Saturday, 5 March 2011

Spiritual Nappies!

The crocuses in the flower pots on my window are thriving; they have grown so much in the last few days. It is a joy watching their progress. Unfortunately growth in our Christian life is not automatic with the passing of time. Pews can be filled with people who have attended church all their lives and are still spiritual infants. A danger for us all is that we grow older but never grow up spiritually. We can spend our lives in spiritual nappies.

Yes, we are indeed called to live as children of God. But that entails living with child-like trust in God, in abiding awareness of our absolute dependence on Him. It does not be mean being childish, never growing in Christian maturity, never experiencing strength in discipleship, never moving beyond a life that lacks constancy, governed by changing moods and circumstances.

Before all and above all, we are told to seek the Kingdom of God. Here is no casual approach to the spiritual journey. Here is a search that is clear and deliberate and definite.

Spiritual growth is intentional. It is a choice renewed constantly. A person must want to grow in grace and make an effort to grow.  It requires commitment to stay faithful.  It requires steadfastness to continue the spiritual practices that keep us open to God.  It requires effort to cooperate with the Spirit’s action in our lives. No one has ever drifted into holiness. Our growth in grace cannot be hurried or forced; but we are called to give ourselves as fully as possible to the process.

This is a timely reflection for me as Lent approaches – Ash Wednesday is just over a week away – when the Christian community seeks to live more fully the gift of our Baptism. God wants our lives to be both faithful and fruitful. And He unceasingly offers us the grace we need to grow.

It is a blessing to be able to say: yes, I want to be strengthened in goodness, to grown in love, to be less burdened by what weights me down.

But am I willing to pay the price for that growth?