Saturday, February 07, 2004

Spiritual Formation? 

I have been wrestling with "Spiritual Formation."

What is it? Can it be accomplished? How?

Spiritual practices seem so empty at times.

I have been led to a beginning question. One that is more perplexing than the first. If we are to gain any knowledge or experience of spiritual formation maybe we should contemplate this question first. Maybe it holds the key.

What is the soul?

There, I asked it aloud. Now it must be dealt with.

What if the soul is not something we have but it is more something we are? “It is the very life-pulse within us, that which makes us alive…As such it has two functions:

First of all, it is the principle of energy. Life is energy. There is only one body that does not have any energy or tension within it, a dead one. The soul is what gives life. Inside us it, lies the fire, the eros, the energy that drives us…

But the soul does more than merely give energy. It is also the adhesive that holds us together, the principle of integration and individuation within us. The soul not only makes us alive, it also makes us one.”
The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality, Ronald Rolheiser.

What if spiritual formation was the nurturing of the fire that burns within us—the energy and tension that defines “alive?” What if it’s about finding a way for peace and tension to live in harmony?

What if spiritual formation is less about spiritual practices and more about nurturing that which keeps us from falling apart? What if it is about nurturing live giving relationships/communities?

What if spiritual formation was more about living with Christ than practicing Christ?

Lord, help me to be alive and soulful…

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