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!

 

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.

 

IP#347 Joel Stepanek – Chasing Humility on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast


I cannot recommend this book and the work of Joel Stepanek more highly!  Based on the great Litany of Humility, “Chasing Humility: 8 Ways to Shape a Christian Heart” is a game-changer in the formation of the Christian heart.  It’s no wonder St. Teresa of Calcutta had her Missionaries of Charity pray this prayer every morning (and they still do)!  It’s a challenging prayer when you first contemplate exactly what it is you are asking of the Lord.  But if you trust in the fruits which it brings into your life, your spiritual journey will never be the same.  Run, don’t walk, to get this book!  A modern-day spiritual classic!

You can find this book here

“In Chasing Humility, Joel Stepanek does a masterful job giving the reader practical steps for cultivating authentic humility. Drawing on scripture, engaging stories, and good old common sense, this book is funny and wise, raw and relatable. Stepanek’s insights offer a soul-stirring read to any soul looking to improve. The question isn’t whether we need to be humble, but who can be humble enough to do something about it. This book is the perfect way to grow in holiness and ultimately, happiness, one achievable step at a time.” —Mark Hart, Executive Vice President, Life Teen International

“This book was like a punch to the gut—a much needed, very welcome, life-changing gut punch. It is bold, honest, and raw. Joel has given us an absolutely delightful read that is also really challenging, and it was just what we (and so many others) need to be reminded of the necessity to both seek humility and live and walk humbly with the Lord. Read this book. Absorb this book. Let Joel and his words on humility sucker-punch you and you’ll be so grateful.” —Katie Prejean McGrady and Tommy McGrady, Catholic speakers and cohosts of The Electric Waffle

“Joel Stepanek highlights for us the proper and sacred space of humility in the Christian life. Exploring the Litany of Humility, he provides a delightful roadmap for embracing the virtue not as a weakness but as a strength in our personal prayer lives and leadership outreach. There could not be a better time for leaders to be reintroduced to the virtue of humility in a world that very often values self-centeredness over seeing and supporting others.” —Rev. Dan Felton, Vicar General, Diocese of Green Bay

IP#303 – Susan Conroy – Praying with Mother Teresa on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

susan_conroy-1What an absolutely wonderful book!  In “Praying with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Insights, and Wisdom of Saint Teresa of Calcutta” author Susan Conroy takes into the depths of her heart through her tremendous devotion to prayer.  Susan is exceptional in sharing the joy of Mother Teresa’s particular charism: “to care for the poorest of the poor”.  Who are the “poorest of the poor”? The answer might surprise you.  Full disclosure is necessary:  I LOVE THIS BOOK!  It has become one of my favorite devotional works, and hopefully one of yours too!  Susan is inspiring as well, an obvious fruit from this beautiful ministry.  Don’t miss!

 

praying-with-mother-teresaYou can get a copy of the book here

From the book description:

Praying with Mother Teresa brings us into the heart of Mother Teresa’s prayer life! Author Susan Conroy, a personal friend of Mother Teresa, gives us a meditative look at Mother Teresa’s insights on suffering, joy, peace, humility, and poverty, and brings us right into the prayer life of one of the most beloved women of our time, Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Each prayer has been carefully, and prayerfully, selected for use in daily prayer. Mother Teresa gave Susan her blessing and approval to share these words and prayers with others “to bring them peace and joy too.”

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!

humdrum-to-holy

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#287 Dr. Christopher Kaczor – The Gospel of Happiness on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

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Dr. Christopher Kaczor once again not only enlightens our minds but also our hearts with his new book, “The Gospel of Happiness: Rediscover Your Faith Through Spiritual Practice and Positive Psychology”. Through a study of positive psychology, philosopher Dr. Kaczor  finds therein the wisdom of many Christian practices and teachings.  In this very complex world we live in, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we were created by God to be happy.   Our hearts seek that happiness, but many of us have lost our way.  Dr. Kaczor points us to a bridge that shows us “The Way” to authentic happiness and joy.  His work is always informative, engaging and wonderfully insightful. A very practical work that will remind the reader of another great Catholic author and professor of Philosophy…Dr. Peter Kreeft.  Highly Recommended!!!

Gospel-of-HappinessYou can find the book here

“God made us to be happy — to be blessed and to live with joy. And all of us are born with this desire for happiness in our hearts. But sometimes we can get a little lost along the way. We can find ourselves looking for happiness in the wrong places. Christopher Kaczor shows us the right path and he walks the path with us — shining new light on the ancient ways of forgiveness and gratitude, humility, prayer and service to our neighbor. Kaczor is a wise guide and this book can help all of us to grow in our relationships with others and our journey with God.” —The Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles 

“In The Gospel of Happiness, Christopher Kaczor creates a refreshing new approach to a traditional theme lying at the heart of both Christianity and philosophy – the pursuit of happiness. Recognizing the dictum of Aristotle that happiness is the one objective we seek for itself, and that everything else is sought for the sake of happiness, he creates an understandable, practical, and usable path that combines contemporary psychology with traditional Christian teaching. He lays his foundation by appealing to seven Christian ways to happiness – “faith, hope, and love,” prayer, gratitude, forgiveness, virtue, and willpower, and enriches them with the five elements of positive psychology – positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement. By using Martin Seligman’s new positive approach to psychology, he bridges formerly perceived gaps between psychology and faith — opening the way for Christians to benefit from the insights and healing of this important discipline.” —Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D., author of Finding True Happiness

 

 

IP#219 Fr. Kenneth Baker S.J. – The Will of God on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

The Will of God: Finding and Fulfilling Your Purpose in Life” is a great book which uses the great Psalm 119 to help us in the Fr.-Kenneth-Bakerarea of discernment.  Taking a lifetime of steeped  in prayer and sound theology, Fr. Baker gives us a unique and penetrating resource to aid in our growth in the areas of contemplation and discernment. Father Baker was the editor of Homiletic & Pastoral Review for more than 40 years, and currently serves as Editor Emeritus of the online edition.  He was a joy to talk with and to learn from….not to be missed for the discerning heart!

51NA4FEfn2L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_You can find the book here

“Father Baker helps us to discover God’s will and, what is even more, important how to live God’s will! He uses the Holy Scriptures,the teaching of the Church and the saints to help us become holy and transformed into the saints that God created us to be. Read this book and discover what God wants you to do!” —Fr. Larry Richards, Author, Be a Man!

IP#229 Dr. Mitchell A. Kalpakgian – The Virtues We Need Again on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

“The Virtues We Need Again: 21 Life Lessons from the Great Books of the West” is a gem! Mitchell I love a good book on the virtues.  I love a good book on great books.  And when a work comes along which contains both elements and is written with joy and enthusiasm for the subject…well, I can’t help but find myself in a reader’s paradise.  What a delight to talk with Dr. Kalpakgian about some of the topics found in this work.  Engaging the heart and the mind, this is a must have book for the discerning reader.

The-Virtues-We-NeedYou can find the book here

“[Mitchell Kalpakgian] always delights the reader with a luminous wisdom and a literary flourish that enlightens even as it entertains.”  —Joseph Pearce, author, Tolkien: Man, Myth and Literary Life
“Reading Dr. Kalpakgian is like being served an exquisite new wine made from grapes in your own backyard or uncovering an ancient and mysterious map that happens to be of your own country. It is a discovery, a delight, and an adventure among things that are right in front of you. It is the excitement of tradition, the love of family, the joy of literature, and the realization that this vale of tears has been touched by a good and beautiful God who loves us.”  —John M. DeJak, Dean and Latin Teacher, Saint Agnes School, St. Paul MN & Director, The Wanderer Forum Foundation

SCS6 – “The Precious Blood”, “The Christ Bridge” and other topics – St. Catherine of Siena with Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P.

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Episode 6 St. Catherine of Siena: Her Life and Teachings with Fr. Thomas McDermott

St. Catherine of SienaIn this episode, Fr. McDermott aids in our understanding of St. Catherine’s teachings on the “Blood of Christ” and it’s context from Sacred Scripture and Medieval sensibilities.  He discusses “The Christ Bridge” as a central image in St. Catherine’s writings and one’s spiritual journey.  The flowering of baptismal grace is exemplified in this teaching.

Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP is Regent of Studies for the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and is the author of “Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Development in Her Life and Teaching” (Paulist, 2008) and “Filled with all the Fullness of God: An Introduction to Catholic Spirituality”. He obtained a doctorate in spiritual theology from the Angelicum and taught for several years at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He currently serves as pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer, in Chicago, IL.

St.-Catherine-of-Siena-book
Our series is based on “Catherine of Siena”
by Fr. McDermott

 

USCCA43 – The 10th Commandment: Embrace Poverty of Spirit – U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults w/ Arch. George Lucas

USCCA43  Chapter 34- Embrace Poverty of Spirit : The 10th Commandment Archbisop-George-Lucas

Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 34:

On the positive side, the Tenth Commandment calls us to practice poverty of spirit and generosity of heart. These virtues liberate us from being slaves to money and possessions. They enable us to have a preferential love for the poor and to be witnesses of justice and peace in the world. They also enable us to adopt a simplicity of life that frees us from consumerism and helps us preserve God’s creation.

Sinful inclinations move us to envy what others have and lead to an unrestrained drive to acquire all that we can. We do have a reasonable need to acquire the means needed to care for our families. Greed is the distortion of this desire. The greedy person will stop at nothing to get all the money and possessions possible.

We need to remember that envy is the companion of greed; it is an attitude that fills us with sadness at the sight of another’s prosperity. Envious people can be consumed with so much desire for what others have that they will even commit crimes to get what they want.

Baptized people should counter envy with humility, thanksgiving to God for his gifts to oneself and to others, goodwill, and surrender to the providence of God (cf. CCC, no. 2554). “Christ’s faithful ‘have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires’ (Gal 5:24); they are led by the Spirit and follow his desires” (CCC, no. 2555). Poverty of heart is a way to avoid greed and envy. “Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow. Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God” (CCC, no. 2547, citing Mt 6:25-34).

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) (2012-04-02). United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (Kindle Locations 6493-6504). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Kindle Edition.

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha. 

For other episodes in the visit our Archbishop George Lucas page

This programs is based on:

More information can be found here.

We wish to thank the USCCB for the permissions granted for use of  relevant material used in this series.