The spiritual life is first of all a life.
           It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived.  Like all life, it grows sick and dies when it is uprooted from its proper element.  Grace is engrafted on our nature and the whole person is sanctified by the presence and action of the Holy Spirit.  The spiritual life is not, therefore, a life entirely uprooted from the human condition and transplanted into the realm of the angels.  We live as spiritual people when we live as people seeking God.  If we are to become spiritual, we must remain human.  And if there were not evidence of this everywhere in theology, the Mystery of the Incarnation itself would be ample proof of it.  Why did Christ become Man if not to save us by uniting us mystically with God through his own sacred humanity?  Jesus lived the ordinary life of the people of his time, in order to sanctify the ordinary lives of people of all time.  If we want to be spiritual, then, let us first of all live our lives.  Let us not fear the responsibilities and the inevitable distractions of the work appointed for us by the will of God.  Let us embrace reality and thus find ourselves immersed in the life-giving will and wisdom of God which surrounds us everywhere….
           To keep ourselves spiritually alive we must constantly renew our faith.  We are like pilots of fog-bound steamers, peering into the gloom in front of us, listening for the sounds of other ships, and we can only reach our harbour if we keep alert.  The spiritual life is, then, first of all a matter of keeping awake.  We must not lose our sensitivity to spiritual inspirations.  We must always be able to respond to the slightest warnings that speak, as though by a hidden instinct, in the depths of the soul that is spiritually alive.  


In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.