|The Spiritual Life in Christianity|
How does one live? How you you walk with God? How can you deal with all the temptations in life?
|Enlightenment So how do you find "it"? Is it something that can be taught? One or two minor suggestions.||
Contrary to popular belief, if you want to seek God or learn to meditate, you are not forced to abandon Christianity and turn to Eastern Religions. Of course, wisdom is found in those traditions and if they help you, great. But, Christianity has ample resources in this area as well.
It is easier to apply spiritual advice to a person's real situation than to teach it in the abstract. Further, spirituality depends so much on the giving up of things, the removal of obstacles, the ceasing of a kind of striving. As a result, it is hard to give a checklist of things to do. This page just puts a few things out there for your consideration.
Christianity, in its early centuries, had a vibrant and exciting spiritual life with all sorts of attempts to understand how one should live.
In later years, an active spiritual life became the specialization of certain branches of Christianity. Protestants rejected monasteries and the special class of monks, sisters and (almost) deacons that represented vocations devoted especially to spirituality. Unintentionally, they rejected much of the spiritual life as well.
|Monasteries The monastic ideal is not of a place of pampered escape from the world, but a (self-supporting) place where the ideal of human life in community can be attempted.|
|Patristic and early spiritual writers The early writers (the "church fathers") should be seen less as crabby dogmatic theologians and more as mystics. They, and the early monastic writings comprise a great, and unappreciated treasure of advice on Christian life.|
|Spiritual Practices Some simple practices are useful for becoming more receptive to the grace that is all around us.|
|Resources, Ancient and Modern Writers & Links||
In modern times, spirituality has suffered from the same secularizing tendency that has afflicted the rest of the church. So, it has been confused with psychology and with "taking a break," from stressful lives. Neither is its purpose.
|Music Music has had a profound place in moving the spirit. I recommend a few albums.|
|Icons An important aspect of worship in the eastern churches.|
|Last updated 4/1/06; first posted 7/13/99; © 2006 John P. Nordin|