BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3233
PRAYER AS AN EXPERIENCE IN SALESIAN TRAINING -INSTITUTE (STI)
Novice Felix Almedia and Nevelle Coutinho
NASHIK-MAHARASHTRA, NOVEMBER 21, 2012 : Salesian Training Institute (STI): being in such a serene and prayerful environment of the novitiate it moves you when someone asks you, “What is Prayer if it is not an experience” a three day course from the 18–20 November were conducted on various prayer methods by Sr. Cyrilla along with Fr. Glenn Lowe who was the animator for the same. Sr. Cyrilla who began this session with the above quoted question spoke at length on how we can involve our b odies in praying. Thus turning prayer into an experience; and so it was when the novices practically followed prayer methods by ourselves.
The first session began by integrating our body in praying and thus becoming aware of the tremendous wisdom that the body contains and what a marvel our body is. It emphasized that our body is God’s first gift to us; filled with revelations about the human body. This was done with a reflection based on biblical insights. One of the crucial points explained was that the body is God’s temple and that just ‘to be’ is to be holy.
The afternoon session was on getting in touch with what goes through in one’s body when one hears certain words like ‘criticizing’ or ‘feedback.’ It was astonishing to get a glimpse into what impact it leave on the body. The evening session, had chanting psalms along with body movements in a rhythmic style.
The Following day began with the Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Glenn who focused our attention on the 7 steps in becoming a faithful disciple. The morning session dealt with the meaning of prayer. This was followed by a meditation on going back into the womb where we discovered the meaning of being born again. The evening session highlighted the message conveyed by the body in different situations. This aspect was developed in the theme, “Fearfully and wonderfully made”, in a small talk by Louie Giglio which was screened in the night.
The next day began by praying the psalm with the help of body movements, expressing the feelings of the psalmist. The morning session was an experience of talking to a tree after which sharing of the same was done in the group. The day had unexpected surprises ahead the novices went through various activities like walking in a circle, running in a circle, having different types of dances; it concluded by having the understanding of what freedom means to each one.
In the afternoon, we had a session on spirituality in confronting oneself in its own depth and as power. The novices experienced the abundance of God’s Providence in their visit to the Atlantic Ocean. In the evening Sr. stressed on the need to be lead by the Spirit. We concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist wherein every part of the Mass was well-animated and meaningfully brought the sharing of the Word of God alive and breaking of the bread more tangible.
Late evening we had a felicitation program with hearts filled with gratitude to Fr. Glenn Lowe and Sr. Cyrilla for having been our facilitator and animated these grace filled
days with practical yet prayerful moments in coming close to God, in having a God-Experience.
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