Chaplain’s Chat – Sheer gift

What does it mean to be spiritual, as an individual, and as an organisation?

People often equate spirituality with religion, but they are not the same thing. Religion is a way
of doing things which usually includes rituals and practices based on shared belief systems. Spirituality is about the inner workings of our person which drive the religion, or lack of it,
in our lives.

Meaningful Ageing Australia defines the dimensions of spirituality as the pursuit of meaning, purpose, and connection. It is what drives us to be the best possible version of ourselves (meaning), to seek our best possible future (purpose) and to find our best possible fit in the world (connection).

Not everyone is religious, but everyone is spiritual. A person’s formative experiences with religion can influence the degree to which their own spirituality is expressed through religion. On occasion, a profound experience can result in a radical shift either towards or away from a religious expression of our spirituality.

Carinity’s staff and clients are all on a spiritual journey, each seeking to become their best
possible self, forge their best possible future, and find their best possible fit. Sometimes
everything just clicks. But other times, when resources are stretched, when health declines,
when challenges arise, we all have to pitch in and focus on what’s best. We don’t want such
dramas in our lives, but often these are the very circumstances that allow a positive spirituality
to shine.

In the words of James, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and  challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work, so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” – James 1:2-4 The Message

GREG MURPHY, Chaplaincy Coordinator: Hospitals and Aged Care

Read more stories from Belong: Winter 2022 | Edition 26