101 posts

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 […]

Finding Your Place in The Story

Today I had the great joy of reconnecting with an old friend. We shared what we had been up to, everything from the big highlights and current challenges to the small joys found in the midst of walking the journey with God. It was a beautiful grace and consolation in the midst of my day, but what has stayed with me the most from that conversation was not what we said, but how. For in the midst of our sharing, I felt us quickly slip into the easy give and take and playful banter that has always been the nature […]

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 […]

The Foundation Of All Things

Yesterday, I shared the 4 Simple Steps to Holiness, and promised that I would elaborate about each of the steps in the days ahead, so today I will talk a bit more about the foundation of all things in the spiritual life–daily prayer and meditation. Time with our Lord is the key if we are going to be transformed into saints. Why? Pretty simple. You become who you spend time with. We all know that we are influenced by our environment–the people, places and things that we are surrounded by, day in, day out. For example, you want to become […]

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 […]