Friday, May 25, 2012

Growing in Spirituality

Spirituality is approached in a variety of ways and thus can be defined in a number of ways. For those who believe in God, it can be defined as maturity of life, the reason for existence, and the goal of life. Jesus is the model of how we should approach this goal. The columnist writing on spirituality for the Catholic Times delves into the hidden dimensions of the self to reveal what must be uncovered to attain spiritual maturity.

He uses the example of bricks used in construction work. Though all are all well made, in themselves they have little meaning. It is their relationship with other bricks  that gives them meaning.  A church building built with bricks is not just a gathering and piling up of bricks every which way, but its construction follows certain rules, especially at the corners; a skilled hand working with those bricks and following a plan can construct a beautiful building.

This is also true in life. We all have a multitude of memories, experiences, life fragments that can help us build our own internal temple. We have had many experiences in life from the time of infancy: failures, scars, joys and successes, and in the midst of all this there is the seed of God's grace, which is there to help us grow. Even when we do something wrong, the grace of God wants to move us to a new life. Unfortunately, we often forget this seed that is in us, opening our eyes to another reality.

Israel's history is an example of how difficult it is to discover this seed within us. The exodus from Egypt was not seen as freedom by the Jews. During the  later history of exile, slavery, the division of the country they sensed the presence of God but went back to their old ways.

Jesus came to teach us the harmony that exists between heaven and earth and to discover the hidden seed within that will enable us to live this harmony, while still dealing with the many fragments that have to find their rightful place in our lives. In doing so, we are building the internal temple, the home of the Holy Spirit.This spiritual life is not  destroyed by external misfortunes.  Even though we are weak human beings, we can be strengthened by looking for and finding the hidden seed within that will light our troubled ways. That seed does not bloom all at once but requires our constant care to nourish it.

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