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Having said that, there are certain themes which inevitably reappear throughout the book, such as the differentiation between knowledge and wisdom, and the need for perseverance in prayer. They were part of a group of members of Religious Communities, most of them Anglican, meeting at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Sixty seven different Communities were represented.

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Participants were drawn from established, often more traditional religious communities, the newer communities, and some yet to be formed. The day included Morning and Midday Prayer, small groups which offered an opportunity to meet new people and learn from each other, and two very inspiring and challenging keynote addresses. Archbishop Justin, a Benedictine oblate, shared his vision for Prayer and the Renewal of Religious life, one of three core priorities for his ministry.

This international Roman Catholic community with members from other traditions, was founded in the s, currently has members in 30 countries, and is the Resident Community at Lambeth Palace: an Anglican couple, a Roman Catholic priest, and a Lutheran sister. During the final act of worship, a Contemplative Eucharist, Archbishop Justin made two very practical suggestions to members of Religious Communities. Firstly, to encourage contact with other communities in our various regions, to share friendship and fellowship with an openness to wherever the Spirit may lead.

Secondly to give some thought as to how we can help people — outsiders — to understand who and what we are. In May, Sue made her annual pastoral visit as their Minister to Frances and Jemma in Korea, and Gina went too, as part of her sabbatical, following her retirement from prison chaplaincy. They are still in the Gumi area, but now with river and mountain views, and space to offer hospitality and encourage new vocations. The new house has a simple beauty and is very well planned and convenient, with the materials used reflecting a concern for the environment.

It is built in the traditional style round three sides of a rectangle, with a large veranda round the inner walls. The front door opens into the spacious main living room, with an open plan kitchen.

Spirituality 101: How to Become More Spiritual in Your Daily Life

The left hand wing holds two guest rooms and a spacious chapel. Each wing has a toilet and shower. Nellie presented several slide shows to convey these concepts, one of which described the beginnings of the universe and its development over the millennia, to the present day. We marvelled at big scale events, and details of adaptability, and at the recognition that we are formed of the same matter as the stars that first caused our planet to be born.

It used to be thought that the earth was a self-healing, self-cleansing organism, but now we recognise that so much damage has been done to it that that is no longer the situation. We were encouraged to see nature as of value in itself, not simply of value in the ways it serves the needs of humankind. Nellie pointed out that poets and mystics over the centuries have recognised this, but still we treat the earth appallingly. Diversity — no two beings are the same; the universe does not repeat itself.


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Each being, whether animate or inanimate, has something of value to offer. Interiority — each person and animal and thing has a right to be; they are not objects nor a commodity; each is to be respected by others. We must not think dualistically, i. Although we cannot live without the sun, air, water, etc. There is no such thing as isolation.

Regarding religion, none of us has the whole truth; we each have a little of the truth; together, we have more of the truth. One of the actions that comes out of such a stance as that described above, is conservation of resources and recycling as much as possible.

We talked briefly about ways of raising awareness of the fragility of our earth in our church communities by celebrations, and by promoting behaviours that reduce our impact on the earth in the areas of food consumption, energy use and generation, transport, and agriculture. The chaplains re-arranged the Chapel to create spaces and focuses for quiet prayer, and also led Night Prayer there, as well as making ourselves available for individual conversations both formally and informally during the course of the conference.

A Seon仙 Lecture in Budapest – Suseonjae

We also had a stall stocked with information about Anglican Religious Life, and the Franciscan tradition in particular. Martin in the Fields, and the Bishop of Oxford. For many the highlight was Bishop Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand, who was with us throughout She gave wise and inspiring input and presided at the Eucharist on one occasion, which gave us a glimpse of things to come! There was a very positive, friendly atmosphere with our ministry as Chaplains being well used, and our presence greatly appreciated. In partnership with the Diocese of Lincoln, the sisters at Metheringham have been enabled to put a 7- circuit Chartres style labyrinth in their garden.

Maureen was among the group that spent a number of days, over several months, marking it out and digging in the concrete blocks. Those who know the labyrinth in Norwich Cathedral may find some similarity of design. The Bishop of Lincoln came and presided at a Eucharist in the house on 28 May, after which we all went out and stood around the outer edge of the labyrinth while he prayed a blessing on it.

After a shared supper, a number of our visitors walked the labyrinth, using it as a tool for reflection and prayer. The labyrinth is open for anyone to come and walk, but it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. She was ordained priest in , as were Elizabeth and Hilary, who were unable to be at the celebration. Helen Julian was ordained priest on 22nd June. She will move from Freeland to the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham to continue her curacy.

Christopher Martin moves from Leeds to join him and to explore other ministries in the city. Two men have been accepted as aspirants and will begin their postulancy at Alnmouth in September. The rich young man who gave away all his. In fact I believe that Francis has something much more important to offer us than surrogate sanctity, something that is particularly significant and even essential at this point in history when the world is facing a future precariously balanced between hope and disaster. Through the small collection of his own writings and through the chronicles of his life written by others, and also through the writings of those who were influenced by him, most especially the medieval theologians St Bonaventure and John Duns Scotus, who developed a Franciscan tradition of theology and spirituality, Francis offers us a way of seeing the world that is different from our own.

It is to Christ that everything in creation leads [3].


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There is in Francis, as in the Hebrew tradition, no hierarchy of the spiritual over the material. Matter matters. The view is quite often expressed by preachers today that the problem with our western society is that we are too materialistic, that we overvalue the material at the expense of the spiritual. Francis, I think, would rather say that we are not nearly materialist enough. We take material things too lightly, we show no reverence towards creation; we take it for granted, we abuse and misuse it, we tend to see it as something to be possessed, controlled, manipulated or exploited for our own ends.

Recycling, I think he would say, is important, not simply because we are rapidly running out of land-fill sites, but because nothing is to be disregarded or discarded as valueless.

Who is Ready for Spiritual Life? - Swami Sarvapriyananda

What we do with our rubbish is a profoundly spiritual affair. Such a way of seeing gave Francis an innate courtesy towards all creatures.

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He preached to the birds who happened to interrupt a more conventional sermon to people; he spoke respectfully to Brother Fire when the temples on his face were about to be cauterized with red-hot irons, and he told the gardener at the Friary to leave a place for the weeds and wild flowers because they had a right to be there. What environmentalist would argue with that? The challenge is to extend those glimpses, as Francis did, into a contemplative gaze that transforms our whole way of life.

Francis replied that what made it a banquet was that everything they had received was pure gift — the food, the clear stream, even the rock on which they sat. And so they dined together in peace. Involuntary poverty, poverty that is imposed by circumstance of war, famine, unemployment, or injustice is an ugly curse that often de-humanises. Yet Francis, living in central Italy in a time of rapid economic growth and increasing prosperity, at the beginning of a market economy in which the use of currency was first becoming widespread, saw that affluence can be a burden that dulls our senses, our hearts and our imaginations.

Living with so much, we tend to become pre-occupied and obsessed with possession, with holding, keeping, guarding, accumulating and developing — and because of it we lose that sense of giftedness and gratitude, that virtue of dependence and delight which enables us to live feely and joyfully in our world. We are sated with what cannot sustain us; we are consumed by consumerism. I would suggest that the rediscovery of gift and the dependence, gratitude, generosity and joy which flows from it is an essential attitude to sustain us in the global future; life will be unsustainable without it.

Today we understand that word to have a solely religious connotation, a pious person is someone who acts religiously or who performs certain religious actions, but the root meaning of the word refers to the faithful acknowledgement of the bonds of blood relationship within the family.

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Francis felt those bonds of relationship with every creature and every part of creation. The irony of our present situation is that, in a world in which these developments in understanding are taking place, and in which we recognise the inevitability and growing pace of globalization, our actual experience is often of disconnectedness and isolation.

We travel as tourists ever more widely and more often, we see the world more extensively and relocate more easily, and yet we are losing a sense of belonging to each other and to the rest of creation. We live in a culture that is increasingly virtual; so much experience is mediated by electronic gadgets that entail sensory deprivation — of touch, of smell, of certain sounds.

Meanwhile, our obsession with comfort and safety not only deprives our children of the sense of freedom inspired by outdoors, a fact we now frequently lament, it deprives adults as well: how many of us see stars on a regular basis? It is a false world, based upon economies and values and desires that are fantastical — a world in which millions of people have lost any idea of the materials, the disciplines, the restraints and the work necessary to support human life, and have thus become dangerous to their own lives and to the possibility of life.

Such a vision is profoundly scriptural. Yet others are trying, through their writing, their action and their campaigning, to challenge us into re-connecting with our natural environment. He became renowned as a peace-maker in situations of conflict. He travelled to Egypt to join the crusading armies which were vainly attempting to wrest back control and, crossing over the enemy lines, he managed to speak directly to the Sultan of Egypt who received him with hospitality and reverence.

His peaceable and courteous relationship with the natural world, and his humble courtesy towards those who were universally thought of at the time as enemies, were of one and the same approach.