A Quiet Place

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The Franciscan Renewal Center (“The Casa”) is one of my favorite places in the Phoenix area. It’s a “center for the experience of spiritual growth which transforms and moves us beyond ourselves in the service of others.” Although they are a Catholic community, they are welcoming to all in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. They are located on 25 acres of beautiful desert, surrounded by mountains. The grounds are open to anyone.

I spent a couple of hours there this afternoon and despite the 108 degree temperatures, it was peaceful, as always.

Give me

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One of the most interesting things at The Casa is the labyrinth.

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Labyrinths have existed since prehistory. They can be thought of as symbolic forms of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment. In earlier times, many people could not afford to travel to holy sites and lands, so labyrinths and prayer substituted for such travel. Later, the religious significance of labyrinths faded, and they served primarily for entertainment, though recently their spiritual aspect has seen a resurgence (from Wikipedia).

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Very primal, huh?

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What a gorgeous setting!

Many newly made labyrinths exist today, in churches and parks. Labyrinths are used by modern mystics to help achieve a contemplative state. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets the mind. The Labyrinth Society provides a locator for modern labyrinths all over the world (Wikipedia).

There is going to be a workshop on the labyrinth in October which I plan to attend.

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I took a lot of photos at The Casa today so they will be appearing in my blog in the future. During the spring, winter, and fall, The Casa is especially beautiful as there are gardens all over so I’ll have to go back then.

Peace Prevail on Earth

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20 thoughts on “A Quiet Place

  1. Amazing the labyrinth remains intact without molestation from unruly visitors. I’m quite drawn to them & your photo really highlights the ethereal feeling of it. Is it roped off or can people walk into it?

    1. It’s open to walk into. It’s far back from the main entrance so you pretty much have to know where it is to find it. The Casa has lodging for retreats so there are people staying there usually and I think possibly some of the Franciscan brothers may live on site. I actually have never run into any other people while at the labyrinth; it’s fairly isolated.

  2. What a beautiful labyrinth, The setting is spectacular. I wonder if I wouldn’t find myself held in thrall by the views around me.
    Hard to go inward when my eyes would be so distracted by heavens beauty around me.
    thank you for sharing, and for the wonderful photo’s!

    1. I think the grounds are officially open until 9pm but I don’t think there’s any lighting back there. It’s only miserable in the summer in the daytime, the rest of the year is fine 🙂

  3. Omg, I LOVE labyrinths. Recently on a trip to CA my great aunt took me to see the columbarium where my great uncle rests, and the area is bordered by a garden on one side and a labyrinth on the other. What a beautiful place to spend eternity!

    Update on Eva in the latest post! sunshine-cupcakes.com

  4. Wonderfully serene pics… My mom was going to name my younger brother Francis, after St Francis, but thankfully chose David!

    And 108 degrees is 38 degrees too hot 🙂

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