Episode 10 – The Day Is Now Far Spent – Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., Vivian Dudro, and Joseph Pearce FBC Podcast

“In the twenty-first century, totalitarianism has a more pernicious face. Its name is the idolatry of complete and absolute freedom.”

This discussion is part of the FORMED Book Club—an online community led by Fr. Joseph Fessio and Joseph Pearce that reads and discusses a different book each month. Go to formedbookclub.ignatius.com to sign up for free!


You can find the book here

Robert Cardinal Sarah calls The Day Is Now Far Spent his most important book. He analyzes the spiritual, moral, and political collapse of the Western world and concludes that “the decadence of our time has all the faces of mortal peril.”

A cultural identity crisis, he writes, is at the root of the problems facing Western societies. “The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is. Many countries today ignore their own history. This self-suffocation naturally leads to a decadence that opens the path to new, barbaric civilizations.”

While making clear the gravity of the present situation, the cardinal demonstrates that it is possible to avoid the hell of a world without God, a world without hope. He calls for a renewal of devotion to Christ through prayer and the practice of virtue.


Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J.
IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro
Joseph Pearce

 

Episode 3 – The Day Is Now Far Spent – Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J., Vivian Dudro, and Joseph Pearce FBC Podcast

We continue our exploration of Robert Cardinal Sarah’s “The Day Is Now Far Spent”—a tour de force response to the present darkness in the Church.

From the New York City skyline to the meaning of the word “Modernism”. We continue our discussion of Robert Cardinal Sarah’s “The Day Is Now Far Spent”.


You can find the book here

Robert Cardinal Sarah calls The Day Is Now Far Spent his most important book. He analyzes the spiritual, moral, and political collapse of the Western world and concludes that “the decadence of our time has all the faces of mortal peril.”

A cultural identity crisis, he writes, is at the root of the problems facing Western societies. “The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is. Many countries today ignore their own history. This self-suffocation naturally leads to a decadence that opens the path to new, barbaric civilizations.”

While making clear the gravity of the present situation, the cardinal demonstrates that it is possible to avoid the hell of a world without God, a world without hope. He calls for a renewal of devotion to Christ through prayer and the practice of virtue.


Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J.
IP#281 Vivian Dudro - Meriol Trevor's "Shadows and Images" on Inside the Pages 1
Vivian Dudro
Joseph Pearce

 

The Mystery of This Present Moment – a special conversation with Deacon James Keating Ph.D. and Kris McGregor Podcast


During this podcast, Deacon Keating will offer his insights on “the mystery of this present moment.”

Here a few of his comments:

Deacon Keating:

So, the wisdom of the Saints comes back to us again and again. Of course, in good times we never listened to the saints because we got this. And in bad times, we’re suffering so much, that a lot of times they can’t get their wisdom through to us because of our pain. So, it’s quite paradoxical. But the wisdom of the Saints is this, that throughout our life, no matter what we’re experiencing in suffering or enjoying, we should always be sloughing off the excess of our days, any idols that we are drawing artificial consolation from. We should be seeking Holy communion, no matter whether we’re in good times or bad times.

So, when bad times come or when good times come, everything is calculated toward reality and peace because we have been suffering the coming of Holy communion throughout our entire life. So, when people don’t have this Holy communion during bad times like we’re in right now, we can panic and we can start grasping at straws, and thinking that everything is over and ending. Anxiety then becomes our normal state. So, again, the saints would counsel us when this horrible virus passes, if we could just remember not to go back to being normal Americans, but to go back to Him and get our equilibrium set, and the substance of our interior life set. So that when the next reminder that everything on this planet is not forever, when that next reminder comes, we’ll have less panic and more peace because we will have been living for a while then in Holy communion.

Further in the conversation:

The reason there’s so much fear is that we are acknowledging that death is real. Again, most of our popular culture is a mask keeping us from ever thinking about death. Now there are all these masks that have dropped, death comes to the fore and it’s not something we want to rebel in or say, “Let’s look at this and some type of McCobb way.” But we’ve known as believers, that death has always been the enemy. Now we see it. We see the enemy, we’ve been afraid of the enemy.

Again, we’ve been afraid of the enemy because our Holy communion isn’t stronger enough, with our Holy friend, Jesus Christ. The deeper that friendship grows with him, the more we can confront death in peace. Without panic, without fear. Of course, there’ll be sadness, it will be mourning. But the sadness in the mourning is over the good things of life, the panic and the fear is over that which we have created in ourselves. Which is a habitual stance of isolation from God. That’s what he’s gently trying to say to us. This death has always been here. Your limit and your finitude have always been part of your life. Stop masking it and let’s look at real life. It’s okay to look at it, with me. That’s why I came so that you would not be alone when you look at it, that’s what we call salvation.

You’re looking at it from the stance of communion with him. That’s how the Saints die in joy and in peace. So push against the fear and choose a career. That would be the theme of this imposed retreat, I would say.

Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha.  

Check out the many series from Deacon James Keating Ph.D. by this Discerning Hearts podcast page

 

We now enter into Holy Week – Daily Spiritual Counsel Through This Time of Pandemic – Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the reading for the Monday of Holy Week 2020.  He also speaks of Sr. Gertrude, superior of the Missionaries of Charity Contemplative Sisters in Bronx, NY., and her death recently from complications from Covid-19.  He helps us enter the mystery found in Holy Week 2020.

Gospel JN 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

Used with permission. Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Global Pandemic and Our Spiritual Response – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Esseff Spiritual Direction podcast discerning hearts

Msgr. Esseff addresses the global pandemic of the coronavirus and COVID-19.  He offers wise spiritual counsel to guide us through the uncharted waters lay before us.  This day many will not be able to go to church and receive the Eucharist.  What does that mean?  What can your response be to this moment?  This is an opportunity for this madly extroverted world of ours to STOP, turn around, and encounter in contemplation God who is before us waiting.

 

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.  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.  

BKL276 – Temptation and the Spiritual Journey – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Podcast

Esseff Spiritual Direction podcast discerning hearts

On this First Sunday of Lent, Msgr. Esseff reflects on the effects of the fall of our first parents and our battle with temptation.  He helps us to focus on Christ, who is the Light, and who will lead us out of the darkness.

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

My offenses truly I know them;
my sin is always before me
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.

That you may be justified when you give sentence
and be without reproach when you judge,
O see, in guilt I was born,
a sinner was I conceived.

Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones you have crushed may revive.
From my sins turn away your face
and blot out all my guilt.

A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit,
a humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

In your goodness, show favor to Zion:
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice,
holocausts offered on your altar.

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.

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.  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.  

St. Anthony of the Desert Novena Day 5 – mp3 audio and text podcast

St. Anthony of the Desert Novena Day 5

Day 5

From the Sayings of St. Anthony of the Desert:

Some brothers came to find Abba Anthony to tell him about the visions they were having, and to find out from him if they were true or if they came from the demons. They had a donkey which died on the way. When they reached the place where the old man was, he said to them before they could ask him anything, “How was it that the little donkey died on the way here?” They said, “How do you know about that, Father?” And he told them, “the demons showed me what happened.” So they said, “That was what we came to question you about, for fear we were being deceived, for we have visions which often turn out to be true.” Thus the old man convinced them, by the example of the donkey, that their visions came from the demons.

Dear God,

St Anthony of the Desert accepted your call to renounce the world and to love you above all things.
He faithfully served you in the solitude of the desert by fasting, prayer, humility and good works.
In the Sign of the Cross, he triumphed over the devil.
Through his intercession, may we learn to love you better; with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, all our strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
St Anthony, great and powerful saint, intercede for us also for this special request (mention your request).
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Amen

St. Anthony of the Desert, pray for us.

 

The sayings  of St. Anthony us, as translated by the late Sr Benedicta Ward SLG , are taken from her  The Sayings of the Desert Fathers:

RN33 – “Economic Life” in the Compendium of Social Doctrine Chap 7 part 1 with Deacon Omar Gutierrez podcast

gutierrez-headEpisode 33- Regnum Novum: Bringing forth the New Evangelization through Catholic Social Teaching with Omar Gutierrez – We continue the study of the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church”  Chapter 7 – What is “economics” and why does the Church have a role in how it is lived out?  Who are the poor?  How are we called to live out our Catholic faith in the area of the “economy”?

CHAPTER SEVEN
ECONOMIC LIFE

I. BIBLICAL ASPECTS
a. 
Man, poverty and riches
b. 
Wealth exists to be shared

328. Goods, even when legitimately owned, always have a universal destination; any type of improper accumulation is immoral, because it openly contradicts the universal destination assigned to all goods by the Creator. Christian salvation is an integral liberation of man, which means being freed not only from need but also in respect to possessions. “For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith” (1 Tim 6:10). The Fathers of the Church insist more on the need for the conversion and transformation of the consciences of believers than on the need to change the social and political structures of their day. They call on those who work in the economic sphere and who possess goods to consider themselves administrators of the goods that God has entrusted to them.

II. MORALITY AND THE ECONOMY

 

 

We live at a very special time. The confluence of many things has brought forth the clear need to be able to articulate the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church in a way that is accessible and applicable. This is not to be an effort where high-minded theories are to be bandied about. Rather, this is a time of opportunity wherein we can apply the Social Doctrine to the concrete so as to bring about a New Kingdom, a Revolution. – Omar G.

 

Also visit Omar’s “Discerning Hearts” page Catholic Social Teaching 101  urging-of-christs-love

WM4 – Infant Baptism: Welcoming our Children – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction 3

Episode 4 “Infant Baptism: Welcoming our Children” – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas

In this episode we continue our conversation on why baptism matters.  We will discuss, among other things, the reason for infant baptisms in the life of the Church, the vital role the parents have in nurturing baptismal grace in the hearts of their children and how godparents, grandparents and the entire parish community contribute to the life of faith of the newly baptized child.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Christian Initiation

1229 From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion.

1231 Where infant Baptism has become the form in which this sacrament is usually celebrated, it has become a single act encapsulating the preparatory stages of Christian initiation in a very abridged way. By its very nature infant Baptism requires a post-baptismal catechumenate. Not only is there a need for instruction after Baptism, but also for the necessary flowering of baptismal grace in personal growth.

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

BTP-WP9 Chap 31 -34 – Prayer of Quiet and the Real Presence of Christ the Eucharist- The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Beginning to Pray w/Dr. Anthony Lilles

Dr. Lilles discusses the Prayer of Quiet and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Chapter 31—Continues the same subject. Explains what is meant by the Prayer of Quiet. Gives several counsels to those who experience it. This chapter is very noteworthy

Chapter 32—Expounds these words of the Paternoster: “Thy will be done: as in Heaven, so on earth.” Describes how much is accomplished by those who repeat these words with full resolution and how well the Lord rewards them for it

Chapter 33—Treats of our great need that the Lord should give us what we ask in these words of the Paternoster: “Give us this day our daily bread”

Chapter 34—Continues the same subject. This is very suitable for reading after the reception of the Most Holy Sacrament

Saint Teresa Painting Convento de Santa Teresa Avila Castile Spain.

 

For the audio recordings of  St. Teresa’s “The Way of Perfection” you can visit the Discerning Hearts Spiritual Classics audio page

For other episodes in the series visit
The Discerning Hearts “The Way of Perfection with Dr. Anthony Lilless

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.

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