Category Archives: Difference Grace for Different People

Grace for the Journey

Here are two quotes about spirituality that I understand from my own experience, but I see the differences as more stages of our personal journeys.   And of course, I see those as varying in the order of their development for people with different inborn personality preferences. By eighty-five, I’ve gone through the scary dying to my natural strength, so I could develop my weakest side more. I’ve seen others in their senior years panic in confusion over it, not knowing it’s a natural part of our spiritual growth toward more wholeness.  I know how weak spiritually I am when I don’t actively seek grace. So, when the way I’d found it since my thirties simply stopped helping, it took a while to recognize and accept that I needed to start focusing on my least developed side where I have almost no natural talents.

And while I have not become really “gifted” in that area, what has been the blessing is that I am better able to understand people who are and who have the values and limits that go with those gifts.                                                                              

Cynthia Bourgeault In terms of the spiritual journey, trying to find faith with the intellectual center is something like trying to play a violin with a saw: it’s simply the wrong tool for the job. This is one reason why all religious traditions have universally insisted that religious life cannot be done with the mind alone; that is the biggest single impediment to spiritual becoming.”

Daniel Lee “Faith has to be experiential, not just intellectual. Even if you may understand it, you may not be able to believe it. Conversely, you may not understand it fully, but you may believe it. This is the mystery of unknowing. I used to pursue only knowing by studying the Bible and theology, but once I learned about mysticism, I now understand unknowing.

Years ago, when I taught a six weeks class on mystical experience, most of the people who came were older men whose life work had been in very concrete logical things like construction and practical engineering.  And several did experience new aspects of spirituality.  One left after the first two classes, but several years later came to a prayer group and told us in amazement, “I was sitting on the couch praying and suddenly there was Jesus sitting right next to me!  He was as clear to me as you are.”  One interesting aspect of this is that intuitive me has sensed an incredibly loving presence several times. I was sure it was Jesus, but I didn’t see him with my physical eyes. We are different from one another and even our mystical experiences won’t be exactly alike, but ours will be grace for us and can even be grace second hand for others.