The Christian Life Community grew from an international Catholic organisation and now functions in the UK with ecumenical groups. It is based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. A group has been meeting in Hurstpierpoint for over eight years and includes a balanced number of Catholics and Anglicans, with one Methodist.

CLC publishes a set of leaflets to gradually introduce elements of the spiritual exercises, and meetings take a regular form:

  1. A short silence is kept to settle everyone into  a  calm and receptive frame of mind, and then an opening prayer is said.
  2. There is a short reading, usually a passage of scripture suggested by the leaflet we have been looking at during the week, or the gospel from the previous Sunday.
  3. Ten minutes of silence is kept in order to meditate on this.
  4. There is a time of sharing and listening. Members of the group share with each other their spiritual experiences of the week. This is a listening exercise, not a discussion group, and our response is chiefly in silent prayer (see notes on listening)
  5. a short formal prayer, such as the  Lord's Prayer is followed by any intercessions members which to make .
  6. Any practical arrangements are deals with
  7. There is a chance to review the meeting - what was useful? Would I have liked something to be different? What will I take away with me?
  8. Closing prayer.

I propose that we follow this pattern up to number 5, using Matthew 18:19-20 as the short reading and then have an opportunity to ask questions. It would be helpful to spend some time on the scripture text in private prayer before the meeting, but remember that no one has to make a spoken contribution if they do not wish to do so.


October 2007

Guidelines issued by the Christian  Life Community. 

Listening in a Listening Group

Listening to others is a way of listening to God; the Holy Spirit communicates with us through others. 

The process of listening to God in others is an aspect of seeking and finding God in all things, the basis of LC spirituality.

We listen to God in personal prayer, in the scriptures, in the church, in the liturgy, in the signs of our times, in our neighbours - and share our insights with them.

Speaking in a listening group

To share your thoughts with someone, you must believe that you have something to say which nobody else can express in quite the same way, because the Holy Spirit within each  of us conveys a different aspect of the truth through each individual.