Why do those who trust in God suffer? – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on Hab 1:12-2:4

Are you not from eternity, O LORD,
my holy God, immortal?
O LORD, you have marked him for judgment,
O Rock, you have readied him punishment!
Too pure are your eyes to look upon evil,
and the sight of misery you cannot endure.
Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence
while the wicked man devours
one more just than himself?
You have made man like the fish of the sea,
like creeping things without a ruler.
He brings them all up with his hook,
he hauls them away with his net,
He gathers them in his seine;
and so he rejoices and exults.
Therefore he sacrifices to his net,
and burns incense to his seine;
for thanks to them his portion is generous,
and his repast sumptuous.
Shall he, then, keep on brandishing his sword
to slay peoples without mercy?

I will stand at my guard post,
and station myself upon the rampart,
And keep watch to see what he will say to me,
and what answer he will give to my complaint.Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write down the vision
Clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
If it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash man has no integrity;
but the just man, because of his faith, shall live. -NAB

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.   Msgr. Esseff 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.  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 Pope St. 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. In addition, he continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians, and other religious leaders.   

 

 

 

The Sacrament of Healing – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the Anointing of the Sick, known as one of the Sacraments of Healing.  He speaks of his personal experience with the sacrament and the importance of having it readily available for the faithful.  Msgr. Esseff also addresses particular issues related to laying on of hands.

 From the USSCB:

Jesus came to heal the whole person, body and soul.

In the Church’s Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.

The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.

When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.

~from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults en español

Pray

Learn

Act

Scripture: Mark 1:40-45

40 And a leper came to him begging him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

BA14 – “Fixing Our Eyes on the Crucified Christ” – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMV

Episode 14 – “Fixing Our Eyes on the Crucified Christ” – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

In this episode, “Suffering” … no spiritual direction can be truly complete unless it offers effective counsel with regard to suffering. Ven. Lanteri guides those he directs to look toward the only fully satisfying answer to the question about suffering—the crucified Christ—and to see in such suffering the hand of God which disposes all things for our spiritual progress.

Anxieties, temptations, aridity, heaviness of heart, tribulations, injuries, unpleasant situations, offenses, ingratitude, crosses, matters which do not go well, and sorrows of various kinds: I will expect all these, even from those I love and those I have helped. But I will never consider these as evil, nor will I regard their origin in men, but rather in God. I know that nothing can take place against the will of God. I know that this is the way He Himself followed here on earth, and through which He led the saints closest to Him, even His very mother, so as to glorify her correspondingly in heaven. And so I will consider these as favors and opportunities which He gives me, so that I will need to ask His help, so that I will know my weakness, and do penance for my sins. I will try to accept them, confident that this is the road He has laid out for me, that all is ordered for my good, and that my part is to seek to benefit from these situations (To a Married Woman, Positio, 539).

Let us fix the eyes of our faith and love on the crucified Christ, and we will see that He was not satisfied only with the possibility of suffering, but that He truly suffered every kind of pain, both in body and in spirit, since it is not the possibility of suffering, but sufferings themselves that cause us to gain merit. Let us then accept from His hand every occasion of suffering and practicing virtue, and since all things are disposed for our salvation, let us try to enter into His purpose of love, to follow His plan the best we can, convinced that grace is linked to all that happens, to every cross, and that every such grace we welcome will receive an eternal recompense and reward (in Gastaldi, 473)

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

Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Bruno Lanteri

 

Visit the “Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of the Venerable Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Discerning Hearts podcast” for more episodes of this series

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 books on the life and teachings of Ven. Bruno Lanteri:

Overcoming Spiritual discouragement Podcasts.Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts Counsels fo Mercy Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts


Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcasts

For the other episodes in this series check out
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page


Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests

Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross, infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

The Mystery of This Present Moment – a special conversation with Deacon James Keating Ph.D. and Kris McGregor Podcast


During this podcast, Deacon Keating will offer his insights on “the mystery of this present moment.”

Here a few of his comments:

Deacon Keating:

So, the wisdom of the Saints comes back to us again and again. Of course, in good times we never listened to the saints because we got this. And in bad times, we’re suffering so much, that a lot of times they can’t get their wisdom through to us because of our pain. So, it’s quite paradoxical. But the wisdom of the Saints is this, that throughout our life, no matter what we’re experiencing in suffering or enjoying, we should always be sloughing off the excess of our days, any idols that we are drawing artificial consolation from. We should be seeking Holy communion, no matter whether we’re in good times or bad times.

So, when bad times come or when good times come, everything is calculated toward reality and peace because we have been suffering the coming of Holy communion throughout our entire life. So, when people don’t have this Holy communion during bad times like we’re in right now, we can panic and we can start grasping at straws, and thinking that everything is over and ending. Anxiety then becomes our normal state. So, again, the saints would counsel us when this horrible virus passes, if we could just remember not to go back to being normal Americans, but to go back to Him and get our equilibrium set, and the substance of our interior life set. So that when the next reminder that everything on this planet is not forever, when that next reminder comes, we’ll have less panic and more peace because we will have been living for a while then in Holy communion.

Further in the conversation:

The reason there’s so much fear is that we are acknowledging that death is real. Again, most of our popular culture is a mask keeping us from ever thinking about death. Now there are all these masks that have dropped, death comes to the fore and it’s not something we want to rebel in or say, “Let’s look at this and some type of McCobb way.” But we’ve known as believers, that death has always been the enemy. Now we see it. We see the enemy, we’ve been afraid of the enemy.

Again, we’ve been afraid of the enemy because our Holy communion isn’t stronger enough, with our Holy friend, Jesus Christ. The deeper that friendship grows with him, the more we can confront death in peace. Without panic, without fear. Of course, there’ll be sadness, it will be mourning. But the sadness in the mourning is over the good things of life, the panic and the fear is over that which we have created in ourselves. Which is a habitual stance of isolation from God. That’s what he’s gently trying to say to us. This death has always been here. Your limit and your finitude have always been part of your life. Stop masking it and let’s look at real life. It’s okay to look at it, with me. That’s why I came so that you would not be alone when you look at it, that’s what we call salvation.

You’re looking at it from the stance of communion with him. That’s how the Saints die in joy and in peace. So push against the fear and choose a career. That would be the theme of this imposed retreat, I would say.

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

Check out the many series from Deacon James Keating Ph.D. by this Discerning Hearts podcast page

 

HR#22 “On Suffering” – The Holy Rule of St. Benedict with Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B

Episode 22 – The Holy Rule of St. Benedict: A Spiritual Path for Today’s World with Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B., Ph.D.

On Suffering

From the Holy Rule of St. Benedict:

CHAPTER 7

an excerpt:

The fourth degree of humility is, that, if hard and distasteful things are commanded, nay, even though injuries are inflicted, he accept them with patience and even temper, and not grow weary or give up, but hold out, as the Scripture saith: “He that shall persevere unto the end shall be saved” (Mt 10:22). And again: “Let thy heart take courage, and wait thou for the Lord” (Ps 26[27]:14). And showing that a faithful man ought even to bear every disagreeable thing for the Lord, it saith in the person of the suffering: “For Thy sake we suffer death all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter” (Rom 8:36; Ps 43[44]:22). And secure in the hope of the divine reward, they go on joyfully, saying: “But in all these things we overcome because of Him that hath loved us” (Rom 8:37). And likewise in another place the Scripture saith: “Thou, O God, hast proved us; Thou hast tried us by fire as silver is tried; Thou hast brought us into a net, Thou hast laid afflictions on our back” (Ps 65[66]:10-11). And to show us that we ought to be under a Superior, it continueth, saying: “Thou hast set men over our heads” (Ps 65[66]:12). And fulfilling the command of the Lord by patience also in adversities and injuries, when struck on the one cheek they turn also the other; the despoiler of their coat they give their cloak also; and when forced to go one mile they go two (cf Mt 5:39-41); with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren and “bless those who curse them” (2 Cor 11:26; 1 Cor 4:12).

 

Father Mauritius Wilde, OSB, Ph.D., did his philosophical, theological and doctoral studies in Europe. He is the author of several books and directs retreats regularly. He serves as Prior at Sant’Anselmo in Rome.

 

For more information about the ministry of the Missionary Benedictines of Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, Ne

IP#315 Fr. Robert Spitzer – The Light Shines On In The Darkness on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

Simply one of the finest works ever compiled on the mystery of suffering.  Fr. Robert Spitzer’s “The Light Shines On In The Darkness: Transforming Suffering through Faith (Happiness, Suffering, and Transcendence)” could be considered a “catechism of suffering,” but not one rooted in misery, but rather anchored in the experience of God’s great mercy and redemptive sacrifice.  This is a book of hope and one that should be experienced by all Christians, and in particular, those who minister in any way, shape, or form in the New Evangelization.  Why would a loving God allow suffering?  Is there any good that can be brought forth from our trials?   So much more is addressed in this opus. I could not put this book down.  Pick it up, you won’t regret it!

You can find the book here

“Suffering has the power to break or elevate the human spirit.  Lived in the spirit of the Gospel and borne for the sake of others, it’s the most redemptive, transfiguring force in creation.  Fr. Spitzer has written a magisterial work on the meaning of suffering, a work remarkable both for its depth and beauty.”
— Most Rev. Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

“In this trenchant and searching book, Fr. Spitzer responds to the most powerful objection to the proposition that God exists, namely, the problem of suffering.  And he dares to do what very few are willing to do today:  to articulate how evil and pain are ingredients in the providential design of a loving God.”
Bishop Robert Barron, Host, Catholicism film series

 

BA3 – The Crucible of Suffering and the Gift of Faith – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMV

Episode 3 – The Crucible of Suffering and the Gift of Faith – Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

In this episode, Fr. Timothy Gallagher discusses the crucible of suffering that occurred in the young Bruno Lanteri’s life. The tragedies became the stepping stones for newness in the spiritual journey. So are the opportunities that may arise in our lives when we are challenged with failure, suffering, and illness. Like Ven. Lanteri, will we “begin again” and allow faith to support and guide us through the storms of life?

During the course of this series, we find that Ven. Bruno Lanteri’s life and mission contain significant spiritual relevance to nurture the hearts of today’s religious and lay faithful.

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.orgFr. Timothy Gallagher – Bruno Lanteri

 

Visit the “Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of the Venerable Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher Discerning Hearts podcast” for more episodes of this series

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 books on the life and teachings of Ven. Bruno Lanteri:

Overcoming Spiritual discouragement Podcasts. Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts Counsels fo Mercy Bruno Lanteri Discerning Hearts


Fr. Timothy Gallagher Podcasts

For the other episodes in this series check out
Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page


Please visit the site dedicated to Ven. Bruno Lanteri for more information and prayer requests

Prayer to Obtain Graces by the intercession of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Heavenly Father, you filled the heart of your servant Bruno with a living and active faith. Grant that our lives be guided by that same faith, and, through his intercession, give us the grace of which we have so great need… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Jesus, uncreated Wisdom, through the hope in your merits and in your Cross, infused into the heart of your servant Bruno, and through the zeal he showed in teaching your goodness and mercy, grant us the same ardor and the grace for which we fervently ask… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Holy Spirit, fount of charity, through the love for God and neighbor that you enkindled in the heart of your servant Bruno, grant also to us that, living far from sin, in charity and justice, we may be worthy of the grace we humbly seek and gain the joy of heaven… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

And you, Virgin Mother of God and our Mother, obtain from the Lord the beatification of your servant Bruno, who all his life loved you as a loyal son and zealously sought to lead others to you, and obtain for us through his intercession the grace that with great trust we ask of you… Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

IP#358 Fr. Donald Haggerty – Contemplative Engimas on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast


Fr. Donald Haggerty Contemplative Podcast
What a delight to be joined once again by Fr. Donald Haggerty!  He has become one of our favorite spiritual writers of our present-day!  In this episode, we discuss “Contemplative Engimas:  Insights and Aid on the Path to Deeper Prayer.”  We cannot more highly recommend this beautiful work. If all you do is read a couple of pages a day that would more then enough for you to feel like you’ve been sitting at the feet of a spiritual master for an entire day!  Every page is a gem!

Contemplative enigmas Donald Haggerty PodcastYou can find the book here

From the book description:

Despite signs in recent decades of a crisis in the Church, a countercurrent of intense interest in prayer and serious spiritual life is clearly at work today. A deeper esteem for a contemplative dimension of spiritual life has accompanied this turning to prayer, and many people have a need for some form of direction and guidance. Written by a recognized expert on contemplative spirituality, this book concentrates on the mystery of interior trial and difficulty in contemplative prayer. The hardships experienced in the interior life by souls who give themselves to God wholeheartedly are often little acknowledged; yet they are seen with some regularity in contemplative lives. This work offers more than a summary of the symptoms of trial in a contemplative spirituality. The poignant observations have a source in the author’s long years of experience in retreat work with souls of contemplative depth. Personal experience, not simply knowledge of the spiritual tradition, informs these insightful reflections. The concise, carefully crafted comments of this book delve into spiritual difficulties and conundrums in a uniquely personal and penetrating manner. Throughout the book, the writing invites the reader to ponder the subject of spiritual darkness and perplexity and simple struggle in the spiritual life always in the light of the loving hand of God drawing the soul into a greater surrender to himself. The work offers a unique aid and stimulus in the quest for a deeper spirituality.


Other conversations with Fr. Haggerty on Inside the Pages:

Fr. Donald Haggerty -Contemplative Hunger on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Fr. Donald Haggerty – Conversion on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast
 

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

SJ3 – “You are bait on the hook” – The Spiritual Journey with Kris McGregor – A Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast

“You are bait on the hook”

“You are bait on the hook” is the lead topic of this episode of “The Spiritual Journey Podcast with Kris McGregor.”  A portion of this podcast was originally recorded during an episode of “The Good Book Club” segment on the Spirit Morning Show.  Kris reflects on six martyrs, two which died over 1800 years, Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, and four Missionary of Charity Sisters who were killed in recent years in Yemen.  The Paschal Mystery and the grace of Martyrdom are explored and the question becomes what does that look like in my life.  Kris also offers a book recommendation further delve into this mystery:  “The Cross: Word and Sacrament” by Adrienne von Speyr


The Passion of St. Perpetua
Sister Anselm from India, Sister Marguerite from Rwanda, Sister Judit from Kenya and Sister Reginette also from Rwanda

 

Resources mentioned by Kris in the podcast:

The Passion of St. Perpetua and St. Felicity can be found here

More on the deaths of the Missionaries of Charity can be found here


 

The Cross: Word and Sacrament can be found here

From the forward (by Kris McGregor):

There is no greater mystery to be contemplated than the Paschal Mystery. In this spiritual gem, von Speyr leads us to the foot of the Cross, and with her we gaze upon the crucified Christ and listen deeply. The Word, who became flesh and made his dwelling among us, cries out in his suffering seven last words, which open up the portals of divine grace that are known as the sacraments. These mysterious gifts, which come at such an indescribable cost, deserve to be cherished, reverenced, and contemplated.

The Cross: Word and Sacrament will challenge, surprise, and encourage the reader to welcome the Paschal Mystery into his own life. Guided into the depths of this mystery by von Speyr, the reader encounters a very real Jesus, who knows us all too well and still loves us without end. He speaks to us personally. The words he utters from the Cross contain not only gifts experienced in the sacraments of the Church but also questions: Do you truly understand what is being offered to you? Will you accept my gifts? Will you suffer the mystery contained in such love?

This small book contains the spiritual richness that is the fruit of her deep meditation on the Word. It calls the reader to conversion, which is a continual process of turning toward the Son, who leads us, in union with the Holy Spirit, into an ever-deepening relationship with the Father. Thus is the reader brought into the very life of the Trinity, that communion of love without end.

Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts mentioned in the podcast:

Crossing the Desert with Deacon James Keating, PhD

Scriptural Stations of the Cross

Audio Scriptural Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Mp3 and Verse Texts

Kris McGregor Founder and editor/producer/executive director of “Discerning Hearts ®. To learn more about Kris visit here