Check out www.wccm.org. This is the website of the World Community for Christian Meditation. I missed Father Laurence’s talks at Greenbelt, as there is so much going on, and you can’t physically see everything as much as you might like to, but I have downloaded them from the website. In the first one that I have listened to, Father Laurence talks about using meditation as a form of contemplative prayer. I have done this for some time, but have only just discovered the WCCM. Taize concentrates on a repetitive chant. This concentrates on a chant but it is often just one word. I use “Peace” or “Calm” very often. Father Laurence uses “Maranatha” which means “Come, Lord” in Aramaic, I think. In such a stressed world, we can do ourselves and God a favour, by taking time to centre ourselves and to concentrate solely on one thing.
I have been in before I went to Greenbelt, to do displays on Cardinal John Newman, and on analysing newspapers and films. Tomorrow is a training day, so I know there’s books to be dealt with definitely. I am hoping that I can help the learners and staff around me as best I can. I don’t think I’m very good at that, but I do think that this is what God has placed me on this earth to do – to help people.
Well, Buck House was great! I was walking down the picture gallery, going “OMG it’s a Rembrandt!”. I love Dutch art, from Rembrandt to Mondrian, so I was happy. Westminster Cathedral was nice, but I admit I prefer St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham, which is the main seat of the RC Archdiocese of Biirmingham. My school comes under its jurisdiction.
I am a Christian, and over the Bank Holiday weekend, me and my mum went to the Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival, at Cheltenham Racecourse. Have come back having got an education on the Israel/Palestine conflict, some of which I know I didn’t understand completely. I have a stronger view now of the whole thing, but I’m afraid of causing offence. I may decide to put this down in poetry instead of prose. If I do, I’ll put it on here. Greenbelt has taken on the Just Peace initiative for a fair resolution to the conflict. Obviously with the history of the situation many Israelis will not see it as fair, but the story is a difficult one. Occupation of someone else’s land by force is against international law, according to the UN.
We also saw some great music acts. The London Community Gospel Choir were awesome. I didn’t see Beverley Knight, cos we had to go queue at another venue for the Taize worship. Taize is a place in France which is home to a contemplative community of brothers. They welcome groups of people on retreat there every week. The worship revolves around beautiful chants which are prayer in themselves. I love it. I also came away wanting to do more work in my own town. There is racial tension, drug issues and problems with prostitution that have been talked about in sermons by clergy, particularly our team rector, that are happening in areas of my town. I would like to work to help people in a place I have lived all my life.
Back to school on Monday. My car is not happy, so she’s got to go to the garage tomorrow. Fingers crossed its not too bad…