Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

Three Staples for a Year-Round Healthy Spiritual Diet

   During the summer season, many of us enjoy eating fruits and vegetables that are in season. And yet, there are foods and beverages that we value consuming at all times during the year. Many of us value the opportunity to consume meat and potatoes, orange juice and coffee or tea regardless of what season we are in.

   Life itself can be described as a process of changing seasons. The early years of our lives can be likened to Spring. We look forward to that which is ahead. During the so-called summer season of life, we strive to be productive. We look forward to the harvest time of early retirement when we will hopefully be able to reap and to enjoy the results of many years of hard work. Eventually, winter settles in, that time when we are no longer able to do what we could do at one time.

   Regardless of where we are along the process of living, there are staples to our spiritual diet that we can never outgrow. These items can be likened to meat and potatoes and to our favorite beverage. The first staple for which all persons yearn is that of transcendent celebration, which is what worship is. The invitation to participate at Mass weekly offers a regularly-recurring opportunity to experience ourselves within the bigger picture of life itself. When we gather for worship, we celebrate what we have in common with people all over the world and with all persons of all times, namely that we are embraced by a loving God Who has a special place for each of us. As we make time and room each weekend during the summer to celebrate at worship the bigger picture in which we live, we are renewed to face that which is ahead of us in a lighthearted and grateful spirit. We will grow in the ability to embrace the ups and downs of life in a manner that benefits ourselves and others.

   Another element on the spiritual diet for which we continue to yearn at all times is the need to receive and to extend forgiveness, of which our Lord is the Source. As an expression of His love for us, the Lord enables us to realize that we have hurt ourselves, others, the environment and the Lord Himself both by what we have done and by what we have failed to do in order to lead us to healing in our relationships. What a treasure the Lord through the Church offers us for our spiritual healing and nourishment in the Sacrament of Reconciliation!

Unfortunately, sin is not seasonal. It can be easy for any of us to give in to lovelessness at all times during the year. We don’t have to wait until Advent to celebrate the Lord’s healing and thus nourishing love as this is offered in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why not resolve at this time to celebrate this Sacrament on a monthly basis?

   As we continue to grow in the awareness that God’s love for us is not seasonal, we will grow in the ability to value the staple spiritual food item of sacrificial gratitude. From within ourselves, we will want to express our gratitude to the Lord at all times. We acknowledge the Lord to be the Source of all that we are and have as we support our parish with our financial resources at all times. Normally, it is in and through the parish with which we identify ourselves that the Lord works to provide for our spiritual nourishment at all times. As we continue to support the Lord’s work in and through our local parish at all times during the year with our financial means, we will be doing our part to enable the Lord to continue to nourish people now and in the future in and through the parish to which we belong.

   As we continue to value and to partake ourselves of the spiritual food staples of transcendent celebration (worship), reconciliation and proactive gratitude at all times, we will have what it takes to remain spiritually healthy ourselves and thus be a blessing for others regardless of what might happen to us in an ever-changing world.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor    


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