Archive for Preparation

Is “Turn it into a Blowtorch!” a diary or not?

I recently had a reviewer of “That Flame in your Heart? Turn it into a Blowtorch!” state that he was put off by diaries, even those of saints. Gosh, that excludes a huge part of Catholic tradition, even the Doctors of the Church!

I can see how the book could be taken as a diary.  (Next edition I will re-write the Introduction.) It is an easy mistake to make without an in-depth reading.

It is not.

As other reviewers have pointed out, this book, “Turn it into a Blowtorch!” has less to do with the author’s journey than the reader’s. It is in fact, structured as a 30 Day, or really 33 Day, retreat or journey into the interior spiritual life of the reader. More on that later.

I learned a long time ago as an officer in the Army, as a corporate executive, a trainer of thousands of people and a leader of hundreds of groups in the Church, to never advocate or expect more of those I lead than I am willing to do or have done myself. I have a miniature of the statue in front of the Infantry Headquarters at Ft. Benning, GA on my desk. The inscription reads “Follow me!” Jesus used the same words. (Mt 4:19. Mt 16:24, Lk 9:23)

I have absolutely nothing to gain by publishing a diary (proceeds go to charity) and everything to lose by exposing my interior spiritual journey. I do so only in service to the reader and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. I am simply pointing the way, providing the path in hopes of shortening the reader’s time to learn the same lessons.

As can be said in every age past and in ages to come, we are facing a time of great turmoil and upheaval. St. John Paul, before he became Pope, characterized the uniqueness of this time we are living in, however, as the “…. final confrontation” between the Church and the anti-Church, the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. He goes on to say it is coming upon us and is inescapable. You can find a link to St. John Paul’s speech as well as a column by Francis Cardinal George here

By profession I am a corporate and individual growth strategies expert. The book was written from that fundamental orientation. I have never had an individual or corporation tell me I have helped them get ready for the next major change too early. I have had some regret that they did not heed my advice seriously enough or quickly enough.

I feel a great sense of urgency in my own life and also to help others if they so desire it, to be more deeply rooted in an active, meaningful, and ongoing daily dialogue with the Person of Jesus Christ. The fruit of which is a peace, serenity and joy that only He can provide a pure gift, no matter what is going on in our lives or what is about to happen. When you possess Him and that fruit, the flame will become a blowtorch! The icon of His Sacred Heart reveals His own blowtorch of love and what He wants for our own hearts!

The message of the book, “That Flame in your Heart? Turn it into a Blowtorch!” is very simple. Yes, I have walked through a proverbial ‘hell’ but managed to find peace, serenity and joy beyond anything I could have ever comprehended.

The reader can walk that path with someone who has already been there and discover it for themselves, now. While there is still time, before their own time of need is upon them.

And in doing so, they will attract others to an intimate dialogue with the Person of Jesus Christ.

We are at a tipping point, now is the time of preparation. We are in the “…final confrontation…” of St. John Paul II.

May peace, serenity and joy be yours as Jesus turns that flame in your heart into a Blowtorch!


Orientation.  The mental state of preparation might be our first reaction when we see that word.  But to be fully oriented to prepare to the fullest extent possible requires the mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical state of preparation for an event.

Being properly oriented for Advent in preparation for Christmas is the work of today.  The proper orientation for Lent in preparation for Easter will come soon.  And within each season are smaller feasts with their preparation days for which the proper orientation is beneficial.

Stopping at each preparation point to consider our mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological orientation is critical to receiving most fully what God intends for us as we prepare.  One can imagine the same exercise of orientation by an Olympic athlete prior to the final practices and preparation period for the Olympics.  Or the orientation of the Special Forces elite soldier prior to the rehearsals for an upcoming secret mission.  Their comment might be “Your head and heart have to be in the right place for you ever begin the preparation.”

So it is with each spiritual adventure we undertake, whether within the liturgical cycle or any other outside of it, such as a retreat, novena, Bible study, spiritual study, etc.  Orientation begins with a pause and reflection our current state in each of those areas acknowledging honestly our condition. Otherwise, we may encounter difficulties during our preparation when we are ‘surprised’ by something in one of those areas and become ‘disoriented’ as it were.

When we have fully acknowledged our current state, we can make a decision of the will as to our desired orientation in each of those areas. And then take each of those desires to Jesus through Mary, Mediatrix of all races, begging for the grace and strength to remain in that orientation as we prepare.

So let us consider our orientation for what is in front of us now in each of those areas: mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical.

  • What is my current state of being? Let me pause……
  • What do I choose it to be? Let me pause……

Let us resolve to take the desired orientation for what we are about to undertake to Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, and ask her to give us the grace to prepare for our upcoming liturgical feast or spiritual adventure.

May peace, serenity and joy be yours as Jesus turns that flame in your heart into a Blowtorch!