Queen's counsel XX

April 2003

I wonder how many of you have seen a labyrinth marked out on the floor of a cathedral and pondered its secrets. Maybe the most famous one is laid out in stone as part of the floor in Chartres Cathedral, a place built and dedicated to Mary, the mother of our Lord. It consists of a single spiral path following continuous circular segments weaving to and fro, and as in life, sometimes close and sometimes distant from its centre, symbolic perhaps of our own spiritual struggles to find peace and stillness within this chaotic and sometimes heartless world in which we dwell. The centre represents a place where we may find our spirit and contact our maker and redeemer.

The labyrinth has sometimes been said to be a local replacement for pilgrimage to the holy places but, if we follow the mystics and philosophers in search of the holy, we may well find this wisdom deep inside our own being, longing to be discovered and to become an integral part of our own self-development. The labyrinth gives us an opportunity to walk in a sacred space, to have time to listen to all that disturbs us and to enter the presence of God.

The Coventry diocese has produced its own, portable, labyrinth that can be laid out for use during retreats and for personal journeys. It just fits within our small chapel at Queen's College and it was available to us during our quiet weekend on Meditation at the beginning of term it had been complemented with stations at which we could pause and adore, confess our failings and be renewed, remember Christ's last week on earth and ultimate sacrifice on the Cross, recall our own concerns, take courage, receive blessing and finally be with Christ, the light of the world at the centre.

We may use Lent in a similar way and come finally to the joy of Easter, strengthened in solidarity with the One who creates, redeems and sustains us all. Let us give thanks:

"For all that God can do within us,
For all that God can do without us.

For all in whom Christ lived before us,
For all in whom Christ lives beside us.

For all that the Spirit wants to bring us,
For where the Spirit wants to send us,

And, as Christ has promised to be with us, let us go to serve Him in the world as in our worship.
AMEN."



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This page was last updated on 2003-02-24


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