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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spirituality: Ronald Rolheiser in Seeking Spirituality, 1 of 3

The Greek philosophers used to say that we are fired into life with a madness that comes from the gods and that this energy is the root of all love, hate, creativity, joy and sadness. A Christian should agree with that, then add that God put that great power, sexuality, within us so that, ultimately, we might also create life and, like God, look upon what we have helped create, overflow with a joy that breaks the very casings of our selfishness, and say: ‘It is good; indeed, it is very good.’ A mature sexuality is when a person looks at what he or she has helped create, swells in a delight that breaks the prison of his or her selfishness, and feels as God feels when God looks at creation.

For this reason sexuality lies at the center of the spiritual life. A healthy sexuality is the single most powerful vehicle there is to lead us to selflessness and joy, just as an unhealthy sexuality helps constellate selfishness and unhappiness as does nothing else. We will be happy in this life, depending upon whether or not we have a healthy sexuality. One of the fundamental tasks of spirituality, therefore, is to help us to understand and channel our sexuality correctly. This, however, is no easy task. Sexuality is such a powerful fire that it is not always easy to channel it in life-giving ways. Its very power – and it is the most powerful force on the planet – makes it a force not just for formidable love, life, and blessing but also for the worst hate, death, and destruction imaginable. Sex is responsible for lots of murders and suicides. It is the most powerful of all fires, the best of all fires, the most dangerous of all fires, and the fire which ultimately lies at the base of everything including the spiritual life.

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