In General

If you:

frequently, or even occasionally fall into mortal sin and habitually more serious species of venial sin….

are making little or no progress in overcoming venial sins in confession, even if you go frequently….

are caught in a “holding pattern” in this state for many years….

have not developed a healthy habit of daily contemplative prayer….

....Then You Are a Beginner in the Spiritual Life

Issues Related to Pride

If you:

lack control of your tongue: gossip constantly, spread negativity, are malicious and cause detraction….

would rather listen to yourself than others….

are in the habit of loquaciousness (e.g. likes to be “in the know”)….

are a “knower” rather than a learner, and presume to teach others….

are caught up in the cult of appearances like the Scribes and Pharisees….

are driven only by ambition [worldly and/or ecclesial]….

are unwilling to serve others….

sacrifice principles to fit in with your secular business peers….

become upset when others don’t appreciate your “wisdom” or possessions….

....Then You Are a Beginner in the Spiritual Life

Issues Related to Lust | Sensuality

If you:

lack custody of your eyes and mind with frequent impure or curious glances or thoughts, or actions….

have an attachment to “warm fuzzy” consolations in prayer….

want the next version phone, or model car, ….

always expect to be served by others….

day dream alot with self at the center….

behave and make decisions based on your feelings and moods instead of your values…

....Then You Are a Beginner in the Spiritual Life

Issues Related to Anger

If you:

are petulant and quick to being offended and nurture a spirit of abiding anger & outrage….

are driven to Christian service animated by rage or indignation rather than joy, confidence, and love of Jesus Christ & of others….

hold on to, nourish, cherish, wallow, and perhaps enjoy grudges or have a desire to “get even”….

....Then You Are a Beginner in the Spiritual Life

Issues Related to Avarice

If you:

collect all manner of religious articles, books, artwork, or relics –  although not bad in itself – but rather being overly attached to these things….

are more concerned about all the goodies your business provides you rather than that of God or neighbors (such as your employees, customers, and vendors)….

....Then You Are a Beginner in the Spiritual Life

Issues Related to Gluttony

If you:

are very attached to a comfortable worldly lifestyle….

resist, and are even afraid of quiet, contemplative prayer….

seek consolations in prayer, conferences, retreats or reading about “mystical experiences” or go to faith oriented events for “spiritual entertainment”….

are easily discouraged by worldly distractions and events…. 

and are overly attached to technology and entertainment leading to spending much more time with the screen than in prayer….

 

....Then You Are a Beginner in the Spiritual Life

Issues Related to Envy

If you:

obsess over the gifts of others; their possessions, status, friends, or physical & intellectual gifts… even holiness….

possess a tendency to slander or gossip about those of whom you are envious – especially when they are praised by others….

....Then You Are a Beginner in the Spiritual Life

Issues Related to Sloth / Acedia

If you:

lack care about your salvation or that of others’ salvation….

are listless, interiorly unstable, and always in need of a change in “scenery” or something new….

are lazy in prayer and prayer feels like it’s just too much….

feel generally discouraged….

....Then You Are a Beginner in the Spiritual Life

Catholic business leaders

The Three Stages of Interior Growth

As we navigate the path to interior growth to holiness, there are a number of helpful signposts that can help us determine if we are on the right track. The list above is not exhaustive but is full of helpful signposts to help us determine what stage we are in on our journey to holiness. These sign-posts, if we address them with humility and with an open mind, will help us on our journey not frustrate or anger us. 

We will often progress and regress in the stages throughout our life. 

1. Purgative Stage –  Spiritual Childhood or Beginner

2. Illuminative Stage – Spiritual Adolescence or Intermediate 

3. Unitive Stage – Spiritual Adulthood or Expert 

....Now you know the steps in your journey