I have a new granddaughter. God created her to desire daily nourishment, and she grows hungry a lot. When her stomach is full, she'll smile, coo, and gurgle. Yet, when she grows hungry, she cries; she will not be comforted until she is fed. She is like all human beings in that God created her to need food daily.
Similarly, God created us to need daily spiritual nourishment (see Mt 4:4). Yet we don't recognize the signs of our spiritual hunger as readily as physical hunger. Our spiritual recognition is dulled the further we move away from Jesus. For example, many Catholics skip Sunday Mass and feel no different afterwards.
Fr. Al Lauer, founder and longtime author of One Bread, One Body, frequently taught about spiritual anorexia. In our pamphlet, Living In Reality, Fr. Al wrote: "A lifestyle of indulging in carnal desires results in losing our appetite for the things of God. 'The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed' (Gal 5:17). The flesh will gradually put to death our desire for prayer, God's Word, Holy Communion, and Christian community. Our lifestyle can make us spiritually anorexic. We starve to death spiritually, and starving people don't have the strength to work."
God fed the Israelites with daily manna (Jn 6:32). He wanted them to come to Him each day in faith for nourishment (Ex 16:4). God has likewise given us a daily program to defeat spiritual anorexia: the Bread of Life and Scripture readings at Mass (Acts 17:11; Mt 4:4). Those who go to daily Mass regularly notice a difference when they aren't able to go to Mass one day; they still come to Jesus that day in prayer and in His Word. Come to Jesus daily to be nourished. Then bring several anorexic people to Jesus.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2012 through May 31, 2012.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011.