Bishop Elect Robert Barron, who I’ll be seeing in person next week, has a must read up over at The Catholic World Report:
A few months ago, I spent a week in the hospital recovering from surgery, and for about three days, I was not permitted to eat any solid food. What amazed me was how rapidly my body shrank. The muscles of my arms and legs began quickly – and rather alarmingly – to atrophy, and it proved difficult even to cross the room and sit up in a chair.
Almost twenty years ago, I undertook, with a good friend of mine, a bicycle trip from Paris to Rome, covering about seventy miles a day. We really pushed ourselves to the limit. One day, somewhere in the south of France, after about five hours of pedaling, I hit the wall. Though I had heard of this phenomenon, I had never experienced it before. When you hit the wall, you don’t gradually slow down or calmly realize that you have to take a rest; you just stop, your body simply unable to go on.
May I suggest that these examples are very exact analogies to spiritual health and spiritual nourishment? Without food, the body quickly collapses; without spiritual food, the soul atrophies. It really is as simple as that. Though materialists of all stripes want to deny it, there is a dimension of the human person that goes beyond the merely physical, a dynamism that connects him or her with God. Classically, this link to the eternal is called the soul. (We oughtn’t to construe this, by the way, in the Cartesian manner, as though the soul is imprisoned by the body. Rather, we ought to follow Thomas Aquinas who said, “the soul is in the body, not as contained by it, but containing it.”)
What the soul requires for nourishment is the divine life or what the spiritual masters call “grace.” It is of this sustenance that Jesus speaks in John 6: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” Most people are at least inchoately aware of the soul and its hunger, but they feed it with insufficient food: wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. All of these are good in themselves, but none of them is designed to satisfy the longing of the soul. And this is precisely why some of the wealthiest, most famous, and accomplished people in our society are dying of spiritual starvation.
So where and how do we find the divine life?
Fr. Barron goes on to attempt to answer his own question. Read the whole thing.
His piece brings me to what might certainly be a flawed conclusion but as I continue to try to rationalize the evils engaged in by Planned Parenthood, the apathy that seems to be the response from most and the willingness by far too many to actually defend what Planned Parenthood is doing, I can’t help but see that all of it can be explained by an atrophied soul.
Does it not make sense that a soul so far removed from the nourishment provided by God would be a soul willing to either engage in or defend the depravity taking place in abortion clinics across the land? Would it not make sense that those who care little about it all are in the same boat?
There’s a price to pay for malnourished souls. Sadly today, it’s the innocent in the womb paying the steepest price.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.