Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Defining Spirituality

Borrowing some from Rolheiser, I would define Spirituality as what we do to sort out and express the divine madness in our souls. The restless longing of the dreamer, the quixotic refusing to accept the surface reality, the madness given by the gods by which we hunger for more, for meaning, for completion. Spirituality seeks to express these longings and fill them with something Divine.

At the beginning of the television series Heroes, Mohinder Suresh asks what it means to be in the image of God,
"Where does it come from? This quest? This need to solve life's mysteries though the simplest of questions can never be answered. Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream?
Perhaps we'd be better off not looking at all. [But] that's not human nature. Not the human heart. That is not why we are here."
It is indeed maddening to seek transformation into the image of our creator. A Holy Madness is appropriate for all who lay themselves down on the operating for this intense surgery. To be conformed into the image of Christ is to be made into the Human of Design, to be the kind of person who looks out for others, the kind of person who is not only holy as his maker is holy, but is also to be the kind of citizen that would make a truly just world possible. It would be making a world the way God had intended it.

This formation into the image of Christ is not an undertaking, but rather an in-working. In John 21 the disciples fished all night and caught nothing, but a word from Jesus and their own effort to cast the net and haul it in was met with the grace of 153 large fish. We can work all night long and get nowhere, but how blest our work can be when we do just those actions Jesus has directed us. We clothe ourselves with him as we hear his voice. We put flesh on the word, we incarnate it, this is the way of spiritual formation.


  1. Ooh! Preach it honey. You make me get all excited about serving God, once again.

  2. we can forget how radical the Gospel is. Following Christ will require all we have. And i agree that with him by our side we shall not run dry, we shall catch all those fish!