Genesis Personal Development Center

Mission photoMission Statement

1)     Facilitate the ancient practice of lectio divina, or prayerfully reading and responding to God’s word, using the finest and most authoritative resources.

2) Foster fulfillment and collaboration between men and women according to biblical and magisterial teaching and the example of the Holy Family. St. Joseph is emphasized as a model of masculinity and discipleship, relevant to both sexes.

3) Increase awareness, appreciation, and assimilation of the message, methods, and model of the architect of Vatican Council II, Pope Paul VI.

4) Communicate Christian perspectives on redemptive suffering (the cross), wellness/​shalom (the resurrection), and potential fulfillment (the second coming).

5) Highlight and make available unsurpassed resources on lectio divina, biblical spirituality, and human development from renowned authorities such as Popes John Paul II and Paul VI, the Catholic Biblical Federation, Cardinal Carlo Martini, S.J., Fr. Luke Dysinger, OSB, Fr. Donald X. Burt, OSA.

6) Provide professional development services to businesses and associations on the subjects of time and stress management, job therapy, and teamwork (dialogue, conflict resolution, communications, and synergies).

7) Speak at conferences, conventions, and group meetings on personal and professional development topics published in various books.

You are invited to share in any or all aspects of this mission. As with the linked blog (, the workshops, books, CDs, DVDs, media appearances, and supplemental resources discussed on this site are designed to engage others.

 Library Sale

The synod on the New Evangelization took place in 2012, and will be followed by an apostolic exhortation summarizing the results. As part of the initiative, catechesis and formation were stressed. An important aspect of that is spiritual reading.

Cultural, technological, and economic developments have resulted in reading and continuing education being put on the backburner. People don’t go to spiritual talks and retreats like they used to. Surviving retreat houses are in financial crisis, functioning primarily as hosting facilities. Parishes rarely sponsor weekday spiritual presentations because they know people won’t attend. So-called “cocooning” has combined with web-surfing and other technological addictions to make us spiritually, intellectually and socially malnourished. The internet, tv, IPODs, and cell phones have eroded personal and relational space.

Families struggle to share meals together, mostly because of overloaded work and activities schedules. Hyperactivity and diminishing attention spans are becoming a serious problem for children, who are over-involved and over-exposed. Gone are the days when they learned the social skills necessary to get along amongst themselves without constant adult supervision. A rediscovery of reading is one piece of the puzzle necessary to restore order.

To help out in this regard, Genesis Center is sponsoring a library sale, a partial liquidation of our vast reserves. This was occasioned not only by evangelical and catechetical needs, but by the fact that you can’t fit a university library into seven rooms.

The Center’s library has been assembled over a period of thirty-five years, literally all over the world, and features a multitude of out of print titles that are far superior to what is being published today. Anyone knowledgeable about today’s publishing scene will tell you that platform, image / visibility, and connections are everything. Quality is a secondary consideration. Unfortunately, popularity is not equatable with profundity.

While the holdings are primarily in the religious realm, and mostly Catholic, biblical spirituality, and biblical studies, Christians of other traditions would find many of them interesting, particularly the biblical titles. Orthodox, Anglicans, Episcopalians and Lutherans in particular would resonate with them. Christian unity has a long way to go, but it’s in process. Jewish titles make up a sizable portion of the Library. After all, Catholicism’s founder and his family friends and disciples were Jewish.

Catholicism is by definition universal and inclusive. Catholic universities address the humanities, science, and popular culture as well. Accordingly, the sale includes sports books, music books (mostly limited to the Beatles, Monkees, and British Invasion groups), a huge personal, professional, and organizational development section (e.g., time management, interpersonal communications, gender studies), wellness, history, biography, and a fantastic Renaissance and Baroque art collection, including picture books from many of the world’s greatest museums.

There are Impressionist books as well. Art comes in many styles.  As one docent put it, Impressionist paintings don’t have much meaning, but they’re nice to look at. There is little fiction, and I am not making that up.

We are also liquidating our CD, LP, and VHS holdings. Most of the music titles are from the 1960s to 1980s. Most of the VHS are sports, documentaries, 1960s and 1970s televisioon series, and popular music. Many of the LPs are audiophile or import pressings, which results in noticeable sound improvements, and often different track selections and cover art. Highly collectable as well as listenable.

Some literary and music titles purchased overseas and in obscure locations are scarcely available anywhere on the internet. Mediocre titles have long been filtered out. Or course, there is no accounting for tastes, so our preferences might not be yours.

Listing all the available titles is impossible. They are literally in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. So, we have set up a plan whereby interested persons can buy books in bulk based on their means and interests. Custom selected boxes are available in increments of $30, $50, $75, $100, $j150, $200, and in increments of $50 above that. Shipping and handling costs begin at $6, and increase in increments of $3 per $25 increment ($9 for $50, $12 for $75, $14 for $100), and $5 per $50 increment.

The average cost of the books included in the packages ranges between $2-$5, so these are a bargain. Most would be twice as much on online sites, if they would be available at all. Most are in good, very good, like new, or new condition. Few have underlining, fading, and binding defects that make reading difficult.

If interested, call Genesis Center at (386) 323-3808 for details. When ordering the books, please indicate preferred topics and authors. When possible, we will accommodate you. However, it is best to assume that we will be only able to accommodate you partially, if at all. Then you’ll be surprised if we are able to come through. We’ll do our best.

Bishops Parish Pack

While on my three month lectio divina speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand (flying 17 times, and logging thousands of kilometers), I had the opportunity to videotape interviews with three bishops: Hanna of Wagga Wagga, Wilson of Adelaide, and Campbell of Dunedin. The first was 50 minutes, the second 45, and the third 90 minutes.

One of the amazing things about the experience was how different the interviews were. It brings how just how varied and flexible a process lectio divina is. Each bishop approached it differently. This reminds the viewer to trust the Spirit and be themselves in the dialogue. Lectio divina is not a rigid technique or a mechanical method, but a dynamic and personal process.

Along with the bishop interviews a local affiliate of Vatican television filmed me in the studio giving a 50 minute talk on both lectio divina and Pope Paul VI.

There video quality of the interview with Bishop Hanna and my talks on lectio and Paul VI is excellent. The interview with Bishop Wilson has a grainy picture due to lack of light. The audio is good, and it is very watchable, but I don’t want folks to expect high definition. The interview with Bishop Campbell is somewhere in between, good but not great video quality. All are more than satisfactory for private, group, and parish viewing.

The Bishops Parish Pack contains all these on DVD, along with a sampling of other talks given in Australia, and a couple from the archives. Books provided include any two of the following: Journaling with Moses and Job, Personal Energy Management, and Becoming Community. The total cost is $225. If you would like a less extensive and expensive package, get in touch and we will work something out.

We identified this as a “parish pack” because it is a great tool for parish formation and continuing education. It is great for Bible studies, RCIA, young adult ministry, and high school CCD. Of course, it is equally appropriate for individual and family use. If interested, call or email for more details.

Martini Mix

A special concoction has been prepared for those seeking a slightly more advanced and in depth selection. I’ll preface it with a basis for its conception.

Mediocrity has become a plague in American culture and church. People allow themselves to become swept up in mass society mentality and conformism, anesthetized by an unhealthy celebrity culture and an economy where the haves increasingly cast aside the have-nots. Talent, production, potential, and merit have been trumped by image, convenience, comfort, and connections. Consequently, a levelling effect occurs in which life is brought down to the lowest common denominator.

Even within the Church mediocrity and worse is rationalized and even excused. If necessary, biblical and traditional values are eclipsed out of a misguided attempt at accommodation. For example, haven’t most of the biblical passages regarding gender been neutered and robbed of their vitality and potency. Don’t we allow feminist-sympathetic scholars and teachers to relegate them to historical curiosities reflective of a repulsively patriarchal culture? As if our culture is superior!!!

Now that we can’t turn to Scripture in matters of gender identification and formation, where do we turn? Popular culture? Catholic popularizers and ideologues, who often unconsciously bring in remnants of their former traditions and lifestyles?

Intellectual life has been mostly cast aside, or relegated to academics. The quest for principle and progress has been eclipsed by practicality and comfort. In the realm of spirituality, this consists of the rise of popularizers, in many cases an ideologically-based network of individuals with similar backgrounds, pedigrees, or perspectives who exclusively develop a largely closed network of self-proclaimed authorities on Catholic and biblical spirituality. As in the culture, popularity and image tends to obscure substance and reality.

One of the consequences in the American church has been the marginalization of two supreme resources, the works of Cardinal Martini and the publications of the Catholic Biblical Federation. Put simply, their resources on biblical spiritualty and lectio divina are unsurpassed in breadth and depth.

Through collaboration with the Catholic Biblical Federation (headquartered in Germany), I have acquired permission to share over twenty of their finest articles on lectio divina from their quarterly journal Dei Verbum. This international assortment includes several by Cardinal Martini, and papers by Cardinal Kasper and other noted scholars and leaders. This is a wonderful resource for serious-minded individuals, DREs, bible study leaders, and parishes.

The articles are accessible but not dumbed down, a refreshing change from what has become the norm at the grass roots level within the Church. The Martini mix includes the complete set, which ways more than a pound!

The Martini mix includes two copies of my book “Journaling with Moses and Job”, which is based on Martini’s classic out of print book “Through Moses to Jesus.” It includes numerous extensive excerpts from it. Also included are several other Martini titles.

Why Martini?

Carlo Maria Martini, S.J., the late archbishop of Milan, has been the most prominent promoter of lectio divina in the post-Vatican II church. He published over 40 titles on the subject, and they have been translated into various languages.

Outside of the pope, he had the most impressive resume in the Church:

1) A doctorate in theology from the Gregorian and in Biblical studies from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, where taught for ten years.

2) Former rector of the Gregorian and Pontifical Biblical Institute.

3) Former member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the pope’s advisory board on biblical matters.

4) A world class text critic (expert in the biblical languages and manuscripts) and former member of the American Bible Society’s committee for the establishment of the Greek New Testament.

5) Emeritus Cardinal of Milan, the world’s largest Catholic diocese.

6) Former president of the European conference of bishops.

7) A contender at the 2005 papal conclave, despite advanced age and having Parkinson’s disease.

What was most amazing about Martini was not his accomplishments, but his message and modality. He was able to integrate and communicate in an accessible manner his intellectual acumen and pastoral experience and understanding of the human sciences. It is rare for a renowned scholar to communicate accessibly, insightfully, and pastorally. Most simply can’t come down to earth, or in their attempts they overcompensate and come off as simplistic or condescending.

Of Martini’s many literary, formational, and evangelical merits, four stand out:

1) He humanizes the Bible and its character, circumstances, and challenges, thereby enabling me to personalize it and recognize its timeless and personal applications.

2) He demythologizes the Bible, that is, he makes it a living, breathing document founded in timeless and existential values. He helps you read between the lines and recognize the continuity between ancient and modern times, and the unchanging qualities of the human nature and condition. Within biblical studies the term demythologize has been associated with the great twentieth century German exegete Rudolf Bultmann, but that is not the sense in which I use the word.

3) By reading his books, through a process of what I call spiritual osmosis, I gradually assimilate his methods, which are often spelled out, and at other times implicit in his writings. Thus I learn how to interpret and apply the Bible personally, confidently, and competently, but without pride, rationalism, or intellectualism.

4) He integrates biblical studies and spirituality with Ignatian spirituality, the human sciences, and pastoral sensitivity in a way that bears directly on grass roots needs, without ever compromising orthodoxy or intellectual integrity.

The Catholic Biblical Federation (website was established in 1969 by Pope Paul VI to further biblical study, spirituality, and ministry at the pastoral level. Though supported by scholars, it is not oriented towards academia or highly technical issues. It is in over 80 countries and over 130 bishops’ conferences are members. It is the official pastoral biblical ministry association in the universal Church.

Pope Benedict gave his seminal exhortation on lectio divina in a 2005 address to the Catholic Biblical Federation. He is increasingly promoting it, and his lucid addresses and writings are amenable to it. His message is a wonderful compliment to Cardinal Martini’s. Reflecting their different backgrounds, they approach and communicate the Word differently, but with similar values and objectives.

So, if you want an unbeatable literary mix for combatting the mediocrity of modern life and mainstream politically correct spirituality, you can hardly do better than Martini and the CBF (see point five of the mission articulated at the top of this page. The Martini Mix is designed to bring these superior resources to you in an affordable and manageable package. Call for details.

Library Topical Selections

Sample topics include: biblical spirituality, commentaries, popular or academic, gender identity, vocation, and relationships, Christian stress and time management, wellness, sacraments, spiritual direction and discernnment, theology, morality, Christian history, papal books and biographies. If your desired topic is missing, let us know, because we may have it, but neglected to list it.