Patricia Hofer

Why are you on the spirituality scale?

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience” (Pierre de Chardin). This has such a ring of truth. Why then is there, even in the hearts of the most active and committed Christians, a doubt about where they are on the spirituality scale?

Part of the problem, I think, is that our understanding of spirituality, in Christianity or out of it, can be illusive. For some, to be spiritual might mean to be as the angels, ethereal beings with wings. And, for Christians and non-Christians alike, being spiritual can be some kind of an “other world” feeling, a pantheistic intermixing of invisible things with visible things. Then, too, Christian doctrine, intentionally or not, has encouraged the idea that “spiritual life” is a reward that believers won’t fully receive until they die.

But, as Chardin wrote, spirituality isn’t something we start out not having. It is, instead, the continuing life that came down into human beings when God created us in His “image,” when He made us “living souls” with a conscious spirit. This invisible spirit of Christ is always present in each human heart. It isn’t something we achieve but something we discover.

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