More and more, in formative spirituality, we are getting in touch with the fact that,for most people, 1)
, which precede 3)
, which precedes 4)
. The wonkish formula is that
.I love the OT verse that says that, in
those days, ten men from every nation will come and take you by the sleeve and say that 'we would go with you for we have heard that God is with you.'
And the NT verse that most resonates with this notionis Luke 24:32 -
Did not our hearts burn within as we walked down the road with Himand He opened us to an understanding of the Scriptures?
Catechesis & apologetics, moral & practical reason, all have a place but the
forming of desires
has been neglected too often.I think we can lose sight of the belief that a human person's intrinsic worth (withan already absolute value) does not change from womb to tomb. We cooperate with grace in following developmental/transformative trajectories because itgives God greater glory for us to cooperate with the Spirit and because there issomething in it for us (via both eros & agape) vis a vis consolations and value-realizations (via both intrinsic and extrinsic). But we travel only the distanceallowed by His will, which differs between each of us and even for each of usthrough time, all of us still remaining radically finite and variously incomplete(intellectually, emotionally, morally, socially and religiously) and radically inneed of God.Every human experience of God is radically true, radically good, radicallybeautiful and radically unitive; it's ALL extraordinary (GKC), whether for infants,those with Downs Syndrome, those variously-abled or the most piouscontemplative, even as each value-realization may differ in its degree of dualisticproblem-solving and/or nondual relationality (elements of both present).Everything we need to know for business, we learned in Kindergarten, they say;everything we need to know for the Kingdom, we learned at our mother's breast.Stages of development that follow our earlier stages, in my view, are bettercalled
. They add diversity of experience and enrich theMystical Body but they don't make this cell versus that cell in the body "more" valuable, intrinsically and eternally, just because, by our temporal and extrinsicstandards, they might contribute "more." Are the working father and diligentmother more valuable than their beautiful baby or senescent grandparent? Much