Stuck in your spiritual journey? This is one of the most common problems I come across. Let’s see if you’ve fallen victim to the enrichment mentality.
Here are some signs you’ve fallen into the enrichment trap (not to be confused with a moment of dryness where you simply feel bad, but are really growing):
- You’re doing what you’ve always done, but you’ve stopped growing, and maybe even feel like you’re going backwards.
- You’re seeking, and even having, all sorts of spiritual experiences, but you continue to fall back into the same old sins, or even get worse!
- The experiences you have are all short term without any recognizable connection or follow-up.
- It feels like you’re being pulled in different directions by all your spiritual commitments.
- You feel like you have big holes in knowing and living your faith, but you’re not even sure what they are.
- All your efforts are translating into little or no apostolic fruits, or your apostolate and spiritual life feel totally disconnected.
How do you get out of the enrichment trap? Throw off the shackles of enrichment and come into the light of formation. Formation is systematic, strategic. It begins with the end in mind and then removes the obstacles and utilizes what God has given us to help you become the man or woman god made you to be. Formation means the 7 D’s:
- Direction – I know why I’m here: to become a saint, to become the person God made me to be and to fulfill my God-given mission.
- Depth – My relationship with God touches my very identity. I have received my God-given name.
- Duration – The journey of becoming who God made me to be will last my whole life.
- Development – I can see myself growing day by day and even “measure” the increase in my joy and other virtues.
- Decisions – I don’t just randomly have experiences. I draw from those experiences lessons for my life and put them into practice
- Dimensions – My relationship with God fuels every area of my life: my body, my mind, my heart, my relationships, my work, my finances, etc.
- Descendants – My relationship with God leads me to help others in their spiritual journey, and perhaps also materially.
According to John Paul II, formation has four major dimensions:
- Human formation: living a balanced lifestyle and solid relationships through growth in virtue.
- Intellectual formation: knowing your faith, in particular as passed on in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
- Spiritual formation: growing in holiness through prayer, the sacraments, spiritual reading, spiritual direction, appropriate ascetical practices, etc.
- Apostolic formation: using your God-given talents, passions, and charisms to fulfill your God-given mission in building up His Kingdom here on earth.