Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A Ladies Day of Prayer
This past Saturday I particpated in A Ladies Day of Prayer, organized by the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend, it was an excellent day. My good friend Cyndi arrived at my house at seven in the morning, and we then set off on a forty minute drive to Lagrange, to St. Joseph church, it was a beautiful, sunshiny morning, so we took back roads, and very much enjoyed the Indiana countryside. The guest speaker for the day was Sr. Ann D'Arcy, from the Diocese of Boston, she is the sister to our Bishop, what a fiesty, fun-loving lady, she spoke to us about the power of prayer, a session in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sister spoke about how sometimes we pray and pray about a situation and it does not seem to change, (I think we can all relate to that), however she said that in praying perhaps the situation doesn't change, BUT we DO! I found this very comforting, and realised that it is true, it was one of those Aha moments for me. During the day we had opportunity to attend two break out sessions, the first was, Being Quiet with God's Word, we learned about Lectio Divina, (sacred reading). We read the gospel for last Sunday, then we were guided through a meditation upon the word. There are four parts to Lectio Divina, Read (lectio), Reflect (meditatio), Pray (oratio), Dwell (contemplatio). Cyndi and I both though that Lectio Divina would be ideal for Adoration Chapel. Our second session was Praying through Meditation, the presenter showed us four icons, (religious pictures), and explained the symbolism of icons, and how they tell much more than they appear to on first glance. An icon is a picture, but they are not considered to be painted, but written, the bodies of those pictured in icons are never proportionate, as specific characteristics have special meaning. For example one of the icons we looked at was the Icon of the Holy Trinity - the faces are identical, this is because the three figures represent the trinity, so although three, they are all one - the figure representing the Spirit is dressed in a green robe (new life), and a blue robe (divinity), a mountain is pictured behind the Spirit, because in the bible God was often encountered in the mountain. Christ wears a blue robe (divinity), a brown robe (humanity), a gold sash (kingship), he rests two fingers on the table, one represents his divine nature, the other his human nature, (in all icons you will notice that Christ always holds out two fingers to represedn the divine and human). The Father wears a blue robe (divinity) almost hidden by a shimmering robe, He clasps a staff, showing His authority in heaven and on earth, behind Him is a house, this is the house of love where the Trinity dwell. "This house of love has no boundareis and embraces everyone who dwells there. There is a place at the table fo you! The Trinity invites you to enter and stay with the Divine Persons at the table." This session was very interesting, and after attending I know that I will never look at an icon the same way again. By providence, while in the library Monday morning, a book out on display was by Sr. Wendy, all about icons, so of course I picked it up, I started reading it last night and it is very good and a nice follow up to our session on Saturday. Anyway, I digress, back to the Day of Prayer, in the afternoon our dear Bishop D'Arcy arrived, (such a good man, our diocese is truly blessed to have him lead and serve us), after a brief talk we moved to the sanctuary for Eucharistic Adoration and Reconcilliation, then ended the day with Mass.