Delivery in day(s): 3
STP462 Introduction to Spiritual Oz Assignments
1.1) It has been observed that God has created humans in his representation and resemblance and has further instilled utmost uniqueness within them. The fundamental purpose of Gods to offer gifts is to establish up the kingdom. Thus gifts of God can be identified as beneficial factors for humans. Gifts given by Gods are essentially for others and not exclusively for individuals themselves. The gifts such as love, affection, family and peace which have been offered to us must be employee benefits for the purpose to give them away to the ones in need.
1.2) Christians must attain knowledge about the broader observance of Scripture- They must attain the insights that Jesus is the most significant place to observe if individuals want to develop the knowledge of listening to the voice and learning of God.
Speak to God about the area of guidance- If Christians are seeking God’s support on certain things in their lives, one of the critical things to do following thing is to affirm distinctively about the issue that has been posing challenges.
Watch and Listen for Songs- Once the Christians have articulated the need which Christians have for aid and assistance, they would necessitate being unambiguous in watching as well as being responsive to indications which may facilitate in providing a response to the query
Implementation of common sense- Christians must know that amidst prayer and blessings, they can consider themselves and the potentials which are positioned before them and the course through which it will go.
1.3) Spiritual Directees is regarded as an amalgamation of spiritual exercises which be implemented by directees in order to stimulate reflection as well as discourse in spiritual direction. Spiritual directors also seek constructive resources in their organization of supporting as well as assisting directees.
1.4) It comprises certain complexities to be spiritual and do not develop affection for yourself at the same time. Christians were of the perspective that humans are God’s selected people and that the Almighty showers utmost affection upon them. Loving one implies that the individual has the competence to embrace him as a person created by God.
1.5) By the quote of Jesus to develop affection for enemies it implies that God bestows his love, affection, care through his blessings to people who love Him as well as the ones who do not believe in the existence of God. This unconditional love of God is to fundamentally aim for the transformation of people for the good and further return to God.
1.6)The image of race produced by Paul signifies the race as a course of spirituality with several hindrances and achievements.
The second image which signifies the Spiritual journey of individuals is wandering in the desert. Travelling in the desert can be referred to as a highly spiritual journey which involves certain challenges, obstacles and accomplishments through the wilderness of the desert. Through such criticalities individuals develop the belief and faith in God thus being integrated towards him.
1.7) The Spiritual life has further been identified as journey by St John of the Cross. He employed the visual of a ladder with 10 important steps which incorporates sickness of the soul, searching for the Almighty unceasingly, Doing small works for God, the willingness to suffer to be blessed by God, Impatient yearning for God, the soul runs rapidly to God, the soul grows bold and daring in love, the soul lays hold of the beloved without letting go, love results the soul to burn in gentle manner and the last stage that is the vision of God.
2.1 Explanation of Imagination Meditation on Scripture
Some Christians exhibit fear of seeking to employ their imagination or thoughts for individualistic or spiritual guidance as they tend to relate it with Eastern beliefs, secularism, psychology or modern philosophy. It has been regarded as highly ambiguous to read narratives of Scripture without using one’s imaginative will. Through the narratives of Luke 15:11:32 it has been perceived that Mother Mary confronted with the Angel pronouncing her God-graced pregnancy. In significant areas of Christian periodic records, the use of imagination or thoughts had been implemented purposefully as an element of a meditative as well as devotional interpretation of the Scripture.
While engaging myself in the imaginative meditation on Scripture, I indulged myself into an appealing reading. I started by selecting a particular passage and chose to read it few times once in the morning and at night to obtain a sense of the environment and the structure of the narrative. When I had a question in mind, I consulted a Bible dictionary in brief in order to comprehend the underlying conjectures of the reading.
Spiritual details of Imaginative Meditation
Engaging through imaginative meditation has enhanced my competence level in efficiently distinguishing my identity with the characters of the narrative. However, it can be regarded to be appropriate as Biblical stories are typically written to stimulate a range of people in order to recognize the characters of the reading.
Positive Aspects of my Imaginative Meditation Experience
The imaginative meditation has enlarged my focus on the Triune God, to care, love and to take pleasure in his existence to His personalities through intellectual and saintly manner. Such a type of meditation has significantly enhanced my level of knowledge related to sacred truth. It has further facilitated me to release religious duties and obligations as it conveys to the soul resulting the soul to be encouraged to duty.
2.2. Where Centering Prayer has been distinct and varies from most of other mediation approaches, rather than focusing on the power of integrated attention. However it is highly preferable to seek the calm place to sit in utmost comfort where individuals will be uninterrupted and composed for their process of Centering prayer (Venables, Taylor and Michelson 2016:15).
The primary aim of the Christians aiming for Centering prayer is to stay composed but highly attentive by closing their eyes and initiate the practice session rooting in his or her intention of open accessibility to God.
While an individual continue in the process of Centering prayer and imagination inevitably emerge, the specific sacred word must be used with a gentle approach which swiftly eradicates one’s negative thoughts and return to unambiguous awareness as well as accessibility.
2.3) Certain psychological benefits can be witnessed while regularly practicing Centering prayer also known as building intimacy with God. Centering prayer enables individuals to attain experiences of indepth psychological relaxation (Mahoney and Cano 2014: 730). When a person finishes Centering prayer, his mind and thoughts typically stay in the composed state which results them to feel out of the universe. Mind tends to have a relaxed transparency as if the brain had undergoes certain form of revival procedure.
However on the other hand, Centering Prayer encounters certain forms of limitation as well whereby several Christians overstate the phenomenon of Centering Prayer as being originated from eastern beliefs and values and that the name has only been transformed.
An individual aiming to use this discipline must choose most effective way to start day with a morning calm and composed sit. At homes, a person can light a candle and embark on his sitting and must blow the candle after the sitting concludes (Jankowski and Sandage 2014: 365).
3.1) The spiritual practice of writing documenting or keeping an ordinary journal can possess several assertive as well as therapeutic advantages. Regardless of the fact that a spiritual journal is identified to be more focused in comparison to regular journal, it may comprise similar benefits, however, may also act as a compliment to regular prayer. The spiritual practice of journaling further emphasizes the way of approaching or speaking to the Almighty and also be responsive to the voice of God (Abraham 2016: 4210). Such spiritual practice essentially clarifies individuals’ understanding of the nature and will of God and further extracts thoughts, which might never have its occurrence otherwise. Indulgence in spiritual journaling might have the tendency to record spiritual perceptions as well as realisations, which individuals develop, and further enables them to maintain a constructive collaboration between mind and soul (Erickson 2016: 153).
It is important to note stand constructive spiritual journaling is not only considered as an exercise into introspection but also referred as a pathway for peace and join as well as a powerful tool in the hands of love (Abraham 2016: 4210). One of the major guidelines for successful spiritual journaling is to make a journal serve one's own enthusiasm with Scripture as well as permitting it with prayers. However not only with a certain dictionary, tense from the Bible successful practice of spiritual journaling emphasizes carefully crafted prayers. Journaling along with private players can act as a regulator for establishing individuals’ measures of seriousness about Jesus and his providence as well as the relationship people develops with him.
3.2 Keeping a journal can be identified as a spiritual practice, which enables individuals to build a linkage internally and articulate emotions. It can act as a supportive and progressive tool of practice during times of anguish whereby an individual can help another by identifying and uncovering the emotional turmoil during that moment. The spiritual practice of journaling enables one to associate with wisdom, innovativeness and creativity.
There can be identified three types of journaling which can add peace and confidence in an individual.
1. Gratitude journal- Successfully distinguishing factors for which an individual is gratified can effectively augment the emotional level and further contribute to overall happiness and joy (Collopy 2016). Individuals through gratitude journaling must document essential things which signify the level of gratefulness for each day such as the sun beaming through the windows can be perceived as a sign of gratitude for an individual.
2. Intention journal- establishing and distinguishing certain spiritual goals and objectives for one can be referred to as a highly significant approach to look back and perceive if one is making time for things which are of great value. Intention or purposeful journaling is a form of spiritual practice which focuses on things one seeks to accomplish and must be documented in order to serve as a reminder call for them to attain it (Buchanan et al. 2017: 21).
3. Reflection journaling- Reflective practice of journaling emphasizes greatly on assessing oneself as well as the elements present in the surroundings. Through the spiritual practice, individuals must extract a certain amount of time to observe one’s perceptions as well as attachments they develop within themselves (Erickson 2016:153). Reflective journaling can be associated with activities which a person have not performed in his life what can be progressive towards it. As a result, individuals drawing reflective practice joining must reflect on their surroundings to comprehend the thoughts are coming into their mind.
3.3) If an individual has immense inclination in documenting thoughts and ideas and believe in God, it is highly recommendable for the person to be introduced with the blessings journal. Blessings journal serve as a way to remind oneself of the blessings which God has been showering on living beings. Keeping a blessing journal for a month has not only enhanced my regular activities but also developed and integration with God (Abraham 2016: 4210). Blessings journal essentially aids a person to unearth the considerations of blessings and praise in life. A blessing journal has served me as a therapeutic tool which has not only enhanced my level of their spirituality but also helped me to take into consideration the blessings God which are poured on us and are often being overlooked.
While practising regularly for a month, my spiritual blessing journal has provided me with insights into my own notions and discoveries and further assisted me in successfully cultivating an in-depth understanding of my spiritual connection with God. However delving into blessings journal, I business development this understanding that all spiritual encounters are vital for documentation. The spiritual encounters, however, can be referred to as vital contributions to our own voyage, which may be consequential in profound linkages, which may not have otherwise, be formed. The one month habit of spiritual blessing journaling has reinforced my level of spirituality by thoroughly encouraging me to dedicate time towards my faith, perceptions values, beliefs and spiritual insights. It has further enabled me to distinguish the area of deficiencies in my spirit and typically offered explanations on ways to overcome them.
4.1) “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies”- Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa the most renowned Loreto nun had lived a life of sacrifice, love and kindness. It is highly inspirational to comprehend the way she exhibited true dedication towards the development of a society which very few leaders have been able to demonstrate in the last century (Collopy 2016). The fundamental purpose of Missionaries of Charity, her own diocesan congregation relied greatly on caring for the hungry, the homeless, the blind, the unloved and the crippled people who have been perceived as a burden to the society and shunned by every individual. She joyfully dedicated her life and energy in providing the utmost love, care and affection to the homeless and sick living all across the world (Buchanan et al. 2017: 21).
The letters written by Mother for the mentors of the church significantly reflected her despair on the act she had established for herself. After witnessing immense pain, apprehension and suffering on a daily account, Mother Teresa's efforts for social responsibility and enhancing humanity must be signifying minuscule to her (Collopy 2016). Immense dedication and courage let her through all the limitations and doubts and regardless of the crisis of dedication and faith mother continued her humanitarian efforts to give relief to the marginalised section of the society. It is highly inspirational to note the way Mother Teresa had upheld all the teachings and blessings of the church and further attempted to live them as faithfully as she could.
One of the significant challenges in serving a role for humanitarian needs similar to Mother Teresa is that to sustain the various truths to be held and virtues to be efficiently practised in appropriate perspective and method (Buchanan et al. 2017: 21). As a result, it is immensely challenging to uphold the wide-ranging various determinants of individuals’ faith in amalgamation in the way of understanding and to a greater degree in daily lives. Serving for humanitarian aids and improvement of the society, individuals can emphasize the factors of truth but will develop the shortfall of charity. Thus individuals engaged in these roles can seek compassion but only at the expense of truth. Serving to the homeless or marginalised sections of the society can give rise to certain forms of danger which require be appropriately structuring and executing on a daily evaluation and assessment of social service providers’ behavioural conduct as well as actions (Collopy 2016).
Focusing on the social efforts of Mother Teresa, it can be witnessed that efficiently upheld the knowledge and learning of the church and further purposely endeavoured them as faithfully as possible. However consequently, a vital necessity of heroic virtue that is to be able to develop a life through the means of sincere virtues which appeared to be highly contradictory such as humidity and courage.
4.2) The purpose of spiritual direction, which has always occupied a part of the Christian values and traditions, is to essentially assist an individual in developing an integrated association with God. It also focuses on discerning the activities of the Holy Spirit in the individuals’ life that is to facilitate an individual in developing a greater level of sanctity, spirituality within him (Collopy 2016). A successful spiritual director is identified as a guide who has obtained adequate teachings of the church and typically provides suggestions or advice to individuals through committed observance of them. Spiritual directors further guide individuals through reflection on the existing events of their lives along with the prayers to become existent in their own relationship with the Almighty.
4.3) By thoroughly delving into the 13th Chapter of workbook 2, I obtained certain insights which have aided me to successfully identify myself through the process of spiritual direction. One of the most attractive approaches to comprehend the quintessence or essence of Spiritual Direction is that I have engaged myself into discourse with the purpose of edifying my soul to my life. Further to this, I have observed that no individual is born knowing his or her identity or their purpose of living. Thus individuals through spiritual direction must recognize the path and along with that certain path I have discovered my sincere identity, beliefs, values and what holds explanations to me. This chapter has made me consider that we are our own mystery and full of secrecy. Every event of my life through this spiritual journey has been filled with approaches to gather knowledge about myself. It essentially relied on unearthing facts and truths associated with my identity and the way I respond to the world. However, one of the most enriching things I encountered is to identify ways of understanding others ranging from the obscurity of struggles to attainments of gifts from God.
5.1.1) St Teresa used the metaphor in order to explain the development of the soul from the first to the seventh mansion along with its transformation from a creature of sin to the Bride of Christ. With each mansion, there can be identified a greater level of holiness and sanctity (Jazzybee Verlag 2014:113).
1. First Mansion- The souls identified in the First Mansions are found in the state of grace, however, is immensely in love with the lethal creatures outside the castle with occasions of sin. This would require a seeking discipline before making any advancement.
2. Second Mansion- Here the soul can be found to be highly efficient in putting its yearnings into practice that is regarded as the Mansions of the Practice of Prayer. A greater amount of affection and warmth can be found in this mansion in comparison to the first (Collopy 2016).
3. Third Mansion- Although the spirit which contacts the Third Mansion may have retreated, it tends to attain a high standard of virtue. Its constraints are those related to vision, the soul has not practised attaining the inspiring strength of love.
4. Fourth Mansion- In this mansion, the mystical aspect of the spiritual life first enters in which the soul acquires what it obtains. The poise of the Fourth Mansions regarded as "spiritual consolations" is further distinguished with the Prayer of Quiet or the Second Water in the Life. The soul can pass rapidly from regular to infused prayer and return; however, it does not receive a considerable amount of gifts of the Spirit and have tendencies of waning away (Jazzybee Verlag 2014:113).
5. Fifth Mansion- This mansion is a state signified in another place as the Third Water that is the Spiritual Betrothal, and the Prayer of Union further regarded as developing Union (Collopy 2016). Furthermore, by means of the most reputed of Teresa’s metaphors, she justifies the way human spirit can prepare itself to obtain what is in actual fact considered as a gift from God.
6. Sixth Mansion- In the former mansion, the soul is engaged to its future companion, however in this mansion, Lover, as well as the adored, perceives each other for long periods at a time. Furthermore, hardships which provide the narratives of these Mansions, its characteristic colour are contracted with in some detail (Jazzybee Verlag 2014:113). The souls may be wholly exterior that is a misrepresentation, unjustifiable praise and conscientious spiritual direction.
7. Seventh Mansion- At this mansion, the soul attains the Spiritual marriage with a comprehensive development, indefinable and appropriate peace in which no elevated state is plausible.
5.1.2) While St. Teresa segments her book into certain sections narrating about seven varied stages associated with spiritual life, it is important to note that she spoke about ‘initial dwelling places’ and not a first mansion. She further signified that each stage comprises several avenues whereby not everyone embraces similar ideas and path to establish the union with God. However, individuals must not envisage that these mansions as organized in a row, but must fix their level of attention on the centre, that is the room occupied by the king. As an individual, I do not perceive myself as a single category based on personality as well as temperament tests. It had been a few months ago when I noticed my father brought a few documentations from his work which dealt with a certain temperament system which severely raises my aggravation level. Similar aspects have been distinguished by me in the Interior Castle of the First Mansion whereby I distinguish my soul to be expanded as it had been amongst other three varied segments of mansions.
5.2) Through my spiritual journey, I anticipate to unearth certain spiritual awakening which will eventually open avenues without any constraints. Self-awareness will identify itself expanding forever in an affectionate and embracing space. I look forward to identifying a spiritual realm which is regarded as one of the categorical and overwhelming love. Meanwhile, I have observed that we live in a world in which love and affection can simply be observed among friends. My enhancing spiritual journey has the propensity to offer me an enormity as well as great self-determination of thoughts, emotions and movement through a spiritual arousing. During my spiritual journey, I have attained this realization that humans principally are the centre of the Universe and the Universe has been centred within us. However, in the real world, life is typically centred on individuals who are influential, the opinionated character. My experience in the spiritual journey will involve spiritual family, associates and guides.
5.3) Focusing on spiritual disciplines is highly essential in life in order to achieve desired goals and outcomes. Through my spiritual journey, I have identified certain areas of spiritual discipline in which the utmost attention is required to arrange my path towards success. Prayer can be regarded as one significant area of spiritual disciplines, which significantly alter the perceptive and beliefs of individuals. The Bible denotes that as Jesus was praying, he revolutionized in front of his devotees or partisans. The Almighty did not transform his physical appearance or waved any magical wand on his devotees, but the outlook of his appearance transformed the moment Jesus made his prayers. Similarly when individuals pray, change or any form of transformation is to be anticipated. Such spiritual discipline alters the way individuals exhibit responsiveness towards crisis situations.
Service to humanitarian needs can be identified as another form of spiritual discipline. Individuals’ willingness towards social servicing is identified as an indicator which humans tend to mature in spiritual values and principles. Service is recognized as a tool which the Almighty uses to teach humans about desirable qualities and virtues which cannot be attained from texts but solely through the discipline of experiences.
1. Abraham, A., 2016. The imaginative mind. Human brain mapping, 37(11), pp.4197-4211.
2. Buchanan, R., Brooks, G., Fleming, R.D. and Jett, S., 2017. Silent Centering Prayer Retreat Mount Eagle Retreat Center on October 22-25, 2017.
3. Collopy, M., 2016. Social Work of Love Are Works of Peace: Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the Missionaries of Charity. Ignatius Press.
4. Erickson, D.L., 2016. Integrating Body, Mind, and Spirit: An Essay Reviewing the Physiological, Psychological, and Spiritual Benefits of Meditation. Journal of Transpersonal Research, 8(2), pp.147-159.
5. Jankowski, P.J. and Sandage, S.J., 2014. Meditative prayer and intercultural competence: Empirical test of a differentiation-based model. Mindfulness, 5(4), pp.360-372.
6. Mahoney, A. and Cano, A., 2014. Introduction to the special section on religion and spirituality in family life: Pathways between relational spirituality, family relationships and personal well-being. Journal of Family Psychology, 28(6), p.735.
7. The Interior Castle. Jazzybee Verlag, 2014.
8. Venables, M.N., Taylor, S.K. and Michelson, E., 2016. Introduction. In A Linking of Heaven and Earth (pp. 13-24). Routledge.