Contemplative prayer is a silent sit with God. It is wordless prayer. I bring no agenda. I let go of my baggage: emotions, thoughts, physical sensations. I bathe in the sunshine of God. It is like when I lie on the beach or relax on a hammock. I rest in the rest of God.
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I sit with God because I love God. I want to get to know God better. I hunger and thirst for God. I hear Jesus say, “Follow me,” and “Who do you say I am?”
Deep within my innermost core is the Divine. My emotions, thoughts and physical sensations hinder me. I am not able to connect to and live from this inner core: my true self. That is why I let go of them during centering prayer.
Centering prayer is my practice that helps me sit with God. I even let go of centering prayer during my silent sits. Centering prayer is a tool that helps me sit with God but I eventually must also let it go too.
The “work of love” is God’s actions in me. I want God to act in me. I need God to act in me. God patiently waits for my true self to bloom. I want my true self to shine. My true self is who God wants me to be. When I let the inner work of love act, my outer work of love can begin.
Think about some of your daily actions: wake up, shower, eat, work, relax, play with children, volunteer, exercise, read, clean the dishes, vacuum, mop the floor, scrub the bathroom, take care of your children, attend a social meeting, vacation, walk.
When these actions are rooted in love amazing things happen. I no longer have to do them. I want to do them. My work becomes prayer and my prayer become work. These actions bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Daily chores become my prayer without ceasing. My actions at work reflect God’s goodness and love. I teach my children how to love so they too can love others.
Contemplative prayer will spawn contemplative actions: the “work of Love.”
The Cloud of Unknowing by Justin Coutts.
The Loving Search for God: Contemplative Prayer and the Cloud of Unknowing by William Meninger
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
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Soulful Aging by Thomas Moore: As everyone knows, we are growing older all the time. But growing older is not the same as aging. Many people seem to grow older without going through the challenging life processes that make you a real person of substance and character. That kind of aging requires saying yes to the opportunities and difficult issues that life presents.
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