Tapping into ‘spiritual powerhouse’

There’s a “spiritual powerhouse” waiting to sustain people day by day and John Michael Talbot will help people tap into it through a concert and a presentation at next month’s Diocesan Summer Institute.

Known as “the troubadour for the Lord,” Talbot, a popular Catholic musician and spiritual writer who has released more than 50 albums of sacred music and authored 17 books, will give a concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 12, at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Peoria. His keynote address will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13, in the parish hall at St. Vincent’s, 6001 N. University.

His talk will focus on Christian meditation and contemplative prayer, with his concert the night before a combination of “music, teaching and Christian meditation” crafted to “(take) people somewhat into the experience of what I will be speaking about the next day,” Talbot told The Catholic Post.

“Most of the (Institute) presenters are giving kind of professional insight into how to do various aspects of parish ministry,” he explained. “What my music does and what my speaking tends to do is to draw people into an experience of meditation and prayer.”

Many people are feeling stress from the economic recession, he said, so he intends his concert to be “like coming into a warm spiritual bath.”

Talbot said he would like to bring the Summer Institute “the gift of meditation and contemplation,” with an emphasis on “the importance of a simple environment, the importance of a quiet environment for prayer, and the importance of praying at least 20 minutes a day over and above liturgical prayer in the Mass or in the Daily Office.”

Daily contemplative prayer, he said, is a “spiritual powerhouse” that can help clergy and lay ministers to avoid “burnout” as they commit themselves every day to serve God and the church.

According to Talbot, the influential 20th century Catholic mystic and Trappist monk Thomas Merton “said that out of 20 minutes of quiet meditation, you’ll get about two minutes of contemplation, and that’s so powerful that it will be enough to get you through the whole day.”

The cost for the concert is $10 for those attending the Summer Institute and $15 for those who aren’t participating in the annual catechetical event.

For more information or to download a registration form, visit www.cdop.org and click on the 2009 Summer Institute link, or contact the Office of Catechetics at (309) 671-1550, ext. 283.

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