We All Have One

My friend Susan Stabile has a most interesting spiritual pedigree. She is a professor and faculty fellow for spiritual development at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. That’s impressive. But what makes her so spiritually fascinating is that she lived in Asia as an ordained Buddhist nun in her early thirties. Needless to say, she does not fit the stereotypical model of your good Italian Catholic girl from Brooklyn!

While on the law faculty at St. John’s University in Jamaica Plains, NY she approached a Vincentian and asked his suggestion for something that might be helpful as she struggled with her conversion from Buddhism back to Christianity. Without hesitation he recommended Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Richard Rohlheiser. I, too, remember my sheer delight in coming upon the book — clearly one of the best I’ve ever read!

Susan is now leading a three-session discussion of this modern classic at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Minneapolis. She offers important and encouraging wisdom today on her blog, Creo en Dios from last evening’s session:

For Rolheiser, spirituality is about what we do with the desire that is deep within each of our hearts. And that means that “[s]pirituality is not something on the fringes, an option for those with a particular bent. None of us has a choice. Everyone has to have a spirituality and everyone does have one, either a life-giving one or a destructive one.” Thus, he describes each of Mother Teresa, Janis Joplin and Princess Diana as spiritual – albeit in very different ways.

The question then, is not whether we will be spiritual, but whether our spirituality is a healthy one, that is, one that leads us to “do things which keep us energized and integrated, on fire and yet glued together.” Conversely, he suggests, “if our yearning drives us into actions which harden our insides or cause us to fall apart and die then we have an unhealthy spirituality.”

Amen, to that! If you care to read more by Susan Stabile, perhaps even follow her on Creo en Dios, you may go to her blog site [here].

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