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In This Time of Cloister

In This Time of Cloister


written by Liz Goodyear Jones

Philippians 4:16

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” New International Version

“Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.” Contemporary English Version

In this time of being cloistered and sequestered in our homes, the challenge to reach and remain connected to parishioners and family alike has been a great one.

Over the last few years, I have offered centering prayer at 5:30 on Thursdays at my church, a task I both enjoy and take delight in doing. Not so since we went inside the house.

I thought it would be simple, to move from church to live video feed! How wrong I was. And so I began last week’s video on centering prayer with these words: “I am so glad you have joined me in my backyard for centering prayer. I must confess, however, that of all the things in my week, this is the one of which I am a Most anxious presence!” 

Going live, videoing from my ipad, setting up the scenery and then moving the video to reflect on a St. Francis statue and my roses, turned out to be a huge learning curve, one I’m still grappling with.The wind blew, the sun changed positions, and my yoga pants peeped out from under my clergy collared shirt!

Then the strangest thing happened. I simply began to teach centering prayer and then to sit with those who were viewing me and the peace of God came floating in on a soft breeze. It was idyllic. Just what centering prayer is supposed to be.

 Never have I understood the above scripture better. As one of my friends preached on an Easter Sunday: he stood up and said, “It’s all true”, and sat down. I feel the same way about Philippians.  My backyard and I knew the peace of God, yoga pants and all.

Blessings to you all.



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