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Get Energized: Simple Ways to Rejuvenate Your Faith with Joe Paprocki

It’s common to feel the winter blues this time of year, and friend of the show and catechist Joe Paprocki looks to help with his book “8 Steps to Energize Your Faith.

“It’s just a tough time that we’ve been through with the pandemic. We have political polarization, we’ve had racial strife, we’ve been through some really, really hard times,” Joe explains. “That’s what inspired me to write this book, is just trying to reach out to people and say, hey, you’re feeling kind of down and just sort of dreary, and not having a whole lot of spiritual energy. Here’s what our Catholic faith teaches us about how we can tap into divine energy.”

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The first step Joe offers to invigorate your faith is to create something. “Scripture does tell us right off the bat that the first thing God did was create,” he says. “Some people’s careers are totally immersed in creativity: interior designers, artists, beauticians and graphic artists. You can go on down the line. Teachers have to be creative. Father Dave, you have to be creative every time you come up with a homily. These are all ways that we are emulating the divine. So if you’re feeling a little down and you want to be perked up, do something creative and realize that you are participating in the divine life.”

Father Dave notes how Joe includes hobbies as a way to create and says, “One of the ones you mentioned is photography, videography, and filmmaking.  When I go on retreat, a big part of my retreat time is me and my camera being out in nature, using that creative outlet.”

Joe responds, “Hobbies are very spiritual. I tell people if you’re gardening, that’s a very spiritual activity. Our Amish brothers and sisters tell us that you’re never closer to God than when you’re working with dirt, and I love that.”

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Another step in the book to help rejuvenate faith is to “make repairs.” He says, “God creates and he repairs. And so every time we fix something, it just feels good. It feels like the way things are supposed to be…and that’s what God wants. He wants to repair our lives, he wants to repair our society, he wants to repair our relationships, and he wants to repair our relationship with him. And so every time we fix things, including relationships, we are participating in the very essence of God who wants things to be put right.”

Father Dave recounts how one of his fellow Paulists fixed a broken crucifix for him, but also added more detail. He says, “He repaired it, but he made it better than it was in the first place.” Joe adds, “Let’s be renewed, let’s let God renew us and repair us. He wants us to be at our best and even better than brand new.”