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This service inspired by St Paul the first Hermit will prepare us for a journey into the wilderness with Jesus this Lent. 

It may include themes along these lines as discerned by our contemplative prep team:

  • Desert/wilderness - finding comfort in the uncomfortable 
  • Animals – connection to nature in times of trial  
  • Fasting (prep for lent) thanks for daily bread 
  • Perseverance in prayer 
  • Endurance for covid isolation 
  • Trusting God and gratitude for what’s given 
  • Prayers for those suffering persecution 

We offer the below resources for an extended experience around this service as well as the Liturgy available for download as a PDF.

Learn more:

  • Read more on St Paul of Thebes page.
  • You can read Jerome's account of St Paul of Thebes here.
  • Here is a 10min video on the Monks of the Desert who live the kind of monastic life Paul of Thebes inspires many to persue which you may like to watch.

Wilderness Wandering: 

Go to a place in nature where you can walk freely and alone, ideally some place where human impact is minimal—the bush, a creek, river or mountain. Tell someone where you will be and how long you expect to be there. Take adequate water and clothing for the conditions. Begin your wandering by finding or creating a conscious threshold (perhaps an arched branch overhead or a narrow passage between rocks). Here offer a voiced prayer of your intention and desire for this time. Step across the threshold quite deliberately and, on this side of your sacred boundary, speak no words, but only expect! Let the land, plants, and creatures lead your feet and eyes. Let yourself be drawn, rather than walking with a destination or purpose in mind. If you are called to a particular place or thing, stop and be still, letting yourself be known and know, through silent communion with the Other. Before you leave, offer some gesture or token of gratitude for the gift the wild has given you. When it is time to return to the human world, find again your threshold and cross over. But now you have learned to expect God in all things. 

Adapted from Richard Rohr's reflections.

Baking Bread:

Bake a loaf of bread to celebrate this feast, as it is recounted in the Golden Legend how St. Paul received his daily bread every day from God, delivered to him by a raven. (Recipie available for download below)