The Labyrinth is NOT a maze; it is one of the oldest contemplative and transformational tools known to humankind. For some who are not familiar with this it may seem like a puzzle or a decorative patio space. On the contrary, it is a sacred space, a prayer walk which can encourage personal and spiritual growth. In the Middle Ages labyrinths, often set within church buildings, were used as a way for people to participate in a pilgrimage without the expense or time required in actually going to another place.
In walking the Labyrinth there is only one path or route to the center; no matter where you are you can always see the center. It is an analogy of life: no matter how many turns there are we are lead to the center, the center of ourselves, of our contemplation. As a prayer walk, we walk toward the center, we know and are known by Christ and we are reminded to center our life on God and God’s purpose. As we walk out again toward the edge, we are mindful of following Jesus in our life and in our world.
Suggestions for Walking the Labyrinth
There is no right or wrong way for walking the Labyrinth. There is no set of rules but rather simplicity of prayer and contemplation. However to receive full benefit of walking your path it is suggested to start with an intention and to maintain silence. Most important is to leave your watch or intentional “time” behind as a help in feeling free of constraints. Move at your own pace, pausing when it feels natural to you. There may be others on the Path at the same time and it is okay to pass them on the Path. As this is a shared path some may also be on their way out. Be aware that everything on the Path teaches us.
Once you reach the center you may want to stay for a bit to pray or meditate. For those of us who can, you may want to sit or kneel for a bit (bringing a pillow with you is okay!) When walking the Path back to the beginning you may want to focus on integrating what you have discerned and reflect with gratitude on the love of Christ and the gifts you may have received.
We, the community of Holy Spirit Synodal Catholic Church, thank you for walking our Sacred Path. Know our grateful prayer and support for you and your journey.