Everyone seems to be spiritual, but not religious. I take this to mean that they think about God, now and then, but they don't go to church. I don't buy this. I think this is just an excuse for laziness. And not just laziness to physically getting one's body inside a pew on Sunday, but intellectually laziness, as well. I don't think most people have thought out, why they chose not to attend a church.

I can only judge myself. I try to be spiritual and part of that is being religious. My spirituality involves a way of life and not adherence to St. Teresa of Avila's prayer life, or St. Ignatius of Loyola's spiritual exercises. I need liturgical prayer, Daily Mass, if possible, but an ordered prayer life. My prayer must include contemplation. I need time alone to converse with God. God's voice sometimes is a whisper. Quiet time is a necessity.

Almost a prayer, is my study. Learning about God is necessary. I will never understand God, but sometimes I feel closer to understanding than others. . For holiness is not just about the heart, but also the head. By grace, thinking can become a sacred activity. Many times, what I read to understand for myself, comes in handy explaining to others. I can see where the fruits of my contemplation are passed on. An intelligent presentation of the Gospel by its nature draws souls to Christ, not me, but what I have learned.

In my prayer, I pray for others. The "others" are important. I need the support of people who think like me. No man is an island, and finding encouragement, love, and support helps me to carry on. My prayer group, my parish, my study group, my Lay Dominican Chapter, my "cloistered brothers", and my friends are my life line. My community "has my back."

The work I do for God is a necessary part of my spirituality. Everything ties together to do this work: prayer, study, community. I wouldn't be able to do my prison ministry without my preparation in prayer, study and support. Even blogging, like this becomes a prayer, or brings me to prayer, and connects me to an even bigger community so that I am sometimes emboldened to think of my internet activity as a cyber-ministry. Why would I bother, were it not for the greater glory of God?



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