The Finger Pointing To The Moon
March 08, 2019
The finger represents the spiritual practices which point toward something greater, not something to be focused on in itself.
Although this metaphor comes from Buddhism, it has been used by Catholic spiritual directors to place proper emphasis on all spiritual practices. Spiritual practices should lead to God, not become an end in themselves. Since we love and need tangible sacramentals, there is always a risk we may place too much emphasis on them.
In Lent, these tangibles are our ascetic and charitable practices. They are meant to lead us to God, not distract us and surely not to become an end in themselves.
Catholic spiritual writers describe the same movement in proper Marian devotion. Mary always points to Jesus.
May all our works of charity, acts of self control and prayers kindle in us a more fervent love of God.