Let’s say you want to explore the world and see with your own eyes some of the most beautiful landmarks you have only heard about it on tv. You know there is much more than what you see on your daily basis: new places, new cultures, new food and costumes. You may even find a variety of vegetation, animals and other wonders of nature that will amaze you for days. So you may ask yourself, “how should I begin?”
A good and experienced traveller will tell you that planning your journey is one of the most important things to do before you start. It will save you time, keep you focused on your goal, save you money and will prepare you for unexpected situations. He may also give you many tips on where to go, what to see, what to bring, who to talk to since he is someone who can say “been there, done that”. So, before travelling, make sure you have an itinerary.
An itinerary, according to the dictionary is: “a detailed plan or route of a journey; a list of places to visit”. This is exactly what the Way of Peace is. There is a wide universe to explore not only in the physical world, but also in the spiritual too. Our soul, according to Saint Teresa of Avila, is like a huge castle with many rooms and at the centre of this castle is the most sacred place, the chamber of the King. He is the King of Glory filled with splendour and beauty which illuminates the whole castle.
Ever since the foundation of Shalom Catholic Community, its members have been following a life-changing itinerary. Guided by the Holy Spirit, they have been exploring the inner life starting from a personal experience with Jesus Christ which led to a stronger desire to be closer to Him and to know Him more. Then, there was a new love for His Church, the sacraments and the Bible as a way to know more about this King of Glory. As soon as they realised, they were not alone, but many others were on this same path, walking the same road, having the same experiences. As a consequence of this path, there was a visible life transformation or, to put it in other words, a conversion of life. What started within soon changed the outer life too and the lives of those around.
After many years, the Shalom Community have deepened this itinerary to make it available to anyone who would like to explore this path. The result of this is a clear road that will help all its prayer group members to see the beauty, the greatness and the depths of God’s love. The name of this itinerary is The Way of Peace. It is divided into phases that set the different levels of this spiritual journey. Each phase has its own name and is accompanied by its own resources and contents.
Every Shalom prayer group follows the Way of Peace and can be found in one of its 5 phases, according to the spiritual growth of its members. The experienced traveller as referred to in the beginning, are those who are now helping others to discover this journey. They are people who have acquired “travelling” experiences along the way, in this case, spiritual experience. They are prayer group coordinators, people who have an active role within the Shalom Community who can be found serving in its many different ministries such as: Intercession, Liturgy, Music, Dance, Teaching of faith, Evangelization, Youth or Family ministry, Spiritual Counselling, Human Promotion and so forth.
The Way of Peace is an ongoing path. It only ends in Heaven since we are constantly growing in faith and in our relationship with God and others. This itinerary helps each individual to understand his purpose in life, the purpose intended by God when creating each one of us. Once a person discovers God’s individual purpose for him, there is no better word to describe it than fulfilment.
To read more about the Way of Peace, click HERE.
By Emanuela Cardoso