Dear Alumni and Friends of Fordham,
We are in the second month of the new year and the mighty Super Bowl is behind us. But though the days are slowly getting longer, this is also the time we start to really notice the bone-chilling, face-freezing winds of winter. For some, this chilly second half of winter is a dreary time, or a good time to go on vacation. It’s also a time many of us begin to struggle keeping our new year’s resolutions. Since many of these resolutions are concerned with our health and general well-being, this is also a good time to reflect on those ideas.
Concern for one’s health and well-being is a significant personal issue. The whole health care industry is a major component of our economy. We are also encouraged by Pope Francis to take greater care of and be more concerned for the health of the planet, our home.
These concerns are highlighted just as we begin the liturgical season of Lent, which leads up to the great celebration of Easter. Traditionally, it’s a time to check on our total health and well-being. Don’t forget to ask yourself what the status of your spirit’s health is. Each of us is a composite of body, mind, and spirit; if we neglect the health of our spirit, we may not enjoy full health. Here are some thoughts on spirituality for your reflection.
"The spiritual core is the deepest center of the person. It is here that the person is open to the transcendent dimension; it is here that the person experiences ultimate reality."
—Bernard McGinn, Roman Catholic Author of Spirituality Volumes
"I believe that fundamentally spirituality has to do with becoming a person in the fullest sense. [...] [Spirituality] brings to expression the conviction that to reality there belongs a depth, a complexity and a richness that are not exhausted by the visible and material objects presented to the senses."
—John Macquarrie, Christian Theologian
"Spirit is a natural dimension of every person. [...] The word spirituality goes further and describes an awareness of relationships with all creation, an appreciation of presence and purpose that includes a sense of meaning. [...] Persons find that their spirituality helps them maintain health, cope with illnesses, traumas, losses, and life transitions by integrating body, mind, and spirit."
—From Journal of Pastoral Care (Spring 2001)
"Spirituality is that aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, and to the significant or sacred."
—From the Society of Critical Care Medicine
If these ideas inspired you, I encourage you to explore the Ignatian spirituality resources for Lent available online.
I hope these Lenten resources prove to be helpful to you, providing some good means to attain better total health and well-being—a great Lenten project!
Father Dan Gatti, S.J., JES ’65, GSE ’66