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Elements of a Healthy Spirituality
What is Spirituality?
“Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.” ~ Joan D. Chittister, "In a High Spiritual Season"
"A spirituality is like a bridge. Every bridge does pretty much the same thing - gets you from one place to another, sometimes over perilous ground, or a river, or great heights. But they do so in different ways." (Martin 3)
"[...] a spirituality is a way of living in relationship with God. Within the Christian tradition, all spiritualities, no matter what their origins, have the same focus - the desire for union with God, an emphasis on love and charity, and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God." (Martin 2)
"The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it." Henri Nouwen
Humility: It brings us outside of ourselves.
1. Helps us understand that we aren't in this on our own.
2. Helps us realize that we can't do this on our own.
Prayer/Mindfulness: "Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.” Joan Chittister
Persistence/Patience: Breath and stick with it.
Compassion: Moves us towards "the Other."
Trust/Hope: Leads us out of despair
As Nouwen says: “The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it." In life, we are constantly dealing with change and loss. Trust and hope lead us away from despair in light of this reality.
Openness to Mystery: “Our culture has filled our heads but emptied our hearts, stuffed our wallets but starved our wonder. It has fed our thirst for facts but not for meaning or mystery. It produces "nice" people, not heroes.” Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock
6. Openness to Mystery
Joy: See video from Fr. James Martin (begining - 7:54)