Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spirituality that Brings Joy, Enthusiasm and Meaning to Life

The Catholic Times  has an article about three priests of the Seoul Diocese who decided to begin an academy for spirituality in 2009, called Wellspring. The number of Catholics in the country now exceed 5 million and yet there's much talk of a lack of spiritual and inner maturity. There is a desire on the part of many to go deeper in their faith life but the Church has not been able to satisfy this thirst. The Academy intends to address this need by exploring the spiritual treasures of our tradition and  helping  the Catholics  incorporate them in their daily life. For those who desire to fill this lack in their spiritual life, the program will be an oasis to invigorate  the beginning of a new life.

The academy is not an effort to give a theory of spirituality but to connect spirituality to daily life, to see life and the world through the eyes of the Church, and to live in the manner Christ has taught us, enlightened by his word, examining and discerning what to do day by day.

The programs have  been favorably received; over 450 have taken the courses. The program is in two sections: basic and advanced. The basic course is divided into three sections: Meeting the real me, Meeting the real us, and Meeting God. This will lead into the advanced program. They will also have internet programs and home programs in the future.

The leaders of this spiritual academy know that there are many retreats and programs in Korea addressing these same goals. They are popular programs but the priests feel  they are not connecting our Catholics more closely with faith-inspired daily living, which is the ultimate goal of the academy programs, penetrating and shaping the lives of the Christians.

Effort will be made to imitate Christ in the world of consumerism and competition we live in, building confidence to face the challenges of daily life. Those in their 40s and 50s have been so busy with work and their families that they have not had time to be concerned with their inner life. They will be asked to find themselves, putting happiness and courage into their lives. This second journey in life will demand a  breakthrough that opens them to a new way of living in their spiritual and mental lives.

We do not need more talks on how to live the virtues but to be one with Jesus. The Catholics are proud of bringing the faith into the country without the help of the foreign missioners. We need a little more of this passion of our ancestors in seeking to deepen the faith that we have received.

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