Spiritual Enrichment Lecture Series
Our inspirational online talks are designed to allow you to grow in your spirituality, from the safety and comfort of your own home. All courses will be streamed live and in many cases, you will have the opportunity to access the material after the talk. Participants will hear keynote speakers who will explore the practice of contemplative prayer and spiritual guidance in the Carmelite tradition.
These talks will be particularly suited to those who wish to know more about contemplative prayer or to deepen their experience of it. They will also be of great relevance to anyone whose ministry involves accompanying others in prayer and spiritual direction. We have lots of inspirational courses planned for this year so please check back regularly.
Starting 18th September 2021
In this online talk, we reflect on Mary’s place in the life of Christians (cf. John 19:26) with a view to responding to her inviting us to prayer (cf. Acts 1:14) and encouraging us to “ponder the Word” with her (Luke 2:19) and to be “obedient to the Word” (Luke 1:38; John 2:5).
Starting 16th October 2021
In this online talk,some of the key themes in understanding, and discerning growth/ regression in the life of prayer will be explored, drawing primarily from St Teresa’s book, The Interior Castle. In particular, the various psychological factors regarding distractions and obstacles in prayer will be discussed.
Starting 27th November 2021
In this online talk, we will be invited to prayerful attentiveness to God’s presence in the ‘holy’ as well as in the ordinariness of our everyday lives – amidst the pots and pans as St Teresa puts it.
Starting 11th December 2021
In this online talk, we will be looking at St John of the Cross’ approach to the traditional concept of the three ways of the spiritual life - the purgative; the illuminative & the unitive, taking as a guiding image John’s use of the log in the fire.
Starting 21st December 2021
In this online talk, we will reflect on the works of St John of the Cross. St John of the Cross’s book, The Living Flame of Love, is both a hymn of praise to the Blessed Trinity, and a call to encounter God in life and prayer. The first session of the presentation will look at what the Flame tells us about God and humanity; the second will consider the implications of this, in John’s view, for a life of prayer.
Starting 8th January 2022
In this online talk, we will reflect on the Eucharist and its importance in Christian life. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. At the same time, it is a memorial that brings about and celebrates as well as proclaims the Presence of the beloved who delights to be with us (see Matt 18:20; Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24–26). Carmel lives in great depth the mystery of the Eucharist, the hidden presence of the Lord who is with us as Emmanuel, God-with-us; and who walks the journey of life with us as our friend. This presentation explores how the Carmelite experience of prayer disposes us to witness to the world the experience of friendship with the One who invites us to his table and reveals himself “in the breaking of the bread.” (Luke 24:35)
Starting 22nd January 2022
In this online presentation, we will consider the purpose of prayer asking the important question: why prayer? The spiritual disciplines and Carmelite values – silence, solitude, regularity, intentionality, availability – which support and nurture a life of prayer will be highlighted. It will also underscore how prayer as not so much as doing but as being – presence and availability to the divine transforming Presence – enables transformation as such regular availability leaves us vulnerable to God’s recreating and renewing action (see Psalm 51:10). For in the presence of the living God we cannot remain as we came but are transformed in ever-increasing glory (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).