Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 11, 1999
Riechers' video shows the spiritual way
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The Adult Learning Commission is about to release Fullness of Life, a 40-minute video on Christian spirituality by Pallotine Father Erik Riechers.
The video which features Riechers speaking on spirituality before an audience in Red Deer's St. Mary's Church, will be available sometime this month.
In Fullness of Life,Riechers, the director of the Pallotine Faith Enrichment Centre, contends spirituality does not occur by magic in human life. It comes with discipline and practice.
The priest suggests six essential guidelines to enter into the mystery of Christian spirituality, the first of which is attentiveness to God.
"This is the first attribute of spirituality --- to be attentive to the surprise of God's presence in all of our lives, in every situation," he says.
"You must give God your ear in prayer, in Scripture, in the sacraments and in the encounter with the community. If you are looking for direction in your life and you want spirituality, lend your ear to God."
If we refuse to accept the surprise of mystery in our lives spirituality will not come, Riechers warned. "Spirituality cannot be bought.
Attentiveness to God will lead us to ask honest questions that show there is a gap in us, a desire to be fulfilled, the priest says.
This questioning will not guarantee answers because "the task of spirituality is not to grasp God but to be grasped by God. It's not to comprehend God but to be apprehended by God.
Thee three honest questions that a person searching for spirituality must ask are: Why do I live? How do I live? Whom do I live for?
"Every spirituality asks these questions," Riechers said. And our answers to them may determine whether we are ready to live a spiritual life.
"We have to empty ourselves of everything that keeps us from loving our God, from reaching out to our brothers and sisters," the priest recommends. "If we want our lives to have a blessed ending then we must be sure that we are living lives that are a blessing for others."
Riechers describes spirituality as "an encounter with God" which requires us to be ready and willing to say "Yes." "No spirituality can succeed unless you are willing to say 'yes' to God," he warns. "You have to let a 'yes' pass your lips."
Father John Spicer, director of The Adult Learning Commission, expects Fullness of Life to be available by the end of January, if not before. He believes the tape will be of great benefit to ordinary Catholics and anyone searching for a genuine Christian spirituality.
The Adult Learning Commission plans to promote Fullness of Life among all English-speaking parishes in Canada.