Apr 09 2018
Our spiritual needs emerge developmentally innervated with our physical and psychological needs. Our spiritual needs are felt as "Yearnings of the Soul" that require our advancing attention lest we lapse into a "spiritual failure to thrive". Failure to thrive is the name given to the condition of an infant who doesn't adequately physically grow because she/he doesn't receive sufficient human touch, warmth, and affectionate attention, even though she or he receives quite adequate food and hydration.
I think we can use the same concept of failure to thrive to describe a maturing adult who either neglects, or in some way is blocked from meeting her/his spiritual needs. These unfortunate folks are spiritually starved, although they may be quite satiated in every other life dimension.
A need is a requirement of the organism; failure to address a need always begets some form of pain. As I survey the lives of maturing adults, I find that I can aptly use the term "spiritual failure to thrive" to describe a number of them. We enter into a spiritual failure to thrive condition when we neglect our spiritual needs.
Here is a comprehensive list of the spiritual needs for maturing adults that I have been able to assemble from my spiritual gerontology "gleanings".
If you'd like the full paper on the spiritual needs of maturing adults send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to send to you electronically.
I invite you to explore The Johnson Institute website. Our goal is to change attitudes about aging from being a " thief in the night" to being an enriching, enlightening, deepening and illuminating time of life, a time when we can come to better realize who we really are and develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
Right now the Holy Spirit is calling selected people to become lights of hope and healing to maturing adults. ... You may be one of them.
Richard P. Johnson, PhD