Praying simply at Llantarnam

Volunteers and supporters from across Wales and Herefordshire gathered together to reflect on CAFOD’s Harvest appeal, and to learn more about how to pray simply, in order that we can live more simply.

The day, led by Therese Warwick and Kieran O’Brien, touched upon the stories of our partners featured in the Harvest appeal, which was then followed by a time to pray and reflect contemplatively.

The day was a chance for volunteers to meet and chat with each other, learn more about CAFOD’s work, and to take time for personal reflection and prayer which is at the heart of all of our work. Kieran, who lead the session on praying simply, led those assembled into a contemplative ‘sit’ – to allow time to stop and be present. “Praying simply may be the simplest of prayers, as it requires no words or ideas, it is the art of simply being present. But just because it is simple does not mean it is not hard!”

Kieran, who spent the afternoon showing the intrinsic link between our values and the way we pray looked at how we can overcome some of the biggest challenges we face in our world today.

As we move from a consumer to a hyper-consumerist society, where our appetites for more and more has grown exponentially – which has led to all sorts of problems across the globe -rekindling the simple act of praying simply, to find joy in happiness in what we have rather than always wanting more and more, serves as one of the best tonics to tackling our consumer appetites.


The loss of our contemplative tradition, the ability to pray simply, is a great loss to all of us. Rediscovering the importance of this deeper way of praying, as found in the writings of the mystics, enables us to draw deeper, to be more present, and gives us the strength to detach from the things that lead us ultimately to unhappiness. 

If you would like to get more involved in CAFOD’s spirituality work, then please do get in contact with Kieran or Therese. Or alternatively, you are more than welcome to join our monthly prayer meetings at the Cardiff office. The next one is on Fri 5 October.

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