Funerals always make me think. I just returned from one where the service was about the subject of faith. Not just faith as the belief in and practice of religion, but faith as an individual practice.
als always make me think. I just returned from one where the service was about the subject of faith. Not just faith as the belief in and practice of religion, but faith as an individual practice.
In this sense, faith and spirituality are intertwined, at least in my mind. In Wikipedia, spirituality is defined as “an ultimate or immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being” or “the deepest values and meanings by which people live.” and faith is defined as “the confidence or trust in a person or thing.”
Spirituality and faith are beyond religion then, since they both encompass all religions and beliefs. We can all practice our own brand of faith and spirituality, outside of religion. We can channel spirituality and faith to cope with uncertainty and change in our lives. At this particular funeral, the minister used the example of a woman raising children as an example of faith. She bears children and raises them believing and trusting (sometimes against strong odds) that they will grow into happy, healthy adults. Another good example of faith is the practice of planting bulbs in the fall, just before the ground freezes, trusting that they will survive throughout the freezing cold winter to become beautiful flowers in the spring.
Spirituality has nothing to do with ghosts, or that kind of spirit, but instead focuses on the soul, the thing that makes us human. Our spirituality can be defined as our unique purpose in life and how we connect to other humans while practicing that purpose. We often become less dependent on material things by recognizing a greater purpose. Perhaps that is why we tend to become more spiritual and faithful as we age; we have spent more time practicing and perfecting our purpose in life. We become more tolerant, less judgemental, and come to the realization that the small things in life are the important ones.
The word spirit, derived from spirituality, is very similar to the words inspire and expire. Perhaps that is why we often (at least I do) feel inspired at funerals, for funerals are gatherings for people to connect and celebrate a life after someone expires.