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Join us In August for Our First Monthly "Spiritual Project"!

Starting in August, we're going to start a series of "Spiritual Projects" - simple "challenges" that you can fulfill each month to make real spiritual progress on a continual basis.

The Spiritual Project for August will be learning how to LIVE the Sacraments in your daily spiritual life.

The spiritual project begins in

Why Is the Spiritual Life So Difficult?

Do you struggle with prayer? Are you so overwhelmed with the distractions of your daily life that you barely even think about God during your day? Do you find yourself committing the same sins over and over, wondering when your heart will finally experience true conversion? Do you feel like you're not growing closer to God? Then you need to know a couple things:

  1. You're not alone.
  2. It's not your fault.

In the video to the left, I explain how I discovered how lacking my own spirituality was - in a master's degree program for pastoral theology! I also discovered why Catholic laity struggle so much.

We Need to Learn the Basics First

You see, most of the spiritual teaching in the Church is based on the works of the spiritual masters like St. John of the Cross and St. Ignatius of Loyola. But most of these spiritual masters wrote their teachings for their religious orders. And religious orders already have a rule of life that lays the foundation for spiritual growth. In other words, the main audience of the spiritual masters have the basics covered. The masters felt no need to teach them.

The laity - you and I - don't have the structure of a rule of life to lay our spiritual foundation. That's why we fall to distraction so much easier. That's why we find it so much more difficult to focus ourselves on God.

So you and I need to learn the spiritual basics. We need to learn two things before we can make any real spiritual progress and deepen our relationship with God:

  1. What grace does in our life to make a deeper relationship with God possible.
  2. What spiritual virtues we need to create the spiritual discipline we need to develop so we can cooperate with grace.

Spirituality From the Ground Up

From the Abbey's programs use the metaphor of "Rebuilding Your Inner Abbey"to describe the process of building your spirituality from the ground up. Your "Inner Abbey" is the place in your heart where you can shut out the distractions of the world for a time and focus on your relationship with God.

The first step of rebuilding your "Inner Abbey" is to find the keys that unlock all of the rooms. These keys represent the basic spiritual virtues that lay the foundation for a healthy spiritual life. Once the rooms are open, you can then fix each room up and learn how to use it. The rooms of your inner abbey represent 5 areas of spirituality taught by the spiritual masters.

The video to the right gives you a tour of your "Inner Abbey" so you can learn what these keys are and what it means to use each of the rooms.

Read More About Growing In Your Faith

Spot Check: Discerning the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

We’re in the Public Courtyard this month, doing some thinking about what mission God has called us to. Remember that your mission is the way that God has called and equipped you to serve the Kingdom of God and to participate in the Divine Life by participating in Jesus’ 3-fold mission as Priest, Prophet and…

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5 Ways to Feel Closer to God

Maybe you’ve been struggling with your faith. Maybe you just want to affirm the love that you have in your heart for Jesus Christ. Whatever your reasons for wanting a deeper connection with the Holy Trinity, here are just a few ways that you can let your inner light shine. 1. Read the Bible Every…

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Discerning Your Mission by Examining Your Heart

  We’re in the Public Courtyard this month, doing some thinking about what mission God has called us to. Remember that your mission is the way that God has called and equipped you to serve the Kingdom of God and to participate in the Divine Life by participating in Jesus’ 3-fold mission as Priest, Prophet…

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Spiritual Project: Discerning Your Mission

Officially, and by officially I mean if you look through the catechism, if you look through Church documents, the Church doesn’t really talk much about a personal mission. It talks a lot about a vocation, but even there, “officially” the Church usually talks about vocation in terms of priestly vocation or the call to religious…

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Living the Sacrament of Confirmation

We’re in the Chapel this month, exploring how we can live out the Seven Sacraments in our daily spiritual lives. In this spot check we’ll take a closer look at the Sacrament of Confirmation. But before we launch into that, remember that the Sacraments are always first and foremost actions of the Holy Trinity to…

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Living the Sacrament of Baptism

We’re in the Chapel this month, exploring how we can live out the Seven Sacraments in our daily lives. Our spiritual project in the Chapel is to explore how we can respond to the grace each Sacrament gives us through the Sacramental signs, and how we can respond to God’s call to deepen our relationship…

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Living the Sacraments

The seven Sacraments form the backdrop of Catholic life. Most Catholics can name all seven Sacraments. Most have basic knowledge of what the Sacraments are. But as with other parts of our faith, the Sacraments are an unfathomable mystery. That means that there is always more to understand. It also means there is always more…

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Daily Bible: Explain to us the parable

Read the Full Scripture Verses Here Jeremiah 14:17-22 is a confession of sin and an appeal for mercy. Jeremiah calls out for mercy on behalf of the Hebrew people, who are suffering in exile due to their sin. He confesses that the People of God have been unfaithful, and deserve their punishment. But he also…

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Daily Readings: I will hide my face from them

Today’s Readings for the Holy Mass Today’s readings in the Holy Mass may make us uncomfortable if we take them to heart. The Old Testament and the New Testament both make use of parables. In the first reading, the loin cloth that God tells Jeremiah to wear and then to bury represents the chosen People…

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Sunday Reading: The people saw the sign he had done.

Today’s Readings for the Holy Mass It’s interesting that Jesus’ “multiplication of the loaves” miracle was first performed by the prophet Elijah. Interesting, but not surprising. In fact, much of what Jesus does in his earthly ministry is a fulfillment of the Old Testament signs. For Elijah, the miracle was a sign of God’s love…

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