The Remedy for Super-Spirituality!

1 Timothy 5:8
If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

We can often fall into the trap of super-spirituality.  The notion at the bottom of super-spirituality is that real life is something entirely other than what meets us on Monday morning and that people are something other than the ordinary folks we know and rub shoulders with every day.  To the super-spiritual, there is something utterly boring about praying for Aunt Martha’s cold to get better.  Instead, all “true” prayers must be high-flown Platonic discourses to God about her “soul.”  Now prayers for Aunt Martha’s soul are just dandy.  But when they are offered as though all there is to Aunt Martha is her soul, we forget the critical fact that, as Christians, we believe the Word became flesh.  Therefore, dirty diapers, head colds, busted transmissions, squalling kids and all the other hoo-hah of so-called “ordinary life” are taken up in the Blessed Trinity and made opportunities to experience the spiritual in everyday life.  Those who forget this often get the idea that there is something virtuous about neglecting one’s family in pursuit of “higher things.”  They are, in fact, acting like unbelievers (and all the worse because, if they are Christians, they should know better).  If, however, we turn our attention to the most intimate theatre of love in which God has placed us — the family — we find that we are prepared to do God’s will beyond the family when it is required.  He who does not love his neighbor (and especially his family) whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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