Communal and Individualistic Spirituality

Jason L. has another great post over at Ascending Mount Carmel, this time writing on his transition from a private to communal spirituality.

. . . I think that really the communal side of spirituality and the individualistic side of it are really just two aspects of one kind of spirituality.  Not everyone is called to be a living flame in the desert like St. Macarius or St. Anthony of Egypt; nor is everyone called to be a saint “in the world” like St. Frances Xavier Cabrini or St. Thomas More – but we are called to have a spiritual life, and this can include elements of both sides of the coin.

Read the full post here.

This reminded me of something I discovered about myself during my time in seminary. As I child, I knew my mother regularly practiced the disciplines of reading Scripture and prayer. With Scripture reading, she read both in private and in the common areas of the house, as well as tried to have times when we read the Bible together. In her prayer life, she would take Matthew 6:6 quite literally, and retreat to the privacy of my parent’s walk-in closet. I do write this to accuse my mother of anything, but her practice probably influenced my spirituality. I have a very easy time engaging in the Scriptures, but I have to work at my prayer time. Because of this, I am being more intentional about practicing my spiritual disciplines along with my children. I want to be a dad who encourages the spiritual quest.

©2012 Paul Tillman

One thought on “Communal and Individualistic Spirituality”

  1. Hi friend,
    Thanks for re-posting my little entry – I am always humbled at the kind words. Plus, I love the olive branches we can share between us as Christians of different traditions.

    Pax Deum+

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