GENERAL COUNCIL F.I.C. - Prins Bisschopsingel 22, 6211 JX Maastricht, The Netherlands  Phone: *31 (0) 43 3508373
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09.10.2023 03:08:31 263x read.
FIC spiritual journey – Maastricht, Day five (By: Mike Mbato)

FIC spiritual journey – Maastricht, Day five 

The day started with a Morning Prayer as per the program, followed by breakfast. We were happy to welcome our fellow brothers from Ghana who, because of visa issues, could only join the group three days later. In the morning we had two sessions and they stressed very much on dealing with stress as a religious. It was facilitated by Bro. Augustine, our General Superior.

Before the presenter gave his own definition of the term stress, he asked the participants what the term stress means to them. Thereafter, he introduced to the participants different facts about stress. For instance, stress is a silent killer, a secret killer as well as a devil in mind. He added that there is positive stress known as “Eustress” and negative stress termed “Distress” 

The session continued with some facts about stress. Herein I present just few facts: stress is normally caused by a stressor. In this case who is a stressor? This may be due to environmental factors or influences that cause stress. Stress affects everyone and depends on one age, sex, psychosexual development, nature of work etc. Stress normally begins in the mind. The brain works like a computer. It processes information that it receives from the senses and body, and sends messages back to the body.

Stress may affect every part of the body, he added, and can lead to some diseases.  He listed some of the stress-related diseases such as, heart diseases, diabetes, sleep problems, digestive problem. Depression, increased blood pressure etc. 

In addition, he elaborated on some of the manifestations of stress. These include physical manifestations which includes skins breakouts, muscle tension, headaches just mention a few.  Another one is the mental manifestation which involves forgetfulness, negativity etc. The third manifestation is about emotional (feeling), Behavioral (action) manifestation and lastly, he talked about spiritual manifestation. 

The facilitator spent more of his time on spiritual manifestation. He mentioned some of the signs among religious: the religiosity of some people become questionable (either they pray too much or too little), lack of personal relationship with God, bargaining and seeking alternative religions, among others.

The last part of the session was about ways to cope with stress. He gave us some of the ways to cope with stress, and they include paying visit to places of interest, dump the garbage, talk to a friend, God or counselor, develop a positive self-concept, learn to accept things you cannot change and be open to change.  After this, participants asked some questions and also for clarification from the facilitator, which led to a lively discussion.  

In the afternoon, the chance was given to the Ghanaian delegation to share their experiences on “who am I as a human and as religious”. The five of them took turns to share their stories including their symbols, and what the symbols represents in their  life. We concluded the day by Eucharistic celebration.

 By Bro. Mike Mbato – Malawi province 

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