Foreword to the Anglican Religious Life Year Book, 2010-11 (7th edition)

by Most Revd Roger Herft, Archbishop of Perth, Metropolitan of Western Australia

One of the realities that calls me to constant thanksgiving is to know that I live by the prayer of God in Christ for me and for the world (Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:6). It is daunting to ask what the glorious Trinity’s intentional prayer is for me today. In what ways will I be nourished to make time for true repentance, amendment of life and be refreshed in my soul with grace and comfort. How is this rhythmic, creative, redemptive, sanctifying power at work around us?

Religious communities by their vocation to prayer are a sign of eternal intercession. They point us to the heart of God’s being and enable us to be mindful of the Apostle Paul’s admonition in I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus”. In the practice of prayer, religious communities help us listen for the heartbeat of God in the world.

In silence, in contemplation, they call us to behold God. And as millions of words are spoken, heard, written, typed, read in countless languages, accents and decibels, religious communities point us with St John of the Cross to the truth that:

“The Father spoke only one Word, it was his Son; and in an eternal silence he never stops saying it; so we too must hear the word in silence.”

From this silence we are taught to speak a new language as the mind of our hearts are enlightened to discover a new way of being and doing:

May this Year Book of Anglican Religious communities across our world keep us mindful of the volume of prayerful intercession that keeps the Church and the world in the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.