Reflections on a New Year of Deepening

The first residency of a new Year of Deepening began on November 20th at the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre in Manitoba. Eleven individuals braved the new snow to gather in a different kind of Jubilee Circle. This Circle called us to deepen our experiences of the Divine within us, through a very old Christian tradition. The focus of this first residency was the Lord’s Prayer. How can working with one of the oldest texts in Christian history help us to deepen our experience of God? How can a prayer that we learned as a child actually give us a new way of looking at ourselves and how we interact with the world?

The first day each of us was given a bound manuscript. This manuscript is the life work of Carol Ann Gotch, elder and leader in the Prairie Jubilee program. The manuscript expands each of the nine petitions of the Lord’s Prayer through the lens of the ancient enneagram symbol. Now when I read the fourth line of the prayer, “Thy kingdom come” I can see how it is our call to wholeness and how we are helped in our struggles. Carol Ann shared how the original Aramaic translates to, “Embody your desire in every light and form.”

This translation rounded out her teaching one dark evening and she asked us to write our own psalm asking God to give us the strength to not attach to the pain in our lives. As I read this line of the prayer, I wondered can I realize how my struggles are a way that I come into the fullness of who I am? Carol Ann said, “Without struggle we are only living half a life.”

Candle on my desk, I sat in my dark room scribbling out my first psalm. Who am I to ask for such help? Who am I to think that I am NOT worthy of asking? The words of my dear departed friend, David, rang in my ear, “Help is all around us. We just need to open to it.” I began to write my psalm…

Father of all
Lamp lighter for the stars
Gently tend to the fire that is burning in me
Though I sometimes overlook its unique glow
It was the spark that first drew me forth into this lifedeeping-photo
Your divine gift to the universe

Remember my gentle fire today
As I begin to stoke and feed it
Stand beside me as I nurture this glowing potential
Watch over me as I step out into this laboring world
And wash it in a new light that only I can deliver

Help me to light up the minds
And challenge all who will hear me to see that there is a choice
Give me strength to carry these tasks out fully
Allow me to feel compassion for all

Help me to remember that the gentle glowing potential in others
Is as precious as my own

by Dale Bially

Dale Bially is a spiritual director and a director/mentor in the Prairie Jubilee program. Through Inscapes he teaches the enneagram to anyone who comes and he is always happy to share his story of how the enneagram brought him back to loving himself and the Beloved. You can contact Dale by email at

The Jubilee Programs offer practical learning in spiritual growth, soul development and the art of spiritual direction. We explore the contemplative life through spiritual practices including the enneagram, integration of head/heart/body, silent retreats, “holy listening” in journey groups and contemplative prayer and meditation. Read more about spiritual direction by clicking on our 3 national programs: Ontario JubileePacific JubileePrairie Jubilee