Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Signs of Growth in Spirituality

In a diocesan bulletin, a director of retreats gives the readers his understanding of spiritual growth.

His first quality he expresses as openness— a heart that is open to others. Rather than judging by their own frame of reference or standards, the judgment is made from what is seen. Moreover, even dealing with anguish and difficulties, openness is present, they examine the pain and accept it when necessary; not delighted by what they have to face but able to accept it because of Jesus and as a tool for the arrival of grace.

The second sign of spiritual growth he calls integration. Both the body and the soul, the world, and the church, activity, and contemplation are not separated or simply harmonized. They can see them as a whole. This is allowing them to live holistically and distancing themselves from dualism.

Often among the so-called devout, we have those who think spirituality and holiness are all about the soul, and taking care of the body is taking away from what is important. To be more concerned with the soul than the body is not to be tied to the body, it does not mean we ignore the body. In Genesis, God said everything that was made was good. To see everything that was made as unconditionally vulgar and avoiding what God has made is not living an integrated life. When we forget God for what was created we have problems. God is imminent in all that was made.

The third quality of spiritual growth is the ability to share universal love. There are levels of love. Love for oneself and one's group. This is a selfish love. Another love is for all our brothers and sisters no matter where they are found. Love without borders. The saints have shown us this love. We learn this from the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke's Gospel 10:25-37.

According to the writer, the fourth quality is to be faithful to our daily tasks. Those who are in search of extraordinary experiences are trying to grab clouds and forget their daily life. This is not genuine.
The freedom that comes from a true spirituality is not tied to one person or one situation but one  involved in doing the small everyday tasks with great love, humility, and joy and seeing all with the eyes of Jesus.
What is required for this kind of life? It is to have the mind of Jesus.

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