What a joy to discuss the 2nd edition of “The Spiritual Direction of St. Claude de la Colombiere” with John Galten, who wrote the forward to the book. Filled with an abundance of wisdom this little work is a must for those seeking solid spiritual guidance. In this podcast, we discuss the great legacy of St. Claude as well as the historical and spiritual richness of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. John is a delight to talk with him, his joy for Christ and deep respect for St. Claude is utterly engaging.
This book contains a great treasure of spiritual insight and guidance for the soul who is seeking God. –Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Author, Inside the Bible
Saint Claude has been one of my most important spiritual guides for a half century. This little jewel is a must for those who seek God’s will and mercy expressed in the most authentic devotion to Christ. –Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., Author, Arise from Darkness
“Conversion: Spiritual Insights Into an Essential Encounter with God” is another wonderful offering of spiritual reflections by Fr. Donald Haggerty! What is “conversion”? Fr. Haggerty brings us to a clearer understanding by relating it in our life in God. Sin, mercy, and responding to the will of God are just some of the elements he addresses in this deeply penetrating book. Take a listen to our conversation and then obtain a copy of the book for yourself and friend. An excellent gift for the questing heart.
“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.
…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.
“What’s a Person to Do? Everyday Decisions That Matter” is an important work for those who seek to navigate through life’s daily choices. Dr. Mark Latkovic, who is a professor of moral and systematic theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, does a fantastic job bringing forward basic principles that should be a part of our discernment process in making decisions.- especially when there is no definitive Catholic teaching on a subject. Applying those principles, he then takes a look at 40 different questions and answers. Whether it’s areas of Facebook and Internet interaction, purchasing lottery tickets or giving to particular “charities”, or how we deal with decisions for children and for elderly parents, Dr. Latkovic challenges us to ask important questions and respond to issues with moral virtue. With an engaging and accessible writing style, Dr. Latkovic provides an important resource for us all.
This wonderful little book is a bracing wake-up call to those of us who often overlook the moral dimensions of the decisions we make in everyday life. Mark Latkovic not only wakes us up, but gently guides us through the ethical minefield of contemporary society. —Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
This little gem of a book is not only a reliable guide to resolving some of the ethical questions we face in our everyday lives, it is a guidebook to thinking well about decisions that shape our characters. It provides answers to specific ethical problems, but that is only part of the story. What Professor Latkovic is doing is teaching us by example how to think deeply and well about the moral dimensions of our lives. —Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University
Are you being caught up in the swirl and chaos of fear, violence, and anger assaulting our world today? Father Mauritius Wilde invites us to contemplate the Benedictine understanding of sobriety. He does not advocate for the renunciation of enjoyment, but rather to accept what God has in store for us. This series will shed light on the facets of this ancient and yet up-to-date concept and shows the spiritual and practical significance it can have for us in the current social situation.
From the Gospel of St. Mark 6:
The Death of John the Baptist
14 King Herod heard of it; for Jesus’[b] name had become known. Some[c] said, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “It is Eli′jah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero′di-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her. 18 For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Hero′di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Hero′di-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
Father Mauritius Wilde, OSB, Ph.D., did his philosophical, theological and doctoral studies in Europe. He is the author of several books and directs retreats regularly. He serves as Prior at Sant’Anselmo in Rome.
Tenth Rule. The tenth: Let the one who is in consolation think how he will conduct himself in the desolation which will come after, taking new strength for that time.
Eleventh Rule. The eleventh: Let one who is consoled seek to humble himself and lower himself as much as he can, think- ing of how little he is capable in the time of desolation with- out such grace or consolation. On the contrary, let one who is in desolation think that he can do much with God’s sufficient grace to resist all his enemies, taking strength in his Creator and Lord.
Twelfth Rule. The twelfth: The enemy acts like a woman in being weak when faced with strength and strong when faced with weakness. For, as it is proper to a woman, when she is fighting with some man, to lose heart and to flee when the man confronts her firmly, and, on the contrary, if the man begins to flee, losing heart, the anger, vengeance and ferocity of the woman grow greatly and know no bounds, in the same way, it is proper to the enemy to weaken and lose heart, flee- ing and ceasing his temptations when the person who is exer- cising himself in spiritual things confronts the temptations of the enemy firmly, doing what is diametrically opposed to them; and, on the contrary, if the person who is exercising himself begins to be afraid and lose heart in suffering the temptations, there is no beast so fierce on the face of the earth as the enemy of human nature in following out his damnable intention with such growing malice.
Thirteenth Rule. The thirteenth: Likewise he conducts him- self as a false lover in wishing to remain secret and not berevealed. For a dissolute man who, speaking with evil inten- tion, makes dishonorable advances to a daughter of a good father or a wife of a good husband, wishes his words and persuasions to be secret, and the contrary displeases him very much, when the daughter reveals to her father or the wife to her husband his false words and depraved intention, because he easily perceives that he will not be able to succeed with the undertaking begun. In the same way, when the enemy of human nature brings his wiles and persuasions to the just soul, he wishes and desires that they be received and kept in secret; but when one reveals them to one’s good confessor or to another spiritual person, who knows his deceits and malicious designs, it weighs on him very much, because he perceives that he will not be able to succeed with the mali- cious undertaking he has begun, since his manifest deceits have been revealed.
Fourteenth Rule. The fourteenth: Likewise he conducts him- self as a leader, intent upon conquering and robbing what he desires. For, just as a captain and leader of an army in the field, pitching his camp and exploring the fortifications and defenses of a stronghold, attacks it at the weakest point, in the same way the enemy of human nature, roving about, looks in turn at all our theological, cardinal and moral vir- tues; and where he finds us weakest and most in need for our eternal salvation, there he attacks us and attempts to take us.
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
St. Hildegard and “Conversatio Morum – the Conversion of Life” – The Mystery of Faith in the Wisdom of the Saints
Benedictine Spirituality and Lectio Divina…a “way of being”. In part one of this particular teaching, Dr. Lilles discusses the life St. Hildegard of Bingen and her expression of Benedictine teaching, in particular her vision of the “Iron Mountain.”
Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. is an associate professor and the academic dean of Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years he served the Church in Northern Colorado where he joined and eventually served as dean of the founding faculty of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. Through the years, clergy, seminarians, religious and lay faithful have benefited from his lectures and retreat conferences on the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the writings of St. Elisabeth of the Trinity.
Put inward experiences to the test to see if they come from God
Ignatius was passionately fond of reading worldly books of fiction and tales of knight-errantry. When he felt he was getting better, he asked for some of these books to pass the time. But no book of that sort could be found in the house; instead they gave him a life of Christ and a collection of the lives of saints written in Spanish.
By constantly reading these books he began to be attracted to what he found narrated there. Sometimes in the midst of his reading he would reflect on what he had read. Yet at other times he would dwell on many of the things which he had been accustomed to dwell on previously. But at this point our Lord came to his assistance, insuring that these thoughts were followed by others which arose from his current reading.
While reading the life of Christ our Lord or the lives of the saints, he would reflect and reason with himself: “What if I should do what Saint Francis or Saint Dominic did?” In this way he let his mind dwell on many thoughts; they lasted a while until other things took their place. Then those vain and worldly images would come into his mind and remain a long time. This sequence of thoughts persisted with him for a long time.
But there was a difference. When Ignatius reflected on worldly thoughts, he felt intense pleasure; but when he gave them up out of weariness, he felt dry and depressed. Yet when he thought of living the rigorous sort of life he knew the saints had lived, he not only experienced pleasure when he actually thought about it, but even after he dismissed these thoughts, he still experienced great joy. Yet he did not pay attention to this, nor did he appreciate it until one day, in a moment of insight, he began to marvel at the difference. Then he understood his experience: thoughts of one kind left him sad, the others full of joy. And this was the first time he applied a process of reasoning to his religious experience. Later on, when he began to formulate his spiritual exercises, he used this experience as an illustration to explain the doctrine he taught his disciples on the discernment of spirits.
Is Jesus Calling? A Spiritual Guide to Discerning Your Vocational Call with Fr. Paul Hoesing – episode 2: The First Spiritual Lesson: You Must Follow Christ. “Discovering one’s vocation is not a navel-gazing, self-focused, psychological exercise. It’s not about a man figuring something out. It is not about solving a confusing puzzle.”
Questions: Where have you encountered Christ? Where do you experience his loving presence now for you? Where do you feel consciously blessed and grateful for what God has done for you?
The Second Spiritual Lesson: Learn to desire what God desires for you. “All you need is to desire whatever God may desire for you. Remaining true to this desire opens your heart to receive what God wants for you. Then, God Himself will take care of you.”
Questions: Do you trust that God always wants what is best for you? Where do you begin to become afraid of giving God permission to lead you? When do you begin to try to manipulate God to want what you think will make you happy? When that happens, simply say over and over again inside of yourself to the Father, ‘Father, I give you permission to lead me!’ Or ‘Father, I desire your goodness to me.’ Or, ‘Father, I trust you’”
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
Is Jesus Calling? A Spiritual Guide to Discerning Your Vocational Call with Fr. Paul Hoesing – episode 1: Introduction – Whether it’s to the priesthood, religious life, married life…discerning what our vocation is can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Fr. Hoesing discusses what discernment is, what the process is like, and what can help guide us along the way.
Based on “Is Jesus C alling 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