At the Thai restaurant tonight in Wheaton, Il, it caught my attention when someone brought into the table the reality of spiritual warfare. I declined to make further comment as it led me quiet down. Elsewhere, the strong forces of the evil one is on the hunt to destroy Priesthood, Marriage and Family relationships, the Church and the religious lives of once faithful and devout individuals. The lyrics of a song, ‘I can make good girls go bad’, is so true. It is absolutely devastating that even the ones who are expected to represent Christ, known to be vessels of holiness, whose primary office is to preach and job description include sanctifying the people of God, showing compassion, forgiving sins and exposing anomalies, were themselves tempted and allowed to be eaten alive by the king of all deceivers, Satan. It boils down into the lack of intimate union with God across the board. Every believer who seriously desires to lead a holy life must assiduously practice the basic skills of Spirituality before mastering it, similar to any area of discipline. As a priest, I strictly follow a prayer schedule and lifestyle without which I will not be able to function properly. Failure to do so will certainly affect the quality of my life and ministry and who knows, eventually, lead to distraction. In her storied history, the Catholic Church has a wealth of spiritual exercises that we can adopt depending on our taste and mood.
Reading the scriptures is on the top of my list. Just read it even if you have no formal education and background. If you encounter a striking and troubling verse, scandalized and disturbed by horrible stories and and wish to know dig deeper, drop me an email or a line and i’ll be more than happy to listen and maybe, answer anything and if I can’t at the moment, I’ll spend a heck of time researching on it and promise to provide sources for study. As a preacher, it is important to know something about the culture of the ancient times in order to effectively interpret the original meaning to modern hearers, especially if the pews are predominantly filled with the pragmatics, cynics, and skeptics. But in my experience of biblical interpretation and preaching in general, history sometimes doesn’t matter because the bible was written to inspire a people desperately longing for a deeper meaning of human existence and not simply to provide facts about God. As I said, just read it, wrestle with the text and let it sink into your heart. Second, develop the habit of reciting the rosary everyday to give you the chance to meditate on the mysteries of redemption. Repetition is key. Third, get a Christian Prayer book and don’t just keep it, pray with it. Well, if it’s a little bit too much and costly, start with silence. As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand mile starts with the first step.
But, if you have no time and energy, I can’t do anything about it. We don’t really lose faith.We’re just too busy watching TV, reading newspaper, balancing the checkbook, surfing the net, facebooking, worrying about our appearances and making sure the quality of our skin and hair are at par, anxious about what other people say and think about us and checking out the latest gadget and fad.
What’s the point? Well, the substance of what you believe must be kept in mind regularly. Amen.