Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates
SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

A Trip to the Cardiologist … and Our Spiritual Health

A Trip to the Cardiologist … and Our Spiritual Health

 

I just left the doctor’s office for my annual check-up. Per the norm, I was given the results of my blood test that was taken the day before. As I skimmed over my for post on A Trip to the Cardiologist ... and Our Spiritual Healthcomprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) (electrolytes, kidney function, liver function and such) I noticed my glucose levels were running a little high. Sure, I thought to myself, I have certainly been pushing the sweets. Then I continued to run down the numbers, to find each number is as expected based on what I was putting into my blood system.

The more I thought about it, the more I was made to reflect upon this visit (and doctor visits in general) as a kind of “judgment.”  It would be silly for me to try to tell my cardiologist that I haven’t been eating sweets when my glucose levels were showing otherwise. There was no dodging the truth—I was eating too many sweets, and if I do not cut down on sweets, I will suffer the consequences. If I want to be in the best possible physical health, it was time I listened to what my cardiologist had to say. So by the grace of God go I, and fewer sweets it is!

By the time I parked my car in the driveway, I was thinking less about my physical health and more about my spiritual health. I imagine my final judgment might be something like my trip to the doctor. The results of my life lived will be in. I will see the good and the bad, the right from the wrong. My final judgment will not be a time for negotiation or excuses, but a conversation that will reflect how I lived my life.

The difference between my trip to the doctor’s office and final judgment is that I won’t be able to go back and go on a “spiritual diet.” For this reason, we have to be honest with ourselves and begin the process of taking inventory into what we “put into” our souls (spiritual health). If we fail to do so, the consequences will be far greater than high blood pressure, but spiritual death. So what are we to do?

Among other things, we ought to start asking important questions as it relates to our appetite for such things as power, prestige, and pleasure. Do we crave control or domination in our relationships? Do we seek honorific titles? Are we yearning for the next television program after we have already watched one (this includes Netflix, Amazon and any other kind of streaming)?  Such intemperate desires are “bad food” for our spiritual health and can easily lead to spiritual exhaustion that is void of saintly vigor and energy.

Whatever it may be, we have to start accounting for what we put into our hearts. Just as we carefully watch from hand to mouth the food we digest so should we with equal intensity watch what we put into our hearts. In other words, we ought to start discerning the importance of our spiritual health with the same vitality that we do with our physical health. To do so, is to not only live with the end in mind, but to place a priority on our final trip to the office of the Divine Physician.


+

Art for this post on A Trip to the Cardiologist … and Our Spiritual Health: Cupcakes decorados (Decorated Cupcakes), Joanai64, 5 February 2014 own work, CCA-SA 4.0 International; Heart beat, Nevit Dilmen, 1998 own work, CCA-SA 3.0 Unported; Raising of Lazarus by Jesus, Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1870s, PD-US author's life plus 100 years or less; all Wikimedia Commons.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Joseph Hollcraft

Over the past thirteen years, Dr. Joseph Hollcraft has taught at the Middle School, High School, and University level. Founder of Seeds of Truth Ministries, Joseph is an Adjunct Professor to the Avila Institute and host to the Seeds of Truth Radio program. Seeds of Truth airs daily to the north state of California and can be found as an iTunes Podcast where it reaches thousands of listeners in over 40 countries. In his first book with Emmaus Road, A Heart for Evangelizing, Dr. Hollcraft reflects into the principles of spiritual and pastoral theology, and its impact upon the new evangelization. Joseph has also been published with the likes of The Catechetical Review and the Homiletic and Pastoral Review. Joseph earned his B.A. and M.A. from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and received his Ph.D. from Graduate Theological Foundation with studies being completed at Oxford University. Most importantly, Joseph is a devoted husband and father. He lives in Chico, California with his beautiful wife Jackie, and their four children: Kolbe, Avila, Isaac, and Siena.

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!

  • Articles You Might Like

    Avila Institute Events
    Join Dan Burke and guest, Kristin Aebli, as they speak about important events happening at the Avila Institute.Read More