Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and practice always go together if your spirituality is genuine and relevant to your life. There is no such thing as spirituality that remains theory or just in the head and does not go down to your hands and feet.
There are many spiritual practices such as the practice of being kind to creation of whatever kind, visible or invisible, plant or animal or human, or inanimate; meditating; contemplating; believing; hoping; loving, etc.
What is important is that you choose a spiritual practice and focus on this for some time until it becomes part of your flesh, blood and subconscious and lifts you up in your journey to ever greater union with the Spirit. In this way the practice helps you lighten life's load as you live on this planet Earth.
Criteria for Choosing a Spiritual Practice
There are three basic criteria for choosing a spiritual practice: need, desire, and leading of the Spirit.
The first question to ask is: What is your spiritual need at this present time? You think that you are not so confident with your work. So you need the practice of believing or faith. Or you think that you have the tendency to be dishonest and this is bothering you now. So you need the spiritual practice of telling the truth or acting honestly.
The second question is: What do you desire in your life in order to progress in personal development or spiritual growth? The answer to this question may be the same as your answer to the first question or may be not. You may answer this question by saying, My desire now is to be more confident with my ability to perform my work. In this case the two questions have the same answer.
But there may be cases when the answers are not the same. You feel you need more faith but you think that you desire to know why you got to this point in your life when you lack faith. In this case the spiritual practice you desire is to meditate on your past life and trace the path to your lack of faith.
And the third question you need to ask when selecting a spiritual practice is: What practice does the Spirit inspire me to do? Again the answer to this question may be the same as your answer to the first and second question but it may also be different. The Spirit may inspire you instead to be compassionate with others because in this way you gain confidence in your work and progress faster in your spiritual journey.
Taking into account these three basic criteria you ask the Spirit which of the spiritual practices he wants you to take up as your first choice. But do not just ask this question. Go first to what you need and what you desire because usually the Spirit works through these areas of your life.
How to Know When You Have Integrated the Spiritual Practice
If you are faithful in your spirituality and practice there will come a time when you will no longer consciously perform this practice. It shall have become second nature to you or part of your personality. This is the time when you have already integrated it in your life and then you can go on choosing another spiritual practice.
Going back to our example, there will come a time when you become more and more confident with yourself that you shall have automatically developed the mentality that you can do all things that is given to you to do. Paul the Apostle reached this stage when he wrote, I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
When you reach this stage in your spiritual practice, choose another practice which you can develop. It may be the practice of hoping for better things in your life, or some other practice.
There Is No End to Spirituality and Practice
Yes, there is always a spiritual practice which you can choose to develop. You will not lack spiritual practices to develop, even in old age. As you grow old you will need the spiritual practice of enjoying more the life you will live after you depart from this planet Earth. Enjoyment of this life hereafter while you are still physically present here will give you strength to carry on the remaining days of your life with ever greater vitality and joy.
Spirituality and practice always go together. As you grow in spirituality you will also develop more and more spiritual practices which will make your life more meaningful and more enjoyable, and more helpful to others.
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