135 posts

Easy Ways to Grow in Virtue Every Day

Several posts ago, I shared the 4 Simple Steps to Holiness. Today, I am going to focus upon Step 3–Growing in Virtue each Day. The beginning of growth in virtue comes from a place of humility and understanding of oneself. This self-knowledge needs to be well-formed in light of Scripture and Church teaching so that we may honestly see our predominant weaknesses and then be able to cultivate the virtues necessary to overcome those weaknesses. The struggle to know oneself is a great challenge, but there are two parts that we need to be attentive–both our human formation and our […]

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam—For the Greater of God!

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (AMDG) is the Latin motto of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), a male religious order in the Roman Catholic Church founded by St Ignatius of Loyola. AMDG means “For the Greater Glory of God”, and it effectively encapsulates the charism and ministry efforts of the Jesuit order–that all be done for God’s glory. Today, July 31st, is the day of the year that the Catholic Church remembers and celebrates the evangelization efforts of St Ignatius and the Jesuits as well as their contributions to the Church since their founding in 1540. The Jesuits were key […]

Living a Life of Grace

Today, I am continuing to expand upon the 4 Simple Steps to Holiness. The first step is the habit of daily prayer and meditation. The second step is living a life of grace. What is a life of grace? It is for us to intentionally open ourselves to being filled with God’s graces and the Holy Spirit. For Roman Catholics, this means that we frequent the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. Although God’s graces are present in all the sacraments, Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation are the ones that we can receive frequently, even daily. It is in Holy Eucharist […]

Hope For the Future Shines Brightly

Yesterday and today, I had the privilege of spending time in conversation with candidates from our parish who are preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in a couple of weeks during their “Exit Interviews.” The interviews have a two-fold purpose: 1) to allow the candidates an opportunity to share their Discipleship Assessment and Plan of Life which lays out how they intend to continue to live out their life of discipleship after they are confirmed; and 2) to share their experiences of discovering Christ in the midst of performing corporal and spiritual works of mercy during their preparation. It’s […]

4 Simple Steps to Holiness (or how to become a Saint!)

In my work as a Spiritual mentor, many times I am asked “How can I grow closer to God and become a better person?” I am very straightforward (too much so, according to my family! LOL), and I will respond that while being a better person is great, our goal should be nothing less than holiness, sainthood. And then I share the following 4 simple steps to help them accomplish that goal: Step 1–Daily Prayer and Meditation Spending time each day in prayer and meditation with our Lord is fundamental to becoming a saint. Unless we are having intimate conversations […]

Are You Working Supernaturally? Or Just Working?

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” — St. Augustine This quote by St Augustine has made its rounds in various forms throughout the years since Augustine first wrote it back in the 4th century. However, the truth of it has never wavered. I have periodically shared this quote with folks, but usually in the context of encouraging them to do the work necessary and not simply wait on the Holy Spirit to take care of whatever situation or task they are doing. In this case, though, I am taking the opposite tact […]

Pursuing Holiness—The Art of Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

So often in my life, I look around and realize how comfortable I am. Not just physically with the blessings of a house, car, clean and ample water, food, and clothing, but am spiritually comfortable as well, and it gives me pause. Why you might ask? Simply because to be growing in the spiritual life means so often to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s a phrase I use to gauge whether I truly am doing all I can in my life to avoid sloth and pursue holiness vs being distracted by the allures of the world. Because sloth is […]

Take Courage and Persevere

One of the greatest challenges of life is how we respond to challenges, setbacks, and disappointments that invariably come along in the midst of life. In these moments, each of us has the choice to either give up, or to persevere. Many times we listen to the inner voice that tells us that we are not worthy, not capable, or not good enough, and we set aside the goal(s) that we are pursuing. Or we embrace the struggle, learn from the setbacks and continue to persevere in whatever it is that we are attempting to do on the journey. It […]

Do You Have a Divided Heart?

“If today you hear the sound of God’s voice, harden not your hearts.” This verse from Scripture always gives me pause. Pause because I have to consider 2 things: 1) whether I have heard God’s voice, and if so, what have I heard? And 2) if I haven’t heard God’s voice, is it because my heart is closed to hearing? Or does my heart hear, but I ignore it because something is distracting me? Our Lord asks one thing of us, and that is for us to give Him our whole selves, and what this verse does is force me […]

Who Am I Trying to Please?

I just spent the last 4 days with a phenomenal group of people at a Cursillo de Cursillo retreat that was held in Montgomery Alabama at St Bede’s Catholic Church. Everything throughout the days–the prayer and meditations (thanks, Deacon Mark!), the talks presented on the Cursillo charism and methodology, table discussions, the food!, the conversations at mealtimes, the singing (This Little Light of Mine!), the friendships and sharing, to the the Masses celebrated (big thanks and shout out to Fr Nicholas! Will be praying for you and your Youth next weekend!)–were enriching and meaningful and it was evident that the […]