May the Lord give you peace!
On Monday and Tuesday, August 20th and 21st, Fr. Chris, Fr. Martin, 6 parent chaperones and our school’s religion teacher, Mrs. Tiffany Cohlmia, had the blessing of leading our 8th grade boys on a retreat. Part of the retreat included spiritual coaching. The spiritual coaching activity included about five minutes of individual coaching about the spiritual life, especially the life of prayer.
I shared with the boys that if you want to excel in any sport then coaching is a non-negotiable. It is necessary to reap the wisdom of those who have greater knowledge and experience in one’s chosen sport. Without coaching an athlete may take years to discover shortcomings or deficiencies that hold them back from playing to their God given potential. The same applies to the spiritual life.
Growth in the spiritual life is not only possible but necessary. Often times our attitude towards the spiritual life is very passive. People look at their spiritual life as fulfilling the three’s P’s; pay, pray and obey. Or, they reduce the life of faith to the three T’s; time, talent and treasure.
The truth is that we have been sold a lie. The spiritual life is just as much involved and exciting as sports. It takes just as much determination, discipline, strategy and excellence to grow in the spiritual life as it does in any sport. Moreover, as St. Paul says, the runner in the stadium runs for a wreath that whither. Whereas, in the spiritual life we run for a eternal crow. The spiritual life also offers joys beyond any sport achievement can offer. Whereas ultimate success in a sport leads to a passing elation, the joys of the spiritual life leave one delighted, elated and wanting more. I can’t help but mention Michael Jordan. I remember Jordan with his NBA championships coming to the point of getting tired of basketball. For those of you order than 30, you remember that attempted to play professional baseball. This never happens in the spiritual life. Rather, there is always more. St. Ignatius of Loyola speaks of the magis, the more. Just like the rich young man in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10. He has been fulfilling all of the commandments since his youth, yet, it’s not enough. He is still hungry. He immediately asks Jesus, what more shall I do.
I wholeheartedly believe that we are ready for magis at the Church of the Magdalen. There is a great spiritual hunger. People, including our youth, are seeking more than just fulfilling the commandments; Pray, Pay and Obey or the 3 T’s. No, Magdalen is ready for the next level. It is not a time for less; it is a time for more.
Ad majorem Dei gloriam,
Fr. John F. Jirak, Pastor