This week let’s take the opportunity offered by lockdown restrictions; a slow down of our normal activities, to revisit what this quiet time might mean to us. Thomas Keating in his book, Intimacy with God, describes the practice of Centering Prayer as a way of refining our receptive apparatus so that we can perceive the word of God. In this practice, our activity has a part, but it is an extremely gentle one. And just as we have to refine our activities and life expectations at present, so too in Centering Prayer, our contribution to it begins by being minimal and finishes by being almost imperceptible.
- Keating tells us that Centering Prayer is probably the most receptive of the practices…a ‘receiving’ designed to facilitate a movement towards contemplation. It is not a practice of paying attention, of controlling the mind, but rather an exercise in intention of our will.
- St John of the Cross wrote, “The Father spoke one word from all eternity and he spoke it in silence, and it is in silence that we hear it.” This suggests that silence is God’s first language communicating itself with ever greater simplicity to our spirit and to our inmost being.
As you prepare to relax in body and mind, to slow your breathing, enter your meditation, centering your prayer on your will and intention to be in God’s Presence, consider the words of St John of the Cross “in silence…we hear” or from (John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” to help you return from distraction, to your intention to choose Divine love…a disposition of on-going self surrender and concern for others.
Love and every blessing
Intimacy with God – Will and Intention in Centering Prayer, p 55 – 57.