We sit with God because we love God. We do not sit with God for what we will obtain. We do not sit with God and expect a gift in return.
“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 what the Cloud of Unknowing teaches us.
We enter centering prayer with no expectations. We enter centering prayer to receive the gift of contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer is prayer in which we experience God’s presence within. We sit naked before God. It is just God and us. Our whole being, body, mind and soul is in the pure presence of God. There is nothing between God and us. Contemplative prayer is a prayer of love without any ulterior motives. We pray because we love God.
Let’s briefly talk about the fruits of centering prayer. Again, we do not enter this prayer for them. Each time we sit with God, it is another opportunity for God to act in us. (I believe God also acts within us during our non centering times.) We are saying, “Here I am God. Do with me whatever you want.” This time is unique for each person. God will do whatever God wants to do within you.
What have I noticed? I have noticed that I been gifted by God with compassion, excitement for life, inner peace, joy, patience, and wisdom for daily tasks to name a few. Again, I did not enter this time for these fruits. They were freely given to me by God as I opened to God’s presence.
Next week I will answer the last two questions I posed in my Centering Prayer Questions post from September 7: Do you use a sacred word, visual symbol, or other sacred method? Do you center with your eyes open or closed?