Spirituality in a Secular Age

LAURENCE FREEMAN OSB
2009 Series B  Apr-Jun

Laurence Freeman is a Benedictine monk of the Olivetan Congregation and Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation. In these talks he addresses the spiritual anguish of the modern Christian in a landscape where institutional religion is often held in suspicion or even rejected. How do we live a meaningful life at personal depth? And how do we relate it to our faith? Fr Laurence points us to “the one thing necessary” that Jesus calls us to, as he called Martha to: to put being before doing. It is true to the way we are made, he explains, as he llustrates how meditation offers more than what the secular approach often presents – not just self-help but selftranscendence in love: a way to live and to experience truth.

What has happened in modern times is the growth of a secular mentality which presents particular opportunities and problems,challenges for our spiritual journey. How do we live a spiritual life in a secular age? Let’s think what we mean by secular. It doesn’t only mean the rejection of belief in God. In fact it looks as if most people do believe in God; they just don’t want to have a religious label put on that belief. Most people don’t say that they are not spiritual; most people say they are not religious. The secular mentality certainly implies that a certain discourse about God in public life or in education or in our institutions, that’s dropped away – we don’t acknowledge God, we don’t talk about God in polite society, business society, or anything like that. So that’s one aspect of the secular age. Perhaps though we can understand how we re-connect to the spiritual dimension of our lives in a secular age by looking at other aspects of what we mean by secular.

1.    Two Lenses

2.    Spiritual Life in a Secular Age

3.    Meditation in Inter-Religious Dialogue

4.    The One Thing Necessary

5.    Living in the Present Moment

6.    Addiction and Grace

7.    The Prayer of the Heart

 

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