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"Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world.  Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be.  We must learn to penetrate things and find God there."
                                           Meister Eckhart

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The World of the Spirit

A friend of mine recently told me the story of the two fish swimming in the ocean  The little fish swims up to the big one and asks,"Excuse me. Where is the ocean?"  The big fish answers, "You are in it."   The little fish does not understand and tries to ask his question again: "I mean, can you tell me how to get into the ocean?"  Again the big fish answers, "You are already in the ocean."  The little fish swims away looking for someone else to answer his question.
My friend compares the question of the little fish to the question of those who ask, "What is spirituality?  Where is the world of the spirit?"  He pretends he is the bigger fish and says, "You're in it."  Viktor Frankl says that modern psychology has spent the last fifty years concentrating on the mind and the body.  He complains that psychology has consistently neglected the human spirit and the world of the spiritual.
But we really have no choice.  We are mind and body and spirit.  We are "in it".  We know when bodies are sick, and we bring them to our physicians.   We know when our minds are sick, and we entrust them to our psychiatrists.   But spirits can get sick, too.  Spirits can get starved, just as bodies can.   They, too, need consistent nourishment and regular exercise.  What are the symptoms when spirits get sick?  We nourish grudges, we resent a lot of people, we find little meaning in life or human activity.  We have a hard time enjoying.   We are weak when strength is needed, and we become complainers and blamers.   We are noticeably devoid of what Scriptures call the "gifts of the Holy Spirit": love or charity, happiness, peace, patience, friendliness, kindness, loyalty, gentleness, and self-control.
When God made us, someone has suggested, we were made like Swiss cheese.  We have a lot of holes in us that only God can fill.  If we do not ask God to fill our emptiness, we will foolishly try to fill it ourselves.  We brag, we lie, we gossip, collect trophies, drop names, show off, compete for the limelight, try to gain power over others, gulp at the fountains of sensual pleasure, and look for kicks.  But in the end, we are left with painful emptiness that only God can fill. John Walsh

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