Spiritual Warrior

Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.’  (Genesis 22.16,17)

DONE what?


Detail of  The Sacrifice of Isaac, Donatello c. 1418

Abraham has not lost his son but he was prepared to sacrifice the one thing he loved most on this earth, for his faith. Even though God seemed to be demanding that Abraham do something that must have appalled him, filled him with dread and fear, and with the deepest sadness, Abraham kept faith, trusting that God’s will and judgement transcend his own. This a spiritual warrior traveling through “the Dark Night of the Soul” to spiritual enlightenment. Spiritual master, Eckhart Stolle, describes what happens in psychological terms to people who experience this: After a collapse of a perceived meaning in life, which is programmed and false, they “…awaken into something deeper, which is no longer based on concepts in your mind.  A deeper sense of purpose or connectedness with a greater life that is not dependent on explanations or anything conceptual any longer.  It’s a kind of re-birth… The dark night of the soul is a kind of death that you die.  What dies is the egoic sense of self.  Of course, death is always painful, but nothing real has actually died there – only an illusory identity.” This makes way, says Eckhart, for the birth of the true self. The fear driven protectionism of immature life falls away, allowing the enlightened spiritual warrior to truly look outside the self, the tribe, the blood family, the accepted situation, and love unconditionally, in the image of God’s love. This is the agape love Jesus speaks of in his New Commandment. The spiritual warrior is thus made able to lead his/her people. The story of Abraham is about the spiritual journey of a true leader, as is the story of Peter in today’s reading from Acts. It is a journey which, in the twists and turns of all our lives, God holds open to each one of us. That we might walk, God has given us his only son.


Donatello sculpture, housed in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, Florence.


~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on April 25, 2016.

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