BTP-IC7 – Fourth Mansions Chapter 1 – The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles Podcast

In this episode, Dr. Lilles discusses the Fourth Mansions Chapter 1 of the “Interior Castle” which covers:

1. Souls in the Third Mansions. 2. Insecurity of this life. 3. Our danger of falling from grace. 4. The Saint bewails her past life. 5. Our Lady’s patronage. 6. Fear necessary even for religious. 7. St. Teresa’s contrition. 8. Characteristics of those in the Third Mansions. 9. The rich young man in the Gospel. 10. Reason of aridities in prayer. 11. Humility. 12. Tepidity. 13. We must give all to God. 14. Our debt. 15. Consolations and aridities

For the Discerning Hearts audio recording of the “Interior Castle” by St. Teresa of Avila  you can visit here


For other audio recordings of various spiritual classics you can visit the Discerning Hearts Spiritual Classics page

For other episodes in the series visit
The Discerning Hearts “The Interior Castle with Dr. Anthony Lilles”

Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of St. Elisabeth of the Trinity.

 

IP#313 Fr. Sean Davidson – Saint Mary Magdalene on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Fr. Sean Davidson offers one of the best books I’ve encountered on St. Mary Magdalene.  More than a biography of the person, Fr. Davidson reflects on the heart of the one known as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” “Saint Mary Magdalene: Prophetess of Eucharistic Love,”  based on the Biblical texts traditionally associated with St. Mary Magdalene, this book shines a beautiful bright light on her love for Jesus and how it translates to the devotion of Eucharistic Adoration.  A truly excellent work which we highly recommend!

You can find the book here

“Saint Mary Magdalene reminds us of the need to recover the primacy of God and the primacy of adoration in the life of the Church and in the liturgical celebration.”
— Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Author, God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith

“Saint Mary Magdalene has finally been given her deserved praise and understanding. Her amazing story of renewed life, restored love and relentless devotion to Christ as Savior is deeply inspiring!”
— Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., Author, The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows

IP#349 Sr. Mary Ann Fatula, O.P. – Heaven’s Splendor on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

Reading “Heaven’s Splendor: And the Riches That Await You There” was a shear joy!  But so also was my conversation with its author, Sr. Mary Ann Fatula.  What a “splendid” delight.  Steeped in the teachings of the Doctors of the Church, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Therese of Lisieux, this book is simply a delight.  A copy of this book should be in every home!  Highly recommended!

You can find this book here

From the book description:

Heaven: it’s everything we’re made for, the answer to our inmost longings, a place of joy whose depths we can only imagine. And who can tell us more about this blessed realm than the saints? “¬‚¬” the souls closest to God while here on earth who now dwell beside His royal throne.

What they say about Heaven has the fragrant anointing of the Holy Spirit who authored the Scriptures and from whom they draw their wisdom.

Open these pages, then, and enter the Celestial Kingdom. Ponder all the rapturous beauty that the saints describe. Bask in the consoling warmth of their tender love for us, and grow ever stronger in the desire to share in their heavenly delight.

Here you’ll come to know the very heart of Heaven: our sharing in the ecstatic love and life of the Trinity. You’ll taste the joy of the saints triumphant, ponder the mysteries of our glorious resurrection, and come to understand death as the beautiful gateway to Heaven that it is.

The wisdom of the saints in these sublimely beautiful pages will quench your fear of death and awaken in you a blessed hunger to join your departed loved ones and to delight, with the three Divine Persons, in Heaven’s splendor.

Prayers for Spiritual Healing with Msgr. Esseff – Mp3 audio prayer and text – Discerning Hearts

Msgr John Esseff offers the following prayers.  

EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

FORGIVENESS PRAYER

The following prayer covers most of the significant areas of forgiveness. Often, such a prayer will bring to mind other areas that need forgiveness. Let the Holy Spirit move freely and guide your mind to persons or groups that you need to forgive. This is especially useful before confession.

Lord Jesus Christ, I ask today to forgive everyone in my life. I know that You will give me the strength to forgive and I thank You that You love me more than I love myself and want my happiness more than I desire it for myself.

Father, I forgive Your for the times death has come into my family, hard times, financial difficulties, or that I thought were punishments sent by You and people said “It’s God;s will,” and I became bitter and resentful toward You. Purify my heart and mind today.

Lord, I forgive MYSELF for my sins, faults and failings, for all that is bad in myself or that I think is bad, I forgive myself. For any delvings in superstition, using ouija boards, horoscopes, going to seances, using fortune telling or wearing lucky charms, I reject all that superstition and choose You alone as my Lord and Savior. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

I further forgive myself for taking Your name in vain, not worshipping You by attending church, for hurting my parents, getting drunk, for sins against purity, bad books, bad movies, fornication, adultery, homosexuality. You have forgiven me, today I forgive myself.

Also for abortion, stealing, lying, defrauding, hurting people’s reputation, I forgive myself.

I truly forgive my MOTHER, I forgive her for all the times she hurt me, she resented me, she was angry with me and for all the times she prefered my brothers and sisters to me. I forgive her for the times she told me I was dumb, ugly, stupid, the worst of the children or that I cost the family a lot of money. For the times she told me I was unwanted, an accident, a mistake or not what she expected, I forgive her.

I forgive my FATHER. I forgive him for any non-support, any lack of love, affection or attention. I forgive him for any lack of time, for not giving me his companionship, for his drinking, arguing and fighting with my mother or the other children. For his severe punishments, for desertion, for being away from home, for divorcing my mother or for any running around, I do forgive him.

Read morePrayers for Spiritual Healing with Msgr. Esseff – Mp3 audio prayer and text – Discerning Hearts

IP#166 Fr. James Kubicki S.J. – A Heart on Fire on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

By far, this book is the BEST on the subject of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that I have seen in a very long time.  So very practical and deep in its spiritual appreciation of this beautifully essential devotion for our lives, Fr. James Kubicki helps all to rediscover the devotion to the Sacred Heart.   He presents the history of this timely devotion, with help of the apostles, Church Fathers, the Saints, and contemporary Catholics,  in an engaging and easily digestible way.  And the prayers…the incredibly deep and radiant prayers…Fr. Kubicki breaks them open a new for us all to appreciate, encouraging us not to “say the prayers”, but to “pray the prayers”.  Wonderful, simply wonderful!  I cannot recommend this work more highly.  Pick up more than one copy and become a missionary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by passing copies on to others

You can find the book here

“At first communion, I was taught to say first thing every morning, Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee!’ Reading Father Kubicki’s splendid book has only made that prayer all the more sincere and meaningful.” —Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Jesus - Devotional Prayers dedicated to Our Lord text and Mp3 audio downloads 7“A fresh and attractive reconsideration of this centuries-old devotion in the Catholic Church. Blessed Basile Moreau (1873), the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, who entrusted his priests to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wrote: ‘The primary purpose of the devotion to the Sacred Heart is to return love for love.’ Fr. Kubicki develops this theme in a way that speaks well to today’s generation of believers.” —Rev. Peter D. Rocca, C.S.C., Rector, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, University of Notre Dame

“I invite everyone to renew his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ in the month of June, making use of the traditional prayer of the offering of the day and keeping in mind the intentions that I have proposed to the whole Church.” —Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, June 1, 2008

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

A Special Holy Thursday Reflection with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the meanings within the Holy Thursday liturgy of the Church.  He discusses the action of Jesus when He washes the feet of the apostles and what that means for us today.  Can we be Jesus to others and wash the feet of even our enemies?  He also discusses the institution of the Eucharist and what it truly means to have devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Gospel JN 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’  and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

IP#347 Joel Stepanek – Chasing Humility on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast


I cannot recommend this book and the work of Joel Stepanek more highly!  Based on the great Litany of Humility, “Chasing Humility: 8 Ways to Shape a Christian Heart” is a game-changer in the formation of the Christian heart.  It’s no wonder St. Teresa of Calcutta had her Missionaries of Charity pray this prayer every morning (and they still do)!  It’s a challenging prayer when you first contemplate exactly what it is you are asking of the Lord.  But if you trust in the fruits which it brings into your life, your spiritual journey will never be the same.  Run, don’t walk, to get this book!  A modern-day spiritual classic!

You can find this book here

“In Chasing Humility, Joel Stepanek does a masterful job giving the reader practical steps for cultivating authentic humility. Drawing on scripture, engaging stories, and good old common sense, this book is funny and wise, raw and relatable. Stepanek’s insights offer a soul-stirring read to any soul looking to improve. The question isn’t whether we need to be humble, but who can be humble enough to do something about it. This book is the perfect way to grow in holiness and ultimately, happiness, one achievable step at a time.” —Mark Hart, Executive Vice President, Life Teen International

“This book was like a punch to the gut—a much needed, very welcome, life-changing gut punch. It is bold, honest, and raw. Joel has given us an absolutely delightful read that is also really challenging, and it was just what we (and so many others) need to be reminded of the necessity to both seek humility and live and walk humbly with the Lord. Read this book. Absorb this book. Let Joel and his words on humility sucker-punch you and you’ll be so grateful.” —Katie Prejean McGrady and Tommy McGrady, Catholic speakers and cohosts of The Electric Waffle

“Joel Stepanek highlights for us the proper and sacred space of humility in the Christian life. Exploring the Litany of Humility, he provides a delightful roadmap for embracing the virtue not as a weakness but as a strength in our personal prayer lives and leadership outreach. There could not be a better time for leaders to be reintroduced to the virtue of humility in a world that very often values self-centeredness over seeing and supporting others.” —Rev. Dan Felton, Vicar General, Diocese of Green Bay

CALG1 – The Notes, The Preludes and The First Prayer – The Contemplation to Attain the Love of God with Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V. Podcast

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher  “Contemplation to Attain the Love of God” Part 1 – Fr. Gallagher looks at an exercise of prayer that St. Ignatius places at the end of the spiritual journey of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises but because of their richness they can also be fruitful outside of that original context and in daily life. In this episode, he covers an introduction to the prayer, the Notes, the Preludes, and the First Poi

CONTEMPLATION TO ATTAIN THE LOVE OF GOD

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, [1914], at sacred-texts.com

Note. First, it is well to remark two things: the first is that love ought to be put more in deeds than in words.

The second, love consists in the interchange between the two parties; that is to say in the lover’s giving and communicating to the beloved what he has or out of what he has or can; and so, on the contrary, the beloved to the lover. So that if the one has the knowledge, he gives to the one who has it not. The same of honors, of riches; and so the one to the other.

CONTEMPLATION TO GAIN LOVE

Prayer. The usual Prayer.

First Prelude. The first Prelude is a composition, which is here to see how I am standing before God our Lord, and of the Angels and of the Saints interceding for me.

Second Prelude. The second, to ask for what I want. It will be here to ask for interior knowledge of so great good received, in order that being entirely grateful, I may be able in all to love and serve His Divine Majesty.

First Point. The First Point is, to bring to memory the benefits received, of Creation, Redemption and particular gifts, pondering with much feeling how much God our Lord has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He has, and then the same Lord desires to give me Himself as much as He can, according to His Divine ordination.

And with this to reflect on myself, considering with much reason and justice, what I ought on my side to offer and give to His Divine Majesty, that is to say, everything that is mine, and myself with it, as one who makes an offering with much feeling:

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, and all my will — all that I have and possess. Thou gavest it to me: to Thee, Lord, I return it! All is Thine, dispose of it according to all Thy will. Give me Thy love and grace, for this is enough for me.

 

Second Point. The second, to look how God dwells in creatures, in the elements, giving them being, in the plants vegetating, in the animals feeling in them, in men giving them to understand: and so in me, giving me being, animating me, giving me sensation and making me to understand; likewise making a temple of me, being created to the likeness and image of His Divine Majesty; reflecting as much on myself in the way which is said in the first Point, or in another which I feel to be better. In the same manner, will be done on each Point which follows.

Third Point. The third, to consider how God works and labors for me in all things created on the face of the earth — that is, behaves like one who labors — as in the heavens, elements, plants, fruits, cattle, etc., giving them being, preserving them, giving them vegetation and sensation, etc.

Then to reflect on me.

Fourth Point. The fourth, to look how all the good things and gifts descend from above, as my poor power from the supreme and infinite power from above; and so justice, goodness, pity, mercy, etc.; as from the sun descend the rays, from the fountain the waters, etc.

Then to finish reflecting on myself, as has been said.

I will end with a Colloquy and an OUR FATHER.

Be sure to check out Fr. Timothy Gallaghers latest book

You can find this book here

Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.  Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life:  The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”. For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit  his  website:   frtimothygallagher.org

BKL#255 – An Honest Self-Examination – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Msgr-Esseff-2

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the readings for the 5th Sunday of Lent.  He guides us through an honest self-examination of conscience and the need to confess our brokenness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation .

From the NAB

Gospel. JN 8:1-11

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

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.