Spiritual Tools

The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

As this week’s Spiritual Tool, we recommend The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne.

Alphonse Ratisbonne was a French Jew who was miraculously converted while at Rome in the Church of San Andrea della Frate. His brother had previously converted and become a Catholic priest, but Alphonse hated the Catholic church and vowed never to enter.

This is the story of the power of prayer and a miracle of grace. It is a powerful, delightful, and consoling story that every apostolic Catholic should know.

This is how Ratisbonne related his experience in the church that cold day in January of 1842. “All I can say is that the moment when the Blessed Virgin made a sign with her hand, the veil fell from my eyes; not one veil only, but all the veils which were wrapped around me disappeared, just as snow melts beneath the rays of the sun. I am asked how I attained a knowledge of these truths, since it is well known that I never opened a religious book, had never read a page of the Bible, and that the dogma of original sin, which is either denied or utterly forgotten by the modern Jews, had never for a single moment occupied my thoughts indeed, I doubt whether I had ever heard the words which express it. How, then, did I arrive at a knowledge of it? I know not. All that I know is that when I entered that church I was profoundly ignorant of everything, and that when I came out I saw everything clearly and distinctly.”

Baron de Bussieres states, “We have given in this volume a literal translation of the original accounts of the conversion of M. Alphonse Ratisbonne along with many other letters and documents relating to the miraculous conversion.”

(Source)

The Real Presence

Our recommended Spiritual Tool this week is The Real Presence (by St. Peter Julian Eymard) is a collection of sermons dealing with the Eucharist which leads to a better knowledge and deeper love of Christ in the Eucharist.

Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore, online – or – read it online hereDon’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

An Exorcist Explains the Demonic

A spiritual tool related to this week’s episode of Catholicism Live! is a new book by renowned exorcist in Rome, Fr. Gabriel Amorth: An Exorcist Explains the Demonic.

This powerful, eye-opening book gives Father Amorth’s experiences of Satan and his fallen angels, as well as providing his spiritual remedies for each. It provides a basic orientation in the area of demonic interference, succinctly explaining Catholic doctrine on the fallen angels and our understanding of their manifestations.

Among the many questions Fr. Amorth answers are:

  • Where does the Evil One dwell in the human body?
  • How does the Devil appear and what does he look like?
  • What are the powers that comes from Satan?
  • Do the sins of ancestors influence our life?
  • How are spiritual evils contracted?
  • What is the state of souls in purgatory?
  • What is the role of sacramentals in fighting off temptation?
  • When should exorcisms and prayers of healing be performed?
  • What happens during an exorcism?
  • What you should do when a family is being attacked by a demon?

You can order this book online or request it from your local Catholic bookstore. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

Twelve Little Ways to Transform Your Heart

As this week’s Spiritual Tool, we recommend Twelve Little Ways to Transform Your Heart: Lessons in Holiness and Evangelization from St. Therese of Lisieux by Susan Muto.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s “Little Way” has been embraced by people of all walks of life. In Twelve Little Ways to Transform Your Heart, author Susan Muto explores twelve facets of St. Thérèse’s simple spiritual path as a way to personal holiness and the secret to being a powerful witness to Christ in the world today.

Though she lived only to the age of twenty-four and spent almost her entire life at her family home and in the Carmelite convent, St. Thérèse of Lisieux displayed a love for Jesus and a passion for his gospel that have made her the patroness of the missions. The “Little Flower’s” humility and childlike trust are still powerful examples of how ordinary people can grow closer to Jesus and respond to Pope Francis’s call for a new evangelization.

The calls to holiness and to witness to Christ can seem daunting, but as Susan Muto—renowned speaker and expert on Carmelite spirituality—explains, Thérèse shows us that they are neither difficult nor dramatic. The Little Way can be lived by any of us, even with what Thérèse called the “ministry of the smile.”

With deep insight and warm personal devotion, Muto explains the Little Way and will help you put twelve dimensions of it into practice, drawing others to Christ by living a simple, joyful life. These twelve ways, derived from the example of Thérèse, are:

Learn to love the hidden life
Appreciate what a treasure the ordinary is
Trust in Divine Mercy as little children do
Receive the sacraments devoutly day after day
Abandon yourself to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Foster friendship with God and others
Take up your cross and follow Jesus
Pray unceasingly
Simplify your life
Let God free you to be your best self
Commit yourself—body, mind, and spirit—to living the Gospel
Leave a legacy of evangelical virtues others want to cultivate
Muto features short quotations from the saint’s autobiography, poetry, letters, and prayers, as well as perceptive reflection questions and personal prayers to show how imitating Thérèse can make us a powerful force of love. Muto also offers practical spiritual advice for those who want to deepen their faith and are attracted to the simplicity of St. Thérèse’s Little Way.

You can order this book online or request it from your local Catholic bookstore. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

My Life With the Saints

As this week’s Spiritual Tool, we recommend My Life with the Saints by Fr. James Martin.

From the publisher:

Be inspired by the Catholic saints like never before in My Life with the Saints by James Martin, SJ. This best-selling memoir is an homage to the Catholic saints who have accompanied Fr. Martin throughout his life. From his lukewarm childhood Catholicism to the executive fast track at General Electric to the Jesuits and a life dedicated to God, Martin looked and prayed to the Catholic saints to intervene in and guide his life. As this witty, confessional, and surprising account unfolds, discover how the saints of the Catholic Church can help each of us find our way in the world.

You can order this book online or request it from your local Catholic bookstore. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

 

 

In the Fullness of Time: Christ-Centered Wisdom for the Third Millennium, by Fulton Sheen

Our recommended Spiritual Tool this week is In the Fullness of Time: Christ-Centered Wisdom for the Third Millennium, a compendium of works by Fulton J. Sheen.

From Liguori Publications:

This compendium, published on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s death, is more than anything, a celebration of life: our life in Christ and our destiny in faith. If you’re looking for a renewed understanding and appreciation of the Christian life and the promise of faith for the new millennium, this work offers strong and practical encouragement for growing closer to God through a deepened spirituality.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979), one of the 20th century’s best-known and loved Catholic prelates, was a lecturer, professor, philosopher, preacher, and writer. A radio and television personality, he is widely regarded as the original media luminary for the spiritual world. This former director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith leaves behind an enormous written and oral history. In addition to two weekly syndicated newspaper columns that ran for close to two decades, he authored scores of book.

You can order this book online or request it from your local Catholic bookstore. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth by Catholic Answers

Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth is a powerful, yet concise booklet that clearly defines the core beliefs of the Catholic faith!

Each topic is easy to read and easy to understand. And everything is cross-referenced to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and supported by Sacred Scripture.

At 32 pages, Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth is packed with information about the Catholic Church and God’s plan for us. Plus, its convenient size and special pricing make it perfect to carry with you and give to others as you share your faith with them.

Stop by Pilgrim Center of Hope if you would like a copy of this booklet.

(Source; online version)

Faith: Key to the Heart of God by John Hampsch, CMF

Faith: Key to the Heart of God by Fr. John Hampsch

KEYFrom the publisher:

Do you find that your prayers seem to fall on deaf ears when you plead with God for your needs? Do you envy others when they tell you of their “miraculous” answers to their prayers of petition? Countless Christians today are stuck in a rut of spiritual powerlessness; they hunger for the Jesus-promised faith that moves mountains (Matt. 17:20; 21:21); yet they seem forced to settle for a faith that barely gives them strength to cope with problems that each day brings. What they lack in this respect is that charismatic gift of faith.

The other aspect of faith treated in this book is the virtue of Faith, the life-changing embrace of doctrinal Scripture-based truths that God has revealed; these include God’s mercy, His Real Presence in the Eucharist, your ever-present guardian angel, what it means to accept Mary as your spiritual Mother, the existence of heaven, hell, and purgatory.

You can order this book online or request it from your local Catholic bookstore. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

True Radiance by Lisa Mladinich

Our recommended Spiritual Tool for this week is the book True Radiance by Lisa Mladinich.

From the publisher:

The promise of True Radiance is simple: Prayerful, faith-filled women become more beautiful as they age, not less. As a woman matures spiritually, as she grows in wisdom and holiness, she increasingly reflects a radiant inner beauty that touches others in countless ways. If you’ve ever felt negative about the onset of middle age with its array of physical and psychological challenges, this book can help you redefine your perception of aging. Along the way, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the possibilities for relevance, value, and contribution waiting to be discovered. Positive, personal, and practical advice from fellow traveler Lisa Mladinich will inspire and motivate you to thrive in the second half of life.

You can order this book online or request it from your local Catholic bookstore. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

On My Way Home by Joyce Hutchison

This week, we recommend a book called, On My Way Home: A Hospice Nurse’s Journey with Terminal Cancer by Joyce Hutchison.

From Ave Maria Press:

Joyce Hutchison, a pioneer in the hospice movement who twice chronicled her work as an oncology nurse, reveals her own journey with lung cancer as her death approaches. Hutchison shares not only the heartbreak and pain she experienced in these last years of her life, but also her continued sense of God walking with her during these challenging times.

In sixteen brief chapters Hutchison gives an account of the physical, emotional, and mental challenges of each step of her journey: when chemo made her dreadfully sick, when her emotions fluctuated wildly in a matter of minutes, how she felt when people told her she looked so good. She shares how her sense of humor helped her cope with the weariness of yet another procedure and the isolation that accompanies cancer. Her account includes not only the story of her illness, but also how she responded when her second husband left their marriage and when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer, too.

Despite her suffering, Hutchison held fast to faith. Supported by her family and friends, she tells how she experienced God’s love in a new way. A foreword and afterword by Joyce Rupp, Hutchison’s writing partner on her two previous books, provide context for the book and relate the circumstances of Hutchison’s death on May 7, 2016, and the Mass of the Resurrection that followed.

You can order this book online or request it from your local Catholic bookstore. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.