Spirituality

In the 5th week of the “Take the Challenge” 7 weeks to wellness program we are focusing primarily on taking time in our daily lives for spiritual reflection and meditation.

“[…] 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.”
(James Martin, SJ)

The above quote is an excerpt from Shaun Johnson’s presentation “Spiritual Wellness.” Shaun is SNC’s Campus Minister and we are very grateful for the time he spent with us sharing his insight of spirituality. Shaun states,

If there is one thing that I’ve learned about spirituality, religion, faith -whatever you would like to identify as adhering to and believing in an existence other than you –  it is that spirituality is not cool.  True religion and spirituality are not cool.  I know that sounds kind of weird, especially from a guy who’s supposed to be helping others to understand their call and their relationship with their God, but I’ll let you in on the secret, it is true.

Being cool, as we can identify with passing fads and fashions, is temporary, it is fleeting.  The relationship we are called to live and be in with our God and others is not.  Sure we have good days and bad days – much like you have good days and bad days with friends or spouses – but spirituality and faith is not a smart button up shirt with flashy cuffs. It is a shirt that suffices to guard us against the harsh weather outside, but yet frees us to address the needs in front of with ample mobility…

Note I did equate spirituality with the well-worn sweater we crawl into as we cuddle comfortably and warmly with our favorite cup of coffee or tea and watch the world go by us.  Faith and spirituality should give us a sense of peace, but never a sense of complacency or inertness.  Faith, Hope, and Love – the three theological virtues, those things freely and openly given to us through the Grace of God – are unsettling.  They cause us to continually be in dialogue so that we gain greater understanding of the presence and existence of our God.  They force us out into the streets to encounter that living God in the people we meet and choose to either love or ignore in our everyday experience.  They move us outside of situations of despair – situations we all to often can find ourselves in as we approach and encounter a violent and sometimes unforgiving world.”

Shaun’s presentation further highlighted these two quotes:

“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.”(James Martin, SJ)

 

 

Shrine of St. Mary

 

“The spiritual life does not remove us from the world
but leads us deeper into it.”
(Henri Nouwen)

 

In addition to Shaun’s thought provoking and contemplative presentation, you may also like to consider the following:

From Campus Ministry, Sacred Spaces for Prayer and Reflection.

The Labyrinth at Donald J. Schneider Stadium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Labyrinth at Saint Norbert Abbey

The authors that are quoted in Shaun’s presentation have several books that may be checked out at the Mulva Library (click on the author’s names below for complete listings).

James Martin, SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henri J.M. Nouwen

Peter J. Kreeft

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan D. Chittister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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