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Spiritual matters

Spring brings Easter hope of new life

May 12, 2010 - The Easter season is a time of great joy and a celebration of a victory-a victory of life over death, a victory of good over evil. This was accomplished by Christ rising from the dead.

The Resurrection teaches us that spiritual goodness prevails even over physical death. And a promising fact is that we can share in this spiritual goodness by striving to have a healthy spiritual life.

Often, however, we really don't think about having a spiritual life. What, after all, is a spiritual life?

A scene from the Bible might help illustrate this. After Adam had sinned, God asks him the question "Where are you?" God knew where Adam was physically, but I believe he was also asking Adam a question about where Adam's heart and thoughts were.

Physically I can only be in one place at a time. Spiritually, though, I can be in many different places. Every one of us has had the experience of daydreaming when we should be working or paying attention in school.

Or have you ever asked yourself: "What's the first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning?" Well, believe it or not, these things are a great way to figure out more about your spiritual life. What you are constantly thinking about is an indication of where you are spiritually.

In finding out more about our spiritual life, we can come across a couple of common roadblocks: materialism and judging others.

We're immersed in a society where material things take center stage.

At the heart of it materialism doubts the existence, or at least the importance of things we can't see, hear, taste, touch, or smell. Those who have ever traveled to places of extreme poverty have often experienced this phenomenon: people in the midst of poverty (especially children) can still be happy.

This is in no way meant as an excuse not to help. It's simply a testimony that our soul is capable of greater things than what the material world offers.

When we do start delving into spiritual things, we often make judgments about others.

How often do I spend my "spiritual time" time judging others based on their looks, what they wear, etc.? We are so easily led astray by outward appearances.

The point is: we can easily deceive ourselves about the spiritual state of another person. We can create a false image of someone in our mind, end up creating a monster and then treat that person as the monster we've created rather than the good person they really are.

So what's one solution to overcoming these two obstacles? The virtue of hope.

Hope allows us to spend our "spiritual time" focused not on material things, not on the false judgments we often make about others, but on the fact that death does not have the final word, that, in the end, good will prevail.

The most promising thing that awaits us is new life in heaven. Easter is a celebration of what awaits us and hope helps us to get there.

Fr. Daniel Pajerski, LC, is Formation Director for Everest Academy.

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