- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Paraclete Press (April 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612612970
- ISBN-13: 978-1612612973
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Catching Fire, Becoming Flame: A Guide for Spiritual Transformation Paperback – April 1, 2013
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From the Back Cover
Are you just smoldering? Do you want to catch fire and become God’s flame?
“Fr. Albert embodies the message of this book. He is alive in the Spirit and engages others with the desire to fan into flame for God. This book and DVD are a must for an enriching parish faith sharing group or adult formation program.” -Catherine S. Sims, MDiv, Pastoral Associate, Director of Adult Faith Formation, St. Joseph Parish, Libertyville IL
“I have attended many retreats and presentations on the spiritual life. Fr Albert's stand out because of his unique ability to make God so close and approachable.” -Deacon Mark Cleary, Epiphany Church, Normal, IL
“Fr. Albert Haase invites us to get serious about the spiritual journey. His humor and use of stories guide those who are willing to catch fire and become flame.” -Sr. Monica Laws, OSF, PhD, VP Mission Integration, Hospital Sisters Health System
“This is Christian spirituality at its finest: bold, vibrant, and down-to-earth. After reading this book and watching the DVD series, you'll understand why Fr. Albert is invited all over North America to share his Franciscan wit and spiritual wisdom.” -Rev. Thomas Fowler, Pastor of St. Mary's Church, Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada
“Fr. Albert has the unique ability to grab our attention and not let go. He's an amazing storyteller and preacher who will help you discover the embers of the spiritual life that are smoldering deep within, just waiting to be set ablaze by God.” -Don Schneider, Director of Evangelization & Catechesis, Archdiocese of Denver
“This is a thoroughly ecumenical book in the best sense, one never loses sight of Fr. Albert’s Catholic perspective but readers from all Christian tradition will find help to grow in the their love of God.” –Dr. James C. Wilhoit, Wheaton College
Albert Haase, OFM is an award-winning author, preacher of parish missions, presenter of spirituality workshops, spiritual director, and co-host of “Spirit and Life” on the Relevant Radio Network. Visit his website at www.AlbertOFM.org.
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I've gone through seasons of spiritual numbness and wondered, "What's going on here? Am I missing something?" What does Haase's book have to say about nurturing the spiritual life? What is the "end-goal" of spiritual life for Haase and how does he say a person journeys in that direction?
*Catching Fire, Becoming Flame" is a helpful, accessible book that addresses the question of how to intentionally lay down your life for spiritual renovation. His chapters are short, the end of chapter questions go right to the heart.
The "problem" Haase address is the lack of awareness of how to engage life with God. Often we hear about forgiveness and the possibility of life with God, but we're often left wondering how to step into it. Haase's book is a collection of steps that one could take to practice paying attention to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit does renovation work on our souls (in the Spirit's own good time).
The book progresses in an increasing path of attentiveness and intentionality. It starts with a basic invitation into life with God - the kind of life you work to pay attention to in order to pour into the relationship. Toward the end, the practices and questions Haase writes are along the level of a very deep relationship. I compare this to how a couple who has been married for 30 years might talk and share life as compared to kids on their third date.
The most impactful phrase I felt Haase offered was, "Without a sense of mission, godly enthusiasm fizzles into bogus piety." (p.7) The goal, I appreciated, is to get caught up in life with God through the imitation of Christ. Instead of a "make me feel excited about my personal relationship with Jesus," Haase directs the soul toward mission, toward being "little Christ's" for the world around us - always assured of God's presence and love.
Catching Fire, Becoming Flame, is an excellent book for small groups, spiritual friendships, and even personal prayer and journaling. Haase provides a lot to think about and appreciate. It's also the kind of book you don't pick up and anticipate putting fully into practice all at once; it's more of a handbook of available ideas to enter into when needed and desired.
Haase suggests, “God’s longing to be in a relationship with us spreads like wildfire in the hearts of people who respond to it” (122). This book/guide is an invitation to be set on fire and to remain ablaze using all of the faculties each person has: “intellectual, emotional and sensual” (1309). Catching Fire, Becoming Flame is a text I will revisit often, and recommend widely.
There are plenty of discussion questions, and they are taking a chapter a week for reading, reflection, and discussion. It's inspirational and yet, allow for those who are not the "get up and shout about their faith" feel like they can catch fire spiritually and be a light for the world in their own way. The parish is very fond of this book and I have had the students recommend it many times over to others. Not too deep, very accessible.