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The Chapter Review Podcast

Listen to Ray discuss the intent behind writing TRJ Father’s Guide in the interviews. Share in the awareness that the chapter discussions are meant to provide toward preparing all men of good intent with the tools to navigate well through their physical lives.

About The Hosts

Bill is the Founder of Patchwork Heart Ministry, a non-profit [501(c)3] Catholic Youth, and Young Adult ministry. He inspires, engages and challenges young people to live their faith boldly by example and through storytelling and media initiatives.

Bill hosts Young Catholics Respond, a weekly podcast and radio show that is part of the Breadbox Media, Light of Life, Living Bread and Evangelism Radio networks. He sews hope into broken hearts by recounting his journey of faith. His story has been featured on an episode of Shalom World TV’s Triumph  and several radio programs and podcasts. He is a self-published author of three works, Soular Quest: An Autobiography (2012) a short imaginative story that details his triumph over childhood struggles; Contemplative Stations of the Cross (first edition 2016 & second edition 2018) a devotional booklet featuring the fourteen traditional Stations of the Cross, and A Contemplative Las Posadas (2019), an Advent-themed devotional reflecting upon the journey of St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother to Bethlehem.

Bill is an Eagle Scout and holds a BA in both Theology/Religious Studies and Television/Radio Production from the University of Scranton, PA. He is a member of the NSC Council for National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and serves as a Discerner for the Charismatic Renewal in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Bill Snyder

Bill Snyder

Host

    

Raymond Haywood

Raymond Haywood

Co-Host

      

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 1

Chapter 1: The Masculine Journey, Before we can intentionally lead, we must first humbly follow.

To understand our roles as husbands and fathers, we must first understand what it truly means to be a man. God’s vision for a man’s place in the family is not reflected clearly in the eyes of a young man at this moment in time. Society’s questioning of gender, equality, and family structure is very confusing to a young man coming into this role. The reality is that the decisions we make as husbands and fathers will lead our families into either living “in and of this world” and all that has now become our new norm, or living in and of the Word “in a foundation of faith,” which will cascade moral fiber and family values into the generations to come. These facts understood is the intentional father’s call to action.

Chapter 1: The Masculine Journey, Before we can intentionally lead, we must first humbly follow.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 2

Chapter 2: Our Thoughts Are Not Our Own, Deciphering the narrative.

Society has conditioned us to look down on people who hold deeply spiritual beliefs as weak or irrational. This notion is built on the argument that if so many religions exist in the world, then how can any one of them be true? Society holds up as the “true intellectuals” those who are “smarter” than any religion, those who rise above the “superstitious” notions of the “simple-minded.” Could this be intentional? How did this point of view become our reality? Is it possible that we have been conditioned to think this way from generations of manipulation? Free will allows us to choose our own direction in our physical life. Free will also allows us to choose (or reject) a relationship with God in our spiritual life. We must be aware that we have this freedom to choose, with the knowledge that it is easier to tempt to vice rather than to virtue, while we approach chipping away daily at understanding our sinful nature and choosing to separate ourselves from it. The plain truth is that there are two driving forces in the world that motivate the work that we do: Good and Evil. Which force do we employ to drive the work that constitutes owning and understanding our free will? What forces do we allow to penetrate our hearts, minds, and souls? How do they affect our perception of reality and Truth?

Chapter 2: Our Thoughts Are Not Our Own, Deciphering the narrative.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 3

Chapter 3: The Wedges of This World, Chipping away with moral intent.

Let’s consider how the wedges of the world separate us from our spiritual destiny, and how this effect cascades into all other parts of our lives. The reality we all live with is that the world is filled with “wedges” that are intentionally placed to chip away at man’s faith and separate him from what is true and real. We need to become diligent in identifying these factors in our day-to-day lives. Our journey depends on our daily intent to keep ourselves and our families living a sacramental life within a world of sin. Our journey is not an easy one…. We all face relentless attempts in our day-to-day lives of acceptance in our new norm in the court of public opinion that unconsciously drives wedges between man and his faith, between husbands and wives, and between fathers and their families.The task of identifying these wedges is almost impossible for someone who is not actively working towards owning his own personal relationship with God. If we are not truly conscious of our faith, and the worth of our soul, and the souls of the family we are nurturing, then “living in and of this world” becomes the norm.

Chapter 3: The Wedges of This World, Chipping away with moral intent.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 4

Chapter 4: Traditional Roles, Trinity of the family – mother, father and child.

Within this chapter, we gain an understanding of God’s view and the worldly view of traditional roles as they apply to our families. We explore both views and how they cascade into all other aspects of life as we now know it. St. Paul explains to us God’s view in his letter to the Ephesians (5:21-25): “Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it.” In the sacramental union of marriage, man and woman become one. Do we see this truth shared, accepted, and reflected in married life today? When we look around us do we see men worthy of this responsibility – men who truly know their place in the families they are supposed to be nurturing? Do we see men who know their place in their own lives? Husbands and fathers not understanding their God-given responsibilities within their families has led to women taking on the role of head of the family, which often becomes a cyclic pattern that perpetuates into following generations, which has now pushed down and emasculated the hearts of many boys and young men. Confusion of the will needed to take their rightful place in the masculine journey has now become the result and the reality we are all faced with today.…

Chapter 4: Traditional Roles, Trinity of the family - mother, father and child.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 5

Chapter 5: Owning Your Own Faith, Adolescent Catholics

For those of us born into the Catholic faith (cradle Catholics), we look at our Catholic upbringing and its worth as we develop from childhood through adolescence into adulthood. We explore how preparing for and sharing in the sacraments helps build within us a foundation of faith that leads to virtuous decision making throughout all of life. We look at how living in and of this world leads many to fall away from their faith and to form self-defined truths that cast doubt on Church teachings. And we look at how all these facts combined cascade into the families we are nurturing. We define that through acceptance and understanding, we can own our own faith journey, which leads us to discernment and resting peacefully in grace and clarity of truth. With a healthy understanding of what it takes to chip away at our daily pursuit of “owning our own faith” we will come to understand that God will make each step easier in our efforts. His reflection of love for our efforts will be undeniably seen in every step we take towards owning our own faith. This reality will strengthen the will of the faithful so that their efforts may stay focused on all that is needed to chip away at sin and to fight the good fight daily as we continue to identify and rise above our sinful nature.

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 6

Chapter 6: The Arch of Life, St. Joseph hands on these tools himself.

Man’s work is to build a solid faith within himself and within his family. To build the arch of faith, man must go through the stages of Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master Carpenter, each of which generates varying degrees of self-awareness about one’s own faith. As we go through the stages of the arch of life, we come into a full union or awareness of our faith, resting easy in God’s grace and the truth it makes clear. The third stage calls to mind the trade that was handed down from St. Joseph to Jesus, just as our faith is handed down from our heavenly Father to us. Let’s look at our spiritual journey as it is outlined here in “the arch of life” and consider how it applies to the lives we lead and where we are personally in our own arch of life….

Chapter 6: The Arch of Life, St. Joseph hands on these tools himself.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 7

Chapter 7: Perception Is Reality, Trading tradition for trend.

Perception forms our sense of reality. In this chapter, we look at how false perceptions are formed for those living in and of this world and how these engender false realities that firmly place wedges between the Church and its members. We see how the desire for instant gratification, aroused by cultural trends, leads the misguided away from their foundation of faith and from the fullness of truth that is seen clearly only through God’s grace. Fathers must become competent to the fact that continuously exposing their families to false perceptions of truth will have consequences revealed in future generations who do not share in the foundation of faith nurtured into the will of the family through the sacraments and the holy sacrifice of the Mass. As fathers, we need to take time out to identify and focus on the competencies and intent needed to nurture our families on these facts.

Chapter 7: Perception Is Reality, Trading tradition for trend.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 8

Chapter 8: Borrowing a Rote Faith, What is love if there is no joy?

Definition of Rote:  A memorizing process using routine or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension; mechanical or unthinking routine or repetition; a joyless sense of order…

Many cradle Catholics have borrowed a rote faith from their parents, who have also borrowed a rote faith from their parents, and so on…. This behavior has become so prevalent within the Catholic Church partly due to the way Catholics learn the faith – which is primarily in a classroom setting through Catholic schools or faith formation classes in our adolescent years. For many, the sacraments are merely requirements that must be completed, and their meaning in our lives has never been revisited since our childhood. Yes, the foundation of faith (via the introduction of the sacraments within the faith community) has been built within the will of young Catholics, but if this foundation is not continuously nurtured and reinforced within their family life, they will find no comfort in the rite of the Mass or the repetitive cycle of the liturgical year. They will experience no joy as they enter or leave the Mass because their faith is not owned but merely borrowed. How is this habit strengthening the hearts and souls of the families you are nurturing? Taking ownership of your faith, the successes and the failures, does not come from a life lived by passively doing the work at hand or merely copying the work of others. We must fight the temptation to simply “go through the motions.” Instead we must commit to understanding these facts and shedding the blood, sweat, and tears required to do the heavy work of building a faith that lasts.

Chapter 8: Borrowing a Rote Faith, What is love if there is no joy?

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 9

Chapter 9: Handing on Our Faith-Filled Gifts, The Sacraments.

The sacraments are the building blocks of a strong faith that is built to last – the conduits of God’s grace, the force that animates our souls and drives the work of building strong families by helping men to learn how to truly provide for their families, to protect them, and to help them prosper through future generations. The life of a child who has shared in the grace that the sacraments provide leads to a life of moral principles and convictions that strengthen and cascade into every aspect of their lives. Many cradle Catholics who are now trading tradition for trend may place no value in this unconsciously experienced truth, but this truth cannot be denied. Sharing in the grace that the sacraments provide as we grow in our faith proves to be the moral compass throughout life for both the intentional and unintentional Catholic. Without living and sharing in the sacramental life, our families will surely experience a spiritual deficiency that will compromise their faith journey. The foundation of faith, the sacraments, are essential to weaving a strong moral fiber throughout our entire faith journey, particularly in our adolescent years.

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 10

Chapter 10: Conscious Competence, Humility found through composure.

How do we build the arch of life (faith) to last? We must first understand the principles of spiritual growth, moving toward spiritual maturity, which involves learning how to live one’s faith consciously and deliberately. Moving from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence is a process that parallels man’s growth from apprentice to journeyman to master carpenter. The essential tools (virtues) for this work: knowledge (awareness of the essential skills), wisdom (applying the skills properly), humility (acknowledging the source of all wisdom – God), compassion (understanding our obligation to use our skills to serve others along the way), and fortitude (an unwavering strength against opposing forces through a clear understanding of truth). Becoming competent to this theory will strengthen all areas of our lives, but most importantly the manner in which we approach the growth of the families we are held accountable by God to lead.

Chapter 10: Conscious Competence, Humility found through composure.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 11

Chapter 11: Juggling Life, Placing order into the intent of the act.

The theory of juggling life is represented as five balls of character. Faith = our soul, Family = our will, Health = our mortality, Friendship = our selflessness, Work = our integrity. This theory shares that there are two character balls that should never be at rest within the concept of juggling life. The faith and family balls should be viewed as primary balls that are always in play to help us keep our eye on what matters in our decision making. If we lose focus or lose our grip on the importance of properly handling our faith and family within the act of juggling life, then understandably it will become easier for us to submit to temptations and fall short within our sinful nature while juggling all the demands of living in our day-to-day physical world. The primary balls of faith and family give clarity to the decisions we make while incorporating the third ball we choose to juggle at any given time. Finding balance and making good decisions are two key elements needed in the act of juggling life. The “character” balls that we choose to juggle will remain fluidly in motion if we observe these elements and stay true to the need of always having the primary balls in the act of juggling life.

Chapter 11: Juggling Life, Placing order into the intent of the act.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 12

Chapter 12: A Faithful Mindset, Discernment in Humility.

A faithful mindset in our day-to-day lives is achieved through daily reflection within a demeanor of humility and compassion. As we move forward throughout the arch of life, a faithful mindset is needed and can only be found in an active faith journey. The first step in this journey is through the acceptance that our heavenly Father loves us and forgives us our sins unconditionally as we confess our sins with true contrition and remorse in the sacrament of reconciliation. We consider how we as fathers must also unconditionally forgive our own children when they fall short in their humanity and come to us for forgiveness. We must recognize, promote, and nurture the unconditional love and forgiveness needed within our families to have this reflection of love present in the families we are nurturing. It is through understanding the power of our free will – our “will-power” – shown to us through God’s grace, revealed through the sacrament of reconciliation, that we gain the strength needed to choose to do well in our daily lives. We become competent in our understanding of the power of reconciliation as an important channel of grace, where we are made clean from sin, and at that moment restored in perfect union with our heavenly Father. It is in these moments of grace that we come to understand that we can separate ourselves from sin, just not from our sinful nature. It is in this realization that we share in the graces that support and strengthen the fullness of a faithful mindset.

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 13

Chapter 13: God’s Grace in a Faith-Filled Family, New Covenant teachings.

The faith-filled family was given to us all as a gift from God our Father through Jesus Christ within the New Covenant and the sacraments. In the New Covenant we all share in today, we come to understand that our faith is our own to own. Our loving Father gives us wisdom found in both the Old and New Testaments, but it is through the New Testament teachings of Jesus Christ that we come to understand that our loving Father is calling each and every one of us to grow in His love and grace as we are filled with the Holy Spirit. By accepting this truth and allowing it to fuel the choices we make by our own free will, we find the strength and effort needed to sustain. Even a minimal effort on our part to chip away at the layers of sin in our daily life will stimulate the strength needed to take each step forward in our faith journey to endure living in and of this world. The world around us does not encourage or support such a mindset. The world attempts to shake our faith to the core by its constant attacks on the Catholic Church. This chapter outlines undeniable facts that span from the Old Testament through to this moment in time. We explore briefly past covenants in the Old Testament that have led up to the New Covenant, the sixth and final covenant that we all share in today where all of God children are washed clean in the blood of the passion of Christ. This truth is revealed to us all in the Bible by the author of all authority, Jesus Christ Himself in the writings of the New Testament. Jesus was sent to save us all through the New Covenant, which we all now share in with God Our Father in heaven to this very day. The New Covenant is the truth shared with and for all of God’s children of faith. Anyone of any religion who sincerely seeks out the truth cannot deny this fact, which is revealed throughout the apostolic teachings of the Gospels in the New Testament.

Understanding truth as it is revealed to us is what leads us to sharing in God’s grace. God’s grace is where we find the wisdom needed to see through the false truths that present themselves as “real truths” or situational truths while living in this world and not of this world. Coming peacefully to this realization is where we find truth in the fact that we are all part of God’s faith-filled family, and through humility we should always choose to love all of God’s children no matter where they are within their own journey in the arch of life. We should consciously choose not to find fault in others’ faith, but to see clearly the truth revealed in God’s grace in a faith-filled family.

Chapter 13: God’s Grace in a Faith-Filled Family, New Covenant teachings.

by Breadbox Media

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 14

Epilogue, All of the tools gathered together.

Whether biological or spiritual in nature, there is no better achievement in life than to be a successful father. There is no better reward in life than to see your faith-filled family living a peaceful life, nourished by God’s grace. But the masculine journey can be difficult. The world is scheming constantly to separate fathers from the one true God and Loving Father, and to fracture the foundation of faith that leads men and their families to true happiness.

Tools for the journey are many – and the most important tool in a father’s tool chest is his heart. When a father’s heart embraces God, the tool chest grows and overflows through grace, offering virtues that extend into and enliven the hearts of the family that the father is accountable to God for leading. Much wisdom is gained by the intentional father who has composed himself through humility and selflessness and who has used his trials and failures as opportunities to grow. This wisdom instills within him a moral compass that guides all his decision-making and begins to work unconsciously within the hearts of the family he is nurturing. As he lovingly answers his calls to action, and as his character is rooted consistently in fair and honorable decision-making, he begins to change the world around him. His efforts to hand on the faith-filled gifts of the New Covenant and the sacraments have now formed his family’s foundation of faith, which will cascade into the generations to come.

As fathers, we must understand and accept that every decision and position we take, through our words and actions, affects our families. If we become complacent to what society dictates as acceptable, then we separate our families from our foundation of faith. If we fail to challenge the false truths that are perceived as reality for those living in and of this world, and we fail to protect our families from the many worldly causes that try to capture their hearts, then they will lose their way as they face the world on their own.

Humility and composure are our go-to tools that must be sharpened constantly within our daily lives to reflect and instill virtue within the families we are nurturing. By taking our God-given place within our families, we become the loving authority that our families count on and turn to for direction. This contradicts what is accepted in society today, where the father figure is devalued and diminished. By always putting our families first and by our selfless actions, we can pull our families above this worldly view, and we can rest in the truth seen through God’s grace as we love our families as Christ loves the Church. I challenge all fathers who have grown families to share their tools of experience and wisdom gained through trials and failures with young fathers so that they can understand the value of our foundation of faith, and how it cascades throughout life, and how true peace of heart and mind in this world comes only through the intentional application of these competencies and faith-filled gifts within the families they are nurturing.

A prayer to strengthen my family’s faith is what guided me through this written journey. At first, my prayer stopped at that, my family. A moment of grace, however, revealed to me that God’s intent within my prayer was to reach into and strengthen His entire faith-filled family. I felt an undeniable call to action to reach into the hearts of fathers building a foundation of faith within the families they are nurturing. I hope that the life lessons and competencies shared within this book will lead other fathers to a clearer understanding of their rightful place within their families and at the table of God.

Tools to Ready the Journey – Episode 15

A Final Call to Action… “What is Truth?”

 In the book’s closing thought of A Final Call to Action… “What is Truth?”, the reader is presented with the reality that truth is revealed to us by an authority, and that by seeking out objective truth in any situation, we will need to examine what authority is presenting the truth that is in need of discernment. It is substantiated that in the world, truth is revealed to us through the New Covenant Teachings of Jesus Christ, and that in society mankind gives authority to our elected officials to govern.

 When taking an unbiased look at our humanity, we learn that we have brought ourselves to an interpretation and perception of truth that is lacking good will or good intent for our neighbors. What we have lost by giving up authority through unwitting tolerance over the generations, has cascaded into the loss of authority of tradition, meaning the way that we hand things on. The impression of truth reflected in society no longer mirrors, or even bears a close resemblance to, the guiding truth that our creator, the author of all authority, revealed to the world. Understanding what situational truth looks like is an all-powerful awareness for the morally intentional journeyman actively journeying through the arch of life. The tools are now in reach. This knowledge goes out as a call to action for all morally intentional journeymen to take their rightful place in society and fight the good fight toward taking back our families and communities. The tools for the journey are now in reach, handle them well! 

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