Finding balance in one’s spiritual growth


The picture above shows Fr. Mathias Thelen of Encounter Ministries praying for someone  at a charismatic Catholic gathering in Ottawa in late August.

In writing for the Catholic papers, and coming in contact with all kinds of different communities within the Catholic Church, I have been greatly blessed by exposure to the many different charisms of diverse communities and apostolates in the Body of Christ.

I wish sometimes that all Catholics could have the same kind of exposure I have had.  There is all the diversity inside the Catholic Church that I had found in the Protestant world, though unified around the Pope.   Some communities are charismatic and favor contemporary worship songs, and experiences of the Holy Spirit.

Some are more traditional like our little parish in Ottawa.


Some communities are composed of social justice Catholics deeply committed to serving the poor and cleaning up the environment;  others stress an intellectual approach to studying doctrine and Church history;  and some communities cater to cradle Catholics who have grown accustomed to a certain way of doing things.

We have Catholics who are warm and loving but need to discipline their experience of the Holy Spirit with sound doctrine;  we have Catholics who are steeped in sound doctrine but come across as dry and perhaps need to experience God’s love in a more direct way in order to better share it;  we have Catholics who care so much about helping the poor that they forget to  keep Christ at the centre and risk becoming like any other NGO.

Where do we in the ordinariates stand and where do we need to grow spiritually?

2 thoughts on “Finding balance in one’s spiritual growth

  1. Several decades ago, an Evangelical Christian brother shared with me a depiction of the Christian life as a wheel in which Christ is the hub, and the four spokes are (1) Prayer, (2) Study, (3) Fellowship, and (4) Ministry. When the hub is properly centered and all four spokes are in balance, all is well. The wheel rotates properly and the ride is smooth. But what happens when the spokes get out of balance, or perhaps one or two of them are broken, so the hub shifts off center? Ah, yes, the bumpy ride of one of those clown cars that we often see in parades!

    Now let me embellish a bit on the spokes.

    >> 1. Prayer is both private and communal (liturgical). and ideally should be rooted in scripture.

    >> 2. Study encompasses the study of scripture, theology, and various aspects of ministry.

    >> 3. Fellowship is the time that we spend with other believers, building up one another in faith as disciples so that we can fulfill our ministry as a body.

    >> 4. Ministry encompasses our outreach to those who do not believe, in a spirit of evangelism, and thus the witness of our lives to those around us, both within the community of faith and in other places — in our homes, our work places, our schools, and even in the halls of our governments.

    It is a useful exercise to take stock of the four spokes to ensure that we have all four of them in place and to see how they are balanced, both individually and in our parochial communities, then to ascertain what adjustments we need to make to restore whichever spokes are missing and to bring all four into balance.



  2. For someone living in Ottawa, your enumeration of Catholic “varietals” has one glaring omission. There is no mention of any example from any of the Eastern Catholic Churches. If you haven’t done so already, consider visiting Ss Peter and Paul Melkite Church and reporting on your findings.


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