Every Wed, 8pm - 9pm
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Every Wednesday nights (except for public holidays and days of obligation) from 8pm to 9pm, we will have contemplative Catholic prayer sessions based on Bible Scripture where people are guided to be familiar to the voice of God as He speaks to them through the bible passages. Lectio Divina, which is part of the Catholic tradition, is encouraged during the time of silent prayer. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, School of the Word will be via Zoom.
I was first introduced to the School of the Word after graduating from the university. Initially, I felt some resistance to attend SOW on a Wednesday evening as it felt like a task that I had to “fulfil” in my checklist. Things changed slowly when the missionaries and disciples revealed who Jesus is to them (and to me too) through the reflection guidelines week after week. It also helped that the joy-filled conversations with the Verbum Dei family helped me know the charism and the individuals better, and allowed me to be comfortable with this family over time. Somehow, with my newfound relationship with Jesus and the Verbum Dei family, I now look forward to attending SOW, because Jesus calls me each week. Even on days when I feel lazy or emotionally tired, I am always reminded by Jesus with this image- the chapel in the Verbum Dei house- that this is the place that provides a space to have a real, life-giving dialogue with Jesus, from the One who gives the peace that the world cannot give.
I first started coming to the School of the Word (SOW) in March 2017, the Wednesday after the 2nd Sunday of Lent. My sister was the one who encouraged me to come. As I had not been a practising Catholic for fifteen years, I was extremely uncertain and reluctant about attending. I was unprepared for prayer (and thought I needed to prepare for it). My sister simply replied, “Just come”. Sr. Monika broke the Word that first night; she shared on the passage in St. John’s Gospel regarding the Samaritan woman at the well. I remember busily annotating and underlining the passage like any good student. But what really schooled me that night was how, in Sister Monika’s sharing, the Samaritan woman became me. And her. And all of us. This was not how I had previously understood prayer or reading Sacred Scripture to be. Coming to SOW taught me how to pray with the Word.
And since then, I keep coming back to SOW because like those who use Google Maps know, you may be able to chart a path to your destination, but oftentimes you need to re-centre yourself on the app, because you become lost in all the noise of life, and when you realise that the landmarks you relied on only lead to dead ends and cul-de-sacs instead of clarifying and illuminating your journey. Similarly, attending SOW helps me to re-centre my faith journey, and the sharing by the Verbum Dei missionaries and the disciples to recharge and renew it. I remember well one session that was particularly prayerful; I could sense God’s palpable presence in the chapel, and many stayed behind after the session to continue their prayer that night. During the times when I face challenges and struggles in my journey back to the faith, I have been encouraged by the strong supportive sense of fellowship and community at SOW.
Thanks be to God for inviting me through my sister to come to SOW! And to those of you who are reading this, and would like to deepen your faith journey, I am only too happy to extend the invitation my sister first extended to me that Wednesday in March: “Just come.”