Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Window on Devotion ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Window on Devotion ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

My friend Dexter went to the First Baptist Church last week for Sunday worship. The week before that, it was a Sufi meeting. Before that, the Four Square Christian Church. Although Dexter considers himself primarily Christian, witnessing devotion in people of other faiths inspires him. The form the devotion takes is inconsequential to him.

He and I have discussed the nature of prayer and worship several times. In an animated discussion he told me he loves to be around people who express devotion to God. I can relate to Dexter's love of devotion. Our conversations have caused me to define more clearly for myself the substance of devotion.

There is something beautiful and remarkable in committing oneself to adore and cherish that which is unseen by the eyes but bright to the heart.

I once was invited by some friends to a retreat at an ancient Catholic monastery in northern Spain. We all slept in separate quarters made out of rock. Small windows opened out to a vista of a mountain landscape.

In a vow of silence, the nuns who then lived there gardened, cleaned, and prepared meals. Peaceful grace seemed to inspire their humble steps as they walked through the cold stone halls of the building constructed by Christians hundreds of years ago. Their commitment to live their faith motivated me to cultivate within myself a deeper devotion to a holy and divine existence.

My understanding of the essence of true devotion has been a work in progress, and my spiritual devotion has taken on different forms over the years. I've come to see that the changes correspond to a greater awareness of the immortal Christ, the purely spiritual nature of God's child. Progressively, as I've been willing to embrace the deathless, sinless, and pure Christly nature of life as created by God, my consecration to good expands.

At one time, abstaining from drug and alcohol abuse was my highest understanding of devotion. With sincere repentance, I daily prayed to give up reliance on substance abuse and self-destructive activity.

Step by step, spiritual healing opened my heart, and gratitude became a part of my daily devotion. Attending church and regular study and prayer have also become elements of my devotion. …

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