Take someone by the hand…

“To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.”

— St. Thomas Aquinas

Notice that St. Thomas Aquinas does not say drag them by the hand kicking and screaming.   Mentoring someone in the Way of Christ requires humility, patience, love, and mercy.  Generally speaking, people don’t tend to take in a message when it’s being yelled or they feel they are being forced or manipulated into believing.

It bears repeating, to guide someone to Christ on the path to holiness REQUIRES humility, patience, love, and mercy.  True charity must be your motivation and gentleness, your method.

At the same time, you cannot give what you, yourself, are not already pursuing.  If you are not praying, how then can you effectively teach someone how to communicate with God?   If you are not participating in the sacramental life of the Church, how then can you speak with any credibility about the graces that are conferred?  If you are not loving towards others, how can you show that both that you truly love God and that God truly loves?  If you are not living an authentic Christian life, how can your life serve as an example of sanctification?  In other words, as you guide disciples towards holiness, you, too, need to be working towards holiness.

What’s your vocation?

Hopefully, you said “To become a saint!”

Our fundamental vocation, the foundation to our human existence, is to become holy, to become a saint.  It’s required for entry into heaven.  Now, before you fret, becoming a saint does not necessarily mean you have to live just like Mother Teresa, or St. Joan of Arc, or St. Pope John Paul II.  It simply means saying “yes” to God and ordering your life towards that yes.

What does your yes to God look like?

Vision, Decisions, and Destiny: Don’t Waste Your Time and Your Life

We are called to be saints.  But how?

Fr. Mike Schmitz says, “Vision focuses our decisions…[and] decisions determine our destiny.”  Here’s a terrific video from Ascension Presents which speaks to making life goals and not wasting our time and not wasting our life.  By the way, it is never too late (or too early, for that matter) to make life goals and to work towards holiness!


FORMED is coming soon!

Do you flip through Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, searching for wholesome content that will feed both your mind and your soul, only to be disappointed with the selection?  Are you searching for ways, especially through media, to grow in your relationship with Christ?  Soon, Christ the King Parish will have access to excellent Catholic content, on demand!   Beginning in September, the parish will be subscribed to FORMED, a wonderful website that has been called a “Catholic Netflix.” FORMED has inspiring movies and video based studies, audio talks and e-books from the Church’s most compelling speakers and authors.  With our parish subscription, parishioners at Christ the King will have access all that content, available via streaming from the internet right to your home computer, Smart TV, or mobile device!

If you have not heard about FORMED, take a moment to watch the trailer below.

In the next few weeks you will be able to access FORMED as a gift to you from Christ the King Parish.  Registration will be free for all parishioners…stay tuned for instructions on how to sign up and access this fantastic program!!

On Finding God’s Will

St. Francis de Sales had this to say:

“To love God’s will in consolations is a good love when it is truly God’s will we love and not the consolation wherein it lies. Still, it is a love without opposition, repugnance, or effort. Who would not love so worthy a will in so agreeable a form? To love God’s will in His commandments, counsels, and inspirations is the second degree of love and it is much more perfect. It carries us forward to renounce and give up our own will, and enables us to abstain from and forbear many pleasures, but not all of them. To love suffering and affliction out of love for God is the summit of most holy charity. In it nothing is pleasant but the divine will alone; there is great opposition on the part of our nature; and not only do we forsake all pleasures, but we embrace torments and labors.”

In other words, it is easy to love God and His Holy Will for us when things are going well, especially when we love Him for His sake and not the goods we receive from Him.  It’s quite another thing to love Him when we are suffering, when the whole world seems to be against us, when we are brow-beaten and worn.  To see that the only good we have in those times is that we are doing His Will and to love the affliction upon us simply because His Divine Will is being done, is to love God beyond all measure.   This is precisely what Jesus did on the cross.  When we do the same, we are imitatio Christi, in imitation of Christ, which is a hallmark of discipleship.

Why there are “spiritual tumbleweeds?”

tumbleweedThere is a somewhat long but worthwhile read about the new Avengers movie in this week’s volume of Crisis Magazine.

The evidence is clear.  God is being systematically stripped from our culture.  Oh, of course the omnipresent God is still actually here, but secular sightings of Him are gone which is causing, what Anthony Esolen says, “spiritual tumbleweeds in a dust bowl of oblivion.”

Slams against God, both subtle and overt, in today’s arts and entertainment culture, as well as the peeling away of any reference to or about God in what our students are expected to academically consume in all levels of education, are systematically destroying the once-easily perceived path towards God.  Before Modernism, we understood that God was essential to our very breath, our very being.  The last two centuries of thought and culture, however, have provided a fertile environment for the individual and the inclination that God is not necessary for, well, anything.

At any rate, do your soul a favor and go read the article at Crisis.  If we are disciples of Christ and the adage – “we are what we consume” –  is correct, we should be very particular about what we watch for fun and wary of most offerings coming out of the entertainment industry, especially when we ask ourselves: Will this this movie/song/book/activity bring me closer or take me away from God?”

Discipleship is a commitment to the Christian life

Discipleship banner

To be a disciple of Jesus is to be committed to living a true, authentic Christian life.  Many of us are not sure what this means exactly.  We go to Mass, we say our daily prayers, we believe in Jesus, etc. But is this discipleship?  In its most basic form, discipleship is imitation of a master or in this case, the Master, Jesus Christ.

In the time of Jesus, if you wanted to be a disciple of a rabbi, for example, you would live with him, dine with him, pray with him, study his teachings, literally walk so close behind him you’d have the dust he kicked up all over your tunic!

While we cannot physically walk with Jesus in this way as to get dust all over us, as did his apostles, we can still live with Him, dine with Him, pray with Him, and study His teachings.  Over the course of the next few months, under the blog post heading “Discipleship is…” and “DISCIPLESHIP|Be transformed.” banner, we will explore what it means to be a true follower of Jesus with practical ways to grow closer in our relationship with our Lord.



Discipleship banner

“If I believe all the right things, but don’t grow in prayer, kindness, purity, patience, mercy, forgiveness, generosity, and care for the weak and the poor, I am failing in my life as a disciple.  Without love, all the outward badges of faith do not render me a faithful disciple.”

– Edward Sri, Into His Likeness

Hope and Healing: CA Bishops Address Mental Health Care

hopeThe bishops of California released this well-written letter which addresses the needs of those suffering with mental health issues and what Catholics can do to help.

The letter can be read on or downloaded from their website (in English, Spanish, Vietnamese):  www.cacatholic.org/hope_and_healing