Sunday, September 07, 2014

"So the life of prayer cannot be separated from this growth in holiness and in this intense, blazing love which comes from the Spirit.  The Bible clearly teaches that there is growth in grace. ... The epistles stress growth and movement towards maturity, towards the fullness of Christ (Eph. 3:16-19; 4:13).   But growth involves pain and anguish of spirit.  The path of self-knowledge and self-scrutiny calls for a willingness to endure deprivation and inner suffering.  it is not an easy path, it is the way of the Cross.  It involves a confrontation with self, a stripping away of the false self, a purifying of the personality.  True religion helps us to grow, but pseudo-religion hinders growth, for it creates and maintains obstacles and barriers.  Thus it is that much religion merely censors experience and does not liberate it, stifles human potential and does not allow it to blossom.  Much religion is superficial and does not help the journey inwards which is so necessary for spiritual health.  There has to be a movement towards the still centre, the depths of our being, where, according to the mystics, we find the presence of God."

--Kenneth Leech, True Prayer


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