Enhancing Life with Spiritual Growth

Spirituality is key to becoming a whole and complete person. It is the catalyst for a relationship with God, with others and with our world.

Henri Nouwen, a Jesuit Priest, captured it well: To pray does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or to spend time with God instead of spending time with people. Rather it means to think and live in the presence of God.

Through an ever-deepening spirituality, one is able to recognize God in all creation. While the task is not easy, it is very rewarding. Our spiritual life and daily living on the earth is a second-by-second trust in the One who created us and who promises us life forever.

We are able to deepen our relationship with God and our world in many different ways. First, it is important to recognize that ‘talking with God’ is comparable to talking with our best friend. We often unveil our deepest thoughts and desires to a friend because we trust that person totally and completely. When we are able to do the same with God, who knows ‘all’ anyway, this is prayer. . . the finest way of deepening our spiritual life!

Second, in order to arrive at a significant depth in any relationship, it is important to spend time with the Other. That time can take place in many ways:
taking a walk with one’s eyes on the great gifts of beauty that nature provides;
reading the works of theologians who present their thoughts to us for our reflection;
reflecting on passages of the Bible to perceive how that Word impacts our life today;
performing acts of kindness as suggested by the Works of Mercy and the Beatitudes and, in so doing, recognizing God working in and through us;
journaling your thoughts and reflections through writing, drawing, listening to music or any media that helps to strengthen your relationships;
participating in spiritual direction—regularly meeting with someone trained in the art of listening to and reflecting back the possible workings of God in another;
wandering through a labyrinth* (a metaphor for journeying to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a deeper experience of who you are at your core); and
deepening one’s life with God through one of many kinds of prayer, including meditation, worship services, the rosary, the Divine Office** and contemplation

Any relationship is only as strong as the energy that two people put into it. It is the same with God. God is constant, it is our responsibility to grow and deepen personally so that together we may grow in love. This is not always easy or without pain. In order to deepen personally and spiritually, one must give fully of self and rely always on the goodness of the Other.

Sister Mary was trained by the Jesuits while she obtained a Masters Degree in Theology and Ministry from Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago.