Marydale Retreat Center at 945 Donaldson Hwy, Erlanger, KY 41018 US - Spiritual Health
|St. Peter's Basillica, Rome|
How many of us pray each day for good health? And when we pray, exactly what aspect of our being are we asking God to make or keep healthy? Is it about physical health, emotional health, psychological health? What about financial help--you know--"Give us this day our daily bread..." Or is it perhaps about all of these?
Some people are obsessed with accumulating riches, or spending every minute in the gym to sculpt that perfect body, or go through the most stringent dietary rituals for optimal physical health. Even if we don't suffer from these obsessions, we all take time off from work to revitalize ourselves physically, emotionally and psychologically. And how many of us would be working at all if it weren't to maintain or improve our financial health? But what about spiritual health?
Spiritual health is the most important. All other forms of health aim at improving the quality of our mortal, temporary lives. Spiritual health aims at improving the quality of our lives for all eternity. And yet, if we are brutally honest with ourselves, we often find that the activities that build our spiritual health are nowhere near the top of our priority list.
Spiritual health begins with the decision to make God the priority in our lives, not just a priority. But he doesn't force us; he doesn't want it to be an obligation. He desires to have a meaningful relationship with us but he still gives us the choice.
In her reported apparitions in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, the Blessed Mother has frequently described this decision and the transformation that follows as a process of conversion. She doesn't liken it to a "light switch" conversion like St. Paul experienced on the road to Damascus. Instead, she describes it as a moment-to-moment decision for God and against anything else. It occurs over time and we grow spiritually as we choose God over the other choices we face in our lives every day.
Like our bodies, our spirituality has to be fed in order to grow (or even to survive). Fortuantely, Jesus has given us, through his Church, all the means necessary to cultivate and nurture this precious relationship with God.
Here are the four food groups I would recommend for a healthy spiritual diet:
Prayer - all day, every day. St. Paul says to pray without ceasing. We can pray while we work and pray while we rest. We can offer any activity up to God as prayer.
Frequent reception of the sacraments - especially reconciliation and Eucharist. Reconciliation heals us of our sinfulness that is an obstacle to our spiritual growth. The Holy Eucharist contains such abundantgraces that it should hold a preeminent place in our daily schedules if God is truly the priority.
Holy Scripture - every day. Through prayer, we talk to God. In Holy Scripture, he talks to us.
Meditation - time out for God. Many of us feel quite comfortable talking to God but how about listening? We need to make the time to listen to God speaking to us in the deep recesses of our hearts, particularly through his Holy Scripture.
And for dessert I recommend an annual retreat. An annual retreat gives us a chance to get away from the world for a weekend and truly make time for God. We can feast on the richest spiritual food for the soul revitalizing our bodies and our spirits.
The Diocese of Covington is blessed to have the Marydale Retreat Center offering quality weekend retreats for men, women, and couples. Each year, every parish chooses one weekend for the men of their parish and another for the women. If that weekend isn't good for you, you should feel totally comfortable coming to any weekend that you can - you will always be welcome. There is a fee for the weekend to help sustain Marydale, but no one is ever turned away because of their inability to pay.
Come to Marydale and let the Holy Spirit fill you like never before.