BKL#62 – “Happy Easter!!!! Have You Encountered Jesus?” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Gospel JN 20:1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine;

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

IP#183 Dr. Regis Martin – Still Point: Loss, Longing and Our Search for God on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor



Dr. Regis Martin, as Dr. Scott Hahn has said, is “a sage for our times”.
 By presenting the truths of our faith with such beauty, he evangelizes directly the heart.  Dr. Martin is a joy to read.

I didn’t want “Still Point:  Loss, Longing and Our Search for God” to end.  That is the mark of a great book for me…it is one I desire to return to over and over again.  He offers the rich insights of the saints,  poets, and philosophers, to direct us to the “still point”   where  “one encounters the mingling of past and future, grit and grace, man and God.”  Wonderful, enchanting, poignant and compelling…don’t miss.

You can find the book here

“With the eloquence and poignancy of a poet, Regis Martin gets to the heart of life’s most urgent questions, forging a link between our ‘desperate desires’ and our “homesickness for God” in this profound and beautiful book.”–Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P. , Editor-in-Chief, Magnificat

“Regis Martin is one of Catholicism’s trustworthy guides to the spiritual life in all its dimensions–including, as he demonstrates here, its hard and challenging dimensions.”–George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

“Regis Martin’s moving reflection on our death-haunted and restless search for God is both beautiful and bracing. Drawing on the profound imaginings of our poets and our theologians, Martin’s meditation takes place on the lip of the abyss as he shows us Who it is our hearts so restlessly long for.” —Gregory Erlandson, President, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing

CTD#5 – “Leaving the Desert” – Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion with Deacon James Keating Podcast

Episode 5 -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “Leaving the Desert”.  

“Celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation is, for many Catholics, a most daunting prospect.  This sacrament has been the source of many jokes, composed perhaps by persons seeking to reduce the level of stress they feel regarding one of its main components:  naming personal sin.

The naming of one’s own sin to oneself and to a priest is self-revelatory to the point of evoking anxiety.  Initially, it can be true that some level of apprehension may accompany this sacrament, but over time  with regular celebration of this form of worship, anxiety diminishes.  Most positively  the sacrament of reconciliation promotes truthful self-knowledge regarding sin in the context of Christ’s saving presence.  Once someone experiences both the naming of sin and the reception of God’s mercy in this sacrament, he or she actually begins to celebrate this sacrament and see it as a great gift from Christ and his Church.”

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

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

CTD#2 – “The Desert of Ordinary Life” – Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion with Deacon James Keating

Episode 2 -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “The Desert of Ordinary Life”.  

 –The only location for God to interact with us is deep within the ordinariness of our days. We are called to cherish the ordinary day, not because of its routine or common features, but because within this daily forum God reaches us through others, through worship, charity, and our relational commitments. Our daily lives carry an invitation from God to become morally good and holy; it is the only medium through which this invitation can come. Cherish the days.

 Keating, James  (2012-07-20).  Liguori Publications. Kindle Edition.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation.

 

 

 


Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

CTD#1 – “The Desert of Consumerism” – Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion with Deacon James Keating

Episode 1 -Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion – “The Desert of Consumerism”.  

Lent wants to remind us of our real identity. At first appearance a seeming “obligation,” Lent is actually a great gift. Are we brave enough to enter this desert, and then let it affect us so deeply as to turn us away from sin and false identities, turn us toward communion with the living God? The Church presents this season to us every year because it is hoped that this year will be our year to say “Yes” to Lent’s call to repentance. Lent should not be something we go through alone, but together. As the Hebrews wandered the desert for forty years, so we should enter Lent through the ecclesial community and share its challenges with brothers and sisters in Christ. Lent should not be what the elderly man in the barbershop characterized as “life as usual.” With our goal being moral conversion, let us now turn to see how God can facilitate that conversion when we take on a “lenten mind.”

Keating, James (2012-07-20). Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion (Kindle Locations 200-207). Liguori Publications. Kindle Edition.

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

 

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

IP#121 Fr. Larry Richards – Surrender on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will” is another outstanding offering from Fr. Larry Richards!  From start to finish Fr. Larry challenges us to place Jesus Christ first in our lives and our relationships with others and the world.  Once we can do that, things begin to fall into place.  Then he helps us to recognize the difference between God’s will and our will, and to trust that His will be better for us if we trust, love and….SURRENDER!

Fr. Larry Richards is an engaging writer, who never fails to keep us hooked through the entire book.  This will be one of those books that you want to purchase at least two copies, because you’ll want to pass it on to another, and you’ll want to keep one for yourself for years to come.

 

You can find the book here

From the book description:

…Surrender outlines concrete steps you can take to dwell in peace. Simply put, God wants every one of us to be a saint which is a lot of work! It requires developing a plan for your life, in accordance with the Lord’s will.

Prayer is the key to this, as it opens the soul to hearing God’s voice and accepting his guidance. But prayer too requires discipline and planning. Father Richards is the life coach every one of us needs on the sidelines of our daily life the tough love coach who calls it like he sees it.

Allow yourself to move out of the driver seat and surrender to the one who knows all God.

 

 

BKL16 – How do we truly encounter Jesus everyday? – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Heart Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects what it means to truly encounter Jesus.  Do we recognize Him in the poor, the prisoner, the disabled, the stranger?  Or do we pass Him by because we truly do not know Him?  He offers insight primarily from the teachings found in the letter from St. James Chap 2:

My brothers and sisters, show no partiality
as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes
comes into your assembly,
and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in,
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say, “Sit here, please, ”
while you say to the poor one, “Stand there, ” or “Sit at my feet, ”
have you not made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil designs?

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?.  – NAB

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.  

RN16 – Regnum Novum – St. Pope John XXIII – Pacem in Terras (Peace on Earth) and the Natural Law – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 16- Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Gutierrez –  St. John XXIII, Pacem in Terras (Peace on Earth) and the Natural Law

Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) was a papal encyclical issued by Pope John XXIII on 11 April 1963.

 

St. Pope John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963), headed the Catholic Church and ruled Vatican City from 1958 until his death.

Pope John was elected on 28 October 1958. He called the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) but did not live to see it to completion. He died in 1963, only four-and-a-half years after his election, and two months after the completion of his final encyclical, Pacem in Terris. He was beatified, along with Pope Pius IX, on 3 September 2000.

 

 

Also, visit Omar’s “Discerning Hearts” page Catholic Social Teaching 101

Urging of Christ's LoveDeacon Omar F.A. Gutierrez is an Instructor for the Holy Family School of Faith Institute and Director of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith for the Archdiocese of Omaha. He’s also the author of “The Urging of Christ’s Love: The Saints and The Social Teaching of the Catholic”

 

BKL201 – The Angelic Realm and the Celebration of the Holy Mass – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr-Esseff-2-e1442263119679-497x526-283x300Msgr. Esseff continues his reflections on the Angelic Realm. He discusses the magnificence of the Throne of God.

Isaiah Chap 6:1-4

1 In the year King Uzziah died,* I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne,a with the train of his garment filling the temple.

2 Seraphim* were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they hovered.b

3 One cried out to the other:

“Holy, holy, holy* is the LORD of hosts!

All the earth is filled with his glory!”

4 At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke.* c

5 Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed!* For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips,d and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar.

 

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.  

 

St. Agnes, a lamb for Christ with Mike Aquilina

Mike Aquilina shares with us the story of St. Agnes.Mike Aquilina - Fathers of the Church and so much more... 5

St.-Agnes-300x289A young girl who would help to break open the hearts of many, so that grace could pour in.  She was “a lamb for Christ”.  Mike also discusses the challenges to life, including the “ancient” practice of abortion.

wiki According to tradition, Saint Agnes was a member of the Roman nobility born c. 291 and raised in a Christian family. She suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve or thirteen during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, on 21 January 304.

The Prefect Sempronius wished Agnes to marry his son, and on Agnes’ refusal he condemned her to death. As Roman law did not permit the execution of virgins, Sempronius had a naked Agnes dragged through the streets to a brothel. Various versions of the legend give different methods of escape from this predicament. In one, as she prayed, her hair grew and covered her body. It was also said that all of the men who attempted to rape her were immediately struck blind. In another the son of the prefect is struck dead, but revived after Agnes prayed for him, causing her release. There is then a trial from which Sempronius excuses himself, and another figure presides, sentencing her to death. When led out to die she was tied to a stake, but the bundle of wood would not burn, or the flames parted away from her, whereupon the officer in charge of the troops drew his swordbeheaded her, or, in some other texts, stabbed her in the throat. It is also said that the blood of Agnes poured to the stadium floor where other Christians soaked up the blood with cloths. and

The daughter of Constantine I, Saint Constance, was also said to have been cured of leprosy after praying at Agnes’ tomb.

A prayer to St. Agnes
Let us gain courage for our own battle
by honoring the martyrdom of the glorious virgin Agnes.
St. Agnes, vessel of honor,
flower of unfading fragrance,beloved of the choirs of Angels,
you are an example to the worth of virtue and chastity.
O you who wear a Martyr’s palm
and a virgin’s wreath,
pray for us that,
though unworthy of a special crown,
we may have our names written in the list of Saints.

 

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