Thursday, November 12, 2015

Obstacles to the Spiritual Life

Ascetical theology is a branch of  theology, which  deals with the practice of virtue and attainment of holiness.

An article in the Peace Weekly on spirituality
mentions the work that is necessary not only in controlling and purifying our five senses but also a need to purify our internal faculties of memory, and imagination. We work on the external, but need concern also with the internal.

Imagination is a neutral faculty it all depends on the way used if it is to be a help or a hindrance in the spiritual life. Jesus in his teaching used parables and worked on the imagination of his hearers. If our use of the imagination in the past has experienced a great deal of positive information, we will be helped, but if it has many harmful images, the effect on the imagination is injurious.  

Our external senses have to be controlled so that we don't have harmful images entering. It is difficult to imagine anything  that has not entered by the external senses. What we consider not helpful should not enter, if we want to advance in our spiritual journey.

Our memory also has to be purified. Whether we liked it or not, we have had many experiences, some we have forgotten but many we remember. Remembrances that have impacted us harmfully should not control us. Memories of our  sins and scars can be overwhelming, and need to be replaced and forgotten.

When we have experienced God's grace and blessings, these need to be remembered and brought to mind often, and the hope they have nurtured. This is a great help in developing spiritually.

We also have internal cognitive, emotional and volitional acts that have to be purified. Without our emotions being purified, we will be bothered with sensual desires. Our cognitive faculty helps us to put light on our faith life, and foster love in our spiritual life. A strong will is necessary to do what we know we should, and to be conscious of God, otherwise we will be concerned only of ourselves. 

Internal senses and faculties are all connected and working with one, will influence the others. In the past, the Church did take an interest in what books and movies the Catholics should not read and view, precisely because of the harm it would do to our imagination and memory. This is no longer advisable for the way society looks upon this interference in our daily life, but the reason was and still is, enabling us to live a healthy and happier life.

No comments:

Post a Comment