Spirituality

If you have an overwhelming urge to explore the weightier theological ideas, this is the place to seek fellow-travellers.
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Ernest
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Spirituality

Post by Ernest » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:47 am

We hear a lot about Spirituality these days. People with a faith, claim it for their own as part of their faith journey, and many of us have claimed spiritual experiences, which we believe to be some sort of experience of God's Holy Spirit in our lives.

I recall a quite recent experience on a placement with an Evangelical Charistmatic Parish, where the Vicar called on the Holy Spirit and the whole congregation including myself, joined in repeating the call in unison. The atmosphere was fervid and somehow, we felt that the Holy Spirit was among us. This provoked many to stand and recount their own personal experience in breaks in the service, when we went back to the chant. This was a physical as well as spiritual experience, where I personally felt the presence and felt shivers of warmth flowing around and through me.

But many other people, even atheists lay claim to spiritual experiences, which they attribute to the force of nature or their own mind, playing some sort of trick on them. I wonder how that works? If someone professes a non-belief in a divine external presence such as God, why would they claim a spiritual experience? Surely this is a sign that God is there for them as well, waiting for them to acknowledge his?

My own experiences of Spirituality convinces me that it is God's Holy Spirit that provides these opportunities, but, what do you think?
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
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Joyce
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Spirituality

Post by Joyce » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:55 pm

It's never occurred to me that this is anything other than God the Holy Spirit giving us one of His many gifts, showing us He is here.

I don't know any atheists so I can't suggest an answer to the question about them, except that I am sure God can give experiences to anybody any time He likes. Also, there is more to the brain than we know. Look at dreams, for instance.
Not everything unexplained is supernatural. Perhaps people who go into a trance or something after meditating label it as spiritual when it's not. Having said that, if something is coming from inside us, God created it even if an atheist woudn't believe so if you told him.
I think Christians who have charismatic experiences together can tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and something Jungian.

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Joe Parrish
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Spirituality

Post by Joe Parrish » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:35 am

Rowan Atkinson on the Gospel lesson

Actually the Gospel lesson for this time, 2 Epiphany next year (C):



=
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Ernest
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Spirituality

Post by Ernest » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:39 am

What is interesting to me, is that during the many years that I was agnostic towards God, I had some experiences that I can now recognize as spiritual, but I shrugged them aside as being delusions or tricks of the mind.

Only after my own personal, unique experience of a spiritual event,where I am convinced that Christ spoke directly into my life could I go back and consider those other occasions, alongside my spiritual director.

If your mind is set against God as mine was at the time, it is all to easy to attribute a spiritual experience as a trick of the mind and to disregard it. I had to thank God in retrospect for those occasions, and also repent for rejecting his overtures to bring me back into the fold. The Gospel passage from Jesus about the lost sheep and the Shepherd who leaves all of his flock,to go and to find the one missing springs to mind.

Yes, for me, spiritual experiences are now real and alive, and I hope that others are able to feel the warmth, peace and love that comes through at those times. :cross: :votive1:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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Caroline
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Spirituality

Post by Caroline » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:41 pm

I think that a lot of people recognise that we, as humans, have a spiritual dimension. Many of them fail to realise that this spiritual dimension is not something that is wholly ours, and wholly for our benefit or indulgence, but is something that leads us to God.

People search for something to fill this spiritual space - some spend all their lives trying one thing after another - but it won't be filled by anything other than God.
Kindness is underrated.

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Ernest
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Spirituality

Post by Ernest » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:22 am

I suspect that the real question for me is how, we as Christians, can connect with that spiritual dimension within others who don't know, or reject God to empower them to see where God is within themselves?

Belief and faith don't just happen - they need a witness to show a way and to nurture that initial spark to blossom into a mature belief and faith, which is founded in a spiritual life of prayer, reflection and good relationships with God and with each other.

i-church is one safe place to explore this, but its the wider world where in RL we meet people everyday who have no knowledge of God. Perhaps I need to wear a badge pointing out that I am a Christian - and love being so? :snowball:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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