Recording (download at Internet Archive):

About Jacob

Jacob Stange originally hails from rural Indiana where he was homeschooled with his 10 siblings. He now lives in Dayton where his wife leads the home & school for their three children, and supports Jacob’s hobbies. Jacob has dabbled in everything from board games to blacksmithing, calligraphy to carpentry, automotive to martial arts. But he found his real love when he lost his job and discovered that the most exciting adventure is a life lived in the Spirit —no matter what you do.

Today, he is a software developer and teacher, spending most of his spare time with his family, working on programs for his parish, and baking.


Where is God? God is here. Make it personal.
When can we talk to him? Now.

Baltimore Catechism: Why are we here? To know love and serve God so that we may meet Him.

CCC 2684 Spiritualities come in many forms

Spiritual life – journey in discovery of God and ourselves

John 16:8: Holy Spirit will convict us in sin
Doesn’t remind us of our sins (devil does that); brings the love of god into our life and sins

Holy Spirit is our guide on this journey

Dr Jacque Philippe — In the School of the Holy Spirit

  • Spirit guides us by inspirations (movements of heart)
  • To receive more inspiration:
    • Obey the ones we get (humility)
    • Interior conversion (penitence)

Continuous conversion by gestures of reconciliation
PILLARS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE: Fasting, prayer, almsgiving (mercy)
(express conversion in relation to self, God, world)
Foundation (inner) and fruit (exterior)

Almsgiving a kind of mercy

From a sermon by St. Peter Chrysologous (5th c.):

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other.
Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.

How do you break into the loop?


Living, ongoing relationship – requires consistency
We get to know people thru frequent, continuous, intentional encounters.
CCC 2565 In the new covenant, prayer is living relationship of children with father
God knows what’s best for us better than you or me
When you have talked with God, you won’t be able to keep it yourself. It will propel you to bring God to others.

Where is God? Here.
When can we talk to him? Now. Let’s do it.
Say one prayer. Then another one. Then another. Don’t delay. Don’t put off praying because you don’t think you can do it right.
Do it, even if you’re doing it wrong.
Prayer requires practice.

“We have to be willing to do the ridiculous so God can do the impossible.” – Mother Angelica

5 steps of daily personal prayer

  1. Get comfortable
    • You might fall asleep, it’s ok
    • God’s had many people fall asleep in his embrace
    • Think as a parent: aren’t you happy to have your kids fall asleep in your arms?
    • Discomfort might be a distraction, esp. starting out
  2. Read scripture
    • Every time you read scripture, it should make you uncomfortable
    • Friend: “When you get closer to the Lord, you realize what a lousy friend you are.”
    • Before you speak to God, let Him speak to you.
    • CCC 2587 The Psalms teach us to pray
    • Psalm, Gospels, Readings of the Church
  3. Have guided meditation
    • Recognizes that I don’t have all the answers
    • Magnificat, Bishop Barron, One Bread One Body
  4. Have some silence
    • Then, tell God what’s on your mind based on what he’s told you
  5. Take notes/journal
    • Will help reflect on where you’ve been, plus remind you of god’s fidelity, love
    • While I’m getting comfortable in the morning, I reflect on the previous day


You don’t know how fruitful your prayer can be until you’ve fasted with it

St. Peter Chrysologous – Fasting gives life to our prayer

CCC 1430 Interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures, and works of penance

Builds a hole in our lives, need to fill it (with prayer!)
If you think it’s not being filled, it’s being filled by sommehting you don’t want

Consistency – fast on Fridays
Fridays we remember death, Sundays we remember resurrection
Daily penance finds its nourishment in the Eucharist

Follows the model of redemptive suffering

John Paul II – apostolic letter – Christian meaning of human suffering
Christ: suffered voluntarily, suffer innocently, suffered out of unconditional love
Suffering more than anything else preps the soul for redemption

Isaiah 58 – fruits of suffering – guidance from God, renewal, healing, freedom, justice, …

Principle: When I am weak, I am strong in the spirit.

Luke 4 – Jesus fasts for 40 days, then Holy spirit brings Jesus grace to start doing ministry

Acts 13 – While Church of Antioch is fasting, Paul and Barnabas receive call to ministry

St Ignatius – Life of St Anthony of the Desert– when the enjoinments of the body are weak the soul is strong


  • Friday fast
  • Stop eating between meals
  • Stop using seasonings, salt, etc.
  • Music fast
  • Give up ice in drinks, cream in coffee
  • Bread and water fasts

Let the Holy Spirit suggest a fast to you

Don’t do extreme asceticism on your own, get a spiritual director
“He who has himself for a spiritual director, he has a fool.” – attr to Teresa of Avila


St Peter Chrysologous―Fasting bears no fruit if not watered by mercy
Matthew 25―where we see Jesus

How to practice:

  • Almsgiving―a generosity beyond tithing (special form of mercy: those in poverty have a preferential love
  • Corporal/spiritual works of mercy

Spiritual gifts (~32 of them)

3 legged stool: humility is the foundation of prayer


  • What does intercessory suffering look like?
    • Is it a model of prayer? Not really. Is it an attitude? Moreso.
    • St Terese of Lisieux: I choose all [everything that happened to her]
  • How do you teach your kids about these principles?
    • He doesn’t make them fast, but tries to instill in them thinking about others
    • CCC 2685 Prayer w/kids
  • How to recognize movements of the heart
  • Why won’t we like the next thing the holy spirit suggests?
    • It forces us to change.
  • How do you balance mortification with just being hard on ourselves?
    • Don’t leave tonight and do something too extreme.
    • Sainthood is not as rare as people think.

Closing prayer: from Evangelii Gaudium section 3