Do you have a plan for heaven or hell?

Okay, so now you have plans to become healthy, wealthy and wise. But what about your immortal soul? “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 fourth plan we all need concerns our spiritual development.

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. These retreats 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. Karen and I also attend a Sunday night bible studies group. We meet weekly with other folks to discuss various aspects of the Christian faith. I am sure there are groups for all religious faiths.

There are many spiritual exercises in the different religious traditions that can help you to develop spiritually. They 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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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Penmiester
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:26:57

    Thank you for your kindly words. I am robust with joy in my spirt.

    Reply

  2. Blush Bandit
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:33:28

    Interesting read. I do think about my soul and I think about my karma often. My actions and the results of those actions but I love that you take time away every year to meditate, cleanse and contemplate your life. I need to meditate more. I try to read about different theologies, ideas and spirituality, I love the idea of light and energy. I think I need to read more instead of just studying online. Great topic! Thanks! Yvette Iris

    Reply

  3. John Persico
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 18:21:37

    Thank you for your kind comments. I am glad this blog was of use or interest to you Yvette.

    Reply

  4. John Persico
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 18:21:55

    Thank You,

    Reply

  5. bgalbreath
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 17:15:25

    “a plan to develop your soul might just be the longest reaching and most important plan you can have.”

    The key word is “might”. Or is is? I go back and forth about religion, being very religious at times and very anti-religious at others. The pendulum has swung back and forth a half-dozen times in my life. Now, I am in a moderately religious period, and do read, meditate, and pray daily, usually before I go to sleep and when I wake up during the night. During my non-religious periods, I see it as more noble to focus on this life, which may well be all there is, seeing it as denigrating what we have to look for something else which may not be really available. However, efforts to develop my soul might in fact be the most important thing I can do, even if it turns out that that I am just a finite, radically mortal material process utterly lacking in a soul. That would be so if such efforts at spiritual development make my life better (and positively affect the lives of others) more than an anti-religious approach to life would. Aside from the speculative rewards or punishments in a next life (or lives), I think there is good evidence for the positive effects of spiritual concerns in this one.

    Reply

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