I read a paragraph a few days ago that made me smile and deserved the post-it flag that I pasted to the page. It’s from the book that sets out The 12 Steps to Joy and Happiness, written (with enthusiasm and joy) by David Peters, longtime friend and board member of The Sophia Center for Spirituality. I want to share it here as something that seems self-evident but which takes constant attention to develop as a conscious attitude. Here is what Dave says.
What makes an event spiritual? It all lies in the intention that we have going into that event. Without that intention, no matter how the event appears on the outside, it is a waste of time. Appearing to be in prayer for the purpose of appearing to be in prayer is a negative. Intention is the key for something to be spiritual. A spiritual event is spiritual because a person intends it to be spiritual. The person has an intention to bring God to that event consciously so that joy and love are there. God is rarely mentioned in most of these events, but the essence of God – love – is present and flowing over all. Reading these thoughts can be a spiritual experience if that is your intention. (p. 53)
I think Dave has captured an essential truth in the second to the last sentence. Isn’t it possible to intuit the presence of God in people whose way of living manifests God – even if the name of God is rarely mentioned? It is truly love that speaks louder than words.