Thursday, March 3, 2011

You don't need church to live in denial

You don't need the church to be the one-half in "Two and a Half Men," but that doesn't mean people don't use the church to escape themselves. You don't need the church to avoid the pain of your own self-destructive wiring. But it can help.

With the opportunity to try out a new spiritual practice or discipline in the coming Lent/Easter season, I hope to take a fresh look at what I need- so that my faith practice, whatever it is, can limit self-delusion and blindness, and can encourage self-knowledge and awareness.

The thing is, we can turn anything, even the good gifts of our tradition, into a self-serving exercise, subverting and sabotaging the holy and life-giving intention of the practice. That's why it helps to be intentional and have the support of another in the journey, such as a spiritual director. The great gift of a Christian spiritual practice is first and always, the freedom Holy Spirit gives us to choose more of God, and less cobbling of the concocted self.

That's wonderful addition by subtraction!

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