Reflection for June
What was the last image, poem, piece of music or film which evoked something deep inside you and helped you focus, however briefly, on something which needed to be heard? This can happen during a prayer session, while walking, reading, listening to music and in a variety of other circumstances. This happened to me recently when listening to the Song/Hymn There is a Place from Liam Lawton’s CD In the Quiet.
I found myself going down Memory Lane and recalling loved ones who have died as well as the places and times associated with them.
This kind of reflecting helps one focus, especially in times of Covid, on the blessings we still enjoy – blessings such as enough good health, food, faith and family to mention just a few. Above all, each one of us has the capacity to Love and be Loved and it is this gift beyond all others which enables our beautiful but fractured world to be a healthier place for all its occupants. Sr. Alice.
Mindful of and Sharing our Blessings in this month of May
May we, as Co-Creators of God, welcome this Month mindful of the many blessings we share:
The blessing of awaking each day and perhaps hearing the dawn chorus,
The blessing of feeling well and good enough to share our gifts,
The blessings of being in solidarity with our sisters and brothers all over the world in Covid times.
The blessing of feeling the benefits of peace and consciously being a bearer of peace,
The blessings of being joyful, courageous and able to keep going when necessary.
And above all, the blessing of feeling loved and being able to share love with others.
Finally allow yourself to be a blessing in May.
Creating one’s own Sacred Space.
In a conversation recently with someone who uses the AP Sacred space we began talking about simple ways to create one’s own external sacred space.
This external space enables one to journey into our own inner sacred space,
where, with practice we can meet our God, who is at home within each one of us. So many of us want to hear the voice of God speaking to us personally.
This is where creating our own sacred space applies. Here are a few simple tips that may help. It is by no means exhaustive.
• Create your own focal point– it does not need to be large.
It can be the top of a small table or locker, on which you can place a few items that help you move from your outer external space to your unique inner sacred space.
• Have a few aids to help you – a candle, objects or symbols which are special to you such as a Bible or icon or painting or……… you may select different items from time to time depending on how you are or feel. This can help create an atmosphere or mood.
• You can even create a portable space with just a candle and cloth. These you can take outdoors if you like to pray outside with nature.
• Finally very often LESS IS MORE and it is what suits YOU that is important and that helps You move into that sacred inner space where you can hear and listen to the God dwelling within.
Maybe some of you would like to share your own experience of YOUR sacred space where you hear God’s still whispering voice deep in your heart.
Reflection on “STAY AT HOME”.
How Nature is helping us through during Lockdown
The words “Stay at Home” as we know only too well, mean that during this ongoing lockdown we can only venture out for specific purposes. For all of us the ability to be able to venture out for exercise has been a blessing on so many levels. Recent months and T.V. Programmes like Spring and Winter watch have encouraged us to stop and look closely at everything in our environment. During my walks I have noticed that so many people like myself are taking time to stop, look and listen and observe what we are usually too busy to notice.
Because of less traffic I have noticed a change in animal sightings, sounds and activities and I am doing this in a much more mindful way.
This has led me to a stronger sense of being One with our shared environment and given me also a greater sense of wellbeing.
On a deeper level it has helped me re-frame our present lockdown so I no longer see it as a kind of imprisonment but rather as a kind of spiritual retreat. I end with a few words from “Earth’s letter to Corona”
“YOU are having to take time to reflect on what is important in your life.
I am not here to punish you….I am here to Awaken you… Sr. Alice
Reflection on Spiritual Direction.
Spiritual Direction or Accompaniment in the Time of Covid
CHOICE It became clear early on in lockdown that most of our pilgrim sisters and brothers, already engaged in spiritual direction wished to continue. It was a matter of choosing how these meetings were to take place – shifting from face to face bodily meetings (for the time being at least) to zoom or such like encounters. After a conversation about possibilities, individuals were invited to
CHANCE a Zoom meeting and experience the associated
CHANGE in dynamics.
Over the few months that have elapsed, listening to both directees (those being accompanied) and other spiritual directors and reflecting on my own experience, I feel that Zoom is here to stay. When lockdown ends, I visualise some returning to the bodily type meetings, some happily choosing to stay with Zoom and some having a mixture of both. There is no doubt however that technology offers CHOICE, CHANCE and CHANGE and no doubt either that many of us still wish to deepen our relationship with God by being accompanied by another companion in Christ.
Personally, I am thankful for the personal challenge to embrace the technology of Zoom and affirm others who have done the same. Yes we are in lockdown but none the less ready to take the plunge and deepen our relationship with Christ. Sr. Alice.