'Spirituality' is one of those words almost impossible to define. Like love or happiness we have the experience but find it hard to know explain the meaning. For me it concerns our need to respond to the Other so that we are taken beyond ourselves and grow into our full potential. For Christians there is a connection between spirituality and religious faith realised through the person of Jesus.
The ‘spiritual’ is an aspect of matter. Just as there is a physical form, so there is a deeper, non-material form to all that exists. This is the arena where we are able to reach out beyond the self to the Other where we discover our true being and, for people of faith, where we encounter the Divine. Spirituality concerns that which is most real in an individual desiring to reach out to that which is most real in the Other.
At heart it has a Godly origin for the Creator ‘breathed’ His Spirit into Adam and, in so doing united humanity with Divinity. God also entered matter in Christ and raised it to Divinity (God ‘became what we are in order to make us what he is himself’ – St. Irenaeus of Lyons). And this ‘inbreathed Spirit’ unites us with all created things, for all things that exist are manifestations of the Divine. For example, our delight in nature is a consequence of our at-one-ness with all things. Conversely when a person cannot relate to an-other this can indicate a deeper personality disorder.
Without some form of spiritual life, acknowledged or not, life is diminished. We are enriched by all that is creative. For people of faith this is enhanced by spiritual practices – prayer, mediation and developing a contemplative approach to life. For all, seeking to reach out to the Other beyond the boundaries of the Self, is the way towards growing into the fullness of life.
Click here for some Reflections on the Spiritual Life
What is Spiritual Direction, and what is a Spiritual Director? The two terms can seem rather daunting – appealing to people who are ‘holy’ and not like the rest of us. The following reflections may help dispel that misunderstanding (or you can click on the title above which will take you to a dedicated site).
"Spiritual Direction (SpDir) is a relationship of friendship in which one person helps another to hear and respond to the Holy Spirit/ Word of God.' (Barry and Connelly)
'Spiritual direction is the contemplative practice of helping another person or group to awaken to the mystery called God in all of life, and to respond to that discovery in a growing relationship of freedom and commitment.' (James Keegan SJ)
'Whether or not one is aware of it, God is constantly engaged with the human heart. God is present, inviting, cajoling, challenging, enabling, always loving persons to be who they are: lovers at home in Love. At some point in the spiritual journey we are awakened to this love affair and the subsequent choice to claim the primacy of love in our lives. For some this may show itself as an insatiable passion for truth or for justice, for others it may be a deep reverence for beauty, and still for others it may appear as the drawing of the heart to compassionate service. Others may sense only that beneath the pain, the joy, the complacency of their lives there is a Reality which can no longer be ignored. However this longing shows itself, it is ultimately a longing for God. This longing for God is the bedrock of the spiritual life and of spiritual direction.' (Rose Mary Dougherty.)
I offer a ministry of Spiritual Direction either at my home or at the in the City. Supervision Groups are available in Romford and Chelmsford or on a one-to-one basis. For more information, please visit my website: SPIRITUAL DIRECTION and SUPERVISION or email me: jff2209(at)yahoo.com
Further information about the ministry I offer can be found here: Notes for Enquiring Directors.
|The Restless Heart||