Seeds of Truth Ministries

Joseph Hollcraft

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What is that one thing?

There is an old Latin adage: modus operandi, meaning “method of operation.” While today it has many applications (criminal investigations being one of them), one of its initial applications had a rich spiritual context. It was a phrase often employed to challenge Christians in how they were living out their baptismal vocation to love God and neighbor. In the spirit of this challenge, you might hear from the pulpit something like: what makes you tick? Why do you do what you do? Or possibly, what motivates you to get up in the morning? In other words, what is your modus operandi?

How do we go from a phrase meaning “a method of operation” to one of the great challenges in the early Church? The answer is found in the word method. The English word method comes from the Latin word methodus, meaning “a way of traveling or going.” The first Christians were called “followers of the Way” (Acts 9:2, 18:26, 19:9, 23, 22:4, 24:14, 22). “The Way” quickly emerged as code for being a follower of “the way, the truth and the life” (Jn.14:6)—Jesus Christ. Modus operandi emerged as a battle cry for the first Christians as it would often lead to an examination of conscience. To respond to one of the aforementioned questions (what makes you tick? Etc...), is to honestly reflect into what motivates you to do what you do. Essentially, the challenging question, however it is phrased, ought to bring out the best version of who God is calling you to be.

In light of the questions that encircle modus operandi, we are encouraged to ask new questions, such as: do I get up in the morning for strictly selfish gain ignoring selfless acts? Do I seek places of honor and prestige neglecting the simple folks I meet in everyday life? These questions (and many others) are necessary to the extent they encourage us to act against our selfish motivations.

So where do we start in overcoming our self-centered ways? It starts with that one thing. As I often like to point out, there is typically one thing we are too attached to. If you are having problems figuring out what that one thing is, it is probably the first thing you go to in the morning or the last thing you spend time with before you go to bed. Whether it be a game you are playing, a team you are rooting for, or a sitcom you are watching, whatever that one thing is, uproot it from your heart and plant something new and beautiful in place of it.

Pray for the grace of God that your new modus operandi, what gets you up in the morning, brings glory to God!

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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