What is it?
Spiritual wellness allows us to be in tune with our spiritual selves. This realm of wellness is the process by which we find meaning and purpose. Spiritual wellness can be defined through various factors including religious faith, values, ethics and morals. Spiritual wellness may manifest in our relationships to self, others, creation, and the transcendent.
From a Catholic Jesuit perspective Spiritual Wellness refers to our being aware of and open to God’s divine love active in our lives. God is active in our world, loving it into being – and this includes us! Each of us is made in God’s image, loved by God, and invited by God into an ever-deepening relationship of love.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, in his Spiritual Exercises calls this the “First Principle and Foundation.” A contemporary reading of this “First Principle” teaches that:
The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit.
(St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, (David Fleming SJ, trans.)
Thus, we see that this kind of wellness is not necessarily about following rules or praying correctly. Rather, this is about being open to the experience of God’s divine love in all aspects of our lives. As we open ourselves to this love, spiritual wellness allows us to be in tune with our whole selves, helping us to find meaning in the moments of our lives – great and small. And, spiritual wellness can help us understand or discern our vocation – who we are called to be and how we are called to love in the world. Within our own faith communities, traditions, or experiences, we can always grow deeper into this experience of holy love.
The route to spiritual wellness can include: