holiness

36 posts

Doing All Things In Him With Immaculata

Today is the Memorial of St Maximilian Kolbe. He was a Franciscan priest who was martyred in 1941 in the Auschwitz concentration camp when he volunteered to take the place of a husband and father who had been chosen to die by the Nazi prison guards. St Maximilian had a deep and profound devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. St Maximilian’s title of endearment for Mary was Immaculata, and he founded the Militia Immaculata–which has the goal of sharing with the world how Mary’s intercession and support help us on our journey towards holiness. Here is an excerpt from […]

Two Easy Ways To Put First Things First

I have found that beginning and ending each day properly, or “right ordered”, is one of the keys to experiencing peace in my life. To be “right-ordered” means simply to put first things first. And that means my first, and my last, thoughts are of God. My first thought in the morning is encapsulated in my saying “Good morning” as I offer the well known Suscipe prayer written by St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits: “Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. Whatever I have or hold, you have […]

We Should Fight to Stop Fighting

One of my favorite spiritual authors is Father Jacques Philippe, a member of the Community of the Beatitudes in France. The members of the Community are from all states of life–married and non-married laity, priests, religious, consecrated virgins–and are actively engaged in the service of the poor and proclamation of the Gospel while living a contemplative vocation based on Carmelite spirituality. I have been blessed to have been on a retreat with Fr Jacques as retreat master, and I can attest to the profound wisdom he shares clearly and simply about growing in your interior life of prayer and meditation. […]

Are You Paying It Forward?

Almost 20 years ago, there was a movie called, Pay It Forward. The movie chronicles how a 12 year old young man is given an assignment to think of a way to change the world and put it into action. The result was the launch of a goodwill movement known as “pay it forward” in which people did acts of charity for random people in anticipation of their someday receiving charitable acts from others themselves. The idea of “paying it forward” is a great way to look at the the process of working to grow in daily virtue. Because the […]

Why do YOU not trust God?

So today’s Gospel gives us the story of Jesus walking on water and how Peter had the courage to get out of the boat and walk on water, too–until he stopped trusting Jesus. Peter’s initial success and then subsequent failure prompted me to reflect today upon the many times that I have done the same thing in my own life. Where I am going along just fine, but then I get distracted by the storm or the waves or the leaky boat or the people around me, and I doubt. And then I become frightened by the prospect of what […]

The Senses of the Story

So yesterday as I shared how the Harry Potter series can help in cultivating a life of Christian virtue, I made mention that the best stories prepare us to engage more fully with the Story. How is that the case? Because the more we prepare our hearts and minds, the better able we can dive into the essence, purpose and meaning of the Story found in Sacred Scripture and discover all four of its Senses. And when we experience all four senses, we prepare our heart and mind to receive the fullness of the Word. So what are these four […]

Harry Potter and the Cultivation of the Virtuous Life

One of my profound joys is the reading of a phenomenal story. Especially if it is one that echoes the Story, and thereby the very reading, it has the potential to transform the mind and heart of the reader. A definite example of this kind of story is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. It will be the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, next month. Unfortunately, due to the change in the title of the first book in the seven book series, many people came to understand, […]

Courageously Simple

Today, I had the “joy” of dealing with moving stuff out of our basement crawl space in anticipation of workers coming on Monday to take care of some water issues. As I was moving FAR too many boxes of Christmas decorations, storage trunks, bike gear, and other assorted flotsam of life, I reflected that it was apparently time for me to simplify again. I say again, because part of the spiritual battle is to constantly be checking to make sure that my priorities are in order and that the things of this world are not distracting me from what is […]

How Clear Is Your Vision?

Today, I received an ENORMOUS gift from God. What was it? He clarified my vision. What do I mean by that? Well, throughout my day, God continued to send me signs that made it clear that I was on the path that He was desiring for me to walk in my life right now. I know that can seem a bit crazy for someone who is not a person of faith, but it’s actually not. It’s really as simple as having the proper eyeglass prescription. For anyone who has had an eye exam, you know what I mean. Part of […]