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Weekly thought and prayer for 24 February 2021

Lent is always a time of year in the Christian calendar for reflection and contemplation on the weeks leading to Easter. For some it is synonymous with denial, a time associated with going without, hence the giving up chocolate or sweets. On reflection we have given up so much over the last year that fasting for lent has somewhat lost its appeal! So without hesitating I haven’t given something up, instead I have taken on something new.

The Lent Course is what I am referring to, on Christian Contemplative Spirituality. Technically not all new as we started it last year but barely two weeks in before the COVID restrictions curtailed the meetings and so much has happened since it is new. This year things are very different as Revd Jayne Webb has turned to the wonders of technology to gather us together via Zoom to run the course. So in preparation I have purchased a book and am raring to go.

The course started last week where Jayne outlined a little of what is planned and a taster activity. I have yet to find out if the contemplative call is my vocation and although I would like to think it could be, working towards this there are a few barriers. Firstly, a lifetime of being taught to be rational and to work things out logically. To read and debate has been the mainstay of my work and my personal life. I love words and even dream using debate and dialogue (sometime wake up too soon to know the outcome).

The attraction of a contemplative approach is to allow myself to have some headspace in this very demanding world, that insists on resolving issues and to always have the answer. Time to listen to that still small voice, a different approach from rational thought, allowing one to be with God will require time and thoughtful prayer. After a practical activity I do know that my head is still at Clapham Junction with thoughts arriving and departing, but there may be a moment in that head noise where I can find quiet, it won’t be easy

Jayne quoted from John Wesley when he asked “How is it with your soul?”. This short question stopped me in my tracks and made me consider that I didn’t know how to answer this question. Perhaps by the end of the Lent Course I may have an answer, although there may not be an answer and Wesley was asking a rhetorical question?

A Prayer

In 1982 an order of contemplatives was founded in Norwich, Connecticut who pray as follows:

“Lord God, who in your compassion granted to the Lady Julian many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love.
Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things, for in giving us yourself you give us all; though Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever”
Amen