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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beginning Catholic Spirituality

Catholic Spirituality seems like a mystery to many. I have had conversations with people of other faiths (christian and non christian) in which my religion is seen as lacking in spirituality.  Generally, I don't argue with people who don't know Catholicism.  I probe to find out what they know.  Even those that were once Catholic or even raised Catholic, have very little knowledge about our religion and spiritual practices. I am no different.  I learn much by listening, studying, and asking questions.

So, I decided to share some Catholic spirituality in several posts.  My fear is that this could drive away my [very few] readers.

The first act of spirituality I would like to discuss is the Catholic Crossing of one self.  This is not only the first act of spirituality taught to children and initiates but, it is the most recognized act or gesture across the globe.  When anyone crosses themselves, just about anyone knows that the person is of the Catholic faith.

Now, to many this just seems rote or reflex gesture.  And for many it is.  But it still means something huge.  It is our way of connecting hear and there.  Our link between seen and unseen, this realm and the next realm, what is know and what is unknown, it connects us to the trinity.  It is automatic, it is fast, it is special, it is a life line for Catholics. We do this when we can't even think of prayers.  Catholics do this at just about anything that touches their spirit.  We do it at church, we do it driving on the highway as we pass accidents or graveyards, we do it in the middle of the night when we wake up frightened,  we do it when we are happy or relieved, we do it to end and start our prayers, it is something that is appropriate at any time for us.

Some might say, well you don't have to do gestures to connect with God.  True, but we are not just our minds and spirits, we are also our bodies too.  We feel in more than just tactile or just heart.  We are with God more than just in mind and spirit.

Doing "The Sign of the Cross"  is the simplest and most powerful blessing that can be taught to anyone in the Catholic faith.  It automatically consecrates our beings to God and holiness in less than a minute.  It is the beginning of Catholic Spirituality for me.