Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spirituality: Going Home

Home is another word for the Spirit that we are, our True Self in God. The self-same moment that we find God in ourselves, we also find ourselves inside God, and this is the full homecoming, according to Teresa of Avila. Until then, we are homesick, although today most would probably just call it loneliness, isolation, longing, sadness, restlessness, or even a kind of depression.

The common word for this inner abiding place of the Spirit, which is also a place of longing, has usually been the word soul. We have our soul already - we do not "get" it by any purification process or by joining a group or from the hands of a bishop. The end is already planted in us at the beginning, and it gnaws away at us until we get there freely and consciously. The most a bishop or a sacrament can do is to "fan (this awareness) into flame" (2 Timothy 1:6), and sometimes it does. But sometimes great love and great suffering are even bigger fans for this much-needed flame.

The good news is that there is a guide, a kind of medical advocate, an inner compass - and it resides within each of us. The Holy Spirit is guiding all of us from home and toward home.

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life