IP#3 Sr. Ann Shields – “To Be Like Jesus” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

It was great to talk with Sr. Ann Shields, of “Food for the Journey”, about her new book “To Be Like Jesus – Inspiration From the Gospel of Luke”  .  In her maternal nurturing way she encourages us to “feed” on the great gift of God’s Holy Word.

You can find the book here.

From the book description:

God’s plan for your life is not as mysterious or unknowable as you might think. As Sister Ann Shields demonstrates in her probing reflections on the Gospel of Luke, the key to knowing what God is asking of you is to discover, first, who God is. If you are willing to spend time daily in his presence, ruminating on his word as it comes to you in Scripture, he will reveal himself and help you make the choices that conform to his will for your life.

To Be Like Jesus will enable you to distinguish God’s voice from the voices, noise and distractions of the world. As you let his word soak into your soul, you’ll find there the power to surrender to him and play your part in building his kingdom.


SP#6 “The Spiritual Director” The School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization with Fr. Scott Traynor

SP#6 The School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization


Fr. Scott Traynor talks about how God wants to have an intimate relationship with us.  What is the dynamic of this relationship?  He longs for us to freely give ourselves to Him.  Fr. Scott talks about the gift of our imagination and what is  true spiritual reality as opposed to fantasy.  How do I tell the difference?  What is the nature of the effect?  Is it lasting  or does it evaporate after the experience?  Is Jesus in the center of the reality we are encountering? He describes the use of Lectio Divina, the praying with Sacred Scripture, that helps us to enter into the deeper relationship we are called to by God.  Fr. Scott explains the difference between the Ignatian  and Carmelite understandings of “contemplation”.  Is there an ordinary Catholic “mysticism”?  Do we miss it?




In Father Scott Traynor’s book, Blessed John Paul II’s memorable call to make of the parish a school of prayer takes on flesh and becomes concretely attainable. Those you read these faith-filled pages will find renewed desire to create such parishes and a clear road-map toward this goal.

–Father Timothy Gallagher, OMV



Father Scott Traynor received his STB from the Pontifical Gregorian University and his JCL from Catholic University of America. He has been an instructor and spiritual director for many of the programs at the Institute for Priestly Formation.

Father Traynor is a retreat master and spiritual director who has travelled the country as a speaker at various conferences, diocesan gatherings and national conferences.. He is especially sought after to present on the topics of prayer, discernment and priestly identity and mission.

He serves the Rector of the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver Colorado.


WOM#13 – Purgative and Illuminative Way – The Way of Mystery w/ Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts

Episode 13-The Way of Mystery: The Eucharist and Moral Living Keating-2

 The spiritual life and moral living… understanding the journey through the Purgative and Illuminative Way and their role in the moral life.

For more episodes in “The Way of Mystery” Series click here

Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to ”Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Way of Mystery”.

The Vatican II documents remind us that the spiritual journey is not made in a vacuum, that God has chosen to save us, not individually, but as The People of God. The Eucharist must help Christians to make their choices by discerning out of Christ’s paschal mystery. For this process to take place, however, Christians must first understand how the Eucharist puts them in touch with Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection, and what concrete implications being in touch with this mystery has for their daily lives.

IPF logo small ROHC#6 Deacon James Keating – Heart of Hope part 6 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

For more information on the “Institute of Priestly Formation” and for other material available by Deacon Keating, just click here

Communion with Christ ROHC#6 Deacon James Keating – Heart of Hope part 6 from Resting On the Heart of Christ

Don’t forget to pickup a copy of “Communion with Christ” , it is one of the best audio sets on prayer…ever!

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

IP#218 Dick Lyles – Answer Your Call on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Dick-LylesI cannot recommend a book more highly than this,  “Answer Your Call: Reclaim God’s Purpose For Faith, Family, and Work” is OUTSTANDING! The combined gifts of  Dick and Martha Lyles have brought us must a gem which serves as a practical everyday guide for prayer and discernment.  The book description below and the interview I have with Dick can provide just some of the reasons why this work is so important, but neither really goes far enough.  I have heard from so many men and women looking for spiritual directors, guides, mentors, anyone or anything that could help them to respond to that “still, small voice” deep inside themselves; here is the book I’ll now tell them to start with.  While this isn’t the answer to all questions and quests, this is work offers a great start and foundation.  Great for individual study, as well as for groups.  For pastors, deacons, pastoral ministers, parents, but most importantly, for the every day man or woman trying to “answer God’s call”!

Answer-Your-CallYou can find the book here

From the book description:

Answer Your Call helps Christians discern their purpose from a Catholic perspective—think of it as a Catholic response to The Purpose Driven Life. Building on the premise that every person has a unique set of natural gifts meant to be used in concert with God’s supernatural graces, readers will find practical insights on what prevents someone from hearing and responding to God’s call, as well as how to reclaim and live their calling in the home, workplace, and community. Answer Your Call goes beyond mere theory, using key questions, short quizzes, and practical exercises to help the reader implement the material. You’ll learn:

  • What causes us to lose sight of God’s presence
  • How we lose touch with our natural gifts
  • The three dimensions of our divine call
  • Understanding discernment in relation to purpose and call
  • How you can plan to implement your call

Interspersed with Scripture and Catechism quotes, as well as wisdom from popes and saints, Answer Your Call will guide you to carry out God’s purpose in every dimension of your life.

IP#237 Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J. – The Transforming Power of Faith on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

What a delight to speak once again to Fr. Joseph Fessio, this time about “The Transforming Power of Faith” by Pope Benedict Fr.-FessioXVI.  Ignatius Press has once again brought to us a wonderful compilation of the final sixteen talks given at his weekly audience from October 2012 to the end of his papacy in February 2013.  These talks explore how and why faith is relevant in the contemporary world.

In this discussion, Fr. Fessio offers his insights on the pontificate of Pope Francis, a brother in the Jesuit order.  He also addresses an issue concerning the work of Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar as found in his book “Dare We Hope That All May Be Saved”, which has, in some cases recently, been mistakenly understood and represented to others.  He breaks open a bit Fr. von Balthasar’s teachings on hell, the mercy of God, and the proper understanding of “hope”.  Another engaging conversation with the ever fascinating Fr. Fessio.

Transfroming-Power-of-FaithYou can find the book here

From the book description:

“Having faith in the Lord is not something that involves solely our intelligence, the area of intellectual knowledge; rather, it is a change that involves our life, our whole self: feelings, heart, intelligence, will, corporeity, emotions, and human relationships. With faith everything truly changes.”

So Pope Benedict XVI introduced his catecheses for the Year of Faith, a series of sixteen talks given at his weekly audience from October 2012 to the end of his papacy in February 2013. These talks explore how and why faith is relevant in the contemporary world. How can we come to certainty about things that cannot be calculated or scientifically confirmed? What does God’s revelation mean for our daily lives? How can the hunger of the human heart be fulfilled? Offering the guidance of biblical exegesis, pastoral exhortation, and brotherly encouragement, Pope Benedict seeks to answer these questions and many others.

IP#235 Fr. R. Scott Hurd – When Faith Feels Fragile on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

It’s a rare believer that doesn’t feel  challenged at times in the area of faith.  For those occasions, Fr. R. Scott Hurd provides wiseFr-Scott counsel and encouragement in “When Faith Feels Fragile:  Help for the Wary, Weak, and Wandering.”  Fr. Scott has an engaging and pastorally sensitive approach to many of the common issues that cause us to stumble on the journey of faith.  A great book even if you feel your faith is strong, and to passed on to those you may know who are struggling.


You can find the book here

At some point in our life, our faith is tested. It can feel like God is hidden and out of reach. We wonder if we can we count on God’s presence. When Faith Feels Fragile teaches us how to recognize the many ways that God touches us in the course of our daily routine. Drawing on the practical wisdom of life’s experience, Father Scott Hurd explores the deeper spiritual meaning by finding parallels in Scripture and Christian spirituality. We learn how to “open ourselves up to the gift of faith and hold it close to our hearts.”

-His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington


IP#151 Joe Paprocki – The 7 Key to Spiritual Wellness on Inside the Pages

In “7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness,” best-selling author Joe Paprocki provides a prescription for spiritual health based on the rich wisdom of Catholic Tradition.

The Saints have taught us repeatedly that our souls can get spiritually sick and die as well.

Joe’s new book focuses on the root causes of spiritual sickness. Each chapter identifies a specific threat to the health of our souls and offers strategies for beating that virus.

His keys to spiritual wellness are:

  1. Seeing Yourself as You Really Are
  2. Actively Seeking the Good of Others
  3. Thinking Before Acting
  4. Holding on Loosely
  5. Recognizing and Setting Limits
  6. Channeling, Not Repressing, Your Desires
  7. Unleashing Your Imagination

You can find the book here


IP#141 Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC – 33 Days to Morning Glory on Inside the Pages

What is Marian Consecration?  What is the role the Blessed Virgin Mary in our lives?  How can this bring us even more fully into the heart of Divine Mercy? What a joy to talk with Fr. Michael Gaitley, who serves as director of the Association of Marian Helpers, about   “33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration”.  He answers the above the questions above and so much more.

The goal of the retreat contained in the book is to learn how to ponder more deeply in our hearts what it means to enter into Marian consecration.  With the help of not only St. Louis de Montfort, but also St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. John Paul II, and Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Fr. Gaitley reveals to us the great connection between the heart of Mary and beautiful depth of Divine Mercy…and the key to it all is…TRUST.


Find the book here


To learn more about the “All Hearts A Fire” parish programs that Fr. Michael spoke of  click here


IP#139 Paula Huston – Simplifying Your Soul on Inside the Pages

Here is the book for Lent (and any other time of the year for that matter), “Simplifying Your Soul:  Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit” is “simply” wonderful!  Paula Huston has such a gentle way of helping us to penetrate into what our hearts so we can draw closer to what we truly long for…a deeper relationship with God…the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  A Benedictine oblate, Paula, draws from the best of the monastic traditions and helps us to apply those practices in our modern day circumstances.  I have to believe that Sts. Benedict and Scholastic would be overjoyed how this 21-century daughter of the church has responded to their initial teachings offered so a long ago.  NOT TO BE MISSED…HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

You can find it here

From the book description:

Our temptation in this era of self-fulfillment is to dismiss humility as a relic of the unsophisticated past. Yet for centuries, Christians have considered it a key component of a healthy spiritual life, and the journey toward humility to be one and the same as the journey toward Christlikeness.

The beauty of the Lenten season is that it encourages the development of a humble heart. Structured as an individual Lenten retreat, Simplifying the Soul presents daily readings from Jesus and the desert fathers and mothers, along with a meditation focused on a specific activity that can be carried out that day. Many of these activities come straight out of Catholic tradition, but others are adaptations of old wisdom woven into contemporary life (cleaning out a junk drawer, walking instead of driving, etc.) All are designed to lead to conversion of heart and a transformed life.


IP#132 Kevin Lowry – Faith at Work on Inside the Pages

Faith at Work:  Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck is fantastic…a remedy for  spirituality seekers  in the workplace (and in the home as well)!  You have to love a work that begins with conversion as a goal.   Kevin Lowry offers concrete helps which assist all of us deepen our relationship with Christ and His Church, and live authentic lives as Catholics in the world.  Great for individuals and for group study as well.

“Too many Christians treat ambition and success as if they’re four-letter words…. For a Catholic in business, they can be touchstones of sanctification.”— Scott Hahn, Ph.D., professor of biblical theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville


 Be sure to visit Kevin Lowry’s website at Grateful Convert



Check it out here