Addition to the 2019 calendar: Zen Buddhist Practice Group

As we get into the year the calendar starts to fill. The latest update is from the Zen Buddhist Practice group who are planning sessions through to the end of the year.

Buddha in Garden

The Group normally meets every first and third Tuesday evening 7.30pm – 9.30pm. On the 7th May 2019 they are on retreat.  Do ask if you want to join in.

The Preston group is called Nothing Extra.  Nothing Missing is their big sister group in Lancaster.  Follow this link to Nothing Missing to read about their practice form, their guiding teacher and more.

All are welcome. They look forward to sharing time and space with whoever wishes to join them.

The Care of Creation – A talk by Fr Xavier Jeyaraj SJ

On Tuesday the 26th February Fr Xavier Jeyaraj SJ is coming to give an evening talk at the Centre. His theme is The Care of Creation. We will get an event poster to you soon – it is still in preparation – but we want to let you know about this as soon as possible so you will not get yourselves double booked.

This is going to be a well attended event and we may need to control numbers. We will post arrangements for booking as soon as we have them. In the meantime Save the Date.

For more details click here.

Reflection for the Baptism of the Lord: 13th Jan 2019

“You are my Beloved”

Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.

Every time we listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls us the Beloved, we will discover within ourselves a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply. It is like discovering a well in the desert. Once you have touched wet ground, you want to dig deeper. The word ‘digging’ might not be the best word since it suggests hard and painful work that finally leads us to the place where we can quench our thirst. Perhaps all we need to do is remove the dry sand that covers the well. There may be quite a pile of dry sand in our lives, but the One who so desires to quench our thirst will help us to remove it.

When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognise the preciousness of others.

Henri Nouwen

We don’t need to do anything to earn God’s love. The point is to surrender to it, to fully allow it to become the deepest meaning, purpose and direction of our lives. This is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire. It is the moment of conscious awareness, of conscious choice, of saying, “This is how I want to live my life.”

Richard Rohr

Another great piece selected and adapted by Cathy York.

Capacitar sessions for Spring 2019

The next Capacitar session is on Friday 18th January. These have been really well received by past attendees so if you are looking for something new in 2019 then why not give Capacitar a try?

There is a session each month. You can find more information and the dates here.

Go on – give it a try.

Heads Up! A new entry on the calendar.

Rose and Greg McCrave are running a 6 week Lenten Retreat based on Ignatian Spirituality. The sessions will be on Tuesdays 07:30pm until 09:00pm

Cost: £5 per session.

All are welcome to attend any of the sessions individually however, attendance at the 6 weekly Tuesdays, offers a complete Lent retreat on Ignatian Spirituality. We will be covering the following topics:

March 12th : Week 1: Lectio Divina
March 19th:  Week 2: Imaginative Contemplation
March 26th:  Week 3: Examen (Review of Prayer)
April 2nd:       Week 4: Finding God in All Things
April 9th:        Week 5: Discernment
April 16th:      Week 6: Holy Week/Our Lord’s Passion

Please contact reception or fill in the enquiry form to register your interest for any/all of the retreat.

Wi-Fi

For some time we have had a collection of odd Wi-Fi systems installed at the Centre and the adjoining house. Coverage was at best rather patchy if you strayed out of the Conference room and Reception areas.

In an attempt to improve matters we have done a little reorganisation. This has inevitably introduced change so if you are unable to get on the Wi-Fi as you once did this is the reason.

If you are in the Centre the network to connect to is Xaverian Guest. At present the system does require a password which you can obtain from Fr Bideri or Reception.

As I write, the open network Tabor Guest is still available in some locations but at reduced strength. It will be changing very soon. I recommend you have your device ‘forget’ the Tabor Guest network.

Work is still going on. With a little luck we hope to have everything up and running well before the end of January.

Reflection for the Epiphany: 6 Jan 2019

An Epiphany Blessing

How many of us see our lives as a search for God? The Magi set out on a journey that would change them forever. They trusted their deep intuitions symbolised by the star and followed it outside of their comfort zone into a new territory and there they humbly bowed down before mystery. Each of us is challenged to do the same.

Richard Rohr

If you could see the journey whole
you might never undertake it;
might never dare the first step
that propels you from the place you have known
toward the place you know not.

Call it one of the mercies of the road:
that we see it only by stages
as it opens before us,
as it comes into our keeping
step by single step.

There is nothing for it but to go
and by our going take the vows the pilgrim takes:
to be faithful to the next step;
to rely on more than the map;
to heed the signposts of intuition and dream;
to follow the star that only you will recognise;
to keep an open eye for the wonders that attend the path;
to press on beyond distractions, beyond fatigue
beyond what would tempt you from the way.

There are vows that only you will know;
the secret promises for your particular path
and the new ones you will need to make
when the road is revealed
by turns you could not have foreseen.

Keep them, break them, make them again:
each promise becomes part of the path;
each choice creates the road that will take you to the place
where at last you will kneel before mystery
to offer the gift most needed – the gift that only you can give –
before turning to go home by another way.

Jan Richardson

Prepared for us, as always, by Cathy York.

Reflection for New Year: 30 Dec 2018

The Road of Life

Another year is coming to an end.
I can feel her tug at my calendar;
I can sense her insistent movement.
I can hear her call to cross over.

Outside my window the trees are empty
and the air has the ripeness of snowfall.
I cast an inward glance to the past
and feel a deep desire to catch its glow.

Something in me wants to hold on,
to gather all the good things close to me.
A part of me that yearns for security
keeps encouraging me to grasp it all.

Then a tiny thimble-full of light
moves its way through my insecurity;
it weaves a thread of courage,
sending sparks into the dark.

Up and up it rises through my spirit
until it meets my controlling grip.
The firefly flickers of God’s grace
are enough to embrace the unknown.

A surge of powerful surrender
takes over all my looking back,
and ever so gently and hopefully
I risk the road of another new year.

                                                      Joyce Rupp

Reflection for 4th Sunday of Advent: 23rd December

Once again our reflection is provided by Cathy York.

Christmas Blessing

May you give and receive love generously.

May each person who comes into your life
be greeted as another Christ.
May the honour given the Babe of Bethlehem
be that which you extend to every guest who enters your presence.

May the hope of this sacred season settle in your soul.
May it be a foundation of courage for you
when times of distress occupy your inner land.

May the wonder and awe that fills the eyes of children
be awakened within you.
May it lead you to renewed awareness and appreciation
of whatever you too easily take for granted.

May the bonds of love for one another be strengthened
as you gather around the table of festivity and nourishment.

May you daily open the gift of your life and be grateful for the hidden treasures it contains.

May you keep your eye on the Star within you and trust
this Luminescent Presence to guide and direct you each day.

May you go often to the Bethlehem of your heart
and visit the One who offers you peace.

May you bring this peace into our world.

Joyce Rupp

Calendar errors

Our website uses a free piece of code from a company called Time.ly to manage and display our calendar. The site presents views of the calendar in many places.

On 20th December we realised that the calendar functions had all gone sadly wrong! They may have been wrong for days and perhaps you had noticed and were too kind to say. Next time please let us know. Anyway, all the events were there but displayed in a most bizarre fashion.

We worked on the problem, went round the houses a few times, kicked the problem over the garden wall etc. and if you look now you can see it has all come good. Hurrah!

Perhaps Fr Christmas has made us an early present of a new calendar? If so, thanks Fr Christmas!