What is worry? It is time wasted. It is when I think about the future and take no action in the present. It is when I forget that God is always with me.
It is when I feel sorry for myself. It is when I forget who is within me. It is a pity party that I have for me. It accomplishes nothing. It is a decision I make to live in fear rather than the abundant life that God has in store for me. (John 10:10)
How can I stop the worry cycle?
During centering prayer, when my thoughts, emotions and physical sensations begin to distract me, I use a sacred icon to ever so gently return and consent to the presence and action of God. My sacred icon is an interior picture of Jesus. I can do the same thing during my non-centering prayer times.
During my non-silent times, I also use a sacred word. I whisper the word “Jesus”. When I am worried, I whisper “Jesus”. When I am in the dentist’s chair and the dentist drills my teeth, I whisper to myself “Jesus”.
When I am angry, I whisper “Jesus”. When I am scared, I whisper “Jesus”. When I am at work and I cannot resolve a task, I whisper “Jesus”.
Jesus will bring me back to the present.
Jesus does not want me to worry. (Matthew 6:24-34) Jesus wants me to live in the present. Jesus wants me to enjoy the present.
Jesus does not tell me that it is not important to plan for the future but he does seem to say that I should not worry about the future. Jesus is with me in the present.
The ‘letting go’ process during centering prayer is great practice for my non-silent times of the day. Just like during centering prayer I can ‘let go”.
Centering prayer teaches me that Jesus loves me and does not want me to worry!
If I quiet myself when I am worried, I will hear Jesus say to me, “I love you. Do not worry. Let it go.”
Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation by Phileena Heuertz
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God by David Frenette
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