I've been making a sincere attempt to increase my personal holiness. It's baby steps, and sliding back is part of the deal. But I pick myself up and say, "Sorry, God, that I'm so bad at this," and keep trying.
And it's starting to have real-world effects. Things I've been asking for during prayer time come pouring in... and things I've never asked for happen all on their own.
For example, I've started to attend Adoration and Mass several times a week before work, which makes me half an hour late for work but is so worth it.
I came home this morning to frantic bosses and coworkers who were all on a conference call. An ongoing marketing campaign needed to be changed ASAP because the data showed the sales figures were in decline.
Normally, I would have been just as frantic and flustered—especially since I missed part of the conference call that kind of centered around me as the copywriter, oops—but today I was as cool as a cucumber.
I usually panic easily, which is why you don't want me around in a real crisis situation, but this time I was as calm and composed as can be... and the problem ended up being resolved in under an hour.
So, my point here is, if you make your "Holy Manifesting" goal HOLINESS instead of any of the other, smaller, purely materialistic goals, you will get everything.
Remember, God created us for Him, and as soon as you start turning to Jesus and ask Him to help you live out the purpose you were created for, suddenly your life will begin to WORK.
The 21-Day Holiness Challenge
Yesterday, I saw a YouTube video where a Romanian priest talked about how you can literally become a saint by incessantly praying the Jesus Prayer. It's very short and goes like this:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
When I was still a New Ager, I used to sing affirmations in the shower and found this a powerful method to manifest. For some reason, the sung word seems to penetrate much deeper into our subconscious than the spoken word—maybe because it circumvents the analytical mind and directly feeds our soul.
Recently, I found out that the Divine Mercy Chaplet (that I now pray every day, together with the Rosary) can actually be sung... and when I heard about the Jesus Prayer, I wondered if I could sing that too.
Immediately, the traditional English folk song Greensleeves popped into my head, and guess what, its melody and rhythm work perfectly with the "lyrics" of the Jesus Prayer. I tried other songs later, just to see if this was a coincidence, but none of the others worked as well.
Here's the melody if you want to try it. Just repeat "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God" 3x and then "have mercy on me, a sinner."
Then, this morning during Adoration, Jesus made this 1960s pop song pop into my mind, with one small change:
"Bend me, shape me, any way you want me;
as long as you love me, Lord, that's all right.
Bend me, shape me, any way you want me;
you got the power to turn on the light."
Here's the original song if you need the melody.
He does have a sense of humor, that's for sure.
I know this may sound crazy, but I dare you to sing either one of these songs—the Jesus Prayer or "Bend Me, Shape Me"—in the shower, in the car, when you're washing the dishes. Sing it all day long, whenever you get a chance. Nobody else has to hear it.
Do this for 21 days, and I bet you anything you will be a changed man or woman at the end of those 21 days.
I'd love to hear your updates on how the Challenge goes! Send me your thoughts and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m in the midst of reading C.S. Lewis’s phenomenal book, Mere Christianity. If you read at all, it is well worth reading this. It’s been giving me one A-ha moment after the other.
I have the pesky habit of highlighting important passages in non-fiction books. In this one, almost everything’s highlighted—to a degree that the unmarked parts stand out more than the marked ones.
What really hit home with me was his chapter on Pride, one of the seven deadly sins and in Lewis’s eyes, the greatest of all. More than any other vice, pride is the devil’s sneaky way to inflate our egos and tell us that we’re better than everyone else.
This element of competition, says Lewis, is what makes pride so pernicious. Greed will make you crave more than you already have, but pride will make you crave more than your neighbor has.
“We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking, there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest."
This enmity can even be found in spiritual life. Whenever you feel better than someone else—even holier than someone else—it’s your pride talking. Whenever you feel especially powerful, it’s your pride talking. Because pride wants and delights in having power. Power/control over others, power/control over your life, power/control over matter.
You see where this is going. The entire Law of Attraction movement—you could say the entire New Age movement—is all about power and control.
Sure, it disguises itself as self-empowerment and feels really, really good.
Who doesn’t like to hear that they’re an incredibly powerful creature?
Who doesn’t like to hear that they’re a “co-creator” (the slightly humbler version) or like a god... that, in fact, God the Almighty doesn’t exist and that we humans are the manifestation kings and queens that, once awakened to their full potential, make the universe go round?
Remember, pride is what made the devil the devil.
Lucifer, the greatest of God’s angels, refused to do what was expected of him because it was beneath his dignity.
It was what Satan whispered into Eve’s ear in the Garden, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil], your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)
Being like God is what Satan has promised mankind throughout the ages. It’s what he promised Eve and it’s what he’s promising us today in the form of worldly power, magick, spellwork, and the Law of Attraction.
Here’s what Lewis has to say about this:
“It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life. But you can see why. The other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell. It is purely spiritual: consequently, it is far more subtle and deadly.”
I’m not all that far along on the road to humility myself, so this is where I stop giving you advice about achieving it. But C. S. Lewis says the first step is to realize that you’re proud. I’d say the second step is to get a conversation with God going and ask Him to help you develop greater humility. I’m sure He’ll be happy to oblige.
Here's the link to this amazing book again, in case you want to read it.
If you're anything like me, I know that you, my fellow Manifestation Kings and Queens, are impatient to see results. Aside from the question, "How do I manifest that special person?" the most frequent question I get is, "How long is it going to take until I see results?"
A year ago, I would have answered this question a lot differently than today. Then God gave me a swift kick in the butt—on November 4, the day after the US election where I ran for the office of Vermont State Representative (and lost)—and reminded me of the importance of acknowledging that He is in charge.
Instead of "manifesting" by the power of your own will, utilize the power of His Will... and wait for the good things He has prepared for you. You won't know the day or the hour, but if you listen and show a willingness to work with God, He will likely give you something much greater than what you asked for.
Just remember that obedience is a big, big part of this. As Steven Furtick shows in this video, not every one of God's requests is convenient to follow, but if you just roll with it, He will bless you beyond measure. And your ultimate reward is literally out of this world.