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What are the elements of Spirituality
Only one Catholic Spirituality with the same elements, differences are found in the emphasis.
Negative elements – whatever hinders a love relationship with God, neighbour, self, creation and nature. St. Paul talks about dying to self
Positive elements – Die to self and live to God, love of God becomes the end.
Why take away negatives – not good in themselves. Then embrace two elements of grace, that is fasting and prayer . St Leo would say without God we are nothing – importance of grace.
Christianity is different from other religions in that other religions claim that man can achieve everything. Islam for instance never asks anything beyond nature.
Christianity asks impossible things – love your enemy
Christianity has the awareness of sin and human weakness, thus awareness that only God can forgive sins, request for this forgiveness and need for asceticism respectively.
Prayer –dialogue with God – Prayer is relational –fight with God even. Notice that in the fight with God, we are wounderd, he heals and he never loses. Example of what we are saying above: Lord, I cannot concentrate on you, you better concentrate in me.
Barriers of grace – sin
Sacro Sanctum Concilium 59 – Sacraments sanctify man.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 18
Christian perfection – no limit, we can do better always. Illustration: water worm is always expanding.
Christian Spirituality is Christological – Gaudium et SpesNo. 22 says that salvation through Christ, knowledge of the Trinity through Christ.
Christian Spirituality is Trinitarian – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Body is good, not evil. Thus, Catholicsm is still against cremation. Body is Holy according to St. Paul. Incense – something Holy is present. Look at how the body participates – dance during the liturgy, genuflect, etc. Asceticism is not meant to punish the body, but to discipline and integrate body and soul, e.g. Pain, when a person has a tooth-ache, is it just the tooth suffering? It is the whole body, the whole person suffers, thus the person goes to the dentist. 1 Thes 5 – May the Lord keep you Holy
Christian Spirituality considers nature around us. Never- never land does not exist – another world is not there or day dreaming. It deals with hic et nunc. In reading scripture therefore, I do not go back two thousand years ago, but God is talking to me here and now.
Christian Spirituality is always social
Never in isolation; “All good things are from his hands”. Thus, in the eucharist we are always saying: Thank you.
How does one say thank you? Imagine one prepares a meal/feast and you tell him I am fasting – could be like that in the eucharist, God prepares a meal but how many are fasting, do not partake.
Thus spirituality with unity.
“Me, me alone, I am saved…Half truth which pretends to be full is nothing but a whole lie”.
Hence magisterium is necessary.