Growing up to be a child: a contemplative companion

In Growing up to be a child I have explored what Jesus might have meant when he invited each of us to become like a little child.  This is a radical and challenging invitation, one that calls us to a whole new process of development, one in which our heart and soul, and perhaps ultimately our body and mind too, will become all that our Creator intended them to be.

If we are going to take this challenge seriously, it surely cannot mean just reading about it, thinking how good and inspiring Jesus’ teaching is.  Jesus himself challenged us not just to hear his words, but also to put them into practice (Luke 6: 46-49).

But any authentic response to Jesus’ words has to stem from an encounter with the living God, the one who loves us as a child.

These pages – a contemplative companion – provide what I hope will be a resource to enable you to draw closer to Jesus, to put yourself in that place where you can truly encounter God, and experience something of God’s great love for you; where you can be yourself – like a little child – with all your questions, doubts, thoughts and feelings.

The links to the different chapters are at the bottom of this page, and in the sub-menu on the home page.


The companion follows a simple format , with the same structure for each chapter of the book:

A stilling exercise, to help you be still, coming intentionally into the presence of the Holy One.

An extract from the book to reflect on.

Two options for encountering God through prayer.  Usually this will take the form of (a) encountering God through scripture, using the disciplines of lectio divina and imaginative prayer; and (b) encountering God through some other discipline or medium.

A response to your encounter with God

Closing with the Lord’s prayer.


Please feel free to adapt and change this, to use your own prayers or liturgies, to explore, to be creative, to enter into a dynamic relationship with our loving God.

You may use these guides individually, or as a small group.

May God bless you as you go deeper into a relationship with him.


The contemplative companion

1. Source

Encountering God in Nature: From conception to birth: an amazing journey of development

Encountering God in Scripture (Lectio Divina on Psalm 139)

2. Vulnerability

Encountering God in Art: Imago Divina on Young mother nursing her child, Mary Cassat, 1906

Encountering God in Scripture: Lectio Divina on 1 Peter 2: 2,3

3. Love

Encountering God in the media – Today’s news

Encountering God in Scripture: Lectio Divina on Hosea 1:2-6

4. Humanness

Encountering God in our world – observing children in play

Encountering God in Scripture: Imaginative prayer on Mark 10

5. Strength

Encountering God through a prayer of Examen – assessing our spiritual ‘muscle tone’

Encountering God in Scripture: Lectio Divina on Isaiah 40: 28-31

6. Mind

Encountering God in silence: apophatic prayer

Encountering God in Scripture: Lectio Divina on Isaiah 22:1,2

7. Heart

Encountering God through writing a letter (epistolic prayer)

Encountering God in Scripture: Imaginative prayer on 1 Kings 19: 9-13

8. Soul

Encountering God through music

Encountering God in Scripture: lectio divina on Jeremiah 29: 11-14

9. Image

Encountering God through play

Encountering God in Scripture: lectio divina on Luke 7: 31-35

10. Inheritance

Encountering God through a family tree

Encountering God in Scripture: a topic study on inheritance

11. Becoming

12. Destiny

Encountering God through poetry: The Bright Field

Encountering God in Scripture: A meditation on the coming kingdom of God

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