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Monday, September 26, 2011

Making Space for God


I recently read some good words about prayer by Albert Haase:

“Simply put, prayer is becoming aware and taking notice of the presence of God in which we dwell and which dwells within us. Prayer is discovering and growing in the conscious awareness of a God who, like a captivated, ever-present parent, continually contemplates, nurtures, indulges and protects.” Page 15, “Swimming in the Sun: Discovering the Lord’s Prayer with Francis of Assisi and Thomas Merton”.
Another writer, Henri Nouwen, said,

“The discipline of prayer is the intentional, concentrated, and regular effort to create space for God. Everything and everyone around us wants to fill up every bit of space in our lives and so make us not only occupied people, but preoccupied people as well.” Page 18, “Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit”.
A person who visits me for Spiritual Direction has said she has weeks in which the only quiet time she experiences is the hour she spends in my office.

To quiet our own hearts, to limit our distractions, to simply be present in the moment- these things can be a challenge. There is so much that as Nouwen said, “wants to fill up every bit of space in our lives”. No wonder the earliest monastics went off to live and pray in the desert!

One “place” I have found that allows me to clear the clutter of daily living, and to open my awareness to simple things like a footstep or a breath, is in walking the labyrinth.

On Saturday, October 22, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, there will be a Labyrinth Workshop at Trinity United Church, hosted by the Pastoral Care Team.
Walking the labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice known to Christians for centuries. There are labyrinths in public spaces and holy places all over the world, including many cathedrals and churches.

This workshop is facilitated by Sonya Bolek, a Veriditas (the World-Wide Labyrinth Organization) Trained Labyrinth Facilitator and Spiritual Director.  She is the Youth Director and Parish Secretary at Saint John’s Anglican Church (Port Dalhousie) in St. Catharines.

There is no fee for this workshop, but those who are able are asked to consider a suggested donation of $5 per person to help cover costs.

If you would like to attend the Labyrinth Workshop, please let us know. We can comfortably accommodate about 20 people. To register, please call the church office at 905-845-3152, or email us at churchoffice@trinityunited.com