"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Day 4 of Week of Guided Prayer

Time was not on my side during my week of guided prayer and it is only now that I find the opportunity to report, albeit briefly, on Day 4!

Before meeting with my prayer companion on Day 4 he suggested that I tried a physical meditation/imagery method of prayer. This particular one he gave me was based on the Trinity, and the Sign of the Cross, adapted from Praying With Our Bodies, by Beckman et al, St Anthony Messenger Press.

Briefly, it goes something like this:

In the name of the Father: plant both feet firmly on the ground – hang hands down loosely at side, relax knees and breathe deeply of the Lord’s Love. Take in all the strength and goodness you need. Then with each exhalation let go of all the worries and cares of the day. Place right hand in centre of forehead as we pray: “In the name of the Father,” in the name of our loving creator who loves us more tenderly, compassionately, completely than any earthly mother or father can. In eastern traditions the forehead is the centre of creativity, very apt for me at the moment.

The prayer meditation/imagery continues in a similar fashion through the name of the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

The session ends with Amen – Amen to the God beyond us, to the God who lives among us and to the God who dwells within us.
It is in the name of this God, the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that we sign ourselves this and everyday.

This type of meditation with the power of imagery in breathing is familiar to yogis, albeit of course with Hindu rather than Christian links. It helps to have a companion who can read the instructions. To try to do this on my own I found too distracting and difficult to really enter into, in a meaningful and spiritual way. I guess once the format is learnt, the distractions will disappear and the method will become more effective. But of course it won't work for everyone.

I was lucky enough the other day to visit Walsingham, and see the Anglican and Roman Catholic Shrines to Our Lady of Walsingham. The first image reproduced above is from the Anglican Shrine depicting the Coronation of the Virgin Mary taking her rightful place in heaven with Jesus. The second image is of our own Easter Garden in our local parish church. Walsingham is truly a wonderful experience - half a day was really not long enough to find and fully savour all its treasures and I shall surely return one day soon for a deeper spiritual experience.

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