Weekly letter from St Luke's - 22 October 2020
Dear Parish Friends
This week I would like to share with you something that I read whilst on retreat last week. I picked up a little booklet entitled ‘A time of grace’, which contained suggestions for ways of praying. As Anglicans we often see prayer as what we do from APBA, or ‘the prayers for the world and the church’ that we include in our Sunday service. These, corporate prayer and intercessions for God’s world, are of course important but growing in prayer as an individual is a great blessing.
One of the suggestions in the booklet that I find particularly helpful is the ‘Examen’, which originated with Ignatius of Loyola. In it we reflect on God’s presence in our lives and become more aware of the grace of God in our life.
Take a few minutes to reflect on the day that has passed, looking for times when we were aware of God’s presence, both those immediately obvious but also the less obvious ones. Rejoice and give thanks
Take a few minutes to reflect on the day that has passed, looking for times when we missed the mark in our relationships and endeavours. Repent and receive forgiveness.
Then call on God’s help for tomorrow, for grace to see God’s presence more clearly.
It is in the quiet that we can become aware that God is all around us, even at the times when our busy lives seem to dominate. We need to take these times, and we are in good company: Jesus too sought silence to pray (see for example Luke 6:12 where Jesus goes to a mountainside to pray all night before calling his disciples). The prophet Isaiah reminds us:
Thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)
Or in the words of David Evans’ hymn:
Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is here; come bow before Him now with reverence and fear: in Him no sin is found – we stand on holy ground. Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is here.
With blessings for the week ahead.
Yours in Christ