‘Listen to Me’ – Lent meditations at Belfast Cathedral

Monday April 3rd 2023

The meditations were led by the Rev Canon Raymond Fox.

During Lent this year, Belfast Cathedral hosted a series of lunchtime services each Wednesday from March 1-29, with each service including a meditation led by the Rev Canon Raymond Fox.  

Raymond said the series, on the theme ‘Listen to Me,’ offered ‘the opportunity to remind ourselves that as well as talking to God, we need to listen to God.’

Each week, in the context of Holy Communion with hymns in the Chapel of Unity, there was a different focus on a particular word from the Lent reading for the day: Obey (March 1), Faith (March 8, Wisdom (March 15), Kingdom (March 22), and Glorify (March 29).

Reflecting on the services, Raymond said: “People who were not used to silences in the context of worship had a new learning experience. Over the Lenten period, time was taken to accept the distractions of everyday life, our busyness, pains, fears, troubles.

“Like the disciples, we were spoken to using these Bible sayings, all in the first person. We were comfortably attentive to reach inwardly, let the Word sink in, the silences being simple yet profound. A focus this Lent was to hear what God wants to say to us in our everyday lives.”

At the end of the series, Raymond shared the following poem

Letting go or not

‘After supper He took the cup’
For three years cups had been shared
But these words spoken after ‘the hour has come’

Took being one of four actions, repeated
He took, blessed, brake and gave to each
Unlike plastic band, these fixed in sand

Ancient practice water first
Then the wine added to the brim
Humanity mixed with divinity

Almost another Maundy Thursday
How six weeks of reflection have passed
Each Wednesday these words used

Alongside Dominical Saying each week
Listen to me, obey my voice
Have faith, I will give you wisdom

Fear not..Kingdom on offer
Contrast with ‘things of this world’
Issues of exclusiveness, inclusiveness

‘The hour has come, ‘after supper’
Violence, a cruel painful death
Suffering comes before glory

Death is needed for fruitful life
Surrender comes before victory
The mystery of ‘letting go’ of self

Raymond Fox  March 30 2023
After Series of Contemplative Reflections on Wednesday Lunchtimes in St Anne’s Cathedral 2023

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