“Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.””
1 Kings 17: 2-4 NLT

“Why St Cuthbert’s Oratory?” is a question often asked of me. The simplest answer is that it’s what God has guided us to. A longer one is that it affords a home of prayer where we are able to practise the principles that provide the foundation for our Christian walk of faith and call into the contemplative life.

Contemplative life involves the growing awareness of the presence of God in every sphere and detail of my life, learning to discern the goodness of God in all things. Elijah heard and responded to God. He was fed by the hand of God courtesy of the ravens. My faith was quite some measure from that, yet was I willing at least to explore journeying further along faith’s road?

So we began life in the Oratory; a routine of prayer and then we made the offer of our first retreat. Made known simply through Facebook and a small group of contacts, we welcomed precisely no one but ourselves. However, as God had called us to this first retreat, Jayne and I participated together and had a wonderful day. It was the first of many experiences when God tested our sincerity in this venture, and where we had to press on regardless of how our human reason processed that reality. Faith demands obedience.

Faith is a realm that lies beyond rationality, even as its substance is perfectly rational. Faith is a mystery; it is both reasonable and unreasonable. We simply respond to God’s invitation to the degree that we feel able to at the time of calling. So, no surprise that it has taken so many years for me to find the conviction and the courage intentionally to pursue the way of a contemporary contemplative.

What steps of faith is God asking you to take?

Lord, when you speak and call me onwards, give me the strength and courage to follow.