What Are Your Goals?
Whose Got Your Back?
.......to live and die in
For All Goal Box and Project information please go to the bottom sections of this page.
There is a lot on this page about goals. The first thing to consider is what a goal is and what the difference is between a goal and an objective. When we define these terms we must remember that for Croisé goals automatically involve God and his divine plan .
A goal is the articulation in our minds of what we should desire in our life which we can and should personally accomplish. We then make the decision using our free will that we will pursue it. So think of a goal as an idea and an objective as an action that you take.
For example as I see what life is about and I look at relationships between people I come to realize that someday I want to be married. Okay, great. My goal is noble and I believe it will bring me and my beloved happiness and do good for society, too.
Now what? I determine what I need to do to prepare to accomplish that goal in a responsible way. So I come up with objectives connected to the goal. I should have a way to support a wife and family so I train or get a job and save some green. That is an objective action to plan and implement. I may already have that so I zoom forward and seek an acceptable wife: I shave up, diet and exercise, keep my car vacuumed, cancel the two year Maui thing and find appropriate venues where I might meet Miss Right. All those are objectives directed toward the goal. This is a presentation of the most responsible way to accomplish marriage. Obviously, if Miss Right comes along and I wasn't planning on getting married many of my objectives in life change very quickly. But that is not the best way to approach this goal because marriage is the most important thing that one does in life. It should not be done on the fly or because I think love will never come my way again or because my impulses need to be fulfilled muy pronto!
Repite usted por favor. "Goals need to be determined and then objectives connected to them pursued." We experience this in its truest form when we seek God and His Kingdom on earth and in heaven. So in the article below (left column) you will find goals leading to that. Good luck and never give up on a goal until you realize that either you were wrong about what to pursue or another more important goal enters the scene due to the vagaries of life. But there is no goal that supercedes the goal of pursuing eternal life.
Wherever you are on the continuum of discerning goals and pen to papering your objectives there is one absolutely necessary ingredient: you must pray. If not how will you know the most worthy goal or when to move on. God is loading the matrix and He is trying to get you to the Eternal Kingdom so He has to be consulted. If you only ask other people you actually may be persuaded to go against God. Even Jesus went off to pray to the Father and then would come back and accomplish great things like choosing the apostles and suffering and dying on the Cross. His goal was to obey the Father and get to Jerusalem to meet His fate. Will you accept yours?
It's All About the Goals!
Part of our independance is not depending on others to dictate everything we do in life. Adolesence is the stage we emerge from with the new responsibiity for our own actions and destiny. Setting goals is the new skill we have to gain as an adult. This is often guided by practical things which assure our security and promote our self worth. But in the end we must be part of something bigger which is the very design of the Divine Will into all socialization involving the greater good. The Christian calculates this by his desire to imitate Christ. Take in the following from Father Benedict Groeschel C.F.R. of happy memory from his book Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones, page 144. He was a stand out intellectual and Director of Spirituality for the Archdiocese of New York for decades.
"Spiritual maturity for the Christian requires a constant energetic struggle to overcome moral faults and to behave according to the teachings of the Gospel and the Christian tradition. It demands an intellectual struggle to come to an ever-new knowledge of the mystery of Christ in our own lives and in our relationship with others, including strangers and enemies who represent Christ to us. Finally, our spiritual journey must be marked by trust and hope that God providentially gives us the things necessary for salvation. This knowledge will sustain us in the mishaps of life, in the circumstances of the physical world and in the operation of natural forces.
As the Christian world vision is achieved by mind and heart, by intelligence and will constantly assisted by grace, the meaning of life as a journey toward the Father's house begins to grow clear. Pain, suffering, illness, rejection, failure and death fall into a new perspective."
So, the goals of Croisé have been laid out:
The Goals of Croisé
(In order of importance.)
1. To accept that God not only exists but has created me with the purpose of knowing His Holy Kingdom. (All aspects of your life must be lived with this end in mind. This must include accepting that Jesus, the third person of the Holy Trinity demonstrated to all how to live that Kingdom as a human being while He was here on earth.)
2. That I must study the life and teachings of Christ. (This is primarily the Gospels, the consistent traditional teachings of the Church and the writings and lives of the saints in order to know what decisions to make in your daily life. Then you must look at each day's circumstances and apply these truths to them.
3. To trust that God will help me to imitate Christ and do great things in His name. (God gives you the grace of His presence and in a matrix provides all you need to live in hope of accomplishing His Divine Will in this life despite your doubts, finances, personal weaknesses, ill health, mistakes and the malicious acts of others.)
4. That I fully engage the Divine presence in the sacraments of the Church and in prayer especially before the Eucharistic Body of the Lord at Mass and Exposition. (Through these the presence of Christ speaks to you to bring calm and bestow clarity of mind and strength of will.)
5. To live a life of friendship and sacrifice toward those who also accept the above goals. (This shared strength and wisdom will multiply the affects of your own efforts so that God may reveal the reality of His majesty, mercy and forgiveness which many cannot see on their own.)
All the above goals can be distilled into one prime goal stated above on this page:
To Live and Die in Christ.
To keep offering ourselves to Jesus as He did to the Father even unto a daily death is our goal. This response to God the Creator requires the conversion of every level of our being: body, mind and will. There is no more noble or holy effort done by man than this.
None of the above goals negate general knowledge of God's Kingdom obtained through material experience and human analytics. These goals help you understand the natural world in all its true intent.
In Order To Plan You
Knowing the definitions of main terms and concepts in the goals is essential to grow in understanding in order to form a plan to accomplish the goal. Read this after you read the goals in the left hand column.
Holy Kingdom (in Holy Scripture the
Kingdom of God or Eternal Life) was
used by Jesus to describe how
we can know about the union
between the Holy Trinity.
This means the three persons have the same intellect and will but they are separate persons. This is what "love" is. God has allowed man to have a similar (but not the same otherwise we would be God) union with each other so that when the correct choices are made man has union with each other. Then man can know what God is like in his eternal existence. Man must make choices that coincide with the Divine Will, otherwise he deviates from the union.
The second person of the Trinity became human like us and dwelt among us in order to show us how to make the correct choices in order to obtain the Kingdom of God. "I and the Father are one" He said. This included his "human" nature as well.
When you study the life of
Christ, His teachings and the
teachings of the Church and
what the saints taught and how
they lived you are accessing the way to accomplish the union humans must have with creation, especially other human beings. This is not just what is "natural" and figured out by the mind, it is a faith inspired view of reality given by the Holy Spirit. Nonetheless you still have to study it otherwise you can absorb very grave misunderstandings about the Divine Plan and then you are wounded in knowing God as explained in Goal One above. Now you can form a game plan for learning more. Croisé is a good start.
As you learn more about what
you must do to love neighbor, self
and God's good creation you
need to also learn from the life of
Christ and the saints that they had to trust God's divine plan even if it meant what seemed to be great suffering. But in pursuing God's will some of our suffering is merely our resistance to what is right. As we continue to resist we obviously are not cooperating with God. This type of suffering comes from a lack of trust. It is true, although many never learn, that God will provide what we need to do His Divine Will (like our five goals). If there is suffering involved it must be done to either purify ourselves of selfishness or for the benefit of other such as the suffering and death of Jesus. He died for our benefit. Those trusted with small things are given greater. Begin trusting God in small tasks. He will give you greater suffering if you can handle it.
The essence of prayer is an act
of the will to separate oneself
from full engagement with the
world and focus instead on the
presence of God. Because our ability to perceive God in the things of the world is wounded by sin we must make a technically different choice to focus on God in our prayer. The mind knows God is there. The will must actually desire to be with God. Because our experience of God is damaged through creation, God enters creation to meet us where we are. Once the mind knows that God is near such as in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and other sacraments of the Church it is an easily repeated experience to link with God which brings calmness in emotion, clarity to the mind and joy to the soul. The more one learns what to pray for the more one receives what one really needs. Everyone needs guidance in prayer and Croisé will help provide guidance in this area through practice and education.
From the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus it was clear
that Jesus was not promoting a philosophy of life but rather
seeking to heal the divide between people and within each individual. This would come from realizing that Jesus was the third person of the Creator God as revealed at the Jordan River. Those who stand together in faith in that belief serve to reinforce it in others in spite of the great affect of original sin in all persons beginning with Cain killing Abel. The witness of the love of God's Son for the Father lives on in the witness of Christians for Jesus and for one another.
If we do not spend substantial amounts of time with other believers our faith will be diminished. The Mass serves as the center of this activity. We must filter our lives to strengthen our witness. Then when the times come to spread the gospel message to others by word and service we will have the strength to stand before the mistaken "philosophies" of the world which reap constant death, destruction and daily harm to those in the world around us. Your local parish and the many groups like Croisé serve this purpose. But we must filter these too in order to find the place where we can prosper in faith and deed. This begs the question: "Am I spreading the faith or not?" Strength in numbers is a valuable axiom.
The 13th Step
You just passed the last step of all. To live and die in Christ is the ultimately fulfillling experience
of your or anybody
else's existence .
E-mail us if you have questions about the goals and understanding them.
Next Step....Get a New Plan Stan
Religious goals are some of the most difficult because you never really complete them in this life. So it is the working toward the goals that is the important thing. Many of life's goals are such. It is easy to see when a bridge is done: people can cross it. It is more difficult to accomplish a lifelong career as a respected architect! God does not judge us worthy by one thing that we accomplish, we will be judged by the many things that we do in this life.
Our goals are not just principles they must be looked at as goals. They are things that you must intend to try and accomplish. This means that our plans must be that of accomplishing objectives along the way in our "career" as a disciple of Christ.
Which of the Croisé goals do you need to work on the most?
Go through each goal and think about which one you have accomplished the least. This will lead to
some priority of objectives. You will find that there are many objectives toward each goal to pursue.
The current circumstances of your life will likely determine what immediate objectives enter your initial plan.
Oddly, the more that you try to determine which goal you have done the best with, that very assessment will bring forward in your mind things that you did not do which could have helped accomplish more. Viola! More objectives? Add them to your plan.
CONTINUE THE PLAN......
Right now what would you do to improve your life if you could? What are your greatest disappointments? What causes the most angst or anxiety? Would helping others bring fulfillment? Do you just having nagging questions about why you exist? Write this down and keep it in a secure place. Trust us it is better if you write it down.
Next, what ways do you think that you waste your time? What are your addictions. You can often
tell what they are because you pursue them when you should be doing something else essential in life
(church, children, wife or work). Are you late for other responsibilities because of your addiction?
No problems just go away in life (unless they move to Maine). By realizing this we can gain the patience to work on all the Croisé goals and not be overwhelmed by something that we may not have a lot of experience handling in the past. Those tired old sayings of life are usually true: like nothing good comes easy. That line only blows up when the saint finally gives himself to God consistently and completely. Then the greatest existing joy is completely at your disposal. But you are about a light year from there. The Council of Trent taught that the grace given to be a saint was "a rare grace offered and a rare grace accepted." (Quotations ours.) There just are not that many people who lead perfect lives.
But just because it's a long way away doesn't mean we do not seek it. Remember the man who found the treasure and goes away and sells all he has and comes back? You may not even see faith in Christ and the great sacraments of the Church as treasure. Keep returning to this website and engage in a little prayer and you will be surprised at what God will put in your path.
NEXT STEP..... Comparison Shopping
Now the fun begins. Take the things you found in Step Two and apply the possibilities of improving them
with the elements of the goals you identified in Step One. You will be quite surprised (even if that happens
later) how much the goals you have NOT accomplished so much are the goals you should be applying
to your life to improve it.
For example: You go to church and maybe even participate in the sacraments but you do not feel connected to people in church and therefore have a feeling of dissatisfaction with the whole scene. Well, in step one you probably have already determined that you have not accomplished much of Goal Five. Boom! Croisé. You now add to your plan to prioritize Step Five. How to do that involves some thought and assessment of the opportunities. But one could bet that in this scenario Goal Three needs some prioritization as well. You begin to list particular ways to work on these and in that powerhouse mind of yours with a little help from the Holy Spirit you clearly see what can be done. This is the case because you are already pretty decent at Goal Four and trust bringing your questions and requests to the Lord in prayer.
One of life's most evident but biggest obstacles is our pride. So many times we refuse to even discuss
our questions or problems of life because we are consumed with shame (and resultant guilt). These are
tools of the devil. It is the wisest thing for a person of faith to talk to others who are experienced and
educated in faith. Our other problem is that we already have decided we do not want the answer. That's
okay on certain things in life but not our spiritual goals. Also, sometimes when our mind is challenged to
explain something to someone else we are forced to challenge our own logic. We then see some of our
mistaken and prejudicial judgments.
St. Thomas Aquinas was one of the most insightful and brilliant scholars in world history. He said that when seeking a spiritual director one should look for someone who is smart over someone holy. This is because a holy man is so because of his virtues. He may not understand very much about the construction of the human person, capacity of the soul and modes of grace active in his own life. They are holy by the power of their will, not because of their mind. We admire the holy and try to imitate them but we may have obstacles in our lives that some of those holy ones did not have. We have to have a plan to overcome those obstacles.
You're shaking because you think this will cost something. Don't worry GOD WILL PROVIDE WHAT YOU NEED. Remember the
third goal? So find someone you think you can trust. Remember, sometimes we may see holy ones around you but do they know the five goals of Croisé? (Jest intended.)
NEXT UP: ACTION STEPS
What goals have you accomplished the least?
Review what your greatest concerns about life are.
Match concerns in step two with results of step one.
If you cannot find a spiritual goaltender you can get brief advice by e-mail from Croisé but a face to face experience is always prime.
Find a Goaltender: either a spiritual director or a devout Catholic experienced in goal management
Hidden in the Croisé goals is one of the secrets to overcoming addictions. Please see the article entitled "Shhhhh..." and "The Eight Minute Miracle" on the home page.
Stay Realistic and Limited
When You Look at Our
Goals or Anyone Else's
When you look at Croisé goals and the ancillary observations on them remember that no one goal setting or life plan has every answer to any one person's life. That is an unrealistic assertion. For example being physically fit is an element of life which helps all other things in some way. Some of that is controllable and some is not. Croisé does not address that specific area of life. We leave that up to individuals to discern and determine what is best as they see fit. Goals of determining our obligations toward the Kingdom of God are fundamentally personal ones. If you have someone who wants to lead you in all things in life: physical health, finances, spiritual life, family relationships, etc. etc., you need to be very careful. Only when one is at the stage of intervention should one relinquish much of their personal autonomy to others. This warning is to keep you from looking at Croisé or any other approach to life as a cure all. If you do this you will end up in a crash and burn or will be so overwhelmed that you will walk away believing that changing anything is not worth the impending failure ahead.
The self control you gain from working on our goals will affect all other areas of your life but as a mature, free person most of that is up to you. None of us can escape the ultimate responsibility for how we live our life.
It's time to change the way you think....that's a bit painful!
Final Decision and Action
On our prayer page you will see a diagram of the body and soul and the connections between the two. These connections are called emotions. The soul has an intellect (which orders our understanding of all things in relationship to each other and provides how we should interact with them) and the body has the senses which feeds information into the intellect. The inner element of the soul which is the eternal self is both intimately involved in all these things yet in one sense "stands back" in a perspective and watches it all happen. These things lead us to our final decisions in life. According to Fr. Thomas Mahonski, a student of Bernard Lonergan, here are the stages we go through to make all decisions. ("Insight on Insights." Thomas Mahonski.)
We live mingling with all that is around us. Our senses pour information through our bodies into our intellect. Many of our experiences we do not choose, some we do.
We remember and organize that information often by challenging what we experience through asking questions and developing concepts and re-asking questions. We obtain reflective understanding (evidence). We then come up with conclusions about what we have experienced. We also consider the knowledge of others whom we may or may not trust.
We now enter the area of moral deliberation and value judgments. This is a function of the conscience. We consider what we think is best for our physical security. But we also consider what is good for others. Or should we? That is part of the judgments we can and should make. We are really looking at how to be in union with others. Remember what the Kingdom of God is? (Check article on the Articles page). In this stage we are determining the proper way for us as an individual to interact with everything around us. Croisé and the Christian life says we have an obligation to include the teachings of faith in this area. This is where we apply what we learned from the life of Our Lord Jesus who became like us in all things but sin. So we want to be like Him. Or at least as much like Him as possible in His humanity. We cannot become divine.
As situations arise in our lives where we must react to something or when we anticipate a situation coming our way we must determine what our correct response will be. Lucky for us God gives us the ability to have virtues (good habits) so we do not have to busy ourselves with every single interaction every day. If we did we would never make any progress at all. We see alternatives to our situations and we rank them. We usually come up with a choice that stands above the rest. We call that our Last Best Judgment.
Now that we have a number of possibilities before us and our intellect has promoted one above the rest shouldn't our work be done? Don't we just choose the decision that floated up above the others and go for it? Well, we still have one vexing quality in us left to mess up the works: we have free will. As we stand back our eternal self, which is connected to our here and now self and is watching everything that we're thinking and doing, can choose to take any action it wishes for any reason it wishes. This is the single element of us that allows us to know what God is like. Because God also has free will. All three persons of God do. But we know God more and more if we make the choices he wishes us to make. You see, that was a choice God has freely made: to give us freedom.
But now we really have to watch out because there are a lot of repercussions to our decisions. And the decisions of others are always affecting us,
You experienced the Croisé goals by reading them. (EXPERIENCE)
You thought about your life and what you currently think needs to be changed. Then you looked at the Croisé goals to see what you needed to do in order to bring change to your life. (But do you trust the Croisé goals? That is the question)
Now you must judge whether your life will be better in the future by following the suggestions to accomplish our goals. Or you may judge that you have other ways to accomplish them. Or you may judge that it is just better to go to the fridge and get a piece of chocolate cake. Ahhhh...free will! But if you have read all it took to get you to this stage in this article our bet is that you already have judged that your life is worth living at a higher level. This is something that God wants for us. And who are we to argue with God unless we think we are the only God that exists?
The time has come. Will you or won't you. (Drum roll!) Only you can decide for your reasons, or for no reasons, what you will do. Yes, until we look at life with faith and trust in God the mystery of freedom often seems to be a curse. It is not until we are willing to hand ourselves freely over to God that we see (and dare we say feel) the true benefit in the way God has created us. So no matter whether we are making decisions on health, or love, or career or religion our freedom has been given to us to let us know the God who created everything from nothing, including us...........................freely.
Make the decision to change and make new goals. Then make the decision to find someone to help you. Because God wants you to know what "they" are like (the Holy Trinity), God will place before you what you need. Just use it!
Action is merely taking your decision and carrying through with it. From potential to act. From who you are to what kind of who you will be.
GOALS. . . . . . . objectives
What Is a Challenge Hour?
Commit to attend the Croisé Challenge Hour every month or commit to visit your parish and pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament once a week or twice a month. etc. The Challenge Hour could count as your visit that week. Attend the Croisé Challenge Forum on the first Monday of the month. Bonding can only happen if you're with the others to bond to.
You Don't Have To Climb Everest...
Always be thinking about goals. Don't set goals that you cannot in any way obtain. For example, do not commit to something that is so time consuming that you could not attend to it unless you missed work or necessary family time. Keep some kind of journal and don't worry about writing a tome. Just write in large letters key words or ideas that express your observations and PUT THEM IN ORDER. This will help you review and assess later what goals to establish.
Most guys experience some kinds of addictive behavior or thought (which many times really is a behavior). The commitment to resist the actions comes from a true belief in the intellect (which also occupies part of the soul) that what is being done is not only sinful (wrong) but is something that MUST not be done again. You really have to HATE the sin as Jesus taught us. If you don't you will always find swimming around in your head a reason to do it again. Yes, it is just that simple. Your goal is to accept belief that the behavior is wrong even at an "ugh, that is so creepy I can't believe I'm doing it" level.
The Eight Minute Miracle
Buy an egg timer. Make sure it times up to at least eight minutes. The goal is then to use it. The goal is then to use it. The goal is then to use it. (How many times can I type this in 8 minutes?)
Projects Under Construction
Website address changes second week of November.
Building the Challenge Hours
Because our common projects will many times be based on the Croisé goals our first project is to build up the Challenge Hours of Prayer every third Monday of the month. The undeniable truth (even though we often want to deny things are true) is that we cannot obtain any of our goals with the certainty needed in our minds unless we pray. The reason for this is that if we are not certain that we should do something we will stop pursuing it as soon as the going gets tough or someone else puts doubts in our minds about the value of what we are doing. Because God will never mislead us consistent prayer has the benefit of informing us over and over what the world may never tell us: how to fulfill our potential before God....which is exactly the point of life. Although we have to pray more than one hour per month to accomplish this our Challenge Hours will serve as the foundation blocks of the rest of our prayer. Mass is not the time to pray for consistent guidance because the Mass is a time of praise and thanksgiving to God. You need to go before God at many other times when the atmosphere is one of quiet listening of the mind and heart. The great saints lapped up this kind of prayer. We want to help each one who has contact with Croisé to be able to know how to pray in this manner. As time passes we will accomplish this for more and more men. Remember, that many men do not pray at all. They need to be exposed to our Challenge Hours.
First we each need to make our own commitment to attend the Challenge Hours. We will try to keep them to almost exactly one hour. Second, we need to let others know about the hours. Much is expected from those to whom much as been given. We need to share this opportunity with others. In the future we will need the help of others to accomplish greater goals. Call someone you know and invite them. Try to grab a bite to eat before the challenge hour or coffee afterwards. Initially we need to show men that there is a reason to come that they can relate to such as personal friendship. Later many of them will grow in prayer so that they will want to come on their own and even bring others. God will be helping you all the time so do not worry about the success of the effort. He is using us for the greater benefit.
If you have talked to someone about going make sure you contact them RIGHT BEFORE THE WEEKEND BEFORE THE MONDAY NIGHT CHALLENGE HOUR. This will keep it fresh in their mind and give them the chance to plug it into their schedule if they had forgotten. Plus, they may just need a final nudge. Try to give them a ride. That way they get to bond a little and talk over the experience a bit before going home. Our goal is to get them to two Challenge Hours. We rarely can judge this type of experience by attending only once. This is not like attending a sports event. There you watching someone else perform. In a Holy Hour at some point you have to be a participant. Two times minimum.
Use and Promote the Website
The website is important because it explains many spiritual and philosophical perspectives of our faith that are not synthesized together anywhere else. This cannot be accomplished during the Challenge Hours. At the user's convenience they can spend much private time exploring the website and pondering the complications of how we are constructed by God and how to apply both a prayer life and the moral truths of God's divine plan to daily life. This also prepares us for the upcoming reality of the next life and our transition to it. Many people love to speculate on the next life but they accomplish little to prepare for it in an active manner.
Because the net reaches the world our goal is to give the opportunity to all we know to access the Croisé website even if they do not have access to a Challenge Hour. Please share the site with every person you know. Many women will want men they know to gain from the site so send it to them as well. Try to share the site with groups that engage in spiritual topics. Make anyone who is working for a faith organization aware of it and ask them to check it out. Ask their opinion of it. That may get them to look it over a bit. Let all the Catholic or men"s spiritual blogs that you know of or that you can find on the net know about it. This website recounts the spiritual traditions and history of our faith in a unique and rational way. It is something that many men need very badly whether they know it or not.
What is a goal?
What is an objective?
Do you have goals?
How do you know that your goals are good ones?
How does God lead you to your goals?
How many goals should you have?
Are my goals the source of my happiness?
How can I seek help to accomplish them?
When should I
give up on a goal?
Our goal is to help you.