Dr. Peter Kreeft – Practical Theology on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Dr. Peter Kreeft – Practical Theology on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Peter Kreeft

“Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas” by Dr. Peter Kreeft is outstanding! An incredible work that transforms the potentially intimidating Summa Theologiae into a vital life-giving, soul-nurturing work for the pilgrim soul.   Dr. Kreeft offers us the religious wisdom of Aquinas in 359 bite-size pieces that can aid our growth in holiness.  He has framed these readings as answers to questions that people actually ask their spiritual directors. Each answer is taken word for word from Aquinas.  So many topics are covered.  You’ll be returning to this book over and over again throughout your spiritual journey.  An excellent gift to give yourself and those you love!  Highly Recommended!!!

 

practical-theology

You can find the book here

“Its notoriously difficult to synopsize Aquinas on anything. However, if I were to choose someone to do the job well, it would be Peter Kreeft. Many will find this presentation helpful to develop their own replies to the questions that bother the minds of today’s searchers.”
– Romanus Cessario, O.P., Saint John’s Seminary, Brighton, Mass.

“How can we know the living God and attain to everlasting union with God? This is really the only question of life. Kreeft’s dialogue with Aquinas shows us what it means–existentially, not solely academically–to learn from a saint.” —Matthew Levering, Professor of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

IP#318 Fr. John Burns – Lift Up Your Heart on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast



“Lift Up Your Heart: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis de Sales” is outstanding.  A wonderful “introduction to the devout life”… literally!  Fr. John Burns breaks open up the teachings of the great spiritual director and Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales in a wonderfully fresh new way.  Very practical and perfect for meditation during prayer times during the day, this is a mini-retreat we can all benefit from.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

This practical book goes right to the heart of helping you kick the habit of floating along on your spiritual journey to start actively pursuing holiness and devotion to God. During the course of the retreat, you ll learn the basics of forming a daily prayer routine, including how to offer yourself to God, meditate on his love, and maintain peace in the face of suffering and clarity in the midst of temptation.

The meditations will help you:

  • Adopt gratitude as a daily prayer practice.
  • Examine and reorder your priorities and relationships to better reflect your love for God.
  • Discern between good and evil in your life.
  • Desire to love and serve as Jesus did.

In a very real sense, Burns helps you take St. Francis de Sales as your spiritual director for ten days. As you do so, you’ll feel God’s fatherly love and restart your faith life, equipped with the tools to connect with God and live for heaven now.

SJC21 – Parting Advice: Loss of Self for the Greater Love – St. John of the Cross with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast


SJC21 – Parting Advice: Loss of Self for the Greater Love – St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast

In this series Fr. Donald Haggerty and Kris McGregor discuss the depths of prayer as explored by St. John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor of the Church.

An excerpt from St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation 

The last counsel regarding solitude is not directed simply to physical solitude in a monastery. The desire of Saint John of the Cross is to see the soul detached and empty, no longer dependent for security or any other interest upon the outside world. “You should deem everything in the world as finished. . . . Pay no heed to the things out in the world, for God has already withdrawn and released you from them. . . . It is very fitting for you to desire to see no one and that no one see you” (CR 7, 8).

Naturally, duties may require dealings with the world, but the religious man should remain focused on a task, not seeking to entertain himself by contact with the outside world. An inner solitude must be cultivated that remains separated from indulgence in unnecessary interests of curiosity. Saint John of the Cross urges the Carmelite Brother to take care with his thoughts so that a solitary fixation on God may be uninterrupted as much as possible. “This is very necessary for inner solitude, which demands that the soul dismiss any thought that is not directed to God” (CR 9). This last counsel is too much for most of us surely in our circumstances of distraction and busy occupations. But let us not be too dismissive. A forgetfulness of worldly concerns has the reward of bringing a soul mysteriously into the proximity with God in the midst of common occupations. We can assume that Saint John of the Cross was speaking from his own experience, as evidently he did on every page of his works.

Haggerty, Donald. Saint John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation (pp. 357-358). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.


For more episodes in this series, visit Fr. Haggerty’s Discerning Hearts page here.


You find the book on which this series is based here

Identifying and Battling the Irrational Spirits – Beginning to Pray with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Identifying and Battling the Irrational Spirits – The Mystery of Faith in the Wisdom of the Saints.

In this episode Dr. Lilles discusses the nature of prayer.  The use of “methods” or “techniques” is cautioned by Dr. Lilles.  The relationship with the person of Jesus Christ is paramount.  He discusses the struggles in prayer and the real “enemies” which assault us in prayer.  He points to the experience and teachings of St. Anthony of the Desert, who battled the irrational spirits opposed to our relationship with God.  Dr. Lilles then relates that teaching to the places of “death” which confront our lives today, the importance of naming the  irrational “spirit” and using the “Word of Truth” to fight the battle.

Dr.Anthony Lilles is a Catholic husband and father of three teaching Spiritual Theology at St. Patrick’s Theological Seminary. He teaches spiritual theology and spiritual direction to transitional deacons, and the spiritual classics to the men who enter the Spirituality Year, a year of prayer in preparation for seminary formation. He is the author of the “Beginning to Pray” Catholic blog spot.

For other episodes in the series visit the Discerning Hearts page for Dr. Anthony Lilles

 

 

 

SJC20 – Suffering for Love of a Crucified Beloved – St. John of the Cross with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast

SJC20 – Suffering for Love of a Crucified Beloved – St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast

In this series Fr. Donald Haggerty and Kris McGregor discuss the depths of prayer as explored by St. John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor of the Church.

An excerpt from St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation 

Certainly an atmosphere of great challenge pervades the writings of Saint John of the Cross. It is possible that the recurring accent on purification, interior trials, dissatisfaction in prayer, or the wounds of love in certain sections of Saint John of the Cross’ writings has a jarring or intimidating effect. His attention to painful experiences may seem to propose a spirituality of endless burdens and impossible endurance. From our perspective, this focus may be too excessive. It is not that we lack struggles and tribulations. Who does not experience them?

Yet our own thought may be that matters of trial and difficulty should be kept to a minimum and brought to a conclusion as quickly as possible. For many people, even of strong religious conviction, the common experiences of fatigue and pain compete with the pursuit of pleasures and comforts. We often find a way to compensate ourselves with worldly enjoyment if for a time we have faced trial and difficulty. Perhaps we do not ponder the Gospel deeply enough. Suffering for the sake of a profound love of God can be a neglected notion in our understanding of love, though clearly not for Saint John of the Cross: “Let Christ crucified be enough for you, and with him suffer and take your rest, and hence annihilate yourself in all inward and outward things” (SLL 92). That kind of advice is not commonly heard at any time in the Church.

Haggerty, Donald. Saint John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation (p. 317). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.


For more episodes in this series, visit Fr. Haggerty’s Discerning Hearts page here.


You find the book on which this series is based here

SJC19 – Wounds of Love – St. John of the Cross with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast


SJC19 – Wounds of Love – St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast

In this series Fr. Donald Haggerty and Kris McGregor discuss the depths of prayer as explored by St. John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor of the Church.

An excerpt from St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation 

The concealment of God’s presence, mysteriously near to our soul, yet known only by love, is at the heart of contemplation. The hidden presence of God is a truth of inescapable provocation, never fully lifted or overcome in a lifetime, showing many variations in the experience of a soul. Sometimes the hidden presence of God is stronger in the silence of prayer; other times it is met outside prayer in the sudden opportunity for sacrifice or in the disguised face of Jesus hiding in a poor person. God as elusive, hiding behind shadows, speaking in quiet whispers, disappearing from sight even in the encounter with him, is all a realization of greater faith. His presence has no predictable quality and offers no promise of an easy recognition. Shadows and darkness can become for lengthy periods the ordinary ambiance of prayer. When the darkness stretches over time and is greater, the thought of God’s withdrawal can trouble souls in their silent prayer, despite how close they may be to God.

The contemplative paradox of darkness as the setting for a very personal contact with God implies a need at times for reassurance. This comes as we deepen a calm certitude of faith in prayer and continue to long for our Lord in love and yield to him in surrender. All the while, over years of committed daily prayer, God works to bring a soul to a greater surrender to his mysterious personal love.

Haggerty, Donald. Saint John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation (pp. 290). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.


For more episodes in this series, visit Fr. Haggerty’s Discerning Hearts page here.


You find the book on which this series is based here

IP#326 Fr. Vincent Twomey – The Dynamics of Liturgy, Part 2 on Inside the Pages w/ Kris McGregor Podcast


Fr. Vincent Twomey – The Dynamics of Liturgy, Part 2 on Inside the Pages w/ Kris McGregor

The Dynamics of the Liturgy is a constructive critique of the post–Vatican II liturgical reform through the lens of Joseph Ratzinger’s liturgical and sacramental theology—written by a former student of the great pope emeritus. For Ratzinger, liturgy is the oxygen of the sacraments, and his sacramental theology, still largely unknown, is the key to understanding his theology of liturgy.

This work highlights the specifically ritual dimension of liturgy, and the significance this has for Pope Benedict XVI’s proposed “reform of the reform”. Father Vincent Twomey warns that the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite—which Pope Benedict XVI had promoted to enrich liturgical practice—are dangerously drifting apart rather than, as the pope emeritus intended, complementing each other as part of an authentic renewal of the liturgy.

 

You can find the book here

“This book is simply a delight — from its grounding in the sacramental thought of Romano Guardini, through its wonderfully practical, beautifully written, step-by- step ‘how to’ guide to experiencing every key element of the Mass. It’s exactly what the title says it is: a deeply satisfying journey to the heart of Catholic worship.”
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

“Christopher Carstens offers a guide at once profound and practical into the ways of full, conscious, and active participation in the Sacred Liturgy. By reading this volume prayerfully and attentively, we can all share more fruitfully in the celebration of Holy Mass.”
William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore

SJC18 – Perseverance in Prayer – St. John of the Cross with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast

SJC18 – Perseverance in Prayer – St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation with Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Podcast

In this series Fr. Donald Haggerty and Kris McGregor discuss the depths of prayer as explored by St. John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor of the Church.

An excerpt from St. John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation 

What, then, of the feelings of love that may be experienced in prayer? Are they to be denied or mortified? Ignored or renounced? Saint John of the Cross writes that they should be treated simply as secondary factors in prayer, incidental in importance. The awareness of an inflamed undercurrent of love in the will is far more significant, because it is the deeper truth. Yet it may not be encountered in an experiential manner for its deeper truth. Nonetheless, in a receptive response to a longing for God deep within the soul, this reality of love is fostered. The mistaken approach, on the other hand, is to allow a search for feelings in prayer to dominate the exercise of prayer.

For many people, feelings can become a coveted item in prayer as well as a source of continual frustration and instability—a possessive need for a satisfaction that is somehow felt and then becomes the measure of prayer, a habit hard to relinquish. Feelings of love, delightful as they may be, ought to be only a means to recognizing the more inaccessible reality of love operating at hidden layers of depth in the will and in the soul. The greater truth takes place in the unseen “cavern” of the will as it undergoes a profound “soul desire” for God. There is in every contemplative life a need, at least for a time, to release the soul from the pursuit of feelings in order to embrace this deeper recognition. Love in the will, rather than any feeling, is the much deeper truth in prayer and in contemplation.

Haggerty, Donald. Saint John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation (pp. 275-276). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.


For more episodes in this series visit Fr. Haggerty’s Discerning Hearts page here


You find the book on which this series is based here

IP#325 Fr. Vincent Twomey – The Dynamics of Liturgy, Part 1 on Inside the Pages w/ Kris McGregor Podcast

Fr. Vincent Twomey – The Dynamics of Liturgy, Part 1 on Inside the Pages w/ Kris McGregor

The Dynamics of the Liturgy is a constructive critique of the post–Vatican II liturgical reform through the lens of Joseph Ratzinger’s liturgical and sacramental theology—written by a former student of the great pope emeritus. For Ratzinger, liturgy is the oxygen of the sacraments, and his sacramental theology, still largely unknown, is the key to understanding his theology of liturgy.

This work highlights the specifically ritual dimension of liturgy, and the significance this has for Pope Benedict XVI’s proposed “reform of the reform”. Father Vincent Twomey warns that the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite—which Pope Benedict XVI had promoted to enrich liturgical practice—are dangerously drifting apart rather than, as the pope emeritus intended, complementing each other as part of an authentic renewal of the liturgy.

 

You can find the book here

“This book is simply a delight — from its grounding in the sacramental thought of Romano Guardini, through its wonderfully practical, beautifully written, step-by- step ‘how to’ guide to experiencing every key element of the Mass. It’s exactly what the title says it is: a deeply satisfying journey to the heart of Catholic worship.”
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

“Christopher Carstens offers a guide at once profound and practical into the ways of full, conscious, and active participation in the Sacred Liturgy. By reading this volume prayerfully and attentively, we can all share more fruitfully in the celebration of Holy Mass.”
William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore

PSM12 – The Two Liturgies: External and Internal – Pathway to Sacred Mysteries with Dr. David Fagerberg – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Liturgical Theology

Episode 12 – The Two Liturgies: External and Internal – Pathway to Sacred Mysteries with Dr. David Fagerberg, Ph.D.

Dr. David Fagerberg and Kris McGregor discuss “the two liturgies,” the external and internal action of the Eucharist.

Here are some of the topics explored in this episode:

  • The Noetic faculty in the heart (meaning perception of the heart)
  • Hesychia – stilleness, rest, quiet, silence

From the discussion with Dr. Fagerberg:

I’m looking for a quote, it’s from a contemporary Orthodox Metropolitan named Hierotheos, and he says, if the noetic faculty in the heart is operating, then we can come in contact with, what he calls, a second liturgy, “something happens that seems strange to most people, but is natural for those who consciously practice hesychia.” This is a silence, contemplative. “Although they are present at the Divine Eucharist and are aware through their senses and their reason of everything going on,” those are the first two faculties that I identified, “they’re listening at the same time to the noetic faculty in the heart where the Holy Spirit praises without ceasing. Lord Jesus Christ’s son of God have mercy on me.”

In other words, there are two liturgies. One is the external liturgy of the Divine Eucharist, where the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Spirit. The other is the inner liturgy or Eucharist, where they experience uncreated worship and the spiritual priest of divine grace celebrates. There’s no break between the two liturgies. Both are accomplished with full awareness. The Holy Spirit changes the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood, and the same Holy Spirit activates noetic prayer on the altar of the heart.

Well, by talking about aestheticism and mysticism, my purpose has been to try to make us think about… That sounds like I just denied everything I’ve been saying. I’m trying to make us think about something, make us think about this synergy going on, and I am trying to make us think about it. I’m writing books about Mrs. Murphy. I don’t want her to read them, but I write about Mrs. Murphy for my colleagues. So that my colleagues, I made a sweeping gesture to mean the academic world, so that they don’t look down their noses at Mrs. Murphy. My lesson from Aidan Kavanagh and the thesis is that Mrs. Murphy is a true theologian and I’m making an apologetic for her.


For more podcast episodes of this series, visit the Pathways to Sacred Mysteries w/Dr. David Fagerberg page


David W. Fagerberg is a Professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He holds master’s degrees from Luther Northwestern Seminary, St. John’s University (Collegeville), Yale Divinity School, and Yale University. His Ph.D. is from Yale University in liturgical theology.

Fagerberg’s work has explored how the Church’s lex credendi (law of belief) is founded upon the Church’s lex orandi (law of prayer). This was expressed in Theologia Prima (Hillenbrand Books, 2003). He has integrated into this the Eastern Orthodox understanding of asceticism by considering its role in preparing the liturgical person. This was treated in On Liturgical Asceticism (Catholic University Press, 2013). And these two themes come together in Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology (Angelico Press, 2016).

He also has an avocation in G. K. Chesterton, having published Chesterton is Everywhere (Emmaus Press, 2013) and The Size of Chesterton’s Catholicism (University of Notre Dame, 1998).


Here are a few of Dr. Fagerberg’s books:
Liturgical Theology Liturgical Mysticism Liturgical Theology Theological Theology