Illustration: Legalism, Self-Righteousness

"All groups of human beings have a tendency to be exclusive; they want to know who is inside and who is out. So they adopt identity markers-visible practices of dress, vocabulary or behavior that serve to distinguish who is inside the group from who is outside. The boundary markers change from century to century, but they all reinforce a false sense of superiority, fed by the intent to exclude others."

When God Seems Absent

This eternal fountain is hidden deep, Well l know where it has its spring, Though it is night! (St. John of the Cross) My friend Nancy Beach once taught a series on spiritual life in which she compared our varying experiences of God's presence to the seasons of the year.