I was at church one Sunday and in the middle of the homily, a young priest said, “I hope you all feel cared for physically, emotionally, and spiritually here at this church.
I was so struck by this statement, because I've never heard it before from a pulpit, and it emulates what I believe a church should be for its parishioners: a church supporting its parishioners’ well-being physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A church molding Thriving Catholics.
I’m a wellness professional, and what I’ve learned during my career is that we are whole selves. We have minds, bodies, emotions, and souls. Church is not just a place where we are spiritually fed. It’s not just a place that feeds the hungry, cares for the sick, and supports the suffering.
Church needs to nourish our whole selves -- because our whole selves are made in the image of God. God cares for our whole selves. He cares for every fiber of our being. He wants us to thrive and flourish into our best selves!
If we don’t feed the mind and the body and if we don’t care for the feelings and emotions that those around us are experiencing, that all affects the soul. They are interconnected.
I think our Church at times forgets that we are physical and emotional selves as much as spiritual selves. The way we care for people must be holistic and help us truly flourish with energy, vibrancy, and new life.
This is what has inspired me to start a new evangelization ministry that supports the whole self. It’s called The Thriving Catholic and provides free ongoing tips and support for Catholics striving to live vibrant lives of wholeness -- and may expand to more in the future.
May we grow more churches that care for whole selves and whole persons -- physically, emotionally and spiritually -- and create more Thriving Catholics that set the world on fire and color our world with the fruits of the Spirit!