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Spiritual Needs: Weekly Message for 03-08-16
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi:
I have been happily encouraged by people’s response to our “Spiritual Smoothie” idea. It seems that a lot of people who have never watched an actual Retreat Guide (for whatever reason), are finding the Spiritual Smoothie extracts to be more palatable and digestible. That’s exactly what we were hoping!
One of the traditional spiritual disciplines of Lent is almsgiving, giving alms to those who are in need. This is a chance for us to express our love for Christ, by reaching out in His name to those he died for in order to save. The most obvious needs that alms help alleviate are material needs: food, clothing, shelter. We should not neglect these. But in our culture, another kind of need is equally real and present: the need for meaning and purpose, for forgiveness and grace – spiritual needs.
Why not gives alms to someone in spiritual need this week, by sharing a Spiritual Smoothie with them? This week’s Smoothie touches on the sacrament of confession. It is extracted from our Retreat Guide on that sacrament, From Sorrow to Joy. Don’t underestimate the good that you can do for someone’s soul by reminding them in this creative, digital way that God is interested in their lives!
Please indulge me while I quote Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) talking about this spiritual poverty that is so rampant in our culture:
The deepest poverty is the inability of joy, the tediousness of a life considered absurd and contradictory. This poverty is widespread today, in very different forms in the materially rich as well as the poor countries. The inability of joy presupposes and produces the inability to love, produces jealousy, avarice – all defects that devastate the life of individuals and of the world. This is why we are in need of a new evangelization – if the art of living remains an unknown, nothing else works. But this art is not the object of a science – this art can only be communicated by [one] who has life – he who is the Gospel personified.
It is our hope and prayer that everything we produce here at RCSpirituality.org can help alleviate that poverty, and help you reach out to the spiritual poor all around you in an inviting and unoffensive way, so that they too can have a chance to experience the joy that comes from getting to know a little bit better the Savior of the World.
May God pour abundant blessings on your Lent!
In Him, Fr. John Bartunek, LC