Article: Achieving a religious balance

Newry Cathedral News

Achieving a religious balance brings inner happiness

As we struggle in our daily chores, challenges and trials it is hard to find a balance in life. Retaining and practising your Christian beliefs helps create a spiritual space and that in turn helps create a meaning and balance that brings happiness.

For many religion can indeed bring inner happiness and a sense of purpose and contentment. For those who are deeply spiritual they find solace and meaning in religious beliefs, practices, and communities. Religion provides a sense of purpose, guidance, and connection to something greater than oneself. Being religious is the acting out of your beliefs and provides a framework for moral and ethical principles. Christianity provides a warmth, space and comfort for us all, especially during times of adversity, and importantly it brings a centre of gravity to our lives by providing a real sense of belonging and community.

Our religious practices involve rituals, prayers, meditation, and contemplation. All of these practices sit at the core of our belief, and these help us all find inner peace and tranquillity. As we engage in our religious activities it helps promote self-reflection, inner confidence, and a sense of gratitude towards life, which brings a greater sense of happiness and contentment.

As in many Parishes across Ireland and the world our religious communities, parish organisations, and church groups provide social support networks, where individuals can find companionship, understanding, and emotional support. The shared beliefs, values, and practices within our communities help foster a sense of belonging and acceptance, which are essential components for emotional well-being. In the Newry Parish we are fortunate to have many of these groups and organisations, especially the vibrant Bereavement Group who carry out sterling support and assistance for those most in need.

The further you are removed or distant from something it becomes less visible, not important and the less impact it has in your life. Christianity and religion are the same. The further we are ‘removed’ from having this at the core of our lives, our centre of gravity, the less impact it has on our lives. As we become removed from our religious beliefs, we become adrift, without a core purpose and without a spiritual anchor. We can become something of a small boat tossed upon the storms of life, drifting without purpose, without navigation and leading unfulfilling lives.

The more distant we are from our Christian beliefs we are the less gravitational force we feel. This distance leaves a void in our lives that we fill with other emotions and baggage that is a burden. Unknowingly we replace happiness, peace, joy, and contentment with negative emotions of sorrow, grief, anger and bitterness. There is a saying that is very true ‘every bit of grief and anger that we hold has to coexist in the same space as peace and joy.’ Human emotions often coexist and interact within the same limited space we have. Grief and anger are intense and challenging emotions that can be overwhelming at times but can be replaced with peace and joy by ensuring our spiritual centre of gravity is close and religion is our anchor. Find your time and opportunity to use religion as your guiding light, your centre of gravity, as the spiritual tool for jettisoning the negative baggage in your hold and make space for happiness peace and contentment.