Stress and Spirituality

Passionist Memorial

Passionist Memorial

Joe: Good morning, Calliope.

Calliope: Good morning Joe. How is your book on stress coming?

Joe: I am happy with my progress. I am up to sixty pages now and moving along nicely.

Calliope: What part of stress are you working on now?

Joe: I just finished my chapter on spiritual stress and am now working on the joy of stress.

Calliope: Tell me about spiritual stress. I don’t think I have ever heard of it.

Joe: Probably not. It is not discussed much. You always hear about stress on the body and on the mind and emotions. Somehow the spiritual aspect is not as popular a topic.

Calliope: What do you have to say about it?

Joe: I first distinguish between religion and spirituality. Then I look at how stress affects one’s spiritual or religious outlook. I also consider how religion can add to stress when it becomes institutionalized.

Calliope: That sounds interesting. Was it hard to write?

Joe: Yes and no. I have had some personal experiences with my years in the seminary and monastery as well as two very good references, Elizabeth Lesser’s book The New American Spirituality and Thomas Moore’s book  Dark Nights of the Soul. The hard part was organizing what I had to say and making it coherent. Since the book is still in draft form and I have not gotten any feedback yet, I am not sure how successful I was in writing it. That remains to be seen. Next time I will tell you about the joy of stress.

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