“A Christian meditative practice that does not result in horizontal outreach to suffering and lost human beings has gone astray.” Morton Kelsey, p. 27, Companions of the Inner Way, The Art of Spiritual Guidance, Crossroad 1983.
Morton Kelsey was a teacher, counselor, Episcopal priest, former teacher at Notre Dame and author of over 30 books on spiritual development.
He writes about the tension that develops between the peace we find in relationship to God and the lack of peace in our outer world. This is similar to what we heard Gordon Cosby from Church of the Saviour write about recently. Cosby called it the the real and unreal world. In fact, the Church of the Saviour’s website is Inward Outward.
Just as the inner peace is found with love, the same is true for birthing the outer peace. The love we find in staying connected to the God of our understanding calls us out of ourselves to those who are suffering in the world. The paradox is that in reaching out to those in need, we again find God, for that is where God promises to be most present.
Spiritual friends or guides who have encountered the creative love of Christ within themselves and in others can be guides to practices that help put us in position to experience this kind of love. Often spiritual guides are helpful in pointing out to us where God was working in our life, where we experienced God’s love, God’s protection and were not aware of it. Spiritual friends help us find the Christ already within us which always is calling us to find the Christ in our neighbor, especially our neighbor in need.