God is Presence. God is always present. It is me who forgets this.
Sometimes I pray a simple prayer … The ancient Jesus Prayer: “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me.”
In The Jesus Prayer I often substitute other names for “me:” my wife, son, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker. Sometimes no prayer is needed. I know God is with me. I know that God prays in me. It comforts me to know that God is ever present. I don’t need to pray. God is with me and will sustain me.
God is in the joy and pain, worry and calm. God is in the anger and inner peace. No matter how I feel God is in it with me. God’s inner peace is always available. It is I who need to open to it. This is where I am right now.
God is Presence. God is in me and with me. I am never apart from Him (Her). That is why silent prayer (centering prayer) attracts me. It is my time to sit with this Presence. I don’t need to pray. I don’t want to pray. I want to be held by the Presence. I want to be loved by the Presence. I want to be healed by the Presence. I want to take this Presence with me into my non-silent parts of the day.
Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening was the first book I read on Centering Prayer.
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A Simple Immediacy: Desert Wisdom for Advent by Cynthia Bourgeault: The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the fourth and fifth centuries are arguably the first Wisdom School in Christian history. At first in trickles and then in waves, they fled into the deserts of Egypt and Syria to escape the increasing imperialization of the Christian Church and to live in a simple immediacy with the Risen Christ. In the process, they generated an extraordinary body of practical teachings on the spiritual practices underlying this life of deeper awareness and mystical union.
Wisdom for Living: The Parables of Jesus by Thomas Keating, Contemplative Outreach: When rightly understood, the parables help us to see how extraordinary a wisdom teacher Jesus really was, and how revolutionary, in the best sense of the word, was the content of what he taught and to which he bore witness by his life and death.
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.
Contemplative Light offers courses on contemplative practices (Christian Meditation, Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer), the Christian mystics (ancient and current) and spiritual writing. Peruse their wonderful offerings.
Drawing from the wisdom of monastic life, modern psychology and best practices in personal productivity, the Monk Manual provides a daily system that will help you find clarity, purpose, wisdom, and peace in the moments that make up your life.