Feeling Spiritual Can Be Idolatry

Gleaned From: That Worship Feeling.

“Sometimes, contemplatives think that the whole end and essence of their [spiritual] life is to be found in meditation and interior peace and the sense of the presence of God. They become attached to these things. But recollection and meditation are just as much creatures as an automobile. The sense of interior peace is no less created than a bottle of wine. The experiential ‘awareness’ of the presence of God is just as truly a created thing as a glass of beer. The only difference is that recollection, meditation, and interior peace – and the sense of the presence of God – are spiritual pleasures and the other are material. Attachment to spiritual things is therefore just as much an attachment as inordinate love of anything else. The imperfection may be more hidden, more subtle, or seemingly more ‘excusable’; but from a certain point of view, that only makes it all the more harmful because it is even more difficult to recognize or deal with.”

-Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation

This is one incredible quotation and it is a challenge to all of us who long for spiritual experiences and spiritual feelings.