”

CHAPTER ELEVEN
THE PROMOTION OF PEACE

I. BIBLICAL ASPECTS

II. PEACE: THE FRUIT OF JUSTICE AND LOVE

III. THE FAILURE OF PEACE: WAR
a. 
Legitimate defense
b. 
Defending peace
c. 
The duty to protect the innocent
d. 
Measures against those who threaten peace
e. 
Disarmament
f. 
The condemnation of terrorism

IV. THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE CHURCH TO PEACE

 

Also, visit Omar’s “Discerning Hearts” page Catholic Social Teaching 101
urging-of-christs-love

ROHC-5 The Purpose of Life – The Heart of Hope w/ Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – Discerning Hearts podcast

The Purpose of Life

Deacon James Keating Discerning Hearts Podcast Suffering

Heart of Hope Part 5 –  Deacon Keating discusses the purpose of life,  the suffering of humanity and how it relates to the grace of God.  Emotional Suffering, Purgation,  Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, and Redemption.

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

This extraordinarily popular series explores the work of suffering in the Christian life and how God can use it to transform the heart of the individual and the world.

The “Heart of Hope”  tackles a very tough subject…the gift of suffering in the Christian life.  Deacon Keating guides us well.

You can find other episodes in the Heart of Hope – Discerning Hearts series page

 

 

VEC6 – Marcion – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 6 – Marcion – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Marcion and the dangers of money…to the extreme!

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

Marcion was a rich businessman who thought he had figured out the real meaning of the Gospel. He used the power of money to found a kind of parallel church, and he was very successful for a while—which tells you a little about the state of Christianity at the time, and a lot about what you could do with money in the Roman Empire in those days.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

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

 

 

ST-John Ep 12 – John 5: Do You Want To Be Healed? part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Episode 12 – John 5:  Do You Want To Be Healed pt.2  

Before an in-depth look at John 5, Sharon reminds us of some of the themes of John’s Gospel, including “the hour” and “the seven signs”.  Also, we recall Photina, the Samaritan woman at the well, who underwent a metanoia as she turned away from sin and back toward the Lord.  In addition, we learn an interesting detail about the royal official, who begs Jesus to heal his son.  While there is a parallel with the Synoptic Gospels’ story of the healing of the centurion’s son, the royal official is a different person.  Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, was the ruling king over Galilee at the time of Jesus and this royal official would have served in the palace of Herod Antipas, who was an Edomite.  The clear message is that Christ offers salvation to all:  Jesus came for the common Jews at Cana, for the Jewish aristocracy with Nicodemus, for the Samaritans with Photina, and now for the Edomites with the royal official’s son.  Sharon raises a small but important detail.  Often when Jesus is addressing the Jews, he is referring to the Jewish leaders who opposed him, as distinguished from the common Jewish people, many of whom were among his followers.  Moving on to John 5, we hear the story of the man who lay paralyzed for 38 years at the pool of Bethzatha.  This number reminds us of the Israelites who needed 38 years to break free of the bondage of the Moses generation and into the Joshua generation that could enter the Promised Land (Deut 2:14).  Sharon then combines archaeology, mythology, scripture, and theology to reveal the deeper meaning of this passage.  As Sharon beautifully teaches us, the pool of Bethzatha was actually a healing pool dedicated to the Greek mythological deity Asclepius, the god of medicine, health, and healing.   Jesus does not use the pagan waters when he heals the lame man.  Rather, he simply commands him to get up, pick up his mat, leave, and abandon his misguided faith in the mythological god Asclepius.  Jesus is the true source of healing.   The paralyzed man had put his trust in a false god and Jesus warns him not to fall back into the sin of idolatry lest something worse happen to him.  Sharon concludes with the same question Jesus asked the man:  Do you want to be healed?  This is the question posed to us each time we receive the Eucharist.  Do you really want to be healed?  And if the answer is yes, then we just have to avail ourselves to the healing power of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the true source of healing.

 

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

DC28 St. Hildegard pt 1 – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson

St. Hildegard of Bingen Matthew Bunson Doctor of Church Podcast

Dr. Matthew Bunson discusses the life, times and teachings of St. Hildegard von Bingen

Born: September 16, 1098, Bermersheim vor der Höhe, Germany
Died: September 17, 1179, Bingen am Rhein, Germany

For more on St. Hildegard von Bingen and her teachings

1. A “light for her people and her time”: in these words Blessed John Paul II, my Venerable Predecessor, described Saint Hildegard of Bingen in 1979, on the occasion of the eight-hundredth anniversary of the death of this German mystic. This great woman truly stands out crystal clear against the horizon of history for her holiness of life and the originality of her teaching. And, as with every authentic human and theological experience, her authority reaches far beyond the confines of a single epoch or society; despite the distance of time and culture, her thought has proven to be of lasting relevance.

St. Hildegard of Bingen Matthew Bunson Doctor of Church PodcastIn Saint Hildegard of Bingen there is a wonderful harmony between teaching and daily life. In her, the search for God’s will in the imitation of Christ was expressed in the constant practice of virtue, which she exercised with supreme generosity and which she nourished from biblical, liturgical and patristic roots in the light of the Rule of Saint Benedict. Her persevering practice of obedience, simplicity, charity and hospitality was especially visible.

In her desire to belong completely to the Lord, this Benedictine Abbess was able to bring together rare human gifts, keen intelligence and an ability to penetrate heavenly realities.

2. Hildegard was born in 1098 at Bermersheim, Alzey, to parents of noble lineage who were wealthy landowners. At the age of eight she was received as an oblate at the Benedictine Abbey of Disibodenberg, where in 1115 she made her religious profession. Upon the death of Jutta of Sponheim, around the year 1136, Hildegard was called to succeed her as magistra. Infirm in physical health but vigorous in spirit, she committed herself totally to the renewal of religious life. At the basis of her spirituality was the Benedictine Rule which views spiritual balance and ascetical moderation as paths to holiness. Following the increase in vocations to the religious life, due above all to the high esteem in which Hildegard was held, around 1150 she founded a monastery on the hill of Rupertsberg, near Bingen, where she moved with twenty sisters. In 1165, she established another monastery on the opposite bank of the Rhine. She was the Abbess of both.

Within the walls of the cloister, she cared for the spiritual and material well-being of her sisters, fostering in a special way community life, culture and the liturgy. In the outside world she devoted herself actively to strengthening the Christian faith and reinforcing religious practice, opposing the heretical trends of the Cathars, promoting Church reform through her writings and preaching and contributing to the improvement of the discipline and life of clerics. At the invitation first of Hadrian IV and later of Alexander III, Hildegard practised a fruitful apostolate, something unusual for a woman at that time, making several journeys, not without hardship and difficulty, to preach even in public squares and in various cathedral churches, such as at Cologne, Trier, Liège, Mainz, Metz, Bamberg and Würzburg. The profound spirituality of her writings had a significant influence both on the faithful and on important figures of her time and brought about an incisive renewal of theology, liturgy, natural sciences and music. Stricken by illness in the summer of 1179, Hildegard died in the odour of sanctity, surrounded by her sisters at the monastery of Rupertsberg, Bingen, on 17 September 1179

Read moreDC28 St. Hildegard pt 1 – The Doctors of the Church: The Charism of Wisdom w/ Dr. Matthew Bunson