Be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10) At our staff meeting yesterday, I introduced “Centering Prayer.” I shared from the notes below and answered a few questions. Then we took ten minutes of silence together before the Lord. Their overwhelming positive response truly surprised me! While my life has been significantly impacted over the last four and half months by this, I was unsure of what to expect. The following notes are quotes and insights from my Sabbatical journal. They come from the following three books: Thomas Keating’s, Open Mind, Open Heart, Cindy Bourgeault’s Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, and Basil Pennington’s Centered Living. Introduction: There are 2 primary ways of praying in the church:kataphatic – prayer that uses words, images, e.g. Scripture, icons, song, worship and; apophatic – prayer that is beyond words, thoughts and images. There are many ways of prayer. Centering prayer is only one form, a form. Read more.
While I am a high extrovert who gathers energy from being with people, I love silence. So the highlight, up till now on my yearly visits to the Trappists has been the rhythms of the Daily Office, especially Vigils at 3:30 in the morning! And when the chants conclude at about 4:10 am, I generally go back to my “cell” and try to follow them in meditation and prayer until Lauds (the 2nd office of the day) at 6 am. I love their emphasis on the ordinary, the obscure and simplicity of work. This year, however, God met me very powerfully in a new way – through my spiritual direction and conferences with Father Dominic, the prior of the monastery. The prior would be like the COO or executive pastor of a large church. Formerly a professor at Georgetown University and a Dominican priest, he joined the Trappists 26 years ago to focus on. Read more.