When pondering our lack of spiritual growth

Christians often blame "the world," "the culture," and anyone or anything other than ourselves.

I needed this sharp reminder today that very often the reason for my tepid faith lies within.

Ronald Rolheiser speaks powerful truth here:

"What are these antifaith forces?

They are not the product of some conscious conspiracy of godlessness.

They are, instead, all those things, good and bad, within us and around us that tempt us away from prayer, from self-sacrifice, from being more communal, from being willing to sweat blood in a garden in order to keep our integrity and our commitments, and from mustering up the time and courage to enter deeply into our own souls.

Hence they are not abstract, foreign forces.

They live in the house with us and are as comfortable to us as a well-worn shoe.

What blocks faith is that myriad of innocent things within our ordinary, normal lives which precisely make our lives comfortable:

our laziness,

our self-indulgence,

our ambitions,

our restlessness,

our envy,

our refusal to live in the tension,

our consumerism,

our greed for things and experience,

our need to have a certain lifestyle,

our busyness and overextension,

our perpetual tiredness,

our obsession with celebrities,

and our perpetual distraction with sports, sit-coms and talk shows.

These are the antimystical forces of our time."

(From Rolheiser's The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality)