Thursday, June 28, 2007

Making Note

In his wonderful little book
The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality, Ronald Rolheiser argues that the nonegotiable pillars of the Christian spiritual life are as follows:

private prayer and private morality

involvement within a concrete community

committment to social justice

mellowness of heart and spirit.

We all have our areas of strength and our areas of challenge; none of us is a perfectly balanced composite of all four elements. And at different times of our lives, one or another strength may rise to the forefront. But my personal observation, for what it's worth, is that the individuals I would be most likely to describe as holy, or deeply spiritual, or having encountered God in profound ways, all exude a consistent mellowness of heart and spirit ~ a sense of interior peace and open-hearted acceptance of the mystery that is God's Kingdom.

I'm just saying.

Oh, and the image is from Iona ~ photoshopped for fun.


Jan said...


Did you know that Ronald Rolheiser is the President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio? That's the seminary I have been going to since 2001. (It's a 2 1/2 hour drive from my home) RR is a priest in the order of Oblates of Mary Immaculate, an order devoted to service to the poor.

Gannet Girl said...

That's pretty cool! I have been thinking about this chapter of his book for a few months, and the more anger and outrage that manifests itself in the Presby church, the more I think about it.

Kathryn said...

I need to find this book. I agree about the mellowness of deeply spiritual people. I don't think the word mellow has ever been used to describe me - perhaps I can age into it.

Gannet Girl said...

Kathryn, the people I know whom I consider holy are all in their late 60s and older. I think aging into it is the only hope for most of us.

Diane said...

"openhearted acceptance of the mystery that is God's kingdom." yes. Openhearted...that's such a great word... may God's people be more and more openhearted...

Cynthia said...

I love that, even though involvement within a concrete community made me wince a little. My involvement has been rather lacking. When you got to "open hearted acceptance of the mystery that is God's kingdom" I had goosebumps.