Seminar One

Fr. James Otto’s Seminar Videos Can Be Watched Here

The Participant Guide is a succinct version of the Devout Life Seminars.  It is “recommended for group study.”   Individuals may also use this version.

The Invitation to Know Jesus

  1. In the diary, Our Lady said that the Flame of Love is Jesus Christ, himself. Mary wants to pour out the Flame of Love and to send Jesus into our hearts.
  1. Jesus invites us to a new friendship with himself. “I no longer call you servants, but friends.” (Jn 15:15)
  1. What is this invitation? Picture your heart as a circle and picture Jesus in one of three possible places.  Jesus can be totally outside the circle, in the circle but not at the center, or at the very center of the circle.
  1. If your heart has no room for Jesus, He is outside. If Jesus is in your life, but does not come first, He is inside the circle but not at the center.
  1. The purpose of these seminars is for you to place Jesus at the center of your heart. (What a gift!)

The Image of a Throne

  1. Let’s use another image. Your heart is a throne.  Who or what sits upon that throne?
  1. All of us have false kings, who shove Jesus off the throne that belongs to him. These kings change over the years.  The false kings of our adolescence give way to other false kings of adulthood.
  1. How do we depose these false kings? We find the secret by studying the saints (and they, too, had false kings).  Once they discovered Jesus as King, they removed all their false kings.
  1. All the saints valued the moment of their conversion experience. Some were great sinners, like Augustine or Charles Foucald.  Others, however, were devout Catholics, like the Little Flower.
  1. For all the saints, a moment of grace opened them to a full life with Jesus. He became their all in all. After that moment, they put Jesus at the center of their circle and He took His place upon His throne in their heart.
  1. That moment was always preceded by some searching. Augustine had listened to the preaching of St. Ambrose.  Charles Foucald had gone to Church with his cousin. The Little Flower had kept all her devotions.
  1. The purpose of these seminars is for you to have that same gift of a conversion experience (an effect of the grace of the Flame of Love). First, you must understand the power “flowing from Jesus’ resurrection” (Phil 3:10).

Jesus’ Life on Earth

  1. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is God and that He “became flesh and lived among us.”
  1. The four gospels describe what happened 2000 years ago, when Jesus lived on earth. When Jesus lived on earth, He was at one place at one time.
  1. During those years, if people wanted to, they could experience Jesus whenever they wished. They could see Him, hear Him preach, receive His healings and ask Him questions. All they needed to do was to go where Jesus was.
  1. Everybody in Israel could see Jesus. This included both the good and the bad, those who loved Him and those who hated Him.

The Risen Jesus is Always With Us

  1. After Jesus died and rose from the dead, He enjoyed a different existence. Many new things happened.  He came through closed doors.  He appeared and disappeared.  He came whenever and however He wanted.
  1. Jesus was no longer limited to one place or one time. The risen Jesus lives and He is the Flame of Love.  He is everywhere.  “He fills the whole universe.” (Eph 1:23)
  1. The apostles realized that wherever they went, Jesus was with them. Jesus said, “I am with you always.” (Mt 28:20)  Wherever they were in the world, Jesus was present.
  1. They also knew that Jesus lived in their hearts. An apostle asked, “Lord, why do you show yourself to us and not to the world?”  Jesus explained that this manifestation was within the heart and anyone who loved the Father and Jesus would enjoy their presence within. (Jn 14:22-24)

Your Conversion Experience

  1. As the Flame of Love is sent into your heart, you will experience a conversion.
  1. You will be awakened and experience Jesus everywhere because “in Him, you live and move and have your being.” (Acts 17:28).
  1. By your Catholic faith, you know a lot about Jesus. By the Flame of Love, you will come to know This is Our Lady’s promise in the Diary.
  1. By the power of this Conversion Experience, you turn away from the world, the flesh and the devil and give yourself to Jesus. (That is our next seminar).

The Saints

  1. Attending these seminars is your searching. Live these 7 weeks in great faith. Jesus and Mary cannot wait to pour out this Flame with all of its great effects (explained in future seminars).

QUESTIONS:

  1. Describe any special moments in your life when you experienced Jesus’ presence.
  2. Do you see that Jesus is not at the center of your circle and is not King upon your heart?
  3. What thoughts and feelings did you have during the talk?
  4. Talk about your relationship with Jesus. Does He seem close like a true friend?

DAILY BIBLE READING

During the week, please read the themes of the following texts that explain this seminar.

Day 1      Jesus calls us to friendship.

(John 15:11-17)

Day 2      Jesus must be your king.

(John 18:33-40)

Day 3      The Conversion Moment for Zaccheus

(Luke 19:1-10)

Day 4      The Story of St. Paul’s Conversion

(Acts 9:1-9)

Day 5      Jesus’ New Existence after the Resurrection

(Luke 24:33-43)

Day 6      Jesus’ Presence Until the End of Time

(Matthew  28:16-20)

Day 7      Jesus Returns as King

(Matthew 24:29)