The Marist Labyrinth

Marist_LabyrinthThe Marist community is blessed to have a labyrinth on campus. This prayer path is used by classes and open to all for reflection and prayer. 

Labyrinths are centuries-old and can be found in religious practices throughout history and around the world. Labyrinths evolved from the idea of pilgrimages. Jewish people were called to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Catholics to Compostela, Muslims to Mecca, Hindus to the Ganges River, Shintos to Mount Fuji. Pilgrimages are long and expensive though. In the Middle Ages, the Church began to inscribe labyrinths in the back of churches (the Chartre Cathedral in France is an especially famous example). This gave the faithful an opportunity to make short, symbolic pilgrimages. 

Labyrinths are intricately complex, and yet unicursal. Pilgrims are never quite sure where they are in the circle and yet they cannot get lost. In this way, labyrinths are a perfect metaphor for one's faith journey. 

Stone labyrinths were common throughout pre-Christian Europe. They were thought to have been traps for malevolent spirits. Today, they can serve the same purpose: a place to leave behind your demons or face them. 

A labyrinth can be walked alone or as a group. 

Thanks to Br. Sam Amos, FMS for background information on labyrinths.