How big is your Spiritual Footprint?

How big is your ‘spiritual footprint’? Many people are concerned with the growing size of our “carbon footprint” and the damage — real or imagined — that humanity is inflicting on our environment, now and for the future. But where is the concern for our ‘spiritual footprint’, the lasting spiritual effects we leave, during our lifetimes, here on earth.

By our very existence we impact the lives of others. John Donne wrote in 1624: “All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated … No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

How we will be remembered and to what extent we can and will make a difference is in large measure determined by our ‘spiritual footprint’. No matter what size our ‘spiritual footprint’ might be we can and often do make a difference. God seldom uses the great and powerful to do great things. As Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

Consider St. Joseph, a simple carpenter from Nazareth. Much of his life is hidden from us, we know little of his life before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. Yet, he has been remembered and revered for over two-thousand years. A simple man from an insignificant area of the world, who by his simplicity and devotion to God helped raise a child not his own, a child who would literally save the world. He lived his life in humble obscurity, giving it all up to God, and yet, we remember him, we celebrate and honor him for his enormous “spiritual footprint.”

Each of us has a role to play in bringing about the kingdom of God. Each of us has been gifted by the One Who Loves Us with the ability to make a difference in the lives of those around us. What is important is not that we have great power or prodigious abilities, but that we have great love and a “spiritual footprint” that encompasses those who are in need.

St. Augustine wrote: “The sun throws its light equally on the faces of the blind and the sighted, but only the sighted see it. Just so, the Wisdom of God, the Word, is everywhere present, even to the minds of unbelievers; but they have not the eyes of the understanding, with which to see.”

We are called to come to know the light of Christ, the Wisdom of God, and to understand and believe. We are also called to be beacons of the light by living as disciples of Jesus, and in doing so, increase the size of our ‘spiritual footprint’ here on earth.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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