Continuing to recalibrate our lives due to the noise we experience can be easier said than done. As far as Centering Prayer goes, it 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.
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, noise, fear of losing control, busyness?
If we as the Church are going to continue to BE who we say we are, we must return to our origins. Stilling ourselves will calibrate everything else in our lives. We will be more compassionate, patent, 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 Many of us find it difficult to press pause on life and even give ourselves permission to be still. It is one thing to find a rich contemplative life, it is another to simply begin the path. Making time to slow down or even make an effort to turn down the noise in our life is a good way to start. Please consider this:
If you have a 30 minute commute to work, you could take half of the trip in silence. That’s 75 minutes of silence if you were to only do it 15 minutes one way, each day of the work week. 300 minutes of silence per month may be very peaceful even though you’re still navigating the drive to / from work. If you spend 2 hours per day on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, imagine only spending 1 hour. Use the other hour to be still. That’s 5 hours per work week. 20 hours per month!
So, you still don’t think you can find time? Time finds you. So, we should find time to invest into our cognitive and spiritual well being.
Here are a few great books that I believe can assist with this pursuit.
- Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr
- The Sabbath by Abraham Heschel
- Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
- The Cloud of Unknowing