What is time without a soul?

The fifth and final plan we all need concerns our spiritual development. “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffers the loss of his own soul” (Matthew). Many of us worry about time and money. We worry about how we look and what people think of us. We worry about holidays, vacations, buying things, having the right image and having the right toys. What gets lost in our mad material rush for things and image is our immortal soul. We remember to put out the garbage but we forget our souls. Our souls will go on long after our body has aged and withered away. What is more important, how you look or how your soul looks?

The highest level of development is considered by many wise people to be spiritual. Without spiritual development, we wither and rot on the vine. We are hollow and shallow people without a soul. We can plan a budget and plan time for going to school, friends, family and exercise, but what will it all be for if we cannot put aside time to develop our soul? Thus, a plan to develop your soul might just be the longest reaching and most important plan you can have. Without such a plan how can you grow wiser and kinder and more just?

My spiritual plan is very simple. For others, it may be going regularly to church, mosque or synagogue. The core of my spiritual exercises is my daily spiritual prayer. Each day before I begin my activities, I recite a spiritual prayer and take five minutes to do a spiritual reading. This practice constitutes a sort of daily spiritual exercise for me. Every year, I attend a silent retreat at a Jesuit Retreat house called Demontreville. It is three days of spiritual reflection and prayer. The silence for three days helps me to get in touch with my inner being and to really reflect on where my life and my goals are. I have now attended over 25 of these yearly retreats. They have helped me to develop spiritually, morally and ethically. Every year, I look forward to my annual retreat as an important time for spiritual renewal and reflection. There are many spiritual exercises in the different religious traditions that can help you to develop spiritually. They can all offer you more joy and happiness if you take the time to practice them.

Are you satisfied with your spiritual and moral development? Are you doing something to help develop in these areas? Have you set aside time for your spiritual development? Do you have a concrete set of exercises and activities to help you grow spiritually? If not, when will you begin? Can you start by taking five minutes today for a spiritual reading from the Bible, Koran, Hindu Scriptures, Buddhist readings or the Torah? If not, can you simply read a good selection from a book on moral and ethical development? Five minutes each day that might change your immortal soul!

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