The word “holistic” is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.” It is valid and usual for us to categorize our life areas into spiritual, psychological, financial, physical, physiological and social.
However, it is important to consider having balanced and integrative approaches for self-development, formation, evangelization and avenues for serving others. After all, a person needs harmony from the inside out to live a healthy and meaningful life.
Time and again, we have referred to the Church as the Family of God, with each member having his/her own vocation and mission. We perceive that the main role of the Church is to safeguard the relationship of each person with God and to encourage every individual to be a powerful witness of His love to others.
Although we are spiritual beings, as long as we are on this earth, we need to empower not only the soul, but also our minds and bodies. Sometimes, we fall into the trap of being too religious that we might set aside the basic human longing to concretely experience being loved and having a solid personal connection with a God who cares. There could be a tendency to focus on heavy theology, detached from reality.
There might be a temptation to be one-track-minded, that religiosity might become an excuse to cover up deep-seated hurts that also need psychological processing. We have to attain a sensitive balance between the two. On the other hand, if one only stresses psychology without putting God at the center, then there would be a futile search for meaning, for without the Creator Who made us, the Source of love, how can we experience true joy?
As a holistic healing advocate, I find that many people are looking for down-to-earth answers to their questions on low self-esteem, unresolved emotional baggage, and authentically encountering God on an intimate level.
They look for God who understands their struggles as they pursue their livelihood, manage their finances, hurdle their physical ailments, and face tragedies. Thus, we are in search to carry out formation programs that communicate God in a language people can easily understand.
We do have programs like these in the Church today. We are invited to strengthen them and to continue to innovate relevant ones so that we may keep on bringing the fullness of life that comes with the Gospel.