Labyrinth at St. Jude

Labyrinths can be traced back 3.500 years. Throughout history, pilgrims have traveled to holy sites to encounter the sacred and to renew their faith. When the Crusades and the plague made pilgrimage to the Holy Land almost impossible, Labyrinths came into use as a pilgrimage-in-place. Pilgrims could engage in the same kind of prayer journey without leaving their native land.  Our labyrinth is modeled after the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth, one of the most famous in the world.  The labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral dates back to 1205, when monks used it for contemplative moments. It is continued to be used today.

Praying with a labyrinth is a form of walking meditation, a physical expression of the interior journey towards Christ that characterizes all Christian meditation. Like a pilgrimage, forms of walking meditation evoke our earthly journey towards heaven while simultaneously giving us time and space to listen and respond to the Lord.

Steps of praying with a Labyrinth

Walking meditation with the following steps:

1. Name your intention: Since we embark on a walking meditation in order to hear and respond to the Lord, invite God to walk with you during this prayer period. Ask for the grace to hear and respond to him.

2. Walk the path: Enter and follow the path of the labyrinth, knowing that God is with you. Go at a pace that feels natural. As you move along the path, notice what is happening in your mind and heart. There is no agenda to this prayer. Rather, let your prayer unfold as you go and trust in God’s guidance.

3. Give thanks: When you reach the center of the labyrinth, thank God for having walked with you along the way.

4. Reflect: Afterwards, take time to reflect on your walking meditation. Write down your thoughts, feelings or anything else that you experienced. If something from these recollections stands out to you, consider exploring it at another time in prayer or in spiritual direction.