Diversify Your Portfolio
Financially we are encouraged to do this. "Don't put all your eggs in one basket," they say. I find that pretty much every post I write these days is about the spiritual life...but it seems to me that is the only thing really worth writing about. So...we can apply diversifying our portfolio to our spiritual lives.
Let's say we are trying to root out an habitual sin (or develop the opposite virtue). We are trying this from every angle...making resolutions, putting the axe to the root of the tree by eliminating occasions of sin, praying for the virtue, etc, but we just aren't making any headway. You throw everything you've got at it, and there's no progress. Why?
Well, for one thing, we could be attacking the wrong area. For example, maybe our lack of charity towards others is really rooted in being unwilling to accept the sufferings God permits in our lives (for our good) and this anger goes outward at people. I found a really interesting article on the predominant fault by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, which discusses how to identify and uproot the chief enemy to our sanctification. The predominant fault is often underlying everything else...the "why" of committing sin.
One author suggests, the three pillars of the interior life are prayer, spiritual reading, and overcoming one's predominant fault. This is diversifying your portfolio. The spiritual life is so vast and calls us to always, always go deeper. Simplicity keeps us from going everywhere at once, where we will accomplish very little, and generosity keeps us from staying at the level of the bare minimum, where we won't receive much of a return. To gain much requires we risk much for God.
If we focus our efforts/attention on loving and growing in union with God (prayer), filling our hearts and minds with truths of our Faith (spiritual reading), and strive to grow in the virtue we are most in need of (overcoming the predominant fault), Our Lord can get in there and growth will come through the steady drip of His grace on our rocks.