The Truth About Trouble…. In Conversation with Fr. Michael Scanlan

 A few years ago, Bruce and I had the blessing of having a very special conversation with Fr. Michael Scanlan about “The Truth About Trouble: How Hard Times Can Draw You Closer To God”.  Fr. Scanlan’s wisdom is extraordinary…he knows how to pastor us through hard times, because he has suffered it, but he also knows that it is through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus that in the end all will be well.  He talks about the cancer of discontent, which is so dangerous to our spiritual lives.  Fr. Scanlan also describes how the devil desires to use trouble to turn us away from God.  We should realize that when that is happening and recognize, believe or not, that trouble isn’t the worst thing that could happen to us…it is actually a pathway to purification…be not afraid!  What a gift Fr. Scanlan is to us all!

 

 

You can find it here

BKL#12 – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Why do those who trust God sometimes suffer?

Show 12 ” Building a Kingdom of Love” – Why do those who trust in God sometimes suffer? Msgr. Esseff then addresses the issue of trust in the Lord as an expression in our faith…even when it’s hard

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.  He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to Blessed 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 Bl. 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.   

 

 

To obtain a copy of Msgr. Esseff’s book byvisiting here

 

Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff’s website “Building a Kingdom of  Love

 

BKL#12 – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Why do those who trust God sometimes suffer? – Discerning Hearts

Show 12 ” Building a Kingdom of Love” – Why do those who trust in God sometimes suffer? Msgr. Esseff then addresses the issue of trust in the Lord as an expression in our faith…even when it’s hard

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.  He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to Blessed 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 Bl. 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.   

 

 

To obtain a copy of Msgr. Esseff’s book byvisiting here

 

Be sure to visit Msgr. Esseff’s website “Building a Kingdom of  Love

 

Blessed Herman the Cripple – author of one of the most heartbreakenly beautiful prayers of all time – Discerning Hearts

Everytime we pray the rosary, we pray with Blessed Herman the Cripple.  He’s the author of one of the most heartbreakenly beautiful prayers of all time….the Salve Regina.

Blessed Herman (1013-1054) was born with many medical problems: cleft palate, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida. During his lifetime he was known as Blessed Herman the Cripple. Father Robert F. McNamara on his website, Saints Alive, calls him Blessed Herman the Disabled.

He was a remarkable man. Despite his daunting physical limitations he studied and wrote on astronomy, theology, math, history, poetry, Arabic, Greek, and Latin. He also built musical and astronomical equipment. He was considered a genius in his time. He wrote prayers and hymns – the most notable being the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen).

Father McNamara in his article on Blessed Herman the Disabled comments on the great meaning of Herman’s life with this closing insight:

“In his own day, the heroic cripple who achieved learning and holiness was called ‘The Wonder of His Age’.

In our day, many voices say that people with disabilities should be phased out of existence. Which were the Dark Ages, then or now!”

Let us pray with Blessed Herman, and ask him to help us to receive the graces for the virtues we lack…humility, patience, kindness,  and all the others which allow the love of Christ to shine in the world through us.

Prayers        

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

The Hail Holy Queen (The Salve Regina)

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs; mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show to us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O Clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us O Holy Mother of God…That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.  Amen. – Blessed Herman

The poem below is from Father Benedict J Groeschel’s book,
Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones.

Herman The Cripple
by
William Hart Hurlbut, M.D.

I am least among the low,
I am weak and I am slow;
I can neither walk nor stand,
Nor hold a spoon in my own hand.

Like a body bound in chain,
I am on a rack of pain,
But He is God who made me so,
that His mercy I should know.

Brothers do not weep for me!
Christ, the Lord, has set me free.
All my sorrows he will bless;
Pain is not unhappiness.

From my window I look down
To the streets of yonder town,
Where the people come and go,
Reap the harvest that they sow.

Like a field of wheat and tares,
Some are lost in worldly cares;
There are hearts as black as coal,
There are cripples of the soul.

Brothers do not weep for me!
In his mercy I am free.
I can neither sow nor spin,
Yet, I am fed and clothed in Him.

I have been the donkey’s tail,
Slower than a slug or snail;
You my brothers have been kind,
Never let me lag behind.

I have been most rich in friends,
You have been my feet and hands;
All the good that I could do,
I have done because of you.

Oh my brothers, can’t you see?
You have been as Christ for me.
And in my need I know I, too,
Have become as Christ for you!

I have lived for forty years
In this wilderness of tears;
But these trials can’t compare
With the glory we will share.

I have had a voice to sing,
To rejoice in everything;
Now Love’s sweet eternal song
Breaks the darkness with the dawn.

Brother’s do not weep for me!
Christ, the Lord, has set me free.
Oh my friends, remember this:
Pain is not unhappiness.

IP#62 Debra Herbeck – Safely through the Storm on Inside the Pages

Debra Herbeck has compiled a compelling selection of reflections from saints and writers who have suffered, who were tempted to depair, and who were tested in everyway, but through grace and faith, they never gave up. Hope, a viture we can’t live without.  If you or someone you know is suffering through hard times, “Safely Through the Storm” is for you.

Check out the book here

IP#13 Mike Aquilina discusses Why Me – When Bad Things Happen on Inside the Pages

Why me?  Who hasn’t asked them self that question over and over again throughout the course of their life.  With a smile of joy in his voice and compassion in his heart, Mike Aquilina attempts to answer the age old question…Why Me? With Mike’s help, we look toward the saints, and ultimately to Our Blessed Lord, for the answer.  Mike tackles this tough subject with love and grace.  After all, isn’t that exactly how God attempts to break through to us in our suffering with His answer?  On a personal note:  Mike Aquilina is one of the finest men I know. It is a joy to talk with him about any subject, but when it comes to matters of the Church and God, watch out…your heart will swell up with faith, hope and love.  He’s like your pal on the road to Emmaus.

Click here to find Mike’s gift to us all