Friday, February 11, 2011

Religious, not spiritual

This above the door "I am the way and the truth and the life."  No one comes to the Father, but by me.  The Gospel of St. John 14:6

I thought I was being random because I am so tired.  I titled this with one of my favorite things to say "I am Religious, not spiritual."  It astounds people because they are so accustomed to hearing the reverse.  

I picked the photo out of my library because I love it.  It was a wonderful church I went to for mass the night before my marathon in Long Beach, California.  I didn't want to go.  I had to get ready for the race.  I had a million things to do.  I didn't know the area at all, I just had the mass information from the internet.  I was a bit afraid because I thought the neighborhoods were a bit dicey.  I had to get a cab.  I nearly called my older brother who I adore - he was in the seminary for 10 years before deciding he really didn't have a calling to be a priest.... and he is sometimes my best Catholic friend.  I was going to ask him if I could PUH-LEASE skip mass.  But I knew I couldn't.  So I just called for a cab and went.  And it was glorious.  

The inscription above the door hit me like a ton of bricks after I posted this.  No One Comes To The Father, But By Me.    By Jesus.  No One.  Wow.  

So for those who are "deeply spiritual" but not "religious," how is this going to work?  Is the beauty of a sunset going to see to it that you find eternal life?  Or a tree?  I don't think so.

But they are so seductive because they make no demands.

Our Jesus makes a lot of demands upon us.  And it is a lifetime's work to meet them.    

This is not the easy way in this life.  But it is the Only way.


  1. so true and very well put, but I don't think the spiritual folks usually give a thought to what happens after this life ends. They live for the moment and many mock any talk of Heaven, etc.

  2. Mary-C, that is absolutely brilliant! "I am Religious, not spiritual." I am going to use that myself from now on. "Spiritual" is just a touchy-feely nothing statement.

  3. Wow, what a great post! And the church! Stunning. I recently saw somebody's facebook status that said-"Jesus is bossy." When you read her meaning, it made perfect sense, even thought the wording is a bit tongue in cheek. :) But yeah, it really is one way or the other. He can only be either Lord, liar, or lunatic. (C.S.Lewis) No in between.

  4. Mary Christine,
    Excellent post! I've always felt that the expression "I'm spiritual but not religious" was just an excuse some people used so they wouldn't have to go to church (lol). It makes religion sound bad and just being spiritual sound good.