I’ve been reflecting lately on signs of hope springing up in seasons of darkness and suffering.

Pope John Paul II, for example, observed a deep attraction toward spiritual practices in contemporary society.  He also observed that God is still calling young men to the priesthood and many more young men and women to religious life. Pope Francis also recognizes this spiritual renewal and has asked for spiritual accompaniment to be provided, especially to the poor.

These are powerful movements of the Holy Spirit in our times. They remind us of the rising tide of grace with which we have been especially blessed.

These wonders in our midst stand in the face of the oppressiveness of secular culture, grave scandals in the Church, and a general sense of lethargy towards the things of God.

These works that the Father is accomplishing are hidden from earthly vision. The spiritual fruit that He is multiplying defies any effort to measure it.

We have an enemy who has great interest in keeping our eyes on what appears to be dead and dying but through the stirrings of the Holy Spirit, the Father wants us to see what He is about and through His Son, join in his great work.

I noted that Dan referenced The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in his email earlier this month.  I was reminded of the scene in which Edmund, as a prisoner of the witch who has long held Narnia in winter, begins to notice signs of an emerging thaw: “Every moment the patches of green grew bigger.  Every moment more and more of the trees shook off their robes of snow.”

There are patches of green unveiled for a new generation of believers as we engage the fray.  We simply must lift the eyes of our hearts to what is above.

Stirring up our faith allows us to see the great works that God is accomplishing in our midst. The Father wants to share these with us because it gives Him joy when we join Him out of love to accomplish the wonders of His love in this passing world.

He is so hidden from earthly vision many have forgotten what He is accomplishing in times such as these, but when He invites us to share in the harvest, what joy and blessing we receive!

This joy and blessing is the true story of the Avila Foundation. The Holy Spirit stirs spiritual hunger, vocations, and the desire for a deeper fellowship in every generation, including our own, and Dan Burke has pulled together and organized a wonderful group of leaders and teachers to respond to this wave of spiritual renewal in our time.

Whether it is Dr. Joseph Hollcraft and Fr. Dennis McManus in the High Calling Program, or Claire Dwyer in Spiritualdirection.com, or professors such as Dr. Andrew Seeley and Dr. Kevin Vost in our school of spiritual formation, the whole Avila family has found the joy and blessing in our dedication to making known His message.

But it’s not just about how we’ve found the joy; there are thousands of supporters of Avila who have also found the joy. Supporters like you.

We want to share this joy and blessing with you by inviting you to join us in reaching our goal of raising $300,000 by the end of the year.

It is because of a rising tide of grace that those in Avila have been able to help provide spiritual nourishment from the wisdom of the saints to new generations of hearts hungry for God. Will you enjoy this rising tide with us?

We invite you to make a gift today and join a worldwide fellowship in the heart of the Church. You can make your gift here: https://secure.spiritualdirection.com/cye2022 

It would increase our joy if, by your prayers and gifts, you came to see with us how powerful God is working in communities all around the globe.

But to answer God’s call, we need your support.  Without your help, we will be lacking in the gifts and resources that God needs to accomplish His will in the many souls entrusted to us at this particular concrete moment of history.

Will you help us accomplish God’s will and reveal His glory?  Your support today means that the signs of spring and hope will no longer be hidden from view.

Please join the mission here. https://secure.spiritualdirection.com/cye2022

Sincerely in the Lord,
Dr. Anthony Lilles
Chief Academic Officer, Avila Institute

Image courtesy of Unsplash.


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