Posted by: wordofthevine | March 21, 2014

Why Work at the Spiritual Life?


Have you ever wondered how you can reach your potential as a spiritual person? Sometimes we practice our faith. We are faithful, but we are not passionate about it. We say our prayers, attend Mass on Sunday but we haven’t let a relationship with God “get under our skin.” Our task this Lent is to become more vigorous in loving God with everything, to reach our true “stature in God.”

St. Paul gives us a wonderful example of a human person who had been amazed by God and who had learned to welcome obstacles, challenges and the pursuit of God. While we are not all called to experience mystical phenomenon in our prayer lives, we all have received a universal call to holiness and to contemplative union with God. Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., that wonderful teacher and spiritual writer of the interior life, uses a wonderful illustration. He compares faith to an acorn. Summarizing him, he says, just because all acorns do not become oak trees does not diminish the fact that under the right conditions, all acorns are meant to become oak trees.

In baptism, we all receive “acorns” that once we learn to strive for certain conditions of heart, we all can grow into full trees. We want to welcome humiliations, reversals, obstacles of all kind for they shake us out of our pursuit of comfort. The Cross helps us welcome and receive the Love of God, so we can emulate St. Paul.

St. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:14-19:

“I bow my knees before the Father…that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened  with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Be an acorn this Lent, let God plant you solidly in the soil of your everyday life…let it come on you…humiliations, obstacles, experiences of deep and honest love of God.~ Mary


  1. Wonderful post Mary, thank you for sharing your beautiful gift as a writer and spiritual director. I love the acorn example and the whole idea of our spiritual life as similar to the growth of a tree. It grows according to how much nourishment it gets, water, sun, minerals, etc. and so it is with us. How much nourishment to our soul, our spirit, do we give it? The acorn will grow only if it dies to itself and is open to becoming the tree it was intended to be.

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