I have been reading Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle. It is an amazing book, especially since it seems like she wrote it in one draft (that then got edited to avoid inquisition - though largely untouched). Once one gets past her own declarations of her stupidity and wretchedness, (which is hard for us moderns to hear) it is a beautiful description of the journey of a soul into discovering how God dwells in us.
Two of its most important insights occur on its very first two pages:
"I can find nothing with which to compare the great beauty of a soul and its great capacity. In fact, however acute our intellects may be, they will no more be able to attain to a comprehension of this than to an understanding of God; for, as He Himself says, He created us in His image and likeness." -
"Would it not be a sign of great ignorance, my daughters, if a person were asked who he was and could not say, and had no idea who his father or his mother was, or from what country he came? Though that is great stupidity, our own is incomparably greater if we make no attempt to discover what we are, and only know that we are living in these bodies, and have a vague idea, because we have heard it and because our Faith tells us so, that we possess souls."
In many ways these lines capture so much of our spiritual crisis today. We have forgotten the great beauty and capacity of our soul and most people make almost no attempt to discover who we really are while being caught up in our physical lives and desires. It reminds me of someone I met the other month who had bought a lamborghini and yet had barely even driven it. It just sat in his garage. We posses such wondrous things of beauty, we occasionally remember that we have it, and yet we fail to take the time and the risk to really drive them and discover what they can do.
I wonder what it takes to give more people the courage to take the inner journey into God that leads us on the outward journey of love? After all is this not far more beautiful and important then an overpriced car?