Living our laments

‘Manresa Link,’ a Birmingham-based network of people with a passion for sharing the riches of Ignatian spirituality, is offering a Quiet Morning via Zoom to help people engage with the language of lament as we move out of lockdown. The Quiet Morning will take place on Saturday 26 June 2021, from 10.00am to 1.00pm. The Zoom link will be open from 9.45am to address questions about using Zoom features, such as the Chat function, which will be used during the event.

As we move out of lockdown, most people are experiencing a range of emotions – grief, anger, despair, fear, relief and gratitude. Perhaps this time of isolation has deepened your awareness of issues of inequality in society and the pervasive suffering on our wounded planet. It might also be leading us to a deeper questioning of how then shall we live in a post-lockdown world. When we pray, what do we do with these difficult, often conflicting emotions? Are our prayers expressed in safe, polite language, designed not to offend? Yet, there are many prayers and songs of lament in our sacred texts which express strong emotions of distress such as grief, rage and fear. Sometimes the language seems extreme, it may even shock us. These outpourings emerge from the authors’ trust in the God who is compassionate towards them and can more than cope with their emotions. So much so that they feel safe enough to risk expressing the full force of their distress to God, often leading to the hopeful pursuit of a more just future. The language of lament seems particularly appropriate for our times.

We hope you can join us for a Quiet Morning as we engage with some of these psalms and create space to engage with our own laments and give personal expression to them. The morning will include some suggestions of how to use words and art creatively to engage with this form of prayer. Participants will require a quiet space, access to Zoom, a Bible, pen, paper/journal, art materials such as coloured pens, crayons, paints, coloured paper and old magazines for collage work. The Quiet Morning will be facilitated by Juliet Fletcher, Maureen Slattery-Marsh, Kathryn Darby and Ruth Chatfield. To register, e-mail julietfletcher247@gmail.com.

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