Seeds of Truth Ministries

Joseph Hollcraft

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God is the Protagonist

As you walk into our home through the mudroom, and turn to your left, you will see something recognizable to all homes with growing children: vertical boards alongside the door with pencil dashes and numbers. The pencil dashes and numbers represent the marked height of each child on their birthday. This past week, my attention was drawn to the growth in all four of my children.

Human growth is a strange thing (as is growth in all living organisms), it is not something the eye can observe. As much as the eye strains to observe growth, it just won’t—it can’t, and yet, growth still takes place. In the case of my children, the pencil dashes and marks show this reality, the reality of growth taking place over time.

Growth in the spiritual life is not dissimilar to human growth: you never see it take place, but it does, in fact, take place. If we attend to the needs of the soul in the same manner we attend to the needs of the body, the soul grows, expands, and like physical growth, it does so over time, but the question arises, can one measure spiritual growth?  Saint Paul reminds us that only the fool passes judgment upon the relative value of his spiritual growth (cf. 1 Cor 4:1-6). Essentially, human boasting beyond what God has done through Christ Jesus is folly (cf. 1 Cor 13:1; Rom 5:11). “Whoever boasts should boast in the Lord” (2 Cor 10:17). If we are given the eyes to see growth it is to extol and praise the work of God inside of us. Consider the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Mary was blessed among women for the fruit of her womb and most of all for her faithfulness (cf. Lk 11:28). How does she respond to such praise? With humility. She affirms the source of her blessedness with her great Magnificat: “my soul magnifies the Lord” (Lk 1:46). Mary recognizes at the deepest level her being magnifies the goodness of God because God’s goodness put it there. In other words, it is the grace of God that brings us into an awareness of what He has done for us, and as He does, our spirit rejoices in God our Savior (cf. Lk 1:47).

Mary reminds us that God is the protagonist of our growth, and if we remain lowly like Mary, God will reveal Himself to us. Jesus tells us that he “reveals” himself to the lowly, the “little ones.” Interestingly, the Greek word for reveal is “to unveil.” Only God can take away the veil and he does so to the lowly. Herein lies the great paradox of spiritual growth. If we wish to attain the heights of spiritual growth, we must remain small. As I walk through the mudroom today and see those pencil dashes and numbers, I am gently reminded to be small!

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Unleashing the Power of Intercessory Prayer - Book Cover

“Hollcraft's book engagingly integrates his personal experience with the luminous witness of Scripture and the overflowing holiness of the saints to help you maximize the effectiveness of your intercessory prayer.”
Bishop Liam Cary
Diocese of Baker, Oregon

“With this book, Hollcraft opens the door to the humble act of praying for others and invites us, through practical and accessible tips, to step through that door with trust.”
Dr. Anthony Lilles
Author and Academic Dean of Saint Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park (CA)

"As I read through these pages, I am reminded of our beautiful calling to pray for others, and Dr. Hollcraft explains here how to do so in deepest intimacy with Jesus Christ!"
Fr. Dave Pivonka T.O.R.
President of Franciscan University of Steubenville

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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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