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.

 

CALG1 – The Notes, The Preludes and The First Point- The Contemplation to Attain the Love of God with Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V. Podcast

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” Part 1 – Fr. Gallagher looks at an exercise of prayer that St. Ignatius places at the end of the spiritual journey of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises but because of their richness they can also be fruitful outside of that original context and in daily life. In this episode, he covers an introduction to the prayer, the Notes, the Preludes, and the First Point

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, on the 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

IP#356 “What Really Happens After We Die” pt. 2 – James Papandrea on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

What a delight to be joined once again by Dr. James Papndrea, especially to discuss his book “What Really Happens After We Die:  There Will Be Hugs in Heaven.”  In part 2 of this podcast, we discuss Heaven and the reality of Hell.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Here professor of Church history Dr. James Papandrea gathers in one place all that is known about the afterlife — drawn from the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles, the Church Fathers, and the Church’s Magisterium — affording, for the first time ever, a complete, authoritative, detailed portrait of the state of souls after death and the realms we enter. The following are among the many questions he answers:

-If, as St. Paul says, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God,” how can our bodies enter Heaven?

-After death but before the final resurrection, are we simply unconscious?

-What is our resurrection like? (And does it differ from Jesus’ Resurrection?)

-Are ghosts real? (You’ll be surprised at what the Church Fathers have to say.)

-What is the difference between Heaven and Paradise?

-Which of our parts will accompany us to Heaven (and which must be left behind)?

-In Heaven, do we still eat and drink?

-If, as Jesus says, there’s no marrying in heaven, are we still male and female there?

-After our resurrection, will we, like Jesus, be able to pass through matter?

-And many more fascinating questions answered!

Other conversations with James Papandrea on Inside the Pages:

IP#355 What Really Happens After We Die” pt. 1 – James Papandrea on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

IP#327 Dr. James Papandrea – From Star Wars to Superman on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

IP#355 “What Really Happens After We Die” pt. 1 – James Papandrea on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

What a delight to be joined once again by Dr. James Papndrea, especially to discuss his book “What Really Happens After We Die:  There Will Be Hugs in Heaven.”  In part 1 of this podcast, we discuss the relationship between body and soul, the nature of Purgatory,  and the teachings of the Fathers (and Mothers) of the Church.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Here professor of Church history Dr. James Papandrea gathers in one place all that is known about the afterlife — drawn from the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles, the Church Fathers, and the Church’s Magisterium — affording, for the first time ever, a complete, authoritative, detailed portrait of the state of souls after death and the realms we enter. The following are among the many questions he answers:

-If, as St. Paul says, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God,” how can our bodies enter Heaven?

-After death but before the final resurrection, are we simply unconscious?

-What is our resurrection like? (And does it differ from Jesus’ Resurrection?)

-Are ghosts real? (You’ll be surprised at what the Church Fathers have to say.)

-What is the difference between Heaven and Paradise?

-Which of our parts will accompany us to Heaven (and which must be left behind)?

-In Heaven, do we still eat and drink?

-If, as Jesus says, there’s no marrying in heaven, are we still male and female there?

-After our resurrection, will we, like Jesus, be able to pass through matter?

-And many more fascinating questions answered!

Other conversations with James Papandrea on Inside the Pages:

IP#327 Dr. James Papandrea – From Star Wars to Superman on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

BKL#52 – The Poor/Holy Souls and Purgatory – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and on how we pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory:

Reading 1 Wis 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30, 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 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 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.  

 

IP#44 Susan Tassone – Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

No one I know has the passion, zeal and just sheer love for the Holy Souls in Purgatory like Susan Tassone!  She has an incredible depth of knowledge on the subject.  You will never feel you are without companions on the journey after you hear Susan plead the Holy Souls cause.

  You can find the book here

Let the saints inspire you to intercede for the holy souls in purgatory!
Throughout the ages the devotions, prayers, and practices of the Communion of Saints have been offered up on behalf of souls in purgatory, the Church Suffering. The saints ardent desire to intercede for the holy souls impelled them to pray ceaselessly for their eternal rest.
This inspiring book shows how you can join the saints in this act of divine charity, thereby attaining spiritual gifts for acts done for the souls that cry out to us for relief.
–See the firsthand experiences that saints have had with the holy souls
–Learn the power of intercessory prayer on behalf of souls in purgatory
–Seasonal Devotions & Spiritual Aids prepare all members of the family to plead the cause of souls

  Susan Tassone’s Official Website

IP#306 Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC – Champions of the Rosary on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

 fr-_donald_calloway_micIt’s always a delight to talk with Fr. Donald Calloway, particularly when it’s about Our Lady!  In “Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon”, Fr. Calloway proves once again to be one of the Blessed Mother’s great knights in our modern-day spiritual battle.  His humble, joy-filled witness is inspiring!  Along with the Sacraments of the Church and Sacred Scripture, Fr. Calloway knows exactly what we need to enhance and deepen our experience of grace in these crazy challenging times which we now live in  – The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary!  For the restless contemplative heart, there is no place better to ponder the presence and mysteries of God than in Our Lady’s “garden of prayer.”  In that prayer, she will bring us to encounter Christ, and through Him, with Him, and in Him, the world will be transformed. This fantastic book is like a multi-faceted diamond.  In its pages, Fr. Calloway shares the rich history of the Holy Rosary, beautifully pious devotional reflections (with stunning artwork as well), and the stories of those whose lives encourage us to become champions of this devotion as well!  This is a must have in every Catholic home and parish!

 

71a1dakwkdl

You can find the book here

“Champions of the Rosary is an encyclopedic and inspiring work on the rosary, the spiritual weapon that has been given to the Church. In a remarkable way, it presents the fascinating saga of the birth and development of the devotion so linked to the Dominican Order! This is a wonderful tool for better understanding the rosary, promoting its use, and championing it in our troubled world. I am certain that these pages will inspire us all to take up our rosary!” Fr. Louis-Marie Arino-Durand, OP. Promotor Generalis pro Rosario. Rome, Italy

“Champions of the Rosary is an extremely insightful, pious, and scholarly work on the rosary. Father Calloway’s insights and contributions into the history and heroes of the rosary will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.” — His Eminence Christoph Maria Cardinal Schonborn, OP, STD Archbishop of Vienna, Austria