In the Gospel of John we find a succinct definition of what spirituality truly is. "God is spirit," we read in a spiritually motivating quote from John 4:24, "and his worshipers must worship in Spirit and in truth."
What is spirituality? What does it mean to be spiritual as a Christian? Is it attending church every Sunday, or sitting and praying for a few minutes every day? Spirituality is notoriously hard to define. It is something fluid, something that may have a different meaning for everyone who says that they are spiritual. Nevertheless, it is possible to paint a picture of what is meant by the word "spirituality."
Spirituality is experienced largely through the faculty of intuition. Intuition tells us that something more, something great and wonderful, lies just behind the shimmering veil of everyday reality. Spirituality is, first and foremost, an inner experience of this inexplicable knowledge. It is an experience of the numinous, the mystical, and the awesome. It is essentially an intuitive experience of God Himself.
In the Gospel of John we find a succinct definition of what spirituality truly is. "God is spirit," we read in a spiritually motivating quote from John 4:24, "and his worshipers must worship in Spirit and in truth." What this means is that God can only truly be worshiped inside one's own spirit, rather than out in the world.
While ritual religious actions such as going to church, praying, and receiving the Eucharist are often coupled with spirituality, they do not in and of themselves put us in direct spiritual contact with God unless we are at the same time focused on making that connection within ourselves. God must be reached out to with our hearts and our minds.
While you kneel and pray it should not be for the sake of having others see your actions, but for the sake of communicating with God. While you receive the Eucharist it should not be with an empty mind, but with quiet contemplation about what the act of taking the sacrament means.
The fact that spirituality is an intuitive, inner experience doesn't mean that, in order to be spiritual, you have to forsake this world for the spiritual world. In fact, authentic spirituality often leads to a more loving and compassionate engagement with the world. Coming into regular contact with God gives you the strength and energy to do more in the here and now than if you were completely disconnected from the spiritual side of life.
Faith without spirituality is certainly possible. Some people only need to believe in Jesus and God in order to find contentment. Many, however, need to feel that intuitive connection to the divine. They need to feel God's reassurance in their prayers, His presence in their church, and His mercy and love shining through encouraging Bible verses.
There is a wonderful quote from C.S. Lewis which perfectly sums up the Christian spiritual experience: "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." Christians are called both to worship God in spirit and to be active participants in the world at the same time. Focusing solely on the world can leave you too spiritually parched to live your life to the fullest. But, if you set your sights on the spiritual side of life, you will receive both heaven and earth at the same time.