Monday, February 12, 2007
Since I am the Coordinator of the Online Certificate Program in Spirituality Studies, I spend quite a bit of time reflecting on spirituality. It is a word with many definitions. The one I use because I find it concrete and simple enough for students to relate to, explains spirituality as the way we live out our faith in the circumstances of our daily lives. It includes the whole of our life. There are as many spiritualities as there are people. Still, we can speak of "schools" of spirituality and certainly we attribute a different spirituality to religious orders connected with the particular charism manifested in the founder. Thus we speak of Franciscan spirituality and call up an image of Francis with his simplicity, poverty, and love of nature; Carmelite spirituality makes me think of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, both great contemplatives who reformed the Carmelites; and so, when I speak of Sacred Heart spirituality, I think of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat who founded the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1800 to glorify the Heart of Jesus and her insistance on prayer and interior spirit in the midst of an active life so as to live in union with Jesus. As I prepare for Lent, I want to reflect more on what the Lord is calling me to be during those forty days. I am sure it will be related to the living out of my own spirituality as a Religious of the Sacred Heart.