Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch
Religion is the outward expression of inward spiritual beliefs, but people frequently confuse the outward observances of religion with true godliness. Indeed, godliness includes outward observances – community prayer, acts of charity and many other practices. The problem comes with empty observance. That is, allowing these external signs to take the place of true righteousness – “talking the talk but not walking the walk.” The Church is filled with many great actors and actresses.
So often, we confuse religion and spirituality. Religion is lived by people who are afraid of hell; spirituality is lived by people who have been through hell and come out enlightened. Worshiping God is harmless and risk-free – following God is what changes the world.