About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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"Oh, what sighs I uttered, what tears I shed, to mingle with the waters of the torrent, while I chanted to Thee, O my God, the psalms of Holy Church in the Office of the Dead!"
— Isaac Jogues, upon finding Goupil's corpse (1642)

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The Way of Love: One Step at a Time (INTRODUCTION)
published 18 November 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

THE WAY OF LOVE: STEP BY STEP
A 100 Day Spiritual Marathon
by Ronda Chervin, Ph.D.

What you will read now is part of a series of 100 spiritual challenges. Each blog can be viewed separately, but for maximum benefit a reader needs to start with the introductory blog of November 18, 2011, and then continue step by step. Day One begins on Sunday, November 20, 2011.
    [ Click here for 100 STEPS ]

Introduction

The Way of Love: Step by Step – a 100 Day Spiritual Marathon came about in this way: “Why don’t you write a blog, Ronda?” one dear friend asked? “Why don’t you write one of those lovely daily meditation books, Ronda?” And, finally, “Why don’t you write a blog for our web-site, ccwatershed.org., Ronda?” Since ccwatershed, it a delightful web-site featuring new sacred music presented by admired dear friends, I decided to pray about it. After writing many blogs about my daily observations concerning Catholic living, and enjoying it no end, I got a desire to shift the format from unrelated meandering thoughts to something more organized, more pungent, more vital.

I wanted to write something that would deal with a passionate concern of mine about myself and others – how is it that I, and many of my closest friends, long and yearn to be holy, defined by me as having nothing but love in our hearts, and yet it doesn’t happen. As well as love, we find pockets of anger (the bad kind), anxiety, discouragement, disgruntlement… and other unloving emotions. And how is it that these don’t yield to the graces of daily Mass, the rosary, liturgy of the hours, adoration, or talking to Jesus all day?

My diagnosis was that our prayers and thoughts are often too vague so that we can be in denial of our worst patterns of thought, word and deed in spite of general prayers to be more loving. My remedy was to write for my blog-readers a 100 day book, not of sweet meditations but, instead, of challenges. I wrote it. I tested out each one on myself ,with ardent prayers for God’s help, in the writing and the practicing, with the result that some of my nearest and dearest thought I had improved greatly.

A few notes: The Way of Love: Step by Step is a sequel to a series that includes these booklets: What is Love? Overcoming Obstacles to Love and Making Loving Moral Decisions to be published by Simon Peter Press (Johnnette Benkovic’s publishing outlet.) The challenges offered in the Way of Love: Step by Step involve primarily smaller sins, faults, and defects of character. If you are a Catholic, to overcome big mortal sins requires sacramental confession.

Each Page of the Way of Love: Step by Step will include
a Scripture,
a challenge,
an example,
space for you to put in your own victories of love for that day,
my prayer for on-going help from God to grow in the way of love
and space for your prayer for help from God.

If you don’t like writing, you can simply think about the challenge during the day and make mental note of your victories.

Each week will have a theme such as gratitude, more loving conversation, trust vs. anxiety…14 themes in all. Hopefully, the insights gained and the week of practice will set up a pattern so that you will want to continue, for instance, being more grateful, not just for the week of the challenge but for the next 100 days… and why not for the rest of your life! Warning! Sometimes if we begin to work on a sin, fault, or defect, we can become depressed. We might actually like to be angry as a sort of protest and, then, feel bored when we are more peaceful! Persistent negative feelings may be a signal that we need more than these blogs to overcome spiritual obstacles. Additional remedies could be spiritual counseling, psychological counseling, charismatic healing prayer, theophostic prayer ministry, Unbound deliverance ministry, or free self-help groups such as Emotions Anonymous, Recovery International for anger, fear; and depression. I, Dr. Ronda, am not a counselor, but if you wish to reach me concerning any blog in this series you can do so in the comments box. If the Holy Spirit inspires me with a helpful response, I will send it to you.

Another warning: don’t get discouraged if you fail to meet the spiritual challenge of each day perfectly. Each failure can become the impetus to do better in this area in the future.

Let us step forth on the way of love with this Scripture as our challenge: “You are the temple of the living God, just as God has said: I dwell with them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people. Since we have these promises, beloved, let us purify ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and in the fear of God strive to fulfill our consecration perfectly.” (2 Corinthian 6:16b; 7, 1)

Let us pray, dear God of love, you know my deepest desire is to have a heart filled with love for you and all those I encounter. Send the Holy Spirit to inspire and correct me – step by step.

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda Chervin by visiting RondaView. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website, rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.

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