If you are a golfer you have probably experienced days, maybe even weeks or months, where you have completely lost your game. This is also true of the baseball player who goes into a long and deep hitting slump. I have found in golf that my game typically comes back when I remind myself of only one or two very fundamental “swing thoughts.” Simplifying and getting back to the fundamentals usually produces the desired results.

Today’s first reading starts with an Israel which had totally lost it. They had given up their special relationship with God for the likes of Baal. They didn’t even realize they had lost it until the high priest happened to find the book of the law in the temple. Thank goodness the king, Josiah, took the words from the book seriously and sought consultation with the Lord and acted decisively.

Isn’t this true in our own spiritual lives as well? Sometimes we just lose it, and we don’t even know we are lost. We give up our special relationship with God for wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. So what are we to do? Let’s get back to the fundamentals. Stay true to Ignatius’ insistence on the practice of the Examen. Answer the question, what does love require? Seek consultation with the Lord and act decisively.

—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.