Pop Spirituality Anyone?
For some decades now the term “Pop Psychology” has been in use to describe the way Psychology has become available to the common man it has become part of popular culture. Speak of self-help books and motivational speakers, they’re part of a sprawling network that strives to “help” an individual do some psychological face-lift. Yet let me extend this “pop” thing to Spirituality, where persons, after reading some spiritual books or listening to inspirational talks, become so “filled up with the Spirit” they seem to blaze with new-found level of sanctity.
It’s quite common but silent phenomena among us, when we are so inspired by one talk or another, or some book, or some event that recently happened we tend to think we have actually crossed heaven’s threshold way ahead of time. Sure, 180-degree conversions have taken place miraculously, but for the most of us, conversions don’t happen in a single spark of inspiration. I’m not pouring water over the action of the Spirit, but if we talk of conversion, we are actually talking of a life-long struggle.
As they say, there is never a shortcut to heaven without really passing through Christ and his cross. So forgive me if I doubt some magnanimous conversions because the first thing I really search for in a true conversion are the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Without sensing these fruits of the Spirit one could not have received real conversion.
I admit, I quite find myself irritated with persons who act like they are saints, so pious in religious practices, but then are found wanting in the qualities that you can find in those who have really found the treasures of heaven. Maybe it’s because it’s my own pitfall too and maybe I find too many of them in the churches. True sanctity, I believe, is achieved through hard work and through the grace of God who gives it generously to those who ask for it.
One thing that I find most useful for anyone who wishes to become a holy, if not holy then someone who just wants to get closer to God, is fidelity to Truth. You can never work on your weaknesses and develop your strengths if you can’t see the Truth within you. Being honest to one’s self, perhaps is the first step. But, let me remind you, I’m no guru in sanctity. I too have my own struggles and falls, and I hope we all persevere in our own struggles that we may be found worthy of God because, despite our misdeeds and mistakes, we have always set our eyes on Him.