Spiritual Practice

I thought of you when I read this quote from “Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Disciplines (Pocket Classics)” by Lauren F. Winner –

““Spiritual practice” is a phrase that means what it says. Madeline L’Engle once likened spiritual practice to piano etudes: You do not necessarily enjoy the etudes—you want to skip right ahead to the sonatas and concertos—but if you don’t work through the etudes you will arrive at the sonatas and not know what to do. So, too, with the spiritual life. It’s not all about mountaintops. Mostly it’s about training so that you’ll know the mountaintop for what it is when you get there. All religions have spiritual practices. Buddhists burn sage and meditate. Muslims avail themselves of their prayer rugs. Christian tradition has developed a wealth of practices, too: fasting, almsgiving, vigil-keeping, confessing, meditating. True enough, Christians in America—especially Protestants in America—have not historically practiced those practices with much discipline, but that is beginning to change. In churches and homes everywhere people are increasingly interested in doing Christianity, not just speaking or believing it. Here is the place where so-called Jewish-Christian relations become practical. If the church wants to grow in its attendance to, in its doing of things for the God of Israel, we might want to take a few tips from the Jewish community.”

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