Do you ever wonder why you do the things you do? Do you question your own motives? Motives are tricky. We don’t always know our own true motives until we reflect on our actions after the fact. This is the way of it. We make moral decisions in real time and then we engage in ethical reflection after the fact. Most often we try to justify what we have done. Less often, we critique our own actions and seek to change who we are and what we do. Then we find that we are most resistant to change. Real change is only possible by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit who grows holiness in us. The Spirit can help us assess our motives but we must also understand that the Spirit deals gently with us and does not reveal more of the darkness in our hearts than we are ready to bear. The spiritual disciplines – prayer, fasting, meditation, contemplation, etc. – are how we participate in the Spirit’s sanctifying work, how we come to understand ourselves as we are even as we are becoming our truest selves.