Living in Two Worlds

Matthew 16:26

We live in not one, but two worlds. One is temporal; it is a world populated with people, in which we live and work. The other world is the one within us, an immensely private world, occupied by one’s self alone.

Realizing that there are two worlds, the vital question is how does one live comfortably in both? On one side is the tangible life of mankind, dominated exclusively by material needs, instinctual reactions, intellect, economics, science and technology. On the other side, too often ignored, kept under wraps, is the actual world of the spirit. Excursions into that tiny corner of the heart where one tries to preserve immortal spiritual values are, alas, all too infrequent.

But how to live in both worlds with integrity? That is the question and the challenge. The schism between the spiritual and the temporal has deprived man of the nourishment he desperately needs. The undeniable truth is, however, that although the spiritual may have been repressed, there is still a great yearning for it.

The existence of the soul is of no concern at all to some. To others the very idea of its existence seems absurd. It is intellectual bigotry to assume that we can only believe what can be confirmed by laboratory proof. We all know that there are many things we’ve never seen that are real, the most priceless, according to Jesus, being the soul. To His disciples it could not have been made clearer. “What good will it be for man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt 16:26).

Many were surprised when the book Care of the Soul, by Thomas More, a noted psychotherapist, remained at the top of the New York Times best seller list for several weeks. What the author claims is that the enfeebling malady of the 20th century, affecting us individually and socially, is what he calls “loss of soul.” He is speaking what the world should be hearing.

We care for the soul by honoring it, by living as much, or more, from the heart as from the head. When Christ is enthroned in the heart and life, the two worlds, the spiritual and the secular, are bridged. Sacredness then exists as much in the marketplace as in the monastery. By the grace of God all can live in both worlds, enriched within by His presence, and made influential for good in the challenging world without.

Arnold Brown, The War Cry

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