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Holy Stratagem! # 5: Study the Interior Life

Holy Stratagem! # 5: Study the Interior LifeIf you wish to advance along the path of prayer, what is required, according to the wisdom of the saints, is docility and great love for God above all else. God can do more with a senseless child in his arms than the smartest man in the world.But for those of us too slow and stupid to love God with the utmost expediency, it is often times helpful to study the interior life.
The science of prayer is complicated when we have not experienced all of its riches personally, so do not worry if it seems very difficult to understand at first. Start small and simple by practicing daily mental prayer, and then apply your mind to works written about prayer and how God customarily acts upon the garden of the soul.
Here are some recommended books for we beginners: ·Navigating the Interior Life by Dan Burke·Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay·Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin·Discernment of Spirits by Fr. Timothy Gallagher·The Three Ages of the Interior…
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A Step One Reflection: Relinquishing Our Self-Appointed Kingship

Step One: We admitted that we were powerless over [] – that our lives had become unmanageable.I like to say I walked into overeaters anonymous looking for help with my “diet” problems and walked away with something else entirely. Step One was a jarring experience for me. I found it much harder than expected to admit I was powerless over my addiction to food and that my life had become unmanageable.

What got me to my first 12-step meeting was the birth of our second child. My second son came home from the hospital and my diet induced health problems were simply too much for me to be the husband and father that God was calling me to be. Before my second son came home, I was already irritable, impatient, wildly lethargic, and withdrawn. Once we brought that sweet boy home with us, I could not keep up with the challenge and—I’d say—even the joy of having a new child. My inability to cope had me sleeping on the couch for the first month of his life outside of the womb. I would often breakdo…

Holy Stratagem! # 4: Obtain a Spiritual Director

Holy Stratagem! # 4: Obtain a Spiritual DirectorAnyone who takes himself for his own spiritual director is the disciple of a fool. - St. Bernard of ClairvauxIt may be very hard or very easy to find a good spiritual director. It is all up to God. Our souls, ultimately, are under the direction of the Blessed Trinity. But God has ordained, in his wisdom, to use human agents to carry on the work of teaching, guiding and evangelizing the earth.
The first step toward finding a good spiritual director who is wise, orthodox, and above all has a genuine love and reverence for Our Lord and Lady, is to….ask Our Lord and Lady for help in the endeavor! Ask every day until you find a suitable candidate and do not worry about it in the meantime. You may consider asking a local priest or deacon if they are available to do this work with you or if they know of someone suitable who might be.
Forgo this exercise if you do not have a prayer life. If you do not pray and speak with God, there is nothing for…

Holy Stratagem! #3: Resist the Devil

Holy Stratagem! # 3: Resist the Devil Resist the devil and he will flee from you – James 4: 7 Do you know that the devil and his minions have a well-developed plan for your life? They have studied you since the time you entered this world. They have reviewed all of the case files. They have watched your parents and siblings, counted every offence against you, every potential embarrassment, to see how it might provide an opportunity for them to undo you. They have recorded all of your words and actions so as to sum you up. Your assigned devil has earned a Ph.D. in “your life.” His diploma reads the motto “Anything but God” University.
Remember that the devils are far smarter than you, but they are blind to grace. So grace is your shield and defense. Never try to reason with the devil. Only have recourse to all of heaven. When a temptation comes, employ all the wisdom of the Church – mental prayer, the rosary, the many chaplets, the sacraments, employ the aide of your special saints and e…

How God Speaks When We're Not Listening

How God Speaks When We’re Not ListeningA few weeks ago, I had a revelation.
I was sitting at a stoplight, waiting and praying for the light to turn. I wasn’t running late. I didn’t really have anywhere important to be. Honestly, I was just being impatient. But no sooner had I uttered my request than the light changed.
By all accounts, this wasn’t a significant moment. It didn’t have any momentous, universal effects. It wasn’t miraculous. In all reality, the light was probably about to change anyway.
That moment stuck with me though, because that was the moment I realized that sort of thing had been happening a lot. It didn’t matter whether I was praying for a light to change or for someone else to offer to carpool so I didn’t have to drive or even just that I’d be able to cross two lanes of traffic in time for my exit. God was answering all of my little prayer requests, sometimes in as little as thirty seconds. Not once, not twice, but repeatedly, and if there’s anything I remember from …

Holy Stratagem! # 2: Mental Prayer

Holy Stratagem! # 2 Mental Prayer He who neglects mental prayer needs no devil to carry him to hell. - St. Teresa of Avila If you want to be holy and live a life dedicated unto God, you simply must talk to him. Look at the alienation between relations in the world today: the children alienated from parents, husbands alienated from wives, siblings maligned – all of this because they do not communicate with love one unto another. So it goes with God.
Speak to God from your heart. A good way to do this is to pick up the scripture. Kiss it with your mouth. Make the sign of the cross and recognize that you are in the presence of God almighty. Ask him to help you in your conversation with him – to remove every distraction and to blind the devil who is against you at every moment and wants you to do anything but pray.
Then read the words of God slowly. When something stands out to you, sit with it. Ask God what it means; what he might be saying to you. Then talk to him about it. Talk to him a…

Holy Stratagem! # 1: To Surrender Oneself

Welcome to our new series, "Holy Stratagem!". This will be a weekly series on the spiritual strategies given us by God to make us holy through: His sacred scripture, His Sacred Tradition or through His Holy Saints. 
Holy Stratagem! # 1: Surrender to God Surrender to God is the first strategy. Surrender comes first in all the major philosophies about giving oneself over to God: The parable of the rich young ruler is about surrender to God in lieu of other "riches", Step One of the twelves steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is admitting our powerlessness over our lives (surrender) and today, this blogs patroness, St. Thérèse Couderc, teaches us a lesson about surrender.  The surrendered soul has found paradise on earth, since she enjoys that sweet peace which is part of the happiness of the elect.Her words:
I was preparing to begin my meditation, when I heard the pealing of the church bells calling the faithful to attend the divine Mysteries. At that moment the desire came ov…