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Calling All Readers! – “Spiritual Combat” Profile – CSD Book Club

June 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

I’m the kind of person who loves to share what I’ve been reading.  As a Catholic convert who is really excited about the Faith, much of my reading is “spiritual.”  But don’t think that deters me!  Whether the Bible, Catechism or Catholic classics, whatever the conversation, I can always find a segue into my latest book.

For example:

Friendly Acquaintance at a Mother’s Group: So are you keeping warm this week?  I heard  on the radio that we’ve been having the coldest temperatures on record!

Me:  Actually, yes – I’ve been cozying up with the most amazing book – Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence.  It’s unbelievable!  With every page, I realize more and more the meaning of that song, “He’s Got the Whole World, in His Hands.”  He really does!!  And no matter what happens, God’s Holy will has allowed it either through His active or passive will, and I can be joyful even if someone brutally attacks me!  If that doesn’t keep you warm inside, I don’t know what would!

Often, these conversations end abruptly because “Friendly…” spots her sister’s babysitters’s mother’s best friend across the room, and she must say hello or risk being rude.

After several years of this kind of phenomenon – which as you can tell, allowed very little in actual two-way discussion – I started a Catholic book club.  At least in this venue, I was able to meet with four or five friends once a month and discuss the latest book.  Actually, we were often lucky if two of us showed up because we were all busy mothers with several children whose extracurricular activities came before book club.

Regardless, this venue was a great improvement over my last circumstance, because when we did show up, chances were good that three out of four of us had at least heard of the book. But there were still problems.  Book clubs are great, but often inconvenient in a “time-consuming” and “scheduling” sort of way.

This latest idea – an online spiritual reading book club where readers can step in or out depending on what life brings – solves the scheduling problems, while allowing us to interact and discuss all these amazing works!

Well now that you’ve learned a little about me (perhaps more than you wanted to know), here’s a brief profile of our first book:

Spiritual Combat by Lorenzo Scupoli

Schedule: June 11 – July 27

The following paragraphs are copied from the back of my version (My copy is published by Sophia Press, but whatever version you have should be fine – this book has been published by several publishers):

There’s a battle raging for your soul:  make sure now that you’re on the winning side!

It’s no longer fashionable to speak of the Christian life as a “battle,” but there’s actually no better way to describe the tug-of-war for your soul that’s raging right now between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

Here, Dom Lorenzo Scupoli helps you take your proper part in this spiritual battle so that you can win – decisively – the war for your soul.

Spiritual Combat was first published in a world externally much different from ours.  But spiritual realities haven’t changed, and this book has been cherished for four centuries by saints and sinners alike (including St. Francis de Sales, who carried it in his pocket for eighteen years).  Why?  Because it gives sober and realistic guidance on how to overcome spiritual obstacles and achieve spiritual perfection and salvation.

Best of all, Spiritual Combat doesn’t just tell you what you ought to be doing in order to live a truly Christian life – it shows you how.  

These directions include:

  • Seven reflections to help you be sorry for sinning
  • Seven ways to think about death – they’ll help you live better today!
  • What to do when prayer is dry and burdensome – or simply impossible 
  • And much more to help you overcome the most formidable spiritual obstacles!

With guidance like this and much more, you’ll soon be winning all your spiritual battles – battles that most people today concede without a fight!

Wow! I hope that inspires you to race to the book store if you haven’t already!

I’ve planned seven weeks for this book.  Only because (if you’re anything like me) you probably like to read more than one book at a time, and tight deadlines mean the only book you can read on any given day is your book club book. I wouldn’t do that to you!

There are 219 pages in my version.  That averages out to roughly 30 pages per week, or a little more than 4 pages per day.  I will try to keep my posts on schedule, so we can read and discuss together. Remember, the more you comment, the more interactive our book club will be.  And the more interactive we are, the more we will each grow from this experience. If you are curious about our guidelines for how to interact, no worries, the first principal is to jump in and share what is on your heart! With respect to more specific instructions, check out our FAQ’s here (especially numbers three and four). It is important to note that ALL are welcome to the discussion who are seeking to understand faithful Catholic spirituality.

With that, why don’t we start the discussion right now?! What do you think of the book blurb above? Or if you’ve read this book, what was your greatest take-away?

PS: Unless you specifically want to remain anonymous, it really helps when people can see each other’s faces. So, if you are open to it, please update your DISQUS profile to include your picture and information about you!

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages three to fifteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the CSD book club so she could embark with likeminded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. In addition to moderating the book club and managing family activities, Vicki also cooks, does laundry, cleans, does laundry, and, every once in a while, finds time to write and speak on topics such as marriage and spiritual reading - of course, these endeavors take place only between her many loads of laundry.

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  • Burns227

    The book is excellent so far.  If I can offer one thought from my version (Tan Classics) … nothing can be more noble or approach the divine nature more closely than to forgive those who injure us, and to return good for evil.  

  • Vicki

    God is so good – in His divine providence He has brought us all together at this moment to break from our “Martha” worlds and sit at His feet with Mary. There are no coincidences, as one commenter noted.  And St. Augustine was right – the greatest obstacle to the joy that we each seek is our Selves.   I’m so pleased that we will be reading and learning together how to win that battle with SELF.  

  • lacatholicmom

    Thank you so much for starting this book club!  What a blessing!

    The title alone of this book grabbed my attention.  So many Catholics are unaware of the concept of spiritual battle.  How can we hope to win this battle unless we prepare by putting on the full armor of God? This book should help us to do just that.

  • Examenyourday

    Hello, I’m a little confused about how to post. It’s asking me to post as guest or sign into disqus?? A few days ago I asked a question about getting the book on kindle and posted under my name Melissa. I did see the suggestion about updating your profile on disqus? I tried to go to their site and join, but they only have a login page. Also, I have posted occasionally in the past and I did have my picture. Sorry to be off topic…

    • MarytheDefender

       Hi! I just created a Disqus account today… As a guest, my name on this site used to be Maria.
      You can create an account on this link.
      http://disqus.com/admin/register/
      If you don’t have a website you can just sign up as a commenter. It’s on the upper right hand corner of the white part of the screen.
      But if you had a picture before, then do you already have an account? 

      • LizEst

        Mary,

        Thank you so much.  You have been a great help to me and to other book club members.  As you can see, I now have a picture and a “New Name”.  The reason, the rest of us could not do this is that DISQUS was updating its system.  By posting your instructions, you are the first to let us know this has been fixed.  Thank you.  Thank you.

        I have posted the link in a separate post so that, hopefully, others can see it and add their pictures, too. 

        May God bless you abundantly.

        • MarytheDefender

           Ah “New Name” :)) I get it! Your welcome!

          • LizEst

             Glad you got it, Mary!

  • Pingback: CSD Around the World Update – June 2012 - Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

  • New Name

     Yep!  I love reading the comments. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Kraus/100000177360746 Robert Kraus

      I have to hold myself back as I’m slowly reading the book each day, wanting to start discussing and commenting, but waiting for the official club to move. I can’t wait to talk more with everyone! :)

  • New Name

    I downloaded your pdf link last night and printed it out front and back this morning (20 pages using both sides).  It is a better link, I believe, than the copiosa link that I used before.  Now, I have a physical copy I can take with me.  I don’t have a kindle, nook or ipad type product…but I can see the need for one coming up! 

    Thank you so much MP!  You’ve been a great help.

  • LizEst

    Hi Everyone,

    MarytheDefender just posted instructions for how to create a DISQUS account in order to post a picture/change your profile.  I had tried this earlier and was unable to do so.  Others had the same problem.  The fact that she was able to do means that DISQUS has finished the update of this feature in their system.  So, if you are trying to add a picture, as Dan requested, please try it again now.  Click on this link:

    http://disqus.com/admin/register/

    Then, click on the “create a commenter account” button on the top right side of the screen.  Follow those instructions.

    Once you have added/changed your profile, you can also merge all the previous comments you posted from your email address.

    Happy updating!  God bless you!

  • Snirtler

    I’ll begin with a confession. I barely know the book of Revelation, but what has stuck with me is the warning in 3:16, “… because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.”

    If we’re not to be lukewarm, we can’t shrink from daily spiritual combat. This attitude is opposed to the “I’m ok, you’re ok” mentality that seems to pervade contemporary society. I use the word “seem” because “going out of one’s comfort zone” is also heard in contemporary talk. Would that more people realize that’s also true of spiritual life. In all areas of life, we want to see ourselves grow. So why should we be content to remain spiritual pygmies?

    Anyway, great book choice! I tend to veer away from the self-help aisles of bookstores. But this book is self-help in the right spirit.

    • LizEst

      “Spiritual pygmies”  That’s a new one on me!  I like it…the term, that is, not the idea of it.  Did you just coin that phrase?

      • Margarita

        I wish I could claim originality, but I must have heard the phrase (or something similar) before in connection with St Josemaria.

        Also Fr Garrigou-Lagrange in “The Three Ages of the Interior Life” writes:

        “We shall see that the beginner who does not become a proficient, as he
        should, turns out badly or remains … as it
        were, a spiritual dwarf. As the fathers, particularly St. Bernard,
        so often say: “He who does not advance, falls back.”

        • LizEst

          “Spiritual dwarf” is also a good description.  Thank you. 

          Hmm.  If you remember/find where St. Escriva used a similar phrase, would you please post it?  Thanks.  Escriva has so many nuggets to meditate on.  He’s worthy of a read or two.

          Garrigou-Lagrange’s books would also make great selections for our book club.  What do you think?  I haven’t read the one you mention but have read “The Three Conversions in the Spiritual Life.” 

          Thank you Margarita.  btw, looks like you changed your name.  True?

          • Margarita

            Most welcome. Yes, I’ll do a bit more digging for the Escriva reference. Yes to Garrigou-Lagrange for the book club. I know of him from trusted sources, but have not read him. (Yes, did the name change; “snirtler” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily)

          • http://www.rcspiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

            Lagrange is two volumes more than 1000 pages in small font…

          • LizEst

             His “The Three Conversions in the Spiritual Life” (formerly “The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life) is only 112 pages in the TAN version.  It’s sitting next to me right now!

          • http://www.rcspiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

            My mistake. You are right. I was thinking of the Three Ages of the Interior Life

          • Margarita

            @LizEst:disqus &@danburke:disqus: The length of Three Ages sounds more suited for individual reading than book club material. Perhaps the club might consider something else from his ouevre, but Scupoli first.

          • LizEst

            Yeah, “The Three Ages” sounds long. His “The Three Conversions,” however, is very doable at only 112 small pages. Of course Scupoli is first.

          • LizEst

            Dan–we’re both right!  It’s just that the shorter book is more doable as a book club.  Doesn’t hurt to mention the longer one, either.  Some may way to dig into that.

          • http://www.rcspiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

            Yes – they can definitely do it if they have a year free!

          • LizEst

            Too funny on the name change! 

          • jdobbinsPHD

             Lagrange would be an excellent choice.  He has several books, not just the three ages books.  I have not read anything of his I did not like. Another possibility is Fr. John Arintero, O.P., on The Mystical Evolution of the Church.  When I first began my spiritual journal, I had several questions and wrote them down so I would not forget them.  When I picked up the Arintero book I was gleefully surprised.  Page after page I was ticking off answers to my questions.

    • Margarita

      Er, I think I gave my own comment a thumbs-up. Did not mean to do that. Anyone else having trouble viewing the comment threads on Firefox?

      • LizEst

        Margarita,

        I most often use Firefox and have had no problems viewing the comment threads. And, so you gave your own comment thread a thumbs-up, it can happen. That’s fine…as long as you like your own comments.

        If you don’t like your comment, you can fix that by using the edit button. I tried that for the first time today. What a wonderful invention! I used it to correct some sentence structure. Could have used it earlier this week to fix a typo, if I had known.

  • Cynthia

    Wow. I am really lookiing forward to reading this book. I “suffered” through a very dry prayer time from January through April of this year. Even with a spirtual director to see me through and knowing that the aridity was a gift from God, it was still quite a time of testing for me. It will be good to have some pointers on what to do when that arid time of prayer rolls around again!

    • LizEst

      So happy for you that the aridity has lifted. 

      “Knowing that the aridity was a gift from God,” what did you learn from it?

      • Cynthia

        I learned so much! I learned to ask: 1. Is this dryness of me? 2. Is this drying of evil? 3. Is this dryness of God? and if it’s God’s gift to me, to fully surrender to it, to accept it, to let it be as it is.
        In the sitting and waiting I learned a deepening of what I already had: faith, hope, reliance on and love of God, reliance on and love of Mary, trust in each person of the Holy Trinity and in Mary, faithfulness, persistance, patience, courage, compassion, love of neighbor, stillness, and humility.
        For the last 25 years, I’ve been quick to say in every circumstance that “God gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him.” This 4 month season of aridity in prayer really put that saying to the test in me! I told myslef daily that I was cooperating with the Holy Spirit in prayer, just as it was, because God was giving me the very best of gifts that He had to give me, in that moment. Every day, in faith, I believed that God was changing me in this prayer even though I felt all alone with nothing happening. I was learning a new way of “being” with God. and I was definately experiencing a detachment from an attachment to consolations! It seemed like the world was completely empty of any presence of God; yet, in faith, I thanked God for His presence in me and around me and for the many Graces he was pouring out on me. Before the dryness I felt complete; in the dryness I knew I was being completed. In a downpour of Grace and Love from Above I couldn’t feel a single drop…maybe just a slight mist now and then. But I continued to believe in His love and mercy and graces given.
        During Holy Week, I realized that like Peter I was learning how to be led (when and to whatever the Holy Spirit was leading me) and how to wait (on God’s intention in my life, instead of on acting on my own intention). I was learning to accept God as he was revealing himself, instead of insisting on a prayer life of my own making.
        Last but not least, I learned to see a real purpose in the dryness when Jesus entered a childhood memory and completed a deeper healing in me of the fear of abandonment. Along with the healing, I gained more forgiveness and understanding of others, and a deep gratitude for them at the same time.
        Forgive me, Lord, if I’ve forgotten something…. I know You will give me more opportunities to grow in knowledge and love of You.
        I love you, Jesus, my love!

        • LizEst

          Wow, wow, wow! That was so beautiful. What terrific graces you have given. You are so very blessed…and we are so very blessed to have you among us in this venture. Thank you for sharing your story and yourself with us. Blessed be God.

          ps. Your spiritual director has been very good for you!

          • Cynthia

            Yes, may God bless all spiritual directors! And I thank God for bringing me into contact with my spiritual director…
            I look forward to getting to know God and myslef better as well as the other 400 people who have signed up for this journey!

          • LizEst

            Blessed be God, his mercy endures forever! He is faithful. He is just.

            …and he must love you very much.

          • Cynthia

            Amen! to God be the glory…

          • LizEst

            Yes! Amen! Amen!

      • Cynthia

        I learned so much! I learned to ask: 1. Is this dryness of me? 2. Is this drying of evil? 3. Is this dryness of God? and if it’s God’s gift to me, to fully surrender to it, to accept it, to let it be as it is.
        In the sitting and waiting I learned a deepening of what I already had: faith, hope, reliance on and love of God, reliance on and love of Mary, trust in each person of the Holy Trinity and in Mary, faithfulness, persistance, patience, courage, compassion, love of neighbor, stillness, and humility.
        For the last 25 years, I’ve been quick to say in every circumstance that “God gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him.” This 4 month season of aridity in prayer really put that saying to the test in me! I told myslef daily that I was cooperating with the Holy Spirit in prayer, just as it was, because God was giving me the very best of gifts that He had to give me, in that moment. Every day, in faith, I believed that God was changing me in this prayer even though I felt all alone with nothing happening. I was learning a new way of “being” with God. and I was definately experiencing a detachment from an attachment to consolations! It seemed like the world was completely empty of any presence of God; yet, in faith, I thanked God for His presence in me and around me and for the many Graces he was pouring out on me. Before the dryness I felt complete; in the dryness I knew I was being completed. In a downpour of Grace and Love from Above I couldn’t feel a single drop…maybe just a slight mist now and then. But I continued to believe in His love and mercy and graces given.
        During Holy Week, I realized that like Peter I was learning how to be led (when and to whatever the Holy Spirit was leading me) and how to wait (on God’s intention in my life, instead of on acting on my own intention). I was learning to accept God as he was revealing himself, instead of insisting on a prayer life of my own making.
        Last but not least, I learned to see a real purpose in the dryness when Jesus entered a childhood memory and completed a deeper healing in me of the fear of abandonment. Along with the healing, I gained more forgiveness and understanding of others, and a deep gratitude for them at the same time.
        Forgive me, Lord, if I’ve forgotten something…. I know You will give me more opportunities to grow in knowledge and love of You.
        I love you, Jesus, my love!

    • judeen

      arid times.. a time of testing.. strenghting, and earning spiritual gifts…
           for the next step deeper with God… we can stop it at any time.. telling God we can no longer do it.. but then later we have to go through it again.. look for what God is trying to teach you.. the faster you can understand what God is trying to teach you the sooner the dry hard times are over.. maybe it is pacience… or understanding.. or not being embarrassed of you faith .. so on… seek what God wants you to learn to grow in your job on earth

  • LizEst

    Welcome lacatholicmom!

    Yes, “The night is advanced, the day is at hand.  Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light…put on the Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 13:12, 14a.

  • LizEst

    “Nothing graces the Christian soul as much as mercy.”
    Saint Ambrose

  • LizEst

    Welcome Debbie!  I’m praying for you.

  • LizEst

    Ah yes, the gentle burning of the Holy Spirit.  You are blessed!

  • http://www.rcspiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

    True. When we struggle from a disordered negative self-perception we need to work on reprogramming ourselves to recognize who we are in Christ – thus the “Who Are You” post…

    • MarytheDefender

      Thank you for those posts! They’ve helped me a lot! I also loved the “Love Letter from your Father”

  • http://profiles.google.com/reinamedia Lorraine Keess

    Spiritual Combat is not just a “once” read. It is a book that you will go back to again and again. I have used it for many years and it always provides a fresh injection of spiritual fortification.

  • http://www.rcspiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

    I agree

  • LizEst

    Yes, that’s why St. Francis de Sales carried it around with him all the time. 

  • http://www.rcspiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

    Good stuff Suzanne. My wife and I are doing the same.

  • jdobbinsPHD

    Fr. Scupoli’s book is timeless.  When I first picked it up, I thought he was going to speak about some external enemy we had to fight.  It surprised me that he spoke about the internal warfare we have to wage within ourselves.  His wisdom comes through in every page. His spiritual exercises are very well structured.  In the discussions we have at my home, which we publish as a podcast, we recently worked through part of the book, Spiritual Combat Revisited, which is Fr. Robinson’s elaboration on Fr. Scupoli’s book.  Both are excellent.  Great choice for our first book club selection.

  • LizEst

    How wonderful that you got those questions answered.  That’s a great advert for your suggestion.

    Thanks jdobibnsPHD.  What is your doctorate in?

    • jdobbinsPHD

       The Management of Science, Technology and innovation.

      • LizEst

        That’s interesting.  How do you see God at work in your field?

        • jdobbinsPHD

          All of nature comes from God so when we study science we are studying the works of God. Innovation is using the creative gifts God has given us. Technology is the result of the application of those creative gifts. Some people use these gifts in evil ways, such as inventing ways to abort children. Others use their gifts to do good, to invent cures for disease or to teach. God permeates it all, but we have to be open to His inspiration. I teach my children to never forget that their talents are a gift from God, and they could just as easily have been born some other way, and so to thank God for what they do have.

          • LizEst

            Thank you so much this beautiful description of how God is at work in your field. God bless you!

  • LizEst

    Hi Vicki,

    Now that we’ve started with “Spiritual Combat,” would it be possible to post a list of the books you are planning for the book club (in the order that they will be read and their start dates)? That way, people can get them ordered in advance so they will have them in time to begin at the proper time. It means less confusion and less back and forth in the comments about not having the book, where does one get the book, etc. There could even be a post devoted to where to find the book(s) so as to keep the comments section on the reading material fairly free of the “housekeeping” stuff. Thanks.

  • Shannon

    I have a specific question and was wondering if anyone has some insights to share…
    I am a mother of 5 small people (8, 6, 4, 2, 9 mos). There are times/seasons in my awesome job of mothering that I am impatient and unkind and lack gentleness with the kiddos. With that said, as I read the chapters on “How we may know whether we are acting with self-distrust and trust in God” I was taken by the line, “if your sadness and discouragement is much…your trust in self was much.”
    After a hard day with my littles, I might feel a shadow of sadness or an overpowering sense that I did not respond to God’s call well that day. But additionally (and here is finally my point for discussion) I consider that my lack of virtue or my “fall,” as Scupoli calls it, does not just effect me. It is not so simple just to admit my weakness and look to God’s goodness and try again. It often strikes me that there is a little gaggle of children that have just seen me show the vice that I often ask them to curb, little feelings that are hurt, or memories being made of mom’s lack of virtue. Yes, the kids are so fast to forgive when I ask pardon, and many times they will wake in the morning fresh without any mention of the day before, but I still struggle with the fact that my “falls” are directly effecting the people whom I love the most. If it were gluttony, unkind thoughts, greed, jealousy, etc. those vices might go undetected, but my impatience is often seen and heard (and sometimes repeated) by all the little ones whom God has entrusted to my care. Any thoughts on how to weed through the self-trust and win the battle?

    • LizEst

      Hi Shannon,

      I am going to try to say this again…but hope this is not a duplicate response of the one I may or may not have posted. Sometimes, my typing is too uncontrolled for my own good! Here are some thoughts:

      Your experiences are common to many. But, unlike some, you are very self aware and are wise to seek counsel. I don’t have children but had my parents living with me over six years. Some of the issues are similar.

      Unchecked impatience/anger has a tendency to become more so over time because it feeds on itself. While some impatience/anger is justified (remember the finding of the child Jesus in the temple and Jesus’ cleansing of the temple), not all is (“If you are angry, let it be without sin. The sun must not go down on your wrath; do not give the devil a chance to work on you.” Eph 4:26-27). You are right to be concerned about those issues turning into hurtful memories for the little ones and/or having them pass on that impatience/anger to others (including their own children years from now). What has helped me (and may or may not work for you) are seven things:

      1. Make use of the sacrament of penance. Confess, confess, confess. The grace received in this sacrament helps break through self-trust issues.

      2. Have a formal course of prayer, specifically the Liturgy of the Hours or whatever a spiritual director might recommend, that you pray throughout the day. The Psalms cover the range of human emotions and are balm for the soul. In them, you talk to God and God talks to you. And, you learn much about yourself and God by this spiritual discipline.

      3. When parenting responsibilities crowd your prayer time, go tend to those responsibilities and, in doing so, offer it up to the Lord, knowing that you are going from serving God in prayer to serving Jesus present in your little ones. Then, return to your prayers when the opportunity arises. If the day comes to an end and you haven’t been able to keep up the prayer schedule, offer that up as well and resolve to resume the next day.

      4. Physical exercise helps dissipate some of that built-up impatience/anger. Perhaps you are already doing this!

      5. Do the proverbial, count to ten thing! Count to twenty if you have to! Think about Christ’s presence in the little ones.

      6. Seek a spiritual director, if you don’t already have one. Your pastor may be able to recommend one. Your diocese/archdiocese may also have a list of qualified directors that you could check into.

      7. Lastly, you don’t mention any issues with your spouse or your own parents here, nor would I expect you to, nor am I implying there are any. But, take a look at those relationships. Sometimes, the impatience and anger that expresses itself to little ones has a basis in those relationships…or childhood issues with playmates/schoolmates. If there are such issues and they seem insurmountable, get professional help with them.

      Finally, don’t give up on yourself. God doesn’t! Put your trust in the Lord and acknowledge his power and your own powerlessness over these things. I know people who have had impatience/anger issues all their lives. They improved so much that others believed they would be saints. It can be the case for you, too.

      God bless you, Shannon. May the Lord give you much grace and assistance in your quest to become more like Christ. May he complete the good work he has begun in you (cf Phil 1:6).

    • Kel Belle

      Shannon, I used to be this mother. The one that was short, impatient and struggling. Some of my children’s personalities grated on me so much I thought I’d never make it. I prayed so hard for help. It has been three years, but now I finally can say I’ve been transformed.
      1)Pray Pray Pray for discernment. My one son had a reaction to food dye and it made him a child that no one wanted to tolerate for long, it was difficult to handle. God showed me that it was the food dye that made him change. One priest told me that the Lord hears a Mother’s prayers.
      2)Daily Mass. I know Moms that have several little ones that take them. I use to go in the evening some days so I didn’t need to pack up everyone in the morning.
      3) Get rid of pride! Banish it in the name of Jesus, by His precious blood. Pride is the root of ALL sin and I say all discontentment. I never realized how much pride came in to play until I started banishing it every time it came up. If there was something that someone said that fed my pride, I banished the pride in the name of Jesus by His precious blood. I still do it daily and more than once a day. But I can tell you, that my MIL is living with us right now. I used to get irritated at the lack of help or personality issues. This is the first time ever that there isn’t the irritation. The only difference is banishment of pride. It feeds so much in our life of discontent, you’d be amazed.
      4) If you fall and get overly impatient and yell, run to confession and confess it out. Don’t let the devil have this accusation against you. We know he accuses us night and day. Confession is the key to staying in shape spiritually. (Every 2 weeks is my standard).
      5) One day in Mass a few years ago I was trying to concentrate on things and the kids were misbehaving and squirmy. I LOVE my children! I had this instant (regrettable) thought in my head “these children are in the way of my Sainthood.” I had an immediate rebuke in a voice that did not come from me that said “They ARE your path to Sainthood.” Wow, that one thing changed me drastically in my approach.
      6) I had a priest tell me when I went to confession that my sin was not bringing Jesus in to that moment. If I start to get worked up it’s hard for me to remember to bring Jesus in. So I have decided to ask Jesus to let me feel his presence ALWAYS at my right side. He is my constant guest. How can I yell if Jesus is over for the day?
      Don’t give up. They are your path to Sainthood and you’re going to break through this beautifully! God Bless, Kelly

  • MaryHMN

    I would like to join the book club but I am not sure how to sign up. I see that people are commenting here, but how did the 400+ sign up to be a part of it?
    I have started the book and enjoy it very much!

  • LizEst

    Welcome MaryHMN,

    We are glad you are joining us! Here is the link you need for instructions on sending an email to join, etc:

    http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/2012/06/10/spiritual-direction-book-club-how-do-i-join-it

    That will tell you what do do…just as the 400+ people did to sign up.

    Happy reading and commenting!

  • Bernadette

    Has anyone found a electronic version of the book? :-)

  • Deacon Paul

    I am still a bit concerned about how folks will view the “distrust of self” that the author uses very frequently. As you may recall, Fr. Richard Hauser in his book “In His Spirit” (p.13) says that a KEY to all spirituality is Trust of the Self. Here is a quote: “If God’s Spirit has truly joined our spirit, then we have every reason to trust the deepest inner movements of our natures.
    So I think we have to assume that the author of Spiritual Combat was thinking in terms of a reliance upon our own Self ONLY, rather than a reliance on God within me.
    Just an afterthought! :-)
    -Deacon Paul

    • http://www.rcspiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      Deacon – I may be wrong (it is a frequent issue), but on my reading, if I hold up this idea from Fr. Hauser (not having the full context) against what I know of the doctors of the Church, particularly Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, etc, he holds views that are in direct contradiction to their constant admonition to distrust self.

    • judeen

      Hi Deacon..,, I have been given this book several by a preist and others… it is a very good book,.. the reason He talks about distrust of self.. the devil will try to act as good and twist things.. test all things… the scripture talks about… some times things that come to mind are not you… and not God.. so it should have a conformation with it… if it is of God.. like readings of scripture from mass of the day.. or bible readings you pick up or lidurgy of hrs… of the day.. or even I ask God to conferm it with 2 other people telling me about it that dont know each other.. conformation. is the key.. alot of the times one will reconize God right away.. yet God is pleased when testing it…

  • http://melosbookshelf.blogspot.com Melissa

    This book sounds wonderful! I’m going to put in on my reading list!

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