From the Pastor's Pen - Spirituality
SPIRITUALITY—what is it? One description is, it’s the way we live. It’s what we choose—what we choose to do, what we spend time on, what we spend money or effort on. The deeper are the things we spend our time, effort, or treasure on, the more satisfied our spirit will be.
That’s what Lent is about. Why “give things up”? In itself, this has no value. But if making a few choices to not be so automatic about food, diversions, or “passing time” instead of doing something with it, can open us to focus on more satisfying things, then some “giving up” is worthwhile. Even some of our spiritual practices, reading our favorite formulas or prayers already written, can become automatic. The saints speak of vigilance about spending all our prayer time this way. In the “Prayer of the Heart”, we offer God just that: our hearts, letting God speak to us in ways we may not have let Him do before. Some popular Catholic books review our teachings and refresh our beliefs, but our St. Louis bishops have called us to go deeper.
The 1st Sunday of Lent, we see Jesus in the desert tempted by—and overcoming—usual human distractions: satisfaction, recognition, respect. He sought instead to be in complete union with his Father. He leads us through an exemplary human life into the fullness of his Father’s kingdom. We can journey with him for 40 days now. So the “Prayer” element of Lent means more than “saying prayers”. It means growing with Jesus in complete, trusting dependence on a loving God. That is spirituality.
Starting Wednesday, I’ll give two Nights of Recollection on inner union with God—your “Inner Treasure.”
I’ll speak from the deep tradition of the church, and modern authors, to offer you a way to be joyful, confident, and in touch with God, in your everyday world, whether that’s hectic and busy or somewhat empty. I’m glad to present this here after having done so at three other area centers.
Our Parish Council this week considered other things to offer in coming weeks and months. It’s a great parish, and it’s important that we keep growing in real, lively SPIRITUALITY.