Tag: The Fulfillment of All Desire

Encountering Forgiveness in Uganda

Leaders meeting Uganda 2017 (9)
Offering praise at a leaders’ retreat in Uganda.

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 Renewal Ministries’ newsletter, which you can view here.

By Nancy Greenhaw, Country Coordinator

This trip was very powerful. We facilitated a discipleship school with 145 leaders from most of Uganda. Some of our most interesting conversations occurred during meals, as our Ugandan brothers and sisters shared their experiences. One example is this story from Robert Tumuhimbise, the National Coordinator of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in Uganda. It demonstrates the unique obstacles encountered in Uganda.

Robert’s team was doing a Life in the Spirit (LIS) seminar for young men who had been captured by and then rescued from the Kony Rebels. As they began the talk on God’s love, a young man jumped up and shouted, “SHUT UP!” In the shocked silence that followed, the young man screamed out, “I was taught by my mother to pray, and we daily prayed the rosary. My family and I were captured by the Kony Rebels, and my father, who was injured, couldn’t keep up, so they clubbed him to death. When my mother cried out, they gang raped her, and after all the soldiers had finished, they cut her throat, and she bled to death. Where was your God of love then?”

The young man and two of his friends left, and the team stopped for the day. They invited people to come by their quarters for tea and cookies. They were surprised when the three young men who had stormed out came by just to chat. They actually came back for cookies twice! One team member finally told them that she didn’t understand the ways of God and why He permitted such horrible things, but that the same God had also rescued them, and they shouldn’t forget that. That word was the bridge that helped them begin to dialogue. They eventually went through the LIS, forgave, and asked God into their hearts to heal the hurt and give them a new life. Only God can heal a wound that deep.

This mirrored an experience we had a couple of years ago. One young woman told us that the Kony rebels had come into her village and brutally murdered many people, including her mother and father. They also committed other unspeakable atrocities.

She asked if she must forgive. I still do not know of an adequate answer, but I told her that when she forgave, she did not give up her right to justice. She only gave up her right to judgment and gave that to Jesus, to whom it rightly belonged. I told her she would see justice with her own eyes at the Final Judgment, and that justice would be more terrible than anything she could ever imagine. We pray God’s truth will set her free.

Emmaus Center

This is our sixteenth year at the Emmaus Center. They always say, “Welcome home!”—and it is like coming home. The people are loving and welcoming—it’s a little piece of heaven. This major force for good has influenced not only Uganda, but countries all around Africa. Most of the CCR leaders we have encountered in Uganda were formed by Emmaus’ programs.

While we were there, we spoke with Frances Auno, who lost her young adult daughter last July. It is still a gaping wound. The healing is quiet and hidden, but God is lighting the path one long day and one excruciating step at a time. I am awed by the faith of Frances and her husband. It was a blessing to sit with her and to hear her story. It is always difficult for a community leader to share deeply with those around her, and she felt safe. Thank You, Jesus!

Praise and Thanksgiving

At the beginning of one of our presentations, it began to rain, and it got louder and louder, until it was almost deafening. The rain was a tremendous blessing, as there had been a severe drought for months. In some areas, the people were so hungry, they were boiling leaves from trees to stay alive.

Therefore, we decided to praise the Lord in thanksgiving until the rain stopped. The praises of God rose over the leaders. The dancing quickly exploded, with the line of people dancing all through the church. And the rain didn’t stop until the hour was over! Everyone was happy, and many said the praise of God and the much-needed rain was the testimony and the answer from God. We then went to Adoration and Mass.

Holiness

One excellent talk came from Rose Keifer, a CCR interpreter, international speaker, and bestselling author who lives on faith. She is single, but adopted her late sister’s children and other orphans. She is a remarkable woman—an example of the fruit Renewal Ministries has borne in Uganda and throughout the world. She spoke on the universal call to holiness, reminding us that being in the CCR is not about conferences, missions, or saving souls; it is about holiness. She quoted often from Ralph Martin’s book The Fulfillment of all Desire: “Holiness is not an option!” “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be added to you as well” (Mat 6:33).

Holiness does not come from saying rosaries or participating in Jericho marches. Holiness is aligning our will with God’s will and accepting the circumstances He chooses for us. When we focus on anything other than Christ, we become like Martha and start to complain. We try to become God by telling God what to do. We see this in Luke 10:40: “But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’” She was ordering God around! Too often, we do our will in God’s name, not God’s will for us.

I also spoke on practical steps to holiness: repentance, faith, and forgiveness. Repentance is a change in our minds that leads to a change in our actions, not just feeling sorry for something. Sin has two components, rebellion and deception. We can repent of the rebellion, but if we still believe the lie, we will repeat the sin. When we sin again and again and cannot control it, we tend to justify it.

Also, forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. It is a gift we give ourselves; holding on to unforgiveness is like drinking poison while hoping the other person gets sick!

Touching Jesus’ Cloak

Before one of our healing services, Lloyd described when Bishop Sam Jacobs set the monstrance on a small table at the foot of the altar; put candles on the table; knelt behind the table, holding the monstrance; and invited the people to kneel before the Lord and tell Him their needs.

Just like the woman in Scripture who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed, he had people touch the cloth around base of the monstrance and then go to the side of the room for prayer. It was extremely powerful.

Fr. David Byaruhanga, the national CCR spiritual director and an exorcist, wanted to lead his people in prayer that way as well. Fr. David held the monstrance, and they were permitted to touch the cloth around it as they told Jesus their needs. He stood for over an hour, holding Jesus in front of the altar, and people came to speak to Jesus about their problems, touch the hem of His garment, and go to the sides of the church for prayer. Sometime during the service, Fr. David began to tremble, as power went out of him!

We are seeing an increase in healing and freedom in Uganda! Thanks for allowing us to serve.

Scott Hahn, Matthew Leonard extend praise for ‘The Fulfillment of All Desire’

FAD 10 Years

Fellow Catholics are continuing to extend their appreciation for Ralph Martin’s The Fulfilment of All Desire during this year, which is the ten-year anniversary of the book’s publication. You can click here to listen to a recent interview Ralph did with Matthew Leonard on The Fulfillment of All Desire and the call to holiness. Also, Dr. Scott Hahn recently included the following letter as part of Emmaus Road Publishing’s newsletter:

***

“Instant classic” is a term that sometimes gets thrown around too casually. But that was my assessment when The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints by my friend Ralph Martin was published ten years ago—and events seem to have confirmed this designation. It has been the best-selling book in the history of Emmaus Road Publishing and a personal favorite of more than a few leading Catholic bishops, priests, scholars, and authors.

Since the book’s publication, Dr. Martin has continued to write and speak and serve as the president of Renewal Ministries. He is the director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was appointed by Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and as a theological expert at the Synod on the New Evangelization in Rome.

All of this proves what I know undoubtedly to be true: That Ralph Martin knows keenly the needs of the Church today. And that is why now, more than ever, we want to place The Fulfillment of All Desire into the hands of Catholics who are thirsting for the deep waters of prayer and the spiritual life.

As Emmaus Road celebrates the tenth anniversary of this beloved classic, I urge you read and share the book in order to help enflame souls with the inspired wisdom of Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Catherine of Siena, and all the other spiritual masters who provide illuminating instruction in The Fulfillment of All Desire.

Yours in Christ,

Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

***

Read more about The Fulfillment of All Desire here.

You can purchase The Fulfillment of All Desire here!

 

Msgr. Pope Lauds ‘Fulfillment of All Desire’

FAD_Msgr Pope

This year is the tenth anniversary of the publication of Ralph Martin’s book The Fulfillment of All Desire, and the book recently received a great gift—a glowing recommendation from Msgr. Charles Pope.

He writes, “Of all the books on prayer I recommend, The Fulfillment of All Desire by Dr. Ralph Martin is at the very top of my list. Anyone for whom I have been a spiritual director will attest that my first request of him or her is to obtain a copy of Dr. Martin’s book and begin reading it.”

The article also includes a Profiles in Faith video interview with Ralph Martin.

Read the full text here.

Purchase a copy of The Fulfillment of All Desire here!

Ralph Martin Appears on ‘Bookmark Brief’

FAD 10 Years

Ralph Martin will be appearing on EWTN Bookmark soon to discuss The Fulfillment of All Desire! Until then, you can catch a sneak-peek of the interview with Doug Keck on Bookmark Brief!

This book, which draws from the wisdom of seven Doctors of the Church to help us better understand how to progress in the spiritual life and advance in holiness, celebrated the ten-year anniversary of its publication this summer. You can read more about it here!

‘Fulfillment of All Desire’ Marks Ten Years

FAD 10 Years
Background Image Credit

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the release of Ralph Martin’s book The Fulfillment of All Desire. This book draws on the teaching of seven doctors of the Church to present an in-depth study of the journey to God. One Amazon.com reviewer noted that the best summary of the book is found on page 229: “We’re all in desperate need of God, of His forgiveness, of His love, of His Holy Spirit, and all of us need to abandon our pride, admit our need, and come to the foot of the Cross to receive mercy and forgiveness. And we need to stay there.”

During the past decade, the book has found success not only in numbers of sales—on Amazon.com the book has 134 reviews and a nearly perfect rating—but also in hearts touched and lives changed. In fact, the book is now used in more than twenty-four seminaries, novitiates, and universities. Ralph noted that “one of the first reviewers of the book, the president of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, predicted that the book would become a ‘classic’ and become the standard spirituality text in seminaries and universities.”

Ralph described the process of writing the book as “a labor of love—lots of labor and lots of love.” He said, “it overall took about ten years to write the book, from when I was first strongly awakened by the grace of God to the depths of wisdom in John of the Cross’ Spiritual Canticle—at an airport in Zurich, Switzerland—to when I finished reading all the major writings included in the book and integrating the insights of those doctors of the Church into the book.”

It was very important to Ralph that his work shared the saints’ teachings in a manner that was accessible to many people: “The depth and practicality of their wisdom meant a great deal to me and still does,” he said. “I very much wanted to help those who have been attracted to this wisdom in these saints over the years to gain access to it in a more comprehensible form. I am profoundly grateful to God that He helped me to do this in a way that has benefitted so many people from so many walks of life and levels of education. In fact, one of the responses that has most moved me came from someone who volunteered that he had only an eighth grade education and that he was finding the book immensely helpful. Thanks be to God!”

Reviewers on Amazon.com agree that the ease with which they can understand the book is a big part of why they love it. One reviewer wrote, “In a very accessible style, Ralph Martin presents the teachings of six of the greatest saints in Church history, who by their lives and writings have bequeathed to us a treasury of wisdom. It’s amazing how clearly Mr. Martin plumbs the spiritual depths of the likes of St. John of the Cross, St Augustine, and St. Teresa of Avila, among others, in such a way as to make their writings both compelling and comforting at the same time.” Another reviewer noted, “The strength of this work is its accessible language; it is well written and opens up topics and authors that are not always approachable.” Another agreed, “You broke down the writings of these great saints without watering them down.”

Reviewers also seem to agree with Fr. Benedict Groeschel, who declared when the book was first published that “this is a book to keep at your place of prayer for years to come.” One reviewer said, “It is a ‘keeper’ to be read again and again. To ignore this book is to do yourself a great injustice. It is simply wonderful beyond words.” Another said, “If you are serious in your spiritual journey, you will keep this around, and read this one again and again. I’ve owned this book for three years now, read it as many times, and it is still an amazing reference. Its permanent home is not on my bookshelf, but on the table near where I pray, underneath my Bible. It truly aids in one’s faith journey by giving the thoughts and practices of some of the most holy saints and allows one to feel he/she too can travel in their paths to a richer and more joy-filled relation with God.”

Reviewers also commented that they appreciate The Fulfillment of All Desire because it can act as a spiritual director, when one cannot be found. “This is a ‘must-have’ for spiritual direction,” noted one reviewer. Another remarked that, “it is not easy to find spiritual direction today. Most of us will have to make do with books. There are some excellent classics, of course. But Dr. Martin has written a modern classic. This is a true gem that takes you gently by the hand and leads you along the classic way of the saints.”

Ralph concluded his reflections on the book’s anniversary by noting, “I am really grateful to God for allowing me and this book to be used by Him to help so many souls to make progress on the spiritual journey.”

The Fulfillment of All Desire can be found in Renewal Ministries’ Online Bookstore!

This article originally appeared in Renewal Ministries August 2016 newsletter. Click here to view the entire August newsletter!