I got an email the other day from my sister in law informing me that my brother has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He’s had all the tests and is booked in for an operation. I’m told everyone is confident and they are not going to worry and are keeping busy. Sure.
Most of our days are spent trying to keep body and soul together. Truth be told mostly we spend our time keeping our “body” (the physical self) together. We need to work, to pay the mortgage or rent, fix the car, buy the kids clothes, upgrade the computer, pay the phone and electricity bills and put food on the table.
And then there are those moments… Moments of crisis; a sickness, a relationship breakdown, a death. Moments of joy; falling in love, the birth of a child. Moments of existential loneliness; nothing on tele tonight, no-one home, does anybody care? These are moments when we try to keep “soul” together. Keep a sense of hope, meaning and purpose alive. These are moments of clarity when we know that what really matters in life is love, friendship, trust, belonging, loyalty, honesty and a few other things that can’t be bought and sold on eBay.
And then the moment passes and we get caught up in the busyness of life again, while all the while knowing we should be feeding that inner self. Building up the non-material (spiritual) aspects of life. Deepening our relationships, enhancing our sense of meaning and purpose, learning how to hold on to hope in the face of disappointment, finding inner peace. It doesn’t just happen by itself.
There is a lot of wisdom in the words of Jesus that feed our inner life. The story of his life and death are an inspiration and an invitation to see the world differently. Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. Church is a place where we try to join the dots between the “real world” and the spiritual (non-material) world. It can be a slow process but regular worship, the sacraments and being part of a group of people who choose to regularly feed their inner life can lead to the realisation of “love, joy, peace, patience and self-control” and truly help us keep “body and soul” together.
This is the gospel; and it’s good news.