“Put Inward Experiences to the Test” – Saint Ignatius of Loyola from the Office of Readings

From the life of Saint Ignatius
from his own words by Luis Gonzalez

(Cap 1, 5-9: Acta Sanctorum, Julii, 7[ 1868], 647)

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.

Excerpts from the English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) © 1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

IJCY2-Is Jesus Calling You with Fr. Paul Hoesing episode 2 – Discerning Hearts podcast

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

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

      
  

 

 

 

IJCY1-Is Jesus Calling You with Fr. Paul Hoesing episode 1 – Discerning Hearts podcast

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

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

BKL223 – Living the Christ-like Life – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr-Esseff-2-e1442263119679-497x526-283x300

Msgr. Esseff reflects on Palm Sunday and recalls the feast of the Annunciation.  He also speaks of the importance of confession.

 

Reading 2 PHIL 2:6-11

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

 

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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. Teresa of Calcutta. 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.

 

WM2 – “Why Being Catholic Matters” – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction 3

Episode 2 “Why Being Catholic Matters” – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas

In this episode, we discuss “Why Being Catholic Matters.”  Archbishop Lucas also talks about the “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” and in particular “The Rite of Election” where those who are seeking to be brought into full communion with the Catholic Church are received by the bishop of a diocese.  The activity of grace which is experienced in our sacramental activity is touched upon by Archbishop Lucas, as well as the Period of Purification and Enlightenment which touches on our experience of Lent today.  He also responds to some of the challenges which may confront Catholics out in the world and what our response should be.

From DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH – LUMEN GENTIUM no. 14

Basing itself on scripture and tradition, it teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it.

For more episodes in this series visit the
Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast page

For more teachings and information about Archbishop George J. Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, visit:   archomaha.org

BK2 Chap 17 – The Ascent of Mt. Carmel by St. John of the Cross – Mp3 audio & Text Podcast

Saintly Masters of Prayer - writings, teachings, biographies 3

BK2 Chap 17 – “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel” by St. John of the Cross

translated by David Lewis
read by Ed Humpal

For the complete pdf text of the “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel” by St. John of the Cross

For other audio chapters of “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel” visit here

Book 2

Wherein is treated the proximate means of ascending to union with God, which is faith; and wherein, therefore, is described the second part of this night, which, as we said, belongs to the spirit, and is contained in the second stanza, which is as follows.

STANZA II.

In darkness, and in safety,
By the secret ladder, disguised,
happy lot !
In darkness and concealment,
fily house being now at rest.

Chapter 17

Wherein is described the purpose and manner of God in His communication of spiritual blessings to the soul by means of the senses. Herein is answered the question which has been referred to.

BK1 Chap 7 – 8 – The Ascent of Mt. Carmel by St. John of the Cross – Mp3 audio & Text Podcast

Saintly Masters of Prayer - writings, teachings, biographies 3

BK1 Chap 7 – 8 – “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel” by St. John of the Cross

translated by David Lewis
read by Ed Humpal

For the complete pdf text of the “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel” by St. John of the Cross

For other audio chapters of “The Ascent of Mt. Carmel” visit here

Book 1

The nature of the obscure night, the necessity of passing through it in order to attain to the divine union: and especially the obscure night of sense and desire, with the evils which these inflict on the soul.

STANZA I.

In an obscure night,
With anxious love inflamed,
0, happy lot!
Forth unobserved I went,
My house being now at rest.

Chapter 7

THE DESIRES TORMENT THE SOUL. PROOFS AND ILLUSTRATIONS

Chapter 8

THE DESIRES DARKEN THE SOUL. PROOFS AND ILLUSTRATIONS

BKL221 “Repent, and believe in the gospel” – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff

Gospel MK 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

 

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#323 John Galten – The Spiritual Direction of St. Claude De La Colombiere on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

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.

To obtain a copy of the book visit here

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