Over the next year, as the Contemplative Elder project takes shape, you will be warmly welcomed to any of the following:
— Help with developing a distinct rhythm to your daily life, that is best served by developing a Rule of Life, an ancient monastic practice.
— Guidance with developing a contemplative practice. Many of us have been saying prayers, mental prayers and verbal prayers, for decades, but we have barely scratched the surface of a whole other world of prayer, which is silent, contemplative and inner. To that end, we are launching a Monday morning Lectio Divina practice starting the Monday after Labor Day on September 12.
–An opportunity to create a Life Review and, shortly after, a special Reconciliation Service for those who would like to make amends for faults and sins that arose during the review.
— Discussion of Pope Francis’ weekly General Audience talks in 2022 which focused on elders.
— The opportunity to participate in a silent retreat with the masters of silence, the Trappist monks, sometime in the next several months, at one of their locations within driving distance of us, likely in Berryville, Virginia.
— Book and theme discussions about the specific aspects of aging that are helping you age well, or are causing problems.
— A look at the unique social and justice issues related to aging that we can consider responding to in our community
— A collection of Wisdom stories to be shared in the wider community on the great themes of mature living that we need to hear more from: humility, courage, patience, kindness, forgiveness and so on.
REGULAR FEATURES OF THE ELDER PROJECT
“In a chapter talk the abbot breaks open his heart to the monks and speaks from his own prayer, study, and experience as we continue to progress in our monastic journey together.” From the website of New Melleray Abbey, Iowa.
In adapting this monastic tradition, the pastor will address interested elders on various evenings, immediately after the evening 7pm Mass, with a topic of relevance for the vitality of the parish’s overall contemplative health.
These bilingual talks will not last more than 15 minutes, and will conclude with a bilingual offering of Compline, the Night Prayer of the church.
2021 Archive of Talks and Themes
JANUARY 19: St. Joseph the Contemplative
FEBRUARY 16: Contemplative Hiddenness
MARCH 16:The Name
APRIL 20: New Life of Easter/New Reign of Justice
MAY 25: Manual Labor and Spiritual Balance
JUNE 29: Contemplation and Relatedness
AUGUST 31: Contemplation and Change
SEPTEMBER 28: Flight and Contemplation
During Advent, parishioners are encouraged to purchase contemplative books for Christmas for themselves or loved ones. On the following First Sunday of Lent, the pastor will bless the books, with the expectation that parishioners will read the book for their own spiritual growth during the Lenten season. This practice follows a monastic tradition that continues to this day in the Benedictine world.