Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

Published at: Manila Standard Today

June 25, 2012 I propose to examine three spirituality clusters in the workplace: 1. Mainstream dogma-based spirituality, 2. Newstream experience-based spirituality and 3. Upstream integral spirituality. Hopefully, spiritual practitioners will be able to situate their personal growth and development within these movements and corporate leaders will consider these clusters in mission re-visioning and values re-alignment in support of spirituality in the workplace.

Spirituality in Philippine Context
Governance in the Philippine provides a fertile ground for spiritual growth.  The 1987 Philippine Constitution, Sec. 12 states the “right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character.”  Art. 356 of the Family Code stipulates that parents provide every child “moral and civic training …in an atmosphere conducive to his physical, moral and intellectual development.”  In addition, Art. 358 allows “optional religious instruction.”

 Republic Act No. 8990, Sec. 3b specifies ‘the spiritual development’ together with the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, psychological, and language development of the young.Sec. 13 of the Philippine Constitution includes the spiritual dimension of human development. “The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social wellbeing.”  The government needs the business sector to promote total human development in the workplace and business corporations may explore spirituality as driver of peak employee performance by promoting transcendental values.

Art III, Sec. 4 of the Bill of Rights allows “The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference.” As such, religious freedom presupposes exercise and enjoyment of religious profession, worship and spirituality in the workplace. In most Catholic establishments, it has become a common practice to provide religious services evidenced by an altar or a chapel.

The spiritual development of a child is part of civic development and parents are duty-bound to nurture that spiritual life.  When children reach school age, moral and spiritual nurturance shifts to the teachers who act in ‘loco parentis.’  As professionals, their spiritual development towards adult faith grows under a corporate umbrella.

Lay Spirituality
I consider the Bishops-Businessmen Code of Ethics, the Management Association of the Philippines Code of Ethics, the Brotherhood of Christian and Professional Businessmen and Christ’s Commission Fellowship as forerunners of spirituality in the workplace. These post-Vatican II initiatives are fueling the application of Christian teachings in the arena of business.  Among Catholics, the decree on the apostolate of the laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem) highlights the “special and indispensable” role of the lay persons in the life of the Catholic Church  in the modern world and lately, Cardinal Tuscan highlighted “the Vocation of the Businessman.”

Lay spirituality, according to the Second Plenary Council of the Philippine (PCP II) “consists in being able to see the will of God operating, precisely in one’s secular duties, in the ordinary things that one does, and in fulfilling them with as much love. It is deeply rooted in the secular…in the fields, in the factories, in schools, in offices and homes.  It leads to an unselfish, other-centered and Christ-centered life in the world and in the Church.”

The National Catechetical Directory of the Philippines sees Filipino Catholic spirituality as socially oriented which respects the indigenous cultural aspect of a popular religiosity; it includes social concern for justice and the poor as an integral component, unifies all dimensions of personal and family life, stresses the participation of lay leaders in the spiritual mission of the clergy and religious, and brings out a missionary consciousness that is open to the Asian ways of prayer and mysticism.
The Catechism for Filipino Catholics mentions two important aspects of Filipino transcendent self. 

First, we are “kundiman-oriented” and our feelings are “naturally attracted to heroic acts of sacrifice, manifesting a deep, positive spiritual value of kalooban” and second, we are “spirit-oriented” and are naturally drawn “to sense the ephemeral because we have a deep sense of belief in the supernatural and other spirits.”  Our cultural DNA is endowed with deep spiritual orientation embedded in our kalooban construct.

Spirituality of Social Transformation.
Mysticism and action are correlatives. Christian believers encounter the divine by involving themselves in the world, particularly in the workplace.  For example, Lasallian faith-zeal cycle and Benedictine ora et labora are spiritual paradigms of yin-yang, mysticism-activism and reflection-action. Gregory Baum avers that “the transcendent mystery is operative in the promised transformation of human life, personal and social; it is here, in active engagement and contemplative presence to this engagement, that believers encounter the living God.”  This  certainly includes social engagements, like performing one’s duties in the workplace.

PCP II considers work spirituality as part of social transformation because: “First, through work we share in the activity of the Creator, and within the limits of own human capabilities, continue to develop and perfect that activity and Second, by enduring the toil of work in union with Christ, we collaborate with the Son of God for the redemption of humanity.”  The spirituality of social transformation is driven to “create a free nation: where human dignity and solidarity are respected and promoted; where moral principles prevail in socio-economic life and structures; where justice, love, and solidarity are the inner driving force of development…build a sovereign nation: where every tribe and faith are respected; where diverse tongues and traditions work together for the good of all; where membership is a call to participation and involvement and leadership a summon to generous service…be a people: in harmony with one another through unity in diversity; in harmony with creation and in harmony with God…be a civilization of life and love.”

Marriage Spirituality
Marriage spirituality strengthens the virtuous path of a corporate citizen who is engaged in life-work balance. According to TheCatechism for Filipino Catholics “Married couples and parents have their own path to holiness through their faithful love.  Like that of all Christians, this path includes: inheriting Christ’s mission in fostering the Kingdom through the ministry of loving service of each other, their children and the wider community; in the pattern of Christ’s Paschal Mystery; and constantly inspired by the Holy Spirit and nourished by the Eucharist.”

The authentic and profound conjugal and family spirituality (Familiaris Consortio) is experienced in the quality of the married and family relationships marked by fidelity, a spirit of mutual respect, forgiveness, service and prayer.  In support of marriage spirituality, PCP II decreed that family centers be established to develop “the Filipino elements of a general spirituality of Christian marriage such that “the spiritual of the Christian is nurtured and rooted in the Word of God and finds its Filipino expression.”

Consequently, Filipino Catholics have a special role in Asia:  “We are called both personally, as believers, and ecclesially, as members of the Church, to share Jesus Christ with our Asian brethrens by word and witness, through active commitment to truth, justice, freedom and universal Christian love.”  We are called to go forth in-spirited to renew the face of the world – the wider world of Asia and beyond, giving of ourselves unto the renewal and unity of God’s whole creation.”

The documents of the Catholic Church, local and international, point towards a spirituality that is considered mainstream spirituality.  It is Christ-centered and evangelical in nature.  Based on the teachings of the Catholic Church, a Filipino Catholic brings to the workplace a lay spirituality, a family spirituality, and a spirituality of social transformation.

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