Talks on Contemplating God

Holy Trinity Utrecht Retreat: Contemplating God

This Weekend, 10-12 March, the students have organized a retreat for students at the Holy Trinity Utrecht Parsonage (van Hogendorpstraat 26, Utrecht) with a focus on Contemplating God.  The weekend is for students but they are inviting anyone in the chaplaincy or beyond who is interested to attend the three talks.  If any one or all of these are of interest to you, please feel free to come!

1  Introduction to Contemplative Prayer

Friday 10 March 8-9pm at the Parsonage Hall

Our chaplain, David Phillips, will give an introduction to contemplative prayer.  He will cover topics such as: Is it really important? What is active and infused contemplation in the tradition? what are its biblical roots? the importance of the inward turn; some practical helps to enter into this sort of prayer; some preconditions for such practice; and dangers to avoid.  Sample texts for reflection from the writers in this tradition will be given out.

David has been reflecting over his ministry on the spiritual ascent leading to contemplation and as it is laid out for us in the Traditional Western Eucharistic Lectionary during Trinity season (from the Sunday after Pentecost to the Sunday Next before Advent).

2  Contemplation in the Christian Tradition

Saturday 11 March 10:30-11:30am at the Parsonage Hall

Dr Ineke Cornet, Lecturer in History of Spirituality, will give a short overview of contemplation in the Christian tradition (probably from around 300-1500/1550), and then zoom in on Guigo II ‘s Ladder of Monks, a medieval classic from the Carthusian Charterhouse. He discusses contemplation in the process of lectio divina, which might be interesting as it ties in with the later presentation on Lectio Divina. We will also look at a few minutes of the movie Into Great Silence.

Ineke studied history and theology at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, and obtained a PhD in Theology from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, as well as a PhD in Literature from the University of Antwerp, in 2011.  She attends All Saints Amersfoort.

3  Lectio Divina in the Christian Tradition

Saturday 11 March 8pm at the Parsonage Hall

Siân Howes will introduce us to the spiritual discipline of Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”).  This traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer is intended to lead us to communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word in a way that truly brings about changes to our hearts.

Siân is currently a student of history at Kent University and is temporarily in the Netherlands to study Dutch language and history at Utrecht University.