Faith is a living and growing entity. Hence "Spiritual Underpinnings" - links to a pot-pourri of resources that have helped me on my own journey. I hope they speak to you, too. Like my all too burgeoning post-meno waistline this section is liable to change shape at a minute's notice, so please do bear with me.
Beating a retreat
Have you ever thought of going on retreat? How can I find one and what happens when I get there? Regular retreats - usually one every year or so - are written into my rule of life as a Franciscan tertiary, although this spiritual practice has been an important part of my life for a good while before I joined TSSF. Click on the links below to read about other bloggers' experiences.
Reflecting on Silence, Chris Goan's time at St Beunos
Where is God? Opinionated Vicar at St Beunos
Weekend Retreat - A Diary of Spiritual Journeys (archive)
Slow Down - Week of Accompanied Prayer by my goodself
St Beunos - Individually Guided Retreat
For more info - the Retreat Association has some handy leaflets on many aspects of spirituality and retreat going. The APR - Association for Promoting Retreats also answers some of the questions you might be asking.
Quirky Creativity - Let us play!
Prayer can be so much more than "Dearly beloved we are gathered here..." Almighty and Everlasting God, who in thine manifold goodness vouchsafest to deliver thine miserable servant..." or even "Father God, we just..." It's taken me nearly twenty years to discover that the God who created the duck-billed platypus and inspired Michaelangelo, can equally well inspire a fifty *ahem* year-old matron to pray with a crayon in her hand. Never mind, all the more reason to make up for lost time! Here are some links to accounts of some of my creative meanderings.
Colouring your prayer and True Colours based on ideas by Sybil McBeth and Sheila Merryweather
Summertime Ramblings, Summer is icumen in and Spring - it's a wonderful world, found poems inspired by Quinn McDonald of "Raw Art Journaling."
More art journaling - some creative repurposing
Light My Fire, Thunder and Rainbows aka "Francis and Ignatius paint the garden."
The Long and Winding Road - Labyrinths
No blog on journeyings, spiritual, ecological, theological, most of all - illogical, would be complete without a section on the labyrinth, an ancient means of body prayer, used by pilgrims the world over. Not to be confused with a maze: the latter is designed to confuse and perplex; the labyrinth, though seemingly complex, has a single path into and out from the centre. Unlike Theseus of Greek mythology, I've not yet bumped into a minotaur (I've bumped into myself but that's another story). In a labyrinth you travel with God and to God. Check out the list below for some accounts of the part the labyrinth has played in my spiritual journeyings, plus some other resources for you if you're interested in exploring the path for yourself.
agracingmaze - a great place for sharing your experiences of the labyrinth and the home of the Sacred Spirals course.
and for some light relief - travel to Alice's Curious Labyrinth in Disneyland Paris. "Coupez la tete!"
A guide for the journey - Spiritual Direction
..."two people sitting down together in an attitude of prayer to try and discern where the Holy Spirit is directing." Gordon JeffSpiritual director, soulfriend, accompanist, companion, guide, anamchara... whatever you want to call them - if you're wondering about whether to look for some safe space and a listening ear for the journey, have a rake around the links below.
Spiritual Underpinnings - Spiritual Direction - an account of my searching
Oh - to find a spiritual director, by Robin
How do you find a spiritual director? by ramstoprac
When I first approached the church asking for a spiritual director, Vocation blog - light relief when it all seems too much!
Those tricky questions! If God is the real director, why do we need a human one?
To pay or not to pay? Radref
Journeying Together, an excellent first hand account of a spiritual direction relationship by the Anglican Diocese of Wakefield.
Retreat from reality? The retreat in fiction by Rowan Claire Willams - what we can learn from retreats and spiritual direction as portrayed in novels.
And if you've any more questions to ask before you take the plunge into deeper spiritual waters, you can be sure the denizens of good old shipoffools.com have asked it before you:
Spiritual direction - spiritual director
What is using a spiritual director like?
Fees for spiritual direction
What is spiritual direction?
What is spiritual direction?