Connecting Faith to Everyday Life
by Father Martin Pable, OFM Capuchin
The test of any form of spirituality is connecting the good ideals with everyday life. A man must begin to form a vision and a lifestyle in keeping with his commitment to Christ.
Instead of keeping separate compartments, he begins to make connections — first in his mind, then in his choices.
He begins to ask new questions:
1. How does God view this issue?
2. What is the Lord’s plan for me?
3. How does my job fit into God’s larger purposes for me and for the world?
4. How does God view my marriage, my children, my style of parenting?
5. What’s is God’s view of sexuality?
6. What does Christ teach about human relations and dealing with difficult people?
Instead of relying on his own judgments and insights, the man seeks guidance through prayer, reading the Bible and other spiritual sources, and seeking the counsel of other faith-filled people. As he grows in vision, he also comes to see that his actions and choices need to be brought into line.
Here is where the going can get tough, because he may reach the conclusion that he has to make some changes in his lifestyle if he is going to be faithful to the newfound vision.
As one man told me, “Spirituality was fun till I realized it meant giving God the right to ask some things of me!”
Let’s be very clear about this. Spirituality is not meant to be fun and games. It is discipline, and it is tough.
This is the reason that in A Man and His God I stressed the importance of the traditional spiritual disciplines, especially prayer and Bible reading. Then I tried to make connections between spirituality and some of the key areas of a man’s life: self-image, work and leisure, the quest for love, marriage and family, dealing with life’s problems.
You may find the spiritual road demanding, even frightening at times. Trust God: trust him with your life, your love, everything you have and everything you are or would like to be.
This is the stuff of spirituality. You have embarked on a great journey.
Excerpted from The Quest for the Male Soul. Copyright ©1996 by Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN 46556, www.avemariapress.com. Used with permission of the publisher.