creating me [using words]

Aim and Substance

In Sunday School, while discussing the practice of spiritual disciplines, Ben asked us, “What would you say is the aim and substance of the spiritual life?” or, in other words, what result would you hope your practices would actually create, or, what the heck is the point of any of this?

I thought this was a pretty crucial question. How would you answer it?

I landed on this, which I will undoubtedly tweak over time: “The aim and substance of the spiritual life is to live fully awake, to manifest love, to walk through the world with an open heart, to care for the earth and its people with respect and tenderness, to develop an expansive gratitude for all that is beautiful and the capacity to grieve all that is evil, to encounter in my very being the restorative power of God and participate in God’s creative activity.”


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3 thoughts on “Aim and Substance

  1. Linda Cross on said:

    Hmmm. I’m just sitting here pondering a homily on the Widow’s Mite. This will give me new fodder for thought. Thanks!



  2. Great question and I love your definition.

    I would add that any practice shapes us. The practices we already have unintentionally shape us. Spiritual practices are meant to intentionally shape us into the likeness of Christ.

    So, the practice of Sabbath shapes us into creatures that need rest and who remember their Creator. My personal practice of not yelling at my kids makes me a less angry person and more compassionate towards my children and others. The aim and substance is discipleship. I don’t think following Jesus or moving forward in discipleship is really possible without spiritual practices, but they should not be limited to prayer practices only. They should include service, work, play, etc.

    • Yes, yes, and yes, I agree. We’re always “practicing” something. And some of my most important practices would hardly sound very “spiritual,” and yet they are crucial to my becoming . . .

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creating me [using words]


creating me [using words]

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