Come To The Quiet

St. Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin. Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 28-200 lens A minimal amount of post processing - levels tweaked, desaturation and a couple of small objects removed. Nothing to do with what follows but I quite like the picture.
I spent much of last week conducting a five day Centering Prayer retreat. I have taught meditation before, and I've led retreats but I've never done both at the same time. We held it at Holy Cross where the food is superb and the bedrooms adequate and the old chapel is lovely. There weren't a lot of people. I gave nine addresses over the 4 1/2 days, led worship and had some fairly significant conversations.

The development of spirituality is central to all we are trying to do here in the South. About a year ago, I wrote to the diocese telling them of the fragile state we are in. Since then, things have changed. It's not that there has been a radical revival of our fortunes but rather a growing determination to change and grow, and a strenghtening sense of purpose. Central to this shift in morale is the recognition that at the base of all our ministry is transformation: the gradual drawing of us all into the image of God.

This retreat was about me playing a small role in that. In the everyday routines of my daily life I seem to often play a small role in lots of lives. Over this past week I played, for a few days anyway, a larger role for a small number of folk, and I hope that what John Franklin and I shared will have lasting effects on at least some of them. In teaching small groups and talking one on one I revisited the things I like most about being a priest. In teaching Centering Prayer I helped myself to clarify the concepts I have been living with for a few years now. For my sake, probably more than anyone else's I hope I can run at least one other Centering Prayer retreats sometime in the new year.


Katherine said…
Off the topic a bit, but I've just listened to your sermon (Christmas 08) about being in the present.
Wonderful. Thank you for making it available.
Living in the present is my newest discovery/ aim. How peaceful it makes me feel on the odd times I can actually achieve it! (Practice, practice). And there are so many other added benefits too.

I have been reading Tolle.
Dale-Lyn said…
I am a new blogger checking out the blogs of others in this field and was quite impressed by yours. I have no idea how to proceed in this venture BTW:) I love your photography...(I also shoot with Nikon and Nikkor glass). I also love the commitment to your work, your faith and and the people you serve that I gather from your words. You inspire me. Oh and your part of the world is breathtakingly beautiful!!!! Keep up the good work.
Dale-Lyn said…
I am not sure what is happening but I am being challenged by the Almighty, I post a comment :) I was just browsing through the sites looking for pearls of wisdom to help me in my journey of setting up my own blog. I came across yours and was very impressed by both your photography and your words. In those words I sense a deep commitment to your faith, your life work and the people it serves. Your blog inspires me, a stranger, from the other half of the globe. Modern technology is indeed a grand thing. These little numbers and letters , on the bottom of the page required for me to post a comment , however, are not so grand. One more try and we will hope that the comment gets through. (Your part of the world is breathtakingly beautiful!!!BTW)