“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.

IP#273 Fr. Christopher Collins S.J. – Three Moments of the Day on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Three Moments of the Day: Praying with the Heart of Jesus” by Fr. Christopher Collins S.J. is outstanding!

Our conversation with Fr. Collins may leave you feeling that you’ve received a wonderful spiritual “booster shot”!   What seemed old is beautifully new again. What we may have taken for granted is revealed to have delightfully renewing facets for us to explore.   Highly, highly recommended!

From the book description:

On the strength of the Apostleship of Prayer’s worldwide reach, retreat master Christopher Collins introduces a powerful approach to both the Sacred Heart devotion and classic Ignatian spirituality.
In the tradition of Michael Gaitley’s bestselling 33 Days to Morning Glory, Three Moments of the Day presents a classic Catholic tradition in a way that is fresh and compelling. Jesuit retreat master Christopher Collins introduces three simple, yet powerful prayer habits that are at the foundation of both the Sacred Heart devotion and Ignatian spirituality and that assist the reader in turning intentionally toward the Sacred Heart of Christ. Readers are guided through morning offering, evening reflection, and how to ponder the gift of the Eucharist throughout the day.


You can find the book here

“Fr. Collins has written a dynamic and entertaining invitation to the Church: Let Jesus love us and heal us at the depth of our wounds. Here, in this accessible source, we can encounter the fire of the Sacred Heart, a fire of love searching for us all.” –Deacon James Keating, Director of Theological Formation, Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University

“This simple yet profound program of three moments a day will bless all who undertake it. In this book, a rich spiritual content is conveyed in heartfelt and accessible language.” —Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., Author of The Discernment of Spirits


SD10 – Recalling the Responses to Spiritual Desolation – Spiritual Desolation: Be Aware, Understand, Take Action with Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Episode 10  – Fr. Gallagher recalls the pointed responses to desolation found in Rules 5 – 14.  He then shares some personal reflections which demonstrate how helpful the rules helpful in resisting Spiritual Desolation.

From  Setting the Captives Free: Personal Reflections on Ignatian Discernment of Spirits

“The Enemy Claims Power over the Future”

I wrote this next entry after a further surgery, when I could not yet see what lay ahead. The following are notes on a conversation of spiritual direction:

Ed spoke of the fear about the “what-ifs.” This is the taunting of the enemy, meant to discourage you, claiming power over the future. You’ll never return to active ministry, never be able to share community life as before. The enemy wants you to focus on what is dark, and to pull you into the future seen in this way.

The Holy Spirit is helping you to pray in this, and Mary is present to you. Turn quickly to the Lord, ask Mary’s intercession, in such times.

The enemy is all about the negatives, the “nos.” The truth, even on a medical level, is that there is progress, and you are getting stronger. The medical situations are moving ahead. There is real hope, and the Lord with his love is with you. So, be quick to turn away from the negative thoughts. Don’t even open the door! Renounce the lies. Even imagining what might happen is a temptation. Be in the present, be open to his grace today, surrender to his will today. As Ed said this, I realized that this I could do.

Surrender to his Heart as best you can today. The surrender is not a surrender to “the worst” but to his faithful love for you. This is the one you surrender to.

I found it very helpful to talk about this spiritual desolation and receive guidance regarding the enemy’s discouraging tactics (rule 13). This was a nonspiritual vulnerability after a surgery that gave the enemy an opening for spiritual desolation. A common trait of spiritual desolation—the enemy’s claim of power over the future, always seen in a dark light— was also evident that day. Ed’s advice to reject this tactic of the enemy immediately reflected Ignatius’s counsel in rule 12: resist in the very beginning, before the burden can grow. Ed was right, too, that objectively things were improving on the medical level. In the nonspiritual and spiritual desolation, I found it hard to see that on my own, and it was encouraging to hear Ed and recognize the truth of what he said.

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

IP#121 Fr. Larry Richards – Surrender on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will” is another outstanding offering from Fr. Larry Richards!  From start to finish Fr. Larry challenges us to place Jesus Christ first in our lives and our relationships with others and the world.  Once we can do that, things begin to fall into place.  Then he helps us to recognize the difference between God’s will and our will, and to trust that His will be better for us if we trust, love and….SURRENDER!

Fr. Larry Richards is an engaging writer, who never fails to keep us hooked through the entire book.  This will be one of those books that you want to purchase at least two copies, because you’ll want to pass it on to another, and you’ll want to keep one for yourself for years to come.


You can find the book here

From the book description:

…Surrender outlines concrete steps you can take to dwell in peace. Simply put, God wants every one of us to be a saint which is a lot of work! It requires developing a plan for your life, in accordance with the Lord’s will.

Prayer is the key to this, as it opens the soul to hearing God’s voice and accepting his guidance. But prayer too requires discipline and planning. Father Richards is the life coach every one of us needs on the sidelines of our daily life the tough love coach who calls it like he sees it.

Allow yourself to move out of the driver seat and surrender to the one who knows all God.



IP#318 Fr. John Burns – Lift Up Your Heart on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

“Lift Up Your Heart: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis de Sales” is outstanding.  A wonderful “introduction to the devout life”… literally!  Fr. John Burns breaks open up the teachings of the great spiritual director and Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales in a wonderfully fresh new way.  Very practical and perfect for meditation during prayer times during the day, this is a mini-retreat we can all benefit from.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

This practical book goes right to the heart of helping you kick the habit of floating along on your spiritual journey to start actively pursuing holiness and devotion to God. During the course of the retreat, you ll learn the basics of forming a daily prayer routine, including how to offer yourself to God, meditate on his love, and maintain peace in the face of suffering and clarity in the midst of temptation.

The meditations will help you:

  • Adopt gratitude as a daily prayer practice.
  • Examine and reorder your priorities and relationships to better reflect your love for God.
  • Discern between good and evil in your life.
  • Desire to love and serve as Jesus did.

In a very real sense, Burns helps you take St. Francis de Sales as your spiritual director for ten days. As you do so, you’ll feel God’s fatherly love and restart your faith life, equipped with the tools to connect with God and live for heaven now.

IJCY4- Your Peace is Found in Jesus – Is Jesus Calling You w/ Fr. Paul Hoesing ep 4 – Discerning Hearts

 Fr. Paul Hoesing - Is Jesus Calling You? Discerning Your Vocational Call 3

The Fourth Spiritual Lesson: It Takes Time. “The Father simply wants you to trust him enough to take the next step, not the 10th or 20th step.  He wants you to focus on going from A to B, not ongoing from A to Z.  When you take that step, Jesus will reveal the next one.”

Questions: What is the next step God is asking of you?  Are you afraid to take it? If you are, ask him into the situation or reality that causes you fear.  Are you focusing too far down the road?

The Fifth Spiritual Lesson: Your Peace is Found in Jesus. “Christ’s presence is enjoyable; it gives us peace, stillness, clarity, and gratitude.  Our job is to desire it.”

Questions: Where do you experience peace, stillness, clarity or gratitude in God?  Wherever that is happening in your life, you need to do two things: (1) realize that this is the presence of Christ and ; (2) desire it throughout your day…above all thins.  Relish his presence, enjoy his presence, long for his presence, keep coming back to his presence, adore his presence and express gratitude for his presence.


Based on “Is Jesus Calling You To Be A Catholic Priest: A helpful guide”, published by National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Director.

Fr. Paul Hoesing serves at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary as Dean of Seminarians & Director of Human Formation

IP#337 Mark Joseph – Overwhelming Pursuit on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

What a delight to talk with Mark Joseph about “Overwhelming Pursuit: Stop Chasing Your Life and Live.”  He presents in this very compelling book a practical approach to transforming your life.  I simply could not have put any better than Dr. Scott Hahn who said in his ringing endorsement of Mark’s work: “In these pages you’ll learn, step by step, how to do the hard stuff: forgive from the heart, apologize, open yourself to the healing power of God’s mercy. If these graces have seemed remote, theoretical, or elusive to you, seek here and find everything you need: a prescription for spiritual health and lifelong conversion.”  Excellent!  Get a copy for yourself and someone in your life who really needs this solid yet caring message.  Mark’s website is: https://markjosephministries.com

You can by the book here

From the book description:

“Success lets me and everybody else know that I’m important – that I’m worth loving. Success is how I prove my worth in this world.”

That’s what Mark Joseph thought.

He was driven to achieve, and he did. Through his success, he felt loved and respected. He worked night and day to keep feeling important.

But success came at a price.

If you’re overwhelmed, unfulfilled, and running in circles chasing happiness, this is the book for you.

You’ll learn, as Mark did, that the overwhelming pursuit of success stems from our underlying belief that we need to earn love, and that striving for it will somehow cure our lack of self-love. He’ll show you, through his experiences and those of others, that fulfillment has nothing to do with success. It comes from knowing that – despite success or failure you were created by God for greatness, for love and to be loved.

IP#304 Fr. Ed Broom, O.M.V. – From Humdrum to Holy on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

What a delight to talk and to LEARN from Fr. Ed Broom, of the Oblates of the Virgin Maryseven-last-wordsHis book “From Humdrum to HOLY: A Step-by-Step Guide to Living Like a Saint” is great!  In our conversation, we discuss the value of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the great legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri and of having a spiritual program in our lives.  He offers in this work, among other things, “10 Ways to Start (or Continue) Becoming a Saint” .  Through the “10 M’s” he presents practical entryways to help souls who desire to establish spiritual practices in their everyday life.  Fr. Ed speaks of the importance of self-knowledge and the practice of the Daily Examen Prayer as well as, the need to form a healthy conscience.  We are only able to touch the tip of the iceberg in this episode, but that’s the beauty of having the “From Humdrum to HOLY” your hands! Fr. Ed Broom’s writing is so engaging and filled with clarity. Take an important first step in growing in holiness and get this book!


You can find the book here

“I’m a direct beneficiary of Fr. Ed Broom’s extraordinary zeal for souls. His passionate pastoral concern for ‘lost sheep’ helped bring me back to the practice of my Catholic Faith in high school, and his stirring homilies enkindled in me an ardent desire for holiness. I pray that the potent practical wisdom of these pages will inspire many others to strive for greater sanctity.”
Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC
Author, 33 Days to Merciful Love

“In Fr. Broom’s book, readers will find an accessible and practical guide toward the goal of holiness.”
Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV

“Those who long for a serious, yet simple and doable, path to spiritual growth, to holiness and to wholeness, will find a treasure in this wonderfully-readable spiritual gem.”
Mother Miriam Of The Lamb Of God, O.S.B.
Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope

IP#304 Fr. Ed Broom O.M.V – From Humdrum to Holy on Inside the Pages from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

IP#29 Patricia Cooney Hathaway – Weaving Faith and Experience on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor with Kris McGregor

Dr. Patricia Cooney Hathaway concentrates on helping women understand the relationship between faith and human experience during the middle years within the context of the whole life cycle This book is EXCELLENT! She explores the wrenching and puzzling questions women in their middle years need to ask: Who am I? Who am I with? Where am I going in terms of a life plan? What aids or blocks my growth? Is God a personal God who is invested in my life? Do I have a personal destiny related to God? What is the meaning of suffering? What is my fate after death?  Drawing from the Mystical Doctors of the Church, Dr. Hathaway offers an outstanding spiritual resource for women.

 Click here to pick up a copy of Patricia’s book

This outstanding book delivers what the title promises. Only an experienced spiritual guide could convey this wisdom with such clarity and practical focus. –Dr. Joann Conn

…a wonderful reverence for the Catholic spiritual heritage and a mature sensitivity toward the apostolic challenges and opportunities of our day. I recommend Hathaway s book wholeheartedly. –Howard Gray, S.J., assistant to the president, Georgetown University

All of us can profit by Dr. Cooney s challenges and reflections. –Margaret R. Brennan, I.H.M., professor emerita, Regis College

IP#114 Michael Novak – Living the Call: An Introduction to the Lay Vocation on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Michael Novak is a shining witness of what occurs in the soul when the head makes the journey to the heart.  What a gift he is to all of us and what a profound sage of wisdom…when he so gently speaks, I listen….we all should!  In “Living the Call: An Introduction to the Lay Vocation,” Michael, along with his co-author William E. Simon, Jr, establishes, in Part 1, of the book, the need for the lay vocation in the Church today.  They chronicle that need with a national and global perspective.  They also present how “living the call”  looks in the lives of nine committed lay faithful working in parish life today.

Part 2 is worth its weight in gold! It outlines the absolute necessity of growth in the interior life of the laity.  How essential it is to deepen the spiritual life.  They give voice to the need to appreciate the desert experiences of our lives as opportunities for greater unity with Christ; such periods provide the fonts of grace which nurtures the work in ministry.   For anyone who severs in a ministry of any kind, either as an employee or as a volunteer, if you pass this indispensable book by, you do so at your peril!


Michael Novak’s website can be found here

 You can find “Living the Call” here

“This is the book that countless Catholic laypeople have been waiting for as they ponder how to respond to Vatican II’s challenge to take more active roles in the life of the Church and to bring Christian principles to life in the secular world. It’s a gem of a book that speaks to laypeople in all walks of life and at all stages of their earthly journeys.”

Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University