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Faith and Spiritual Growth for the Maturing Adult

Spiritual and Personal Development: Finding Your Spiritual Luster

Finding Your Spiritual Luster

by Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.

Earl Nightingale reigned as the most sought-after motivational speaker in America for more than 25 years. He inspired audiences of all kinds to look within themselves and recognize the wonder of their potential. He dedicated his life to helping bring out the uniqueness in those whom he touched, and to realize the mountains of unused reserve that lie within them. One of his favorite lines was "Don't lose your luster!"

What exactly is luster? Evidently Earl Nightingale saw it as that uniqueness in each of us that makes us the special person we are. Luster, according to Nightingale, is that spark of genius that is ours alone, a gift of inner radiance that distinguishes us from everyone else.

Webster defines luster as: 1. A glow of reflected light, especially from within; 2. an inner beauty, and; 3. a brilliance and/or distinction. Spiritual luster might then be seen as the inner quality that allows us to express our authentic spiritual uniqueness, that which reflects God's abundant grace. Spiritual luster allows us to live our lives in a style that is more alive, more vital, and more zest-filled. Spiritual luster gives immense "value added" to our inner life.

Like Nightingale's luster, spiritual luster is also like a stool with three legs: The first leg is luminosity, when and where our interior light shines. The second leg is beauty, when and where our innate attractiveness comes through to others. And, the third leg is distinctiveness, when and where our specialness is recognized, appreciated, "owned" and demonstrated in the world.

Spiritual luster is that energy that activates us to live life to the fullest by extending our inner essence into the mainstream of life with greater gusto and spiritual stamina. Spiritual luster gives us a window into the sources of happiness, health, and wholesomeness over the entire adult span. The concept helps us delve into the tasks of mature adult living; it is the light, the beauty, and the distinction that "is" us.

Spiritual luster is person-specific; one person's luster cannot be adopted by anyone else. We are called over our entire life to come in closer proximity to our true luster and to express it as clearly as possible. When a person discovers his or her source of luster, and nourishes that energy within, his or her life knows satisfaction, meaning, and personal fulfillment at levels heretofore unknown.

We'll delve more deeply into spiritual luster in ensuing articles.


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Catholic-Parent Know How

An easy-to-use, practical guide helps parents be informed and engaged in the faith formation of their child.


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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: People of Faith Cards

Children encounter models of our Catholic faith through these beautifully illustrated People of Faith cards. Contains a prayer and brief biography on the back of each card.

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