What Is Spirituality?

Attempts to answer the question “What is Spirituality?” have produced thousands of books and blogs both religious and secular.  Some asking the basic question...what's the definition of spirituality...and others probing more profoundly asking...what's the meaning of spirituality

And every day thousands of people still ask the question on internet search engines with...as yet...no universal answer. 

And so spirituality remains...unnecessarily...a great unsolved mystery for many.  

The problem seems that no one starts at the beginning by carefully defining what spirituality is and instead give examples of it.  And that's putting the cart before the horse because...



"In order rightly to comprehend a thing...

inquire first into the names...

for a right knowledge of things...

depends upon their names."

(author unknown)

And Aristotle has said that failing to give words their proper meaning leads to chaos.

And Helen Keller lived in external and internal chaos until Annie Sullivan taught her that things had names.

So...following Aristotle's ancient rule for creating definitions (still used in science today)...lets get right to it and create a working definition of...what is spirituality...as it applies to ministry?



Spirituality is...


a system of internalized moral values...

integrated with conscience...

that motivate and guide religious activity.


And why is conscience fundamental to the definition of spiritualty...and while we're at it...what is conscience anyway?


Conscience is...


a moral and ethical decision-maker...

internalized through training...

that judges right from wrong.


And conscience is fundamental to the meaning of spirituality because it is necessary in everyday life...in order to keep our covenant with God.

And...

it is necessary for ministry because it is written...

"Faith (spirituality) without works (ministry) is useless" (James 2:20) and we can also say...works (apparent ministry) without faith can be mere evildoing (Mt 7:21).

So spirituality and ministry are two sides of the same coin.

Definitions should be immediately useful so...


If you were a spiritual director...what could you learn immediately about the internal moral values and the conscience of All of these examples indicate a lack of proper training of ministers in spiritual direction in general.

And lack of specific training in how to prepare the moral judgment of adolescents as they beome more and more autonomous in their development.

Or...using the definitions above...what would you understand if a member of the church youth group showed up wearing a T-shirt that said...

"It's only illegal if you get caught."

Make certain that your own ministry can answer the question...what is spirituality.

From what is spirituality you can go to the covenant page.

Or you can...



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