I’m re-formatting my brother-in-laws computer (which he’s giving to his cousin) and it’s being ornery, but I need to finish it tonight because the cousin is leaving in the morning. So while I let some software install/run I thought I’d update a bit more.
In prayer, God speaks only one word: the life of the one who prays (to paraphrase Karl Rahner). So it seems simple: the way to discern if any spiritual path is valid is to look at the fruits that in engenders in itrs practicioners. Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Huichol, Wiccan, etc. and ad infinitum – any spiritual path is to be judged by its fruits: does it lead to justice, compassion, the good, the right, wholeness, holiness, etc. . . . if it does, then it is valid.
Another thought: Christianity and I are in a relationship.
In order for a relationship to grow and mature, people must keep growing and maturing; the people involved must celebrate what has gone by, but they must also forge ahead, for to live in past experiences only is to kill the relationship. An unhealthy relationship is one in which the people are so focused on each other that they forget all else: other friends, work, school, time alone, etc. . . . such a relationship becomes unhealthy/unbalanced. In a healthy/balanced relationship, the people involved nurture each other – they draw their strength and energy from each other, but they then direct it outward to others, never losing the core relationship, but never dwelling on it exclusively.
Now, if I only focus on Christianities’ past, what has gone before me, the relationship will die. I must celebrate what has gone before, but I must also make new experiences, find new ways of expressing and celebrating this relationship.
Likewise, if I focus too exclusively on Christianity (to the exclusion of all other religions), I’ll stagnate, and the power and beauty I find in Christianity will rot within me. It’s only by directing that energy outward that I can truly be transformed and empowered by my relationship with Christianity, but this means forming relations outside my primary relationship, which means with other religious paths. I must take what I’ve learned from my primary relationship with Christianity to these other relationships, but I must also take what I’ve learned in these other religions back to my primary religion; thus my relationship with Christianity is kept healthy/balanced and vital, full of new life, vigor, beauty and love.
I won’t spurn my lover (Christ) – I don’t want to fall into religious adultery, but I will maintain outside friendship/relationships . . .
I’ve discovered that to be in love is to be full of life, vitality and energy. To misuse or misdirect this love is to destroy the life/vitality/power/beauty/grace that flows from it. To live this in-love-ness correctly, however, is to geometrically enhance it’s power.
So it must be with my lover. We must empower each other, I drawing strength from Christianity and it drawing strength from me. Only then is it true and good and liberating and empowering and alive and life-giving and affirming.
Christianity and I are in a relationship.
Blessings & Peace,