The Abbot spent several hours daily in devotion. His light was on well before the monks. His light at night went off well after the monks. Often he would skip a meal and be seen walking to the garden for quiet and prayer. A monk asked him, “Father, how do you get all the work done you do daily and spend so much time in devotions.” The Abbot spoke, “Son, were it not for all that time spent in devotions, I would never be able to get all that work done that I do.”
Our soul is our life. Everything else is fiction ~ a mind game, inauthenticity. Without nourishing our own souls, we can’t nourish the world; we can’t give what we don’t have. As we attend our souls, we emanate invisibly and involuntarily the light we have received.
*Marianne Williamson. “Foreword.” R. Carlson, B. Shield. Handbook for the Soul.
We are each channels of the Light transforming the darkness upon the earth. We are conduits of the Divine coursing as tributaries among people and things. We are fountains of Bliss erupting from the heart of God. We are showers of Mercy shedding watery coolness upon the parched dreams of others. We are the breath of Spirit imbuing our fellow persons with life.
Our sin is not that we generally think too highly of ourselves and need to temper our esteem. Rather, we need to embrace a Christian spirituality that affirms the innate, pristine godness of personhood.
But we, instead, in the name of religion think too lowly of ourselves. We call that humility, when it is an inverted pride. The false humility only leads us to irresponsibility and abdication of our right and power to manifest God through our embodied selves. True humility embraces one’s divinity as a Son or Daughter of God with its potential to fashion good out of the elements of everyday life.
Rightly to affirm this spiritual personhood in community and true humility requires a shaping by Spirit to Spirit that occurs through a disciplined life of devotion.
Devotion forms us to and around the Center. From the Center all the inner and outer resources flow to supply us with the innate virtues and material goods to birth Christ in the world.
What spiritual practices do you engage to nourish yourself and shape your life around the Center? How much time do you spend daily in spiritual devotion? Do you resist spending more time? Explain. Do you need to give more time to nourishing your soul? Explain. What might you do to make that possible? Explain.
The Grace of the Lord Jesus, the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you. Amen.
*The writer and founder of OneLife Ministries, Brian K. Wilcox, is an ordained United Methodist pastor in Florida and author of An Ache for Union. He leads spiritual formation workshops and specializes in teaching practices in prayer, meditation, and contemplation. Brian lives a vowed life as a lay oblate, vowed by Greenbough House of Prayer.