Monday, February 21, 2011

2/21/11 - I Have Much More To Tell You

John 16:12-13a
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth."
These few words tell us a basic truth:  God is so far above us and so beyond our comprehension that we literally can't handle the full scope of what He wants to teach us.  

Because we are fallen, and because we place so many hurdles between us and Him, we aren't able to learn what he wants to teach.  We haven't matured spiritually enough to understand it. 

I think of it as trying to teach calculus to a first grader.  We don't go from first grade math to calculus in one step. We have to learn very basic principles and build on them for years and years and years until we're ready.  We need to learn to count, then to add and subtract, then multiply and divide, then deal with fractions and shapes, and algebra, and so on.

Growing spiritually is similar in that we need to slowly build on basic truths before we are ready for more.   The problem is that many of us (like myself) spend years and years tied up in other things, and not pursuing spiritual truth, even though our souls are starving for it.  We may be physically, emotionally, and intellectually mature, but our souls can still be first graders. 

For spiritual growth, the basic building blocks are the Sacraments, Scripture, and Prayer.  Most important, though, is to recognize our basic desire for God, and committing to satisfying that desire. If we do that and work on the basic building blocks, he will send us the Spirit of truth to guide us.  

Eventually we understand that as we choose to move away from our will (ie, deny ourselves) and conform to His will, he transforms us.  Bit by bit, we advance along the path, and become able to understand more of what Christ wants to teach us.  

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