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The following are miscellaneous spirituality-related quotations:

WHAT IS MAN? Man is not merely flesh and bone. A gramaphone record is not merely a circular plate with grooves in it. Each record looks like another, grooves or lines all over. In every groove are hidden voices, words, songs and so on. In man, too, is latent the possibility of all types of Karma. Each object, event or experience since childhood, lies dormant in him. The rivers, mountains and stars he has looked at are all in him. He has in him the past, present and even the future. He is all there was, is and will be. (Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 11, p. 236)

WHAT IS SPIRITUALITY? Spirituality involves living a life governed by spiritual disciplines such as prayer, spiritual reading, meditation, fasting, simplicity, solitude, service, confession, and worship. Spirituality also consists of being spiritually-minded – seeking “the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God”; and setting one’s mind “on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). [Alexander Peck]

WHAT IS HOLINESS?  Holiness  is manifesting in one’s life godlike qualities – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – in other words, the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). God is holy (1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 11:44-45), and so holiness in our lives is becoming like God. From the beginning, God wanted his people to be holy (set apart, different, unique) just as he is holy. (Alexander Peck)

TWO VIEWS OF HOLINESS. First, holiness has been seen as a conforming to a pattern which can be a limiting perspective. On the other hand, the metaphor of a journey is truer to the meaning of holiness. [David Walker, “Holiness: Pattern or Journey?” Australasian Catholic Record LXVI, no. 1 (1989): 18.] 

SPIRITUALITY, SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT, AND HOLINESS  . Spirituality may be linked with the ability for self-transcendence. Spiritual development may paralleled with the pattern of human development. Holiness may be described as having “to do with the quality of one’s relationship to God”. [William G. Thompson, “Spirituality, Spiritual Development, and Holiness”, Review for Religious 51, no. 5 (1992): 655.]

THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. The spiritual life is the life in which God has more and more his undivided sway – wholly turned to Him, devoted to Him, dependent on Him – through which a person becomes a pure vessel for God. [Evelyn Underhill, “Spiritual Life”, in Modern Spirituality: An Anthology, ed. John Garvey (Illinois: Templegate Publishers, 1985), 25.]

CHRISTIAN HOLINESS. Four aspects of Christian holiness are: (a) the ultimate source of holiness is the Trinity; (b) Christian holiness involves union with Christ; (c) the Church is intrinsically holy because of its relationship to Christ, and while it is a genuine holiness, it is also imperfect; and (d) the continuing indwelling of the Spirit within the Church is the living source of its holiness. [David Walker, “Comments on the Council’s Teaching on Holiness”, in SRG400 Introduction to Spirituality: Readings – 1 of 2 (Pennant Hills, Australia: Broken Bay Institute, 2006), 291-293.]

GOD OUR JOY. A fundamental principle for Christian living is that God is the ultimate joy of the believer, and it is only in God that one will find enduring peace. God is the heavenly treasure which the New Testament authors present. Indeed, God is the precious pearl and the treasure that one pursues with great radicalness. Unfortunately, however, the good things of this world can detract a person. The teachings of some of the great spiritual writers touch on the same theme – especially, renunciation and detachment. (Walker, David. “God Our Joy”. In SRG400 Introduction to Spirituality: Readings – 2 of 2, 506-513. Pennant Hills, Australia: The Broken Bay Institute, 2006.)

HUMILITY. From the Sacred Word, one learns that justification in the eyes of God lies in the acknowledgement of our dependence on God. By contrast, the Pharisees were self-satisfied and complacent. There is a basic desire in humans to be independent from God and self-sufficient. Jesus, on the other hand, showed dependence on the Father – and a selflessness which is a model for Christian fellowship. From the tradition, one recognizes humility as essential to the spiritual journey. A close link exists between humility and obedience – in fact, obedience is a means of acquiring the humility of Christ. Humility is the foundation of all other virtues and is complete surrender to God. A true humility before God carries over into one’s relationship with others. One of the chief fruits of humility is patience. (Walker, David. “Humility”. In SRG400 Introduction to Spirituality: Readings – 2 of 2, 514-520. Pennant Hills, Australia: The Broken Bay Institute, 2006.)

DIVINE LOVE. The starting point, recognized by all the great spiritual writers, is divine love – one cannot talk about love in the Christian life without first speaking of the love of God. In 1 John 4:10 it states: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins”. [Emphasis mine.] The only fitting response to love is love. However, not only do we love in order to return love, but the very love with which we love is really our personal appropriation of the love by which we have been loved. Christian love gives life an essential orientation to others. There is also an aspect of sacrifice and suffering in real love. (Walker, David. “Love”. In SRG400 Introduction to Spirituality: Readings – 2 of 2, 521-525. Pennant Hills, Australia: The Broken Bay Institute, 2006.)

WHAT IS PRAYER? Prayer is the interaction of human souls with God – since humans are spiritual beings (having a human spirit) and God is Spirit. It is the communion of separate lives with the Fountain of love and life. Prayer, then, is a purely spiritual activity. Ultimately, the real doer of prayer is God himself – since he is the inciter and mover of one’s soul. Prayer includes all the work done by God himself through, in, and with the souls which are self-given to Him in prayer. In summary, prayer may be described as lifting of one’s heart and mind to God; one’s response to God’s action within; and, communion between God and oneself. [Evelyn Underhill, “Life as Prayer”, in Life as Prayer and Other Writings of Evelyn Underhill (Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing, 1991), 54-63; Daniel Helminiak, “How Is Meditation Prayer?” Review for Religious 41, no. 5 (1982): 775-776.]


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