The Spiritual Exercises: not only speak to the Jesuits but also to the religious of other congregations; not only to the religious but also to the laity; not only to Catholics but also to the Protestants. In other words, the Spiritual Exercises speak to all who believe in God and base their spirituality on the gospel message. First I will define what a spirituality of vocation is. Second I will explain what the Spiritual Exercises mean. Third I will try to show how the Spiritual Exercises are a representation of a universal call to the Christian gospel. Then I will conclude by stating my stand.
In his book, Spirituality and Prayer, Kevin defines spirituality as a movement that entails the coming to know God by humans and their response to God. This suggests a calling by one party, God, and the responding of another party, Human beings, which ends up into a relationship. A Relationship, among human beings, is a sort of significant connection between two or more parties. This involvement with one another could be emotional. In other words, human relations involve dealings, associations, affairs, contact and even interactions. With this in mind one can more or less easily build a relationship with God that can be referred to as a spirituality. A spirituality is grounded in a specific understanding about God, about God’s relationship with the world and about the human person in that world.
As abovementioned, spirituality involves a response which presupposes a calling. From a religious point of view, a call can also be referred to as a vocation. What then is a spirituality of vocation? This is in essence a universal call to the Christian gospel. In other words, it is an all-inclusive relationship that is concerned with the encounter of persons, God and human beings. As far as the Christian gospel is concerned, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are at the very central of the gospel message. For the purposes of this essay, spirituality of vocation or the universal call to the Christian gospel can be referred to as Christian Vocation (Rulla 236).
Christian vocation is all about a call and a response based on the Christian gospel message of love. In this sense, it is a spirituality, a relationship with God in Jesus through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It primarily concerns individual prayer and communion with God but the gospel also encourages the care of the ‘other’. This then means that Christian vocation not only involves an individual’s relationship with God but also with others, the neighbours. Another aspect of the spirituality of vocation the can be said to be the outer life which supports and flows from the communion with God (Manyere).
In a totality prayer in Christian life must be balanced with the service of God and the concern for the other – the neighbour. It is a life that is actually concerned with the soul’s developing detachment from the world and its flight to God. Coming back to Christian vocation as a call, it can be said that...