In the preface to his book on prayer, Be Still and Know, Archbishop Michael Ramsey explains the title as describing “a recurring plea in this book that stillness and silence are of supreme importance and that the neglect of them is damaging to the Christian life.”
Our society and our lives are increasingly focussed on busy-ness. We are constantly active, and often multi-tasking. Most of us don’t even have enough time in our busy schedules to get a good night’s sleep.
As we draw near to Christmas, our schedules often get more hectic, as we count down the shopping days to find the right gifts for everyone on our lists, as we decorate and bake, and prepare for relatives and guests.
But the season of Advent should be a time of spiritual preparation. In order to experience the joy and wonder of the Incarnation, God among us in the Babe of Bethlehem, we need to take time to prepare in heart and in mind for Christ’s coming. One way of doing that is to be more deliberate in prayer.
For the three Tuesday nights of Advent, our regular 7:30 Eucharist will be replaced by worship in the style of Taïzé, with meditative chants and periods of silence. Immediately following the Eucharist, we will discuss and then practice a different style of meditative or contemplative prayer.
December 4: Lectio Divina (the Benedictine method of meditating on Scripture)
December 11: Centering Prayer
December 18: An Ignatian method of meditating on Scripture
Participants may come for all three sessions, or only for one or two sessions. This is an opportunity to “try on” different methods of prayer. All of us are different, and we will find one method “works” for us better than the others.
If several people want to continue the exploration, we may form a prayer group to support one another in learning and deepening our practice of prayer.