Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us for contemplative prayer, a time in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to enable our communion with our Creator.
Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer — verbal, mental or affective prayer — into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.
Meditation is an activity of one's spirit by reading or otherwise, while contemplation is a spontaneous activity of that spirit. In meditation, man's imaginative and thinking power exert some effort. Contemplation then follows to relieve man of all effort. Contemplation is the soul's inward vision and the heart's simple repose in God. - First council of Niceae.
The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the Indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the active, living God. The effects of Centering Prayer are ecclesial, as the prayer tends to build communities of faith and bond the people together in mutual friendship and love.
So, if this is the case, what would be the barrier between us and centering ourselves? Distractions, fear, control, busyness?
If we as the Church are going to continue to BE who we say we are, may we return to our origins. Stilling ourselves will calibrate everything else in our lives. We will be more compassionate, patient, productive, and engaged.
“There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find God I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find God.” ― Thomas Merton