I have been thinking and praying about how the ‘altar of the spirit’ is the place where the most valuable offerings are made. The spirit can be referred to as the heart, the soul, the innermost being of a person. It is the place of the interior embrace or rejection of life and all its forthcomings. Nothing can replace or have the same value as the willing and loving offering of the spirit; not utterance of prayer, no external penitential act, no fasting, no amount of almsgiving… Only the spirit, the soul, the heart of a person can carry the daily triumphs or the crosses that have been placed upon it. But, “as the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak…” we need to “fatten up” or strengthen our spirit by deepening and renewing our true motivations. It usually demands a whole interior turnover to amalgamate everything within us toward what God wills or permits in our lives. The building up of our inner strength to do this usually means denying our flesh and our disordered passions. In this perspective, we rediscover the value of external sacrifices; they help us to exercise the strength of the spirit and breathe life into it. When we feed the flesh, the spirit starts to become weak, it starts to die. Nonetheless, if we live only for the physical sacrifice, there is no true life in the spirit, there is no real offering on the altar of our soul. As I look at my heart, I need to ask, where does my spirit rest? Where is it not given over to Jesus? What am I holding on to that is not of Him? These are the offerings I want to make, this is the most valuable sacrifice to be placed on my inner altar. As I move my heart to will this, to desire these sacrifices whatever they may be, I gradually integrate my innermost self, my spirit: mind, heart and will, the ‘soul’ of my being, the altar and place He gave me to make a true offering to Him.