I’m considering some ideas from a book. It is authored by Dr. Kevin Luksus. It is entitled, A Shot in the Arm: A Guide to Diagnosing and Improving Your Spiritual Health. Dr. Kevin Luksus is a Catholic family physician, author, and parish leader. I’ve previously referenced him in some of my Porch Talks.
Why do certain parishes seem to be growing thriving and doing well? Dr. Luksus says that some of this is based on the spiritual health of the parish. He says that this involves processes of spiritual change and conversion.
Other parishes seem to be stagnant or diminishing. This is based on the spiritual health of the parish. It is also based on the spiritual health of the parishioners. There involves a counter dynamic that he calls “resistance.” This influences the parish community but also individuals as well. It is this spiritual resistance that I’d like to focus on in the next few articles.
There are six types of spiritual resistance that can affect the spiritual growth of an individual. They are:
- Sin. This would especially include pride, selfishness, and complacency, also known as sloth.
- Attachments. Here we’re talking about the sins of greed and gluttony. Do we possess any unhealthy attachments to objects, activities, or persons?
- Natural Resistance to Change. This is a love for things that are familiar. This includes habits that prevent us from changing. It involves an over concern for safety and security and rigid thinking.
- Hangups and Disorders. This has to do especially with addictions or obsessions. It influences the way people act. It affects activities that seem to have inordinate power over our lives and decisions.
- Secular and Cultural Influences. An inordinate attachment to social media plays a big role here. Being overly concerned about the current state of politics also can fall under this category.
- Indifference and Apathy. This is another example of pride. People just don’t want to invest time and effort into improving their spiritual life. They choose not to develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
So here’s a question? Take a look at those categories. Each of us has a personality and a personal spirituality that is negatively affected by at least one of those categories.
Which one is it for you?
If you’re reading this article, you are already moving in a positive direction. You are using the Ignatian idea of “being awake.“ You have already taken the first step. As a second step, identify which of the items above applies to you. Finally – step three – take that in prayer to the Lord. See where the Holy Spirit leads you from there.