Spirituality Saturday

October 27, 2018    8:45 to 11:45 am / Upper Room

“A contemplative morning together with other spiritual seekers”

We will begin with a light breakfast of coffee, juice, donuts and Danish pastries at 8:45 am. We will begin our presentation at 9:15 am, and the second hour at 10:15 am will be a “contemplative hour” for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, time with a spiritual director, or quiet reflection time. We will gather again to bring the morning to completion with a prayerful sharing and end at 11:45 am.

Main presenter: Mr. Jerry Herauf, MA, MDiv herauf
Topic: Our “spiritual-religious” experiences and “spiritual self-care”

From Jerry:  “We will be led by the Spirit into a deepening grasp of our own experiences and an understanding of that some of these can be quite dramatic and many of them gradual and every day.  We’ll also be led into the place and importance of prayer which assists us in growing and deepening into these experiences.  We’ll rely on the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (especially the Gospels) and everyday life stories.  We’ll also be assisted by handouts on “Lectio Divina” and the Ignatian “Prayer of the Imagination.”  I will emphasize “stories” especially, recalling that Jesus himself taught mainly through stories.”

Registration donation: $15
Please register by calling Kathy or Carol at the SFRH Office: 610-258-3053 or link below.  Please register by Wednesday morning, October 24th.  Thank you!  Register

Past Gatherings:

“Everyday Holiness: New Growth” June 5, 2018
Our first “Spirituality Saturday” gathering happened last Saturday here at St. Francis Retreat House.  Twenty-seven of us began the morning with coffee, donuts, and Danish coffee cake; and it was delightful to see the conversations taking hold among all.  We then began with prayer and a conversation about what our hopes were for this prayerful morning together.  A consensus surfaced that we all were looking to draw closer to God, but we wanted to do this within community.

Thus we began to reflect on some of the new ways of picturing God, ourselves, and the cosmos we share by looking at some reflections by Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ, Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, and Dr. Alejandro Garcia-Rivera.  We began by looking at Fr. Rahner’s insights about us as “human knowers and lovers,” as ones “questing” for greater meaning and understanding of our lives and of the world in which we live.  We human persons are “spirit in the world,” finite creatures with infinite capacity and longing, who are “in the world and on the way to God.”  We are made for communion with one another, with creation and with the One who is “Gracious Mystery,” the horizon of our searching and longing.  As Meister Eckhart, a medieval theologian, says: “We are swimming in the presence of God.”

We then looked to the writings of Dr. Alejandro Garcia-Rivera, Professor of Systematic Theology, Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA, which build upon the work of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ.  Dr. Garcia-Rivera offers us a new paradigm of “beauty” as a way to enter into understanding the meaning of our cosmos.  He explains that our “cosmos” is more than an ordered universe, it is a beautifully shaped unity by our loving God.  We live not just in a physical universe, but we live in an “enchanted place,” one where God is deeply present and at work.  The “two hands of God” (Christ and the Spirit) are shaping an ever new cosmos, and we are invited to be co-creators with God to cultivate the beauty in our midst.

Following these reflections, we looked at various types of prayer like Lectio Divina, Visio Divina, Centering Prayer, Journaling, Sacred Walking, Sacred Gazing, the Rosary, and Spiritual Direction.

After this first hour, the second hour was a contemplative one open for the participants to go to spiritual direction, to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or to walk on the retreat grounds alone or with a companion.  We then re-assembled in the Upper Room to “gather the blessings” of this morning and to weave our reflections together.  We all were taken by the grace of this morning, and we hope to do this again in the coming months.

Fr. Henry B. Beck, OFM / June 5, 2018

St. Francis Retreat House, Easton, PA