Even now by faith we lose our footing and fall into a new, unending center in which we are upheld by God and not by the narrow base of our ego’s self-assertion.
– James Finley 
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Silent prayer teaches me how to lose my footing. Silent prayer teaches me how to let go of my ego’s self-assertion. During silent prayer I ever so gently let go. I allow myself to lose my footing. When I allow myself to lose my footing, I fall into my center. I fall into an unending center. Though I fall, at the same time I am upheld by God.
Silent prayer is a paradox. We free fall into an infinite God and are upheld by God at the same time. The deeper I fall, I still manage to be upheld by God. I can’t hit bottom. God has no bottom. I plunge into the depths of God, yet I continue to be upheld by God.
The only reason I fall yet continue to be upheld is because I have faith. What do I have faith in? I have faith that there is something much, much bigger than me. I do not have to live separate from it. I can live in it. I can participate in it. I can rest in it. I can plunge into it. I can free fall into it. I am safe inside of it. I am unconditionally loved by it.
What is this it? I call it God. I can call it Spirit. I can call it Love. Or I can call it Life. Words really cannot define it. It is a great mystery.
Silent prayer is a safe place to practice life in God so I can continue to live in God during my non silent times.
. James Finley, Merton’s Palace Of Nowhere, (Ave Maria Press 1978)
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Contemplative Light Course – Contemplative Practice: 5 Spiritual Exercises To Get Closer To God. Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
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I just finished Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P. Coleman and The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner. I am currently reading Intimacy with God: An Introduction To Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
I use a Prayer Rope after each Centering Prayer Sit.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today? On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. (Based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus.)
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
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