Conference 8 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 8 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference Eight

Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

Throughout the New Testament, there are numerous accounts of Jesus’ tender love for the poor, the sinner, the crippled, the dying, the sick. The Gospel of St. Luke is filled with Jesus’ healing touch:
• Healing of the centurion’s slave Luke 7: 1-10
• Raising of the widow’s son Luke 7: 11-15
• Healing of the Gerasene demoniac Luke 8: 40-48
• Raising of Jairus’ daughter Luke 9: 40-42, 51-56
• Healing of woman with hemorrhage Luke 9: 42-50
• Healing of boy with a demon Luke 9: 37-43

Graces of the Holy Spirit are received in seed form in the Sacrament of Baptism and in fullness in the sacrament of Confirmation. – 1 Corinthians 12: 8-11

One of the gifts we have received is the gift of healing. Our world is beautiful and fragile and in need of healing… as human beings we are beautiful and fragile and in need of healing.

Among different kinds of healings are the following:
• physical…mental…emotional…spiritual…relational…
• generational…genetic…memories…imagination…
• vows…grief/loss…addiction…sexual

Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. – James 5: 13-16


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He 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.  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 is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

Conference 7 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 7 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference Seven

Called to Forgiveness

# 2712 CCC
“Contemplative Prayer is the prayer of the child of God, of the forgiven
sinner who agrees to welcome the love by which he is loved and who
wants to respond to it by loving even more. But he knows that the love he
is returning is poured out by the Spirit in his heart, for everything is grace
from God.”

Old Testament: prophets – historical books – retribution, retaliation
New Testament: Jesus – forgiveness

…“So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart”. – Matt.18: 20-35

Fruits of unforgiveness:

fracturing of persons, families, relationships, generations, nations

…led by anger and pain
…directed by negative memories
…do not act freely
…keep controlling grasp on situations and people
…pressured by lives of tension and stress
…resentment – re-sentire – to feel again

Are you called to forgive? True forgiveness:
• Is a decision
• Is unconditional
• Is showing mercy even when the act was deliberate
• Is taking the other where he/she is
• Is taking the risk of getting hurt again
• Is accepting an apology
• Is choosing to love

Having been forgiven of our sinfulness, we are called to forgive others.


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He 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.  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 is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

Conference 5 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 5 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference Five

Our Call to Prayer Is Essential…

#2565 CCC
“In the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of od with their Father who is god beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Kingdom is “the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity…with the whole human spirit”. The life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him. This communion of life is always possible because, through Baptism, we have already been united with Christ. Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ and extends throughout the Church, which is his Body. Its dimensions are those of Christ’s love.”

“Great talent is a gift from God, but it is a gift which is by no means necessary in order to pray well. This gift is required in order to converse well with men, but it is not necessary in order to speak well with God. For that, one needs good desires and nothing more”. – St. John of the Cross

“We cannot put ourselves directly in the presence of God if we do not practice internal and external silence. In silence we will find new energy and true unity.
Silence gives us a new outlook on everything. The essential thing is not what we say but what God says to us and through us. In that silence, He will listen to us; there He will speak to our soul, and there we will hear His voice.
– St. Theresa of Calcutta – In the Heart of the World

St. John Paul II recommended that we reflect on the spirit of the home of Nazareth, the spirit of Mary – remembering and embracing in a single gaze of faith, the mystery of the Word made flesh…the spirit of Joseph – in contemplative silence – listening to the word of God.

Prayer is person-to-person communication with God.
There are three aspects of genuine prayer:
AWARENESS of God’s presence, acknowledging it, admitting that God has breathed life and being into me and all the things around me;
GRATITUDE for the Holy Spirit living within me, and for all that God is and is doing for me;
LOVING RESPONSE to God’s unique, unconditional love for me by loving Him in return

Note: the distinction between meditating on and communicating with…

Contemplative Prayer – encounter with the Living God within us.

FIVE KEYWORDS:

  • BE THERE WANT HIM 
  • LISTEN TO HIM 
  • LET HIM 
  • RESPOND TO HIM

Contemplative prayer is more listening to and being aware of God, our Father, rather than saying or doing anything. It is more something that God does for us than anything we do for Him. It is consciously being with Him and letting Him be for us the loving God that He is, letting Him fill us with His Spirit, and letting Jesus become more and more alive and real to us. Armond Nigro, S.J. – Prayer – a Personal Response to God’s Presence.

A R R R – Acknowledge…Relate…Receive…Respond

Suggested Scripture passages for personal prayer and reflection:

Isaiah 43: 1-7
Jeremiah 29: 11-14
John 15: 9

1 Samuel 3: 10
Luke 11: 1-13
Matthew 6: 5-15

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He 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.  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 is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

Conference 4 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 4 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference Four

The Principle and Foundation/Discernment of Spirits

If a person is to be helped to make good choices or to reform his/her life, the “why” and the “wherefore” of creation must be clearly understood.

The true spiritual foundation of life is the acceptance of the truth that we were made to praise, reverence, and serve God. We are to choose only what God wants us to choose…to be “unrestrictedly ready for whatever God wants for us”.

As the foundation of Judeo-Christian beliefs, traditions and laws, the Bible contains a range of stories that highlight humans’ relationships with each other and with God. In many instances, biblical stories depict conflicts between the expectations of God and the actions of humankind. It is often within these stories of disobedience that significant lessons regarding actions and outcomes can be found.

All things on the face of the earth are created with a view to us; they are many proofs of the Creator’s esteem and care for us. All things on the face of the earth have been created to help us, to be of service to us. This brings out the sovereignty of human beings over the whole of creation.

However, because of original sin, we are fallen creatures who are by no means able to handle well all created things. The only things that were left to Adam and Eve after their disobedience were human life and free will. Whatever has been made and given to us constitutes a potential danger – even good things like health, riches, honor, a long life.

Those who desire from their hearts to be united with the will of God, so as to
gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only begotten Son with their
whole minds and with an entire will. “Perfection is neither more nor less than the soul’s faithful co-operation with God.” (Jean Pierre De Caussade)

Discernment of Spirits

Galatians 5: 16 “If you are guided by the Spirit (Holy Spirit) you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence…by their fruits you shall know them.”

Discernment means to sift through, distinguish, separate and divide the interior movements that result from a lifelong relationship with God. It is the process of noticing, paying attention to one’s feelings, thoughts, experiences, and relationships. Discernment is the process of distinguishing between/among two or more good paths, directions or choices. It is the disciplined inner work of an individual or group to sift through what is a private/personal good and what is the common good – for something greater than oneself.

St. Ignatius’ Principles for Making Prayerful Decisions – 7 basic attitudes:
openness, generosity, courage, interior freedom, habit of prayerful reflection,
having one’s priorities straight, not confusing ends with the means.

Fundamental Question:
What does God want of me? To find God’s Will.
1 John 4: 1-6 In this text, John points out different spirits; one has to test
them to see if they come from God…to try to discern them.

John distinguishes the “world”. He means there are two principles operating in a person: 1) true: God loves the world
2) false: language of the world, stressing what you do, not who you are…avoid suffering…you must succeed
…you must achieve…you cannot fail

GOOD —-EVIL Spirit. These are not entirely identified with the common
meanings. They may come from within or outside.

GOOD SPIRIT (interior or exterior) John: “Every spirit which acknowledges
that Jesus the Christ has come in the flesh…is from God.”

EVIL SPIRIT (interior: Sum total of all refusal to love in the human condition
F(rom Adam to each one’s personal history)
(exterior: false principles of the world
GOOD SPIRIT …moves us to Christ-centeredness
…moves us to self-sacrifice
…moves us to look constantly beyond self
…follows Christ’s spirit: selflessness, openness, service
to others
…moves us to realize our need for salvation
…spirit of truth, spirit of love

EVIL SPIRIT …follows the devil’s spirit, the false principles of the world
…self-indulgence
…self-centeredness
…selfishness
…turning in on oneself, anxiety, turmoil

FRUITS OF THE GOOD SPIRIT:
…love …gentleness
…joy …goodness
…peace …trustfulness
…patience …self-control
…kindness

THE EVIL SPIRIT brings:
…disagreement …turmoil
…jealousy …discouragement
…wrong-doing …anxiety etc.

In the process of discernment there are two basic assumptions:

1) There are 3 kinds of movement taking place in our being:
– my own thoughts and ideas
– these are influenced by the Good Spirit
– these are influenced by the Evil Spirit

2) We believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; we are temples
of the Holy Spirit who:

…moves us to realize our need for salvation
…arouses in us a sense of sinfulness in the human situation grounded in
acceptance of the compassionate, loving God
…leads us to grateful acceptance of the redeeming love of Christ and the
power of His Spirit

When the Good Spirit, moving me from outside (e.g. Scripture, good example,
etc.) brings peace and harmony, then I am in tune with the Holy Spirit. Being
at peace and urged to love (go beyond self) are signs of the Good Spirit.

Movements of the spirit are not sins; they are just movements back and across
my being. We call them feelings, emotions, experiences.

Suggested Scripture passages for personal prayer and reflection:

Deuteronomy 30: 15-20
2 Corinthians 6: 14-16
Mark 12:30


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He 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.  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 is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

 

Conference 3 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 3 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference Three

God, the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier

The glory that believers are destined to share with Christ far exceeds the sufferings of this present life. The destiny of the created world is linked with the future that belongs to believers; as it shares in the corruption brought about by sin, so it will share in the benefits of redemption and future glory that comprise the ultimate liberation of God’s people.

After patient endurance in steadfast expectation, the full harvest of the Spirit’s presence will be realized. – Romans 8: 22-27, 38-39

As Catholics, we are called to be witnesses to our faith in the way we live our lives. “On the one hand our actions engender hope for us and for others but, at the same time, it is the great hope based upon God’s promises that gives us courage and directs our action in good times and bad.” – Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salve 48 #

1296 CCC “It is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has commanded us; He has put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. This seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in his service forever, as well as the promise of divine protection in the great eschatological trial”.

Confirmation, the Sacrament of Ministry – Ephesians 1: 11-14

Confirmation graces are adult powers to build up our brothers and sisters that, when used, produce great fruit in our own lives

Suggested Scripture passages for personal prayer and reflection:

Romans 8: 22-27
Ephesians 1: 11-14
1 Corinthians 12


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He 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.  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 is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

 

Conference 2 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

Conference 2 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

Conference Two

God the Son, Redeemer

SALVATION can only be understood by God’s redeeming love…the Divine choosing to become human, opening humankind to participation in the Divine life. – Colossians 1: 15-20

The Divine Plan – with Infinite Love, God sent Jesus to earth to take on human nature. This first step of love is so much greater than anything we ever could have imagined. Jesus, becoming human opened humankind to participation in the Divine life…those who believe in Christ believe in the divinization of human nature. – Ephesians 1: 1-10

Not until the death of Jesus was a personal relationship with God again offered to us… His death, we have life. Through Baptism we are baptized into the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ so that “we no longer live but Christ lives in us”. – Galatians 2: 20-21

1216 CCC “Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . .We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes, and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.

10 Sacrament of Baptism

Suggested Scripture passages for personal prayer and reflection:

Colossians 1: 15-20
Galatians 2: 20-21
Ephesians 1: 1-10


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He 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.  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 is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

 

Conference 1 – The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan

The Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love /w Msgr. Esseff & Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan – Discerning Hearts Online Retreat

Retreat Directors: Monsignor John A. Esseff and Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM

“Our faith is rooted in the mystery of the Trinity: the divine relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God’s own essence is a communion of persons. Created in God’s image, we too are social creatures. We are called to live this Trinitarian reality of self-giving love. It is in the community that we are shaped and formed. It is through the community that the dignity of every individual is realized. And it is out of the community that we are sent to love and serve the world.”
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Theme: We Are Called to Live the Trinitarian Reality of Self-Giving Love

CREATION can only be understood by God’s unique, unconditional love…man is the height of God’s creation. – Psalm 8

SALVATION can only be understood by God’s redeeming love…the Divine choosing to become human, opening humankind to participation in the Divine life. – Colossians 1: 15-20

SANCTIFICATION can only be understood by God’s infinite love…creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. – Romans 8: 18-27

Conference One God the Father, Creator

Creation can only be understood by God’s unique, unconditional love…man is the height of His creation. Psalm 8

Being and Becoming – everything and everyone is both being and becoming…

Adam and Eve had everything and a personal relationship with God in the garden and lost all but human life and free will. – Genesis 3

Creation by a loving God leads to HOPE…everything seems to be going away from God because of evil, but everything is really going back to Him by the force of love.

The Father’s Plan of Salvation – Ephesians 1: 3-6

# 2565 CCC

“In the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Kingdom is “the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity…with the whole human spirit.”

Suggested Scripture passages for personal prayer and reflection:

Psalm 8
Genesis 3
Ephesians 1: 3-6


Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He 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.  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 is a founding member of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.

Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA. “ She holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in English/Art and a Master of Science degree in Counseling, both from Marywood; a Master of Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Syracuse University. Her multi-faceted life is in itself a masterpiece: she is a teacher, a mentor, and a consultant; she is a sculptor, a harpist, a calligrapher, and a creator of mosaics; she is a counselor, a spiritual director, and above all, she is a servant of God to others”.

 

Patience – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Msgr-Esseff-2Msgr. Esseff reflects on the readings of the  4th Sunday of Easter.  He wants to let everyone know he is doing GREAT!  He discusses why he is reducing his podcasts to a weekly program again.  Msgr. Esseff also discusses the virtual retreat he hopes to offer in a few weeks!

Reading 2 1 PT 2:20B-25

Beloved:
If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this, you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Gospel JN 10:1-10

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

 

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.

Called to be Witnesses! – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Msgr-Esseff-2Msgr. Esseff reflects on the readings of the  3rd Sunday of Easter.  By virtue of our baptism, confirmation, and reception of the Eucharist, who are we?  We learn what Peter and the community are capable of becoming because of the Pentecost experience.  During this period of Easter, the Church is preparing us to appreciate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church in Pentecost then…and now!  What does that mean for us today?  How are we called to be evangelizers and witnesses of the Truth and authentic Hope?

Reading 1 ACTS 2:14, 22-33

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
You who are Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

“My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”f

 

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.   

 

 

Being Born from Above w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr-Esseff-2Msgr. Esseff reflects on the readings from the Acts of the Apostles and the encounter Jesus had with Nicodemus.  This will lay the foundation for a series of talks on growing deeper in prayer.

From the NAB

Gospel JN 3:1-8

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
He came to Jesus at night and said to him,
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God,
for no one can do these signs that you are doing
unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to him,
“How can a man once grown old be born again?
Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”
Jesus answered,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and Spirit
he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
What is born of flesh is flesh
and what is born of spirit is spirit.
Do not be amazed that I told you,
‘You must be born from above.’
The wind blows where it wills,
and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

 

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.