The spiritual aspect is one of essential components of human existence; therefore, it becomes an integral part of holistic support to a human being. Christian spiritual assistance in its various forms is becoming gradually established in our country, and there are attempts to define it in both juridical and theological or psychological aspects. Therefore, it requires a deeper glance and a more detailed analysis. In relation to this problem, the article deals with features of Christian spiritual assistance in the context of perception of spirituality and its relation to psychological support. Relevant approaches to spirituality, features of spiritual and psychological counselling as well as importance of Christ-centred spiritual assistance are discussed.
Volume 66, Issue 1 (2014), pp. 121–136
Present social and personal spiritual crises make it necessary to actualize the significance of a personal return to God. The Church invites to evaluate again the importance of religious conversion in preventing various social and personal spiritual pathologies. In this context, discussion and specification of a multidimensional phenomenon of religious conversion is problematic. Following the objectives of the Church to deepen the faith and renew evangelisation, this research aims to answer the following scientific questions: what are the typical features of a religious conversion? What are the factors that can influence the dynamics of this process? What are the changes a personal religious conversion may inspire? This article presents a theoretical analysis of a phenomenon of conversion. The research has shown that personal transformation and existential fulfillment of one’s personal life is an essential meaning of a religious conversion. Religion performs a positive psychotherapeutic function, it gives a meaning to a human existence and contributes to a personal maturity, also leads to a wholesome relationship with God where the meaning of human existence is completely fulfilled. Religious conversion may be considered as one of the fundamental elements of a spiritual health within the context of the present life challenges.
The analysis of the article focuses on the process of spiritual growth as integral component of every Christian life. The terminological and theoretical spectrum of this phenomenon is discussed together with elaboration of the dynamics, structure, and stages of spiritual growth. The significance of spiritual growth from the biblical and Church Magisterium perspectives is actualized. From these perspectives the process of spiritual growth is seen as a universal calling of the Church and its members. The possible linkages between theology and psychology are discussed as ways which can help to retain the holistic approach to the personal growth and one’s relationship with God.
The article analyses the phenomenon of acedia which is often described as modern time evil by the thinkers of spiritual life and theologians whereas the Magisterium of the Catholic Church attributes this phenomenon to the seven capital vices. Acedia is analysed as one of temptations and difficulties of human life that deprives the person of hope. The article searches for expressions of acedia in biblical scriptures and analyses direct references to the phenomenon in the early monastic writings and works of other Church teachers. Multidimensional causes of acedia and its common characteristics that might help identify expressions of this spiritual illness in human life are also discussed.
The article analyses John Paul II’s activities and ideas in the light of his attitude towards the family. Some of his informal and formal writings and their familistic themes are therefore discussed. The analysis shows that even before the beginning of the pontificate, there was a distinct focus on the marriage and family, which was revealed both in his practical pastoral work and in the themes of his educational, theological, philosophical and fictional writings. After becoming Pope, John Paul II continued to maintain this priority and devoted much of his written and unwritten activities to the pastoral care and current affairs of the family, detailing the tasks of the family in the society and the church, and highlighting its social and theological foundations. Through his teaching, he formed the concept of the family as a “civilization of love” encompassing different generations, which becomes especially relevant in today’s sociocultural context experiencing the consequences of pathological individualism.
The article analyses axiological and hodegetic ideas by M. Pečkauskaitė-Šatrijos Ragana. Aspects of neotomistic ethics in the writer’s attitude towards human virtuousness and preparation for eschatological fulfilment are highlighted. Cultivation of virtues is revealed as an essential prerequisite to faith. Virtuousness reveals to people horizons of freeing truth and a possibility to overstep human imperfection. Love is actualised in this context as a fundamental value with eschatological continuity and remaining in the hope and perspective of divine eternity. An important role in M. Pečkauskaitė’s pedagogical concept is assigned to personal self-reflection enabling self-knowledge and an adequate evaluation of one’s actions and spiritual culture. Eschatological conception of the meaning of time, when all human attempts are directed towards eternal perspective, is presented.
The article analyses the problem of saving the unborn life in the context of crisis pregnancy. The dimension of spiritual counselling is actualised as an essential factor of integral assistance for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy. Problems of a crisis pregnancy are addressed on both personal and social levels. The most significant circumstances influencing the final decision in a crisis pregnancy are highlighted: woman’s maturity and values as well as a comprehensive specialist help comprising the aspects of both physical and spiritual assistance.
The article analyses expression of anxiety in human self-perception in the context of the original sin. This phenomenon is examined from the perspective of psychological and theological sciences considering how these two scientific branches could serve in the interpretation of the causes of human anxiety. In the context of scientific analysis a person experiences anxiety as a subconscious state which causes feelings of insecurity, helplessness and spiritual distress as a lack of the meaning of life. This anxiety has its own cause – the original sin. The conclusions of the research highlight four operational spheres of anxiety: failure to understand reality, loss of identity, guilt and shame. These issues threaten the person with non-existence, self-loss, deserved and undeserved punishment as well as fear to be estranged and isolated. Restoration of the authentic humanity is possible only by the power of the divine Incarnation.