Happy Easter Everyone! We rested at home the entire holy week and it was great. We decided to stay at home because Rache is still adjusting to her pregnancy. The only reason we went out to Tagaytay last Saturday was to check out the Chapel on the Hill in Don Bosco Batulao, Nasugbu Batangas for my Kuya’s wedding. Finally, he is getting married and since he is based in the US, we are helping him out with the preparations.
One of the interesting thing that you will see in Chapel on the Hill is the concept of the Labyrinth. Here is an excerpt of the article posted at the entrance of the chapel– Labyrinth – Journey into Inner Peace:
What is it?
The labyrinth is a sacred circle with a single path that leads to its center. Walking the path lends itself to prayer and meditation. The kinesthetic style of prayer is especially valuable during those times when words cannot express the depths or heights of our experience.
The labyrinth has a long history in the Christian tradition During the Middle Ages, it was customary for the faithful to vow to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Since travel at that time was both dangerous and expensive, seven cathedrals throughout Europe where designated as alternate sites where pilgrims could journey to fulfill their vows through walking the labyr.
1. On the Threshold- remove your shoes as an act of humility and letting go and to connect yourself to the earth. A truly spiritual person is very grounded. You may even bend to touch the ground to connect with the energies of the earth and the labyrinth. Bless yourself with holy water as an absolution and purification readying yourself to receive God’s presence. Pause for a while in front of the entrance and say a short prayer to focus and to call for a guide.
2. Journeying In – Try not so suppress the feelings that arises as you walk; instead embrace them. The twist and turns help you to shed layers of attachments, worry, anxiety, biases, distractions that prevent opening up to God’s will. These also enable the mind to stop chattering. The walk sharpens perception and readies the soul. Enjoying the twists and turns can help us to accept the changes in our lives. What may seem like retrogression or being lost is actually a moving on toward the central goal. In this way the journey is reassuring, reminding us that life is full of changes that we should not fear but welcome.
3. The Resting Place – In this open space you may rest sit, breathe and be still. Here receive a blessing through your crown or your feet. It may be the gift of a word, a feeling or just stillness. Open your mind to the experience. This is where something new can take root and blossom, where you can let light into the center of your heart. Notice what you may be too rushed to see; ask a question you normally are afraid to ask; it may be the place to express a hidden beauty, joy or grief. Emptied of distractions you may now have the opportunity to be filled.
4. Journeying Out – When you feel ready to leave the center, give thanks for whatever you have found or received and begin your journey out. you may feel faster, lighter, and funnier than you did on the way in. When you reach the exit pause, give thanks and rest. you may feel the need to express your journey in words, or with images on paper or want to express your experience with another pilgrim.
“God what do you want me to know? What do you want to show me?”
2. Intercessory Prayer
“God, I walk to communicate with you about this person, situation, need…”
3. In Honor of a Significant Date or Transition
“Thank you God, that I have new opportunity”
4. Use a Prayer Phrase
Repeat one of God’s names that has a particular meaning for you. (e.g. “Jesus, Jesus…”) or a spiritual word that has significance for you (e.g. “love, love, love…”)
Reflect on your life or something significant that is concerning you right now. Observe whatever thoughts, impressions or feelings that come- “God, help me to pay attention to what is going on inside and outside of me. “
6. As a new approach to an old problem
“God, I need to talk with you and gain new insight or commitment about this situation…”
7. Walking with a Question that is happening to you
Identify a central question in your life. Walk with that question in your mind and heart. “God, I am wondering what I need to do next in my life… what input do you have? Or repeat as you walk, ” What is my next step? Or if you are unsure of the question use, What do I seek?”
The Labyrinth invites us to consider how intricately we are fashioned – how God continues to knit us, continues to hold us in a loving gaze, continues to be intricately involved in our ongoing fashioning. The labyrinth is a path to connect us to the still small voice, the sacred within ourselves.
The Labyrinth – The Journey to Inner Peace
Chapel on The Hill
Don Bosco, Batulao, Batangas.
Drive past Tagaytay, all the way until you see the Welcome Nasugbu arc. After the arc, turn left where you will be greeted with the main gate of the Batulao area. Chapel on the Hill is before Caleruega Chapel.