As I am sure many of you know, food is very important to someone who is pregnant. There are days when meetings run long and before I know it, 2pm has arrived and these babies need lunch! I hit a physical wall. I am not only exhausted mentally, but physically. Have you ever hit a wall like that? I am sure we have all hit a “nourishment wall” at some point. Our bodies need sustenance. They need proper nutrition and exercise to keep us energized and healthy. Physical nutrition is a blessing for many of us; we don’t have to worry where the next meal is coming. When we are in need of physical nourishment, most of us have the opportunity to find a quick fix and get back on our feet.
Today’s Gospel reminds us of another type of nourishment, spiritual nourishment. We hunger in the same way. Sometimes we hit a wall or we catch ourselves in a sort of mechanical rhythm of spirituality by just following the motions. Others might be severely malnourished, having not gone to Mass in months or missing out on the healing offered at Confession. Many people are starving for a deeper satisfaction; nourishment that feeds our souls. We are talking about the nourishment that Jesus offers to us through the Eucharist. I happen to believe that the reason some people feel lost is because they are in desperate need of spiritual nourishment. Their soul, in a way, has hit a wall. They are collapsing or lost without respite and sustenance. Without the proper spiritual nutrition and exercise, our souls can get weak and malnourished, just like our bodies.
How would the church look differently if we were all spiritually nourished? There was a 2007 study from Pew Research that noted: “People who attend religious services weekly or more are happier (43% very happy) than those who attend monthly or less (31%); or seldom or never (26%).” I am not surprised that there is a correlation between happiness and Mass attendance, are you? Think about your own experiences with Mass. I wouldn’t be honest if I were to say I entered Mass energized and happy every time. However, I do leave feeling better than when I entered. Watch people’s faces and body languages before and after Mass. Often you will notice that a formidable change has occurred. The Eucharist heals us, sustains us, and nourishes us in ways that are hard to describe to someone who has been suffering from spiritual malnourishment.
We have all hit a wall at one time or another, rather physically or spiritually. Consider these types of stewardship practices as a tool kit for nourishing ourselves back to spiritual health:
Stewardship of Time: Make a prayer tithe during lunch. If you only have 60 minutes, commit six of them to prayer.
Stewardship of Talents: Review the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. You will find an abundance of good works that will nourish your mind, body, and soul.
Stewardship of Treasure: Consider making a donation to the Alpha Ministry at Cathedral. The donations help supply food and hospitality for over 50 guests each week.
Katie Price is the Coordinator of Stewardship and Discipleship at the Cathedral. She can be reached at the Parish Offices, 522-3342 or via email at [email protected].