Today, many of us find ourselves on a spiritual quest. We wonder if we have reached the heights of the great spiritual masters or if we have been led into cheap versions of faith. When our tempers rage or life’s storms undo our resolve, it is then we wonder what our foundations are really made of. Wherever we find ourselves, any authentic spiritual journey must find a way to incorporate the Appraisal process.
We worship a deeply personal and good Mystery. Awe and Attention characterize this formational waiting. Father Adrian called this first step of spiritual Appraisal “Abiding in Awe-Filled Attention”
In fact, attention to the divine echo (or sometimes hornblast) flows out of a holy reverence. First, we must turn our thoughts away from our worries and concerns. Rather than solely making our decisions based upon our clever assessments, or worse our of our anxieties, we first gaze into the divine mystery pressing up our awe into the Cloud of Unknowing.
Awe re-places our proud ego driven selves with a humble awareness that we are simply creatures in need of daily direction. Silence facilitates awe as it stills our tongues and paves the way for our transcendent self. In the process, we regain connection to the universe and its transcendent-immanent Mystery. And at the end of this first stage, we should find ourselves readied in full attention. We are freed to delve into our life events seeking its meaning. We grasp life’s gravity pulling us to become our deeper self.