Contemplative Prayer


What is contemplative prayer? Why do we meditate?

Let me share a few thoughts. They are in no particular order. I will keep it brief. This is where I am it with it for now.

Contemplative prayer is:

1. Sitting with God
2. Loving God
3. Accepting God’s love

I think some people don’t feel worthy of God’s love. This is just not true. God loves all of us. God will never stop loving each one of us. God wants us to love Him (Her) back.

I love this quote from James Finley’s book, “Christian Meditation”. I am currently rereading it. “This is why we meditate: that we might awaken to the already present nature of the oneness with God we seek.” God is within us. God has always been within us. We simply need to awaken to the grace of God’s presence. When we do, we will see God’s presence in both our quiet and non quiet times.

Contemplative prayer is an exchange of our suffering for God’s peace. We can find healing within contemplative prayer. Thomas Keating says it so beautifully. “In centering prayer both thoughts contain what needs to be healed and the silence creates a space for the healing to take place.”

The silence of centering prayer heals me. Many times I awake worrying about my day and all of the tasks that need to get done at work and at home. I start my day with a silent twenty minute sit. My worrying is always exchanged for God’s peace.

I will end with a quote from The Cloud of Unknowing. “This is what you are to do. Lift your heart up to the Lord with a gentle stirring of love, desiring him (her) for his (her) own sake and not for his (her) gifts.” This is why we meditate.

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