Jump to content
Engaging emotionally with faith
9 replies to this topic
Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:05 PM
Just something I'm musing about, and I'd like to hear what others have experienced.
What helps people to engage not just intellectually with matters of faith, but emotionally? What helps to let the ideas of a faith speak to people's joys, sorrows, fears and hopes? What has helped you to make faith a matter of the heart as well as of the head?
Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:22 AM
Lots of things, but here are a couple:
Worship, especially singing. One of the principles I used to use as a worship leader was that sometimes we sing it because it is so and sometimes we sing it to make it so. It's the latter that goes to your question - sometimes singing is a really good way of taking a truth that I mostly think about, and owning it all the way down into my heart. If you're really paying attention, you can only sing, 'You are all I need' so many times before it starts having an impact.
Service. There's nothing like putting the ideas into practice. And so often, being in situations where you're serving others throws light on the stuff of faith that you haven't fully integrated - lack of humility, lack of faith in God's sufficiency, yada.
Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:48 AM
I too would say music for me and movement, I am not a still singer.
I would have thought a lot of people have the opposite problem. Have a faith or belief in God but can't intellectualise faith, logically defend, trust His word to be confirmed by science (creationism).
As a fairly logical person I find it helps me emotionally. By understanding my faith I am comforted emotionally.
Very little sleep last night so hope this makes sense
Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:59 AM
It's possible that a lot of people do have the opposite problem, but I asked because it looks as if I'm going to be doing some work with a very intellectualised community. (Lots of university academics, PhDs, all of that), and one of the comments I've already had is that they might be intellectually very sophisticated, but that can sometimes be a defence against having to confront one's emotions.
So I was thinking about the things that can help cut through that kind of compartmentalisation; I agree that music (and sensate and aesthetic stimuli more generally) are one possibility. I was also pondering some meditative techniques. But I thought I might throw it out there and see what other suggestions people might have.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:27 PM
I think the whole Catholic mass is an attempt at this - the colour, the incense, the altar bell, the repetition, the actual eating and drinking, the sign of peace.
Also reminds me of something in CS Lewis about why people kneel down to pray.
I did an interesting art exercise once where you had to draw a nude without lifting your charcoal from the paper, so you had to let go of your learned technique/perceptions and just follow the shapes.
No ideas about how you incorporate any of that.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:46 PM
I am probably going to be no help at all, because I mainly engage with my beliefs on an emotional level - intellectually I think it's all a bit irrational, but I can't help what I believe. (To be honest, on an intellectual level I feel woefully lacking in education about the entire subject - I don't know where to start reading!) I am quite passionate about left-wing politics and I suppose a lot of it comes under a Christian socialist kind of thing (in general, not necessarily referencing the movement) - Jesus identifying with and hanging out with the underclasses and lower classes, and so on.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:06 PM
I agree with Jane. Connecting with other people and fighting for social justice feeds my emotional needs and that aspect of my beliefs. Also doing some hard slog towards a good cause... Physical work. Getting hands on. So, rather than intellectualising, just getting into the thick of it.
I also meditate. Well, I try to. I'm never sure, though, what to count this as. I don't really do proper prayer... Like I can say the words and reflect on them but I always feel that it's all going on inside my own head and nowhere else. If that makes sense. I don't feel I'm communicating. But I feel more like I am connected with God when I'm in the muck of it with people and getting info doing something... Worthy, even if very very small. I feel something I can't put into words.
I remember working in the volunteer kitchens after a natural disaster and there was something really beautiful happening. People were chopping up chicken carcasses and serving up food in a very uninspiring environment in a community aching with grief. Yet the love and sense of purpose was really palpable. There was lots of pain, lots of passion and menial work. Lots of "counselling" which everyday people were able to do in ways that a professional can't. Real, genuine connection. I find that kind of experience very much taps into that emotional engagement with my faith. Moments like that where I just think, who cares about intellectualising it all, I've seen it and I don't need words for it.
Reply to this topic
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
Bonds and Disney fans with babies to buy for will be celebrating this news. Bonds and Disney have just released collaboration Wondersuits.
Since the 1980s, the Italian town of Ostana had not seen the birth of a single baby.
''I've delivered calves, lambs, dogs and cats, but nothing like this.'' This 'Super Gran' calmly peeled the amniotic sac over her great-grandson's head before discovering the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck ... twice.
It's something that can be taught as early as possible and reinforced as they get older and more mobile - even from toddlerhood.
Meet the brand new understated chic model from Bugaboo.
It's been two and a half years since Heather Clark's seven-month-old son Lukas passed away.
One minute your productivity is skyrocketing and the next you're sitting there trying to focus – just like that you draw blank, your brain, mush.
Guess what? Despite not pushing him out, I cried, and my heart skipped, and I felt the rush of love and pride when I saw him for the first time.
For parents, having a child with microcephaly can mean a life of uncertainty.
Here are a few 'other' baby firsts you may not have been expecting, but you'll want to be ready for.
My son was born on the 1 July 2014. It's a fabulous birthday, don't you think? Not only does the first of July ring in a new financial year, but it also means we've hit the year's half way mark.
A naturopath whose treatment of a baby boy allegedly led to the infant being severely ill has pleaded not guilty to charges against her.
A teary-eyed Andy Murray promised pregnant wife Kim he'd be on the next plane home after his turbulent two weeks at the Australian Open came to an end.
A small boy in the US has struck up a quacking good friendship with an unlikely companion ... his pet duck.
Researchers have found that, contrary to prior belief, caffeine does not cause health-threatening heart palpitations.
I've always been one of the most maternal women I know.
For some couples you either both want to know the gender of your unborn baby, or you don't. For others, it's not that simple.
Tough new "no jab no play" laws could hurt children who have not been immunised due to family dysfunction, poverty, or poor access to medical support, experts warn.
Airlines and cruise companies across the world are offering refunds or travel credits to pregnant women who are scheduled to visit countries struck by the devastating Zika virus.
Not all women will require medication, but many will. And there isn't and shouldn't be any shame in that.
Top 5 Articles
Labor frontbencher Penny Wong is used to to hearing arguments against same-sex marriage. But for Australia's most prominent gay politician, one hurts more than others.
Some things in life are inherently served with a big scoop of fun: balloons, bubbles, cupcakes to name but a few, but exercise?
She wanted a fresh colour for 2016, but instead she got chemical burns.
A Perth family has thanked US surfing "legend" Kelly Slater after the star saved a mother and a young toddler from "a freak wave" in Hawaii.
Tech giant instigates massive international recall of power point adapters due to risk of electric shock.
It's impossible not to share this little boy's excitement about the alphabet.
Like all tired parents, Monique and Kyle Ruppel were looking forward to the day their 15-month-old daughter Celia would start sleeping through the night.
An Australian mum who has shared the ups and downs of carrying quintuplets has welcomed her five babies into the world.
It was all too much excitement for this dad.
The way parents respond to their child's babbling can shape how their infants communicate.
The World Health Organization announced that it will convene an emergency meeting about Zika.
Baby Ebony was repeatedly failed by the agencies tasked with her protection before her horrific death at the hands of her father, South Australia's deputy coroner says.
Thirty-eight weeks or 39? Non-medical factors are pushing women to have elective caesareans earlier than official guidelines - and hospitals are playing along.
Two police officers delivered more than a traffic fine by the side of a busy Melbourne road yesterday.
One Direction's Louis Tomlinson has posted the first picture of his baby boy, Freddie, on social media.
Get your free ticket to the Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!