From Humdrum to Holy: Walking with Jesus to Mount Zion

Man’s supernatural end

The Catholic Church teaches that: “By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange” (CCC 221).

Through Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, our participation in this eternal exchange is possible. Man has been created by love and for love.

Here on earth our lives as Christians consist in the image of Jesus being reproduced in us by means of the love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts which empowers us to love God and neighbor and in so doing fulfill the law of Christ.

Enter Fr. Ed Broom, O.M.V.

A priest for more than 30 years dedicated to giving the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Fr. Broom knows well what it takes to live out the Christian faith by following in the footsteps of Jesus.

In his recent book titled From Humdrum to Holy, Fr. Broom has put together a comprehensive yet eminently practical plan of action to grow in holiness and therefore closer to Jesus.

At 24 chapters and a little over 120 pages, it is comprehensive in its scope of topics and short enough to be read in one sitting.

One of the book’s most powerful points is its first chapter which focuses on the question of our existence: “why are we here in this world?“.

Fr. Broom’s answer is St. Ignatius’: “Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

This constitutes a strong foundation that keeps everything in the book firmly grounded in the reality of our daily lives and the choices we make.

Chapters 4 and 17 build on that foundation by reminding us of the importance of self-knowledge and the possibility of falling into mortal sin and dying in that state. Far from being fear-mongering, such exhortations help us not forget that our choices have eternal consequences and that this life is an arena of combat in which a lot is at stake.

Take heart and step into the fray

The remaining chapters present us with a rich treasure trove of steps and actions we can take to start living holy lives and walk more closely with our Lord.

Everything from morning prayer to daily Scripture reading, spiritual reading, learning about the Faith, daily examination of conscience, prayers of dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary, invocation of angels and saints, more frequent reception of the sacraments with adequate preparation and many others are presented so they can be immediately applied in your life.

In sum, Fr. Broom has provided us with a fine resource we can constantly go back to for encouragement and sound advice on how we can better live the fundamental vocation of all Christians; the universal call to holiness. It is my hope and prayer that this book will strengthen your resolve and furnish you with the tools and means to do the will of our Father in heaven.

Blogs to Follow Friday: Just a Catholic

My blog pick of the month is Shane Kapler’s Just a Catholic site.

Shane and I recently began corresponding, and I’ve really been enjoying reading his writings. I love the fact that his niche is spiritual/devotional rather than apologetics, a nice complement to what I usually focus on. For example:

Jesus is the Shepherd that we turn to for direction.  I feel so incredibly grateful to Him to opening my eyes to the destination I am being led toward – eternal life with Him; and I’m grateful that no matter how confusing the events of life get, He keeps redirecting my eyes toward the goal of the journey.

Moments of grief and depression come, but in His mercy, Jesus has always put my eyes back on the prize and given me the assurance that He is a good enough shepherd to help me navigate through the present trouble and deliver me Home.  My heart broke for those who have yet to recognize Jesus’ identity as their Shepherd – how hard it would be to face life without the overarching conviction that there is a Destination to be sought and a Shepherd who wants to intervene to bring you there.

He’s also written a well-received book, The God Who is Love: Explaining Christianity from Its Center. I’m looking forward to Shane’s new project, the details of which are still under wraps. In the meantime, head over and say hi to Shane!