November 2 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
There will be two parts to the next community day held by the Chch Community for Christian Meditation:
• Report back on the Youth Retreat in Bonnevaux, France
• Approaching Silence: An hour of contemplative meditation and prayer.
This will be held from 1-4pm on Saturday 2nd November at Chapel Street Community Centre
Christchurch North Methodist Church, Corner Harewood Road and Chapel Street
This is a opportunity to see if this form of prayer suits you.
For further information please contact Chris Wilson, email@example.com
The origins and history of Christian tradition of meditation (CM) is intertwined with that of monastic life. John Cassian (360 to 435 CE/AD) a Christian monk and theologian provided the first written record. In the 4th and 5th centuries, groups of Christians fled from the worldliness of the cities to seek God in the Egyptian desert. They came to be known as the Desert Fathers and Mothers, and became early models of Christian monasticism. Thus, we are talking about a form of prayer that goes right back to the earliest days of the Christian church.
Over the following centuries meditation continued to be nurtured, largely in the monasteries and so the Christian emergence of the monastic tradition included the development of simple secluded lifestyles and practices that were intended strengthen spiritual practice by freeing the mind from worldly matters.
Towards the middle of the 20th century, a Benedictine monk, Fr John Main (1926-1982), recognised, in Cassian’s Tenth Conference, the Christian tradition of meditation as practised by the early Desert monks. He realised that in this simple and ancient tradition of prayer, modern people from all backgrounds could find a spiritual, daily discipline, adaptable to their ordinary lives. Further, he sensed that being a tradition found in all the great religions, meditation offers an important common ground for inter-religious dialog and a basis for peace in the world.
What distinguishes CM from other forms of meditation is that its aim is to allow God’s mysterious and silent presence within us to become not only more of a reality but the reality which gives meaning, shape and purpose to everything we do, everything we are. To quote John Main: “In contemplative prayer we seek to become the person we are called to be, not by thinking of God but by being with God. Simply, to be with God is to be drawn into being the person God calls us to be”.
Prayer these days is often dominated by our intellect and can lose its connection with the heart. CM is prayer, not of the head, but of the heart. It is there that we encounter our own spirit and we gradually become aware of God’s spirit that lives within every one of us and of which our own spirit is part. All forms of prayer have their own particular value, and far from being in competition with any, Christian meditation tends to enrich our other prayer practices and our reading of scripture.
The spiritual fruits of CM, as in all forms of prayer, show themselves in our lives as we find ourselves gradually gaining a vision of greater love, and learning to live that love in union with God.