What would love have me do?

We know Jesus engaged in spiritual practices, such as going away to quiet places, spending all night in prayer, and taking time to rest. Yet these practices are not the focus of the gospel writers. The stories that fill the pages of the Gospels tell us more about how Jesus loved and showed compassion than about his spiritual practices. He offered healing, extended forgiveness, and cared for the poor. Most of Jesus’ teachings and parables were about God’s generous love and forgiveness. The stories about Jesus tell us how he loved. 

A soul that does not love is not at rest..png

Loving others in the spirit of Jesus may be the most significant of all spiritual practices. Without love of others, the spiritual practices have no value. That may be difficult for some to hear, but living for God is so much more than spiritual practices. Many of us have made the spiritual practices themselves the measurement of our spirituality, so much so that some don’t know how to have a spiritual life apart from the practices. 

What if this became the measure of our Christian faith – What would love have me do today? 



On Being Too Spiritual

I would have never thought about being "too spiritual" until I read some excerpts from Dark Night of the Soul, written by John of the Cross, a a sixteenth-century Carmelite friar and priest. 

If we're not careful, our spirituality can go in the wrong direction. John wrote that it often takes a dark night of the soul to uproot spiritual sins. Spiritual sins? Yes, spiritual sins. Often, the religious leaders in Jesus' time were guilty of such sins. The Pharisees could be a judgmental bunch, and it was these men who Jesus often rebuked for their self-righteousness. 

It's important as believers that we don't take on a Pharisaical attitude. 

Four out of the seven spiritual sins that John of the Cross described caught my eye (and my heart). 


Secret Pride: When we want others to notice our spirituality by our spiritual exercises or practices. 

Spiritual Greed: when we're not satisfied with what God does for us, and we are more caught up with the emotions a devotional life give us.

Spiritual Wrath: when we become bitter when the benefits of the spiritual life are taken away.

Spiritual Gluttony: when we pass beyond the limits of moderation and nearly kill ourselves with spiritual exercises. 

John of the Cross described how God takes away our vices in the dark night, only to create virtues within us. “Through the dark night pride becomes humility, greed becomes simplicity, wrath becomes contentment, luxury becomes peace, gluttony becomes moderation, envy becomes joy, and sloth becomes strength.”