Socrates and the Paradox of Spiritual Maturity
Devotional thought of the day:
25 Brothers, pray for us! 1 Thessalonians 5:25 (ESV)
318 Place yourself before the Lord each day and tell him slowly and in all earnestness, like the man in the Gospel who was in such great need, Domine, ut videam! —Lord, that I may see!; that I may see what you expect from me, and struggle to be faithful to you.
An oracle once identified the smartest man of his time, the philosopher Socrates. When asked about this Socrates thought and said the statement is not based on how much Socrates knew, but that Socrates realized how much he didn’t know.
Spiritual maturity is like that, the more mature we become, the more we need to pray, the more we need others to pray for us.
I think society has become confused as to what maturity is, about what it looks like. I think the problem has to do when we consider independence a necessary part of maturity. It is as if we measure maturity based on how much we can do for ourselves. That is because our ability to be independent parallels our physical and emotional growth, but that doesn’t mean being independent is an aspect of maturity, or for that matter is good.
I would tie interdependence to physical and even emotional maturity before I would think about independence.Being part of a community, being a part of family, being married, these things require interdependence. Maturity can require a giving up of self. A sense of sacrifice, a sense of commitment.
If that is true in regards to physical maturity, I would suggest that it is even more true in regards to spiritual maturity. That we don’t become independent of God, but that we see our life more connected to Him, as well we become more connected to the family of God!
Like Socrates view of his intelligence, a spiritually mature person will run to God in prayer, will not hesitate to ask others to pray for them.
That is the paradox, you become spiritually mature by becoming more dependent on God, more aware of His work in your life, more content and at peace, knowing the Spirit is here, and that this life is not all there is, there is something far more… The more spiritually mature we are, the more we end up appreciating the sacraments, the time where God’s grace is showered upon us. Likewise our time in meditation on God’s love, that marks as us His in baptism, and our time laying in His hands all our burdens, all the things that cause anxiety.
It’s not easy though, to take such time. Hence, the request for pray, even as Paul did. Please pray for me! And for all who minister to others.
Lord help us all to take the time, to know and to ponder this basic truth.
There is God, and we are His.
Knowing that, may we cry out for the mercy that will enable us to see you! AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1273-1276). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on June 21, 2016, in Devotions, The Forge and tagged apostolate, prayer, spiritual maturity, St. Josemaria Escriva, the presence of God, walking with God. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.