The layout of the members in roundtables creates an
ambiance of prayer circles. This makes the atmosphere of the synod prayerful
and conducive to interior attentiveness to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit.
Speeches and reports are interspersed with moments of silence and interior
recollection. The morning liturgies led by the Camaldolese monks are diligently
prepared, as are the reflections by the spiritual consultants.
conceived by Pope Francis, the theme of this synod, “synodality,” implies a
common space of listening, dialogue, and discernment about matters of greater
moment in the Church. There is something deeply Ignatian about this experience,
because discernment and spiritual conversation presuppose that those who are
involved take time to pray so that their inputs and interventions come from a
place of contemplative recollection. I have found this experience nourishing
for my personal prayer. Looking back on my experience so far, this synod on
synodality has become a way of practicing the graces of listening, dialogue,
and discernment in a prayerful manner. It is a new way of being Church.