Centering Prayer is a prayer practice which has evolved from the Contemplative Prayer practices of the ancients - dating back almost to the time of the Apostles. It experienced a revival in the 1970s primarily through the efforts of Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk, to reach out to young hippies & truth seekers who wanted to find God. The practice continues to meet the spiritual needs of present day seekers in our contemporary culture - growing in popularity and influence in the USA and well beyond our borders. It is a simple method of silent prayer, which, if practiced regularly, can open the heart to God. On Saturday mornings, a small group meets regularly at Christ Church Cathedral - in the All Saints Chapel (first floor) for an hour from 10:30 to 11:30AM.
Contemplative Prayer – the opening of mind and heart to God – has been the goal of Christian Spirituality from the time of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (3rd – 5th centuries) until the 16th century when it disappeared from the churches. (It continued uninterrupted in the monasteries). Now, after cross-cultural dialogue and historical research, the renewal of Christian Contemplative tradition has begun. In this country it took the form of Centering Prayer – a term first used by the Trappist monk and writer, Thomas Merton. Complimenting the experience of God’s real presence in the Sacraments, methods of prayer such as Lectio Divina (holy reading) and Centering Prayer can lead to this contemplative dimension.
This process of centering oneself in silence, emptying one’s self-consciousness (thoughts, words, feelings and emotions) with the intention of seeking God in one’s heart while waiting quietly to hear the still small voice of God – is our intention as we gather on Saturday mornings. It is a time of listening and love.