Fwd: Spirituality… a life changing option
From a Thomas's Merton Fan
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Jim Forest" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Jan 21, 2010 4:42 AM
Subject: Spirituality… a life changing option
To: "Jim Forest" <email@example.com>
This comes from Judith Hardcastle, program director of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and minister at St. Andrew's United Church & Centre for Peace in Golden, British Columbia. It was published in the newspaper (The Golden Star) of the mountain town where she lives.
* * *
Golden Star (British Columbia) / January 19, 2010 1:00 PM
Spirituality… a life changing option
by Judith Hardcastle
The quest for meaning and purpose is central to our existence. This search for meaning launches us on a journey in which all aspects of life—joys, sorrows, struggles and successes—can become avenues to deeper understanding and purpose. Everything we experience along the journey plays a part in forming and fashioning our lives. It is within these experiences that we discover the key to becoming all that we were meant to be.
None of us walks alone on this journey that we call a spiritual life. In undertaking it, we come to know who we are and what we are to become precisely by knowing, loving, and being with others. Community, in whatever form it is lived, is a place of healing and growth. It provides needed security and love but is also a challenging place. As we live closely with people daily, we confront our wounded emotions, our limitations and need for healing.
Another aspect of spirituality is the belief that there is a level of reality that exceeds the limits of human existence, that there is more to us and to life than we first perceive. Some people refer to the transcendent as Mystery or as the Other or as God. There are countless names for the transcendent. Spirituality involves the quest to be in relationship with this Mystery.
Spirituality always involves a process of becoming. Our relationship with the transcendent initiates a process of growth in our lives and calls for an ongoing response and commitment to live whatever is encountered on our particular journey. Inevitably, spirituality calls us out of a preoccupation with ourselves and toward love and compassion for others and the world.
There is a difference between spirituality and religion. Spirituality is the whole life of a person lived in relationship with the transcendent. A person's individual spirituality may or may not incorporate the rituals, practices, and beliefs of a particular religious group. However, for billions of people throughout the world, institutionalized religion provides the setting in which personal spirituality is expressed and developed.
Spirituality—however you choose to live it on your journey—is a life changing option.
It is what being human is all about!
* * *
Jim & Nancy Forest
1811 GJ Alkmaar
Jim & Nancy site: www.incommunion.org/forest-flier/
In Communion site: www.incommunion.org
Forest-Flier Editorial Services: http://www.forestflier.com/
revised, expanded edition of "Living With Wisdom: a biography of Thomas Merton":
revised, expanded, all-color edition of "Praying With Icons":
"The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life":
"Silent as a Stone," a children's book about a community of rescuers in Paris:
A Tale of Two Kidneys:
* * *