Rest in the arms of the Beloved
You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You ...
Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous.
Prayer is a relationship. Most people think of prayer as a ritual or formula or words that are recited. But if all we do is recite our prayers, all we are doing is talking to God. We are not listening to what He is trying to say to us. For any relationship to grow and deepen, there needs to be a time to talk and a time to listen. Even in human relationships, we need to just BE together, and not just DO things together. Prayer is moving beyond doing to simply BEING with God, and resting in His presence, and being embraced by His peace and love. We learn to linger, to "hang out", to rest in the arms of the Beloved. Genuine moments of silence do not come easy. You must make the time and create the space. The best time is first thing in the morning. Give yourself the gift and the grace of starting the day with a gentle birth. As the sun rises slowly and silently on the earth, allow the dawn to arise within yourself.
Prayer is a deep knowledge of God impregnated with love. Centering Prayer is a means of opening to God beyond words and feelings. In being still, we get to know God better. We learn how to open to God and to be with Him in love. God is always there and His love is always there, but we are often not aware of His presence or open to receiving His love. We must learn how to be in relationship with God, how to talk to him from our hearts, and how to listen to His still small voice. This happens in the silence of our "inner room." Centering Prayer is inspired by Matthew 6:6. The "reward" of Centering Prayer is the relationship that is cultivated with God. It is a journey from the head to the heart, to the stillness of our inner being, where God dwells. It is the blossoming into our true self, our inner divinity and beauty.
"Have you ever experienced a few moments of interior silence? How would you describe it? Is there not a sense of a deep all-pervading peace, a sense of well-being, and a delicate joy, all at once?" [Fr Thomas Keating] For a space of time, we leave behind the cares of this world and we allow ourselves to experience the transcendental peace and joy that is beyond this world. For the Kindgom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. [Romans 14:17] Here is a testimony from a lady who attended a recent Centering Prayer workshop in Knysna: "Centering Prayer is now part of my daily life. I love to start my day with it and the influence on my life is one of peace and a growing awareness of the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit." [Daphne]
Next Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop to be held at St Peter and Paul Catholic Church in George on Saturday 05 September. Details coming up soon.