Seeds of Truth Ministries

Joseph Hollcraft

radio host • evangelist • catechist

More Blog Entries

Sin (Like a Virus)

World War Z , staring Brad Pitt, is an apocalyptic horror film that is centered around a human virus that spreads through bites, which changes the chemistry of the brain and transforms humans into creatures (zombies) that behave like rabid animals. In the movie, panic spreads and whole countries go... Read more

Love Never takes a Day Off

Upon returning home today, I was greeted by a number of inconvenie nces: a malfunctioning water heater, an overflowing toilet, and a decapitated rat (sorry for the explicit reference). As I walked through the door and began to assess the first step in dealing with these problems (yes, the toilet... Read more

The Church is Calling: Be A Mystic!

Often, we hear the word mystic, and think of such words as rapture, ecstasy, visionary, and so on. On one hand, rightfully so, the likes of Saint Padre Pio and Saint John Bosco, to name a few, are known for their “mystical” experiences of bi-location and the like. But there... Read more
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Tugging and Pulling

I once told my wife, who is a Physician Assistant in Dermatology, that she is going to one day save my life. In my teenage years I spent a lot of time out in the sun, so this was no embellishment. As it turns out, she did, as described below.

Recently, my wife noticed a dark and strange spot on my shoulder. Consequently, we had the odd-looking mole biopsied (a sample of tissue taken to examine it more closely). The biopsy came back as an early form of melanoma cancer. We immediately set up the surgical procedure to have it removed. The surgery went well and the recovery process began.

In the days following the surgery, there was some soreness, but nothing out of the ordinary. While the wound was healing, I felt my skin tugging and pulling. This was natural, my wife told me. Approximately ten days later, the suture was removed, and the experience of the jerking of my skin started to wane.

In those ten days, while the wound was healing, I sensed the Holy Spirit inviting me to consider an important truth to the spiritual life.

On one hand, I was made to consider the importance of tending to a “wound seen” and how applicable this was to the spiritual life. For example, if we do not tend to our self-inflicted wounds (sin) that we “see” in the Sacrament of Confession, then they may ravage our soul like a cancer, eating us up inside. On the other hand, however, even after we tend to our wounds, it would be a mistake to ignore them. How do we do this? By listening to our conscience.

In the spiritual life, God has given us the gift of our conscience, an interior voice that directs and guides, ultimately helping us distinguish right from wrong. The more formed our conscience is, the clearer this interior voice will help us choose wisely. A well-formed conscience has a way of tugging and pulling at our hearts to be more “firmly resolved, with the help of God’s grace, to sin less and avoid the near occasions of sin” (Act of Contrition). In other words, a well-formed conscience is a sure guide and reminder that although we may have repented of our sin, those self-inflicted wounds, we still need to be resolved to grow in virtue and avoid growing impatient as God’s grace works in our hearts to overcome sin in our lives. (Incidentally, in the span of those ten days, my suture started to get irritated and I needed antibiotics to calm it down. As it turns out, even after the melanoma was removed, the tugging and pulling of my skin had me evaluating the state of my wound). The same occurs in our spiritual life: even as we cooperate with God’s grace and healing, we have to be diligent in allowing a complete healing to occur in our hearts.

When my wife noticed the odd-looking mole on my shoulder, I had a hunch it was in fact melanoma, and what I one day joked about—her saving my life, would soon be a reality. What I did not anticipate, was in the tugging and pulling of my skin, I would be made to reconsider how the conscience, as an interior voice, tugs and pulls on my heart to make life-saving decisions.

A Heart for Evangelizing - Book Cover

“Evangelization is never about numbers, and never about programs. It’s one heart setting another on fire. With this book, Dr. Hollcraft helps us keep the home fires burning—even as we set the world ablaze with Christ.”
Mike Aquilina
Award-winning author of more than 40 popular books

“Hollcraft wonderfully displays the tapestry of Catholic life and evangelization by weaving solid Catholic teaching, its application to the modern world, and clearly expressed examples that bring out the light and shadows of this beautiful picture.”
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
Author, television host, Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center
for Biblical Theology

"In a world of burgeoning textbooks and media, the reminder that  catechesis is inescapably a personal task to which we are all called, through a cooperation with the redeeming and educative work of the Person of the Holy Trinity, is a timely and important one."
Dr. Petroc Willey
Professor of Catechetics, Franciscan University of Steubenville

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Tugging and Pulling | Joseph Hollcraft


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