Stepping Into Silence: A Prayer Walk Around The College Grounds

This walk has been devised to help you find some inner peace and silence in this very stressful and demanding term, here are a few pointers to help you get the most from it.

Below you will find a number of prayers and readings, which you can use collectively or individually. With each one, read it through carefully and attentively, emptying your mind of all other thoughts and allowing it to absorb you. If a word or a phrase strikes or moves you then dwell with it and allow it to lead you into silence. This way of reading is called “lectio divina” and is used by Benedictine monks for contemplation.

The first thing which often happens when you try to still the mind is that it becomes flooded with thoughts, concerns and fears of what is to come, so much so that silence can become a personal hell. To prevent this from happening it is important not to allow those thoughts to take hold of your mind, recognise they are there, but allow them to float away and burst like a bubble. Distractions can also prevent you from finding that real calming and comforting peace, so try to find a time and a place when friends are least likely to disturb you. Therefore I suggest that you use these readings on a walk through the College gardens. At each of the four locations there is a bench with a view where you can contemplate two passages.

The above is only a suggestion please do feel free to use this leaflet in any way which will help you.

1. In the orchard by the Sainsbury Building.

Be still and know that I am God.
[Psalm 46:10]

I weave a silence on to my lips
I weave a silence onto my mind
I weave a silence within my heart
I close my ears to distractions
I close my eyes to attractions
I close my heart to temptations

Calm me, O Lord, as you stilled the storm
Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm
Let all tumult within me cease
Enfold me Lord in your peace.
[David Adam]

2. By the lake

O Lord do not forsake me
Be not far from me, O my God
[Psalm 22:19]

Dear God, be good to me. The sea is so great and my barque so small.
[Saying from a Breton fisherman]

3. On the lawn before the Cottages

I lift my eyes unto the hills;
from where is my help to come?

My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not suffer your foot to stumble;
he who watches over you will not sleep.
[Psalm 121:1-3]

He did not say “You shall not be troubled, you shall not have bitter labour, you shall have no comfort”, but he said “You shall not be overcome”.
[Julian of Norwich, A Revelation of Divine Love, Chapter 68]

4. In the Chapel

But thus says the Lord, he who created you: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
[Isaiah 43:1-3a]

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you
[A Celtic Blessing]

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