holy fool


Fr. Dan Lackie’s second step of discernment is absolute madness. That’s right, madness.

Once we set aside time for prayer in our daily life, we must put aside every concern we have for looking like a fool. Lackie states, “Our faith conviction challenges us to make bold choices, a boldness that’s seen in some saints as holy madness.”

Our faith asks us to consider the Holy Spirit’s will before the world’s ideals and expectations. True discernment requires us to be open to being a holy fool.

When Christ called his disciples into formation and ministry, he approached them on an ordinary work day, calling them to leave everything behind and follow him. There were no guarantees, no financial assurance and absolutely no affirmation or approval from society. They were willing to be a fool for Christ.

There’s nothing sweet or light-hearted about the decision.

Choosing to be a holy fool comes with deep questioning and what sometimes feels like torment. I’ve wrestled with this many times, yet time and time again God has paved the way toward transformation and conviction in the pursuit of Christ’s will.

Having an openness to ongoing conversion is never received well by the world. Stepping out in boldness will often times be misunderstood by others, even our closest loved ones. It’s most challenging when those we love the most struggle to understand God’s will for us.

Despite this difficulty, we must put aside concerns about looking foolish.

When the Holy Spirit calls us forth toward his mission, we cannot allow ourselves to get distracted by how we look to others. Rather, trusting in God’s will, we can step forward embracing the uniqueness of our purpose – knowing that Christ calls us forth to walk on water, to bring his light into the darkness, and to proclaim freedom to the captives of our world.

Sometimes we might look like a fool or feel out of sink with the rest of the world, but rest assured that Christ was anything but what the world expected him to be. He broke every mold of society to be a radical lover to every heart stricken by fear.

Don’t be afraid of looking foolish. Believe in Christ’s mission for you, and you will walk on the water too.

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”  1 John 3:1

pray today


Over the next five posts, I will reflect on Fr. Dan Lackie’s (OFM) perspective on the topic of discernment. Full disclosure, I make no promises that it will resonate with you as it’s a little wacky and anything but ordinary, but if you’re like me, it might be what you’ve been waiting for.

God, who do You want me to be? What is Your will?

These simple questions pack a deep punch. They circle around topics of purpose, discernment, vocation, surrender, and curiosity. We are pining to discern our calling.

Lackie’s first step will come as no surprise, but don’t let the predictable beginning fool you.

PRAY TODAY and every day.

As a competitive athlete with a rambunctious father on the sidelines, every time I started to lose my mojo he would start to yell, “Fundamentals…go back to the basics.” Little did I know that his consistent, yet often times irritating, slogan rang true for the spiritual life.

What is the first thing a parent teaches their child about the faith? 

I can still remember lying in bed listing off every family member under the sun to avoid the inevitable amen, which meant time to go to sleep. How much joy does it bring our Heavenly Father watching His children do whatever it takes to lengthen their conversation with Him?

And now? I struggle to pinch out ten or fifteen minutes of uninterrupted prayer time a day.

It’s time to go back to basics and focus on the fundamentals. Before we jump to the beloved buzz words of discernment, vocation, and calling – let’s stop and pray today.

Praise God for who He is and what He has done.
Repent for the moments you’ve forgotten who He is and whose you are.
Ask Him for the desires of your heart.
Yield to His will by trusting in His time and His way.

Seek God, He’s always listening, and don’t forget to listen to Him too.

“Pray without ceasing”

– 1 Thessalonians 5:17 –