Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

June 16 | Living Soulfully

Saint Lutgardis

A.D. 1182–1246

You are not just a body having a physical experience. 

You also have an eternal soul, and your life is at least as much a spiritual experience as it is a physical one. And just as your body gets hungry, your soul gets hungry too. 

Our stomachs growl when we are physically hungry. Our souls have a way of growling too. When we are spiritually hungry we become irritable, restless, and discontented.

Do you pay enough attention to your soul to know when it’s hungry?

Saint Lutgardis did. And she knew how to feed it with prayer and spiritual reading.

Lutgardis was born in medieval Belgium. She was sent to a Benedictine monastery at the age of twelve, because her family didn’t have enough money to marry her off. Her strong attraction to worldly things, like nice clothes and attention from suitors, made her first years in the monastery very difficult. She was deeply unhappy and would often run away.

That all changed one day. From that day on, Lutgardis would live soulfully for the rest of her life.

When she was twenty years old, Jesus appeared to her in a mystical vision. Lutgardis fell into a state of awe. Jesus showed her his wounds, and brought her face to face with the reality that her soul was starving, and it was time to feed it.

After the vision, Lutgardis decided to stay in the monastery the rest of her life. She took her vows to be a Benedictine nun. She fed her soul every day with prayer. In particular, she embraced spiritual reading and built the habit of Lectio Divina, the practice of meditation on a biblical passage.

Saint Lutgardis had a miraculous vision. But it’s what she did next that mattered most. She made a conscious decision to grow closer to God every day. She knew that in the spiritual life, you’re either getting closer to God or falling farther away from him. She lived soulfully. And so can you.

You cannot stand still in the spiritual life. You can't take a break. That's like trying to stand still in the midst of a gushing river. You are either moving upstream or being pushed downstream—and only a dead fish floats downstream. And yet, moving upstream is not all about making a heroic effort to do spiritual things. It is as much about consciously making an effort to receive everything that God is pouring into you and learning to simply be with God.

Live soulfully. Start today. Feed your soul, and receive everything that God is pouring into you.


I will live soulfully.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Birth, Blind People, Childbirth, Disabled People, Flanders, and the Flemish National Movement

Feast Day: June 16

Feast Day Shared By: Saints Quiricus and Julietta

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