16 February 2008

What's Your Spiritual Type?

A while back I took an online quiz to find out what religion best fits me. I was scared at first. What if it tells me to become a Buddhist or something? It said I should be Roman Catholic. No, that's not how I came to the Church.

Well, here's another good one for those who like online quizzes. This one helps you discover your spirituality type. It's found on the Vision Vocations Network. Here's what mine said:

Path of Devotion (Augustinian prayer)

The majority of saints are of this spiritual temperament as well as 12 percent of the population (but half of those who go on retreats or belong to small faith groups). This method uses creative imagination to transpose the world of scripture to our situation today--as if the scripture passage is a personal letter from God addressed to each one of us (like Saint Augustine picking up Romans 13 and reading a message pointed directly at him). The essential element of this spirituality, going back to New Testament times (Jesus, Saint Paul, the early church fathers), is experiencing a personal relationship with God. Because they read between the lines and catch what is inexpressible and spiritual, those who follow the path of devotion best understand symbols and their use in the liturgy. This path concentrates on meditations that loosen the feelings and expand the ability to relate to and love others. The stress is on the love of self, others, and God. Those on this path can follow the four steps of the Lectio Divina: listen to what God says in scripture; reflect prayerfully and apply it to today; respond to God's word with personal feelings; remain quiet and stay open to new insights.

I've had a devotion to St. Augustine since my Bible college days when I started reading the Church Fathers. I have a daily devotional of his quotes that I read (a gift from an Eastern Orthodox priest). So, I'm not surprised by these results of this quiz. Some key elements of Augustinian Spirituality are that Holy Scripture is a primary place of encountering God, discovering God in community, the interior life, Apostolic service, and the promotion of Justice, Unity, Harmony, Peace and Reconciliation.

Practicing Augustinian prayer involves using your creative imagination. Since much of what is embedded in the passages of Scripture is the wisdom of God made down to earth by Biblical writers, through our intuitive and creative imagination, we can discover how to apply this wisdom to our situation. Important also is: openness to the Holy Spirit and His inspirations; sound and wise personal discernment; and seeking the counsel of mature and experienced spiritual directors.

A friend took the test and it came up Ignatian. This means that she would greatly benefit from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Interestingly, she has been using the Examen prayer recently as part of her Lenten discipline.

"Those who adopt Ignatian spirituality—whether they be Jesuits, members of other religious orders, or lay men and women—find themselves more and more being 'contemplative in action', finding God in whatever they do, if they do it with their whole being; finding God in whomever they serve, if they are fully honest and attentive in their service. So too, in the Ignatian heritage, we seek to find God in friends and colleagues, with affection and gratitude; and in prayer, in song, in solitary thought, in periods of contemplation; and in working together with others for the transformation of the world and the liberation of all women and men from every kind of oppression." (Oregon Province Jesuits website)

So, what's your type? Knowing it can help you find a method of prayer that suites the personality God gave you.

1 comment:

mister corduroy said...

My brother Art and oldest son Andrew (Age 12) took the test and both came up as Augustinians like me.