by Fr Richard Heilman | November 23, 2015 4:36 PM
I’m very excited about these tools for training in holiness. I’ve been working on them for a while, and the project is finely coming to fruition!
The 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness, along with its companion, Combat Prayer Book, are both inspired by the original World War II pocket prayer book, My Military Missal (which is so cool!!). Even down to the size and appearance of the original World War II prayer book. Besides being a more portable size, we wanted to make them small and affordable for folks.
While most of those utilizing these military style pocket books will not be in the physical trenches of military combat, all of us are aware we are in the midst of many spiritual battles in our times, especially the battle to rise above our own carnal and base desires to become holy and chivalrous knights (and ladies) in loyal service of the Kingdom of God.
St. Pope John Paul II, who drew up his master plan for the new millennium, influenced the creation of this training. Thus, he called for pastoral initiatives that would focus on “Training in Holiness” and “Schools of Prayer.”
 The rallying cry as we enter into this training — “Chase Perfection, Catch Excellence!” — comes from legendary coach Vince Lombardi’s quote: “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Of course Lombardi, a daily Mass goer, was himself inspired by the very words of Christ: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
St. Paul reminds us that we are not entering this battle unaided, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor 10:4). This is why we are employing the very powerful 54 Day Rosary Novena as we embrace this imperative challenge. “With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26). We simply must call upon the power of God if we ever hope to conquer sin and evil, and this rosary novena has revealed itself many times over as a formidable weapon for defeating these strongholds. Trainees are asked to pray one rosary a day during this 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness. (See page 118 and following for information on the 54 Day Rosary Novena, how to pray the Rosary, and the traditional prayers for the 54 Day Rosary Novena.)
The daily reflections are this basic training in holiness. Drawing from the truths found in the Holy Scriptures, the saints, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the first 27 days focus upon the qualities of excellence toward which we are all called to strive. The second 27 days contain excerpts from the Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training for the Life in Christ.
The origins of this 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness came from a 2015 nation-wide online prayer campaign that began on August 15 (Feast of the Assumption) and went until October 7 (Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary). While participants were encouraged to add their own prayer intentions, the general intention was for life, the family, and marriage. As you enter this training in holiness, please feel free to add whatever intention(s) you may have, but please include the intention for your own sanctification.
I was hoping they’d be ready for folks to give as Christmas presents. Give the gift of holiness this year!!
You can find all of the “Tools for Training” here at RomanCatholicGear.com
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