the ex-priest Alberto Linero He is one of the most recognized writers and communicators among believers and non-believers in the country. His decision to retire from the priesthood surprised his followers but it did not mean that Linero moved away from spirituality; on the contrary, it led him to live a lifestyle without a cassock, in which, moreover, he found love as a couple.
Linero is presenting his new book to his followers ‘Spirituality for humans, a sublime path‘in which he addresses what for him represents the spiritual path for all people, regardless of their religious beliefs or experiences.
About, infobae colombia He spoke with the author about this new publication that adds to his more than 25 books, the meaning of spirituality, some opinions about the Catholic Church to which he belonged for 25 years in the Eudist community, and his new life as a man in love.
— Infobae: Why write a book on spirituality for believers and non-believers?
— Alberto Linero: Because I think that spirituality, having been confused with religiosity, has received very bad publicity. People confuse spirituality with religion and many, because of their bad experiences with religious aspects, have an aversive attitude towards spirituality. Spirituality is the condition of possibility for happinessI believe that a person who develops their spiritual abilities is capable of building a satisfying life, which is, after all, what I understand by happiness.
But besides that, because some have wanted to appropriate spirituality as an experience only for them and no, spirituality is a human experience. I want to tell everyone who reads me that they can be spiritual, hopefully with a healthy religious experience, but each one decides; my text is not proselytizing, in my text there is no intention that anyone assume my faith and existential truths, because I believe that this is something very personal.
— Is there an ideal time in life to start being spiritual?
— I believe that spirituality is like breathing, which means from the moment I am alive until the last moment of my life, until I exhale my last breath. But it happens as with breathing, you have to make it conscious. I believe that we all have degrees of spirituality, but when we become aware of what spirituality is and its benefits for my life, then I can work on it more; the important thing is to understand that spirituality is beneficial, spirituality does not save you from anything, it does not sacrifice anything, spirituality gives you.
— Has your spiritual experience changed since you left the presbyterate?
— No, my spirituality has not changed. I deeply love a spiritual teacher, who is the lord of my life, who is Jesus of Nazareth. He taught me spirituality, how is Jesus spiritual? Being fully human, the more human I am, the more spiritual I am. It’s a lie that I have to look like angels, that’s a lieI don’t want to look like any angel; you have to feel, cry, have desires, have sexual urges because if not, you are not human and in that fullness of humanity you can be full.
But second, Jesus taught me to be spiritual in everyday life, I am fascinated to see Jesus as the lord of food and drink, you know I should write a book about that one day, Jesus the one who didn’t miss a party. My spirituality has not changed because I am still attached to Jesus, and I continue to love him, and I continue to live that spirituality in Catholic contexts, because I am still an Apostolic and Roman Catholic, but I understand that I cannot impose it on anyone, I understand that others have other spaces and that I am not the owner of the truth and that the Church is not the owner of the truth.
— Mention the confusion between spirituality and religion, are people who are inside churches or who are believers necessarily spiritual?
— No, I know of more than one gentleman and lady who, although they do the rosary ten times a day, are not spiritual. I know many priests who, even though they celebrate the Eucharist, preside over it, are not spiritual. I know cardinals and bishops who are not spiritual, who have allowed life to be consumed in liturgical actions, in moral codes and in doctrinal experiences, but not in contact with the sublime, not in a transcendence of life and above all in a lack of praxis of lovebecause after all, spirituality is a praxis of love, that’s why my previous book is about love and this one is about spirituality, because they connect.
— And at the beginning of the book, precisely, he also talks about love for oneself and the care that should take precedence over myself.
— That impresses me, several people who have started reading it have asked me about it and it impresses me that it seems new to people that I say that spirituality is self-care, it is loving myself and creating conditions so that I can be well. That means that we have made a very bad exposition of what spirituality is.. I think it is about not having understood the gospel, Jesus of Nazareth invites us to take care of ourselves and love ourselves, but we believed that to be holy was to be virtuous and to be virtuous you had to sacrifice yourself. With all due respect, I do not value some saints who harmed themselves, who attacked themselves, I despise that, I am sorry and I know that some will be scandalized, I do not value them because of hurting oneself itself is not good. “Love the other as yourself” and the measure is that you love yourself and take care of yourself.
— And what has it been like now to share the spiritual experience with a partner?
— I have an advantage and it is that my partner is not a religious woman, my partner is an intelligent woman, explorer, self-possessed, who does not depend on any man nor is she interested in doing so, a woman who understands that life is carried out in equity, that is a great advantage. But since she is an intelligent woman, she is a woman open to conversing with us and sharing with us, because intelligent people do not lock themselves in their own truth, when people have to hide in their dogmas it is because they are not intelligent, intelligent people dialogue with us and talk with us without fear of losing your experience. We live in constant dialogue, sometimes I totally agree with her, sometimes I don’t agree with her, sometimes she celebrates my things, sometimes she rejects them, but it has been interesting.
— And in fact, in the first chapter of the book, he reviews a spiritual experience with Alcy, his partner
— I wrote the first chapter with her, the Sinai experience, which I had already done on one occasion, I did it with her and when I wrote it I showed it to her; she took things from her and put things on her, so in some way her spiritual experience is also there, I think it has all been growing. Being spiritual as a couple makes me happier.
— So do you still agree that the Church should end celibacy?
— I want to be precise, I I have never said that they should eliminate celibacy, because I believe that everyone does what they want with their lives, and if someone does not want to have sexual relations and wants to offer their choice to God, welcome. I have never affirmed that celibacy must end, no, if someone does not want to get married and if someone does not want to throw away, why do they have to force them, what happens is that this society is “pipicentric” and believes that everything has to end in the pee and in the vagina.
What I do believe, and I say it firmly, is that the Church has to make celibacy an optional experienceYou have to go back to your first centuries of experience, for a long time priests got married, priests got married, bishops got married, we have to go back to that practice for various reasons. One, because we are having emotionally sick people thanks to these sexual repressions. Two, because it is difficult for us to understand the world of families when we do not have a family, that is a big lie because you end up with a myopia that does not allow you to understand the world of people. Three, because today’s world is a world that passes through sexuality, I’m not saying that through genitality, but through sexuality.
— He also talks about internal dialogue, but how to have a good dialogue with oneself in a society with so many things, in TransMilenio and day to day?
— The internal dialogue defines us, you always talk to yourself, you always say things to yourself, so the problem is not the noise of this city or the rapid dynamics of this city, the point is what you say to yourself in the midst of all this maelstrom in which we live. It is worthwhile that even on the TransMilenio, taking all necessary measures, keeping your wallet well and being attentive, you are able to tell yourself things and connect with your essence and tell you things that make you transcend and that make you see life in a different way.
— A message for those people who, due to their bad experiences with religion, decide not to read a book by Alberto Linero
— The first thing I want to tell you is that I respect the decision of each one regarding the texts they read, in that I want to be like Don Quixote, who read everything, even the papers that were on the street, I read everything and I like to read it everything, but I accept people who say ‘I don’t read this author’, I wouldn’t force anyone to read me, I’m not afraid of the intellectual elite of those who write interesting things, I doubt those who live high on the intellectual ego of writing and despise those of us who write about well-being. But if you have a brain and a heart and you want to find questions that help you make decisions to improve your daily life, read the text, be careful, I said there are questions, you will see what answers you give them.