Discerning Hearts - Catholic Podcasts show

Discerning Hearts - Catholic Podcasts

Summary: Fr. Timothy Gallagher, Dr. Anthony Lilles, Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B, Fr. Thomas McDermott O.P., Dr. Matthew Bunson, Dr. R. R. Reno, 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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 St. Thomas Aquinas Novena Day 2 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:25

Day 2 St. Thomas you have taught that: “Even though the natural light of the human mind is inadequate to make known what is revealed by faith, nevertheless what is divinely taught to us by faith cannot be contrary to what we are endowed with by nature. One or the other would have to be false, and since we have both of them from God, he would be the cause of our error, which is impossible.” ― Thomas Aquinas, Faith, Reason and Theology Through the intercession of St. Thomas Aquinas, Grant me grace, O merciful God, to desire ardently all that is pleasing to Thee, to examine it prudently, to acknowledge it truthfully, and to accomplish it perfectly, for the praise and glory of Thy name. In particular, please obtain the favor I ask during this novena. [Make your request here…] Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen. Background music excerpt: “O Salutaris Hostia”  performed by “Capella Musica Seoul” For the complete 9-day Novena with St. Thomas Aquinas

 Day 6 St. Francis de Sales Novena – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:46

Day 6 Do not pay any attention to the kind of work you do, but rather to the honor that it brings to God, even though it may seem quite trivial. Desire only to do the Divine Will, following Divine Providence, which is the disposition of Divine Wisdom. In a word, if your works are pleasing to God and recognized as such, that is all that matters. Work hard every day at increasing your purity of heart, which consists in appraising things and weighing them in the balance of God’s will. (Letters 280; O. XIII, p. 53) O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue, especially in the love of God and neighbor, I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection. Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart. Grant that all people, especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love. Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth. Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion, to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Encouraged by your prayers and example, help me to live fully my sacred dignity with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny: eternal life with God. Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need). O God, for the salvation of all, you desired that St. Francis de Sales— preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder— should befriend many long the road to salvation. Mercifully grant that we, infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity, guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. St. Francis de Sales, pray for us. For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here  

 Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 9:33

 Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time  – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  For at least the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord. Say slowly from your heart “Jesus, I Trust In You…You Take Over” Become aware that He is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within in your heart… From the Holy Gospel of Mark Chapter 3 verses 7-12 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known. What word made this passage come alive for you? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you: Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known. What did your heart feel as you listened? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more, through Him, with Him and in Him listen to the Word: Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known. What touched your heart in this time of prayer? What did your heart feel as you prayed? What do you hope to carry with you from this time with the Lord? Our Father, who art in heaven,   hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,  and forgive us our trespasses,  as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil. May the Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.  

 SP25 – Episode 25 – Only God Could Tell This Tale – In Search of the Still Point with Dr. Regis Martin – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:29

 Episode 25 – Only God Could Tell This Tale Discerning Hearts is honored to host the reflections of Dr. Regis Martin.  Filled with profound insights, wisdom, and joy, he is one of the most trustworthy guides one can have on the spiritual journey. For years Regis Martin, STD, has been regaling audiences about the mysteries of God and Church, most especially his students at Franciscan University of Steubenville where he teaches theology. Author of half-dozen or more books, including The Suffering of Love (Ignatius, 2006), The Last Things (Ignatius Press, 2011), Still Point (Ave Maria, 2012), The Beggar’s Banquet (Emmaus Road, 2012), Witness to Wonder (Emmaus Road, 2017) his work frequently appears in Crises and The Catholic Thing. .

 St. Thomas Aquinas Novena Day 1 – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:38

 St. Thomas Aquinas Novena Day 1 Day 1 St. Thomas you have taught that: “God Himself is the rule and mode of virtue. Our faith is measured by divine truth, our hope by the greatness of His power and faithful affection, our charity by His goodness. His truth, power and goodness outreach any measure of reason. We can certainly never believe, trust or love God more than, or even as much as, we should. Extravagance is impossible. Here is no virtuous moderation, no measurable mean; the more extreme our activity, the better we are.” ― Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 5 Vols Through the intercession of St. Thomas Aquinas, Grant me grace, O merciful God, to desire ardently all that is pleasing to Thee, to examine it prudently, to acknowledge it truthfully, and to accomplish it perfectly, for the praise and glory of Thy name. In particular, please obtain the favor I ask during this novena. [Make your request here…] Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen. Background music excerpt: “O Salutaris Hostia”  performed by “Capella Musica Seoul” For the complete 9-day Novena with St. Thomas Aquinas

 Day 5 St. Francis de Sales Novena – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:44

Day 5 This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do no accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart’s door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation,” … a man’s anger does not fulfill God’s justice.” [Jas 1:20] (INT. Part III, Ch. 8; O. III, p. 162) O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue, especially in the love of God and neighbor, I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection. Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart. Grant that all people, especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love. Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth. Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion, to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Encouraged by your prayers and example, help me to live fully my sacred dignity with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny: eternal life with God. Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need). O God, for the salvation of all, you desired that St. Francis de Sales— preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder— should befriend many long the road to salvation. Mercifully grant that we, infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity, guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. St. Francis de Sales, pray for us. For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here  

 Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 9:54

 Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time  – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  For at least the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord. Say slowly from your heart “Jesus, I Trust In You…You Take Over” Become aware that He is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within in your heart… From the Holy Gospel of Mark Chapter 3 verses 1-6 Jesus went into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him. What word made this passage come alive for you? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you: Jesus went into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him. What did your heart feel as you listened? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more, through Him, with Him and in Him listen to the Word: Jesus went into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him. What touched your heart in this time of prayer? What did your heart feel as you prayed? What do you hope to carry with you from this time with the Lord? Our Father, who art in heaven,   hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,  and forgive us our trespasses,  as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil. May the Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.  

 Chapter 25: An Overarching Principle – How to Pray with David Torkington – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3:55

 Chapter 25 – An Overarching Principle “Pray as you can, not as you can’t.” – Dom John Chapman Ways, methods or techniques of prayer are only a means to an end. There are no perfect means, just different means for different people at different stages of their spiritual journey. You can find the book here. This little book How to Pray – A Practical Guide to the Spiritual life by David Torkington, was published by Our Sunday Visitor. It was written for those prepared to restructure their daily lives to make time for the prayer where they can be transformed by the love that only God can give. In the foreword to this new book from OSV, “How to Pray: A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Life,” Sister Wendy Beckett wrote, “There are no hideaways here, no excuses, but no alarming demands, either. Instead, Torkington seeks only to show us the truth, that truth that sets us free and convinces us that the yoke of Jesus is easy and his burden light. All we need is to understand and to choose. This book offers us the help we need to understand, and then the choice is ours.”⁠ This is not your standard “prayer book” – it is not a compilation of Catholic prayers for you to just read. Rather, this is a series of 40 reflections on prayer intended to open you up to the transformation that is possible through prayer, through the love that God can give us through prayer.⁠ Endorsement “From here to eternity! For those drawn to contemplative prayer, David Torkington offers compelling clarity and common sense. Gentle kindness guides his practical counsel, and he is careful to help us see the solid principles in which he roots his insights. An authentic and reliable guard against counterfeits, his wisdom points to the heights and grounded-ness of the Catholic mystical tradition at a time when it is most needed.” Dr. Anthony Lilles, STD: Associate Professor and Academic Dean of St John’s Seminary in Camarillo, as well as the academic advisor for Juan Diego House of Priestly Formation for the diocese 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. Visit his website:  www.davidtorkington.com. The author of the popular Peter Calvay series, his books include Wisdom from the Western Isles, Wisdom from Franciscan Italy, Wisdom from the Christian Mystics, Prayer Made Simple (CTS), and How to Pray by Our Sunday Visitor. His books have been translated into 13 different languages.  

 Day 4 St. Francis de Sales Novena – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:55

Day 4 Self-love dies only when our body dies, so we must, while we live in this land of exile, continue to counterattack its assaults on our senses and its underhanded tactics. It is enough if we firmly withstand, giving no willful or deliberate consent … When we feel within ourselves the first movements of self-love or of other passions, let us prostrate ourselves immediately before the heart of God and tell Him, in a spirit of confidence and humility, “Lord, have mercy on me because I am a very weak creature.” Then let us tranquilly rest in peace and put ourselves at God’s disposal. (Letters 1675; O. XIX, pp. 272-273) O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue, especially in the love of God and neighbor, I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection. Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart. Grant that all people, especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love. Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth. Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion, to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Encouraged by your prayers and example, help me to live fully my sacred dignity with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny: eternal life with God. Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need). O God, for the salvation of all, you desired that St. Francis de Sales— preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder— should befriend many long the road to salvation. Mercifully grant that we, infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity, guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. St. Francis de Sales, pray for us. For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here  

 Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:00

 Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time  – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  For at least the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord. Say slowly from your heart “Jesus, I Trust In You…You Take Over” Become aware that He is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within in your heart… From the Holy Gospel of Mark Chapter 2 verses 23-28 One sabbath day, Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’ And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’ What word made this passage come alive for you? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you: One sabbath day, Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’ And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’ What did your heart feel as you listened? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more, through Him, with Him and in Him listen to the Word: One sabbath day, Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’ And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’ What touched your heart in this time of prayer? What did your heart feel as you prayed? What do you hope to carry with you from this time with the Lord? Our Father, who art in heaven,   hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,  and forgive us our trespasses,  as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil. May the Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.  

 WM22 – Vatican II – Lumen Gentium part 1 – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:28

Episode 22  Vatican II – Lumen Gentium pt. 1 – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas In this episode with Archbishop Lucas, we begin a conversation on the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. This dogmatic constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 21 November 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5. As is customary with significant Roman Catholic Church documents, it is known by its incipit, “Lumen Gentium”, Latin for “Light of the Nations”. The eight chapters of the document can be paired thematically: chapters one and two treat the church’s nature and historical existence, chapters three and four treat different roles in the church, chapters five and six treat holiness and religious life, while chapters seven and eight discuss the saints and Mary. An excerpt from Lumen Gentium: 1. Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature,(1) to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church. Since the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more fully to the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and universal mission. This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of previous councils. The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men, joined more closely today by various social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ. Another excerpt: 10. Christ the Lord, High Priest taken from among men,(100) made the new people “a kingdom and priests to God the Father”.(101) The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, in order that through all those works which are those of the Christian man they may offer spiritual sacrifices and proclaim the power of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.(102) Therefore all the disciples of Christ, persevering in prayer and praising God,(103) should present themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.(104) Everywhere on earth they must bear witness to Christ and give an answer to those who seek an account of that hope of eternal life which is in them.(105) Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ.(2*) The ministerial priest, by the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the priestly people; acting in the person of Christ, he makes present the Eucharistic sacrifice, and offers it to God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal priesthood, join in the offering of the Eucharist.(3*) They likewise exercise that priesthood in receiving the sacraments, in prayer and thanksgiving, in the witness of a holy life, and by self-denial and active charity. For the documents of Vatican II visit here For more episodes in this series visit the

 Day 3 St. Francis de Sales Novena – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:55

St. Francis de Sales Novena Day 3 Day 3   I desire very little, and what I do desire I desire very little; I have hardly any desires, but if I were to begin my life all over again I would want to have none at all … Ask for nothing, refuse nothing; we must simply abandon ourselves into the hands of Providence, without nourishing any other desire but to do whatever God wills. St. Paul practiced this act of absolute abandonment at the very moment of his conversion. When he was deprived of his sight, he immediately said, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” [cf. Act 22:10] From that moment on he put himself completely at God’s disposal. All our perfection consists precisely in the practical application of this principle. (Spiritual Treatises XXI, O. VI, pp. 383-384) O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth did excel in a life of virtue, especially in the love of God and neighbor, I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection. Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart. Grant that all people, especially (names of those whom you wish to include) may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love. Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth. Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion, to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Encouraged by your prayers and example, help me to live fully my sacred dignity with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny: eternal life with God. Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer. (mention your particular need). O God, for the salvation of all, you desired that St. Francis de Sales— preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder— should befriend many long the road to salvation. Mercifully grant that we, infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity, guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. St. Francis de Sales, pray for us. For the complete 9 day St. Francis de Sales Novena visit here

 Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 9:59

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time  – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  For at least the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord. Say slowly from your heart “Jesus, I Trust In You…You Take Over” Become aware that He is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within in your heart… From the Holy Gospel of Mark Chapter 2 verses 18-22 One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’ What word made this passage come alive for you? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you: One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’ What did your heart feel as you listened? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more, through Him, with Him and in Him listen to the Word: One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’ What touched your heart in this time of prayer? What did your heart feel as you prayed? What do you hope to carry with you from this time with the Lord? Our Father, who art in heaven,   hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread,  and forgive us our trespasses,  as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil. May the Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen

 The Daily Need for the Discernment of Spirits – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:09

Msgr. Esseff reflects on how we are to daily discern the movement of Christ in us and the movement of the self, the world, and the activity of the enemy. Transition: Become aware of the love with which God looks upon me as I begin this examen. Gratitude Note the gifts that God’s love has given you this day and give thanks to God for them. Petition Ask God for an insight and a strength that will make this examen a work of grace, fruitful beyond your human capacity alone. Review With God, review the day. Look for the stirrings in your heart and the thoughts which God has given you this day. Look also for those which have not been of God. Review your choices in response to both, and throughout the day in general. Forgiveness. Ask for the healing touch of the forgiving God who, with love and respect for you, removes your heart’s burdens. Renewal. Look to the following day and, with God, plan concretely how to live it in accord with God’s loving desire for your life. Transition: Aware of God’s presence with you, prayerfully conclude the examen *The above text was adapted from a pdf online entitled “The Examen” found here Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  Msgr. Esseff served as 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 Pope St. 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.    

 Day 2 St. Francis de Sales Novena – Discerning Hearts Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2:55

State openly that you desire to be devout. I do not say that you should assert that you are devout but that you desire to be devout. Do not be ashamed to practice the ordinary, necessary actions that bring us to the love of God. Acknowledge frankly that you are trying to meditate, that you would rather die than commit a mortal sin, that you are resolved to frequent the sacraments and to follow your director's advice. This candid confession of our desire to serve God and to consecrate ourselves entirely to His love is most acceptable to His Divine Majesty. (INT. V, Ch. 18; O. III, p. 365)

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