A Word from Our Chaplain

Every month, we in the United States observe some kind of awareness; every week, and most days, too. For instance, in the U.S. March is: Brain Injury Awareness, Hemophilia Awareness, and National MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Education and Awareness Month. In Canada they’re observing National Epilepsy and National Kidney this month. In the United Kingdom it’s Ovarian Cancer and Prostate Cancer Month. And in Australia it’s Muscular Dystrophy and Mouthguard Awareness Month, this last observance which actually runs all year long as emphasized by the Australian Dental Association.

But the one to which I want to call your attention is Colorectal Cancer Awareness. That’s happening now, this month, in the United States. It’s “the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer,” we read on healthfinder.gov. It goes on. “Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older. The good news? If everyone age 50 and older were screened regularly, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.”

Why don’t we do this? Well, first, no one wants to think about cancer. And when you think about cancer, you don’t want to think about this cancer (technically, “colorectal”). And when you think about it, you don’t want to talk about it. It’s not pleasant to think (or talk) about the depths of our innards, let alone when they’re infected and, well, dying. But if we address those unseen depths with preventive care, then most of the time we render this cancer disabled before it has a chance. In truth, we kill the cancer before it has a chance to come alive.

But let’s look at it another way. In Western cultures we tend to think of the center of one’s being as the heart. But in many of the world’s older cultures, the center of one’s being is the literal depths of one, the bowels. They’re always doing their job, taking in whatever we send down, removing all the good things that we can use, and purging the rest. Doesn’t that sound like perfect spiritual practice? Wouldn’t that be ideal if we could adopt a practice of vetting whatever we choose to receive through our minds, hearts, and spirits, discerning the good stuff and keeping it to nourish our souls, then efficiently discarding the rest?

Do you have a meditative practice that enables you to daily discern all that you ingest so that your whole person will be fed and edified, that the whole world might be fed by your faithful living?

What are you consuming?

What’s feeding you?

What’s eating you?

Maybe it’s time you changed your diet.

May the Peace of God be somewhere on your plate…Harry

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