21st Century SPIRITuality

by Sister Julie Ann on May 7, 2008

img_4050_0484.jpgSister Ruth Ann Myers, OSF, reflects on the topic of spirituality from her broad background in theology, psychology and spiritual direction.

What is happening in the 21st Century Spirituality? Significant, perhaps, is the enormous interest in spirituality that is emerging today. Some writers are calling it “The Spiritual Revolution”. New, too, is that the interest is coming from a broad spectrum of people, not just religious groups. Also, the “revolution” is rising from below, not from above.

William Johnson, the Jesuit theologian, says that within the last thirty years, spirituality has become democratized. Holiness is no longer viewed as an ideal state attainable for only the elite; instead, it is within the reach of the ordinary person.

This interest may not be surprising in the light of the rapid changes taking place in the 20th and 21st img_4044_0486.jpgcenturies, changes far exceeding preceding centuries. These changes are making demands on everyone, demands that stretch us beyond the human and push us into the spiritual.

We understand ourselves through the world around us, so as the world changes, we, too, change. We know ourselves through the culture and the scientific developments in our particular time in history. This understanding of ourselves influences how we perceive Christ. Christ is not out there someplace, detached from place and time. Instead, he is within our personal and communal experiences in the era in which we are living. http://www.fscc-calledtobe.org/backend/PDF_uploads/publication_file2_4.pdf

7 thoughts on “21st Century SPIRITuality”

  1. I will teach a senior elective course next fall, “Spiritualilty and Ritual” and I am looking for a text/reader for my students. Any ideas?

    Peace,
    Francie MacMillan
    St. Patrick St. Vincent High School
    Vallejo, Ca

  2. Francie, Sister Ruth Ann is one well read(and humble) researcher. Although she does use the U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops Catechism for Adults as a foundation for her sharings on this topic, she includes Karl Rahner, S.J. Theological Investigations, and Spirituality for the 21st Century Experiencing God in the Catholic Tradition by Richard Miller, editor, etc. to develop her thoughts. Not exactly the student reader texts that you are looking for as you do your curriculum planning. I’ll hope that one of our Sisters who has more recent high school teaching experience might assist you in this course development. Thanks for asking the question.

  3. Sister Anne Marie Lom says:

    Dear Francie,

    How glad I was to see that you are teaching a senior level course on Spiritulaty and Ritual in the fall! I went to my two favorite publishers for high schoolers, St. Mary Press and Center for learning, and found some great resources. I’ve personally used the Faith: Developing an Adult Spirituality with seniors.

    The Prayer Works for Teens I have not used but it looks good and there are 4 volumes! I don’t know of a single text for both facets of your course, but you will be able to put a course together with these, I’m sure.

    On another note, I have visited the San Raphel Dominican Sisters who live on your high school campus right next to St. Patrick/St. Vincent High School and know all of the sisters there especially Sr. Mary Neill and Sister Adele Gerlach.

    May these last days of school be blessed for you!

    Here are the sites:

    Faith: Developing an Adult Spirituality:
    http://www.centerforlearning.org/CFL_Products-65-5.html#

    Sports and Spirituality:
    http://www.centerforlearning.org/ViewProductDetails-916-0-79.html

    Prayer Works for Teens:
    http://www.smp.org/SeriesDetail.cfm?SeriesId=31

  4. Kelsey says:

    Sr. Ruth Ann
    Amen! I whole heartly agree, Christ is present within us and sends his spirit to give us the courage and strength we need to face a ‘changing world’. We not only come to know ourselves through others, but Christ as well -if what we say is true- Christ is in others.
    I know I experienced that in my past 2 retreats at the motherhouse. Christ radiated out of every Sister I met- I am so appreciative of my oppertunity to know them!
    The Holy Spirit is truly among us, as with the disciples in the upper room. May Our Blessed Mother, who experienced the descent of the Holy Spirt with them, be with you always.

  5. Thanks, Kelsey, for your comments. The Lord bless you.

  6. Sister Nancy Kinate says:

    Kudos, Sister Ruth Ann for your lived and Franciscan reflection on the here-ness of Christ Jesus in all creation as the heart and pulse of what is happening in 21st Century SPIRITuality!

  7. srosangela says:

    Dear Sister Ruth Ann,
    This is the most positive writing I have read in a long time. It is certainly full of hope and encouragement at a time when there is so much pessimism in the world and seemingly such a lack of belief in God and things spiritual.

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