by Randy Hain | September 29, 2011 12:01 am
I sometimes marvel at my consistency. On a day filled with self-reflection like the one I experienced yesterday, I realized that once again, I was falling into repetitive bad behaviors that were hampering my faith journey. The last time I felt like this was just before Lent of this year when I was overworked, worn out and struggling to find peace. With the help of prayer, Eucharistic adoration, Reconciliation and caring Catholic friends I pulled back from the cliff and got back on the right path. Although not as severe this time, I see myself edging closer to the proverbial cliff and I am trying to apply the brakes. Do you ever experience this problem?
One of the supposed benefits of getting older is wisdom. I am not sure I am any wiser, but I have tried to learn from my experiences. It occurred to me yesterday as I wrote this that I needed to identify the challenges and bad behaviors that were causing me so many problems if I want to avoid getting to this place in the future. Here is a partial list of how I often act on my “worst spiritual behavior”:
Each of these bad behaviors adversely affects my faith, my relationship with my children and my marriage. My health suffers. I become the “friend who is too busy” and am not as accessible to others as I should be. My attempts at spiritual reading are impeded by either too much work or fatigue and I certainly don’t feel like writing. Most importantly, my relationship with Christ suffers because I have foolishly placed countless barriers between us. Enough is enough.
A friend once told me that we all struggle in our spiritual lives and it is a good thing to recognize it and absolutely keep trying to grow as a Catholic. I believe this is true and realize I have experienced growth over the years. Writing this openly about my struggles is certainly a sign of growth, I hope! I have a tendency to make things more complicated than they should be and I am going to focus on the theme of simplification in the days ahead to break out of the cycle I am in. Here is my simple checklist to help me return to “spiritual wellness” over the next few months and get back on track:
We are called to be in the world but not of the world and recognize that our ultimate goal is Heaven. The lure of our fast-paced world and our own spiritual lukewarmness can easily lead us astray if we are not diligent and careful. I am certain that I will slip up many times on my journey, but Christ will always lead me back if I ask for His help. I am a busy guy with a lot on my plate, but all of that is meaningless if I am not pursuing a life of holiness and working hard to help me, my family and everybody I know get to Heaven.
I am starting to recognize my worst spiritual behaviors and with the help of the Holy Spirit I am working to overcome them.
How about you?
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