ALL WELCOME to Join Kathryn Pile Tuesdays 5pm
Dear Meditators 17/05/22
Sr Joan Chittister has been in town this week…an outspoken advocate of justice, peace and equality, she has authored many books…we will dip into one of her latest, ‘Grace-filled Moments’ for this new series of meditations, starting with reflections on ‘why pray?’
The aim of our session today is to create a sacred space for God’s Presence…and to maintain our intention towards that His Presence, through breath, image or word (if distracted), and ultimately through silence… experience a response from God’s Presence at an individual heart felt level. This is the heart of Centering Prayer.
Sr Joan begins by explaining that…she grew up being told to pray, often for something quite specific…that is was a conversation with God, but God it seemed seldom answered. It took her years to find that actually the church was teaching a far more profound theology of prayer than was ever talked about in the parish. Through the mystics she began to discover other teachings of the church on the development of the spiritual life….not as an exercise but a way of life that saw God in the here and now. Today we’ll hear from some of those mystics.
Let’s begin… reflections on prayer…
- Prayer is the step that takes us beyond the trappings of life to the essence of life. “Prayer,” the mystic Julian of Norwich says, “oneth the soul to God.” Without the lifeline that is prayer, we run the risk of never knowing what life was really meant to be about.
- Prayer is not meant to be an “exercise,” a proof of our sanctity. On the contrary, prayer is meant to be an emptying out of our grandeur so that God can come in and bring us to the fullness of ourselves. As Teresa of Avila says, “Prayer is not just spending time with God. If it ends there, it is fruitless. Authentic prayer changes us, unmasks us, strips us, indicates where growth is needed.”
Relax now in body and mind, slow your breathing, and enter your meditation, centering your prayer, your will and intention on being aware that prayer is not asking for things. It is reaching out to find the God who is looking for us.
As you take some time to sit in silence…as St Teresa of Calcutta puts it, “prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God…listening to God’s voice in the depth of our hearts.”
Love and every blessing,
Grace-filled Moments with Sr Joan – 365 reflections on life, loss, healing and joy: Garratt Publishing, Vic, 2021.
Remember to watch an introduction to Centering Prayer Meditation. You can see it here
Let me know how you are finding this time – If you have any suggestions or requests. I always like to hear from you. Kathryn