SPIRITUALITY is one of those chamelion words, that means different things to different people. I take it to mean the way our spirit expresses itself, our whole way of being in the world. Spirituality is not just a religious thing confined to ‘spiritual’ people. To be human is to have a spirit; we are all spiritual beings. Our spirit is the animating, life-giving part of our being: connecting, inspiring, fulfilling. Our spirituality is an expression of our behaviour and our beliefs. Tom Jordan OP, a Dominican friar, describes spirituality as:
‘A particular way of living and doing things. Spirituality derives from the coming together of two things, a person’s life and a set of beliefs and practices. Spirituality does not exist on its own apart from the person (or group) who lives and practices it.’
Christian spirituality is about inner growth, working with what is given, nurturing our roots and inner qualities and relationships. Spirituality is about being, growth and conversion: ‘fundamentally spirituality has to do with becoming a person in the fullest sense.’ (John Macquarrie)
Christians do not have a monopoly on spirituality; there are secular alternatives, the most pervasive of which is shaped by the values of modern economics. We all have to live in the world and we cannot help being influenced by these alternatives, and in trying to live the Christian life we need to know what we are up against! Part of the work of conversion is resisting the secular model and the forces that drive it, and this is particularly so in the workplace.
In 2006 I gave a talk to a group of Templeton Scholars, drawn from the press and media, entitled A Spirituality for the Times. I offered a critique of our contemporary economic spirituality, and outlined an alternative based on the insights of St Benedict of Nursia. I also criticised the press for the way in which they systematically ignore and marginalise the Christian faith. My talk is available to download here, and there is more about Benedictine spirituality on the St Benedict page.
SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE As well as teaching about Benedictine spirituality, I give spiritual guidance on a one-to-one basis. If you would like to know about this, please contact me via the Contact page.