Friday, June 6, 2014
Experiencing God from within
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
June 8, 2014
Some years ago, the great German theologian Karl Rahner dared to state that the main and most urgent problem of the Church of our time was its "spiritual mediocrity." These were his words: the real problem of the Church is "keeping on throwing itself with ever greater resignation and tedium into the habitual paths of spiritual mediocrity."
The problem has only worsened in recent decades. Attempts to strengthen the institutions, safeguard the liturgy, and monitor orthodoxy have been of little use. In the hearts of many Christians, the inner experience of God is fading.
Modern society has opted for the "exterior." Everything invites us to live from outside. Everything pressures us to move hastily, without hardly dwelling on anything or anybody. Peace no longer finds openings to penetrate our hearts. We live almost always on the surface of life. We're forgetting what it means to savor life from within. To be human, a critical dimension is missing from our lives -- interiority.
It's sad to observe that we don't know how to care for and promote the interior life in our communities either. Many don't know what silence of the heart is. Living faith from within isn't taught. Deprived of inner experience, we survive while neglecting our souls -- hearing words with our ears and speaking prayers with our lips while our hearts are absent.
In the Church we talk a lot about God but where and when do we believers listen to the quiet presence of God in the depth of our heart? Where and when do we welcome the Spirit of the Risen One inside us? When do we live in communion with the Mystery of God within?
Welcoming the Spirit of God means stopping talking only with a God whom we almost always place outside of and far from us, and learning to listen to Him in the silence of our hearts. Stopping just thinking about God with our heads and learning to perceive Him in our innermost being.
That interior experience of God, real and concrete, transforms our faith. You are surprised that you were able to live without discovering it before. Now you know why it's possible to believe, even in a secular culture. Now you know a new and different inner joy. It seems to me very difficult to maintain faith in God for very long amid the agitation and frivolity of modern life without having, albeit simply and humbly, some inner experience of the Mystery of God.