John Michael Reyes
This week we're highlighting the Campus Minister for Sacramental Formation, John Michael Reyes. In response to how spiritual practices can connect us with something greater than ourselves, he says, "to practice spirituality allows you to learn about yourself in ways that no textbook or article can disclose." If you would like to suggest someone to be highlighted, please contact us at email@example.com.
Publisher's note: No one person speaks on behalf of an entire religious, spiritual, or phiolosphical tradition. All views presented are those of the student according to their personal experience of their tradition.
What does spirituality mean to you?
JR: My understanding of spirituality has been formed by Jesuit School of Theology Professor Emeritus Sandra Schneiders, IHM and Professor Jean Molesky Poz. From them, I have embraced a working definition of spirality--the concept that spirituality is the fundamental dimension of the human person and the experiences that activate that dimension.
How do you practice your spirituality on a daily basis?
JR: I am liturgy person, so ritual is important for me. One way I practice spirituality is through the Liturgy of the Hours, especially Compline, which I combine with the Ignatian Examen. I enjoy praying with the Saint John's Bible through Visio Divina. An important weekly Sunday practice is mystagogical reflection. After a liturgical experience I ask myself, "What did I see, hear, touch, taste, and smell? What did I feel?" Then I ask if there is anything in the church tradition that connects with the experience. Lastly, I ask myself how I am different because of this revelation. This practice forms people to see the world in a liturgical way and to live in the world as Christians imbued with the spirit of liturgy.
Have you learned anything about yourself through this/these practice(s)?
JR: Balance and to not be hard on oneself. I know community is important for me, and I also the need to take time for myself to process and reflect.
In what ways do you believe practicing spirituality connects us with something greater than ourselves?
JR: To practice spirituality allows you to learn about yourself in ways that no textbook or article can disclose. To own a spirituality practice, whether that is holding silence, meditation, yoga, lectio divina or rote prayer, these help us to reconnect to that divine mystery so that it can continue to form and nourish our very calling as pilgrims on a journey.