As I prepared for prayer with God this morning I was straightening my "prayer room" and noticed a book that I had bought recently and shelved without really reading: Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault. And I had the sense that this is my next book.
No matter how long we have been on this spiritual journey, all of us are still learning how to pray. Here are a couple of statements that spoke to me this morning as I began reading:
"Genuine prayer is based on recognizing the Origin of all that exists, and opening ourselves to it" Piero Ferrucci
Contemplative prayer is simply a wordless, trusting opening of self to the divine presence.
It's very, very simple. You sit, either in a chair or on a prayer stool or mat, and allow your heart to open toward that invisivle but always present Origin of all that exists. Whenever a thought comes into your mind, you simply let the thought go and return to that open silent attending upon the depts.
What goes on in those silent depths during the time of Centering Prayer is no one's business, not even your own; it is between your innermost being and God, that place where, as St. Augustine once said, "God is closer to your soul than you are yourself."
But in the depths of your being, in fact, plenty ha been going on, and things are quietly but firmly being rearranged.
Of course, it is not simple at all. Because of our resistance. Here is what I wrote after a time of silent prayer.
I am here to be with you.
This is always my mantra.
I am here.
May I be here.
As I sit in centering prayer or whatever is my version I want to be here.
And I don't and I do and I don't
My resistance can be so strong to really being here
Instead I am thinking about yesterday and planning for later today and tomorrow
But in that moment when I am HERE I experience
a pull to go deeper
a call to rest in spirit
A love that is beyond words and space and time.
I am grateful that it is starting to come together - this retirement journey as a way away from church constraints to a different experience and expression with you, O Holy One.
Lord Jesus may I be Here with You.
May I be awake.