A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Understanding Spirituality Today


Most of us Christians – and many others too – are quite accustomed to hearing and using phrases like ‘the spiritual life’, ‘spiritual things’, ‘spiritual direction’ and in more recent times ‘spirituality’.
These phrases have long been important, even central, expressions in our Christian lives and in Christian teaching and preaching. Up to comparatively recent years the reference of these phrases
tended to be, largely, to the practices of prayer, meditation, devotional reading, self-denial and ascetical practices, Mass and the sacraments and pilgrimages. Many referred to these practices
as being the main elements of their ‘spiritual’ lives. Today, however, many Christian teachers and writers see this way of characterising the spiritual life as being rather too narrow and, hence, as being split off from the moral, social and political dimensions of the Christian life.