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This blog explores what I call the split nature of our spirituality. By Split Spirituality I mean the division which exists between the language we employ and the reality in which we are now living.
In recent years, I have had time to explore this split, as I have experienced it in my own life, and have become aware of some very disturbing realities which affect not only my life, but the life of every human being. In the light of this present experience, I become more aware of my own past life.
My own first inkling of this split came in my very early days of my active ministry. It was the discrepancy I noticed between the way we use religious language and the way are, in fact living.
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I had the good fortune to be thrown into situations where the vast majority of the people I met and worked with, aware of this discrepancy, we're already in search of a more harmonious way of living and had therefore abandoned this dissonant way of life and we're in search of something more true, more just, more peaceful, must just. These people gave me hope. They we're trying to live out their lives as honestly as they could and we're refusing to pretend.
On the other hand, I also saw others, Jesuits included, who we're consistently refusing to look at the questions of massive defection from church going and church living and using high-sounding religious language in defence of their behaviour which, in fact, excused them from any obligation to get involved themselves.
I do not want to get involved in acrimonious disputes by giving detailed examples, so let me describe the problem in general terms.
When religious language is used and acted upon as a way of escaping from it's demands on us to change our lives radically, then you will see the evidence staring you in the face.
Conscientious people who really do have a passionate concern for truth, peace, justice and the integrity of creation will find themselves unable to follow what they see as pretence. They will seek elsewhere and will not be deterred by threats or warnings from those who are using religion to protect themselves. Their work will be ineffective as Jesus says By their fruits you shall know them, their groups will split asunder because they have become like vine-leaves cut off from the vine.
Those people who do let God be the God of compassion, love, justice, have no need to be in charge, to be in control, they do not need to worship or display their own ego, to attract attention because their genuine spirit of self-giving has already assured them that all is well and is the answer to their deepest desire.
In the next blog I shall continue of this theme of genuine self-giving as the answer to our deepest longings, the deep-set rock in which our lasting refuge rests.
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