Today we begin sharing a series on spiritual wellness by friend of the Center, Fr. Michael Schleupner. We’re grateful that he shares his posts with our audience and even more grateful for his presence! He’s at the Center this week for our Winter Directed Retreat and also celebrating daily Mass in our Chapel. Thank you, Fr. Michael! Let’s take a few moments to read his insights about Scripture and scholars.
Spiritual Wellness – 1
Staying Centered on Jesus
Today I am starting a series of columns on spiritual wellness. The question is: What is involved in being well spiritually? What practices do we have to do or what traits do we have to develop if we are to be healthy or whole in our inner self, in our relationships with others, and in our relationship with God? Obviously, I write about this from the perspective of being a Christian (and a Catholic priest).
The first thing we need for spiritual wellness is probably evident: we need to stay centered on Jesus. Remember Jesus’ question to Peter and the other disciples: “’Who do you say that I am (Matthew 16:15)?’” We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed One of God, the Son of God. This means that in Jesus, we come to see and know God himself. As Jesus says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9).’”
So, how do we stay centered in Jesus? I recommend two primary ways.
* Reading the gospels. Reading and praying over the gospels needs to be part of our prayer life. All other prayer points to this or is derived from this. We need to read a few verses from the gospels regularly.
* Asking what would Jesus do. When we are trying to decide what to do in a given situation, we turn to Jesus. His teachings and certainly his example can help us to discern the good or better thing to do or what God wants us to do.
Why is it important to stay centered in Jesus? I see two reasons.
* We are made in the image and likeness of God. Jesus shows us who God is and what God is like. So, staying centered in Jesus helps us to become the person or kind of person that we already are through the act of creation.
* And second, Jesus gives us the grace of the presence and strength of God. He empowers us for living the journey of life well.
With great insight, one of our Catholic theologians expresses who Jesus is in this way:
“God’s immense richness is concentrated and focused at this one spot, the humanity of Jesus Christ, so that here, in this single Person, ‘are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’, here ‘the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily’, here stands the Eternally Beloved ‘Son’, expressly indicated by the Father’s word: ‘Listen to him!’”
“Everything is narrowed down to the One who, on earth, sacramentally and for all [persons], is to represent the One who is in heaven.”
~ Father Michael Schleupner
Quotations above from Prayer by Father Hans Urs von Balthasar
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