Holy Family Sunday – Honoring Mother and Father – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff Podcast
The Feast of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Msgr. Esseff discusses honoring our parents (especially when it’s hard) – The reality of our society and the challenge – The wounds and the need for healing
Reading 1 SIR 3:2-6, 12-14
a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you.
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#344 Timothy Muldoon – The Discerning Parent on Inside the Pages Podcast with Kris McGregor Podcast
What a great conversation with Dr. Timothy Muldoon, who with his wife, Sue, has written a wonderfully rich spiritual resource for today’s family entitled “The Discerning Parent: An Iganatius Guide to Raising Your Teen.” Fr. Timothy Gallagher said it so well, this is “An engaging book for parents who desire that God be the center of raising their teenage children. Applying Ignatian discernment to this specific task–a valuable contribution–the authors offer clarity and hope to all parents.”
You can find the book here
From the book description:
This thoughtful approach shows you how to talk with your children openly about freedom vs. limits, friendships, family time, sexuality, the use and abuse of technology, faith and Catholic practice, recognizing the needs of others, and getting through hard times together. You’ll discover when to be tough and when to be forgiving, when to control and when to give freedom, when to give feedback and when to wait. You will learn the importance of praying for your teens, and the important of praying together as a family.
Daily and weekly prayers, devotions, and meditations will guide you as the Muldoons show how this is a time of discernment for you as well as your teens–and create a way for you to move through these challenging years together. The Discerning Parent offers you an opportunity to pause and consider your life and your teen’s in the light of faith.
What a blessing to have my first “Inside the Pages” show be with Kimberly Hahn! She is an inspiration on so many levels. The entire “Life-Nurturing Love” series is wonderful (book and DVD). When you read Kimberly Hahn, you can’t help but feel you are receiving the best advice from a wise and cherished friend. With good humor and joy, Kimberly offers Christ-centered teaching from the heart of the Church in her unique maternal-nurturing way. Beloved and Blessed is one of the most important witnesses in recent times on how to truly live out God’s design for marriage.
Click here to purchase Kimberly’s book online at www.servantbooks.org
The third in a series of Bible studies based on Proverbs 31, Beloved and Blessed offers tools to help you strengthen your marriage and raise your children, creating a civilization of love in your home. Applying Sacred Scripture, Church teaching, and pastoral wisdom, Kimberly Hahn helps you explore:
- Marital intimacy
- Responsible parenthood
- Facing the financial future without fear
- Strategies for disciplining and instructing children
- Trusting God when parenting hurts
Discussion questions help you apply the material to your own life and make the book a valuable resource for small group discussion.
We could not be more enthusiastic about bringing forward any book this year than we are with Rod Dreher’s ” The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation”! Relying on the wisdom of St. Benedict of Nursia, Rod suggests that the answer to the moral chaos that has affected our culture is to embrace the principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. These core attributes can become solid foundations of all Christians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—and can transform our lives, families and the culture that surrounds us. “Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do” as so well stated in the book description “Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that have overtaken us. These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.” Highly recommended!
You can find the book here
“A terrific book: provocative in its content, shrewd in its insights, vivid and engaging in its style. The strength of The Benedict Option is not just its analysis of our culture’s developing problems but its outline of practical ways Christians can survive and thrive in a dramatically different America. This is an invaluable tool for understanding our times and acting as faithful believers.”
—Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
“How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization” is a phenomenal book on this subject. Mary Eberstadt delivers a compelling theory about the decline of the Christian religion in the Western world. By the analysis of data on the family, from pre-Revolutionary France to contemporary culture in the West, she demonstrates how the natural family is the prime nurturing force for Christianity in society. When that family structure dissolves, so does the Christian religion in a culture and the rise of secularization is fostered. While presenting the problem, she also offers hope for the future. Another fascinating and provocative read by Mary Eberstadt!
You can find the book here
— Mary Ann Glendon, author of The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians Have Imagined the World from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt
What a phenomenal book! The “journey home” never looked more beautiful. I didn’t want to put down “Life from Our Land: The Search for a Simpler Life in a Complex World”. St. Benedict in the Holy Rule implores us to “listen with the ears of our hearts”. Marcus Grodi, founder of the Coming Home International ministry and EWTN show host, shows us how it can be done. So much more than just a spiritual memoir, Marcus offers us a road map we too could follow that leads from “the head to the heart.” His writing is engaging, funny, and steeped in a warm humility…what a delight. Rich spiritual fruit can be harvested from this book.
You can find the book here
“If we ponder carefully the insights in this book, we can learn how to grow in detachment, simplicity, holiness, and humility.”
— Paul Thigpen, Author, Manual for Spiritual Warfare
“Read this book and you will receive the riches Mammon cannot provide and reap the harvest of hope and wisdom.”
— Joseph Pearce, Author, Catholic Literary Giants
“This book is a hymn of gratitude for the wonder that is creation, which manifests the deep purpose of things.”
— Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, President, Christendom College
“The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home” by David Clayton and Leila M. Lawler is absolutely wonderful. More than just a “prayer-how-to”, this book is about the beauty of God and embracing the relationship in all areas of our lives. Clayton and Lawler help us to reverence the sacred found in our homes, in the rhythm of the day, the blessings we have been given, and the gift of the present moment. This is for every home, whether one filled with children or a sanctuary for the single life, this is a must have for those who wish to be surrounded in prayer.
You can find the book here
“This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. How I wish I had it when I first became a Catholic, not just for myself, as a husband and father, but for my family, too. If one book has the potential to transform the Catholic family (and society), this is it.” – Scott Hahn
“This book is a rare treasure.” – Thomas Howard
“Wonderful, inspiring, and deeply practical.” – Joseph Pearce, Editor of The Saint Austin Review
“A great blessing to Catholic families.” – Stratford Caldecott, an editor of Magnificat UK
IP#249 Simcha Fisher – The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor
What a delight to talk with Simcha Fisher! She is one of the most intriguing, engaging, and truly authentic Catholic writers out there today. Her blogging for the National Catholic Register is a stand out for their online features, and her Patheos blog “I Have to Sit Down” is one of my all-time favorites (I highly encourage bookmarking it). It’s a joy to be able to heartily recommend “The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning“! Far from being just a critical examination of the topic, this book reads more like a conversation with a good friend at a coffee house. All issues on are the table and thoughtfully discussed. Wherever you find yourself on the subject, respect and encouragement is the order of the day. Challenges are acknowledged and addressed by Simcha, who delivers time tested wisdom that is only garnered from a lived faith and years of experience. Everyone should be reading this book, not just young married couples, but also priest, deacons, religious, and couples engaged in the conversations that shape our culture today.
You can find the book here
Simcha speaks … with honesty along with the wit and wisdom that always make her teachings so memorable and helpful. She summons all of us to trust, mutual patience and kindness, and to a joyful honesty about NFP. —Msgr. Charles Pope, Pastor of Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC
Before The Sinner s Guide to NFP, the only way you could get this kind of candor on the subject of Natural Family Planning was in private conversations with your best friend. Simcha has taken all the things we think about NFP but feel like we can t say, brought them into the light, and addressed them with insight and razor-sharp wit. You ll laugh, you ll nod your head in recognition, and you ll ultimately walk away inspired by the kind of encouragement that only someone else in the trenches can offer. —Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary
USCCA39 – The 6th Commandment: Marital Fidelity Part 2 – U. S. Catholic Catechism for Adults w/ Arch. George Lucas
Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 30:
THREATS TO MARRIAGE The Catechism lists the following behaviors as acts that undermine the purpose and dignity of marriage.
- Adultery is gravely sinful because it violates God’s call to a loving covenant of fidelity between a married man and woman. The act of adultery is an injustice to the wounded spouse. It weakens the institution of marriage and the stability of the family.
- Divorce is contrary to the natural law for it breaks the promise “to which the spouses freely consented to live with each other till death” (CCC, no. 2384). Jesus clearly taught that God’s original plan for marriage excluded divorce (cf. Mt 5:31-32, 9:3-9; Mk 10:9; Lk 16:18; 1 Cor 7:10-11). Marriage is an indissoluble union. Jesus removed the accommodations for divorce that had been tolerated under the Old Law.
- The couple may be allowed a separation in certain cases, such as when adultery is occurring or some type of abuse is present. A separation can be, at times, a prudent action to take. “If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense” (CCC, no. 2383). In such cases, a Catholic can still receive the Sacraments.
- Cohabitation (an unmarried couple living together) involves the serious sin of fornication. It does not conform to God’s plan for marriage and is always wrong and objectively sinful. Cohabitation does not guarantee successful married life, as has been revealed in the painful experience of many, and is detrimental to future commitment.
- Polygamy (having more than one spouse at a time) violates the understanding of the equal dignity that a man and woman bring to marriage and contradicts the unitive purpose of marriage.
- Attempts to justify same-sex unions or relationships or to give them matrimonial status also contradict God’s plan—as revealed from the beginning both in nature and in Revelation—for marriage to be a lifelong union of a man and a woman.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) (2012-04-02). United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (Kindle Locations 5936-5951). 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.
The Choice to Have God in Our Marriages – Spousal Prayer with Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts
As part of the Healthy Living Series, Deacon James Keating discusses Marriage, God, and Spousal Prayer. Very powerful.
You can find the book here
From the description:
Deacon James Keating’s newest book, Spousal Prayer: A Way to Marital Happiness affirms that the sharing of hearts is a necessary commitment in both marriage and prayer. If we can learn what the key elements to sharing the heart are and equally what the key elements to receiving the heart of another are, then we will know the greatest of intimacy in both prayer and marriage. The mingling of the love of spouse with and in the love of God is and has always been the foundation for a life of peace, creativity, and vibrancy, not to mention sanctity. In fact, we cannot even understand what marriage is unless we look at how Christ loved His Bride, the Church, till the end (Jn 13:1). For the baptized, Christ has joined His love for the Church to the Sacrament of Marriage and Marriage, to His love for the Church. Each couple is called to allow Jesus to bring them into this great love of His. The couple is not supposed to do all the work of love; they are called to let Jesus gift them with His own spousal love. In other words, couples should let Jesus live His spousal love for the Church over again in their own love for one another. They do this by simply asking Him in prayer to do so and by sharing their needs and desires with Him. Marriage is not a self-help relationship; it is a deep partnership with Christ.
What a delight to talk once again with Dr. Thomas Howard. This time we discuss “Hallowed Be This House: Finding Signs of Heaven in Your Home”. Dr. Howard has such a beautiful gift of recognizing the sacred. Through this marvelous book, he helps us all to appreciate the many ways in which we too can dive deeper into the “mystery”, especially in those ordinary places and things in found in our lives. This book is a treasure!
You can find the book here
Tom Howard, an accomplished writer of great distinction, has the rare gift of being able to express profound truths in whimsical terms. In Hallowed Be This House, he explores with charm and wit the sacramental aspect of our daily lives. I found the book vastly entertaining and, what is more, felt refreshed and the happier of having read it. So, I am sure, will all its readers. —Malcolm Muggeridge
Howard’s vision is the quintessential Catholic, sacramental vision. To read this book is to see with the eyes of Christ. —Peter Kreeft, Handbook of Christian Apologetics
“Strengthening Your Family: A Catholic Approach to Holiness at Home” is a must for every Catholic home (and for non-Catholic homes too). Marge Fenelon covers every corner of our busy and active households and helps us to create (with God’s grace) healthy holy homes! She tackles real life issues – money, time, technology and everything that touches our lives today – and shows in practical, concrete ways how families foster and nurture “saints in the making”.
You can find it here
“Marge gets it right as she relates how focusing on encouraging and expecting growth in virtue and character will lead to the only real, true, ultimate goal holiness of life.”
From the Foreword by Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York
The subtitle of this show is “insights from today’s most compelling authors”…I don’t think there’s a more compelling author than Elizabeth M. Bonker, who along with the help of her mother, Virginia Breen, has authored “I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice”. A powerful and poignant book, the conversation with Virginia is hope-filled as she shares with us all the challenges and love she has found in being the mother of Elizabeth and the strength they have both found in their relationship with God.
“Elizabeth’s beautiful poetry clearly shows that some individuals with autism who appear to be low-functioning have real abilities. Elizabeth’s first words when she was able to type were ‘Agony. I need to talk.'”–Temple Grandin, New York Times bestselling author
I sometimes fear
That people cannot understand
That I hear.
And I know
That they don’t believe I go
To every extreme
To try to express
My need to talk.
If only they could walk
In my shoes
They would share my news:
I am in here.
And trying to speak every day
In some kind of way.
Though she cannot speak, Elizabeth Bonker writes poetry that shines a light on the hidden inner world of autism and the world around us. I Am in Here is the spiritual journey of a mother and daughter who refuse to give up hope, who celebrate their victories, and who keep moving forward despite the obstacles. Elizabeth’s poetry and her mother’s stirring storytelling combine in this inspirational book to proclaim that there is always a reason to take the next step–with hope.
Be sure to check out their website at : Iaminherebook.com
No one writes quite like Anthony Esolen. He never, ever, fails to provoke thought and reflection; he verifies what we know in our hearts to be true…we just didn’t know how to express it. In “10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child” he holds a magnifying glass up to our hearts and minds and says to us all “Do really you see what we are doing?” Anthony points how we are extinguishing the minds (and souls) of our children in ten easy steps.
Play dates, soccer practice, day care, political correctness, drudgery without facts, television, video games, constant supervision, endless distractions: these and other insidious trends in child rearing and education are now the hallmarks of childhood. As author Anthony Esolen demonstrates in this elegantly written, often wickedly funny book, almost everything we are doing to children now constricts their imaginations, usually to serve the ulterior motives of the constrictors.Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child confronts contemporary trends in parenting and schooling by reclaiming lost traditions. This practical, insightful book is essential reading for any parent who cares about the paltry thing that childhood has become, and who wants to give a child something beyond the dull drone of today’s culture.
Learn more about this book here
In “Parenting Your Adult Child”, Susan Vogt has offers solid advice and counsel on how to address the challenges of spiritually parenting our adult children.: how to respect and nurture the faith that lies deep within each young adult, no matter what it looks like on the surface. Susan draws form the virtues to help along the sometimes bumpy path. The virtues she identifies are not the only ones that can help parents deepen their own spirituality, but they are especially relevant to forming new relationships with those you love.
You can find more about Susan’s book here.
Deacon James Keating is the editor of “Spiritual Fathers: A Workbook for Priests and Dads”. In this episode, Deacon Keating gives us profound insights on male spirituality and even helps women to understand what they can do to support the guys in their lives. Not to be missed!
From the description offered by IPF of “Spiritual Fathers”: “Together, the father and the priest can meet an urgent need in the family and Church today: presenting the spiritual life as a true journey to personal happiness. In many boys’ minds, worship, prayer, and service to others is the way of women. This error in judgment is often born in boys because their fathers are absent in the home as initiators of prayer and instructors in moral life. This error is further compounded by the absence of priests in the life of young men. This lack of masculine role modeling in the spiritual life results in boys being ignorant of the true nature and adventure of entering the spiritual life and guiding others to do so as well.”
“The Handbook for Catholic Moms” just about has it all (and I don’t say that lightly). Whether you’re a stay at home mom, out in the work world, or one who’s nest is empty, this book has a bounty of shared experience, how-to’s, and a host of helpful spiritually nurturing helps and guides for every area of life. It’s solidarity for the Catholic mom! Lisa Hendey deserves high praise and thanks for being one of the first to venture out into the “digital sea”. She serves as a fine navigator, helping us all learn how to navigate in the ever more complicated world we now find ourselves living in. Practical, spiritual, fun, and well worth it, “The Handbook for Catholic Moms” is more than a resource, it’s a companion on the journey. Visit CatholicMom.com, it’s great!
It was great to speak with Gary Michuta about his new book How to Wolf-Proof Your Kids. There’s a big difference between nuturing community faith sharing and destructive “sheep stealing” that occurs with “religious” proselytizing. Each year, thousands of Catholics fall prey to the manipulative and deceptive recruiting practices of non-Catholic groups, sects, and cults. Gary’s new bookprovides parents with critical information about how these groups recruit and what steps you can take to protect yourself and your children.
visit Gary’s website www.handsonapologetics.com
The most dangerous thing about Conn and David Iggulden’s book is that you’ll be inspired to heroism. From George Washington to Edith Cavell, from The Women of the SOE to Flight 93, the Dangerous Book of Heroes inspires young and old…it’s what good story telling is all about. Some stories may be a little more than some very young listeners can take in, but don’t let that stop you from diving in yourself….the very best stories are the one’s we grow into. Conn Iggulden and his brother David have given us all a gift.
Patrick Coffin does a fantastic job breaking open “Humane Vitae”, Natural Family Planning, and the beauty of marital love in his book “Sex au Naturel: What It Is and Why It’s Good for Your Marriage”. Listeners of “Catholic Answers Live” know Patrick Coffin is well-learned in many areas of Catholic life, and that he brings to all those discussions the right degree of good humor and joy about the Catholic faith. He does the same in this book. Pick up a copy for yourselves, your pastor, and any couple you know preparing for marriage…it’s a good thing.