You’re more spiritual than you think

Think you’ve never experienced God in your life? Here are six ways you may have.

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By James Martin, SJ


Incompletion
“Is that all there is?” sang Peggy Lee in the 1960s. “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,” sang Bono in the 1980s. Your wish for “something more” may be a sign of your desire for God’s fulfilling presence.

 
Gratitude
Feeling thankful for something simple, like a conversation with a friend? Or a fun night out? Awareness of simple gifts can point to your underlying awareness of God’s goodness.



Longing
Ever stand on a beach, look at a sunset, or hold a newborn infant and feel a “connection” with something beyond yourself? Experiences like this, in nature and in daily life, can reveal your natural desire for God — which is one way God attracts us.



Holiness
When you read about holy men and women — Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama — you may feel, “I wish I were more like that.” The desire for personal holiness is another way God calls to us. God calls to the holiness within us.



Clarity
A New Yorker cartoon has an old man looking up from a dusty book, saying, “For a moment there it all made sense!” Even fleeting feelings that you’re right where you should be or that life makes sense can be a sign of God’s encouragement.



Vulnerability
When you’re sick or struggling, you often feel a greater need for God. That’s not because you’re using God as a crutch. It’s because with your defenses down God can break through. God is not any closer — you’re more open.

 

Taken from James Martin's book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything

 

To discover five steps to great prayer, see the June issue of Catholic Digest.

James Martin, SJ

James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest. His new book is The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything (HarperOne).