Spiritual Development

Spiritual Growth

The Parable of the Seed

The Scouting Report:

1. “There is something in these kingdom parables about seeds and sowing that immediately makes good sense to us. We all know the ways in which great things can spring from small beginnings.”

2. “The parables of Jesus that were most precious to the earliest Christian communities were those that seemed to defy common sense rather than affirm it. A stranger on a dangerous road should keep on walking, not stop to help an injured man. A shepherd who has lost one of his hundred sheep should take special care of the 99, not go chasing after the single lost animal.”

3. “But Jesus is saying that, once again, expectations of the kingdom have to be turned upside down. He is saying that there is a waiting time between the inauguration of the kingdom and its final consummation; a waiting time much like that between the seed and the shrub, the planting and the harvest. But if there is a necessary waiting time that separates the coming of Jesus and the full establishment of the reign of God, then how are we to live in it?”

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The Scouting Report:

1. “There is a saying that “doing, follows being.” It is this idea that who we are as people determines what we do in life. Thus, if we are people who are living in the presence of God then we will do things that reflect that presence.”

2. “…this is what this website is all about; how to live a holy life as a basketball player while responding to God’s grace, in a way that accomplishes, in us, a deeper and deeper living in the Presence of God!”

3. “The first requirement to building God’s Kingdom is to recognize God’s Presence in your life in all that you are and all that you do. The second requirement is to live in Communion with God in all parts of your life.”

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The Joy of Being Wrong

The Scouting Report

1. “Have you ever stopped to think that Christianity is the only religion in which the first step is to say, “I’m wrong?” The first message that comes from Jesus at the front end of the Gospel is: “Repent!”

2. “Before you can do anything else in the Christian life, you have to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

3. “This first stepping stone of the spiritual life is vitally important. This is because self-righteousness is the constant threat for the religious person.”

4. “Self-righteousness is endemic in our society. The human race is riddled through with this sick disease called self-righteousness. It is this type of blaming of others that causes the tidal wave of evil in the world.”

5. “The first step is to admit we are wrong. The second step is to accept Christ is right.”

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Like Athletes We Must Become Fit for Faith

The Scouting Report:

1. “Speed training, therefore, is of the utmost importance in the spiritual life too. The difference between saints and ourselves, is not that we sin and they do not, but the speed with which they turn back to God to seek forgiveness.”

2. “Our inability to eat humble pie means that we can spend half a lifetime suffering from spiritual starvation. What is even worse than the pride that comes before a fall, is the pride that follows the fall, because it stops us from getting up, sometimes permanently.”

3. “… if you spend too much time trying to pray and without proper help or direction, then failure will only be a matter of time.”

4. “What is prayer but the continual raising of the heart and mind to God? It is just like weight-training.”

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Get Fit to Let God Into Your Life

The Scouting Report:

1. “Saint Paul likens Christians to true athletes building up their spiritual muscle through daily exercise”…”That is why the word asceticism comes from the Greek word for an athlete.”

2. “Christianity is firstly a mysticism, not amoralism. It is not primarily concerned with detailing the perfect moral behaviour that we see embodied in Christ’s life and then trying to copy it, virtue by virtue in our lives – that is stoicism, not Christianity, and it is doomed to failure.

3. “Christianity is primarily concerned with teaching us how to turn and open ourselves to receive the same Holy Spirit who filled Jesus. The more we are filled with his love then the easier it is to return that love in kind, as the divine suffuses and then surcharges human love so that it can reach up to God and out to others.”

4. “True imitation of Christ or any of his saints means firstly copying the way they did all in their power to receive the Holy Spirit who inspired and strengthened them with his love, to do what is impossible without it.”
5. “The exemplary behaviour, the extraordinary self-discipline and the heroic sacrifices made by a person who begins to experience the love of God are not the results of an arrogant stoic trying to make themselves perfect. They are the actions of someone desperate to express their love in behaviour that could not be maintained for long without the love that sustains it.”

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The Basis of Spirituality

The Scouting Report:

1. At the basic level, we are all spiritual beings, not just physical beings

2. We are not the initiators of our spirituality, God is!

3. The first task of becoming more spiritual, is being open to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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