30 mar 2020

Health and its spiritual element

We are meant for encounter. For, in different ways and manners our life is defined in its own identity by relationships with others. For instance, in one of his books written some years ago, Paul Ricoeur, one of the greatest philosophers of these times, holds that our personal identity is built, precisely, on the basis of relationship. The title of this book is in itself provocative: "Oneself as another". If, then, we are made for encounter and relationship, how can we continue to build our lives, our story, our identity, from home?

Relationships can be viewed from three different perspectives: our relation with nature, our relation with others and our relation with that which transcends us. 'That which transcends us' is by many of us called God, and Christianity acknowledges that God is revealed, and tells us of His identity and purpose for humanity in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

Being “at home”, calls us to care for others, an ethic which is quite clear. But this can also challenge us to search inside ourselves with new eyes. This regulatoy pause imposed by government order can be transformed into a time of creativity and creation. The regular religious cadence is slower, caaling us to introspection, analysis and reflection.

What I propose at this time is that you should seek an encounter with yourself, with your frailties and strengths. Pausing, as an means of edification, not solely as a way of taking care and preventing COVID-19, but as a channel for encountering yourself, can be a great opportunity to be and live as a better person, to strengthen your relationship with what is trascendent, and for disciples of Jesús, to allow him to speak to our conscience. Being better is a manner of saying that the encounter with our own selves enables us to come in contact with and assume our humanity with greater awareness, committed to caring for ourselves and those close to us.

Cultivating pause, cultivating spirituality, cultivating introspection is a wonderful way of developing overall health and caring for one another.

By The Revd. Ariel Irrazábal

Translation: Elizabeth Birks