We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Bishop Lopes: A Pledged Troth. A pastoral letter on Amoris Laetitia.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Spiritual not religious? Anticipation of Spring.

The Pacific Northwest is currently enjoying a very mild winter, if one could call  it winter at all. The cloud-shrouded days are a constant twilight. Even among the well-seasoned West coasters, the return of the light and longer days—at least days when you can actually see the sun—cannot come too soon.

Blossoms on many decorative tree types were detected as early as mid-December. Decorative cherry trees lining a major thoroughfare were happily blooming prior to Christmas. The tulip trees only recently dropped their large white flowers. A spindly tree tucked away among the evergreens in a wild section of a local arboretum started flowering in early December, a full three months ahead of schedule. The aroma of the delicate lilac-like blossom is intoxicating.

Most grocery stores have begun to stock plants normally made available in late February or March. Unlike many locals still hibernating, gardeners are wide awake and snapping up plants for their garden creations. Seed stands are fully stocked and positioned in the path of shoppers as they approach the cash registers.

There are a lot of gardeners in our neck of the woods. Gardens are being prepared. Vine trellises are being repaired after winter windstorms, which have been few thus far. There are several large plots of land set aside for apartment-bound people to rent a patch of earth to grow whatever they want to harvest: vegetables; flowers; fruit bearing vines. There were once many more rentable garden plots, but due to the allure of profit, owners have allowed developers to subdivide properties and erect expensive condominiums and townhouses on the former food-bearing ground.

The gardener knows he or she must tend the garden. Weeds must be cleared for food plants to grow. The soil must be fertilized to enhance growth (and the flavour of the food plants).

Religious-and-spiritual vs spiritual-but-not-religious.

1. To say you are 'spiritual but not religious' is like saying you are a gardener but you never get your hands dirty.

2. To be religious-and-spiritual is to weed the garden. The spiritual-but-not-religious person imagines there are no weeds. (Gardens need weeding. Otherwise, weeds will choke out the good.)

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