IP#271 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.

“A scintillating commentary on the deepest book by the greatest mind. Expert guide Peter Kreeft points out every foothold and crevice you need to scale Mount Summa, and feeds you plenty of oxygen along the way. Brimming with Kreeftian profundity and levity, this book scores a hat trick: it’s informative, formative, and transformative.” —Patrick Coffin, Radio Host, Catholic Answers

“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

The Significance of Jesus’ Baptism – Building a Kingdom of Love w/Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

What happened to you at your baptism?

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the significance of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist.  He asks us to reflect on how our baptism has impacted our lives and does it touch those around us.

Gospel MT 3:13-17

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized,
he came up from the water and behold,
the heavens were opened for him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

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

POA5 – “Know your Commander and Comrades” – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. – Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts

Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

Episode 5 – “Know your Commander and Comrades” – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 3:

How can we possibly defeat “that ancient Serpent who is called the Devil” (Rv 12:9)?

Our Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Conqueror of hell and death, calls us to battle alongside Him against the Enemy so that we can have a share in His victory. To fight the good fight, however, we must know not only our adversary and his strategies; we must also know the comrades that our great Commander has given to us.

The Book of Revelation describes Christ’s final return to earth in glory as a Warrior leading a charge in battle against Satan and his allies, with “the armies of heaven” accompanying Him (see Rv 19:11–14). In his two epistles to the Thessalonians, St. Paul specifies who is in those armies: When Christ comes in His final glorious triumph, He will come “with all his saints” (1 Thes 3:13) and “with the angels of His power, in flaming fire” (2 Thes 1:7–8). Even now, those hosts of saints and angels are our comrades in battle.

Visit here for other episodes in this series:

Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

 Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here

Paul Thigpen, Ph.D., is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author, and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.

Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.

In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings, speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.

 

“Walk Humbly Before Your God” The Spiritual Journey – In Conversation with Fr. Andrew Apostoli – Discerning Hearts Podcast

“Walk Humbly Before Your God:  Simple Steps to a Virtuous Life” is an all-time favorite.  Fr. Andrew Apostoli, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and a frequent host on the Eternal Word Television Network, had a beautiful way of shining new light on fundamental truths.  He graciously took time to teach us about the nature of prayer,  how it develops in our lives and how we can nurture it.  He spoke of Jesus and several aspects of his prayer: praise, thanksgiving, intercession, and how it aids in our suffering.  Our traditional vocal prayers, as well as the depths of contemplation, were also discussed including how do we deal with distractions,   Fr. Apostoli, a humble, holy priest, was a master spiritual catechist! He died on December 13, 2017, the morning after the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  Contained in this 50-minute discussion, you’ll find guidance that can last a lifetime.

You can find Fr. Apostoli’s book here

From the book description:

Christians, if they are to have any impact in today s world, have something of the same code: we fight the good fight, side by side, ready to lay down our lives for one another. Such heroism doesn t come naturally. As Walk Humbly With Your God points out, it is in the day-to-day training, in taking the simple steps to holiness, that heroism becomes second nature.

Fr. Apostoli provides an inspirational guide to conquering our faults, growing in prayer and acquiring the virtues that enable us to walk with God and live for others.

SPECIAL EDITION – The Contemplation to Attain the Love of God – complete/without interruption w/ Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V. Podcast

This is a special edition of the reflection offered by Fr. Timothy Gallagher on the “Contemplation to Attain the love of God” by St. Ignatius of Loyola as found in the “Spiritual Exercises.” What we original provided to you as two separate episodes, we now combine into a single extended episode without interruption. We hope this will enhance your experience of this Ignatian exercise.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

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 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

For other Discerning Hearts Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcasts visit here

POA3 – “Temptation” – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. – Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts

Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

Episode 3 – “Temptation” – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 2:

he ordinary activity of demons is subtle and occurs within our thought life. They plant ideas within our minds seeking to influence our reason, memory, and imagination — and ultimately, our will. They can suggest such ideas indirectly through our senses, especially through what we see and hear. The ideas may come through conversations, reading, or various social and communications media. Demons may also have a role in arranging circumstances around us in a way that leads to certain thoughts.

Meanwhile, thoughts may come into our mind directly from the Enemy as well. How is that possible? As we’ve noted, when words come to us from outside ourselves, they normally come through our senses, which help us to discern the physical medium that is their source.

But the demons have no physical bodies. So when they communicate thoughts to us without using a physical medium, we may not discern that the thoughts come from outside us. Instead, we may mistake the thoughts as our own — and that misperception is obviously to the Enemy’s advantage.

What kinds of thoughts do evil spirits suggest to us? Most often, they influence us through temptation. They entice us to commit sin. But how exactly do they provide us occasions of sin?

Visit here for other episodes in this series:

Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

POA6 - "Know your Weapons" pt. 1 - Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here
Paul Thigpen, Ph.D, is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author, and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.
Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.
In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings,speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.

 

In Conversation with Fr. Benedict Groeschel – The Virtue Driven Life – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast


Bruce and I were deeply blessed to have a conversation with the late Fr. Benedict Groeschel on “The Virtue Driven Life“. Engaging, humble, funny, and saintly, Fr. Groeschel has left us such a tremendous legacy of teaching on the spiritual life! In this conversation, we discuss the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity; as well as the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.  Fr. Groeschel, always practical, shares the wisdom of a spiritual father which illuminates more clearly the travails of the spiritual journey.  How blessed were we to have such a spiritual master in our midst!

May eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May Fr. Benedict Groeschel, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen!

 

 

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Since when is being called “virtuous” an insult?

It’s a word that has gotten a bad rap, misused and misunderstood even by great thinkers, philosophers, and theologians, and mocked in the cynical sound bites of the media.

Rediscover virtue as it should be understood in our lives. With wit, warmth, and wisdom, Father Groeschel reintroduces the seven virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, faith, hope, and charity. One by one he makes them meaningful for modern men and women, shaking off the dusty mantle of pretentiousness and demonstrating how each has a real role in a whole and holy life.

Father Groeschel’s charming conversational style entertains even as he educates and challenges us. History, politics, an advertisement, the neighbor down the street … all are reference points for Father Groeschel as he explores the meaning of each virtue for Christians today. By the end of the book, you will understand that being labeled virtuous is the ultimate compliment!

 

In Conversation with Fr. Thomas Dubay – Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer – Discerning Hearts Podcast

It was with great joy we had the opportunity to talk with Fr. Thomas Dubay.     His work on “Fire Within” and all the programs he gave us on EWTN was instrumental in my spiritual growth.  In those early days, he was like having a distant spiritual director who guided me, as well as the rest of us, toward a deeper relationship with Christ.

He told me once, “Kris, the best theology books are the lives of the saints; you study them and you won’t be led astray.”  Fr. Thomas Dubay, in a very real way, helped inspire the work of this blog and its mission.

Here is where you can find the book we discuss

From the book description

Fr. Thomas Dubay is one of the most popular and respected retreat masters and spiritual directors in the USA. He is the author of the perennial best-selling book on prayer and contemplation, Fire Within. In this book, he responds to the call to priests by both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI to help believers and all those interested in spirituality to develop a deeper prayer life and union with God.

As in his other popular writings, Dubay’s style is profound and meditative yet clear and readable. He gives an overview of the spiritual life and journey for anyone seeking to grow in the love of God and neighbor. An expert on the teachings and writings of the two great mystical doctors of prayer and the spiritual life, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, Dubay gives solid practical advice for a deepening moral and spiritual conversion, and a radical growth in holiness.

Topics covered in depth in this book include:

  • The Radical Conversion

  • Relevance and Motivation

  • Conversion and Genuine Love

  • Degrees of Depth

  • Remarkable Resistance

  • Called to the Heights

  • Sure-fire Program

 

POA2 – “Why does God allow evil?” – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

Episode 2 – “Why does God allow evil?” – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 1:

God is infinitely more powerful than the Devil and his hosts. So why doesn’t God prevent them from their evildoing on planet earth? We could ask a similar question about why God doesn’t stop human beings from committing wicked deeds. Evil’s continuing presence among us is a mystery we can’t fully figure out in this life.
Nevertheless, we can say this much: God allows evil because He’s powerful enough to bring out of even the greatest evil a much greater good.

Visit here for other episodes in this series:
Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.
POA6 - "Know your Weapons" pt. 1 - Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here
Paul Thigpen, Ph.D., is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author, and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers.
Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.
In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings, speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.

 

POA1 – “Know Your Enemy” – Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. – Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts

Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. 2

Episode 1 – “Know Your Enemy” – Put on The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare with Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D

Dr. Thigpen offers insights on the Manual for Spiritual Warfare Chapter 1:

Like it or not, you are at war.

No matter who you are — whether or not you know it — you have a mortal enemy who wants to destroy you, not just in this life, but in the next.

No matter where you live on this planet — whether or not you can see it — you live on a hotly contested battlefield, and you can’t escape the conflict.

It’s a spiritual war with crucial consequences in your everyday life. And the outcome of that war will determine your eternal destiny.

The first rule of any type of warfare is to know your enemy. How can you fight an adversary you can’t identify? Worse yet, how can you avoid being a casualty in a battle going on all around you if you don’t even recognize that you’re in danger?

Visit here for other episodes in this series:
Put On The Armor – A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D.

 

POA6 - "Know your Weapons" pt. 1 - Put On The Armor - A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. The “Manual for Spiritual Warfare” can be found here

Paul Thigpen, Ph.D., is the Editor of TAN Books in Charlotte, North Carolina. An internationally known speaker, best-selling author, and award-winning journalist, Paul has published forty-three books in a wide variety of genres and subjects: history and biography, spirituality and apologetics, anthologies and devotionals, family life and children’s books, study guides and reference works, fiction and collections of poetry and prayers. 

Paul graduated from Yale University in 1977 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major of Religious Studies. He was later awarded the George W. Woodruff Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, where he earned an M.A. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Historical Theology. In 1993 he was named as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on the faculty of several universities and colleges.

In 2008 Paul was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council for a four-year term. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings, speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings.