“Centering Prayer is an opening of mind and heart — beyond thoughts, words, and emotions — to God, whom we know by faith is within us; closer than consciousness itself.
“Centering Prayer consists of responding to the Spirit of Christ by consenting to God’s presence and action within.
“Centering Prayer 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.” (Contemplative Outreach International Website)
Now that your interest has been piqued, please read on to learn more about this beautiful spiritual practice!
Centering Prayer is a method of prayer that is grounded in the Most Holy Trinity and drawn from the prayer practices of Jesus Himself, Who would often draw apart and pray to His Father in silence and solitude, and Who encouraged us to do the same (Matthew 6:6). Based on His example, from His earliest followers such as the Fathers and Mothers of the Desert, continuing through time with St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, up to the present age with Father Thomas Merton, we Christians have sought our Lord in the silence of our spirits/hearts — where He dwells.
- In the 1970s, three Trappist monks, including Father Thomas Keating, established the method which is in use today. However, Centering Prayer is an ecumenical practice, embracing all Christian faiths or believers of no particular denomination. Instruction in the method of Centering Payer, which consists of a one-day Introductory Workshop followed by six brief weekly Classes, are held once or twice a year in various sites throughout North Carolina.
- While Centering Prayer is primarily an individual daily prayer, there are continuing weekly groups for those who have completed the Introductory Workshop and Classes. These are held in various churches throughout our area, with a variety of times for the convenience of those who wish to share this beautiful experience with others who participate in this practice.
At St. Gabriel, we are privileged to offer this wonderful spiritual practice on Monday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Ministry Center. We begin with 20 minutes of Centering Prayer and a very brief responsorial prayer service, followed by Lectio Divina. Margie Mullis at 704.364.6874 or firstname.lastname@example.org leads our Centering Prayer and Judy O’Toole leads us in Lectio Divina. Please contact Margie if you would like additional information.
And remember, “Be Still and Know that I Am God!” (Psalm 46:10)
Check out the YouTube video: Fr. Keating and Centering Prayer