Thursday, November 05, 2020

Ten spiritual tips for winter lockdown

Fr Paddy Byrne

1) LIFE IS MESSY

The lived experience of life is what makes us who we are. If we lived in a perfect existence we would never grow. Life is not always a smooth ride. It is, in fact, by its very nature messy at times. Remember, God didn’t send Covid like an Old Testament plague, so forget about conspiracy theories or superstition. Faith doesn’t protect you from the storms of life, but it gives you courage to steer a course.

2) GOD IS IN THE MESS WITH YOU

God deals directly with us and is present to us, so our job is to recognise where God is present in our everyday lives. Even in the mess of things, in the dirt and muck of things, God is always there. That may be unexpected, but it is liberating. We’ve seen God at work in these Covid times: the community sense, helping others, frontline workers’ commitment, the re-emergence of the common good, focusing on important things such as God, family, relationships, kindness and caring.

3) THERE ARE TWO FORCES WORKING ON US

There are two voices speaking to us at any moment: one is from God and leads to life, while the other is the ‘enemy of human nature’ and leads to ‘death’. While this is primarily a spiritual insight, it obviously has huge implications for mental health and psychological wellbeing. Ultimately, it boils down to consistently making life-enhancing decisions, tackling the seductive demons and unmasking them. We can’t afford to be naïve; listening to the wrong voice leads to destructive consequences.

You can read the other seven tips in Fr Paddy’s column: Time to think in this week’s Laois Nationalist, on sale in all local shops

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