A talk given for a ‘teams of Our Lady’ retreat by Sr Tamsin Mary Geach
When we were discussing themes for this year’s retreat and day of recollection two ideas emerged – the theme of prayer and the theme of confession. As I was reflecting on what I could say I thought that I could talk about both – that perhaps to see the sacrament as a way of prayer would shed light on the whole theme of confession, and to talk about confession as prayer would shed light on the idea of prayer.
Start then with prayer: Prayer is the lifting up of the heart and mind to God. There are traditionally four main strands in prayer – petition, adoration, contrition and thanksgiving. Conveniently for remembering this there is the acronym ‘PACT.’ So in the confession of sins all these elements should be present, although maybe not quite in that order. Firstly, we may find in our life of prayer some sense of blockage, woundedness, a sense of being called to a conversion we are not ready to make.
by Sr M. Jadwiga
I call you friends not servants because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father.
This, of course, is a passage from John, but in the passage which Sr M. Joanna read to us the other evening, Simon Tugwell says that Dominic did not found the Order, rather he friended it: he was the friend of those who joined him in preaching, and gave them an Order to found. The note of friendship is, indeed, one that sounds throughout Dominic’s life. We are told that he was a friend of Simon de Montfort – an unlikely person, one would have thought, for Dominic to be friend to; even more famous, perhaps, and the subject of a number of pictures is his friendship with Francis; - a prayer attributed to Bl. Jordan (Dominic’s successor as Master of the Order) talks of Dominic’s friendship with Christ.
Report on the recent conference at Stone
‘Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? These are the questions which we find in the sacred writings of Israel, as also in the Veda and the Avesta, in the poetry of Homer, in the philosophical writings of Plato and Aristotle. They are questions which have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives’ (Fides et ratio, 1998)