Lose yourself in St. Timothy’s labyrinth
By Wendy Foster For The Sun February 27, 2013 3:40PM
the labyrinth at St. Timothy Lutheran Church submitted by St. Timothy Lutheran Church
At a Glance
The labyrinth will be open on Wednesdays during Lent from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1313 N. Mill St., in Naperville. Pastor Miller will be available for conversation in the library from 7 to 9:30 p.m. St. Timothy also offers mid-week Lenten services from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings. Labyrinth hours will be scheduled after the Lenten season as well.
Updated: April 2, 2013 6:14AM
St. Timothy Lutheran Church recently purchased what they hope will be a gift for the entire community regardless of religious beliefs or lack of. Their custom-made labyrinth, which replicates the one at Chatres Cathedral in France, has arrived in time for Lent and will be available for the community throughout the year.
For thousands of years, individuals of many faith backgrounds have walked labyrinths, which are used as meditation tools.
“Labyrinths have been used as a way of releasing oneself, and emotions and needs into the hands of God,” said Pastor David Miller of St. Timothy.
Katie Andrade, director of worship planning said that the labyrinth is similar to a circular maze.
“The goal is to walk the path to lead you to the middle. Once you’re there, you stop and meditate and pray. You bring your burdens and joys and lay them down to the Lord. You take as long as you want. You then walk back out. It’s another journey back out,” she said.
Pastor Miller said it’s virtually impossible to walk the labyrinth and not come away with some sense of having had a peaceful or prayerful experience.
“At a bare minimum, you have the sense of letting something go,” he said. “Maybe feeling the grace of having walked, and letting go and relaxing your emotions.”
Some people will feel more intense insight and illumination, he said.
Miller said that walking a labyrinth as a spiritual practice has been around for thousands of years, and has grown over the past 20 or 30 years. Furthermore, he said it’s a practice that is increasingly supported by science.
“Modern medical and brain science suggests that there’s deep legitimacy of why this has stuck around for so long. It changes us. It allows us access to parts of our own being, which perhaps we don’t otherwise have access to,” Miller said.
Labyrinths predate Christianity and have been used in all Abrahamic faith practices. The hope is that people of all religious groups will feel welcome to visit the labyrinth at St. Timothy.
“This is a spiritual practice allowing people to explore the depth of their own life,” Miller said.
“We are hoping that individuals from throughout the community come to enjoy quiet time in meditation and prayer,” Andrade said.
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