04-07-2019 Centering Prayer

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
"Be Still and Know That I Am God"

Psalm 46:10

"When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you."

Matthew 6:6
How often do you rest quietly in the presence of God?

There are three basic expressions of prayer: vocal, meditative, and contemplative. These are practiced formally and informally, personally and communally, through popular piety, and the liturgical prayer of the Church. (USCCA, p. 473). Through God’s grace and guided by the Holy Spirit, we respond to God’s call to grow and deepen in our loving relationship with God and our faith in Christ, to allow God to convert and transform our hearts, minds, soul and entire being, and to discern and strengthen us to do God’s will. We usually express our prayer through thoughts, words, feelings, or acts of adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise.
Centering Prayer is a receptive method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer — verbal, mental or affective prayer — into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him. (Contemplative Outreach.org)
In Centering Prayer we commit at least 20 minutes each day in a quiet place to rest in God—beyond thoughts, words, or emotions. The following is a short summary of the general guidelines for practicing Centering Prayer:
1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.

2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word such as “Jesus,” “love,” “peace,” or other sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.

3. When engaged with your thoughts, including any sensation, emotion, or image, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.

4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes to allow the silence to enter into your everyday life. (Contemplative Outreach).
Videos and other information about the practice of Centering Prayer can be found below. 
Reflect on Your Experience
Do you consent to God’s presence and transformative action in your life?

If so, how do you do this? If not, what is preventing you from doing this? 
U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults   Catecismo Catolico de Los Estadios Unidos para los Adultos  
Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church    Compendio de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia
"What is Centering Prayer and How Do We Do It? (Contemplative Outreach)

"An Introduction to Centering Prayer" (Phileena Heurtz)

""The Method of Centering Prayer - Part 1" (Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O.)

"The Method of Centering Prayer - Part 2" (Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O.)

"Christian Centering Prayer" (Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault)

"What is Contemplative Prayer and Why is it Needed" (Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM.)

"The Contemplative Pathway" (Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM)

"The Ways of Praying" (Fr. Ian VanHeusen)

"The Confession" (Best Short Film of International Catholic Film Festival)

"Experience of God in Contemplative Prayer" (Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O.)

"What is Contemplative Prayer" (James Finley, Ph.D.)

"Desire for Union with God" (James Finley, Ph.D.)

"What is Contemplation?" (Thomas Merton)

""Found by Solitude, Stillness and Silence"

"Contemplative Spirituality" (Phileena Heurtz)

"The Art of Centering Prayer - Part 1 (Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault)

"The Art of Centering Prayer - Part 2 (Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault)

"The Art of Centering Prayer - Part 3 (Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault)

"The Art of Centering Prayer - Part 4 (Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault)

Other Videos for Lent (See Journey of Faith, March 3, 2019)
""Heal Me O Lord"

"You Raise Me Up" (Celtic Women)

"Worthy is the Lamb"


"Veni Creator Spiritus"
Other Resources
"The Method of Centering Prayer: A Prayer of Consent " (Fr. Thomas Keating O.C.S.O.)

"The Method of Centering Prayer: A Prayer of Consent" Brochure

"Contemplation" (Fr. Richard Rohr)

"Contemplative Prayer" (Thomas Merton)

"The Seven Stages of Centering Prayer" (Fr. Thomas Keating)

"The Gift of Contemplative Prayer" (Margaret Silf)

"Contemplation" (Excerpts from the CCC)

"Sit Down and Be Quiet: How to Practice Contemplative Meditation" (U.S. Catholic)

"Catholic Meditation and Contemplation: What is the Difference?" (Carl McColman)

"Centering Prayer: Contemplative Practice for the 21st Century" (America Magazine)

Lenten Resources

"Catholic Spirituality in Practice" (C 21 - Boston College)

Other Prayer and Spiritual Practices

Social Services and Other Charitable Resources

Other Resources on Catholic Social Teaching
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