Ever wonder how some people become enthusiastic and on fire about their relationship with God? In thirty-three short chapters, Albert Haase gives you the tools and kindling to prepare for the spark of God in your life – and then shows you how to fan it into flame until you are set ablaze. This book glows with time-tested wisdom as an experienced spiritual director shares the secrets of the saints. Feel cold? Or maybe just smoldering? With supplemental reading suggestions and reflection questions, this eminently practical book functions like a personal, spiritual retreat.
“Fr. Albert embodies the message of this book. He is alive in the Spirit and engages others with the desire to fan into flame for God. This book and DVD are a must for an enriching parish faith sharing group or adult formation program.”
-Catherine S. Sims, MDiv, Pastoral Associate, Director of Adult Faith Formation, St. Joseph Parish, Libertyville IL
“I have attended many retreats and presentations on the spiritual life. Fr Albert's stand out because of his unique ability to make God so close and approachable.”
-Deacon Mark Cleary, Epiphany Church, Normal, IL
“Fr. Albert Haase invites us to get serious about the spiritual journey. His humor and use of stories guide those who are willing to catch fire and become flame.”
-Sr. Monica Laws, OSF, PhD, VP Mission Integration, Hospital Sisters Health System
“This is Christian spirituality at its finest: bold, vibrant, and down-to-earth. After reading this book and watching the DVD series, you'll understand why Fr. Albert is invited all over North America to share his Franciscan wit and spiritual wisdom.”
-Rev. Thomas Fowler, Pastor of St. Mary's Church, Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada
“Fr. Albert has the unique ability to grab our attention and not let go. He's an amazing storyteller and preacher who will help you discover the embers of the spiritual life that are smoldering deep within, just waiting to be set ablaze by God.”
-Don Schneider, Director of Evangelization & Catechesis, Archdiocese of Denver
“This is a thoroughly ecumenical book in the best sense, one never loses sight of Fr. Albert’s Catholic perspective but readers from all Christian tradition will find help to grow in the their love of God.”
–Dr. James C. Wilhoit, Wheaton College
Meet the Author
Albert Haase is a popular preacher in both Catholic and Protestant churches, a teacher of spiritual formation and spiritual direction, and the co-host of the weekly radio show, “Spirit and Life.” Haase is the author of eight books on popular spirituality, including Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
(2011), The Sacred Moment: Becoming Holy Right Where You Are
(2010), and Living the Lord’s Prayer: The Way of Discipleship
(2009). Previously, he served as missionary to mainland China.
Catching Fire, Becoming Flame is the rare book on spiritual formation that effectively communicates to all Christian audiences: Catholic and Protestant, lay and ordained, and newcomer and lifelong disciple. The five sections offer ready made themes for small groups, classes, or retreat/workshop topics: “The Spark from God: An Introduction to the Spiritual Life,” “Kindling: Basic Spiritual Concepts,” “Catching Fire: Methods of Prayer,” “Fanning the Flame: Discernment,” and “Becoming All Flame: Dynamic Commitments.” While those seasoned in the faith may be tempted to skip the first two sections, these powerful pieces go beyond mere introduction by helping readers reorient their perspective while focusing on an intentional approach to spiritual formation. Rather than offering a proposed methodology or a how to guide, Haase brings together contemporary and ancient spiritual practices that help ignite/reignite and nurture all who follow the way of Jesus as they seek to be/become little Christs.
Haase suggests, “God’s longing to be in a relationship with us spreads like wildfire in the hearts of people who respond to it” (122). This book/guide is an invitation to be set on fire and to remain ablaze using all of the faculties each person has: “intellectual, emotional and sensual” (1309). Catching Fire, Becoming Flame is a text I will revisit often, and recommend widely.
There are far too many books on “how to” live a successful spiritual life. Unfortunately, most offer a methodology that works for some rather than a broader approach suitable for all. By blending the ancient with the contemporary, offering experiential stories, and suggesting multiple possible starting points, Haase invites renewal.
So What Faith: Greg Smith
- Overall, how would you describe your spiritual health?
- What spiritual practices have you found to resonate and/or have the greatest meaning at this stage of your life?
Participants from The Adult Faith Formation Class at St. Mary's and St. Mark's Parish in Iowa were asked to submit in writing what inspired or challenged them in this adult study by Franciscan Father Albert Haase. The following responses were received:
“Fr. Albert Haase is an incredible teacher! He relates so well to people and their stumbling blocks. This has been by far my favorite study group I’ve participated in at St. Mark’s. I will look for more books he has authored! Fr. Haase has been a true gift.”
“I loved the videos. They were most interesting and informative. Before this series, I was not familiar with the term ‘examen.’ Made me more aware of God’s presence in my life. We have a really good group and N___ is such a good leader.”
“This is my favorite of all adult sessions. Fr. Albert is dynamic, humorous and down to earth. He has helped me get serious about my spiritual journey with God.”
“This was a great Bible study. I find it difficult to say what I liked best. I liked the humor; the examen; how grateful we should be for what we have; petition the Holy Spirit – many of us have just begun to pray to the Holy Spirit what a gift; and we need to forgive others. So much good information. I could repeat this (study).”
“The last DVD on forgiveness was fantastic. I wish everyone in our cluster could see this.”
“We really enjoyed our latest study. Fr. Albert was an excellent speaker. His presentation, with a bit of humor, led to a lot of good discussion on the workings of the Holy Spirit. New ideas and suggestions on becoming more Christ like.”
“I love the idea of being a ‘little Christian’ doing good things in a spiritual way. Being a child of God is a wonderful responsibility with so many rewards. I am practicing the examen way of prayer and find it a better way to “see” my way through each day, thinking not only of what I am doing but also what I am not doing as a ‘little Christian.’ Where I have gone wrong is more of a priority these days.”
“Catching Fire, Becoming Flame
encourages one to seek spiritual transformation throughout the series. This was a very rewarding experience. Albert Haase, OFM did an excellent DVD presentation and one did not have to read the book as he covered what was in the book very well. The book was easy to read and understand and is an excellent resource book to have on hand as I would not be able to remember everything without reviewing it.”
“My favorite parts of this series: how do I determine if a decision is my will or God’s will? The difference between examen and examination of conscience. The chapter on “Methods of Prayer” covered the examen, Lectio Divina, using wonder & awe, meditation and contemplation, the Stations of the Cross and the Lord’s Prayer. Using these prayers will take the rest of a lifetime, and I would never be finished.”
“Hearing other’s thoughts and feelings assured me I was not alone in some of the old beliefs I was taught as a child growing up. I would encourage this (series) to anyone and especially to high school students.” Sister Connie Howe, RSM / Pastoral Associate / Community of Disciples Cluster
Franciscan Father Albert Haase, former missionary in China seasoned spiritual director, here offers a
follow-up to his previous video, based as well on his 2013 book, Catching Fire, Becoming Flame. Using
much scriptural material and works from the Catholic mysical tradition, Haase addresses how to keep
one’s spiritual flame burning. His six presentation—“Grace and Spiritual Direction,” “Resisting
Temptation,” “The Four Ds” (dryness, darkness, depression, and desolation), “Making Sense of
Suffering,” “Living in the Present Moment,” and “Agenda of the Ego”—offer an animated Haase deftly
relating to the topics. Relevent illustrations and graphics help to reinforce his message. While based on
the catholic tradition, the video would appeal to anyone seeking a deeper spiritual life.
Though not replacing face-to-face direction, the solid advice offered in this program, filmed in front of a
live audience in such a way that the viewer feels part of the group, will help anyone who has been
struggling with their spirituality.
Augustine J. Curley, Library Journal