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5 Learning for Midlife: 5 - Leave the door open into the unknown - 12/9/19

5 Learning for Midlife: 5 - Leave the door open into the unknown - 12/9/19

December 9, 2019

In our conversation today we explore the new energy that allows us to step back, reflect and create a vision of the rest of our life. Using St Teresa's Four Ways of Watering a Garden we explore how prayer deepens during our middle years helping us to see our life with new eyes.

5 Learnings for Midlife: 4 - Expect grace and generosity of spirit…in yourself and … - 12/2/19

5 Learnings for Midlife: 4 - Expect grace and generosity of spirit…in yourself and … - 12/2/19

December 2, 2019

There is so much about our faith that centers on generosity, especially the abundance of love we receive from God unconditionally. We know fundamentally we are blessed. But even so, it takes some effort to cultivate our attention to finding—and keeping—a continued awareness of the presence of God in daily life. This awareness makes us more open to seeking God’s hope and his guidance for us in all things, from great and small wonders to the realities of the poor and vulnerable.

Using James Fowler's stages of faith, we explore in our conversation practical ways to grow in generosity of spirit in our middle years.

Belief, hope, and the spirit of generosity come together to make people more effective. It’s not hard to figure out that the more people believe in what they’re doing, the more they have hope for the future. The more hope they have that tomorrow will be better than today, the more likely they are to be generous of spirit in all they do. The more generous they are, the more everyone around them is likely to believe in the greatness of the community. The more they believe, the better their lives will be.

 

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER… God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey.

You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com. Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST. Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise.

I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way. Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace. Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

5 Learnings for Midlife: 3 - To go forward we must stop looking back -11/25/19

5 Learnings for Midlife: 3 - To go forward we must stop looking back -11/25/19

November 25, 2019

Today is our third conversation about midlife learnings. In our conversation today Jeannette and I explore how the Holy Spirit knows that dream God had when he created us, that God still has for us, and that God will faithfully bring about in us. The Spirit knows how to pray best for this because the Spirit is always in harmony with God's desires and ultimate will. We talk about how we can embrace these middle years so that we can stop looking back and keep walking forward into God's beautiful dream for our lives.

 

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

5 Learnings for Midlife: 2 - Be attentive to pockets of possibility - 11/18/19

5 Learnings for Midlife: 2 - Be attentive to pockets of possibility - 11/18/19

November 18, 2019

Today we're having our second conversation on my "midlife learnings." Be attentive to pockets of possibility. Jeannette de Beauvoir and I explore Daniel Levinson's stages of adult development and how we can lean into possibility, lean into transformation.

All of our life we’re made so that we lean into possibilities. We have the ability to catch that moment, that spark, that pocket and have it guide us forward.

 

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

5 Learnings for Midlife: 1 - We have to get lost in order to find ourselves - 11/11/19

5 Learnings for Midlife: 1 - We have to get lost in order to find ourselves - 11/11/19

November 11, 2019

Today we're starting a series of five podcasts on my "midlife learnings." The first one we take up today is about getting lost. These middle years can leave us feeling lost at times as we transition from who we have been to who we are to become.... Jeannette de Beauvoir and I take up this conversation of why it is important to get lost sometimes. "Being lost is challenging. Dante wrote about his traveler finding himself 'in dark woods, the right way lost' when he descended into the Inferno, and that’s what it can feel like, being in dark woods. You don’t know which way to take to get out. You don’t know what tomorrow will look like. You wish you had what you lost, even if it wasn’t good for you. You might even feel like God has abandoned you. But that’s when he’s closest. That’s when he’s saying, 'Take my hand. Trust me. I love you. I’ll show you the way out.' "

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

The journey to holiness begins with a Face - 11/4/19

The journey to holiness begins with a Face - 11/4/19

November 4, 2019

The spiritual life, prayer, spiritual development, the journey to holiness—whatever terms you use to identify your journey in Christ to the Father—begins not with a method, a practice, a prayer. It begins with a Face, a Voice, that at a certain moment relates to you with stronger, more urgent, more insistent tones. Many years ago I would resolve that I needed to pray extra, or adopt a certain practice, or do special things in order to grow in holiness. What I really needed to do, and eventually learned, is that it's the Voice of the Lord that initiates any movement along the way.

Many times that movement is mysterious. Sometimes it feels like we aren’t moving at all, or are moving backwards. As long as we, like Gabrielle Bossis, keep speaking to Jesus about what is in our heart, the questions we have, the fears, the struggles to be or do what we think the Lord wants of us, we will begin to hear the Voice within us, assuring us that he is leading the way, we simply need to respond.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Stop looking in the rear-view mirror - 10/28/19

Stop looking in the rear-view mirror - 10/28/19

October 28, 2019

So I thought I’d start off with a biggie for a lot of people: the ghosts of the past. You know, the things we’ve done that we’re not proud of, the uncertainty about God really having forgiven us, the regrets we carry in our hearts for things that now cannot be undone, those nagging fears we keep pushing out of sight.

In other words we keep looking at the rearview mirror instead of through the windshield, straight ahead as we travel on our journey through life to our ultimate goal: heaven.

But it’s hard not to. Right? Those ghosts of the past have consequences that we may still feel and which impact our life. Sometimes they may feel like they have the ultimate power over us of eternal life or death. It’s those regrets particularly that we really don’t want to have to look at.

What I want to raise to your awareness here is this: We’ve listened to these thoughts in our heads maybe a whole life long. We forget they are just thoughts we’re used to thinking, we’re comfortable with. However, we’ve also heard the words of Scripture proclaimed, powerful words….

It’s time to take these thoughts in our head directly to Jesus.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

A book that shows me who Jesus is - 10/21/19

A book that shows me who Jesus is - 10/21/19

October 21, 2019

The bestselling spiritual testament He and I reveals the words of Jesus to Gabrielle Bossis, a single woman, nurse, and, in her later years, playwright, who lived in France in the early twentieth century. Bossis documented her “simple talks” with Jesus in her journals, intimate conversations with Jesus that were real and personal. After her death these journals were made public.

The first time I flipped through the pages of the bestselling spiritual testament He and I, I was flabbergasted. He and I is the journal of Gabrielle Bossis, a French laywoman who lived in the first half of the twentieth century. In this book, Gabrielle documents her “simple talks” with Jesus, intimate conversations with Jesus that were real and personal. The great historian Daniel Rops wrote in his preface to the original French edition: “…here we breath the sweet fragrance of Christ.”

 

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

 

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

 

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

 

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

How not to become the elder brother - 10/14/19

How not to become the elder brother - 10/14/19

October 14, 2019

A reflection on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Three characters dominate the parable of the Prodigal Son, sometimes called the Parable of the Loving Father. And we—you and I—at different points of our life, are all three.

Perhaps in our younger years, and definitely in our unrepentant phases of life, we can identify with the younger son…the humiliated sorrow and long journey home begging for mercy and forgiveness. And the experience of absolute love from another or from our heavenly Father, unconditional compassion and forgiveness.

But there are other times when we find ourselves, much to our sorrow, in the shoes of the elder son. To me, to be in this angry, narrow-minded, self-serving son’s shadow, even if only in the obsessing thoughts that pester me like flies, is worse.

John Ortberg states so accurately: “One of the hardest things in the world is to stop being the prodigal son without turning into the elder brother.”

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Getting Free from Sticky Thoughts - 10/7/19

Getting Free from Sticky Thoughts - 10/7/19

October 7, 2019

We humans have a negativity bias, meaning the bad things that we see, hear, and experience far outweigh the positive and pleasurable experiences. My angry reaction to a perceived slight will stick with me longer than my meditation on being the delight of the Lord. The negative and nasty things we remember make it just about impossible to see beyond to what is most true about ourselves and others, the goodness that is most truly who we are. If we know that this is true about the human mind and heart, it is only an intentional focusing of our thoughts and leaps of the heart on what is most true that will yield happiness and holiness in our lives.

 

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…
God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.
Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.
Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.
Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

For Those Who Wander a Call to Faith - 9/30/19

For Those Who Wander a Call to Faith - 9/30/19

September 30, 2019

So many people today are wandering. They watch a movie here, hear a comment there, ask a question somewhere else, trying to put it all together. Indeed, today a tremendous amount of information about almost everything is floating around. We have moved quickly from a culture rooted in a Judeo-Christian foundation to a rootless, “democratic” hodgepodge that each person feels a right to navigate alone.

Wandering can be a stage of life: a time of doubting or searching for a deeper understanding of what one has believed “unconsciously” for so long. Wandering can also be a way of life: an eclectic combining of curious and fascinating images and myths, resulting in the creation of one’s own belief system.

The Israelites were struck with this wanderlust. The Book of the prophet Hosea likens the Israelites’ wandering from the worship of the Lord to the false worship of the gods of their neighbors in terms of a broken relationship that caused great suffering to the Lord.

In today's podcast we explore religion as God revealing himself. Through this revelation of God, we truly come to know ourselves. We find our way home.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Walk in Complete Trust in Jesus - 9/23/19

Walk in Complete Trust in Jesus - 9/23/19

September 23, 2019

One day I received a letter from a gentleman in Illinois. “I thought that someone might be able to use this story,” he wrote, “and so I sent it to you.” Thus began one of those connections God establishes to multiply his grace and mercy.

In his letter, Patrick described a difficult time in his life. “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you.” It was the only prayer Patrick could say. He had forgotten all the other prayers he had learned as a boy. This one short plea to God, however, had become his lifeboat in a sea of disappointments and misery. It was a simple prayer, simple and desperate.

The seven months in which Patrick uttered this prayer almost with every breath were not easy ones. They were marked by divorce, loss of a beautiful home, business failure, and loneliness. Patrick couldn’t understand why his life had turned so sour. He continued to say, “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you,” though it seemed such a contradiction. Where was this God who could change things? Why hadn’t God intervened? Was Patrick being punished—and, if so, what terrible thing had he done to deserve all this? The questions kept coming as fast as Patrick could say his prayer. They were not questions of anger; they were questions of wanting to understand, wanting to communicate with the only One who could help him.

In this podcast we follow Patrick's story, and the words of Jesus to him and to all of us.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Risk Believing in Divine Possibilities - 9/16/19

Risk Believing in Divine Possibilities - 9/16/19

September 16, 2019

When situation in life are dark, frightening, uncertain, it is likely that we will feel apprehensive, fearful, maybe paralyzed. These three women in today's podcast, show us the power of risking to believe that God is always bringing about life in our situations in life. They risked believing not in human possibilities, but in divine ones. And so can we.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

How to Free Yourself from Inner Prisons - 9/9/19

How to Free Yourself from Inner Prisons - 9/9/19

September 9, 2019

This experience of personal discovery and deep prayer explores the prisons within that hold us captive. In prayer we desire to be progressively transformed into who we really are before the face of God who truly IS. This may or may not change our outer situation, but as we remain in God’s presence, our inner being shines with that radiance. And through varying circumstances, everyone (including ourselves) can see God loving into existence our most authentic self, the person he created us to be.

Using the image of a prison, explore imprisoning situations you have lived through or are currently living in. These situations could have been created by someone’s attitudes toward you; a situation of injustice or abuse; events in your childhood; your own fears or shyness; a financial or physical tragedy; a betrayal, etc. What have you’re your imprisoning situations?

Reflecting on these imprisoning situations, you may become aware of certain “life lessons” that were impressed upon you over the years. These “life lessons” may have seemed helpful for a time, but may be obstacles to growth and maturity at this point in your life.

These injunctions became signposts to survival. We came to believe that, in order to be accepted or loved, we needed to:

 

  • disappear,
  • not think,
  • conform,
  • remain a child, or
  • protect ourselves from love.

Thus, we began to shut off the truest part of who we are.

Now is the time when God invites you to be free of all that.

ENJOYED THIS PODCAST? HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people's hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 4 ways you can join me on the journey. You can learn more about them at touchingthesunrise.com.

Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST.

Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.

Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.

Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

 

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Wisdom - 9/2/19

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Wisdom - 9/2/19

September 2, 2019

It belongs to the gift of wisdom to contemplate the divine. Through a special instinct and movement of the Spirit we penetrate the very life of the Trinity. Those who experience the power of the gift of wisdom understand the words of the psalmist, “Taste and see how good the Lord is” (Ps 34: 9). The word taste means that there is a certain delight that is more than just feeling or excitement. There is an impulse that is truly divine that gives our hearts an ineffable joy that seems to be from heaven itself. Indeed, the gift of wisdom is surpassed only by the beatific vision which will be ours in eternity.

Souls that are under the Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom love God because he is infinitely good and lovable. They love God for his own sake, not for any human motive of self-interest. Because they see God within them, they see God also in all things, in the smallest detail of their life, and in a special way in their neighbor. It is the gift of wisdom that allows us to see Christ in the poor, in those who suffer, in the heart even of the “enemy.” They are happy to deprive themselves, putting the interests of others before them.

When the Spirit actively operates within us with the gift of wisdom, we do not judge things from a purely natural and human point of view. When things don’t develop the way people want them to, it is not surprising that they accuse others for deliberately or inadvertently being the cause of their problems. Truly spiritual people, wise people, evaluate things, even unfortunate or contrary events, from God’s point of view and in a supernatural light, with a spirit of equanimity.

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Fear of the Lord - 8/26/19

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Fear of the Lord - 8/26/19

August 26, 2019

In Scripture “to fear God” is to be in awe of his power and knowledge. To fear God requires a daring heart!

Only a heart that fears God can be joyful. Fear is a word that we typically interpret as referring to a state of emotional distress in the face of some danger to our personal safety. The term “fear of the Lord” appears over 100 times in the Old Testament. For example: And now, Israel, what does the Lord, your God ask of you but to fear the Lord, your God, and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12). However, in the New Testament, the term is only mentioned two times and has been transformed into a sense of awe that is joyful rather than horrified. It is the gift of fear that gives us an unmistakable and irrefutable sense of God’s closeness and his ultimate victory over all evil in the world.

The gift of fear of the Lord gives us a greater sense of the greatness of God that should spark in our hearts a sense of amazement and awe that could bring us down to our knees. If we abandon astonishment we are left with a mediocre piousness.

To St. Bonaventure fear of the Lord was "the most beautiful tree planted in the heart of a holy man which God waters continuously" [II.6]. This “most beautiful tree” bears the precious fruit of love and reverence for God. Fear of the Lord for St. Bonaventure was the sort of trembling before experiences of God’s majesty that we hear perfectly encapsulated in the hymn:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth
Our full homage to demand.

The fear that St. Bonaventure had in mind is sort of a continuum that spans a certain range—depending upon one's perfection in the life of grace—from "servile fear" to "filial fear" to a fear cast out by love which has taken over one’s whole heart (cf. 1 John 4:17-18).

 

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Fortitude - 8/19/19

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Fortitude - 8/19/19

August 19, 2019

We often think of fortitude as the gift that makes us brave and strong in our witness to Jesus. The martyrs have been filled with the gift of fortitude. But many of us will not die as martyrs. Our living of the Christian life, nonetheless, requires the strength of the Holy Spirit to persevere in the midst of life's ordinary challenges and struggles. After the age of the martyrs with the Decree of Constantine in the fourth century, the followers of Jesus asked themselves how they would live their total fidelity to the Lord. Thus began the pilgrimage to the desert as our desert fathers and mothers left behind the comforts of ordinary life to struggle against themselves and to grow in love for the Lord in the harsh desert sands. Today few of us have the luxury of solitude. It would perhaps be easier to hide away in a mountain retreat all alone, undisturbed by the needs and personalities of other people. Instead we remain in communities, families, relationships in both workplaces and in friendships. Relationships take a great deal of fortitude to return love when another may hurt us, show patience when others may be aggravatingly slow, be interested in the one who is boring, care for the one who is aging and alone. All of this takes great fortitude to live on a daily basis...it takes a love that is above the strength we can gather on our own. That is where we need to cry out for the gift and power of the Holy Spirit.

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Counsel - 8/12/19

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Counsel - 8/12/19

August 12, 2019

Pope Francis spoke of the Holy Spirit's gift of counsel in these words: “As with all of the other gifts of the Spirit counsel too constitutes a treasure for the whole Christian community. The Lord does not only speak to us in the intimacy of the heart; yes, he speaks to us, but not only there; he also speaks to us through the voice and witness of the brethren. It is truly a great gift to be able to meet men and women of faith who, especially in the most complicated and important stages of our lives, help us to bring light to our heart and to recognize the Lord’s will!” (General Audience, 2014). Today we explore more deeply the way the Holy Spirit not only leads us but also helps us lead others in the ways of the Lord.

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Knowledge - 8/5/19

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Knowledge - 8/5/19

August 5, 2019

We are continuing this week a journey with the Holy Spirit through a contemplation of his seven gifts.

Today we are meditating on the gift of knowledge. I sat down for a conversation with Jeannette de Beauvoir and talked about what the gift of knowledge is, how it helps us grow in greater union with God, how it blesses our life, and how to prepare for this gift of the Holy Spirit.

The gift of knowledge is a supernatural habit by which we, under the action of the Holy Spirit, judge rightly concerning created things as related to eternal life and Christian perfection. It is not a question of philosophical or psychological knowledge, which gives a certain knowledge of things we can deduce by natural reason. It isn’t even a question of theological knowledge. It is, according to Jordan Aumann in Spiritual Theology, a question of a supernatural knowledge or “divine instinct” that comes from a special illumination of the Holy Spirit. Under the influence of this superior impulse and higher light we are able to judge rightly concerning created things in relation to their supernatural end.An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

Welcome to the HeartWork Community.

A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counselling, the HeartWork community is a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Sometimes we can’t touch the sunrise within us because we are numb from the effort to keep pushing through the wounding of present or past situations and events in our life. But at a certain point, we can’t ignore our heart’s desire for more.

What is HeartWork
Here at the HeartWork Community we learn a simple and practical process of watchfulness “at the door of your heart” in the spirit of the Eastern Fathers, who teach that the process for healing the heart is through a patient and sacred watchfulness which gives rise to the deep experience of wonder that bubbles up from the heart.

For the past twenty years I've written about moving through our brokenness into the light of God. My best-selling title based on my own experience, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach, has been translated into 12 languages and is in its third edition. My newest book, Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments, has just been released. For years I’ve offered HeartWork personally on an individual basis to whoever wants to pursue the hard questions in their own life and grow in an integrated spiritual-human formation. As much as that has helped people over the years, I realize that many more people could benefit from HeartWork if there were various ways a person could access the program. I so believe that HeartWork can help people that I want to make it available to as many as possible. That's why I created the HeartWork community at http://pauline.org/heartwork.

I hope I'll see you around.

Sign up for my letter (not a newsletter) and investigate my facebook group at: http://touchingthesunrise.com

Journey with the Holy Spirit: the Gift of Understanding - 7/29/19

Journey with the Holy Spirit: the Gift of Understanding - 7/29/19

July 29, 2019

We are continuing this week a journey with the Holy Spirit through a contemplation of his seven gifts.

Today we are meditating on the gift of understanding. I sat down for a conversation with Jeannette de Beauvoir and talked about what the gift of understanding is, how it helps us grow in greater union with God, how it blesses our life, and how to prepare for this gift of the Holy Spirit.

The gift of understanding is infused in the soul with sanctifying grace, by which the intellect, under the illuminating action of the Holy Spirit, grasps revealed truths with penetrating and profound intuition.

The “plus” of the gift of understanding is a simple intuition of truth, a type of infused contemplation. Our intellect is incapable of seizing the infinite, even though it lives of faith. The gift of understanding surpasses our human way of comprehension and enlightens us in a divine way. By the gift of understanding we “experience” what is true, we grasp the divine mysteries with the understanding of the Spirit himself in a way that produces a profound effect in the soul. It is a swift, deep penetration which makes us understand the inner meaning of the revealed truth.

An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

The “plus” of the gift of understanding is a simple intuition of truth, a type of infused contemplation. Our intellect is incapable of seizing the infinite, even though it lives of faith. The gift of understanding surpasses our human way of comprehension and enlightens us in a divine way. By the gift of understanding we “experience” what is true, we grasp the divine mysteries with the understanding of the Spirit himself in a way that produces a profound effect in the soul. It is a swift, deep penetration which makes us understand the inner meaning of the revealed truth.

 

An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

Welcome to the HeartWork Community.

 

A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counselling, the HeartWork community is a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Sometimes we can’t touch the sunrise within us because we are numb from the effort to keep pushing through the wounding of present or past situations and events in our life. But at a certain point, we can’t ignore our heart’s desire for more.

What is HeartWork
Here at the HeartWork Community we learn a simple and practical process of watchfulness “at the door of your heart” in the spirit of the Eastern Fathers, who teach that the process for healing the heart is through a patient and sacred watchfulness which gives rise to the deep experience of wonder that bubbles up from the heart.

For the past twenty years I've written about moving through our brokenness into the light of God. My best-selling title based on my own experience, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach,  has been translated into 12 languages and is in its third edition. My newest book, Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life's Disappointments, has just been released. For years I’ve offered HeartWork personally on an individual basis to whoever wants to pursue the hard questions in their own life and grow in an integrated spiritual-human formation. As much as that has helped people over the years, I realize that many more people could benefit from HeartWork if there were various ways a person could access the program. I so believe that HeartWork can help people that I want to make it available to as many as possible. That's why I created the HeartWork community at http://pauline.org/heartwork.

I hope I'll see you around.

Sign up for my letter (not a newsletter) and investigate my facebook group at: http://touchingthesunrise.com