11 Apr 2016
You know, when we consider what to eat every day, we have an enormous selection. You go to the grocery store and there are oodles to pick from. Of course, the best option is to pick whatever’s healthy. That doesn’t mean can’t have the occasional candy bar. But, generally, we want calories that have some “substance” to them. We want food that’s going to build us up, and not merely sustain us in the moment.
And the same goes with our life of faith. We feed ourselves—spiritually—with all sorts of things: the Mass, the Rosary, traditions and customs, Scripture, values and principles, Church law and teachings . . . all sorts of things that nourish us and keep us alive in God. Of course, the most basic food we take in is the person of Jesus. He’s what gives all that spiritual food “substance” and value.
Of course, problems come up when people prefer the delicious “avenues to Jesus,” but never get to Jesus himself. And so, we can end up in the Church with disagreements over, say, “traditionalism” and “modernism.” People can separate off into camps, and they give more weight to the type of spiritual food than to the substance of that spiritual food. They may or may not be taking in spiritual food that lasts.
And this is a pattern seen throughout the history of God’s people. And so, we would expect to see it around today as well: instead of Christians gathering around our basic spiritual food (i.e., Jesus), they often scatter into groups; even among Catholics. This group likes broccoli, and that group likes Brussels sprouts. This group likes a solemn type of worship, and that group likes a more upbeat worship.
Now, if the Church were a grocery store, she’d be packed with an enormous variety of spiritual foods. And she is. There’s legitimate diversity in spiritual food. But, on some level, all those types of food are perishable. But what they contain is not. And so, whatever spiritual diet we’re on, whatever our spiritual life looks like, let’s be sure that Jesus himself is who we’re taking in—because he himself is the food that endures forever.