OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE MEDITATION GROUP
THURSDAY evenings from 7-8PM
FRIDAYS after 8AM Mass.
How Does One Meditate?
Sit down. Sit still with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word – a prayer word or mantra. We recommend the ancient Christian prayer-word "Maranatha" (Come, Lord Jesus). Say it as four equal syllables. Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and - above all - simply.
The essence of meditation is simplicity. Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and in each meditation day to day. Don't visualise but listen to the word, as you say it. Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images and other words. Don’t fight your distractions: let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently and attentively and returning to it as soon as you realise you have stopped saying or it or when your attention wanders.
Meditate twice a day, morning and evening, for between 20 and 30 minutes. It may take a time to develop this discipline and the support of a tradition and community is always helpful.
WHY SHOULD ONE MEDITATE?
It’s very difficult to determine what exactly makes a person want to meditate. We discover the “why” only after we begin to meditate.
First, as Christians our limited minds cannot grasp the infinity of God. Philosophy, theology and other forms of learning only tell us things about God. They do not bring us into an EXPERIENCE of God. When we begin to abandon words, images and ideas about God in the silence of prayer, we come to a deeper sense and a deeper love of God.
In stillness, that quiet space, we come into the life of the Spirit, where we are transformed. Even Christ and the apostles became caught up in the activity and business at times (Mark 6:31). We need to withdraw each day from excessive noise and activity and find God in the solitary place in our own heart! We become disposed to God in silence.As Saint Augustine says,
“OUR HEARTS ARE RESTLESS UNTIL THEY REST IN YOU!”
We are losing the contemplative dimension of our lives, and we are paying a terrible price. Noise is drowning out the voice of God. That is why we come to meditation: to experience the presence of God.
Secondly, if we meditate, we become conscious of the “fruits of the spirit,“ as Saint Paul calls them........love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-24).
Thirdly, we join others on the common path. Spiritual writers tell us that “meditation then is the part of the universal spiritual culture of all humankind” (Ken Wilber).
Meditation is common to Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Taoists and Sufis in Islam. Despite our different beliefs, and while our doctrinal differences seem to be great, the one practice that unites us, that brings us together is this path of meditation, of the inner silence of prayer.
WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET?
As adults we can be anxious about saving up financially for old age. As the television comercial says,”what’s in your wallet?” But are we just as anxious to save up spiritually with regard to our interior life?
How do we "save up" spiritually for old age OR even to give away what is nourishing us spiritually right now to our children and grandchildren. The house, car, property, bank accounts, etc. will all pass away. But how do we save and pass on what is spiritual?
First, we are challenged to "practice the presence of God.” We do this through worship, prayer, spiritual reading, good friends, joy-filled moments, etc. As well, we "practice the presence of God" in the face of suffering, illness, pain, failure, discouragement, etc. We are conscious of the "practice of the presence of God" with patience and perseverance since "all will be well.” Yes, "all will be well" if we remain mindful and present to the interior/spiritual life in good and distressful times.
Second, the "practice of the presence of God" requires both discipline and freedom. We are asked to prioritize our "God relationship" by freely setting aside time for prayer/meditation/being still. Like our friendships, our relationship with God needs time, attention and effort if the "practice of the presence of God" is to be a reality.
Third, we are called to love in order to strengthen our “practice of the presence of God. Love helps us to maintain a balance between action and contemplation. When our interior life is strong, our attitude toward others is gentle and loving, our hearts can be open to the pain of others, especially those who are different.
What will we leave behind spiritually from our "practice of the presence of God?” Remember that our interior life can easily become narrow and distorted, and our grasp on life can suffer dramatically. Are we saving and perhaps leaving behind unresolved issues of guilt, shame, anger, resentment, doubt, depression or fear?
Let us not be confined during 2020 with a narrow spiritual horizon. It's never too late to develop a spacious, loving and open personality first with oneself, with God and others! It's never too late to grow in the interior life and "practice the presence of God."
What's in your wallet?
MONTHLY MOVIES WITH MEANING
MOVIES WITH MEANING will offer a selection of titles that are not always religious in content but sometimes secular, yet making faith connections to the meaning of life both personally and communally, oneʼs relationship with God and with the human family. People will come together (usually 1st or 2nd Friday of each month at 6:30PM) to watch a particular movie and then be given discussion questions. The discussion will usually take place the following Thursday @7PM or Friday morning after Mass @9AM when we have our prayer and meditation meeting. A movie is usually two hours long and there just isnʼt enough time to think, digest, to share that first night.
January 24, 2020 - 6:30PM
INTO GREAT SILENCE
The monastic way of life is based on silence and contemplation. The parish ADULT MEDITATION GROUP at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Peralta invites you to consider during 2020 to incorporate some form of silence and stillness into your every day life as a means to spiritual growth and self improvement. This film might be the impetus to do such. We meet every Thursday at 7PM AND Friday at 9AM.
This particulate film selection for January was filmed over a six-month period in 2005. The German director Phillip Gröning, filmed the daily routine of the monks at the magnificently austere Grande Chartreuse monastery, located deep in the remoteness of the French Alps. Bathed in natural light and monastic Gregorian chant, this film provides a haunting counterbalance to the overbearing silence that pervades the film. The director gives us an entrancing meditation on time, devotion, faith and contemplation itself. Though ponderous in its presentation, come and allow INTO GREAT SILENCE to wash over you like a cinematic baptism and find that perhaps your one solitary faith is a greater consequence then you might at first assume.
DISCUSSION re: the film will be the following week after the weekly parish ADULT MEDITATION group
January 30 (Thursday) @ 7PM or
January 31 (Friday) @ 9AM
- Do you perceive your spiritual life to be lived in isolation, with others or both? Do you ever take time for silence and stillness? Please explain!
- The monks in the film choose to live under unique conditions. Have you ever considered pursuing an alternative way of living life?
- How did the length, the pacing of the film, and the silence make you feel?
- What is a Carthusian monk? Google that word.
- The director had to completely change his lifestyle and join the monks for six months to make this film. Have you ever had to go to such extremes to complete a project or pursue something you felt passionate about?
- The monks sustain themselves. How do they do that? What is Chartreuse liqueur? After all, that is the name of their monastery. Why? Google that name to find out some history about the monastery.
Some other items of discussion that will take place regarding this film are:
- Religious beliefs require personal sacrifice
- Humans are social beings
- Living life symbolically
- Time as both present and eternal
PLEASE NOTE: The February “monthly movies with meaning” selection, February 21 at 6:30 PM will be the 1943 classic, The Song of Bernadette. More information to follow.
Past “movies with meaning” you might enjoy:
- The Searchers
- All Saints
- Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)
SPIRITUAL BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB!
Our January/February selection will be BOUNDLESS COMPASSION by Joyce Rupp. This will be a six week personal transformation process beginning in January preparing us for Lent. We will meet on Tuesdays beginning January 7, 14, 21, 28th, and February 4 and 11th at 7 PM in the parish hall.
BOUNDLESS COMPASSION by Sr. Joyce Rupp, OSM
Sr. Joyce’s book was named one of the top 50 Spirituality Books of 2018 by Spirituality & Practice. Winner of a 2019 Catholic Press Association Award: Spirituality/Soft Cover Books (First Place) and a 2019 Association of Catholic Publishers Award: Spirituality Books (Second Place)
Through this 6 WEEK personal transformation process for developing and deepening compassion, Sr. Joyce Rupp encourages us to grow in the kind of love that motivated Jesus’ life and mission for his disciples.
What a great way to prepare for Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26.
Please note that we will meet on Tuesday evenings at 7PM. You will be asked to read about 30 pages per week (about 4 pages per day ) reflecting upon how we can all be more compassionate persons.
READING SCHEDULE (TUESDAYS)
1. January 7 to discuss Week 1 of the text.
2. January 14 to discuss Week 2.
3. January 21 to discuss Week 3.
4. January 28 to discuss Week 4.
5. February 4 to discuss Week 5.
6. February 11 to discuss Week 6.