Responding to the Call of Jesus with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of Jesus found in Luke Chapter 10 and our call to be missionaries in the world. What does that look like?  How will we know what our calling truly is?

Luke Chapter 10: 1-12, 17-20

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

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 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.   

 

BKL-Special “Living in the Sacred Heart of Jesus” with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast



In 2011, Paray le Monial, France, I had the chance to speak with Msgr. John Esseff at the First Sacred Heart World Congress.  Msgr. Esseff is one of the founders of the Sacred Heart Apostolate, sponsor of this event which brought laity, religious, and priests from around the world.  Talks were given by Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Robert Herman, Christendom College President Timothy O’Donnell, and EWTN show host and author Fr. Mitch Pacwa, as well as many others  Why did they come to this small French community nestled in Eastern France?  Because our Lord choice this place and two very remarkably humble saints to communicate the message of his Sacred Heart.  He said to St. Margaret Mary:

 “My Divine Heart is so inflamed with love for mankind … that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its burning charity and must spread them abroad by your means.” She described that His Heart was on fire and surrounded by a crown of thorns. Our Lord told her that the flames represented His love for humanity, and the thorns represented man’s sinfulness and ingratitude. Jesus informed her that her mission was to establish the devotion to His Most Sacred Heart, and He revealed twelve promises that He would bestow upon all those who practice the devotion.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena - Text and Mp3 audio download 9She had three more visions over the next year and a half in which Jesus instructed her in a devotion that was to become known as the Nine Fridays. Christ also inspired Margaret Mary to establish the Holy Hour and to receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the final revelation, the Lord asked that a feast of reparation be instituted for the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.

Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, a holy and experienced Jesuit, arrived as confessor to the nuns, and in him Margaret Mary recognized the understanding guide that had been promised to her in the visions. He became convinced that her experiences were genuine and adopted the teaching of the Sacred Heart that the visions had communicated to her.

Msgr. Esseff talks about that message, what it means for us today, and how we can live it out.  

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila - Audio Mp3 Audio 2

 

 

Corpus Christi Sunday with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of Jesus found in John Chapter 6 for the great feast of Corpus Christi.  He discusses the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  The tragedy becomes when we look upon the Blessed Sacrament as a “something” instead of a “Someone”.

From the NAB  John Chapter 6

The Bread of Life Discourse.22* The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left.23* Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks.24When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.25And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”26Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.27Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life,*which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”l28So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”30So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do?m31* Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:n

‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.o33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34p So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”35* Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.q36But I told you that although you have seen [me], you do not believe.r37Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,38because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.s39And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.t40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.”u

41The Jews murmured about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,”42and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”v43Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring* among yourselves.w44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.45It is written in the prophets:

‘They shall all be taught by God.’

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.x46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.y47Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.48I am the bread of life.49Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;z50this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.51I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”a

52The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?”53Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.54Whoever eats* my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.55For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.57Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.b58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”59These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

The Words of Eternal Life.

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

 

The Holy Trinity and Prayer – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff asks the question, “Is your prayer centered in the Holy Trinity?” He challenges us to take a good look at our prayer lives and do we pray as Jesus taught us…to the Father.

Reading 2 Rom 8:14-17

Brothers and sisters:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a Spirit of adoption,
through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Gospel Mt 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

 

 

 

Pentecost, Renewal, and the Nature of True Repentance – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the first Pentecost and its meaning for us today.  The continuing call to conversion in our lives and the nature of true repentance are topics he explores in this discussion.

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.  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.

 

Where is Jesus? A reflection on the Ascension – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Matthew 28:16-20 – Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

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.

The Gift of Counsel – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Msgr-Esseff-2Msgr. Esseff reflects on the gift of counsel and its role in relation to prudence and discernment.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas:

  • Counsel allows a man to be directed by God in matters necessary for his salvation (II/II.52.1).

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.   

The Good Shepherd and St. Pio – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the readings from the 4th Sunday of Easter, and in particular, Our Lord’s teachings on the role of the Good Shepherd.  At the end of this episode, Msgr. Esseff offers a prayer with St. Padre Pio for healing.

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].

 

 

The Danger of Anger – with Msgr. John Esseff – Building a Kingdom podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the danger of “anger.”  How should we deal with our anger.

From the RSVCE

Ephesians Chapter 4

26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.

Ephesians Chapter 6

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; 16 above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

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.

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

 

Who are you? Your Catholic Identity on Divine Mercy Sunday w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr-Esseff-2

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the readings for Divine Mercy Sunday and it’s meanings for our lives.  He discusses the identity of the Christian, and in particular, what it means to be a “Catholic”.

From the NAB

Reading 1 ACTS 5:12-16

Many signs and wonders were done among the people
at the hands of the apostles.
They were all together in Solomon’s portico.
None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them.
Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord,
great numbers of men and women, were added to them.
Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets
and laid them on cots and mats
so that when Peter came by,
at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.
A large number of people from the towns
in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered,
bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits,
and they were all cured.

 

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

Divine-Mercy-12