The Spiritual Journey

The Spiritual Journey

Faith is like a great cathedral with beautiful stained glass windows. Standing outside we cannot see or imagine the beauty of those windows, but standing inside every ray of sunlight reveals a harmony of multifaceted, unspeakable splendors. Deep faith has certitude and mystery. God’’ truths can be partially understood through analogues, parables, metaphors and allegories. The mysteries they reveal are like describing different colors to a blind person. Paul the apostle says what we see now is like looking through a glass darkly. When describing the mysteries of God we speak about what is unspeakable. In awesome silence we believe. And because we believe, we respect and honor others and ourselves as beings made in God’s image and likeness.

Accepting the gift of faith confirms our belief in the highest level of our existence: the spiritual life. God the Father created us, Jesus his son shows us the way to the Father, and the Holy Spirit guides and inspires us. Belief becomes more important than understanding when questions are replaced by a wonder in the mystery of the Triune God. The beauty of faith is unexplainable. It is said that the greatest attribute of God is mystery. God is beyond the boundaries of the mind. Since the truths of faith will be fully understood in heaven, a sense of awe overrides a restless search for that which cannot be known.         

The most exciting and wondrous journey in this life is the spiritual journey.  Prayer is an offering of love. It draws us nearer to God and brings those for whom we pray closer to him, even though they may not feel it. As we move forward, we understand the importance of prayer and pray every day if we feel like it or not. There is greater worth in praying when our prayer seems dull, useless or cold than when our prayer is pleasant, vibrant or glowing.

Saint Teresa of Avila said we pray because we love the God of consolations rather than the consolations of God. We can grow spiritually even though our prayers are not answered the way we want. We pray best when we do not realize we are praying. If we experience distractions or dryness at prayer, it does not mean that God is displeased with us. These are common experiences and part of authentic prayer. When it seems we are unable to pray, we can ask others to pray for us, or hold a rosary, light a candle, listen to favorite hymns or chant, or think of a mustard seed of faith in full flower. We should never feel that God doesn’t love us or care for us. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. 

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Written by
Carolyn Humphreys, O.C.D.S.