Hi everyone. I’m wondering if anyone here has any ideas that might help me with a problem I have. I first stumbled into contemplation by ‘accident’ several years ago when I was visiting a local cathedral. I found myself irresistibly drawn to sit in the private prayer chapel there and have been going ever since regularly. (Sometimes I feel completely rooted to the spot for well over an hour and it would be hard for me to leave even if I wanted to!) It’s been as if I’ve been taught how to pray while in there, which was not something I had ever done before, and I’ve been taken deeper and deeper into myself, and into the Other. I can’t describe most of it but I will say it has been the most incredible journey and extremely healing for me as a person.
Now the cathedral authorities have taken over this chapel for a more public use and I have tried to continue going there but find it impossible to really still myself in the way I could before due to its lack of privacy now. I’ve tried writing to the cathedral to ask if they’d consider using a different area of the building instead as there isn’t anywhere else quite like it, but they are not budging. I do visit another sacred place close to my home also so I’m not totally without sanctuary but nowhere in my experience have I felt so held and so safe as in that cathedral chapel. (Coincidentally the saint it is dedicated to has a feast day on my birthday, which makes me feel even more welcome in a sense.) I feel really choked up about it as I write this now, and I’m sure a lot of my grief from my past has been triggered by this too. Still, I’m wondering if there is any special prayer I could say (although I’m not used to saying prayers with words but I’d give it a go) which might help return this place to me, if that is appropriate, or whether this is just a stage on my journey and whether I need to accept the loss somehow. Thanks for reading this. It helps to share it.
Hi fluffy. It surely sounds like that cathedral chapel was a sacred place for you. It seems that places where people have spent lots of time in prayer rub off on those who visit them. There must be other similar places around. Even if you can't find one, however, you can create a prayer place in your own home, and after awhile you will probably find yourself coming to quiet and opening to God when you go there. God, after all, is everywhere, and can meet us wherever we happen to be.
Hi Phil. Thanks for understanding. It really is like something rubs off on me there. There is another place nearby I can go although at this time of year it is getting a bit cold to sit there for long as it is unheated. I have managed to get round the problem at the cathedral to some extent since I last posted, as it seems that if I get there really early in the morning there is virtually no one around so it is much more private again, if not exactly the same as it was before.
But it sounds a good idea anyway to try and have an option at home too. My home is very small, but maybe there is still a way to do this. Perhaps it is habit too. It's hard to imagine at the moment but maybe I could get used to the idea.
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