By Fr. Arthur Moke, IMC
Surprisingly the word “spirituality” lacks an ultimate definition. Scientists define spirituality as the search for the sacred which means ‘set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration’. Then “spiritual” is what affects the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Simply put when one is said to be spiritual it means one who behaves out of the ordinary. However, human spiritual needs include Love, Faith, Hope, Virtue and Beauty.
SWOT analysis however, is the combination of internal and external issues affecting organizational performance. SWOT analysis stands for S: Strengths; W: Weaknesses; O: Opportunities; T: Threats. In business SWOT analysis helps the organization to survive in a competitive environment. Consequently in our spiritual life there are Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to help us in our journey of faith either to improve our life or to worsen it.
Moreover since our baptism we have received the grace of the Holy Spirit in order to be incorporated in the Christian family and nurture the same Spirit by the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation. Apart from the sacrament of Confirmation the sacrament of the Eucharist increases our spiritual strength so that we continue our Christian journey. The reception of the Holy Eucharist enables us to mature our life and become strong Christians and followers of Christ.
When we talk of Spiritual SWOT analysis as Christians we consider the four elements that constitute the Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats that our spiritual life and faith face. Hearing the words of God and the reception of the sacraments give us the Spiritual Strength we need to face challenges.
Concerning weaknesses we need to see what needs to be done to transform our weaknesses to strengths by using opportunities that Our Mother Church offers us.
These opportunities are summarized as the celebration of the Mystery of love that is the Holy Mass. In the celebration of the Eucharist we meet Christ who teaches us and nourishes us with Spiritual Food, making us strong in our faith.
Then threats come in such as hatred, secularism, alcoholism, impurity, lack of forgiveness, spirit of revenge, bitterness, anger, rejection, etc. and endanger our spiritual life. To overcome these threats one needs to dig deep into their life values that can help in shaping anew their life.
Is Spiritual SWOT analysis possible? Yes!!!!!!!!!!! Our society has become a working society. Our organizations or companies come up with strategic plans to position themselves well in the market. These strategic plans always have SWOT analysis to help us face our competitors.
In our spiritual life there is need for spiritual strategic plans so that by using SWOT analysis we may be able to maximize our strengths, minimize our weaknesses, take advantages of the opportunities at hand to overcome the threats facing us and stand firm in our faith as mature and true Christians who value their spiritual life and nurture it with the grace of God by practising the commandments of the love of God and of the neighbour.