Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Spirituality of sanctity vs other-centered spirituality?

There seems to be a current of thinking which considers the search for sanctity as something selfish, something centered on self rather than on others.

I think that's a great misconception. When Benedict XVI talked about St. Josemaria and sanctity, he talked about speaking to God as a friend speaks to a friend, letting the Other work, the only one who can make the world both good and happy.

Sanctity is about The Other.

A person whose mind is centered on my things, my time, my pleasure, my.., my.., can't be really going towards the self-giving, the self-exodus that love and sanctity is about.

But doesn't too much praying to God takes our time away from serving others?

Here is what a great Doctor of the Church has to say, St. John of the Cross:

Let those who are most specially active, who think they can win the world with their preaching and exterior works, observe here that they would help the Church and please God much more were they to spend at least half of this time with God in prayer, even though they might not have reached a prayer as sublime as this. Aside from this, they would be giving good example!

They would certainly achieve more, and with less effort, by doing one work than they would by a thousand. For through their prayer, they would merit this result, and be spiritually strengthened.

Without prayer they would do a great deal of hammering but accomplish little, and sometimes nothing, and even at times cause harm. God forbid that the salt should begin to lose its savor [Mt. 5:13]. However much they may appear to achieve externally, they will in the end be accomplishing nothing.

There is no doubt that one can do good works only by the power of God. Oh, how much could be written here on this subject!

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