I had an extraordinary experience today. I discovered I was starving.
Marathon Man, Little Minion and I had plans to spend the day at a local outlet mall northeast of us. Since we were running late for the 10:00 Mass at our parish, we decided to go to a slightly later Mass at a parish in a town along the way. We’ve been to this parish dozens and dozens of times before and I’ve always enjoyed going there.
In Catholicism, this is the “Year of Faith”. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI invited Catholics to make efforts to become more educated about their Faith; what it is, what it means, where it came from, how can we use it today and every day moving forward. The parish we attended this morning is doing something really cool with this. In each of the pews are printed copies of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”. Every Sunday, from October 2012 to November 2013, the priest will use Homily time to instruct on and explain a section of the Catechism. Today’s topic was the Seven Virtues: temperance, fortitude, prudence, justice, faith, hope and charity. As I sat there reading the Catechism and listening to the priest’s explanation, I FELT my soul being fed and nourished. In all of my years as a Catholic, I have NEVER felt that way in Mass. I understand what it means to “come to the table”. I feasted on a spiritual banquet today.
And I realized that my soul was starving. I thought that I was taking care of it. I have a couple of devotionals that I read every day. My Lenten challenge is to read Christopher West’s “Theology of the Body for Beginners”. I run our parish’s middle school youth ministry. I feel like I pray ALL THE TIME. But something big is missing and I did not realize it until today.
I need to be fed.
All of the things that I do regarding my faith, I do on my own. I engage in solitary activities, like reading, or I lead as a parent or a youth minister. Aside from Mass, I don’t engage in any faith activities in which I’m led in a group. And I dare say, it’s something extraordinary that this is the first time I felt fed at Mass. Maybe it was the combination of the priest reading and explaining the text in my hands. Maybe it was God’s way of revealing that I need more from Him.
I know now that I’m missing the experience of being educated by experts, discovering and discussing Faith knowledge in a face-to-face group. I need a Bible Study or some sort of fellowship group. Or just to get together with my “Sisters in Christ” and talk God. A couple of my friends and I were just talking yesterday about a Bible Study we took a few years ago. Perhaps it’s time to do that again.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus. Feed my soul.
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