“Over the summer, a group of us travelled to Worth Abbey in Sussex for a three day silent retreat led by our group leader. The theme of the retreat was Living in the Presence of God. Our timetable was carefully structured to gently initiate us into deeper silence. We had group sessions and also private quiet time when we could walk, read or relax in the beautiful grounds. This was interspersed with the daily round of Office and Mass in the Abbey church and the hospitable presence of the Abbey Guest Master who joined us for meals.”

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“I felt a deep peace that I had never experienced before. The silence enabled me to open up to God’s loving presence within. I was surprised at how liberating and healing this was as the many distractions and preoccupations fell away. This is what our weekly meditation practice is all about.”

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“What struck me during this time was how close I felt to my fellow meditators. We shared a common practice such as getting up at 6.00 am to attend Matins. Simple things like setting and clearing the dinner table made me aware of each other’s movements and needs. The strong shared experience was powerful in building trust. There was a deep sense of fellowship, safety and inspiration. Being silent together had a special quality. It was different to personal silence – it was a safe space and an essential element of community prayer. I could have stayed longer!”

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“In meditation, I have found the missing link which has enabled me to go deeper in my spiritual journey. This has opened up areas in my inner self which I did not know were there. This deeper spiritual work has enriched my life and has been instrumental in enabling me to find an inner peace and a sense of a more honest and mature relationship with God. I find the experience of meditating with our group a powerful spiritual experience which reflects positively in my daily life. I very much appreciated the warm welcome I received from the group members when I joined the group and at once felt at home. I feel that throughout my life and throughout my spiritual journey I was searching for something but did not know what that was. I feel that I was led by God to this wonderful group.”

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“Even though I have a busy working life, I make it my priority to come to Monday Meditation. I have been coming to the group for three years. I wish I had discovered meditation sooner. My faith has deepened and my spiritual life has grown. In the silence of the Worth retreat, I became aware of the need to re-prioritise every aspect of my life so as to live in the presence of God more faithfully every day. When we gently came out of silence, my first words were ‘Thank you’. I felt such profound gratitude for the gift of God’s presence within us and among us.”

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Meditation is an ancient form of Christian prayer that brings our distracted minds to the stillness we need to make a silent pilgrimage to the heart where God dwells in love. Meditation does not replace other forms of prayer but it certainly enriches them and builds community. We become more attentive to God’s presence throughout the busy day and this brings a deep joy and peace to us and those around us.

If you would like to find out more about Christian meditation and to experience the practice in our parish group, come along to no11 on a Monday evening at 5.30 pm. You will be very welcome.