“The soul that begins to have interior life appreciates the treasure it bears within its heart. Each day it will make a greater effort to deny admission into the mind of any image that prevents or hinders the soul’s close contact with God.” (In Conversation with God p. 313 paragraph 3)
The whole concept of an interior life intrigues me. I’ve read about saints with highly developed interior lives, and I often find myself longing to be so holy, but as my life catapults through each day, I can’t help but realize that my eight children, my garden, my bit of writing, are all doorways to the interior world of God’s life. I need not be jealous—I just need courage.
Someone once said, “Hell is other people.” Could it not be true that Heaven is other people also? I glimpse the eternity of a soul when I look into another person’s eyes. As it is quite apparent that God put us here on Earth, together, for a purpose—I contemplate the possibilities. Perhaps in the act of opening ourselves to the larger reality of other people’s vision, struggles, hopes, and crushing failures, we come to see not just the ideal that God has for us, but the grief of the cross lived through broken dreams and the ennobled daring to rise again.
In today’s world, I suppose in every generation, we are faced with a multitude of “hells”— human beings failure to love as He loves. But we are also given a daily opportunity to escape hell by overcoming the hate which feels so natural to us. Hate is no cure. It offers no hope or redemptive recovery. Its cousin, bitterness, is only a shadow leading to further darkness of spirit.
It is in the cultivation of an interior life that I allow the grace of God to strengthen me to overcome all the negative influences in my life and open myself to the possible joys of life and hope of things yet to come. Some would say I am using a crutch to help me over the hard parts. All I know is that through an interior life, I find my life. And through the eyes of others, I glimpse the possibility of Hell—or Heaven.