Requies Divina: A May Session for Spiritual Rest
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
1w ago
This episode is a live recording of a Requies Divina session held at Chester Presbyterian Church in Chester, VA on May 15, 2024. Join Charlotte Elia for a time of guided contemplation and centering prayer for spiritual rest and renewal. Put on some comfy clothes, settle onto a mat or bed, and give your breath, your body, and yourself to God. During our practice you will be invited to focus on an intention, for healing or wholeness, for yourself or someone else, something that you want to release to God’s care. You might take a moment to think about an intention before your begin. You don’t nee ..read more
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The Smoke Show
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
1M ago
In this episode Chad and Charlotte discuss Charlotte's experience with COVID-related phantosmia, an olfactory disorder which causes for her the sensation of smelling smoke that is not actually present. Chad then introduces us to various philosophical takes on our perception of reality before inviting us to deeper reflection on how we perceive the Divine and whether we can reliably communicate those experiences to each other. Chad: One of the benefits of recognizing the limits of our understanding, especially through perception, but maybe just in general, is it should give us, number one, a lit ..read more
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Requies Divina: Developing a Practice for the Present
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
2M ago
In this episode Chad Rhodes and Charlotte Elia discuss Requies Divina, a practice of divine rest that Charlotte has been developing. They also speak more broadly about the difficulties of beginning and establishing habits of spiritual practices and the crucial need for the Church to share its wealth of spiritual tools with those seeking to practice this faith. Charlotte: I had been thinking about the pandemic… Congregations had been, since at least the mid-20th century, basing programming on Sunday morning worship, maybe a mid-week Bible study. There’s Sunday school, but it’s primarily academi ..read more
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Christian Spiritual Practices II
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
2M ago
In this episode Chad Rhodes and Charlotte Elia talk some more about spiritual practices in the Christian tradition, but this time they get a bit more practical. They discuss specific practices and their experiences with each, and they make some suggestions for finding space for God in our current context. Chad: One thing I’ve learned in keeping up a practice of contemplative prayer, of just sitting, (at this point I do twenty or thirty minutes), is eventually there becomes this space between what’s happening in the world and my reaction to it. I don’t know if that makes sense. Because what you ..read more
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Christian Spiritual Practices
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
3M ago
In this episode Chad Rhodes and Charlotte Elia chat about the purpose and theology of spiritual practices in the Christian tradition and some of the various approaches folks have taken as they sought to enact our faith in the world. Charlotte: Spirituality in the Christian tradition has a goal of union with God through imitation of God, either imitation of the divine attributes, things that we know about God- love, goodness, kindness, mercy- or through imitation of the life of Christ, of the example that God has given us. So there are a couple of approaches there, but I think what we're really ..read more
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What Is Lent & What Are We Going to Do About It?
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
4M ago
In this episode Chad Rhodes and Charlotte Elia talk about the themes and significance of the liturgical season of Lent, share some reasons why it is important to them, and offer guidance on how you might observe this penitential time. Charlotte: These particular spiritual practices are ways in which we enact the faith in the world or in our personal lives, so they are outward expressions of the faith. They are also specific things, in those cases, that Christ has asked us to do, so we’re following specific commandments. But those acts of love not only transform the lives of the people to whom ..read more
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Recollection & Francisco de Osuna
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
6M ago
In this episode Chad Rhodes and Charlotte Elia discuss Chad's work with Francisco de Osuna's Third Spiritual Alphabet. Chad has been posting monthly on our Substack on each letter of the Third Spiritual Alphabet as both a way of introducing Francisco de Osuna's thought and of exploring the practice and concept of recollection. Chad's posts on Osuna are collected here. Charlotte: And as Osuna says, it's wonderfully egalitarian. I don't need anyone to do it for me. I can just sit, and I could do that anywhere and anytime I needed to. Chad: And as it should be. The presence should be accessible t ..read more
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The Story of the Horrible Host
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
7M ago
Charlotte Elia offers this sermon on Matthew 22:1-14, commonly referred to as the Parable of the Wedding Feast. "This is a parable that like Jesus’ teachings, a parable that like Jesus’ life, shows the absurdity, the lies, the ultimate ineffectiveness of supposed power. Power seeks only to maintain power, and power is maintained through cruelty, manipulation, violence. Power serves itself, but love offers itself, empties itself in service. And love can’t be overcome while power is often its own undoing." This sermon was preached by Charlotte Elia at Chester Presbyterian Church in Che ..read more
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Requies Divina: A Session of Spiritual Rest
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
8M ago
Join Charlotte Elia for a time of guided contemplation and centering prayer for spiritual rest and renewal. Put on some comfy clothes, settle onto a mat or bed, and give your breath, your body, and yourself to God. "You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." -Augustine ..read more
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Creation Care and Christianity
The Heavenly Banquet
by The Heavenly Banquet
9M ago
In this episode Charlotte Elia and Chad Rhodes discuss creation care. Why have so many Christian absolved themselves from the dominion mandate or chosen to interpret it in a destructive way? What's lost in relationship to the faith when parts of creation are marred or destroyed? And why aren't we in constant lament for the destruction of our planet? Charlotte: Just the idea that creation is a reflection of the Creator… It just has to be. I mean, we think about that with art and other things. You know, like, this is an expression of somebody’s personality, of somebody’s mind, right? And you wan ..read more
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