Discerning Hearts - Catholic Podcasts show

Discerning Hearts - Catholic Podcasts

Summary: Fr. Timothy Gallagher, Dr. Anthony Lilles, Deacon James Keating, Archbishop George Lucas, Msgr. John Esseeff and so many other Catholic Spiritual leaders and teachers/catechists offer the best teachings in the rich Catholic Spiritual/Discernment tradition. From lives of the saints to the basics of Catholic Social teaching, from the Sacred Liturgy to prayer in everyday moments of our lives, we walk to together as we fulfill our call to "be saints in the making". By the renewal of our minds, we form ourselves so that we "may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." (Rom 12:2)

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Podcasts:

 St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 5 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:33

 Day Five – For the Grace of being overcome by the Fire of God’s Love For Saint Elizabeth, the Holy Spirit is the consuming Fire of God’s Love. To fully offer oneself to the Lord, one needs to allow one’s whole existence to be set on fire by this Divine Love. This means a total offering of oneself analogous to the offering of holocaust proscribed in the Mosaic Law. Before Christ, such an offering would be completely consumed in the sacred fire before the altar of sacrifice. It was a sign of what God deserves from us, and with that acknowledgment, the people’s worship was deemed acceptable to the Lord. Christ’s offering of Himself on the Cross was the perfect fulfillment of this practice. Only it was not earthly flames that consumed His self-offering. Instead, He burned with the Gift of the Father’s Love and through this obedient love, opened up a pathway for us to render the Holy Trinity a hymn of praise so beautiful, God is utterly delighted by it. Why should God be delighted by what we offer Him? It is because the Holy Spirit renews the mystery of the Word made flesh in us through our faith in Christ. The Word of the Father, the Radiant One, not only captivates the hearts of those who seek Him, but He is also the greatest delight of the Father. The Father delights in His Son because His Son communicates the truth about His love – and this is the Father’s glory. Born out of the silent fullness of the Father’s heart, the glory that the Word reveals makes all things new. When the Father spoke His Word into our humanity, He renewed humanity so that Christ’s humanity became the instrument to reveal the glory of God. The Holy Spirit renews this whole mystery in us when we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by His coming into our hearts. When we accept what Christ has done for us out of love for the Father, the love with which Christ burned, burns in us. This fire purifies us of our attachments to sin and at the same time implicates us in the plight of those whom God has sent into our lives. In this way, we discover new liberty to give ourselves in love of God and our neighbor that we did not have before. It is the freedom of Christ – the One crucified by love. Through this Gift of the Holy Spirit, the Father even recognizes the beauty of Christ in us – a beauty that delights Him and a beauty that saves the world. Saint Elizabeth understands that, in a certain sense, being overwhelmed by the Fire of the Holy Spirit extends the mystery of the Incarnation through our humanity – into the circumstances, relationships and events of our lives. The more we surrender our humanity to the love of Christ and die to our plans, the more vulnerable we are to this movement of Love at work in us. The mission that Saint Elizabeth exercises from heaven is geared to the total transformation of our lives that the Holy Spirit accomplishes when we make ourselves vulnerable to His wholly simple and wholly loving movement in us. For this kind of openness, let us pray: O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action. O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me,

 St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 4 – Discerning Hearts Podcasts | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 6:41

 Day Four – For the grace to be captivated by Christ In her prayer to the Trinity, Saint Elizabeth asks particular graces of each of the Divine Persons. From Christ, she asks to be captivated by Him. She refers to Him as the Radiant Star and asks for the grace to fixate on Him and to learn all from Him. She situates this petition within her awareness of her own inadequacies, voids, weaknesses and failings. She does not run from these struggles, but she also knows that she cannot overcome these on her own. She needs help – the help that comes from Christ alone. When we look to Him, it is not our failures that ultimately define us – instead, it is the love that He has for us that becomes definitive in our lives. If we allow the dynamism of His presence to draw our hearts to Him, rather than self-pity or despair, we find the strength to trust Him even as everything in our lives seems to be falling apart. If we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will lead us to the victory of good over evil in our hearts, our families and our communities. He is greater than every evil and He loves to reveal His strength in our weakness. When we come across that painful emptiness in which everything seems impossible, Jesus is present there too — ready to shine on us anew and to help us find our way once again. In the spiritual mission of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, she knows how much it brings the Radiant Star great delight when we allow Him to be the light that shines in the darkness of our lives – and, when we ask her to help us find this light, it increases Saint Elizabeth’s joy to help us triumph. Let us pray: O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action. O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light. O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love, come over me until my soul is render into an incarnation of the Word; may I be for Him another humanity in which he renews His whole Mystery. And you, O Father, bend over your little creature, cover her with your shadow, and see in her only the Beloved in whom You are well-pleased. O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I loose myself, I surrender myself as prey. Bury yourself in me in order that I might bury myself in you, while waiting to contemplate in your light the immeasurable depths of your grandeur. Amen The Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is authored by Dr. Anthony Lilles S.T.D. For the entire 9-Day Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

 St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 3 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 7:42

 Day Three – For the Grace that makes our sins into a source of humility Today we ask Saint Elizabeth to intercede for us against the temptation to be discouraged by our sins.  It is possible to take sin too lightly, to not realize the great price that was paid so that we might live as sons and daughters of God.  It is also possible to allow our awareness of sin to discourage us, even to the point of abandoning prayer.  Saint Elizabeth is adamant that we should never abandon prayer, that even our awareness of sin can help us go deeper into the silence in which the Lord wants to heal and transform us. This is because she keeps her eyes fixed on “God, who is rich in mercy.” Those who keep the mercy of God before them never grow tired of confessing their sins and deepening their life of conversion.  Mercy is love that suffers the misery of another, and Christ has justified us by suffering the misery of our sin for our sake. He has rescued our dignity and given us standing before the Father by accepting the consequences of our sin out of love for us and dying for us.  This is the reason that Saint Elizabeth refers to Christ “crucified by love.”  As long as we keep our eyes fixed on this love, rather than discourage us, our sins can become occasions for gratitude to the Lord and confidence in the immensity of His devotion to us. Saint Elizabeth says that the Lord has found a way to convert our sins into instruments of salvation.   This does not diminish the horror that we should have for sin.  It opens up, instead, a source of humility.  We are a little more free from self-love when we accept how broken we are and how much we need God’s love. Less self-satisfied, we discover in our hearts a new openness to die to ourselves and to live the life that the Lord would have for us instead. Whenever we humbly repent of what we have done and turn with confidence to the Lord, He is ready to give us peace and help us to begin again. In her mission, Saint Elizabeth wants us to plunge into humility before the mercy of God.  She does not want us to be discouraged by sin, but with a simple movement of love and confidence to confess it, to feel sorrow over it, and to humbly work to repair the damage that we have done. Instead of being pre-occupied with personal failure or even the hurt we have caused, we must see how God is turning even our weakness into a new kind of wisdom. We must allow God to love us in this way. Saint Elizabeth explains, “Love rebuilds what you have destroyed.” O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action. O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light. O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love,

 St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 2 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:33

 Day Two – For the grace to give our hearts to Jesus Saint Elizabeth wants us to give our heart to Jesus, to enter into a prayer so deep and beautiful, that we hear Him ask for it.   She invites us to hear the Word of the Father speak to our souls the way the Samaritan Woman heard Christ speak to hers.  Our Lord wants adorers “in spirit and truth.” For Saint Elizabeth, Jesus is the great Adorer, and he wants us to become what He is. When we look at how He adored the Father, we see that his prayer was not a good intention or a nice wish, but a lived reality.  What Christ offered to the Father in the silence of prayer, He gave up on the Cross for our sake.  His whole existence became an act of worship and spiritual sacrifice. This means that to be an adorer in “truth,” we must also live out the truth in our actions.  We must give Jesus the gift of our hearts not only in our words and intentions but our actions as well. Here, however, our weaknesses seem to hinder us.  The truth is that God loves us, and He does so, even in the face of our sins. Christ-crucified lived in the love of the Father, even as He took on the consequences of our sins to show us that God’s love is greater than sin.  Everything for Jesus was done out of love for the Father. For us to be adorers in truth, we must, like Christ, live in God’s love – until every decision, every action is carried out in that love, by that love, and for that love.  Even in the midst of difficult trials, our actions must be Christ-like – just as Jesus Christ lived by complete confidence in the Father, we must live in complete confidence in Him. How do we acquire this is childlike posture before the Lord? Saint Elizabeth wants to help us spend time in the silence of prayer.  Trying to stay in this silence is difficult.  We must face our tendencies to brood over injuries or else simply not deal with the interior pain that we carry.  Silence wasted on such interior rancor is dangerous. Saint Elizabeth describes another kind of silence, and it this silence that we must seek in prayer by renouncing every thought or feeling or fantasy that is not worthy of it.  Each renunciation deepens childlike confidence and trust. The greater this trust, the deeper the silence God guides us into. She describes this silence as allowing the Lord to sit us on His knee and caress us like a mother comforts her child —  an image from Isaiah.  Throughout the trials and difficulties in life, the silent and tender love of God surrounds us and is completely present to us.  This is the same love that gave Christ the strength to die for us. Now the Trinity gently offers it to strengthen us, too.  In the silence of prayer, we can hear and respond to God’s gentle invitation, “Give me your heart.” The spiritual mission of Saint Elizabeth is to keep us in the deep silence in which we can hear this tender voice.  So that she might help us give our hearts in the stillness of this immense love, let us pray: O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action. O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life.

 St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena Day 1 – Mp3 audio and Text | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 6:12

 Day One – For the grace to enter into great silence In this nine days of prayer with Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, we will offer her oblation to the Trinity, “O My God whom I adore. “ Elizabeth wrote this prayer to help souls seek a spiritually mature relationship with God. This journey to spiritual maturity progresses by way of silence, an interior silence. This is not an empty silence or an alienated one. It is a silence that is vigilant for the new work that the Holy Trinity is waiting to do in us. On this first day of this Novena, let us begin by recalling Saint Elizabeth’s mission – a mission completely oriented to the powerful silence in which the soul encounters the fullness of God. She writes, shortly before her death: I suppose that in heaven my mission will be to attract souls Helping them go out of themselves To cleave to God by a entirely simple and loving movement And to keep them inside this great silence That will allow God to imprint Himself in them And transform them into Himself. L 335 That this mission might be realized in us, and that we might enter into great silence, and through Saint Elizabeth’s intercession, remain there, let us pray: O My God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely so as to be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to disturb my peace, nor make me depart from you, o my Unchanging One, but may each moment carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Pacify my soul, make it your heaven, your beloved abode, your resting place. May I never leave you there alone, but may I be entirely present, my faith completely ready, wholly adoring, fully surrendered to your creative action. O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I would like to be a bride for your heart. I would like to cover you with glory, I would like to love you… unto death. I feel my powerlessness, however, and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, to defeat me, to overwhelm me, to substitute yourself for me, that my life might be but the radiation of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Healer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, I want to be completely docile, ready to learn everything from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all weakness, I want to fixate on you always and to remain under your great light. O My beloved Star, fascinate me so that I would not be able to forsake your shining light. O Consuming Flame, Spirit of love, come over me until my soul is render into an incarnation of the Word; may I be for Him another humanity in which he renews His whole Mystery. And you, O Father, bend over your little creature, cover her with your shadow, and see in her only the Beloved in whom You are well-pleased. O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I loose myself, I surrender myself as prey. Bury yourself in me in order that I might bury myself in you, while waiting to contemplate in your light the immeasurable depths of your grandeur. Amen The Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is authored by Dr. Anthony Lilles S.T.D. For the entire 9-Day Novena to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

 BKL78 – “How can we possibly love as God expects?” – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:54

BKL 78 ” Building a Kingdom of Love” – “How can we possibly love as God expects?  Only “through Him, with Him, in Him!” Gospel MT 22:34-40 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” 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; Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th, 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.

 A Novena to St. John Paul II Day 9 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:17

Day Nine Reflection by Saint John Paul II: “The pilgrim Church on earth lifts its gaze to Heaven and exultantly joins the choir of those with whom God shares his glory. It is the communion of saints!” Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Paul II O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord. Amen. A Prayer composed by St. John Paul II Jesus said…”Abide in Me, and I in you…for apart from Me you can do nothing.” I leave you now with this prayer: that the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to each one of you, that He will give you the strength to go out and profess that you are Christian, that He will show you that He alone can fill your hearts. Accept His freedom and embrace His truth, and be messengers of the certainty that you have been truly liberated through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This will be the new experience, the powerful experience, that will generate, through you, a more just society and a better world. God bless you and may the joy of Jesus be always with you! [L’Osservatore Romano, 11-5-79, 2] St. John Paul II, pray for us.  Amen For the full 9-day Novena to St. John Paul II with Mp3 audio and text visit here

 A Novena to St. John Paul II Day 8 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:17

Day Eight Reflection by Saint John Paul II: “Thus the great gift of redemption – our being ‘brought forth’ to divine life – is a mighty work of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It must be received by us in faith. It must be lived. It must be proclaimed.” Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Paul II O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord. Amen. A Prayer composed by St. John Paul II Thanksgiving for the Eucharist For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast! O Christ the Savior, we give You thanks for Your redeeming sacrifice, the only hope of men! O Christ the Savior, we give You thanks for the eucharistic breaking of bread, which You instituted in order to really meet Your brothers, in the course of the centuries! Christ the Savior, put into the hearts of the baptized the desire to offer themselves with You and to commit themselves for the salvation of their brothers! You who are really present in the Blessed Sacrament, spread Your blessings abundantly on Your people…Amen. [L’Osservatore Romano, 7-27-81, 2] St. John Paul II, pray for us.  Amen For the full 9-day Novena to St. John Paul II with Mp3 audio and text visit here

 The Moment of Christian Witness with Dr. Rodney Howsare pt. 2 – “Balthasar: Beauty, Goodness, Truth” Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 15:49

 The Moment of Christian Witness with Dr. Rodney Howsare Ph.D. – pt. 2 With Dr. Rodney Howsare Ph.D., we continue with a conversation of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s The Moment of Christian Witness and the first section of the book entitled “The Decisive Moment.”  Among other topics, the Christian sense of mission and the nature of Christian love are discussed. Balthasar: Beauty, Goodness, Truth is a series of conversations with noted theological scholars about the life and teachings of Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar who is considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and writers of the twentieth century. Balthasar: Beauty, Goodness, Truth is a series of conversations with noted theological scholars about the life and teachings of Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar who is considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and writers of the twentieth century. Find the paperback book here Find the e-book here From the book description: Hans Urs von Balthasar puts his finger on the precise origin of all those elements in modern Christianity which see the real Jesus Christ as unknowable, the Gospels as merely the confused reflections of later Christians, and Christian tradition as a perpetuation of the mythology.   For more podcast episodes with Dr. Rodney Howsare discussing The Moment of Christian Witness – The Moment of Christian Witness Podcasts For Audio and Text Excerpts from The Moment of Christian Witness – Audio and Text Excerpts  

 A Novena to St. John Paul II Day 7 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:30

  Day Seven Reflection by Saint John Paul II: “Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the ‘light of the world.’” Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Paul II O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord. Amen. A Prayer composed by St. John Paul II Lord, from You every family in heaven and on earth takes it name. Father, You are Love and Life. Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, the fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love. Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families of the world. Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love. Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament of Marriage, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass. Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family. We ask this of You, who are Life, Truth, and Love with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. [L’Osservatore Romano, 5-25-80, 19] St. John Paul II, pray for us.  Amen For the full 9-day Novena to St. John Paul II with Mp3 audio and text visit here

 A Novena to St. John Paul II Day 6 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:30

Day Six Reflection by Saint John Paul II: “The Good News which she received from her divine Founder obliges the Church to proclaim the message of salvation and human dignity and to condemn injustices and attacks on human dignity.” Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Paul II O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord. Amen. A Prayer composed by St. John Paul II And behold: we who… are standing… beneath the cross of the ages, wish, through Your cross and passion, O Christ, to cry out today that mercy [which] has irreversibly entered in to the history of man, into our whole human history—and which in spite of the appearances of weakness is stronger than evil. It is the greatest power and force upon which man can sustain himself, threatened as he is from so many sides… Holy is God. Holy and strong. Holy immortal One, have mercy on us. Have mercy: eleison: misere. May the power of Your love once more be shown to be greater than the evil that threatens it. May it be shown to be greater than sin… May the power of Your cross, O Christ, be shown to be greater than the author of sin, who is called “the prince of this world.” For by your blood and Your passion You have redeemed the world! [L’Osservatore Romano, 4-27-81,8] St. John Paul II, pray for us.  Amen For the full 9-day Novena to St. John Paul II with Mp3 audio and text visit here

 A Novena to St. John Paul II Day 5 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:30

Day 5 Reflection by Saint John Paul II: “As we ask for forgiveness, let us also forgive. This is what we say every day when we recite the prayer Jesus taught us: ‘Our Father . . . forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’” Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Paul II O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord. Amen. A Prayer composed by St. John Paul II Save us from “grieving Your Spirit”: –by our lack of faith and lack of readiness to witness to Your Gospel “in deed and in truth”, –by secularism and by wishing at all costs to conform to the mentality of this world; –by a lack of that love which is “patient and kind,” which “is not boastful” and which “does not insist on its own way,” which “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” – that love which “rejoices in the right” and only in the right. Save us from grieving Your Spirit: –by everything that brings inward sadness and is an obstacle for the soul; –by whatever causes…divisions; –by whatever makes us a fertile soil for all temptations. [L’Osservatore Romano, 4-5,12-82,3] St. John Paul II, pray for us.  Amen For the full 9-day Novena to St. John Paul II with Mp3 audio and text visit here

 ST-John Ep 23- John 11 – I AM the Resurrection part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:13

Episode 23 – John 11:  I AM the Resurrection part 1 “And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead.” With these words, we conclude our profession of faith at mass each week and today’s lesson is a very important teaching on this fundamental Catholic belief. In John 11, we read about the 5th sign (the raising of Lazarus) and the 7th “I Am” statement: “I am the resurrection and the life.” The resurrection of Lazarus not only foreshadows the resurrection of Christ but it is also a confirmation of the universal resurrection of the dead. Sharon reminds us of other resurrections found in the Bible. In the Old Testament, Elijah raises the son of the Zarephath widow, Elisha raises the son of the Shunammite woman and a dead man comes to life when he is buried next to the bones of Elisha. In the New Testament, Jesus raises not only Lazarus, but also the daughter of Jarius and the son of widow of Nain. In Acts of Apostles, Peter raises Tabitha (aka Dorcas) and Paul raises Eutychus. The raising of the dead, particularly Lazarus, confirms our hope for the universal resurrection of the dead prophesied in Ezekiel 37. Sharon emphasizes a fundamental tenant of our faith: at the second coming of Jesus Christ, we will all experience a bodily resurrection, either to the resurrection of life in heaven or to the resurrection of condemnation in hell. We will be reunited with either our glorified or condemned bodies. Looking more closely at the story of Lazarus, Sharon teaches us that John is theological and not necessarily chronological in how he presents the life of Jesus. The theme of the resurrection of the dead is found elsewhere in John’ Gospel: “the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment (5:28-29).” As when he healed the man born blind, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead so that God will be glorified. This miracle is deeply personal for Jesus. He could have chosen to spare Lazarus from death, healing him from afar, just as he did with the royal official’s son in John 4. Instead, he enters into the suffering of Mary and Martha, weeping for the friends he loves so dearly. As a result of the fall, death entered the world, separating humanity from the Father. Through the death and resurrection of Christ, death no longer separates us from the Father; death becomes the gateway back to the Father. When Christ comes again, those dead in Christ will rise first and their glorified bodies will be reunited with their souls in heaven and so we can with great hope profess at mass: “And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come!”   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. For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page “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 to www.seekingtruth.net

 A Novena to St. John Paul II Day 4 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:20

Day 4 Reflection by Saint John Paul II: “Faith is strengthened when it is given to others! It is in commitment to the Church’s universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support.” Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Paul II O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord. Amen. A Prayer composed by St. John Paul II May your faith be strong; may it not hesitate, not waver, before the doubts, the uncertainties which philosophical systems or fashionable movements would like to suggest to you. May it not descend to compromise with certain concepts, which would like to present Christianity as a mere ideology of historical character, and therefore be placed at the same level as so many others, now outdated. May your faith be joyful, because it is based on awareness of possessing a divine gift. When you pray and dialogue with God and when you converse with me, [may you] manifest the you of this enviable possession. [L’Osservatore Romano, 11-3-80, 3] St. John Paul II, pray for us.  Amen For the full 9-day Novena to St. John Paul II with Mp3 audio and text visit here

 A Novena to St. John Paul II Day 3 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:28

  Day Three Day Three Reflection by Saint John Paul II: “Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid.” Prayer for the Intercession of St. John Paul II O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord. Amen. A Prayer composed by St. John Paul II O God, You are our Creator. You are good and Your mercy knows no bounds. To You arises the praise of every creature. O God, You have given us an inner law by which we must live. To do Your will is our task. To follow Your ways is to know peace of heart. To You we offer our homage. Guide us on all the paths we travel upon this earth. Free us from all the evil tendencies which lead our hearts away from Your will. Never allow us to stray from You. O God, judge of all humankind, help us to be included among Your chosen ones on the last day. O God, Author of peace and justice, give us true joy and authentic love, and a lasting solidarity among peoples. Give us Your everlasting gifts. Amen! May the God of mercy, the God of love, the God of peace bless each of you and all the members of your families! [The Pope Speaks 37/4, 1992, 213] St. John Paul II, pray for us.  Amen For the full 9-day Novena to St. John Paul II with Mp3 audio and text visit here

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