My name is José Guardiola, a junior theology and philosophy major at the Roman Catholic liberal arts school Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California. I recently spent three weeks living at the Iowa City Catholic Worker House and attending a Writers’ Workshop course at the University of Iowa.
It’s so easy to fall into the habit of thinking that there is only one way to practice our faith. We tell ourselves, “I need to go to church more, I need to pray more, I need to read scripture more,” but we rarely say, “I need to do more.” The Catholic Worker movement recognizes that manual labor to serve others; feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving shelter to the homeless, etc.; is a spirituality on to itself.
Sure, legitimate closeness to Christ cannot be achieved without the sacraments. But here in Iowa City, Emily Sinnwell, David Goodner, (as well as so many other volunteers, advisers, supporters, and donors) have taken their faith beyond the altar and to streets. The greatest lesson I’ve learned has been here at The Catholic Worker, that is, it’s one thing to receive the mystical body of Christ in the sacrament, it’s another thing to have the body of Christ living in you.
Thanks for having me and I hope to visit again soon.