Spiritual Wellness: God Advice from Fr. Rallanka & Fr. Celio

Luke Whalon, Staff Writer

In the chaos and stress of life, maintaining spiritual wellness is just as important as maintaining physical wellness. Both Fr. Ryan Rallanka SJ and Fr. Greg Celio SJ sat down to offer spiritual wellness advice they had for students at Seattle Prep.
“God often times reminds me that I am not an island unto myself,” Rallanka said. “There’s an invitation to come to God with our concerns and sometimes those things that we bring into prayer feel overwhelming.” Celio added that taking a breath in those overwhelming moments of our lives “helps us to stay rooted in the present.”
Paralleling spiritual wellness to physical wellness, Rallaka said, “In the same way that you would exercise the body to get healthy, if we want to be more spiritually healthy, that presumes that we are doing some regular spiritual regular practice.”
One of those spiritual regular practices is the Ignatian Examen. A key aspect to the Examen is practicing gratitude: “Practicing gratitude makes it more likely that we see the world as a good place and recognize God’s goodness to us,” Celio insisted.
“Whether spending time in nature or listening to beautiful music, our souls are nourished by beauty,” Celio added, mentioning how he had enjoyed being present in the beauty of music at a concert at the Seattle Symphony.
“God loves us very deeply and profoundly. God sees our struggles,” Rallanka noted. “Students I think have to ask themselves: Where do I find life? Where do I find joy? What sparks joy in my life and have I carved intentional time to do those activities?” Both Rallanka and Celio also pointed to the fact that Prep has available resources for students, such as counselors, teachers, and even themselves. Rallanka added that “it’s okay to reach out for help.”
Celio concluded with some optimistic advice for students, highlighting the importance of taking time to heal: “When we make space to reflect on what’s been difficult in a given day, with God’s help, we often find healing and feel more hopeful about the next day.”