Secrets Revealed – One Book One Parish

Secrets RevealedPhoto of 7 keys to spiritual wellness

We’ve been keeping a secret from you since January.

Every time you saw an article, Facebook post, or Tweet inviting you to read Seven Keys to Spiritual Wellness for our parish One Book One Parish program, you’ve been the victim of a covert communication scheme.

The scheme involved taking ancient truths promulgated for centuries which are traditionally known as “dogmas,” and presenting them in a palatable framework for the modern world.

Check it out. “Spiritual Wellness.” That sounds fair, unobtrusive, and generally appealing to most folks. After all, who wouldn’t want that? But “Spiritual Wellness” is really just another way of saying “Holiness.”
Such obfuscation also empowered the author of Seven Keys to Spiritual Wellness to use the word “Keys” instead of the word “Virtue.” It was a subtle but effective deception.

Over 800 families picked up a copy of the book and hopefully spent some time with us reading and praying through the book. But if the title was “Seven Virtues of Holiness” rather than “Seven Keys to Spiritual Wellness” it would be safe to assume we might have only given out 50 books.

Please do not infer and shame our guilt from failing to make the connection. It isn’t anyone’s fault. In fact, the work of your parish pastoral team is specifically to help translate the truths revealed to the Church and to help make those truths relevant and applicable. It is a task that even Jesus did. He took the truths of Mosses and the prophets and helped translate them into his historical context. We take the truths of Jesus and help translate them into ours.

So, truth be told, the subjects that were really discussed in Seven Keys to Spiritual Wellness were the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Maybe you learned about the Deadly Sins in a religion class years ago or inferred what they were by watching a movie steeped in cultic mysticism. Pride, Envy, Anger, Greed, Gluttony, Lust and Sloth. They are countered by the Heavenly Virtues which are corrective to the damages of sin. Humility, Charity, Gentleness, Generosity, Temperance, Chastity, and Zeal.

Surely we know about them through our experience. They are the building blocks of our news stories, movies, television repertoire, and seemingly our election cycle. Naming them is a useful tool, but why then do we ignore their relevance? It must be something about our human nature that causes us to dull the wisdom offered from our teachers, our schools, our parents, and even our church. The muttering of repetitive diatribes almost ensures that we will set our brains to “auto-pilot” and lose focus.

Which is why it is always good to shake things up and look at things a new. Now that you know the secret of the book, maybe it’s a good time to pick it up one last time and pick a chapter or two and see what ancient wisdom has been dusted off for you and cleaned up so you can use it. We don’t have any more “Challenge of the Month” questions to send to you (although our website has all of the previous challenges to review). We don’t have any more articles to write about the book. All we have for you is the revelations of a secret we kept until now and gift we hope you will use. We hope that knowing seven secrets to overcome sin and live a holy life – a spiritually well life – is something that can be practical and rewarding.

And next year? We’ll see what other hidden secrets the Church has been storing up that can be dusted off and revealed as way of fostering your deepest happiness (which is a code word for Salvation).

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