Friday, October 28, 2011

Lack of Spiritual Discipline---->A road to Easy-believism

St. Ignatius crossing over.
I just finished reading The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius; and while I was not overly surprised, I must confess, it was not what I expected. Personally, I thought the book would contain a collection of religious and biblical aphorisms liken to the Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471). However, what I found was a detailed reflective program requiring dedication and self sacrifice.  Now having spent over 14 years in the occult, I felt a tinge of a déjà vu while reading this entertaining book of meditations and other spiritual gymnastics. The reason I say this is because in the occult, as well as many aspects of Eastern mediation, are based on a graduated system of attainment: meaning- the initiate has a measurable way of monitoring successes, failures, and ultimately their overall progress. Being that I’m an outcome based individual, I really enjoy being able to gauge my development, both in my physical as well as my spiritual life.  

The problem I find with Christianity, as a religion, is that it is full of inconsistencies and ambiguity. While we agree that Jesus Christ is the linchpin of the whole system, the rest is basically willy-nilly and up for grabs. The lack of organization and reverence of God has also reached pandemic proportions within the church. Denominationalism has ultimately proven to be the hobgoblin of Christianity by turning the teachings and principles of Jesus Christ into dens of greed and enlightened self interest. Who says we Christians can’t have our cake and eat it too? Ah, crap! Take away my shovel- I’ve gone digging again! But I digress..

Aside from the *Sadomasochistic elements of his exercises, I believe that Ignatius definitely has something to teach the weak minded undisciplined Christian. For there are those within Christendom that fancy themselves as devout believers…but in reality, they would not know what to do if they were denied their café mocha during a worship service. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and basically every other religion, makes Christianity look like a bunch of pantywaists. But at least we got Jesus! And while this is true…mediocrity, inconsistency, and selfishness are symptoms of the debilitating disease know as “Easy-believism”. I pray daily that none of us fall into that pit of Hell.

How do you measure progress in your Christian walk?
Do you meditate?

Could you use more discipline in your Spiritual life?


*Some of St. Ignatius meditations suggest implementing  self-flagellation...though he did say this was optional. If used, it was not to cause permanent injury. In other words, flog lightly:->