Daniel Nuzum's audioboos

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pearls of Life: Spirituality for today

I was privileged to lead a series of workshops today on spirituality for young people in our Diocese who are to be confirmed by the Bishop this year. This annual gathering is always engaging and inspiring and I always learn more than I share from the young people who come. A wonderful team of leaders from our Diocesan Youth Department join the Bishop and his team to make the event a meaningful experience for young folk on their confirmation journey.

I used the Prayer Beads that were created by Bishop Martin Lönnebo from the Church of Sweden as a resource for thinking about life and faith. These prayer beads are close to my own heart and I have used them in many different contexts with people as a means to pray and reflect. These have ranged from young parents holding vigil with a seriously ill baby, a teenager battling chemotherapy, an older man with a brain tumour who lost the ability to speak to an elderly woman following a stroke. At the Chapel of Christ the Healer, Cork University Hospital the stock of beads is depleted within days of becoming available.

In each case I try to write or record an individual guide for each situation so that they can be truly connected and relevant and ultimately the user creates their own prayer that makes sense of their own situation. Somehow, the prayer beads capture the imagination of the user and are flexible enough to be adapted to the situation of the user.

Today however I used the Prayer Beads to allow the young people to think of their lives in totality -to explore how faith is connected with every part of life and how every part of life is connected to and part of the person that God loves utterly. These beads through touch, texture, colour and invested meaning are a wonderful way to open our minds to a connected, integrated and incarnational spirituality and faith that goes a long way to helping to make sense of the experience of God in our day. Hopefully in a small way they will be a useful and meaningful tool for our young people as each person was gifted a set of beads from the Bishop.

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