HM-4 “A Handmaid of the Lord”: the Life and Legacy of Adrienne von Speyr with Dr. Adrian Walker Podcast

Adrian-WalkerEpisode 4 – “A Handmaid of the Lord – Mary/Joseph, Mary/John” – “A Handmaid of the Lord”: The life and legacy of Adrienne von Speyr with Dr. Adrian Walker, Ph.D.

With Dr. Adrian Walker, we reflect on various aspects of Adrienne’s insight on the Mother of God as described in her book “A Handmaid of the Lord”. In part two of our conversation on the work, Dr. Walker reflects on the meaning of the “Mary and Joseph”and “Mary and John” relationships.  We explore Adrienne’s meditations and how she presents vocation and the “religious state” through the lens of Mary.

Mary and Joseph’s life together was wholly bound to the earthly way of life—the form human existence has had ever since man was driven out of Paradise. Their life was mutual service in housekeeping, breadwinning and everything involved in the toilsome and harsh scraping out of a life. But even this common labor had its focus in the divine Child, who threw open everything earthly and drew it into the eddy of his mission. Out of this breaking open there arose much later the new form of community between Mary and John, in which everything previous is translated into the supernatural and the spiritual. Now the whole fruitfulness of the community lies in the spirit; the fruit is therefore no longer visible and measurable. The material element certainly continues to exist in some way even in this community, but so secondarily that it is now only a prerequisite of the new community, not an essential component. Thus John, in his care for the Mother, is not to be regarded as Joseph’s successor. Mary has, of course, remained the same; she walks a straight path along which her assent develops. But community with John does not mean for her the continuation of the same task. The first time her assent had been used to fulfill a call to marriage; the second time it is shaped to the fulfillment of a call to the “religious life”.

von Speyr, Adrienne (2012-03-09). Handmaid of the Lord (Kindle Locations 1706-1730). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in this series visit Dr. Adrian Walker’s Discerning Hearts page

adrienne_von_speyr1Adrienne von Speyr was a Swiss convert, mystic, wife, medical doctor and author of over 60 books on spirituality and theology. She’s inspired countless souls around the world to deepen their mission of prayer and compassion. She entered the Catholic Church under the direction of the great theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar. In the years that would follow, they would co-found the secular institute, the Community of St. John.

Adrian Walker is an editor of the journal Communio, an International Catholic Review, who received his doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Dr. Walker has served as a translator for the English edition of Pope Benedict XVI’s, ” Jesus of Nazareth,” as well as numerous other theological works, including those of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr.

Our series recorded at “Casa Balthasar,” a house of discernment for men located in Rome, Italy. The Casa was founded in 1990 by a group of friends and is directed by Rev. Jacques Servais, S.J.; Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) has been closely associated with the Casa Balthasar from the very beginning as its Cardinal Protector.

 Many of Adrienne von Speyr’s books can found through Ignatius Press


IP-Special – Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J. – “God So Loved the World” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast


In our conversation with Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., we enter into “God So Loved the World: Clues to Our Transcendent Fr.-Robert-SpitzerDestiny from the Revelation of Jesus“, which is the third installment of his “Happiness, Suffering, and Transcendence” series. Not only is Fr. Spitzer a brilliant theologian, but he has the heart of caring pastor who understands the needs of the questing minds of so many lost and wandering souls.  With an extraordinary grasp of philosophy, theology and cosmology, he is able to take complicated concepts and mix them with joy, beauty, and a grace-filled enthusiasm without doing damage to the subject matter.  In this volume, he addresses “What is LOVE”, “Who is LOVE”, and maybe in an even deeper way, “The why of LOVE”.  Of course we know, “God is Love”, but God as a Father?  God as a Son?  God as Holy Spirit?  How is the mind to grasp such penetrating Truth?  And more importantly, how is the heart to perceive this eternal divine mystery?

We were able to meet with Fr. Spitzer for this discussion at his offices located at the Magis Center in Garden Grove, CA.

God So Loved the WorldYou can find the book here

From the book description:

In this volume the brilliant Fr. Spitzer probes in detail the major question that if an intelligent Creator God – manifest in logical proofs, scientific evidence, and near death experiences – who is the source of our desire for the sacred, and the transcendental desires for truth, love, goodness, and beauty, would want to reveal himself to us personally and ultimately.

He then shows this is reasonable not only in light of our interior experience of a transcendent Reality, but also that a completely intelligent Reality is completely positive–implying its possession of a completely positive virtue – namely “love”, defined as agape.

This leads to the question whether God might be unconditionally loving, and if he is, whether he would want to make a personal appearance to us in a perfect act of empathy – face to face. After examining the rational evidence for this, he reviews all world religions to see if there is one that reveals such a God – an unconditionally loving God who would want to be with us in perfect empathy. This leads us to the extraordinary claim of Jesus Christ who taught that God is “Abba”, the unconditionally loving Father.

Jesus’ claims go further, saying that He is also unconditional love, and that his mission is to give us that love through an act of complete self-sacrifice. He also claims to be the exclusive Son of the Father, sent by God to save the world, and the one who possesses divine power and authority. The rest of the book does an in-depth examination of the evidence for Jesus’ unconditional love of sinners, his teachings, his miracles, and his rising from the dead. As well as the evidence for Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit that enabled his disciples to perform miracles in his name, and evidence for the presence of the Holy Spirit today.

WM15 – Why Prayer Matters pt. 2- Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction 3

Episode 15  Why Prayer Matters – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas

In this episode with Archbishop Lucas, we continue the conversation on why prayer matters?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“…for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.

St. Augustine, Conf. 1,1,1:PL 32,659-661


From Pope Benedict XVI, Wednesday Audience, May 11, 2011

Dear brothers and sisters, we learn to stay more in front of God, God who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, we learn to recognize in the silence, deep within ourselves, the voice that calls us and leads us to the depths of our existence , the source of life, the source of salvation for us to go beyond the limit of our lives and open ourselves to the extent of God, our relationship with Him who is Infinite Love. 

Dear brothers and sisters, let us learn to pause longer before God, who revealed himself in Jesus Christ, let us learn to recognize in silence, in our own hearts, his voice that calls us and leads us back to the depths of our existence, to the source of life, to the source of salvation, to enable us to go beyond the limitations of our life and to open ourselves to God’s dimension, to the relationship with him, which is Infinite Love.

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:

ST-Luke-3 – The Angel Gabriel and Mary – The Gospel of St. Luke – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 3 – Angel Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary and Protoevangelium of James’ Explanation of Mary’s Family History

Luke 1 continues with the Annunciation to Mary.  The angel Gabriel again appears, this time to Mary, greeting her: “Hail, full of grace!”  The Greek word for this phrase is “kecharitomene” which means that Mary was full of grace, is full of grace and will be full of grace, which is a reference to her life-long sinless nature.   The angel tells Mary, “Be not afraid.”  These words of encouragement were given to Joshua, Gideon and Moses as they prepared for battle, indicating that while Gabriel was comforting Mary, he was also preparing her for the battle yet to come.

We explore a glimpse into the early life of Mary, drawing from the extra-biblical source “The Protoevangelium of James.”   While not part of the canon of inspired scripture, this text tells us of the early years of Mary.  From this text, we learn the names of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna.  According to “The Protoevangelium of James,” Joachim and Anna were childless and advanced in years when an angel appears in a vision, announcing that they will have a child.  In a singular act of grace, Mary is conceived without the stain of original sin.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go

BTP- L13 – Letter 269 – The Letters of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity – Beginning to Pray w/Dr. Anthony Lilles podcast

Dr. Lilles continues the spiritual explorations of the Letters of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity. In this episode we discuss letter 269.  In this special letter, only months before her death, Elizabeth sends this letter to her sister Marguerite:

L 269
To her sister
[a toward the end of April 1906]

“Having loved those who were His own in the world,
He loved them to the end.”

Darling little sister,

I don’t know if the hour has come to pass from this world to my Father, for I am much better and the little saint of Beaune seems to want to cure me. But, you see, at times it seems to me that the Divine Eagle wants to swoop down on His little prey and carry her off to where He is: into dazzling light! You have always put your Sabeth’s happiness before your own, and I am sure that if I fly away, you will rejoice over my first meeting with Divine Beauty. When the veil is lifted, how happy I will be to disappear into the secret of His Face, and that is where I will spend my eternity, in the bosom of the Trinity that was already my dwelling place here below. Just think, my Guite! to contemplate in His light the splendors of the Divine Being, to search into all the depths of His mystery, to become one with Him whom we love, to sing unceasingly of His glory and His love, to be like Him because we see Him as He is! . . .

Little sister, I would be happy to go up above to be your Angel. How jealous I would be for the beauty of your soul that I have loved so much already here on earth! I leave you my devotion for the Three, to “Love.” Live within with Them in the heaven of your soul; the Father will overshadow you, placing something like a cloud between you and the things of this earth to keep you all His, He will communicate His power to you so you can love Him with a love as strong as death; the Word will imprint in your soul, as in a crystal, the image of His own beauty, so you may be pure with His purity, luminous with His light; the Holy Spirit will transform you into a mysterious lyre, which, in silence, beneath His divine touch, will produce a magnificent canticle to Love; then you will be “the praise of His glory” I dreamed of being on earth. You will take my place; I will be “Laudem Gloriae” before the throne of the Lamb, and you, “Laudem Gloriae” in the center of your soul; we will always be united, little sister. Always believe in Love. If you have to suffer, think that you are even more loved, and always sing in thanksgiving. He is so jealous for the beauty of your soul. . . . That is all He has in view. Teach the little ones to live in the sight of the Master. I would love for Sabeth to have my devotion to the Three. I will be at their first Communions, I will help you prepare them. Pray for me; I have offended my Master more than you think; but above all thank Him; say a Gloria every day. Forgive me for having often given you a bad example.

A Dieu, little sister, how I love you. . . . Perhaps I will go soon to be lost in the Furnace of love; whether in Heaven or on earth, we must live in Love to glorify Love!

Catez, Elizabeth of the Trinity. The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel (pp. 264-265). ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.

Special thanks to Miriam Gutierrez for her readings of St. Elizabeth’s letters

For other episodes in the series visit
The Discerning Hearts “The Letters of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity” with Dr. Anthony Lilles’

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.