WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Building a firm foundation of God-focused spirituality


Cecily McNeill
15 February 2012

Today more than ever as global financial systems break down and climate change upsets the seasons, we need to be on a firm foundation in our spiritual life.

UK spiritual writer Margaret Silf told a seminar in St Joseph’s church Mt Victoria last month that it was important to see God as the creator and ourselves as the creatures.

‘The human ego has a tendency to want to be in charge.

‘In the course of any one day we all make choices that are ego-centred.’

Just as Copernicus discovered in the 15th century that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the sun around the earth as was widely believed, each of us has to discover that the same applies in our relationship with God and with all creation.

‘Some people experience this moment of change (or metanoia) suddenly and dramatically. For others – perhaps most of us – it is an ongoing process which continues throughout our lives.’

If we look at what happens when we turn towards the sun (or Christ as the light in our lives), our shadow (or ego) falls behind us, but with our backs to the sun (God), the shadows are in front and we can’t see so clearly.

When we direct our lives towards God and God’s kingdom, the action of God in our lives will give a sense of being on solid ground. If we lean against a lamppost in a gale, though the wind is coming towards us, we stop being buffeted because the lamppost is solid – a firm foundation.

‘Often this shows itself as a feeling of deep inner peace even though the outer circumstances of life may be far from peaceful or even very painful. There is a sense of being deep-down close to God …

‘When we feel the opposite kind of feeling – inner turmoil, self-doubt, distress, the sense of being on shifting sand – this is a sign that we are, at least at that moment and in that situation, not living true to what is deepest in us. We are at the mercy of negative, life-denying movements within us that are not coming from God.’

Margaret Silf suggests that we can use these guidelines to help us recognise when we are living in harmony with God and with our truest selves.

This is the first in a series of articles inspired by Margaret Silf’s seminars on November 20 – 21, 2011 in Wellington. Handouts from the seminars are available in the Wel-com office – c.mcneill@wn.catholic.org.nz or (04) 496 1777.

See also Discovering the road to inner freedom