Spiritual Growth – Self-transcendence

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Spiritual Growth – Self-transcendence

Spiritual Growth


Bishop David Walker | August 2010


“Spirituality is the experience of consciously striving to integrate one’s life in terms, not of isolation and self-absorption, but of self-transcendence towards the ultimate value one perceives.” (Schneiders)


  1. From acts to relationship;
  • from behaviour to personal response;
  • from morality to motivation;
  • from obedience to discipleship;
  • from practice to self-giving;
  • from “keeping the commandments” to living out of love;
  • from belief in God to God as the integrating centre of our life.


  1. From a life dominated from without to one which is lived from within;
  • from over involvement to simplification;
  • from exterior to interior;
  • from pattern to journey;
  • from conformity to creativity.


  1. From a lack of awareness of God in one’s life to a life that is lived more consciously in the presence of God;
  • from blindness to insight;
  • from a difficulty in turning one’s heart to God to an ease in doing so;
  • from feeling to faith;
  • from knowing to unknowing;
  • from taking God’s presence for granted to a conscious effort to live within it.


  1. From a motivation of necessity or fear to a motivation of love;
  • from compulsion to freedom;
  • from superego to conscience;
  • from wish to desire;
  • from fear to confidence;
  • from guilt to hope;
  • from pessimism to optimism;
  • from fallen to graced.


  1. From acts of prayer to prayerfulness;
  • from prayer in time of need to prayer as an expression of a relationship;
  • from activity to passivity;
  • from consolation to aridity.


  1. From self delusion to self knowledge;
  • from a satisfaction with one’s life to a radical transformation;
  • from little effort to great commitment;
  • from blindness to understanding;
  • from lethargy to courage;
  • from eradicating faults to practising virtues;
  • from being reactive to being pro active.


  1. From selfishness to selflessness;
  • from self interest to self transcendence;
  • from a focus on self to concern for others.


  1. From action to service;
  • from a service which focuses on the action itself to one which stems from a deep relationship with God,
  • from Martha alone to Martha and Mary together,
  • from work to ministry.


  1. From institution to personal experience;
  • from tradition to the “now”;
  • from authority to personal conviction;
  • from religion on the fringe to religion at the centre;
  • from religion as a fact / thing to religion as action and power.to.


  1. From practice to evangelisation;
  • from faith as “mine” to faith as being “for others”;
  • from wanting to live it to wanting to share it;
  • from living the faith to apostolic initiative;
  • from maintenance to mission.