"Spiritual, not Religious"

"I am spiritual and I do believe in a higher power, but why do I need an organized religion to tell me how to connect with that?"

"Churches are full of corruption and were built by corrupt men....religions are all so different anyway. I am a good person; what else is needed?"

How good it is that you are spiritual! So many in this world today reject even the existence of the spiritual and the supernatural; insisting that our lives and indeed the entire universe is nothing but the meaningless fruition of an empty equation governing the mechanics of matter.

"Spiritual, not religious" people see creeds and commandments as ceilings and walls hemming them in and preventing their growth.

Spiritual religious people, however, recognize them for what they are: floors beneath their feet and fences on the edge of a cliff. From the solid foundation they give us, we can truly contemplate the mysteries of God; though we of course can never fully comprehend them. It is easy to criticize and make fun of this "rigid" nature of organized religion, but without a solid foundation one is at best treading water (which only brings eventual sinking) and maybe even free-falling.

Organized religion itself is fully cognizant of this dynamic. The most organized religion in history, the Catholic Church, teaches it clearly: "The Marian dimension of the Church precedes the Petrine." (from the Catechism itself!)

One way of understanding this teaching is that the spiritual connection between the soul and its Creator is of greater importance than (though never contradicts) the dogmas and commandments. This fact is forgotten by some members of the Church who preach only its institutional aspects and neglect all else. Perhaps you consider yourself "spiritual, but not religious" because of the influence of scrupulous, legalistic, or rigid member of the Church who failed to understand the Church's true nature. But you mustn't let that hamper your progress toward that higher power that you know exists.

You believe in a higher power; for the sake of convenience, allow me to call this higher power God. If there is a God, would He really have left us without knowledge of His Will that we can be confident enough in to live our lives by? Does it make sense that this God who deemed us worth spending His time to create out of nothing would deem us unworthy of spending His time on guiding back to Himself?

We all know in our hearts the obvious answer to those questions: No. The One who made us did deem us worth fighting for (indeed, worth dying for). He did leave us with Truths we can believe in without fear of error that would doom us to uncertainty for all our lives - that is, Dogmas. He did leave us with Laws we can follow without worrying if they are actually in our best interest, but knowing, rather, that they will set us free -that is, Commandments. He did leave us with the ability to connect with Him whenever we wish - Prayer and Sacraments. Taken together this sacred Tradition has remained essentially unchanged but grown ever more beautiful for thousands of years.

What you now see as chains are really wings. By any conceivable standard, those who have achieved the greatest spiritual mastery in history are the Saints, they who revered and honored their Church, their organized religion, more than anyone. There is only one thing that determines if you become one of them: whether or not you want to.

But let us conclude by making one Truth absolutely clear: God has become man. The name of that man is Jesus Christ There is no way to God apart from God Himself.

Go To Mary.