The Oxford English Dictionary defines spirituality as the quality or condition of being spiritual; attachment to or regard for things of the spirit as opposed to material or worldly interests. The term spirituality in a religious parlance affects the totality of one’s life. It is more than being connected to spiritual beings.
Etymologically, the word spirituality is derived from the Latin “spiritus” which means breath or wind. It refers to breath when it is emphasized as a principle of life and as wind it emphasizes extreme experiences of life; judgment, death, etc. For a Christian, spirituality refers to that way of life; those actions, that necessarily keeps one alive and brings meaning to one’s existence. As regards the family, spirituality is that enterprise that influences everything the family does to remain a family. It is that spiritual dimension that sustains every aspect of life in a family. If spirituality is this important in the life of every family, let us ask ourselves, how have we kept it alive?
It is spirituality that keeps the joy in the family alive, spirituality keeps faith and trust in the family, it keeps understanding and patience alive, and it sustains peace, love and devotion in the family. However, this is only possible if our spirituality stems from the right source – God. Since spirituality is referred to as the breath that keeps our families and God alone has the power to give that breath and take it back, then we must have God as the centre of our spirituality, as the centre of our family. Every member of the family must then establish a personal connection with God which will lead to interconnectedness of every member of the family. The joy, faith, trust, understanding, patience, love, peace mentioned above are all attributes of God. One who is connected to God receives these traits of God. Same goes for the family who has established a connection with God.
Moreover, every individual is connected to God through the soul. God made us in His image and likeness. Thus if He (God) possesses these attributes in their highest degrees, we who are made in His image also possess them (definitely not in the highest degree). It is important for every family to express their spirituality practically by their devotion to God, family prayer, mealtime should be taken as another opportunity to express our devotion to one another (especially in this our busy age), going to events as a family, etc.
Spirituality is not a program that one may aim to achieve at a given time. It is a way of life. It is an everyday encounter with ourselves, with God and with others. The more we neglect the centre of our spirituality, the more we lose His attributes. Many people in this our time, believe that being humanitarian has nothing to do with belief in God. No matter how strong we negate the truth that God remains the source of our good qualities, there is that fact that there are higher forces that exist in the universe and a higher force brought us into being and thus must have imparted in us the attributes that we possess. For us, this higher force is God. Our relationship with Him sustains His attributes in us. If any of us here find our families in want of any of God’s attributes, let us reconnect or re-establish our relationship with Him and the attributes will naturally flow to us.
May the Lord bless our efforts through Christ our Lord. Amen.