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:
- You're not alone.
- 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:
- What grace does in our life to make a deeper relationship with God possible.
- 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
There are few things that capture the Christian imagination more than the “final judgment.” From “end times” stories like the Left Behind series to near-death experiences, Christians – and many people in general – are fascinated with what happens when the individual soul and the world in general will receive final judgment form our Lord.…Read More
Read Today’s Readings In our first reading from Revelation 4:1-11 Saint John has a vision of entering the throne room of God. The 24 elders represent the 12 tribe of Israel and the 12 Apostles – the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. When they worship God they throw down their crowns, indicating that they…Read More
Read Today’s Readings Today’s first reading from Revelation 3:1-6,14-22 continues Jesus’ messages to seven Churches (dioceses). He tells the Church in Sardis that they have a reputation for being alive, but in the eyes of God they are really dead. Their appearance of piety is not matched by the love of their hearts. The Christians…Read More
Read Today’s Readings In today’s first reading from Revelation 1:1-4,2:1-5 we hear Jesus’ message to the Church (diocese) in Ephesus. Jesus praises them for the faithfulness they showed in the past, but he then criticizes them: Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have…Read More
Read Today’s Readings As the liturgical year draws to a close, the readings encourage us to think about the final days, the second coming of Jesus, and the General Judgment. The first reading from Daniel 12:1-3 describes a message Daniel received from God, foretelling a time of great distress when the Archangel Michael shall reise…Read More
Read Today’s Readings In 3John 5-8 Saint John celebrates another local church that is showing its love by supporting others. I think it shows a lot about how we need conversion of heart when we see how parishes and dioceses tend to compete with each other rather than loving and supporting each other for the…Read More
Read Today’s Readings Saint John addresses his second letter (2 John 4-9) to the “chosen Lady.” While there seems to be a bit of debate about whether Saint John was addressing a specific lady (a title used for Roman citizens) or to a local church that he was bishop over. Either way, his message is…Read More
Read Today’s Readings In Philemon 7-20 we see Saint Paul navigating the challenges that the Gospel poses to human culture. The slave Onesimus escapes from Philemon, who is a Christian, and runs to Saint Paul, apparently seeking sanctuary. Saint Paul’s response is to send Onesimus back to Philemon with this letter. In the letter Saint Paul…Read More
Read Today’s Readings A constant theme in the Old Testament and the New Testament is that we are to offer to others what God has offered to us. The Hebrew people were called on to free slaves, forgive debt and to care for the widow, the orphan and the foreigner because God did all of…Read More
Read Today’s Readings In today’s first reading from Titus 2:1-14, we hear Saint Paul continue his exhortation to Titus to encourage upright moral behavior in members of the Church. Earlier in this letter Saint Paul talked about bishops. As he continues, he encourages all of the faithful to avoid sin and to grow in virtue.…Read More