SPIRITUALITY: Human in the Fullest Sense
Basically, spirituality has to
do with becoming a person in the fullest
To become a person in the
fullest sense involves self-transcendence. “In other words”, writes Main, “each of us is summoned to an
unlimited, infinite, development as we leave the narrowness of our own ego behind, and enter into the mystery of
God.” It involves coming to the fullness of
being, the fullness of God himself, as the apostle Paul explains:
With this in mind, then, I
kneel in prayer to the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name, that out of the treasures of his glory he may
grant you strength and power through his Spirit in your inner being, that through faith Christ may dwell in your hearts in love.
With deep roots and firm foundations, may you be strong to grasp, with all God’s people, what is the breadth and
length and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know it, though it is beyond knowledge. So may you
attain to fullness of being,
the fullness of God himself
[emphasis mine] (Eph 3:14-19 NEB).
Becoming a person in the
fullest sense, then, may be defined as a life rooted in the mystery of God. Such fullness of being, rooted in the mystery of
God, can be seen as a Trinitarian spirituality, as indicated in the passage quoted above.
Main elaborates further on
this being human in the fullest sense. He states that Jesus has
told his followers that his Spirit is to be found in their hearts. The Spirit that they are invited to
discover in their hearts is the power source that enriches every part of life. That Spirit is the Spirit of
life and the Spirit of love. “The call of Christians is not to be half-alive, which means being half-dead,
but to be fully alive, alive
with this power and energy that St. Paul speaks of that is continually flowing in our hearts”
For a person’s life to be fully
human, they must encounter the Spirit of love within themselves. By faith, the believer can know that God has
sent the Spirit to dwell in their hearts. St. Paul has stated: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of
darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the
face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). Also, Ezekiel had written: “I will put my Spirit in you
and you will live [emphasis
mine]” (Ez 37:14). In other words, God’s being is within a person. God is the breath of life. God is
presence, and is present deep within one’s being, in one’s heart.
Since the Spirit is the
presence of power, the power of love, then in the power of God’s Spirit each person can be regenerated, renewed,
re-created, so that they become a new creation in God. A person can then live their life fully if they are open to
this mysterious presence of the Spirit.
In sum, what Jesus has done for the believer, in the
language of the New Testament, is to send his Spirit to dwell in their heart. His Spirit is open in love to God the Father. Main explains that when
the believer is open in love to the Spirit of Jesus, they are transported into the love of the Father too, with
him and through him. In other words, their human consciousness is summoned to an infinite expansion, infinite
development. And so, the believer is called to full maturity as a human being and can
therefore be human in the fullest sense through such a Trinitarian spirituality.
John Macquarrie, Paths in Spirituality (New York:
Harper and Row, 1972), 40.The quotation, “. . . fundamentally, spirituality
has to do with becoming a person in the fullest sense . . .” is attributed to John
Peter Ng, ed., The Hunger and Depth for Meaning: Learning to
Meditate with John Main (Singapore: Medio Media, 2007), 26-27,
The New English Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970).
ed., The NIV Study Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1985).
Photo credit: Intellimon