Tag Archive for peace

Leading the way to the 33 Days

Frequently I have been asked when writing or leading groups to give some additional insights into the questions I pose to help the reader or participant in formulating their own response.

I have an inkling that the same is true with the 30 Days to Reignite your Spiritual Life program that is the implementation of my book, “That Flame in your Heart? Turn it into a Blowtorch!

With that in mind, the Spirit seems to be prompting me to do exactly that within the context of this guide, on the blog, at least in the near term. This is not something I would choose to do, as you might imagine, as the self exposure invites critical responses. How long it continues I will leave to His guidance to me, but I think as far as it goes, it will help the person who is engaged in the 30 Days retreat to get a sense of how a personal dialogue might unfold in their own life.

Thus I will endeavor every week to write a response to each of the questions posed in THE POINT exercises at the end of each Day (chapter) in the book. Remember, THE POINT questions are my questions, written in the first person as though they are coming from Jesus to help the reader / retreatant.

If you recall, while it is labeled as 30 Days to Reignite Your Spiritual Life, in reality, there is an Orientation Day, an Introduction Day and an Assessment Day, which gives you 33 Days for the retreat. As I mentioned in my book, the 30 Days took me years of prayer and contemplation to write.

The 33 Days is structured to be able to do it in 33 Days, but how long it takes you is between you and the Spirit of Jesus. I could also imagine it taking 33 weeks for a person who really wanted to take the dialogue with Jesus as structured in THE POINT exercises into deep prayer if they did a question a day.

The new “33 Days with Jesus Christ for Greater Peace, Serenity & Joy” Retreat Guides for individuals and groups will be available shortly elsewhere on this site along with other materials to supplement it.

As with any spiritual retreat, the secret is to be consistent throughout and let the Spirit guide you as He will. Oh, and if you have been on retreats before, you know to be ready for unexpected surprises, as the Spirit is wont to do! I am SURE it will happen for you on this retreat as well, because the Spirit is always consistent!

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

 

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 http://turnitintoablowtorch.com/francis-cardinal-georges-prophetic-column/

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

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!

Francis Cardinal George’s Prophetic Column

I recently read a column by Francis Cardinal George of Chicago and it struck me that it was no ordinary column, but one that has a prophetic element to it worth taking notice. Here is part of the article.  The entire article can be found at:  http://tinyurl.com/k2uygfm

 

It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to “swim against the tide,” as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.

Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.

A reader of the tale of two churches, an outside observer, might note that American civil law has done much to weaken and destroy what is the basic unit of every human society, the family. With the weakening of the internal restraints that healthy family life teaches, the State will need to impose more and more external restraints on everyone’s activities. An outside observer might also note that the official religion’s imposing whatever its proponents currently desire on all citizens and even on the world at large inevitably generates resentment. An outside observer might point out that class plays a large role in determining the tenets of the official State religion. “Same-sex marriage,” as a case in point, is not an issue for the poor or those on the margins of society.

How does the tale end? We don’t know. The actual situation is, of course, far more complex than a story plot, and there are many actors and characters, even among the ruling class, who do not want their beloved country to transform itself into a fake church. It would be wrong to lose hope, since there are so many good and faithful people.

Catholics do know, with the certainty of faith, that, when Christ returns in glory to judge the living and the dead, the church, in some recognizable shape or form that is both Catholic and Apostolic, will be there to meet him. There is no such divine guarantee for any country, culture or society of this or any age.

 

I believe this is not a political statement. It is prophetic, and frankly, along the same lines as St. John Paul II’s speech just before he was elected Pope. I HIGHLY recommend this short article: http://www.catholicity.com/mccloskey/final-confrontation.html

Up to now, what he (the future John Paul II) predicted was nascent. But we have now fully entered what is more widely known in Catholic circles today as the Final Confrontation as he coined the term. It has begun.

That is what my book, “That Flame in Your Heart? Turn it into a Blowtorch!”  is essentially laying the foundation for. So that people can find peace, serenity and joy no matter what is going on in their lives and around them. Now. In their present circumstances of life.

They are going to need it.

Now is the time of preparation. It is time to find that peace, serenity and joy in everyday life, in every circumstance of their life, no matter what is going on. And then spread that to every person they come in contact, in ways appropriate to their calling.

Waiting until they cry out in the turmoil is too late. Practice now what you need when the time comes as surely it will. No human is immune from suffering.

But there is only one Source of peace. Human attempts to achieve it by force or division or allurements or any human institutions will fail.

As usual, I may be running a little ahead of things, but in my strategic planning consulting, my business is future-casting, and my record is pretty good. (I have never had a CEO tell me we got his company ready too soon.)

We have reached the proverbial ‘tipping point’.

From here forward, it will accelerate non-linearly, at a geometric rate.  Those who prepare now, “and bring the extra oil (of peace) they need for their lamps, will not want when the groom appears”. (if I might paraphrase Mt. 25: 1-13) And those who do not will be locked out in the night.

The end result will be a victorious Church in splendor…….. But between where we are today and that victory is a great gulf of darkness which we are plunging into. Out of it will emerge a cleansed remnant Church, radiant in splendor as it reflects its King.  And all those who have bought into the “anti-Church” and “anti-Gospel” will be swept away.

The good news is that each soul will have sufficient light given it to make a decision, as God always does, so eternity will not be a surprise, but rather, what was chosen and pursued by that soul with the free will He has given it.

I pray that everyone can come to know peace, serenity, and joy in their lives no matter what is going on. And that the flame of love for God in their hearts might be turned into a blowtorch!

Now.

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

Welcome to “Turn it into a Blowtorch!”

Peace be with you!

It is awesome that you are here! We are excited that you found us!

We hope and pray that this website can help you on your spiritual journey in some small way and contribute to the building up of the Body of Christ.

We are in the process of building a community of believers in Jesus Christ the King who want more peace, serenity and joy in their own lives and those of those who are dear to them.

You already have faith, perhaps even a strong faith, but sometimes, when things are difficult, you wish it were stronger.  And truth be told, as you look to the future, it sometimes causes anxiety. The rate of change and turmoil in the world is only increasing. There is nothing on the horizon that indicates it will get better in the affairs of man any time soon. The future certainly does portend great upheavals from what we have known in the past.

But where suffering or chaos is present, grace abounds if we avail ourselves of it.  The other reality is that in our time of need, we cannot exercise a muscle we have never developed sufficient for the need at the time. It takes long hard work to build strong spiritual muscle and staying power – resilience.

The book and this web site have a single focus: to help the reader develop a deeper relationship and dialogue with the Person of Jesus Christ that has as its fruit greater peace, serenity and joy in their life. And by possessing that gift, attract others to that same relationship.

The book and web site are simply tools to show the reader a path they may choose where someone else has already gone.

My prayer is that through a deeper dialogue with Jesus Christ, you may come to know a peace, serenity and joy greater than you have ever known. And the flame of love for Him in your heart turns into a blowtorch so bright that everyone who sees you sees Him!

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