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7 Ways To Start Sowing Your Spiritual Garden – Faith Formation

Here are seven ways to get started on growing spiritual roses in the area of faith formation:

Diving Into Apologetics

Faith FormationAnswering Typical Evangelical Protestant Objections
ObjectiveIncrease familiarity with typical objections that may be raised to Catholicism and engage with them
Seedtime55 minute video (audio suffices, but you need to make notes)
Feedtime1 hour
DirectiveTake your notes from the video and study them for an hour according to the instructions given below.
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

Take some time to read over your notes and familiarise yourself more with the objections that were raised and answered. Here are some further points to consider for further study (you don’t have to cover them all, but do what you have time to in the hour):
Here is an article that gives some additional points on how the saints might hear us in Heaven. Study it and see if it would give you anything more you could say on this issue.
Here is a joint declaration by the Catholic Church and Lutherans regarding the nature of salvation. Does anything in it help you to deepen your understanding of the common ground you can affirm with many Protestants before dealing with differences of understanding here?
– Take any issue raised in the video in which you feel the question was not wholly resolved, or could have been done so in more detail, and see if you can research to find more information or a clearer articulation of it.

N.B. Something this further study should do is encourage you that precisely because the work of developing apologetic understanding is never finished, you should NOT be afraid to engage with it. Matt dealt well in these debates, and he is a pro at this – even so there is always further to go in Catholic teaching. He also had no problem saying there were areas he didn’t know enough to answer fully. Never fear getting into discussion, and never fear saying you need to study more and return to the conversation later.

Introduction to Scripture Study

Faith FormationHow to Study Your Bible
ObjectiveGet started on structured Scripture Study
Seedtime34 minute video (audio suffices but you may want to make notes)
Feedtime1 hour
DirectiveDuring the video, make a brief note, specifically of those things could help you to pray with Scripture.  Take an hour with your Bible (or two half hour periods) to explore your Bible, using those notes as your aid.
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

NB. Regarding the main guide Fr. Columba speaks about, it can be found on Amazon here.  You may wish to buy it for further Bible study, but if you just need a few pages to help lead you into one hour’s worth of Bible study for this rose take a look at the online sample (click on the picture of the front cover).  If you have a Scribd account, the Ignatius Study NT mentioned is on there.  And if you don’t have a Bible, apps and online versions abound!

Did you like this Starter Rose? Would you like to go further in studying the Scriptures whilst giving Roses to Mary? Take a look at our further options for Scripture Study Roses!

Becoming AcQuainted with ST. Thomas Aquinas

Faith FormationIntroduction to Aquinas 101
ObjectiveBecome acquainted with St. Thomas Aquinas and his method of teaching
Seedtime30 minutes (four videos, averaging less than 5 minutes each)
Feedtime1 hour (approx 10 minutes reading to accompany each video)
DirectiveWatch each of the videos, and study the ‘Course Reading’ that will be linked below it.
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

To find the material for this Rose, click here to go directly to the course on the Thomistic Institute website, where all will be laid out. Remember that it is not enough for the Rose just to watch through the 6 videos, and your study of the Course Reading should average about 10 minutes per video to ensure taking the necessary time to process what you are learning.
N.B. Course reading for lesson 5 is quite short – this is OK because lesson 6 may take extra time. At the same time, in the Thomistic reading in lesson 6 the objective is to take practical steps in getting used to engaging with his writings, rather than having to study in detail all points made – so don’t worry if you don’t have time for the latter!

Did you like this Starter Rose? Would you like to go further in studying St. Thomas Aquinas whilst giving Roses to Mary? Take a look at our continuation, which sets out a framework for growing roses all the way to the end of the first series of Aqunas 101!

Getting Started with Spiritual Reading

Faith FormationThe Importance of Spiritual Reading
ObjectiveBecome familiar with the importance and benefits of spiritual reading for our spiritual lives and make a plan to benefit from it
Seedtime30 minute video, making notes
(N.B. Video lasts 67 mins, you only need to listen to the first 30!)
Feedtime1 hour
DirectiveMake notes as you listen according to the instructions immediately below this box. Use these notes after listening for further reflection, thought and study, then apply this reflection to a time of spiritual reading.
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

Instructions for note taking:
Three categories: Write in brief note form a list of as many of the benefits the author attributes to spiritual reading as you can. Make a similar list of the dangers he states can be avoided or healed thereby. Make notes on any advice he gives as to how one should approach spiritual reading. If you need to stop and start the video do so, this stopping and starting can count towards your ‘feedtime’. Clear notes will be a help to the second part of the task.


Questions for reflection and study after listening (30 minutes):
Look over the notes you have made whilst listening. Separate out those things which are familiar to you, those which you found interesting or gave you a new perspective, and those which you struggle to understand or accept – or simply disagree with! Consider your present practice and how you could challenge yourself and grow in holiness more through reading. Take some time to make concrete resolutions as to your pattern of spiritual reading, both in terms of time commitment and of content (ideas here), based on your reflection. The time allotted to this task allows for the making of a reasonably detailed plan, so don’t cut corners.

Application of reflection (30 minutes):
Based on your resolutions, and the material you have decided is most important for you at this time, take a book and read! Give 30 minutes to reading, including in this time any opportunities to stop and reflect or take notes as you may feel prompted.

Engaging with the times as a Catholic

Faith FormationEngaging With the Times
ObjectiveSeek to deepen one’s capacity to think and respond in a Catholic manner to daily life
Seedtime23 minute video
Feedtime1 hour
DirectiveSpend one hour working on how to put the content of the video into practice – instructions are given after the video.
To check out how these boxes work, click here!
  1. Spend 15 minutes thinking about and jotting down the fundamental truths and values that you believe underlie your outlook on life and responses to things – if there is a difference between those that do influence your responses and those you feel should, jot down these latter too. When you have jotted that which you can think of, number them in order of importance.
  2. Spend 15 minutes checking the news. As you do, make a quick not of your mental and emotional responses to the headlines and articles you encounter.
  3. Compare your two sets of notes carefully. Can you see any places where your responses are less directly correlative to the values than you would like them to be? Can you see any indication of an order of priority other than that you assigned? Take ONE area of faith that you can identify being more formed in could improve your responses to things and study it for 30 minutes. The resources on this page may be of use.

Faith formation and Evangelisation

Faith FormationEngaging with the Importance of Formation for Evangelisation
ObjectiveEntering into personal Faith Formation so as to become a more effective evangelist, studying the essays of Frank Duff.
Seedtime45 minutes
Feedtime1 hour
DirectiveSpend about 35 minutes with each essay. Read through it (usually about 15 minutes) then spend whatever time remains re-reading, thinking and praying about how you can apply it, and making notes.
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

Essay 1 – Thinking in Christ
Essay 2 – Brainwashing with Clear Water
Essay 3 – Crowds

The real presence of jesus in the Eucharist

Faith FormationStudy on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
ObjectiveDeepen our understanding of and devotion to Jesus, Truly present in the Eucharist
Seedtime73 minute video (audio suffices)
Feedtime1 hour
DirectiveListen to the video. Take about 20 minutes with each of the further materials given to do further study.
To check out how these boxes work, click here!

Further Reading Materials:
Eucharistic Sermons of the Cure d’Ars – choose a few and pray with them
Ecclesia de Eucharistia – Read through the titles of the Chapters. Pick One. Spend 20 minutes reading it carefully.
Eucharistic Miracles – Read about these five Eucharistic Miracles, then choose one of them and for the remainder of the 20 minute research it in more detail.

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