The core challenge of spiritual maturity
is integrity and differentiation:
being rooted in your own spirituality
while respecting the different spirituality of others.
Accepting differences gets the ego out of the way
and points to self-transcendence – a dynamic force
operative in all human nature/experience/activity:
God’s Mercy frees us from our self.
But most religions play both sides:
throughout the Qur’an God is
but also the Master of the Day of Doom.
God is the Only One to pray to and serve
the Only One to guide us to be blessed
and not subject to God’s Wrath.
But we cut our self off from God:
“Disobedience and thanklessness
are the source of all evil.”
– Saint Catherine of Sienna
Some think humans are saints
others think we are “totally depraved” (John Calvin)/
“piles of dung covered over by the snow of Christ” (Martin Luther).
However, churches also have the capability of creating unity –
bringing in the light of God unites human beings
by showing we are simultaneously
defective and dignified/broken and blessed.
But churches are also flawed/divided/broken –
the Church thought of itself as universal and united
during the first one thousand years
till the Great Schism in 1054
between Catholic and Orthodox –
when churches became obsessed
with being ‘right’ about what separates them.
Life always involves conflict
but “The journey of the mythological hero
is to move through a devastated landscape
and suffuse it with imperishable love” (Joseph Campbell).
It always gets back to:
love/love of those who are different/
love of our enemies
the teachings of Jesus.