You are invited to attend the Women’s Retreat at Canisius, 102 Mona Vale Rd, Pymble NSW 2073 on 17/18/19 February 2017. Please contact Canisius Centre of Ignatian Spirituality on Phone: (02) 9488 4539 to make your reservation.
Praying like a woman: Women’s spirituality
A couple of years ago I bought a book when I was away in Wales. ‘Praying like a Woman’ (by NicoIa Slee) seemed interesting but although I had carried it all the way home I put it on the shelf unopened. Its time was not yet ripe, I needed to be moved to open the cover.
I was still cautious of being a woman who prays, perhaps concerned that my praying might not be ‘right,’ it might be seen to be ‘too much’. I imagined my prayer would be identified as a hapless, emotional woman’s. My own experience seemed so other and all consuming for me and I didn’t want it socialised or tamed.
There was already scarring in this department, I am a human being, a woman who prays but I had short- changed myself, my story, my nature and therefore my relationship with God. My story is how God has worked with me and in me. There is not a better story for me.
Listening to other women I hear a similar imprint. I started to understand that women are alive as embodied beings, and their stories are full of energy and feeling. But what is the tradition, who are the women in our biblical history, their stories so slim that only by using my imagination can I see them to be like me. There are many sorts of women, not only nuns, mothers and prostitutes, but single, celibate, gay, leaders and carers. All of us have a story, and all of us have to find a way into that story. But often, I hear, that story is rejected as somehow ‘not good enough’. Their story is too troubled, too doubting, not ‘shiny’ or ‘holy’ enough.
We cannot go forward alone, we need each other as women, like Mary needed Elizabeth to share her unbelievable blessing. Our common home needs us all, none of us is to be air brushed out.
Over this weekend we will work with some wonderful poems, images and biblical passages to free us into our story and our own tender relationship with our God.
A weekend to come away and enjoy the silence and rest, with quietness for prayer, and perhaps your own stories with God, shared or silent and in the company of other women.
All are welcome.