The foundation and principle of Introduction to the Devout Life
by Saint Francis de Sales is:
God has drawn us out of nothing
solely out of God’s own goodness
not because of anything we have done.
But in the Garden Adam and Eve
rebelled against God’s seemingly oppressive dictum
“You shall not eat the forbidden fruit”
and were expelled from Paradise
which was necessary for deepening their spiritual growth
according to God’s plan.
Now we are all east of Eden
and struggle to live like Christ
which is God’s purifying action in us.
All negative experiences can be elements
of the ‘passive dark night’ of John of the Cross
if approached with faith/hope/love.
Things are broken
so we need compassion toward others
which starts with compassion toward our self –
being open to whatever you feel – positive or negative –
makes you open to whatever others feel.
Spirituality must be able to handle hard times
as well as easy ones
in order to be deep.
In fact, spirituality could impact every aspect of our lives –
when we approach our food with reverence and mindfulness
our daily bread becomes Holy Communion
the Last Supper and the First Supper
since this is the dawn
of a fresh spiritual approach to a basic necessity.
Spirituality could also include sexuality –
in musical legend Bruce Cockburn’s songs
sexuality has spiritual/sacramental meaning –
it is “spirits open to the thrust of grace”
a medium for God’s Divine Presence
even in, or particularly in, our sexual life
so God becomes our All in our all.