The Weave Newsletter #003
THE WEAVE OF MANQUEHUE PRAYER NEWSLETTER
#003 MONDAY 3rd AUGUST 2020
We hope you like our brand new logo! Thanks to the Armstrong designers for designing it for us.
The Weave of Manquehue Prayer is a network of friends that seek to help one another to pray, to cultivate spiritual friendship and to share with many the Good News of the Risen Christ. The Weave draws from the charism of the Manquehue Movement to enrich initiatives of evangelisation and service.
DO NOT CHANGE PLACES EASILY
A reflection on the Life of Saint Benedict, chapter V. Read the full reflection here.
The monks of three monasteries that were built on the rocks of a mountain had to go down to fetch water from the lake every day, by a very rough path that put them in real danger. Afflicted, they went to see Benedict and explained to him that the only solution was to move the monasteries. But Benedict did not think that was the only possible solution. He sent them off with good words -just as he advises the cellarer to do (cf RB 31: 13)- and when night came, he climbed up to the mountain accompanied by the boy Placid. There they prayed for a long time. The next day, the monks came back again with their complaint. Benedict told them to go up and dig in the place where he had prayed the night before, which he had marked with three stones. “God is powerful, he told them, to make water sprout even from the top of the mountain, and thus spare you the fatigue of such a long way." When the monks got to the place, the water was already oozing and after not much digging it started to flow constantly and abundantly.
They used to have to do a lot of work to get their water, but now water flows for them generously and delightfully from the top of the mountain. A parallel from the Holy Rule comes to our mind: "Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road that leads to salvation. It is bound to be narrow at the outset. But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love” (RB P: 48- 49). It was not true that monasteries had to be moved! What was needed was prayer, lots of it, and a little digging.
Weave General Workshop- 19th September- Zoom + local gatherings
A day for the Weave to come together to work on its various projects- the Weave Threads- and to celebrate the work of the Weave. It will be a mixture of online activities and small gatherings in local communities. You can sign-up for the General Workshop here. Please get in touch if you would like to host a local gathering, we would really love to hear from you!
Weave Retreat- 20th-22nd November- Ampleforth Abbey (tbc)
This year has been a year unlike any other, and we are sure that like us, you cannot wait for the moment when we will be able to come together to share our experiences, to strengthen each other through prayer and spiritual friendship and to celebrate our community. This is why we are putting on this Weave Retreat. Whether you are a seasoned Weave retreat-goer, or this is the first time you've heard of The Weave, we'd really love to welcome you! This retreat is open to everyone seeking God, and we cannot wait to see you there! Please spread the word and invite your friends. You can sign up for the Weave Retreat here.
The Weave Morning of Prayer- Saturday 11th July
“A house built on rock” (Rule of St Benedict P:33)
After a long time of being apart due to the lockdown, this Zoom morning retreat was a wonderful opportunity for members of the Weave to come together to pray, and to share and reflect on experiences of lockdown as a community, focussing on the theme of what it means to build a house on rock. Nikita Alexander shares her experience of this retreat:
“The mini retreat really helped me realise how much I needed that space to dedicate a morning to prayer and meditation during lockdown. It was great to see so many friendly familiar faces and I left with a sense of calm that has helped me during this period of uncertainty.”
Thank you to everyone that came and to those that organised the Weave Morning of Prayer, it was an enriching morning of spiritual conversation, Lectio and ultimately, an opportunity to ‘help one another to pray’. Let us continue to support each other to create firm foundations and build our houses on rock.
The Weave Open Morning of Prayer- Saturday 25th July
“Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine.” (Is 43, 1b)
This online morning of prayer was an opportunity for us to focus on the theme of the Love of God, to renew ourselves in this love, and to welcome new people to The Weave. Catherine Bridgwood tells us about her experience of this retreat:
“It was such a joy to join The Weave Open Morning of Prayer! The perfect balance of a chance to listen and to share meant I had a really beautiful encounter with God through the scripture we explored and the people I met. It’s amazing how people on a screen can create such a welcoming and prayerful space!”
It was so wonderful to welcome some people for their first Weave retreat at the Open Morning of Prayer and we are really looking forward to seeing you again at our other retreats in the future. Thank you for coming and thanks to the organisers. The morning was a real opportunity for us to be welcomed by each other and by God’s Word so let us remember that attitude of welcome as we continue with our daily lives.
We are continuing with our programme of online activities as social distancing measures remain in place and we would love to see you there!
Christian Laczko-Schroeder who has been taking part in praying the Liturgy of the Hours online on Discord, tells us what being able to go to ‘The Weave’s Chapel’ from home has meant for him during lockdown:
“It has been wonderful to pray the Divine Office on Discord. During the harder months of the Lockdown; knowing that at various times of the day there was a community of people ready to pray the Office was of great comfort and has in this time aided me greatly in the discipline of allowing a little slice of each day dedicated to prayer. Having a place in which we can help each other in communal prayer has for me encompassed what we say when describing this Weave as ‘helping one another to pray.'”
You can join the Weave Chapel on Discord here. We pray Lauds (morning prayer) at 8am, Midday at 1pm and Vespers (evening prayer) at 6.45pm.
Johnny Stacey who regularly attends Open Lectio on a Saturday morning and Rebecca Blakey who leads the Lectio, explain why Open Lectio has been an important for them during this challenging time:
Johnny tells us, "I have really enjoyed joining with the Open Lectio throughout lockdown. It has been really hard to feel part of a community while isolated in a small flat! Being able to join with friends around the country and share in the Word has been very uplifting, and has provided a great opportunity to help ground my faith in uncertain times when I couldn't be a part of my usual Church communities in the same way."
And Rebecca shares, “Saturday morning is usually a time I like to take for myself - to put ‘me’ first, relax and unwind, and be restored after a busy week. So sometimes I have been a bit reluctant to attend online Lectio at 9.30am, with a whole bunch of other people from across the country. But attending online Lectio, coming back to the Lord at the start of the weekend, remembering that He (and not me!) is at the centre of all things, has always been much more restorative than my own agenda might have been. I am always amazed by how my whole perspective is transformed by receiving the special word that the Lord has for me in the coming Sunday’s Gospel, and in hearing the different ways He has spoken to others in the same reading. It really helps me to prepare to celebrate God’s word in Sunday mass, to give the whole weekend over to Him, and allow myself to be restored by His peace.”
The Weave hosts Open Lectio on Saturday mornings at 9.30am. You can join here.
EXPERIENCE OF LIVING IN THE ST SCHOLASTICA COMMUNITY FOR 5 MONTHS
As we introduced in our last newsletter, two ex-students from one of the Manquehue schools in Chile (San Benito), Martín Rosselot and Tomás Hue, have been living as part of the St Scholastica Community since March. They tell us about their experience:
Martín shares, “It is difficult to put into words what these last five months have been for me, but I can share some things where God has spoken to me very strongly. For example in the formation and the community. God has spoken to me a lot about humility through the Rule of Saint Benedict, about leaving my own desires aside and happily accepting God’s. Also, sharing with the people of the Weave through Lectio in the mornings, the retreats and even in person with some of them. Finally, I think I can’t leave aside the trip we did as a community, to the north, through which I learned a lot from the saints who lived here in England, and its importance to my life now.”
Tomás tells us, “Living in the St Scholastica community for the past 5 months has been a completely unexpected experience. Of course, I came here thinking that the activities and spirituality were going to be different to that which I ended up living. The pandemic situation changed all the plans, and showed me, in a very strong way, that, as the prophet Isaiah says; “the heavens are as high above earth, as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.” (Is 55; 9)
He showed me that He is God and that He has better plans for me than the ones I believed were the right ones. I think that more than an experience; this is the start of something new in my life, a new way of seeing faith, of praying, and a new relationship with God. I hope this is just a beginning, and to keep developing it through the years to come.
Finally, I want to leave you with the verse that marked my experience: “Remember the long road by which the Lord your God led you for forty years in the desert, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart. Whether you would keep his commandments or not. He humbled you, he made you feel hunger, he fed you with manna which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to make you understand that human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.””
We wish Martín and Tomás all the best for their return to Chile, knowing that they can count on our prayers as they go home to share what they have experienced here in the UK with their friends and families.
We are hoping to organise a small pilgrimage to Lindisfarne for next spring. If you would like to be involved in this, or would like to help out with Weave pilgrimages in other ways, please let us know by replying to this email.
Each week we send out a short motivation to Lectio, for the following Sunday's readings, to Lectio group leaders. Please reply to this email if you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive Monday Motivations. Alternatively, you can access the Monday Motivations on our website here. Please also let us know if you would like to be involved by writing a motivation for us! It is a great opportunity to take some time to pray and really dive into the readings the week before, that can bring the Word to life in new ways during Mass on Sunday.
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