When we talk about the “spiritual life”, “exercise life”, or “family life”, it’s just another way of saying the “spiritual component of life”, or the “familial component of life”. In reality, all of those “lives” are all parts of one unified life. They should all function in tandem with one another because no part of your life can be entirely independent. When one part of your life begins to deteriorate, it affects the quality of the other parts.
That being said, the most overarching component, the one that deals directly with our soul, is the spiritual component. Timmerie spent a segment of Trending with Timmerie talking about five ways that we can find happiness in our “spiritual lives” the same way we’ve found happiness in the other aspects of our lives.
“Everything is made up of matter and form, but mostly form,” said Timmerie. That includes human beings. While the matter is important because it allows us to conduct ourselves, the form is what tells us how our matter is supposed to function. In our case, our matter is our bodies, and our form is our souls.
When self-help gurus talk about life improvement, they often hyperfocus on things like sleep, diet, mood, habits, exercise, or business strategies. All of those things are so important and integral to becoming well-rounded. However, the biggest piece of the puzzle is missing: God. Where does God fit into our schedule? Does He? How long do we go without talking to Him during the day? Do we start our days with Him? Do we end our days with Him?
“I would argue that most of us are missing the mark when we’re searching for happiness, which is why I want to talk about five steps to not just be happy but achieve absolute, total joy.”
- Learn How to Pray. We might say we pray, but how consistently? Are we patting ourselves on the back for making it to Sunday Mass or saying our prayers before meals? That’s a good start, but as a bare minimum, we should be starting our day with a morning offering and ending our day with an examination of conscience, gratitude for our day, and prayers for protection. Timmerie said in total, a good starting goal would be thirty minutes a day, split up as you see fit.
- Go to Confession. The consistency with which you go to confession is often up to the individual and their sins, but a general rule of thumb is to attend as often as you can without giving into scrupulosity. Timmerie recommends going at least monthly, and a very common frequency is to go to confession bi-weekly. However, if you are in the state of mortal sin, go to confession as soon as possible. Many people don’t go to confession because they aren’t even aware of their sins. But that’s why we have the examination of conscience. And the longer we wait to go to confession, the more difficult it becomes: we get anxious, we feel more guilty about the things we’ve done, we get nervous, and sometimes, we just forget our sins. So go to confession, and don’t stop going.
- Go to daily Mass as often as you’re able to. It may not be convenient to find time before work or during the workday to put down what you’re doing and go to Mass, but it will always benefit you. Daily Mass is often only 25-30 minutes and if that requires you to take a shorter lunch or wake up a little earlier, it’s worth it! You’re making a sacrifice, which gives you grace, and you get to receive the Holy Eucharist, every day if you wish!
- Read Sacred Scripture. You’ll often hear opponents of Catholic teaching attempt to use scripture to tear down its legitimacy, but it is very rarely the case that they have read the Bible in its entirety. Simply by being Catholic, you will run into faith-based obstacles in your life. It pays to be well-educated and well-formed in scripture. Timmerie encourages people to read scripture daily, however much they can. Sometimes you can read a chapter, and other times you can read a verse or two. She recommends starting with the gospels. They’re much easier to digest and many of us are familiar with the contents already. Then move on to Acts, Revelation, and the Old Testament.
- Fast. Sacrifice. Offer up mortifications. Don’t just abstain from certain things, but actively fast from food, not just during Lent. Fasting is an exceptionally effective method of conducting our prayers to God for a specific intention. It combines our efforts of going without food with our effort to take time to speak to God.
“This is what led the saints to heaven, and this is what will help us achieve so much more than the happiness that we’re seeking.”
Tune in to Trending with Timmerie weekdays at 6pm CT