Saturday, September 22, 2012

Living is Spirituality

"Living is spirituality," words difficult to understand and requiring many more words to get the point. The columnist of the Catholic Times recounts how he was able to come to an  understanding and used these words as the title of his column.  

The columnist recalls attending the funeral of a religious hermit. After the funeral service and while drinking tea with a follow priest, a classmate of the deceased approached them and asked how they knew the deceased. He introduced himself as a classmate of the deceased. 

He received them with great joy and after the columnist heard that the classmate  was a counselor on spirituality the writer asked him what does he understand spirituality to be. The answer was brief and puzzling: "living is spirituality." The writer was expecting something quite different which he showed by the expression on his face. "Father, that is not all there is to say on spirituality,is it? What are your real thoughts on spirituality? Realizing that the columnist wanted more he explained what he meant to say.

He reiterated what he said that spirituality for him was life, and he explained. The reason he expressed it in the way he did  was because we can  tell what a person's spirituality is  by the way one lives. And the quality of our life will often tell us whether there's  a relationship with God, which will also tell us, he added, about their relationship with the world.

Ultimately,  spirituality appears in the way a person lives, and is the reason, the counselor said, for making the statement that puzzled the columnist.The way life is lived is a sign of the spirituality we possess and a healthy spirituality will show harmony and balance in life. God has put this image of himself in us and when this become activated we have  harmony and balance in life.

Hearing the explanation, the columnist realized there was no need to be puzzled, now understanding the counselor's cryptic statement was saying that doing all that we can do in life to the best of our ability is spirituality, doing the right thing with all the energy we can muster, and avoiding evil with all our strength. Micah expressed it somewhat differently but with the same meaning:"Only do the right and to  love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.(Micah 6:8).                                                                                                                                  

On returning to his own monastery the  columnist resolved to live with this admonition as his goal, and sang the hymn that the deceased enjoyed reciting: God, you have given us an abundance of mercy; we return this in life with joy and happiness."

Expressing our spirituality can be done in many ways, and the simpler the better. For a Christian, our spirituality is primarily God working within us; we cooperate by saying yes. The life we live will show the results of God's work in our lives.

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