Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mountain Climbing for the Spiritually Minded

If personal standards were a mountain, then some would climb Everest and some might wade through a swamp.  Measuring up to God’s standards is easier said than done.  The greatest obstacle is measuring up to our own standards. 

But for those who seek God, one of the hardest things to do is accept his mercy and live with joy.  The words of saints can testify to this in their desire to seek perfection.  I prefer to think of it in a more easily understood way. 

Consider the actions of a beloved pet dog.  The dog learns that he/she has done something bad through trial and error.  The dog knows when you are displeased with it.   After that discipline and punishment is given, your pet does not dwell in sorrow and mortification.  He comes to run, play, eat and poo again.

A priest I spoke with recently clarified the worst sins well when he said that ‘of course sin in all its forms is bad, but for each person the sin that offends Christ the most is one that keeps him from charity’. 

God’s standards are pretty clearly written in the Scripture and attested by the Traditions set forth by Jesus Christ himself.  It is vital to accept Christ’s saving grace in the absolution of confession and proceed with joy and charity.  Spiritual mountain climbing then depends on your gear.