Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life."

John 14:6

Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. To be his disciple is to follow his way to the truth according to eternal life. It is not just a matter of knowing basic prayers. Discipleship means making the faith part of who we are.

What follows includes links to reflections Fr. Jeff offers following his reading of various books on spirituality. If you are interested in these topics, we encourage you to read the books in their entirety.

St. Francis De Sales was a bishop who very much wanted to help others live a devout life. With this in mind, he wrote the Introduction to the Devout Life. Here are links to a series of articles that Fr. Jeff wrote following his reading of the Introduction to the Devout Life (Written 400 years ago), it is available in various translations. Fr. Jeff read the 2015 version, published by Ignatius Press (San Francisco) and the Augustine Institute (Greenwood Village, CO).

1. "What Does It Mean to be Devout?"

2. "Purification in the Devout Life" 

3. "The Devout Life – Prayer" 

4. “St. Francis De Sales on Virtues”

5. “More on the Virtues from St. Francis De Sales”

6. “St. Francis De Sales on Friendship, Fasting, and Modesty”

7. “St. Francis De Sales on How Words Matter” 

8. “St. Francis De Sales on Recreation” 

9. “St Francis De Sales on Marriage and Widows”

10. "St. Francis De Sales on the Battle Against Temptation"

In his Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis De Sales guides us in battling temptation. We must understand that the devil is a real threat. In The Screwtape Letters," C.S. Lewis portrays a conversation between the devil's workers, who themselves say the devil is most powerful when we think he doesn't exist because we let our guard down. Fr. Jeff writes three articles on battling evil based on his reading of Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness by Fr. Dwight Longenecker (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press. 2020).

1. "Does Evil Exist?"

2. "The People of the Life"

3. "Our Weapons Against Evil"

Fr. Jeff recently wrote an article, "Angels: Good and Bad", following his reading of ​Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield's book Angels: Our Guardians in Spiritual Battle (Huntington: Our Sunday Visitor. 2022). The book is on angels in general. We include it here for what he offers about the devil as a fallen angel.

St. Benedict is known for his Rule of St. Benedict for monasteries. His rule is relevant to all of us. Below are the links to a series of articles Fr. Jeff wrote following his reading of Judith Valente’s book, How to Live: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing. 2018).

1. “Being Spiritual in the World Today”

2. “Striving to be Disciples of Christ”

3. “Overcoming Anger with Prayer”

4. “Community and Balance of Work in the Rule of St. Benedict” 

5. “Living Simply as Instruments of God’s Mercy”

6. "Leadership in the Rule of St. Benedict"

Some people think the Bible is outdated and, hence, not relevant. Some Catholics practice Reiki and/or new-age spirituality that contradicts Catholic spirituality. Here are the links to three articles Fr. Jeff wrote on these practices.

1. “More on Fortune Telling and Reiki in the Bible”

2. “Crystals, Exorcisms, and New Age”

3. "New Age and Mindfulness"

Is there a spirituality meant for men? Fr. Jeff wrote the following articles after reading Sam Guzman’s book, The Catholic Gentleman: Living Authentic Manhood Today (San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 2019).

1. "Are You For Real?"

2. “More from “The Catholic Gentleman”

3. “We Need to Stand for Something”

4. “How Do You Look at Things?”

5. “Work, Sainthood, and Holiness”

6. "Final Reflection on ​The Catholic Gentleman"

In addition to several of the articles above, other blog articles by Fr. Jeff on spirituality can be found on his blog at http://blog.renewaloffaith.org/?cat=1039.

We also suggest reading Fr. Jeff's article "Earthly Attachments" and viewing his presentation, Are They Rules or a Way of Life? On how we look at the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes.

Of course, don't forget to check out the topic of prayer from the menu bar at the top of this page.

Created 5/6/23