Opening Prayer God of love and mercy, you call us to be your people, you gift us with your abundant grace. Make us a holy people, radiating the fullness of your love. Form us into a community, a people who care, expressing your compassion. Remind us day after day of our baptismal call to serve, with joy and courage. Teach us how to grow in wisdom and grace and joy in your presence. Through Jesus and in your Spirit, we make this prayer. U.S. Bishops’ 1995 “Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium”)
The Term “Spirituality” In Christian terms, the word “spirituality” can be traced to the letters of St. Paul where he uses the Greek term pneuma. Spirituality implies an ability to commit oneself to a set of consciously chosen practices that foster Christian discipleship.
Being in Relationship Philip Sheldrake defines Christian spirituality this way: “..spirituality is the whole of human life viewed in terms of a conscious relationship with God, in Jesus Christ, through the indwelling of the Spirit, and within the community of believers.”
Another Definition…an unquenchable fire, a restlessness, a longing, a disquiet, a hunger, a loneliness, a gnawing nostalgia, a wildness that cannot be tamed, a congenital all- embracing ache that lies at the center of human experience and that is the ultimate force that drives everything else. This disease is universal. Desire gives no exceptions…Spirituality is, ultimately, what we do with that desire. (Ronald Rolheiser)
No Single Path to Perfection The Christian spiritual life may be about “living Jesus,” but there is no one way to do that. There is no generic holiness, no single path to perfection, no cookie-cutter model of the Christ-life. Instead, each person must discover, with the air of the Scriptures, tradition, the witness of holy ones, and the guidance of others, what it means to “live Jesus” in the concrete specificity of his or her location, moment in history, talents, responsibilities, and sense of call.
Centrality of Our Baptism Beloved sons and daughters of God Marked by God Died to self and put on Christ
Realize Who We Are and Whose We Are “You are precious in my sight.” (Is. 43:4) “I have carved you on the palm of my hand.” (Is. 49:16) “I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Is. 43: 1) “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.” (Ps 139:13)
Our Three VocationsVocation of a Christian (all share)Vocation in life (married, single, priesthood, Religious Life)Within that is how I live our that particular vocation – no one can be a family life minister exactly like you.
“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Common Life – Mystical Body Our Catholic spirituality involves a deep sense of a common life expressed in our relationship to the Mystical Body, our common prayer, the rhythm of the liturgical cycle, and in our communion with the cloud of witnesses. But our unity is never uniformity.
No One Way of Living the Spiritual Life If we look at it in terms of vocation, there is not one Christian vocation, no one way of being married, no one way of being a religious, minister, priest, no one way of living the single life. Nor is there one way of acting for the common good.
Personal Rule – Helps From St. Francis de Sales Statement of Life Motto Personal Mission Statement What one needs for a happy and balanced life.
Value Creates solid structure Provides routine to fall back on Protects one’s inner space. Response to being loved by God. St. Benedict “Ora et Labora…Vacare Deo” (work and pray, Empty oneself for God) Gentleness with ourselves and others Communal nature of the process Intentional opening to perceive God’s presence and activity toward a life patterned on Christ.
Elements of a Rule of Life 1. Seeking God is the focal point: Prayer, worship, nurturing one’s spirit 2. Work: care of our body, physical exercise 3. Study: intellectual development 4. Service to others, hospitality Focus equally on God’s call to you your own needs and the needs of the world.
How to Design a Rule of Life1. How can you fit these values into your life in a balanced way including joy, play, fun.2. Listen to your heart’s desire. Be conscious of what you do and why you do it.3. Be concrete, specific and consistent. Take baby steps that have some challenge to them. Recognize you are human and try again.
Helps in Keeping Your Rule1. Be realistic in getting your goals.2. Do all for the glory of God, your own salvation and the salvation of others.3. Ask for God’s help.4. Gather with like-minded friends to support one another.5. Look to spiritual practices that have stood the test of time e.g. St. Francis de Sales, St. Teresa of Avila,etc.
4 - 1’s 1 hour a day of prayer 1 day off a week 1 retreat a month 1 yearly retreatDesign your own version of this.
Practices – Personal DailyPattern of Prayer Frequent Attendance at Mass Celebration of the Sacraments Spiritual Direction Reading the Bible daily Spiritual Reading Looking for God’s hand in your life Listening to others and mentoring others as they look at God Living in the Present Moment
Prayer Practices Vocal prayer Lectio Divina Imaginative Meditation Consciousness Examen Contemplative Prayer Music and Prayer Writing and Prayer Study and Prayer Nature and Prayer
Consciousness Examen Pray For Light Review the Day in Thanksgiving Review the Feelings That Surfaced in the Replay of the Day Choose One of Those Feelings (Positive or Negative) and Pray From It Look Toward Tomorrow.
Lectio Lectio: Reading and Listening Meditatio: Reflecting on the Word Oratio: The Word Touches the Heart Contemplatio: Entering the Silence “Too Deep For Words”
Devotional Practices Rosary Stations Holy Hour First Friday/First Saturday Use of Sacramentals
Celebrate the Sabbath What can we do to re-instate this practice?
Prayer of Pedro Arrupe, S.J."Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than FALLING IN LOVE in a quite absolute, final way.What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."
Resources Durand, Dave. Time Management for Catholics. Manchester: Sophia Institute Press, 2002. Wright, Wendy PhD. The Essential Spirituality Handbook. Liguori: Liguori Press, 2009. Murphy, Monsignor Charles M. Belonging to God: A Personal Training Guide for the Deeper Catholic Spiritual Life, New York: Crossroads, 2004.
What Concrete Idea/s Will YouTake From This Webinar?Thank you for allowing me to share this time with you.Sister Rose Marie Adams, I.H.M.email@example.com