We already hold a gathering for Contemplative Prayer at 7pm each Thursday at St Mary’s. Quite a few people have asked for a course to lay a foundation for an understanding and practice of contemplative prayer, so here is a four-week course starting on Thursday 22nd February at 8pm, after the contemplative prayer session.

Contemplative Prayer, or Meditation in the Christian Tradition, is an ancient practice that goes right back to Christ himself. At its heart is a time of silence in which we intend to allow us to ‘understand with the heart’ God’s deep love for us, and to allow our will and God’s to be more in tune. By it we hope to become more centred in ourselves, in prayer, in God – and to live more in tune with the Kingdom, peacefully, compassionately, justly – more loving.

Of course, sitting for a period of silence couldn’t be easier, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. Thoughts, memories, resentments etc crowd in and stillness is often elusive. But there are skills that can be learned and practiced to enable it to become a journey of wonder and deepening.

Each evening will last no longer than 45 minutes, and the time of silence will increase week by week. There will be a bit of ‘theory’ centred on Scripture, followed by some practical teaching. There may also be a short talk by someone who has been a practitioner for some time. Then, the silence.

It’s not an instant fix, but the first steps on a journey that has changed my life, and given me a new and even more wonderful relationship with Christ. If you have any questions, they are welcomed. Bring them along. It’s not an exact science, but an intention to consent to God’s presence in us to grow and to bless.

Hope to see you. Do tell others who are interested in exploring this spiritual path.

All peace, philip