Contemplative prayer starts when we learn how to abide in the here and now, even just for a while. It is the ability, and the gift, to let ourselves, God, and the world appear to us afresh, originally, not through our fears, judgments, and expectations, but as they are. It grows deeper through the practice of mindfulness, the way we approach visual art, and listen to poetry. It leads us not to withdrawal and indifference but to struggle for justice; not to taking refuge in sacred spaces but to reaching out; not to spiritual elitism but to humble solidarity with the journey of every other human being on earth.
On our 33rd annual Day of Prayer, we are pleased to host Dr Gioia as he offers three reflections on the theme of Abiding in the Here and Now:
– Contemplative Prayer and Mindfulness: Fully present to God, Ourselves, and the World
– Contemplative Prayer and Visual Art: On Interiors and Interiority in Vilhelm Hammershøi
– Contemplative Prayer and Poetry: The Sweet Symphony of Paradise in Dante’s Divine Comedy
The Reverend Dr Luigi Gioia is a theologian and researcher at Cambridge University and exercises his ministry at St Paul’s Knightsbridge in London. His books on spirituality have been translated in five languages. His first book on prayer, Say It To God (Bloomsbury 2017) was the Archbishop of Canterbury Lent Book 2018. His latest book on Benedictine spirituality (The Wisdom of St Benedict, Canterbury Press 2021) received the first prize in the ‘Spirituality’ category from the Catholic Media Association in the USA.
To book tickets (free): www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-events/theology/2022/january/day-of-prayer
Everyone attending the day is welcome to stay on for Evensong in the Abbey at 5.00pm.
If you are unable to join us in St Margaret’s Church, the day will also be streamed for you to watch live on the Abbey’s YouTube channel.