St Lucia Spirituality Group
Newsletter January 2023
Our December newsletter reflected on the growth of our group and our activities over the last fifteen months. Now, as we look forward, it is worthwhile considering why we engage in these activities.
On our Facebook page we rely on Anthony de Mello’s definition of spirituality to mean waking up. “An awakened person no longer marches to the drums of society, a person who dances to the tune of the music that springs up from within. Awareness means to watch, to observe, to understand, to wake up.” To be free.
A recent Christmas reflection by John Shelby Spong on Jesus illustrates these characteristics:
- “He possessed the courage to be who he was. He is described in terms that portray him as an incredibly free man.”
- “Jesus seems to have had no internal needs that drove him to prove himself – no anxieties that centered his attention on himself. He rather appears to have had an uncanny capacity to give his life away.”
- “Freedom is always scary. People seek security in rules that curb freedom. So, his enemies conspired to remove him and his threat to them ……. he found in himself the freedom to give his life away and to do so quite deliberately.”
- “Christmas stories year after year for one purpose only: to worship the Lord of life who still sets us free and who calls us to live, to love and to be all that we can be.”
These brief quotes illustrate our objectives, particularly the last: “to be all that we can be”
within the context of our faith tradition. We encourage our readers and supporters to wake up; to be spiritual seekers; to ask questions about their faith; to seek answers through research, discussion and prayer; and thereby to continually grow in their faith. The full text of Spong’s reflection can be found here
If you are interested in pursuing some of these ideas further, an updated and revised version of de Mello’s book, Awareness, is now available as Stop Fixing Yourself: Wake Up, All is Well, available at book depository.com and as a Kindle version at amazon.com.
For a comprehensive examination of Jesus as a man, the Spanish biblical scholar José Pagola’s book Jesus: An Historical Approximation is a worthy investment. He addresses basic questions about who Jesus was; how he understood his life; what was the originality of his message; how the vision of the Kingdom of God centred his life; and why he was executed and who intervened in the process. Available at bookdepository.com and at amazon.com.
Butterfly Series – Next Meeting
Our next meeting will contribute to our overall objectives by exploring some of the characteristics of an adult faith journey. This journey involves the shedding of childish beliefs and actions and replacing them with an adult faith. Through our pre-reading for this episode of the Butterfly series, we will put the spotlight on the difference between a childish faith and an adult faith. We will examine issues such as dependency, the ego, evolution through experience, expansion of one’s worldview and the importance of community.
We hope you can join us. If you would like a copy of our discussion paper, simply email us. It is also available on our Facebook page. There is no obligation to join our meeting.
Our Episode 15 meeting will be held on Zoom at 6:00pm AEST on Monday 13 February 2023. To register your attendance, please email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are concerned about your ability to participate in these zoom meetings, we can accommodate you by simply allowing you to listen. Just let us know.
Our Newsletters & Facebook Page
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We invite you to find our Facebook group by clicking on this link, it will take you to our page where you will be able to apply to join.
John Scoble and Robert van Mourik
“… to worship the Lord of life…”
I have difficulties with the word “worship”.
More explanation of your thinking please.
OK, my inquisitorial friend, the word “worship” conjures up unproductively for me images of people bowing down before idols. And contemporary Church services of “worship” when prayers and hymns adoringly address a divine personage and a resurrected Christ.
I prefer that we might profess to simply worship life (in the beauty of holiness), and in that regard I am always drawn back to Micah 6:8.
Thank you Tim for mentioning Micah 6:8.
It has been one of my favourites since I discovered it about 50 years ago.
I guess it’s a little ironic, that the most concise summary of Christianity should be found in the Old Testament.