Pentecost: spirituality vs. Spirituality


I don’t know about you, but too often I divorce spirituality from the Holy Spirit.

Now don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that “spirituality” is a matter between my spirit and the Holy Spirit. But I too often define spirituality as fundamentally being about my spirit–stirring it up and syncing it up to God. Too often, when contemplating my own spirituality, my thoughts first turn to how I can ” feel the Spirit more”.

If I’m honest, I too often think that a healthy and vibrant spirituality is ultimately defined by intense spiritual experience (emotions, gifts, fruits, and such). And yes, these are definitely products of a vibrant Spirituality, but don’t we too often pursue the product, and ultimately miss the point? Most of the time, I think that if I simply achieve those “experiences”, I have been “successful.”

True “Spirit-uality” is not first and foremost about the state of my spirit. Instead, it is about developing a dynamic vitality with the Holy Spirit. It’s about being swept up in a force greater than myself–a person greater than myself.

Intimacy with any other person is not first and foremost about your experience of them. It’s about exploring the depths of who that person is.

Lord, forgive my self-centeredness.

He is the under-girding assumption, foundation, and pillow for all things.This isn’t about us.

Oh, the offense and relief that should be! And oh, how I miss it.

It’s not about me, therefore it’s not by me.This weight isn’t mine–or yours–to bear. We seek to be swept up in Him, draw near to Him, remove the things that keep us from Him, and then trust that He will then respond to in such a way that stirs us–a way that brings our souls to ecstasies we could not give ourselves, to experiences of gifting we could not bring about, and to fruits that could not be tasted apart from the Spirit’s work.

True Spirituality is this: that we know the Spirit.

Spirit, come.Teach us to find and know fullness of the Spirit only in Jesus. Make us wholly dependent on thee. We love you. We need you. Come.

O Holy Spirit, Love of God infuse Thy grace, and descend plentifully into my heart; enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling, and scatter there Thy cheerful beams; dwell in that soul that longs to be Thy temple; water that barren soil, overrun with weeds and briars, and lost for want of cultivating, and make it fruitful with Thy dew from heaven.  Oh come, Thou refreshment of them that languish and faint. Come, Thou Star and Guide of them that sail in the tempestuous sea of the world; Thou only Haven of the tossed and shipwrecked.  Come, Thou Glory and Crown of the living, and only Safeguard of the dying.  Come, Holy Spirit, in much mercy, and make me fit to receive Thee—Amen.

–St. Augustine

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