This posting on one level is about the Catholic Church. But that is only superficial. It is not about any particular organization or any religion. It is about the human condition, and particularly one aspect of being human: how we live with one another. It is a posting about you and me, together.
I have a Catholic spirituality, but find it difficult to sit through a Catholic Mass, and find the theatrical sugar coating of evangelical mega-church services "unreal." That's me. People need different expressions of spirituality, and will find their own paths with openness to the Spirit, for the Spirit is an obsessed lover who pursues the beloved by whatever tactics it can, including using Pope Francis, Rick Warren, or even "positive thinking" types like Joel Olsteen. The other world faiths too are rich in truth and wisdom. All are close "to the Kingdom of God," and all are invited to enter in.
One of the rich veins of spiritual nutrition in the Catholic tradition is "Ignatian Spirituality." This path is characterized by cultivating daily interior awareness of God. The purpose of the "exercises" is to increase the experience of God in all things. It is a practical spirituality, very much in the world, but not of it. And, "the spiritual exercises" are simple. They often require little more than taking time each day to focus, reflect, and adjust.
For an introduction to "Ignatian Spirituality" and "the Spiritual Exercises," visit Ignatian Spirituality.
Pope Francis took his Curia [the internal Vatican bureaucracy] to the woodshed in his 2014 Christmas message. Francis is a Jesuit, and Ignatius was the founder of the Jesuits. So like a good Jesuit, Francis "examines" the spiritual health of the Church in this message. The message is a diagnostic, and the diagnosis for Francis is that his Church is "sick." A courageous conclusion.
But there is a positive side to Francis's message: the diagnosis will permit a return to health. That is why I first present the video: "God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins" performed by Lance Pierson.
The following is reproduced from: "CRUX."