Centering prayer and contemplation are often seen as two ends of a continuum.
– David Frenette
Centering prayer starts with my action. Centering prayer ends when God’s action begins. It is really a continuous back and forth between both of our actions. When I am able to let go, I gently and effortlessly slide into contemplation. Once in contemplation, I rest in God. As Thomas Keating says, “if you can have peace and not think about having it – then you will have learned how to do it.”
this post may contain affiliate links
Once I think I rest in God, I am not. To keep myself on the contemplative side of the continuum I must be in an amen state. David Frenette best summarizes this amen state. “The word means ‘so be it’ or ‘let it be’. In contemplative prayer that’s an important truth. We don’t have to go out and search. God is there already. We are opening ourselves up to God and receiving God.”
When I enter the contemplative state, even if it is only for a mere second, God will act within me. Each time I let go, I create an opportunity for God to take action within me. God’s actions will include mentally healing me as I release repressed thoughts and emotions. God’s actions will also include praying within me that is later revealed through my actions during my non silent prayer times of the day. Truthfully, when I am in the contemplative state, God can choose to do what is best needed for me. That is not my worry or concern. That is up to God. And I am ok with that.
It is a beautiful dance with God. My job is to accept the invitation to the dance. It is a dance best performed when I let God take the lead. I let God take the lead when I let go and let it be. When I let go and let it be, I allow the mind of Christ to come to life in me. When the mind of Christ comes to life in me, it yearns for expression as an outpouring of Divine Love into the world.
I think I will continue to accept the daily invitation to this great dance.