Vol 40 No 2
THE CHALLENGE OF POSTMODERNISM
CATHOLICISM IN THE POSTMODERN WORLD
HEALTH AND ILLNESS IN MARK’S GOSPEL: Physical or Spiritual?
J O’Neill MSC
THE MINISTRY OF THE SKILLED STRANGER: Religion and Spirituality in Public
FROM FEAR TO LOVE: Building an Australian Culture of Hospitality
NEW RELIGIOUS BOOKS BY AUSTRALASIAN AUTHORS
ministry of the skilled stranger
Religion and Spirituality in Public Hospital Ministry
ROY J O’NEILL MSC
IN HIS POEM, Healing, DH Lawrence says:
I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self
And the wounds to the soul take a long, long time,
Only time will help1
Lawrence recognizes the significance of respecting the spiritual aspects
of people in healing, and the necessity of including such needs in an
integrated protocol of caring for people. Human illness and disease is
not just a physiological problem that can be fixed technologically like
a machine that has broken down. Nor is it just an imbalance in human chemistry
that can be restored through pharmacology. Illness is wounds to the soul,
to the deep emotional self. Among medical professionals there is an increasing
recognition that spiritual distress is a part of the experience
of illness and is in as much need of healing as is the physiological,
the psychological, or the emotional. No amount of pharmacology can impact
on unease of soul. On the other hand, research is confirming what has
really been known since the foundation of medicine. Religious faith and/or
the practice of a personal spirituality does impact on the emotional and
physical well being of individuals and families and, during illness
or other painful experiences, people do turn to their spiritual resources
finding them helpful.2 In different traditions, rites and rituals,
or various ways of connecting to the sacred, are the expressions of these
spiritual resources, demonstrating in mythic ways what is beyond the concepts
of ordinary words, no matter how consoling.
Health care exits at the juncture of human suffering and spiritual searching.
Dr Harold Koenig, one of the founders of research into spirituality and
When physical or emotional illness strikes, spiritual issues become
even more important, as issues of meaning and purpose become relevant.3
Health care attends to people when they are suffering, and a time of suffering
is often when people re-evaluate their lifestyle and ask significant questions
about what is ultimate and how it is to be included at this moment. Thomas
Moore comments that:
During illness the soul comes out of hiding, and shows itself in fresh
realizations and new priorities
It is a mistake to think of illness
only as an affliction of the body. Not only is the whole person
involved, but so is the family, and the sick persons life and world.
Serious illness is often a dark night of the soul.
As such, it requires soul doctors as well as body experts
with issues of life and death, and you discover the importance of love
and caring from family and from skilled strangers.4
Unfortunately, the predominant biomedical mindset within the health professionals
often sees health care, with its intense emphasis on scientific diagnosis
and its immense dependence on technological means, as in opposition to
the spiritual dimension of humanity. Gerald May, a priest and medical
This is the curse of a health-care system dedicated only to fixing
problems, a system too streamlined to be concerned with whats happening
to peoples souls 5 .
The juncture of human suffering and spiritual searching really should
be a confluence of two streams of thinking, resulting in a stronger flow
of learning and healing. As Erich Segal commented:
Faith can lift the fallen, even heal the sick, better than the scientist,
whose powers are circumscribed by frontiers of knowledgewhich is
where belief in God begins.6
Here in Australia, communities of religious belief founded many health
care institutes, and today some still remain linked to those foundations,
providing a kind of care that unashamedly includes the spiritual as well
as the physical.7 The Public Hospital system, however, followed the basic
secular model of other public institutions such as schools, and, while
not entirely dispensing with the spiritual, were more inclined to maintain
a scientific focus. But, as Veronica Brady has observed:
Religion, it seems, is a scandal that refuses to go away, even in the
most secular of societies
the impulse continues and must be acknowledged
and lived through, especially perhaps in a secular society since it has
to do with negative and midliminal experience
as common to the unbeliever
as to the believer.8
For those entering our hospitals, religion and the spirituality associated
with those religions, or with personal practice, are still significant
even when regular attendance at religious services is no longer the case.
Across the Randwick Campus of hospitals we see a distribution of religious
identity that is consistent with our wider community. As well, we see
a clear and increasing trend towards not identifying with particular denominations
or religious traditions, and declaring a stance of non-practice within
such traditions. While the figures for the major Christian denominationsparticularly
Anglican and Catholicremain relatively consistent with a slowly
declining trend, there is a marked increase in the No Religion
or Not Stated and Inadequately described aggregate
to the point where it reaches a combined 36.64% of the aggregate admissions
to the Campus over the last four years. Taken together, this category,
in fact, exceeds any of the single major denominations over that same
At the same time, however, data from a recent research project carried
out on Campus indicates that this is not a relinquishment of all spiritual
values, but rather a dissociation from an institutionalized practice of
religion.9 The spirituality of these traditions, however,
has not been abandoned. It would be a mistake to believe that because
someone no longer attends religious services of their faith tradition
or no longer identifies with that tradition, they no longer need their
spiritual source at critical times in their lives. Dr Bruce Rumbold, writing
for The Medical Journal of Australia, says:
Spirituality may be described as the web of relationships that give
coherence to our lives. Religious belief may or may not be part of that
web. Often we only become aware of strands in the web when they are stretched
or broken, as happens with a life-changing event like a diagnosis of serious
illness in ourselves or in someone we love.
A religion-based understanding
of spiritualityspirituality as beliefs about the sacredtends
to be more acceptable in healthcare contexts because it provides definitional
clarity that assists the division of professional responsibilities. However,
many patients do not observe this conceptual neatness, applying the term
spiritual to core values, meanings and practices that integrate
their experience, often with only tenuous connections to ideas of transcendence.10
There is an increasing tendency to see spirituality and religion
as quite separate aspects of human experienceseparated and in conflict
with each other. David Tacey has commented that:
Religion needs spirituality to keep the tradition alive and linked
to the contemporary time. Secondly religion needs spirituality to keep
dogma and creed connected with human experience, and thirdly to keep the
orthodox tradition related to the creativity of mysticism.
needs religion to offer a language to express itself. Religion offers
spirituality a history to be connected to, and a sacramental community
in which to find sanctuary and support.11
There is an inherent danger in separating religion and spirituality exclusively.
David Ransom argues for exploring the extent of this binary experience
How might we imagine spirituality and religion
in a way that respects their distinctiveness and yet maintains them in
a creative and constructive tension? 12
The re-awakening of spirituality is a moment pregnant with possibility.
But it is also a moment in which the dangers are not to be discounted.
The divide that has occurred between spirituality and religion
has attributed to the first a fresh authority and credibility, and to
the second, a retrieval of its fundamental role in the spiritual quest.
But the divorce of spirituality from religion
runs the risk of sundering a vital tension that is foundational to a mature
There is a fundamental flaw in some popular spirituality movements14
which try to place spirituality outside the scope of any structured
belief system. Tony Kelly confronts such spirituality, questioning if:
The generalised spirituality now in vogue (is) a kind of spiritual
autism, a self-enclosure incapable of the ultimately Other-ward ecstasy
of adoration, self-surrender and praise
What if this whole spiritual
phenomenon were nothing more than the re-emergence of Gnosticism, or at
least a kind of elitist soul-culture amongst connoisseurs of special experience?15
Spiritual experience is not always personally comforting. Often, through
our experience of illness or approaching death, our entry into a spiritual
experience or an encounter with the sacred, divine, or holy is difficult,
painful, problematic, anything but serene and peaceful to begin with.
Rudolf Otto, in The Idea of the Holy, a small, but significant, publication
in the early part of last century,16 examined this paradox of encountering
the Divine, consisting, in his view, of the experience of both the mysterium
fascinans and the mysterium tremendum. The former is the wonderfully elevating
and blissful moment of entering the numinous. This is Pauls experience
of being caught up to the third heaven. (2 Corinthians12:2).
The latter, however, is when we come face to face with some power that
confronts us with our own sense of powerlessness and frailty and the brevity
of our present life. This is when our corporeal nature recognizes the
limits of its existence in the face of the immensely Eternal One.
[We sense our] creaturehood (Geschöpflichkeit) as impotence and
general nothingness as against overpowering might, dust and ashes as against
It is this latter nature of the holy that is such a challenge to the ego-centric
individualism of our Western cultures and is so assiduously avoided by
those who would promote spirituality in opposition to religion.
Encountering the mysterium tremendum needs, what Tacey calls, a
sacramental community for sanctuary and support.18 Like Moses in
the cleft of the rock, we meet God indirectly, in a sacramental way within
a community of like-minded believers.
St Augustine of Hippo, writing at the beginning of the 5th Century CE,
said that a sacrament is a visible sign of a sacred thing, a visible form
of an invisible grace.19 This is a very broad description of any kind
of actions that can be seen as pathways or beacons to an awareness of
mystery. Rites and rituals are those moments open to grace and blessing
when the invisible actions of God are made visible in the use of material
creation. In the broadest sense of the word, sacrament is
the sign of something sacred and hidden. In this sense the whole world
is a vast sacramental system, in that material things are for human beings
the signs of things spiritual and sacred, even of the Divinity. The
heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his
handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares
knowledge. (Psalm 19:2). The writer to the Romans acknowledged this
sacramental universe as the most telling sign of Gods presence and
the one most easily available to anyone who would dare to look. Ever
since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal
power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been
made. (Romans 1:20). If we dare to look, McFague argues:
We might begin to see (for the first time, perhaps)
of the ordinary. We might realize that we live and move and have our being
in God. We might see ourselves and everything else as the living body
While it is true that grace is everywhere,21 human beings need a focused
way of viewing such a reality, some specific symbols and actions that
attempt the connectedness with metaphysical realities. McBrien says:
A sacramental perspective is one that sees the divine in
the human, the infinite in the finite, the spiritual in the material,
the transcendent in the immanent, the eternal in the historical.22
Rites and rituals are limited ways in which we strive to make God present
to us, allowing, as Gleeson does, for the fact that:
There can be no pretence that in any human experience, even in a special
sacramental ritual like the Eucharist, we can capture the full reality
of God. There can be no question of objectifying God, of delivering God
in a package, as it were.23
Rites and rituals, however, are grounded in the context of a sacramental
worldview and are not somehow a separate reality. Sacrament and sacramentals,
are rites that specify or localize what Hopkins called Gods
grandeur which flames out like shining from shook foil24
in the sacramental experience, if we but attend to it. But the grounding
is in the everyday ordinary things. Moore asserts that:
To the soul, the ordinary is sacred and the everyday is the primary
source of religion.25
Irwin supports this contention:
A major issue that needs rethinking and refurbishing in our day is
appreciating sacramentality in general and the sacramental worldview as
the framework and ground for celebrating liturgy and the seven sacraments.
This means viewing the words, symbolic gestures, and actions conducted
in our solemn assemblies as rooted in the life we live outside those events.In
a sacramental worldview, the world in which we live is interdependentall
that dwell in it are part of Gods plan for us all.The world is also
the primary locus where God is revealed, disclosed, and experienced. This
means that the world, humans, and all creatures great and small are signs
of God among us. It also means taking seriously daily and domestic things,
for these are the tangible ways and means the Church uses to experience
and partake in the life of God both in liturgy and sacraments and outside
them in all of life.26
Within the context of illness and suffering, common as it is to the human
condition, human beings, viewing their experience in a sacramental
way, can find a path to Mystery. The mystic traditions of a number
of the major religions of the world acknowledge suffering as one of the
ways of touching the holy and of reaching holinessan
encounter with the Divine. The Book of Job is a classic struggle to make
sense of the senseless and to find God in the midst of chaos.27 Mystics
within the Christian tradition called this the via negativa (the way of
negation) or the dark night of the soul.28 May29 and Moore30 have returned
to these insights as a way of helping people who are sick and suffering
make sense of what is happening to them, and of finding meaning and God
in the oscura of these liminal experiences. In recent history, we find
Dietrich Bonhoeffer writing from his prison cell in 1944:
Suffering is a way to freedom. In suffering, the deliverance consists
in our being allowed to put the matter out of our own hands into Gods
With the collapse of our ordered world, when the people and possessions
we prize most, when the things that are most important to us, are suddenly
stripped away from us, we are left, like Job, naked. When there are no
familiar props and supports which help to make some sense of the senseless,
even in the religion that has served us well, it is then, and perhaps
only then, that we may begin to see the face of Mystery.32 This is the
searing experience of gold being tested by fire. (1Peter 1:6-7).33 A period
of protracted illness can give time to reflect on the experience and seek
some meaning. Kirkwood outlines alternative ways in which this might be
done when faced with the reality of suffering in our personal lives.34
When it comes to facing the mysterium tremendum people of our present
generations are not asking the kind of questions that might arise for
theologians and dogmatists. They are asking what Hellwig calls:
The gut-level questions about personal experience and personal responsibility
and the personal effort to make sense of life.35
Beaudoin, argues that Generation X (born in the 1960s and 1970s) is a
deeply sacramental generation, searching for authentic spiritual guides
and dependable, genuine communities in which to encounter God and interpret
their own experience of the divine, especially when faced with suffering.
Suffering is a catalyst for GenX religiosity.36 Some communities
of faith have a unique charism in their sacramentality that has the potential
to speak powerfully to this generations spiritual yearnings and
experiences of suffering. I believe that there is such potential within
the Catholic tradition. But in order to speak, powerfully or otherwise,
there needs to be a common language, acceptable to both the
community of faith and the individual caught in the experiential moment.
Finding that common language is one of the tasks of the chaplain
who is striving to meet the spiritual yearnings in the midst of suffering.
Like music, rituals have the ability to speak in many languages.
When the web of relationships that gives coherence to our lives begins
to unravel under the spiritual distress of severe pain, illness or approaching
death, spiritual reserves are recalled and put into practice in the form
of rites or rituals, either as the official rites of a community of faith
(Sacraments or recognised prayer forms) or in the rituals of popular piety
or non-specific celebrations of a ritual nature. In the minds of the dogmatists
and theologians there may be a distinction in kind between these, but
in the midst of spiritual distress many would regard such distinctions
as passé. Even if not connected with their traditional sources
of religious belief, the majority of patients and their families still
acknowledge that some attention needs to be given to their spiritual needs
and that the ministrations of those who can best meet those needs is beneficial
to their healing. It is the task of the Hospital Chaplain to do so. Those
responsible for the implementation of health care protocols and policy
within our hospitals should recognize those needs as integral to the processes
of healing and incorporate them into the everyday functioning and operations
of our health care facilities.37 Some individuals may have a spirituality
closely connected with the traditions of a community of faith, and the
practice of specific rites or rituals. Others may not. As regards our
Australian attitude to things spiritual, Tacey argues that, within our
national psyche, there is a deep artesian stream that carries a
hidden connection to spiritual matters. He uses the image of the
Todd River in Alice Springs, flowing always underground but only at times
of climatic intensity being seen on the surface.38 The spiritual connections
of many of the patients and families within our hospitals are like our
desert rivers in the Centre of our arid continent, flowing silently underground
and emerging at times of life intensity. Their spiritual experience may
often be nourished in personal prayer, and private rituals at significant
moments in life, rather than in the public expressions of communal worship.
Lopez notes this phenomenon as well:
The sacred is a reality that is prior to and independent of organized
religion. Various surveys have indicated that a majority of those who
do not belong to any religious body nevertheless continue to believe,
pray, experience the sacred and engage in behaviour they explicitly label
as religious. 39
The hospital chaplain meets the full spectrum in ministry and helps to
heal through spiritual care.
Fr Roy ONeill MSC is the Coordinator of
Chaplaincy Services at the Randwick Campus of Hospitals. He has com-pleted
a Masters in Ministry Degree through the MCD. His thesis was entitled,
Moments of Grace and Blessing: Rites and Rituals in the Process of Healing.
1. de Sola Pinto, V. and F. W. Roberts, Eds. (1994). The Complete Poems
of D.H. Lawrence. London, Penguin Books. p 620.
2. VandeCreek, L. and L. Burton (2001). Professional Chaplaincy: Its Role
and Importance in Healthcare. http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org. For
a detailed examination of the research literature supporting these contentions,
see Cohen, J. (2002). Report on Spirituality, Health and Healing in South
Eastern Sydney. Sydney, South East Sydney Area Health Service. The major
conclusion of this report is that:
There was a general consensus that spirituality, beyond religion, was
an important component in health care. Those interviewed who had come
through Nursing were more comfortable with spiritual distress
as part of the nursing taxonomy. Others recognized its importance, at
least intellectually, even though they themselves may or may not be connected
with an organized faith community.
3. Koenig, H. G. (2003). Religion, spirituality and health: an American
physicians response. Medical Journal of Australia Vol. 178
(2): 51-52.p. 51.
4. Moore, T. (2004). Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your
Way Through Lifes Ordeals. London, Piatkus Books Ltd. pp. 267 268.
5. May, G. G. (2004). The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores
the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth. San Francisco, HarperSanFrancisco.
p. 6. Gerald May practised medicine for over twenty-five years. He is
now the Senior Fellow in Contemplative Theology and Psychology at the
Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.
6. Segal, E. (1993). Acts of Faith. New York, Bantam Books.
7. Elliot, H. (2001). Hospital Chaplaincy in the Context of Religion in
Contemporary Australia. Department of Studies in Religion. Sydney, University
of Sydney. p. 58:
The philosophy of the Sisters of Charity had always been that healing
involved both the physical and spiritual welfare and that all clergy,
regardless of religion or denomination, would be welcome at their hospital.
8. Brady, V. (1994). Caught in the Draught: On Contemporary Australian
Culture and Society. Sydney, Angus and Robertson.
9. ONeill, R (2005). Moments of Grace and Blessing: Rites and Rituals
in the Process of Healing. Masters Thesis, Melbourne College of Divinity,
University of Melbourne. A copy of this thesis is available at the Medical
Library at The Prince of Wales Hospital.
10. Rumbold, B. (2003). Caring for the spirit: lessons from working
with the dying. Medical Journal of Australia Vol. 179 (6 Suppl):
11. Taceys address at the Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains
Association Conference deals with this in detail. Tacey, D. J. (2003).
Recovering Faith in a Faithless Age: the Post-Modern Spiritual Landscape
and A Case Study of a Student. Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains
Association Conference 2003 Keynote Addresses. Alice Springs, Australian
Health and Welfare Chaplains Association. He takes up these similar
concerns in Tacey, D. J. (2003). The Spirituality Revolution - the emergence
of contemporary spirituality. Sydney, HarperCollinsPublishers.
12. Ranson, D. (2002). Across The Great Divide: Bridging Spirituality
and Religion Today. Sydney, St Pauls Publications. p. 14.
13. Ibid. p. 76.
14. Tacey, D. J. (2003). The Spirituality Revolutionthe emergence
of contemporary spirituality. Sydney, HarperCollinsPublishers. pp 141-142:
When spirituality becomes popular we can almost be certain that some vital
element or ingredients of spirituality have been left out of the popular
conception. Things become popular by being distorted, especially by leaving
out the hard bits, and emphasizing those aspects that seem easy or desirable
tendency to idealise and distort the idea of spirituality has been facilitated
in our time by New Age industries and enterprises. These industries service
the contemporary hunger for spiritual expression, and they often style
spirituality as an ego-friendly or utopian experience, presenting the
encounter with the spirit as a feel-good encounter.
15. Kelly, T. (2004). Reflections on Spirituality and Church.
Compass Theological Review Vol 38 (8): 19 - 27. p. 25. Kelly also examines
this whole question of New Age spirituality in Kelly, T. (1993).
An Expanding Theology, Faith in a World of Connections. Sydney, E.J. Dwyer.,
especially pp 40 48.
16. Otto, R. (1923). The Idea of the Holy: An Inquiry into the non-rational
factor in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational. London,
Oxford University Press.
17. Ibid. p. 21.
18. Tacey, D. J. (2003). Recovering Faith in a Faithless Age: the
Post-Modern Spiritual Landscape, and a Case Study of a Student.
Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains Association Conference 2003
Keynote Addresses. Alice Springs, Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains
19. Sacramenta signacula quidem rerum divinarum esse visibilia, sed res
ipsas invisibiles in eis honorari.In De Cathechizandis Rudibus XXVI 50.
Latin text on line. Augustine De Cathechizandis Rudibus. www.thelatinlibrary.com/augustine/catechizandis.html
Augustines insight is also the foundation for the title of this
Project: Moments of Grace and Blessing: Rites and Rituals in the Process
20. McFague, S. (1993). The Body of God: An Ecological Theology. London,
SCM Press Ltd. p.132. This whole work is a consideration of the sacramentality
21. Bernanos, G. (1937). The Diary of a Country Priest. London, The Bodley
Head. p. 317.
22. McBrien, R. P. (1994). Catholicism. Melbourne, Collins Dove. pp. 9-10.
23. Gleeson, B. (2004). Symbols and Sacraments: Their Human Foundations.
The God whom we encounter in sacraments is
Mystery. Real though it
is, the sacramental encounter is limited. Even as we experience the presence
of God, within and through the signs of the presence of God, we experience
also the absence of God
And yet, one does not hesitate to claim that
in sacraments of all kinds, God does meet us, and we do meet God.
24. Gerard Manly Hopkins Gods Grandeur in Gardner, W. H., Ed. (1953).
Poems and Prose of Gerard Manly Hopkins. Middlesex, Penguin Books. p.
25. Moore, T. (1992). Care of the Soul: How to Add Depth and Meaning to
Your Everyday Life. London, Judy Piatkus Publishers Ltd. p. 203
26. Irwin, K. W. (2002). The Development of Sacramental Doctrine
in the Church: Theory and Practice. Recovering the Riches of Anointing:
A Study of the Sacrament of the Sick. G. Glen. Collegeville, Minnesota,
The Liturgical Press: 59-82. pp. 79-80.
27. This theme from The Book of Job was examined in detail in a series
of keynote addresses by Norman Habel, an Australian Lutheran theologian,
given to The Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains Association
National Conference held in Alice Springs in April 2003. In these Habel
argues that it is the suffering of what he terms spiritual abuse,
perpetrated by those who would crush the spirit with creed and dogma,
that has driven people from the Church and religion into seeking
a bold new spiritual experience in a post-religion age.
28. Perhaps the best known of these is St John of the Cross with his Noche
Oscura which he prefaced with Canciones de el alma que se goza de haber
llegado al alto estado de la perfección que as la unión
con Dios por el camino de la negación espiritual. (Songs of the
soul, which is possessed by being called to that higher state of perfection
in union with God by way of spiritual suffering.) In Rodrigues, J. V.,
Ed. (1988). Lira Mistica : Poesias de Santa Teresa y San Juan de la Cruz.
Madrid, Editorial De Espiritualidad. p. 136.
29. May, G. G. (2004). The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores
the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth. San Francisco, HarperSanFrancisco.
30. Moore, T. (2004). Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your
Way Through Lifes Ordeals. London, Piatkus Books Ltd.
31. Bonhoeffer, D. (1959). Letters and Papers from Prison. London, Fontana
Books. p. 161.
32. Achterberg, J., B. Dossey, et al. (1994). Rituals of Healing: Using
Imagery for Health and Wellness. New York, Bantam Books. p.12:
Illness (or disease) can be the beginning of a deep spiritual quest. It
may offer you the challenge of confrontingperhaps for the very first
timethe fact of your human mortality.
This idea is also in Gleeson, Symbols and Sacraments.
33. 1Peter 1:6-7:
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer
various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than
gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise
and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This image of purification runs through both Testaments, and is present
in the Apocrypha as well.
Then the tested quality of my elect shall be manifest, as gold that is
tested by fire. Hear, my elect, says the Lord. Behold,
the days of tribulation are at hand, and I will deliver you from them.
2 Esdras 16:73-74.
34. Kirkwood, N. A. (1995). Pastoral Care in Hospitals. Sydney, E.J. Dwyer.
Any regular visitor to a hospital will inevitably be asked the question
Why? Why me? That question involves more than
the Kubler-Ross explanation of it as a response of anger. Fundamentally,
it is a theological question. . This whole chapter considers the role
of suffering in life from a Christian perspective.
35. Hellwig, M. (1981). The Meaning of the Sacraments. Dayton Ohio, Pflaum
Press. p. 3.
36. Beaudoin, T. (2000). Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest
of Generation X. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. p. 97:
Xers relation to suffering lays the groundwork for religiousness.
This knowledge of suffering sparks our spirituality, because suffering
is a sort of boundary experience that forces us to confront
questions about our own human limits. After all, when you suffer, you
want to know why, for how long, and who or what is responsible. If you
ask that question broadly enough, you wonder about God and religious experience,
whether in emotional, resentful, dismissive, ironic, debased, or intellectual
ways. Suffering is a catalyst for GenX religiosity.
37. Departmental policy, from the New South Wales Department of Health,
is that this should be implemented. In introducing A Model Plan for Chaplaincy
and Pastoral Care Services in Hospitals prepared by the Civil Chaplains
Advisory Committee in New South Wales, the Director of Health said: This
Circular and the Model Plan take into account changes that have occurred
regarding chaplaincy and pastoral care services in the health system.
They apply to hospitals and to community based facilities and services.
Health Services will need to consider access to chaplaincy services across
the continuum of care and ensure appropriate services are available. Co-operation
and religious tolerance should be promoted and encouraged to ensure the
needs of our diverse community are met. Reid, M. (1998). File No A4534
Chaplaincy Services to the New South Wales Health System. www.health.nsw.gov.au.
This policy was reinforced in a more recent Circular from the present
Director General Roby Kruck. (2004/91).
38. Tacey, D. J. (2003). Australian Spirituality and Health.
Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains Association Conference Keynote
Addresses. Alice Springs, Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains
Association. This is reminiscent of Isaiah 35: 6-7:
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of
39. Lopez, F. (1994). Pastoral Care in an Emerging World. Sydney, Marist
Centre for Pastoral Care. p. 132.
Achterberg, J, B Dossey, et al. (1994). Rituals of Healing: Using Imagery
for Health and Wellness. New York, Bantam Books.
Augustine De Cathechizandis Rudibus. www.thelatinlibrary.com/augustine/catechizandis.html
Beaudoin, T. (2000). Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of
Generation X. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.
Bernanos, G. (1937). The Diary of a Country Priest. London, The Bodley
Bonhoeffer, D. (1959). Letters and Papers from Prison. London, Fontana
Brady, V. (1994). Caught in the Draught: On Contemporary Australian Culture
and Society. Sydney, Angus and Robertson.
Cohen, J. (2002). Report on Spirituality, Health and Healing in South
Eastern Sydney. Sydney, South East Sydney Area Health Service.
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