Why is it Important to Value Your Spiritual Health?

Please enjoy this helpful article by IRFWP contributor Sally Perkins, who reminds us of the important and needed benefits that come from attending well to our spirituality. Sally’s view that “Spirituality is a much broader concept than religions,” is common and growing presently, but not one to which I myself fully subscribe. I consider religions a vital part of social and personal life, providing much that is needed for spirituality to thrive and be effective in our lives and in world affairs. 

I am grateful for Sally’s thoughts and recommendations. (Frank Kaufmann, ed.)

by Sally Perkins

Why is it Important to Value Your Spiritual Health?

A fascinating study by researchers at the London School of Economics has shown that of all existing social activities, participating in a religious organization is the one activity associated with sustained happiness. Religion in this sense is more powerful than learning a new subject, volunteering for charity, working on fund raising projects, or being part of a political or community group. The study is just one of many suggesting that spirituality can have important benefits for our mental health and wellbeing.

The Difference between Spirituality and Religion

Spirituality is a much broader concept than religions; it is essentially the belief in a universal life force or God that unites people from all religions. Studies have shown that children who are more spiritual (those that reported greater meaning and value in life) were generally happier. Research has also found that adults who make time for spiritual values are less depressed and anxious than non-believers, and that they are better able to handle difficult times in life.
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A rabbi in King Hamad’s court preaches Torah of interfaith tolerance

Rabbi Marc Schneier at The Times of Israel Jerusalem offices, February 28, 2018. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)

He’s left the pulpit to advocate for increased Muslim-Jewish relations — he sure speaks like one.

“I believe as the children of Abraham, not only do we share a common faith but we share a common fate, and now it’s our single destiny that will strengthen our bonds of concern, compassion and caring for each other,” said Schneier during a recent visit to the Jerusalem offices of The Times of Israel.

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St. Patrick: Bishop and Patron Saint of Ireland

St. Patrick, (flourished 5th century, Britain and Ireland; feast day March 17), patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and probably responsible in part for the Christianization of the Picts and Anglo-Saxons. He is known only from two short works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Letter to Coroticus, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

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Saudi Crown Prince Committed To Interfaith Dialogue As He Meets Canterbury’s Archbishop

PHOTO: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (CR) and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (CL) view a collection of early religious texts in the library during a private meeting at Lambeth Palace in London on March 8, 2018.
Yui Mok / POOL / AFP

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a private meeting Thursday with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, where he made a “strong commitment” to interfaith dialogue, the archbishop’s office said.

During the hour-long visit at Lambeth Palace, the pair discussed the crown prince’s reform plans and Welby — the head of the Anglican church — expressed his concerns about the treatment of Christians in Saudi Arabia.

“The Crown Prince made a strong commitment to promoting the flourishing of those of different faith traditions, and to interfaith dialogue within the Kingdom and beyond,” the archbishop’s office said in a statement.

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Why do many religions object and criticize idol worship when their own followers are kissing the tombs, photos, scriptures, symbols, and even lighting candles in front of their spiritual deities and prophets?

The fact of this phenomenon has a couple of roots. The first is just a natural byproduct of limited understanding. This blinkered view might be compared to believing that the moon actually changes shape. Of course it doesn’t, but from my perspective it seems to.

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A Tribute to Bill Lesher: A Bold Visionary of the Interfaith Movement

Originally in The Interfaith Observer, penned by Joseph Prabhu

  Bill Lesher – Photo: Jean Lesher

Prabhu leads with pointing out that Lesher “was pioneer of the modern interfaith movement, and toward the end of his life, a tireless promoter of a possible new civilization for humankind.”

Lesher is quoted to say, “The very existence of the inter-religious movement is a massive change in the religious landscape of the world brought about by the technological advances that have created this age of globalization… [It] is an essential force for good that is helping humanity meet the challenges of the modern world.” 

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‘They’re just like me’: Interfaith bus tour goes inside the Chabad Lubavitch and Islamic Bosnian Mosque

Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah talks to visitors as he gives a tour as part of Interfaith Month. The attendees toured Chabad Lubavitch and the Islamic Bosnian Mosque on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

Imam Amir Salihovic of the Islamic Bosnian Mosque talks to visitors as they take part in the Interfaith Month bus tour on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

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