The Holy Trinity and Prayer – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff asks the question, “Is your prayer centered in the Holy Trinity?” He challenges us to take a good look at our prayer lives and do we pray as Jesus taught us…to the Father.

Reading 2 Rom 8:14-17

Brothers and sisters:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a Spirit of adoption,
through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Gospel Mt 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

 

 

 

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

Preparing for Lent – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff Discerning Hearts Podcast


Msgr. Esseff teaches the importance of fasting, almsgiving and the Liturgy of the Hours during the season of Lent.  He shares his experience of fasting in a desert found in Peru. From this he learned the importance of FASTING and PRAYER.  Msgr. Esseff challenges us to discern what the Father in Heaven is asking us to do this Lent through fasting, so we can purely and perfectly follow His Holy Will.  And he describes ALMSGIVING, and story from an experience he had with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity Sisters.

The Church prepares a spiritual retreat for all of us during Lent.  The Holy Spirit is transforming you in a radical way so that you become more like Jesus Christ…the day by day exercise of Morning Prayer, the Eucharist and Evening Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, and the other moments of contemplative prayer aids in the transformation…our ego decreases and Jesus increases in our minds and in our hearts.

Pray the Liturgy of Hours

Morning Prayer
Mid-morningPrayer
Mid-dayPrayer
Afternoon Prayer
Evening Prayer
Night Prayer
Office of Readings

IP#484 – Deacon James Keating Ph.D. – Abiding in Christ on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

In this compelling conversation with Deacon James Keating, a spiritual master of the highest order, we discuss those things that block us from having a closer relationship with God. We also discuss the importance of making time for Lectio Divina, living in the liturgy of the Church, and the danger of letting prayer become too complex.

Abiding in Christ: Staying with God in a Busy World is a wonderful how-to-pray resource. This book helps readers to find a quiet space wherein they can be present to God and offers suggestions of how they can be more open to God’s movement within them. We highly recommend this book to those souls seeking a deeper relationship with God.

Deacon James KeatingYou can find the book here

Here are excerpts from our conversation in the podcast –

Sin, to some extent, possesses us, usually at the level of pleasure. Even if you think about the sin of anger, it always seems like it’s mayhem, but it’s actually pleasurable. People get a rush out of being angry. They get a rush out of being greedy. There’s a pleasure in sloth, in daydreaming, in fantasizing, in not doing the duty or the work we’re supposed to do right in front of us. There’s a pleasure in sloth.

And so that pleasure is the glue, the adhesive that keeps us in love with our sins. And that’s what God is alwaying fighting. He’s trying to displace that false love that we have set up by the way of pleasure.  God knows that pleasure is not the deepest reality of existence. And so he’s not going to play the game back and like trump the pleasure of sin. He is going to attract us away from the pleasure of sin, by the beauty of truth.

As Joseph Ratizinger used to say, “The face of God, is the beauty of God’s face.” What’s that mean? That means that the truth, the radiance of truth will eventually win us over even against the strong undertow of sin’s pleasure. If we give him a chance, spend time with him, open our hearts to be affected by him, then over time, this beauty of his own face, the truth of who God is will move us away from the immediacy, the gratification of the pleasure that’s hiding within all of our sins. And that’s what salvation is. Salvation is finally surrendering to truth and its beauty over and against the fleeting pleasure of self-involvement

also

The liturgy is your participation in being loved and loving back. Catechesisis not learning in a classroom style. It’s learning how to pray. If we don’t learn how to pray, we won’t even be interested in the catechism. Why would you be interested in the catechism if you don’t know the person whose voluminous beauty fills the catechism? Why would you want to open that book?

The Catechism at its heart is learning how to be with Him, to receive Him. And then your intellect is a flame to want to know Him. We do it backwards. We’ve always done it backwards. I don’t know for how long, but since my birth, we’ve done it backwards. Reducing the mystery to academics. And that’s inherently boring because to study anybody you don’t know, to study anyone that you have no motivation to learn about, is boredom. So we have to let them be burned by the fire first. This is why to some extent, parishes have to be remodeled. Maybe God is doing this by making our parishes so much smaller.

People are leaving. They’re not saying this. They’re leaving because they’re bored. They’re leaving because they haven’t encountered. They’re leaving because they don’t know God. And they’re looking for God, but maybe we have to make our parishes more like retreat centers than some type of bureaucratic paperwork center where you go through and get certified to receive this sacrament or that sacrament. It has to be more of a retreat encounter so that people will want to know God because they’ve met to God.

For more Deacon James Keating on Discerning Hearts visit his podcasts here

IP#477 – Fr. Timothy Gallagher – When You Struggle In The Spiritual Life on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

Fr. Timothy Gallagher OMVIn When You Struggle In the Spiritual Life: An Ignatian Path to Freedom, Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V., addresses the everyday challenges of those seeking a deeper relationship with God. Drawing from the spiritual wisdom of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the second rule of his classic discernment of spirits, Fr. Gallagher breaks open the four ways in which the enemy is going to try to discourage persons from moving more closely to God. And the five ways in which the good spirit is going to try to encourage persons on their journey.  It was a delight to discuss this lovely book…highly recommended!

Discerning Hearts PodcastYou can find the book here
From the book description:

Once a person embarks on a spiritual journey questions and roadblocks will come up. Ignatian spirituality and practices hold a treasure of answers, and no one can explain Ignatian lifestyles as can Fr. Timothy Gallagher. – This little volume of clear and practical guidelines is invaluable for anyone wanting to grow spiritually. In this new volume, Fr. Gallagher explores additional understandings and applications of the Ignatian rules. These personal reflections have arisen from the delight—and the labor—of learning and sharing the rules, witnessing the joy and hope they have given to so many. These Ignatian guidelines set captives free from the discouragement and sadness of spiritual desolation. They offer hope precisely where persons may have felt hope was not possible—and so release new energy for the spiritual journey.

For more from Fr. Timothy Gallagher on Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts visit: Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discernment of Spirits Podcasts

Dr. Thomas Howard – Hallowed Be This House on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Special Podcast

This is a special reposting of a conversation I had with Dr. Thomas Howard several years ago. This great man died on October 15, 2020. His wisdom continues to be a blessed gift to all of us. R.I.P. – KM

What a delight to talk once again with Dr. Thomas Howard.  This time we discuss “Hallowed Be This House: Finding Signs of Heaven in Your Home.”  Dr. Howard has such a beautiful gift of recognizing the sacred.   Through this marvelous book, he helps us all to appreciate the many ways in which we too can dive deeper into the “mystery,” especially in those ordinary places and things found in our lives.  This book is a treasure!

You can find the book here

Tom Howard, an accomplished writer of great distinction, has the rare gift of being able to express profound truths in whimsical terms. In Hallowed Be This House, he explores with charm and wit the sacramental aspect of our daily lives. I found the book vastly entertaining and, what is more, felt refreshed and the happier of having read it. So, I am sure, will all its readers. —Malcolm Muggeridge

Howard’s vision is the quintessential Catholic, sacramental vision. To read this book is to see with the eyes of Christ. —Peter KreeftHandbook of Christian Apologetics

IP#364 Fr. John Bartunek – The Better Part: The Gospels pt. 2 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

 With Fr. John Bartunek, we continue with part 2 of our discussion on “The Better Part: The Gospels.” During our conversation, we discuss the importance of prayer and the scriptures, the nature of spiritual direction, and how we can develop our friendship with Christ.  It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Bartunek.  We couldn’t recommend this 4-volume set more highly.

You can find the set here

From the book description

Every saint and renowned spiritual director through the ages has said the same thing: if we desire to become saints, we must spend time daily in meditation. With this set, Fr. John Bartunek has created an extensive, Christ-centered resource to serve as your daily meditation companion. The Better Part offers a practical explanation of Christian meditation, as well as material to draw from during your meditations, including a Bible study on the Gospels, a survey of saints writings, and a handy guide to prayer.

As you learn to read, meditate upon, absorb, and apply the Gospels to your life, you’ll also find ways to personalize your times of prayer, allowing you to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead along the path of holiness. Open these pages to discover the methods of meditation that best suit you, develop your friendship with Christ, and experience the true Christian joy of a deep, fruitful life of prayer.

 

IP#363 Fr. John Bartunek – The Better Part: The Gospels pt. 1 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

 With Fr. John Bartunek, we begin part 1 of our discussion on “The Better Part: The Gospels.” During our conversation, we discuss the importance of prayer and the scriptures, the nature of spiritual direction, and how we can develop our friendship with Christ.  It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Bartunek.  We couldn’t recommend this 4-volume set more highly.

You can find the set here

From the book description

Every saint and renowned spiritual director through the ages has said the same thing: if we desire to become saints, we must spend time daily in meditation. With this set, Fr. John Bartunek has created an extensive, Christ-centered resource to serve as your daily meditation companion. The Better Part offers a practical explanation of Christian meditation, as well as material to draw from during your meditations, including a Bible study on the Gospels, a survey of saints writings, and a handy guide to prayer.

As you learn to read, meditate upon, absorb, and apply the Gospels to your life, you’ll also find ways to personalize your times of prayer, allowing you to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead along the path of holiness. Open these pages to discover the methods of meditation that best suit you, develop your friendship with Christ, and experience the true Christian joy of a deep, fruitful life of prayer.

 

IP#295 Dr. Peter Kreeft – How to be Holy on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Peter KreeftOnce again a spiritual classic has been given to us from the prolific Catholic philosopher Dr. Peter Kreeft!.  “How to be Holy: First Steps in Becoming a Saint” derives it’s direction from the incredible “Abandonment to Divine Providence” by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J.  and it’s simple message that God reveals himself through the daily events of our lives.  How we respond is the key to faith and our opportunity to grow in holiness.  Do you place your trust the Father’s will?  Can you respond in love?  Do you truly believe Romans 8:28 “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (RSV)?  To be holy, we must take the first step…Dr. Kreeft shows us the way.  Outstanding!

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You can find the book here

From the book description:

The ever-popular and prolific Peter Kreeft says that the most important question he has written about is how one becomes holy; or to put it another way, how one becomes a saint. This question is central to all the great religions, Kreeft demonstrates, for striving toward holiness, moving toward perfect love, is the whole purpose of life.

Kreeft admits that he is only a beginner on the climb to holiness, and it is to novices like him that he has written this engaging and encouraging book. Using the insights and experiences of saints and great spiritual writers throughout history, Kreeft shows what holiness is and how it can be achieved.

Listening for God in Everyday Life – Dr. Joseph White on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast Special

Just the right book and just the right time.  I am delighted to be joined by Dr. Joseph White Ph.D. to discuss “Listening for God in Everyday Life.” At a time when so many are anxious and afraid, this timely new book shines a bright light in all the areas where God is seeking to console and guide us.  At a time when we may be asking “Where are you, God?”, Dr. White helps us to see the many unexpected ways in which God is present and waiting to touch our lives.  If we can begin to hear and see God in all things our relationship deepens with one who knows us better than ourselves.  We realize we are not alone, especially in our fears and struggles.  Dr. White is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist and a deep man of prayer.  He offers practical insights and questions for us to reflect on to aid our ability to listen with the ears of our hearts.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

In Listening for God in Everyday Life, author, speaker, and psychologist Joseph White shows us how to listen for God in this noisy, chaotic world. God is speaking to us all the time, but we have to learn to hear his voice. Drawing on his personal experience, Joseph reveals the means God uses to speak directly to our hearts. Some of these may even surprise you! They include

Silence
Gifts and Talents
Scripture
Creation
Humor
Tradition
Art

Liturgy
Saints
Struggle
Children
Relationship
People in Need

When we learn to hear it, God’s voice opens our hearts to his love, deepening our relationship with the one who knows us better than we know ourselves.

How is God speaking to you?