“Since we are living by the Spirit, let our behaviour be guided by the Spirit….The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness and self control” (Galatians 5: 25, 22)
From a Christian perspective spirituality refers to the ways in which the Holy Spirit inspires and directs the life of the Christian lived at both a personal and communal level. The Christian life is one that is lived in relationship with God through the Holy Spirit as experienced through membership of the Church. “Spirituality” then, is a lived experience in response to our baptismal call to holiness, understood as the fullness of Christian life and the perfection of love. It involves a desire on our part to grow in a way that allows the image of Christ to be formed within us. This process of spiritual growth which in effect, is one of ongoing conversion to our Saviour in response to His love, is nurtured by engagement in the liturgical, sacramental and communal life of the Church and spiritual practices such as personal prayer, study and reflection. It is expressed in active participation in the life and mission of the Church and by engagement in service to others, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Christian Spirituality is:
To sit at the feet of Jesus,
To learn the love of God and neighbour,
To look for and wait on God,
And listen for
The Spirit breathing life into our lives:
Deep calling to deep.
This is something I do,
In intimacy of prayer and reflection.
This is something we do,
As Christ’s body, the Church.
This is spirituality and discipleship
As the very hands of God.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit,
And nurtured for Christ;
To be faithful to his Word,
And formed for the works of God:
This is spirituality and discipleship
Walking hand in hand.
From the Diocese of Canterbury Website (Used with kind Permission.)
The Parish Spiritual Life Team
The Parish Spiritual Life Team works under the guidance of the parish priest to support and promote the parish’s continued growth as a faith filled community of missionary disciples. We will endeavour to promote and encourage formation opportunities which invite people into an ever deepening relationship with Christ and to seek to develop a living, explicit and fruitful faith attuned both to the teachings of the Church and to the spiritual and material needs of the world which we have been called to serve.
In virtue of being the Presence of Christ and therefore, the source and summit of the Christian life, the Eucharist is foundational to our parish and lies therefore, at the heart of our worship, prayer, communal life and mission.
We affirm then, the necessity of cultivating Eucharistic Spirituality within the parish. This entails our active and conscious participation in the celebration of the Mass, including contemplation of God’s love for us and our response in prayer, not only during mass but also throughout our lives. In addition, such a spirituality implies a commitment to the furtherance of the unity of the parish and our willingness as communicants of Christ’s Body and Blood to allow our lives to be transformed by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ and thus, ever more united with each other in Christ. In virtue moreover, of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross being for the whole of humanity, we who celebrate the Eucharist, which is the memorial of Jesus’ redemptive act, are compelled, stated Pope Benedict, to become “bread that is broken” for others and thus be convincing witnesses of God’s love for humanity.
In virtue of the importance of the Eucharist to the parish and indeed to the life of each of its members, we will also encourage parishioners to take advantage of opportunities for deepening their relationship with the Risen Lord, which are provided by Benediction and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
Examples of Other Formative Experiences which we would like to promote and encourage in the Parish of St Cuthbert.
- Missions, renewal/retreat days and novenas.
- Faith sharing, prayer and reflection groups including those which attempt to integrate faith and life experiences.
- Popular devotions that are recommended by the Church in a way that harmonises with the Liturgical Seasons.
- Exposure to a variety of types of prayer and ways of praying to help people grow in their love of the Lord e.g. Blessing and Adoration Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving, Praise, Meditative and Contemplative.
- Opportunities for parishioners to read, pray, and apply the scriptures in their daily lives, thereby enabling the word of God to help form the spirituality of the parish community e.g. Lectio Divina and Praying with the Psalms.
- Opportunities for the study of the Catholic faith as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and documents such as those of the Second Vatican Council and recent papal encyclicals, apostolic letters and exhortations.
- The use of the internet as a source of both information about the Catholic faith and spiritual enrichment.
- Faith formation events organised by retreat centres, the diocese and neighbouring parishes.
It is envisaged also that by means of shared reflection and consultation with parishioners, the effectiveness of existing provision of faith and spiritual formation experiences will be periodically reviewed with a view to identifying areas for further development.
The Spiritual Life Team coordinator is Kevin Egan and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org