For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…

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…but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. (Ephesians 6:12)

 

Yipes! Spiritual warfare goes on all around us. Can you imagine what that looks like? Angels and demons are pure spirits with no bodies so we can’t see this. Would it help you in your spiritual journey to see these battles going on? Or would it terrify you? Would it do both?

Come on a journey with Roland, Keefe and Jarret West and the other teens from award-winning Roland West, Loner and from Life-Changing Love in this brand new YA release. This story has a twist: part of the story is told by Jarret’s guardian angel. So you’ll get to see firsthand the spiritual challenges, battles, failures, and victories in all of their glorious and terrifying grandeur! Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. But I loved researching for and writing this story, and I think you will love it too.

 

PRAISE FOR BATTLE FOR HIS SOUL

“This book will get you thinking about the spiritual battle waging all around us, and your guardian angel that fights for you. I have recognized my guardian angel more in my life since reading Battle for His Soul.”   ~Lisa Mayer, author of The Arrow Bringer

“Teens, maybe more than the rest of us, focus on the here and now. That’s why Battle for His Soul is a must read. It’ll widen your ideas about temptation, prayer, mercy, and God’s call in your life.”    ~Carolyn Astfalk, Christian romance writer and author of Ornamental Graces and Stay With Me

“After encountering this novel, you will never again think of angels as being far away! Another page-turner by an author at the top of her craft.”    ~Susan Peek, author of St. Magnus, The Last Viking and many other saint stories for teens and children

battle-for-his-soul-frontSynopsis:

Jarret West, a rich teenage boy, has been accustomed to having control over others and getting his way. When his life begins to fall apart, his guardian angel Ellechial hopes now is the time for his conversion. Jarret must be freed from the deep clutches of Deth-kye, the demon bent on seeing him in hell. The fate of several others depends upon Jarret’s conversion.

While Jarret gets ensnared in Deth-kye’s traps, Ellechial can provide little help since Jarret doesn’t pray, doesn’t believe, and hasn’t listened to him in years. Ellechial hopes Jarret’s twin brother, who has recently found God, will be able to influence him. But Jarret goes on vacation with his father and younger brother where temptations only increase. Meanwhile, Jarret’s twin and other teens form a prayer group and begin to pray before the Blessed Sacrament unaware of the power they provide the angels. Though Ellechial gains strength, Deth-kye wins victory after victory. His weapons: emotion, vice, and memories. Who will win the battle for Jarret’s soul?

Battle for His Soul is available as a paperback and eBook through Ingram Books, Amazon, and by request at your favorite bookstore, and in various eBook formats through Smashwords.

Loving Lent

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I love the season of Lent. The bare trees. Bleak weather. Diving into the Scriptures. Stripping away all that is extra and committing to give more of self. Okay, “love” might not be the right word. But I know I need Lent.bible

It is a nice reminder of how weak I am. I make grand commitments and forget them within a few days. Sometimes I think the less things I decide to do, the better chance I have at success. But that’s not true, either.

So I take it day by day, trying again to remember my pledges to prayer, sacrifice, and charity. And trying to be spontaneous, too, open to the little trials and opportunities God sends my way.

There are so many opportunities in the family: finding ways to make others happy, turning the other cheek, working without grumbling . . . Or how about doing something you really don’t want to do, like cleaning and organizing parts of the house that have been forgotten?nonfiction

When I fail, I’m motivated to get back up because I know that through prayer and self-denial, God changes me. He turns me away from selfishness and worldly pursuits and back to Him!

I also think of Lent as a time to redouble my efforts to help the suffering souls. They can’t pray for themselves. But we can pray for them!

If you are looking for something to read this Lent, this is a good nonfiction. Hungry Souls by Gerard Van Den Aardweg

How is your Lent coming along? Are you sticking to your sacrifices and prayer commitments? How many times do you forget and have to start over?

Communion of Saints

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Is there anyone in the world today who has not heard about the exemplary life of at least one of the saints? Mother Teresa of Calcutta spent her entire life caring for the poorest of poor in India, turning to and trusting the Lord with the greatest and smallest of tasks. Watch even one documentary about this saint and you will be amazed at the miracles that occurred frequently as a result of her prayers. Pope John Paul II is another modern saint. He is recognized for helping to bring down the Berlin Wall and end Communist rule in Europe. He touched the lives of the great and powerful and the little and forgotten, fearlessly bringing the truth of Christ. “Be not afraid,” was his message to the Church.

1 Peter 1:16 says, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Saints are proof that the holiness that God calls us to is possible. And why shouldn’t we believe it? For we know that with God all things are possible!

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How holy are these people? Before a person is declared a saint, their life and writings are thoroughly investigated. Witnesses are interviewed and the local bishop must find them to be worthy of this formal declaration. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints may then accept this application or conduct their own investigation. But then the Church waits on God. No one is declared a saint until God performs two miracles, usually a healing, through this person’s intercession.

Why does the Church declare a person a saint? Is it important that we have men and women officially declared as saints by the Church?

The Catholic Church believes that anyone can become a saint, whether a priest or religious, married or single. The call to holiness is universal and obtainable by anyone. The proof that this is obtainable is in the lives of these saints, these men and women that put their entire trust in God and lived according to His will.

We have assurance that those who the Church has declared saints are with God in heaven. And since we know they are face to face with the living God, with confidence we can ask them to pray for us.

Before his death, Saint Dominic said, “Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.” And Saint Therese of Lisieux said, “I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.”

Have you given much thought to the Communion of Saints? What saints have you turned to for prayers in your time of need? How have they helped you?

Next week I will share the special miracle that happened when I turned in prayer to our Blessed Mother sixteen years ago.

Theresa Linden, author of Roland West, Loner.

The Lonely

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We know that God is everywhere and that we are surrounded by the cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. But almost everyone feels lonely at times. Mother Teresa said, “Material poverty you can always satisfy with the material. The unwanted, the unloved, those not cared for, the forgotten, the lonely: this is a much greater poverty.”

Who are these lonely people? The elderly whose children no longer visit? The physically and mentally handicapped? Those who are not called to the religious or married life and so live alone? Or does loneliness affect all of us, and too often?lonely-814631_1920

Statistics show that families today make less effort to eat dinner together. People attend less clubs or meetings than in the past. Friends are not even invited over as often as before. Is this the result in developments in technology? We communicate with text messages and email. We prefer solitary entertainments, electronic games and social media, to face-to-face activities.

Are we creating a society of lonely people?

How aware are we of the cloud of witnesses that surround us? Can turning our attention away from self-gratification and toward the spiritual realities be a remedy for loneliness?  Can it rid us of loneliness and help us find our purpose while inspiring us to reach out to others?

God is everywhere, and He calls us into the Communion of Saints. We are not meant to find our meaning or satisfaction strictly in the things of this world. We are pilgrims on earth. Other members of the Communion of Saints stand before the face of God, contemplating God himself and praying for us. We have not been forgotten by them. And we should not forget those around us still struggling on this pilgrimage of life.

“Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all graces, and the life of the People of God itself.” (CCC 957)

Theresa Linden, author of Roland West, Loner