A foot doctor once told me that, when it comes to taking care of their health, most people largely neglect their feet. “People’s concerns and care, it seems, begin with their head or brain, then their hearts and lungs, then their lower internal organs, followed by their legs and, lastly, their feet, which they neglect until things have really gotten very bad” he complained. While I realize that some of this may just be a frustrated doctor upset that people give as much care for their feet as they should, I have to generally agree with him. I, for one, have tended to worry about seemingly everything else regarding my health than my feet, usually putting off anything of concern until after the other “priorities” have been dealt with.
What does any of this this have to do with our spiritual health? Well, for one thing, we treat our Catholic faith exactly as we do our feet. It seems that most of us have a ranked priority list of concerns and “to-dos” and our faith is somewhere down near the basement of that list.
How much are we preoccupied with what others think of us, and what we have to remember? These concerns of the head or mind seem to be near the top for most people. Taking the liberty of poetic license, how much time do we spend worrying about what we need to get “ahead” and rise to the “head” of the pack? Don’t we spend tons of time wanting to become the head person in some group or organization, to be considered the “brains” of the operation?
Likewise, how obsessed are we with how people perceive us, with our appearance, with “looking” the parts we play? How often do we judge by appearances, and look at people and situations with this society’s twisted, biased and secular eyes? Continuing, how careful are we to only say what people want to “hear”, and of “hearing” only what is convenient to us? How much time do we spend “talking” about others, and defending or explaining ourselves regardless of whether what we have done deserves or can even be solved by such efforts?
We often say that we “smell a rat” but do we ever smell our own faults? Do we stick our neck out for others, or are we cutthroat in our evaluation of them? Do we find it necessary to “get something off our chest” oblivious of how our self-serving rants and efforts may hurt others? Are we drinking this society’s moral kool-aid and making our own stance for our faith toothless by rationalizing, diluting, and apologizing for who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to stand for? How often do we swallow our pride and try to bring peace and forgiveness to a situation?
Where is our heart? Is it with Christ, or with this false, manipulative, and hypocritical society? Where is our soul? Is it taking the express train to perdition, or is it anywhere near where Our Lord wants it to be? When faced with the many temptations of this world, do we go with our moral gut, or do we take the easy way out and just follow the most popular route? Have we developed an unhealthy taste for sin, able to stomach almost anything without much moral revulsion? Are we constantly turning our back on our Faith, treating it like some convenient hat we wear whenever it is convenient?
Do we sit on our comfort level rather than pray on our knees? Do we reach out to people and does our claim to be faithful have a leg to stand on?
Lastly, do we relegate our faith to a daily footnote, touching on it only when there is nothing else to do or when we cannot avoid it any longer? Like the feet, our Faith provides the foundation for where we will go and how balanced we will be there. However, that Faith should not be treated like the feet. It should be housed in our minds, hearts, and souls, and feed the rest of our existence with its influence. When we keep our Faith at our feet, it is an uphill journey for it to impact our lives. However, when we keep that Faith in our minds, hearts, and souls, it can more easily spread its influence throughout our existence.
The next time you think about where your Faith resides in your life, get off your feet, shake a leg, and get it into your head to get to the heart and soul of the matter.
Gabriel Garnica, 2014