Tag Archives: perfection

The Performance Principle

Growing in Christ: Week 1 The Performance Principle Friday, March 22, 2019 Religion in the second half of life is finally not a moral matter; it’s a mystical matter. While most of us begin focused on moral proficiency and perfection, we can’t spend our whole lives this way. Paul calls the first-half-of-life approach “the Law”;… Continue Reading The Performance Principle

Dying by Brightness

Unknowing: Week 2 Dying by Brightness Sunday, October 7, 2018 I die by brightness and the Holy Spirit. —Thomas Merton (1915-1968) [1] For most of us, growth is a long process of being drawn “by brightness and the Holy Spirit,” as Merton says. I interpret this brightness as being overwhelmed and undone by Immense Mystery… Continue Reading Dying by Brightness

Thérèse of Lisieux, Part I

Mysticism: Week 2 Thérèse of Lisieux, Part I Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897) has long been an important teacher for me. The French Catholic Church of her time emphasized an ideal of human perfection, which took the forms of legalism, perfectionism, and immense self-preoccupation. Yet Thérèse humbly trusted her own experience, as… Continue Reading Thérèse of Lisieux, Part I

The Weeds and the Wheat

Everything Belongs: Week 2 The Weeds and the Wheat Monday, December 5, 2016 Can true humility and compassion exist in our words and in our eyes unless we know we too are capable of any act? —St. Francis of Assisi [1] Jesus uses a number of images that illustrate the tension between good and evil.… Continue Reading The Weeds and the Wheat

Wholeness and Love

Spirituality of Imperfection: Week 2 Wholeness and Love Friday, July 29, 2016 Perfection is not the elimination of imperfection. Divine perfection is the ability to recognize, forgive, and include imperfection—just as God does with all of us. Only in this way can we find the beautiful and hidden wholeness of God underneath the passing human… Continue Reading Wholeness and Love

Love Shows Itself as Mercy

Spirituality of Imperfection: Week 1 Love Shows Itself as Mercy Thursday, July 21, 2016 Christianity’s idealizing of a kind of “perfection” seems to have emanated from Jesus’ teaching on loving our enemies. His exhortation has usually been translated: “You shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (found only in Matthew 5:48). Let’s take… Continue Reading Love Shows Itself as Mercy

Perfection: A Self-Defeating Path

Spirituality of Imperfection: Week 1 Perfection: A Self-Defeating Path Wednesday, July 20, 2016 The path of union is different than the path of perfection. Perfection gives the impression that by effort I can achieve wholeness separate from God, from anyone else, or from connection to the Whole. It appeals to our individualism and our ego.… Continue Reading Perfection: A Self-Defeating Path

The Last Will Be First

Spirituality of Imperfection: Week 1 The Last Will Be First Sunday, July 17, 2016 The message of falling down is very counter-intuitive, yet it is found in most of the world’s religions, especially Christianity. We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. That might just be the central lesson of how… Continue Reading The Last Will Be First

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