I walk my dog every evening around the streets of Middle Park. On one of these walks, some years ago now, I noticed a flyer in the Carmelite Centre advertising poetry evenings. I heard Les Murray read his poems. What a fantastic night.

Another time on the way back from Tasmania, I read a book by a US poet talking about her encounter with the practice of lectio divina.

Shortly after reading this book I saw that the Carmelite Centre offered lectio divina every Friday morning. Such a coincidence had to be followed up. So I went and have been going every since and love going.

Through lectio I have discovered a Christianity based on the gospels that is truly wonderful. It is so different to the religion I was brought up in and the one I left as soon as I left home.

There is so much on offer through the Centre and the various people involved. I feel like Alice in Wonderland; embarked on an exhilarating journey that twists and turns and always surprises. My preconceptions and prejudices are turned upside down and challenged at every level. I don’t quite know where I’ll end up but I know I want a more awakened life – awake and open to everything around me.

I have found a very nurturing and joyful community at the Carmelite Centre with lots of opportunities for inquiry and growth.

Looking forward to lectio beginning again in February.

Clare McArdle