I know and have come to believe that faith’s home is in the heart, where the soul resides. This story by Joan Chittister catapults me out of my head and back into my heart. She prefaces the story with these wise words:
The spiritual life is not something that is gotten for the wishing or assumed by affectation. The spiritual life takes discipline. It is something to be learned, to be internalized. It’s not a set of daily exercises; it’s a way of life, an attitude of mind, an orientation of soul. And it is gotten by being schooled until no rules are necessary.
Among the ancients there is a story told that confirms this insight to this day:
“What action shall I perform to attain God?” the disciple asked the elder.
“If you wish to attain God,” the elder said, “there are two things you must know. The first is that all efforts to attain God are of no avail.”
“And the second?” the disciple insisted.
“The second is that you must act as if you did not know the first,” the elder said.
Clearly, great pursuers of the spiritual life know that that secret of the spiritual life is to live it until it becomes real.