BKL#52 – The Poor/Holy Souls and Purgatory – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and on how we pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory:

Reading 1 Wis 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.  

 

BKL270 – The Trap of Self-Righteous Prayer – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts

Msgr-Esseff-2-e1442263119679-497x526-283x300

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and on how we pray:

Gospel     LK 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. 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. 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.

 

BKL269 – “On Prayer” – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff podcast

Show 269 ” Building a Kingdom of Love” –   On Prayer

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and on how we pray:

Gospel       LK 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.'”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”  

 

 

 

 

BKL202 – The Gift of “Thank You” – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr-Esseff-2-e1442263119679-497x526-283x300Msgr. Esseff reflects on gratitude, particularly in difficult times.

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 lepers 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. He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. 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 Bl. 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.

 

“FEAR NOT!” The Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary reflection and teaching by Msgr. Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the scriptures and the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He speaks of the power of the name of Jesus, the message of Our Lady of Fatima, and the many aspects which are contained in the mysteries of the Rosary.  He also talks about the legacy of Fr. Patrick Peyton.

For a free Mp3 audio of all 4 mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary visit here

The Holy Rosary of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary text and mp3 audio download 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.  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.   

BKL227 – St. Therese, the Little Flower – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the life and prayer of St. Therese, the Little Flower.  He speaks of her simplicity of heart and great humility in her “little way”.  He shares his experience of his own mother’s prayer and that of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who both loved and prayed with the “Little Flower”.   The key is her “hiddenness”  and the beauty of a child.  She has a special message for women the world over, especially for our culture in the United States.

He would encourage all of us to ask in petition you may have need of, an educational issue, a job decision, a health issue, whatever it might be, turn to  St. Therese in prayer, especially today and tomorrow (the feast of the Guardian Angels).  He shares the story of his cousin Jimmy, his accident and a stranger who came to his aid, and why the angels and the saints and the power of prayer have such an influence on our lives.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.   

A Prayer for St. Padre Pio’s Intercession – Discerning Hearts

offered by Msgr. John Esseff

Saint Padre Pio or St. Pio of Pietrelcina (25 May 1887 – 23 September 1968) was a Capuchin priest from Italy and is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. He was popularly known as Padre Pio after his ordination to the priesthood. He became famous after receiving the “Stigmata“. On 16 June 2002, he was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II. Padre Pio is the Patron saint of Confessors, Catholic Adolescents, and Civil Defense Volunteers.

Prayer for Healing

Beloved Padre Pio,
Today I come to add my prayer to the thousands of prayers offered to thee every day by those who love and venerate thee. They ask for cures and healings, earthly and spiritual blessings, and peace for body and mind. And because of thy friendship with the Lord, He heals those thou doth ask to be healed, and forgives those thou forgiveth.

Through thy visible wounds of the Cross, which thou didst bear for fifty years, thou wert chosen in our time to glorify the crucified Jesus. Because the Cross has been replaced by other symbols, please help us to bring it back in our midst, for we acknowledge it is the only true sign of salvation. As we lovingly recall the wounds that pierced thy hands, feet and side, we not only remember the blood thou didst shed in pain, but thy smile, and the invisible halo of sweet-smelling flowers that surrounded thee, the perfume of sanctity.

In thy kindness, please help me with my own special request:

[mention here your petition, making the Sign of the Cross]

Bless me and my loved ones. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Pio

  O God, Thou didst give Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Capuchin priest, the great privilege of participating in a unique way in the Passion of Thy Son, grant me through his intercession the grace of . .  .  [name your request] which I ardently desire; and above all grant me the grace of living in conformity with the death of Jesus, to arrive at the glory of the resurrection.

Glory be to the Father . . . [three times].

 

Other Prayers –

Stay With Me, Lord Prayer
 by Padre Pio

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have Thee present so that I do not forget Thee. Thou knowest how easily I abandon Thee.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak, and I need Thy strength that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for Thou art my light, and without Thee I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Thy will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Thy voice and follow Thee.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love Thee very much and to be in Thy company always.

Stay with me, Lord, if Thou wisheth me to be faithful to Thee.

Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for Thee, a nest of love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes; death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need Thee. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need Thee, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all it’s dangers. I need Thee.

Let me recognize Thee as Thy disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to Thee, if not by communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for Divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but the gift of Thy Presence, oh yes, I ask this of Thee!

Stay with me, Lord, for it is Thou alone I look for, Thy Love, Thy Grace, Thy Will, Thy Heart, Thy Spirit because I love Thee and ask no other reward but to love Thee more and more.

With a firm love, I will love Thee with all my heart while on earth and continue to love Thee perfectly during all eternity. Amen

Chaplet of St. Padre Pio
(contains medal, Crucifix, and 3 sets of 3 brown beads)]

Oh Jesus, full of grace and charity, victim for sinners, so impelled by Thy love of us that Thou didst will to die on the Cross, I humbly entreat Thee to glorify in Heaven and on earth, the servant of God, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, who generously participated in Thy sufferings, who loved Thee so much and laboured so faithfully for the glory of Thy heavenly Father and for the good of souls.  With confidence, I beseech Thee to grant me, through his intercession, the grace of (mention your intentions) which I ardently desire.

Say 3 Our Father’s, 3 Hail Mary’s and 3 Glorias.

Prayer for St. Padre Pio’s Intercession

BKL226 – St. Padre Pio and the Healing of the Church- Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the life and teachings of St. Padre Pio.  He shares personal stories from his relationship with St. Pio.St.-Pio-10

St. Padre Pio Communion Prayer:

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have you present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and alway be in Your company.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.

Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close and life passes, death, judgment and eternity approach. It is necessary to renew my strenth, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen.

BKL267 – “Exaltation of the Holy Cross” – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  He describes in detail the true horror of this means of execution and what it meant to be crucified in the time of Jesus.  But he also talks about the great love that God has for us in embracing the Cross for our sake and what it means for us today.  A very powerful reflection.

BKL266 – “The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the birth of the Virgin Mary and the importance of the Blessed Mother in our lives.  The gift of her presence in the action of salvation history and  role is the “Mother” of us all.

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace,[e] the Lord is with you!”[f] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her,[g] “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 3And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechari′ah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[i] a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

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