Learning the art of interior struggle PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 10:14



Yes, as long as we struggle interiorly, there is spiritual life, the very wellspring that produces the living water for our river of life. As long as we struggle interiorly, we can be assured of our fidelity to whatever commitment we have entered into. Interior struggle is essential and indispensable in our life.

Our life is very dynamic, with all sorts of challenges to face, problems to solve, issues to be clarified. We need to see to it that our interior life, our spiritual life, our thoughts, desires and intentions are firmly rooted on God, their proper foundation.

We need not only to purify our thoughts and intentions from any stain of pride, vanity, lust, envy, sloth, gluttony, anger, etc. We need to also fill them and rev them up with true love and wisdom. These are the reasons why we have to engage in a lifelong interior or spiritual struggle.

The ideal situation should be that we are always in awe at the presence of God in our life, making him the principle and objective of all our thoughts, words and deeds. We have to be spiritually fit before we can be fit anywhere else—family-wise, professionally, socially, politically, etc.

Let’s never be deceived that our life is mainly physical, and its development is just a matter of struggling externally—that we manage to eat, to work, to earn, to stay away from physical danger, etc. The real battle is in our internal selves—in our thoughts and desires, our will and plans.

The struggle in life cannot just be a matter of economics or politics. The battle always starts and ends in our mind and heart, in the spiritual aspect of our life. This is where things start to happen, and where things also get resolved.

Even if there are still things to be fixed externally, we can still manage to fix them internally, because that’s where we get in touch directly with God, and with him, nothing is impossible. Let’s disabuse ourselves from the thought that we get our ultimate peace and joy somewhere else.

That’s why we have to see to it that our thoughts and desires are properly engaged with God who is their true foundation and end, for outside of him, we will just expose ourselves to all sorts of random and usually dangerous possibilities.

And God is not a figment of our imagination, a product of our desire to believe, a mere psychological crutch. He is the most real being—in fact, the fullness of subsistent being whose essence we can somehow know but can never fathom. He is the very author of reality itself.

This task of conforming our thoughts and desires to him is getting to be very exciting, because these days many are the earthly things—attitudes, philosophies, ideologies, cultures, together with their lifestyles—that dare to be alternatives to God.

Today’s world is so immersed in worldly values that any reference to God is at best a mere formalism, a decorative item, a lip service to tradition that is already emptied of its true substance.

And this is because in the first place many people are not praying anymore, are not exercising and living by faith. They prefer to follow by the rule of “following what comes naturally.” And that’s usually just obeying one’s feelings and passions, or the many flipping fads around.

Thus you have ad slogans like, “Obey your thirst,” “I don’t wanna grow up….. I’m a Toys R Us kid,” “It’s fun to tickle your tongue with…” If you’re constantly bombarded with messages like this, chances are you will believe them, and start abdicating the use of your spiritual faculties.

We have to wage an abiding interior struggle if only to keep our sanity, our humanity. We need to do it to avoid becoming mainly conditioned by earthly values that are blind to the spiritual and supernatural realities of our life.

We need to see to it that our mind and heart are truly engaged with God, with the living God, and not just an idea or theory of God. This is not only possible, but also highly practicable, because in the first place, God himself wants it that way.

The reason many people find it hard to get in contact with God is because they have lost the art of prayer and contemplation, and have assumed a dominantly worldly outlook that makes them self-centered, complacent, agnostic, if not atheistic.

This is where interior struggle is most needed.