Realism Versus Idealism
In my ideal life, I rise early, reflect quietly, exercise hard, and then eat a decent breakfast with plenty of coffee.
But real-world demands like getting kids to school on time, preparing for a meeting, or ironing a shirt often steamroll my hopes for reflection and exercise. I usually manage to get the coffee and the breakfast—and then more coffee at work.
Such is the case with many Americans as we make our way through life. Mundane but urgent matters seem to overwhelm more important goals, like regularly seeking spiritual nourishment.
Spiritual nourishment is the theme of this month’s Liguorian. Because we recognize that your real life and your ideal life may not always be the same, our intent is not to be preachy. Instead, we offer practical options and inspiration on how to nourish your spirit in the midst of life in the real world.
Mary McDonald’s article on devotional reading offers a nicely categorized list of books that can nourish the spirit. An article by Redemptorist Fr. Stephen Rehrauer presents thoughtful and practical suggestions for increasing our spiritual appetite and feeding our soul in the midst of a demanding society. And Redemptorist Fr. Byron Miller interviews jazz great Pete Fountain on what nourishes his spirit.
For my part, I’ve reached an age when I understand that mastery is a journey, not a destination: I can get bits and pieces of spiritual nourishment throughout the day. I may not get a chance to pray and reflect in the morning, but I can do so on the way to work. I can take a few minutes before bed to read something spiritual. And I can talk about a homily with my kids on the way home from Mass. I don’t know of a better way to do something other than just to start doing it—even when the conditions aren’t perfect.
With that in mind, I’ll go for a quick walk. (Yes, it’s just a walk to the coffee machine. But it’s a start.)