August 3, 2018

Letters to the Editor

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Spirituality is the core of who we are, Criterion reader says

I am a black Carmelite, and by being black—of a certain social construct—I bring a unique spirituality to the order that I profess.

I have a distinctive understanding of mystical theology, and the mystics of the Church, Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. These two were bound on the battlefield of spiritual revolution, and sought the face of God in their spiritual sojourn.

Spirituality has various definitions between races, cultures and environments, and it is therefore important to define spirituality and to understand the context in which it connects with the demographic spirituality it is interacting in.

Spirituality is an amalgamation of prevailing thought, which consists of individual and collective beliefs which may or may not be associated with a religious institution, yet it provides meaning to an individual’s life, and collectively, it is the lifeline of the social construct.

Every black life in the United States, and around the world, is influenced in some way by spirituality and religion.

A black atheist is one who has taken up residency in a burning house. The foundational ideal of religion and spirituality for blacks (in general) is the guiding life curriculum to their understanding of how to navigate their environment. Religion and spirituality have a substantial effect on the ability of blacks to bind and grow as a community and engage the world at large.

Spirituality has various definitions between races, cultures and environments. It is essential to understand the context in which specific communities connect with spirituality. For example, black males and females tend to rely on spiritual beliefs not only when faced with adversity and challenges, but also when making everyday decisions that ultimately determine their values, character and even behavior. Spirituality is the core of who we are.

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

- Kirth N. Roach | Order of Carmelite Discalced Secular, Indianapolis

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