Archdiocese of Chicago

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Friday, January 4, 2013

A Spiritual Challenge

It has been several months since I last shared any reflections in this space. They’ve been weeks spent in chemotherapy, which has now ended. Chemo is something of an ordeal, somewhat different from person to person. I remain grateful for the prayers that have sustained me these last several months.

While chemotherapy makes the ordinary tasks of life sometimes extraordinarily difficult, just picking up in constant fashion the many daily responsibilities that fall to all of us can be a spiritual challenge for everyone. When just getting through the day seems to demand more than a person can do, the habits of the spiritual life sustain the framework in which we find the Lord. In a society that craves “newness” the virtue of perseverance takes on new importance. Spiritual writers long ago identified the vice of “acedia” as what overtakes the monk when he discovers that he will be neither abbot nor saint. Then compromise with small evils in one’s life eventually can overcome what once was a commitment that made sense of all the small activities that fill one’s time. Praying for perseverance means living joyfully the vocation to which God calls us each day.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

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