Seeds of Truth Ministries

Joseph Hollcraft

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I still recall as a young boy walking to our local grocery store, and one of my older brothers going underneath a bridge to find some crayfish. At the time, I had no idea what he was doing, or why he would be doing anything other than getting to the... Read more

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What is the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning—if not, before we get out of bed? Stretch (and yawn). We do this instinctively. Our bodies need to stretch after a good night’s rest, because it loosens our muscles and helps blood circulation. Stretching is more... Read more

The Son Becomes the Father and the Father Becomes the Son

In June of 2006 my wife and I went to the theatre to watch Superman Returns. As usual, I did not leave disappointed: from the imaginative cinematography to the engaging storylines, the movie moved swiftly along, but it was one encounter that had the hair on my skin stand up... 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.

View Dr. Hollcraft's author profile on Amazon
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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