Spirituality inspires how we live, especially what we do, and how we spend our time. The word ‘spirituality’ owes its origin to the Latin word ‘spiritus’ which has connotations of life-giving breath. We could perhaps call it by another name, such as our value system and beliefs. If I spend the day with a compassionate attitude matched by compassionate actions, I have a spirituality that’s inspired by something good and life-giving, leading me towards a space that enriches me as a human being. If I spend my day demeaning and exploiting others, I have a ‘spirituality’ that is life-denying and undermining my humanity, because the fundamental human orientation is to live life, not undermine it.
Excerpted from Reimagining Religion: A Jesuit Vision by Jim Maher SJ (p.19)Read more
Sometimes you can be a prisoner of a story not your own. You can be wrapped up in a story of greed, vengeance or vanity. Your entire story can sometimes be captured by others who sum you up in a word or category, and you can then become that word: alcoholic, neurotic, victim, loser, and so on. You can find yourself living through the eyes of others, losing sight of your own value. Stories that tell you you’re hopeless and will come to nothing are self-defeating: stories that tell you you’re wonderful and special can leave you vulnerable when challenges come your way. To be fully alive you need to be in touch with the story that begins and ends in love, and for many of us that is the Christian story.
Excerpted from Dipping Into Life by Alan Hilliard (p.77)Read more
If you put too much pressure on any part of your life, there is risk of collapse. If you put too much pressure on any one part of your being, there is a risk of collapse too. The body, soul, mind and emotions are given to you to spread the load. The same is true of your family and friends, and of support services and those things that help you discover your beliefs and values. When you are in good form, you are aware of all these ‘arches’ in your life. The load is spread quite evenly. When you are in bad form, you put too much pressure on one ‘arch’, that single arch just can’t carry the load!
Excerpted from Dipping Into Life by Alan Hilliard (p.48)Read more