Encounter is developed and marketed by Immaculate Heart Media, LLC, a project of the Charles and Linda Corbalis Family Foundation.
Linda is a wife, homemaker and mother to four children, currently in various stages of: in college, just getting out of college and just going into college. Charles is a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, (but not so successful that he doesnít have to work!) who dedicates his free time to various evangelical and catechetical projects including the creation and on-going development of Encounter.
Other projects started and funded by theLinda and Charles include:
- Founding and initial seed money for Canyon Heights Academy in Campbell, CA
- St. Julie Billiart Adoration Chapel at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Saratoga, CA
In early 1999–at the ripe old age of forty–I was already a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur; having been a co-founder and a key engineering player in a high-tech start-up that had gone public and then later acquired. Like many in my situation, I recognized that my good fortune was as much due to being “in the right place at the right time” as it had to do with my hard work and above-average smarts–and experienced in the depths of my soul a hunger that kept asking the question: “Is this all there is?”
Whether it was in response to this gnawing question, or–more likely–simply the abundant mercy of God, I found myself at my first-ever, spiritual weekend retreat. The retreat followed the standard Ignatian format with a thematic focus on the person of Jesus Christ and our obligation to preach the Gospel. During one of the sessions on “practical matters,” I was introduced to the concept of daily meditation on the Gospel. As it turned out, this was easy for me to incorporate into my daily routine. In order to function and successfully make it through each of those hectic days, I had–earlier in my career–recognized my need for “alone-time” first thing in the morning; replacing the morning newspaper with the daily Gospel was a simple substitution.
Looking back on this experience, I credit this simple change in my routine to being the springboard that made me hungrier and hungrier to learn everything I could about Jesus Christ. Slowly, this practice began to help me see myself and others as Christ sees us and it gave me the courage to act on these insights and other inspirations that came from spending those morning minutes alone with him. One of these inspirations was to find a way to introduce others like myself to the benefits of daily Gospel meditation. I say “others like myself” because I initially found meditation somewhat difficult both in practical and spiritual terms. Initially getting access to meditation materials—both the daily Gospel reading—and a commentary on the Gospel was time-consuming.
Of course this practical challenge became less burdensome as the internet became more ubiquitous and various groups began posting or emailing daily meditations but the spiritual challenges remained. I found it very easy—indeed, too easy– to shut Christ out of the meditation all together, focusing more on myself than on him. The problem I discovered with emailed Gospels and meditations is that it was too easy to treat them like the other hundred emails I received per day—skim it, archive it, then start thinking about my problems rather than trying to listen to Christ and what he wanted to say to me.
I found that what I needed was not the flat, static text of an email or web-site, but an interactive process of meditation that, by its design, would keep Christ in the meditation. In other words, at least from the spiritual perspective, what I needed for my meditation was an “App.” This insight led me to develop Encounter, an iPhone application which enables this type of interactive meditative process while also addressing the practical problem of placing the Gospel and relevant commentary at one’s fingertips. I view that developing and marketing such interactive, mobile, spiritual aides to help others find and know Christ better is–at least for now–my ministry.