Spirituality and religion complement each other but do not get confused. Spirituality exists since the human being burst into nature, more than 200 thousand years ago. Religions, on the other hand, are recent, they do not go beyond the 8 thousand years of existence.
Religion is the institutionalization of spirituality, just as the family is of love. There are romantic relationships without constituting a family; In the same way, there are those who cultivate their spirituality without identifying with any religion. There is even institutionalized spirituality without being a religion, as in the case of Buddhism, which is a philosophy of life.
In religion it is believed; in spirituality you live. Religion nourishes the ego, because one believes itself better than the other; Spirituality transcends the ego and values all religions that promote life and good. Religion provokes devotion; spirituality meditation. Religion promises eternal life; spirituality anticipates it. In religion, God, at times, is just an idea; in spirituality it is an ineffable experience.
There are faithful who make religion an end and give themselves body and soul to it. Now, all religion, as the etymology of the word (reliquary) suggests, is a means to love our neighbor, nature and God. A religion that does not raise love, compassion, care for the environment and happiness only serves to be thrown into the fire. It’s like a plastic flower, beautiful but lifeless.
You have to be careful not to throw the creature with the water in your bathroom. The challenge is to reduce the distance between religion and spirituality, and take care not to embrace a religion devoid of spirituality or a solipsistic spirituality, indifferent to religions.
Religions must be made sources of spirituality, of practice of love and justice, of compassion and service. Jesus is the example of one who breaks with the sclerotic religion of his time, and lives and announces a new spirituality nurtured in community life, centered on a loving attitude, in intimacy with God, in justice for the poor, in the sorry. Christianity resulted from that spirituality.
The faithful person who practices all the rites of his religion, who obeys the commandments and pays tithing and, nevertheless, is intolerant of those who do not think or believe like him, may be an optimal religious but lacks spirituality. It is like a family devoid of love.
Spirituality should be the gateway for religions. Before belonging to a church or a specific religious denomination, it would be better for it to provide the interested party with the experience of God, which consists in opening himself to the Mystery, learning to pray and meditate, and penetrating the meaning of the sacred texts.
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