Religion that forgets this mystical wisdom, of revealing the divine in the human and the human in the divine, is either irrelevant to the human path or hostile to it. But when religion is infused with this wisdom it is a global force of healing and progress. It is hard today to feel optimistic about institutional religion: until you see it renewed by communal metanoia, transforming itself in a traditional form like the parish. I saw this recently, for example, in the Parish of the Ascension in Balally, Dublin. Fr Jim Caffrey, a
meditator in our community, his predecessor the theologian Fr Dermot Lane, and an energised team of parishioners are evolving into a new kind of contemplative parish (‘meditation and service’ it proclaims on a banner) expressing a deep spirituality in active service. It is
marked more by depth than just novelty. I celebrated a contemplative mass with them on the Feast of the Epiphany, full of human warmth and the koinonia of a diverse, inclusive community nurtured by shared interiority and a common purpose. For me it was a sign of what the church, with enlightened leadership, might yet become globally.
( WCCM Newsletter, February 2023 by Laurence Freeman OSB )