Centering Prayer Day of Renewal
of resting and waiting upon God,
of consenting to the presence
and action of Christ within
in the stillness of our being.
For God alone
my soul in silence waits.
In God alone
is my soul at rest.
The Christian tradition holds silence as an essential practice for anyone who wants to grow spiritually. Elijah found God in a sound of sheer silence (1 Kings 19:12). Jesus often went off to be by himself, to lonely and deserted places, to pray. The practice of silence is an act of self-offering, showing up, and making oneself available to God. Silence creates space and place for God to show up. Silence is the threshold upon which God and I meet, a place of intimacy where two become one. We have all experienced moments of intimacy with another in which nothing needs be said and to say anything would destroy the moment and break the intimacy. Silence asks us to learn to gracefully do nothing. Deep interior silence lets us rest in God. Nothing needs to be said. Nothing needs to be done. All is well. The world is full of trouble and problems. Only in God is our soul at rest.
In an old story, a Zen Master tells a student that he, as a human being, is already enlightened, even before beginning the path of meditation. The student asks the master: 'If I am already enlightened, why do I have to sit and meditate so much?' The master replies that the sun ruses on its own every morning, but if the student doesn't wake up and look outside, he will never see the sunrise. This is a wonderful metaphor for contemplation. By practicing, you can wake up and look inside to see the beauty of the sunrise, which dawns on its own. In Christian practice, contemplation consists of sitting down silently, and consenting to the sun rising in you and in all of life.
In Christian contemplation, the nature of God and of all reality is experienced as Trinitarian. This means that the Son - the Logos, the Christ - is continually giving himself to the Father in an eternal loving exchange between them which is the Spirit. This same cycle of self-giving love resonates in the depths of our own being. In contemplation, we awaken to this indwelling reality, this gift of love that is the deepest center of our own being and the very heart of the world.
You cannot do anything to produce an experience of God in you, but you can say yes to receiving divine love, to awakening to this sacred gift. You can say yes to letting it come into your consciousness and transform the pain of your contraction, separation, unconscious resistance and self-isolating behavior that experiences ourselves as separate from God. You can be transformed in God's own image, awakening to the sun / Son rising in you. You can let the Son of God shine the light of his love, and let the Spirit move more freely through you - both radiant to their own unseen source, the Father. As the Life of God becomes conscious in you, your own self-contracted behaviors are gradually freed into the self-gifting love of God, in simple and ordinary ways appropriate to your unique talents and life circumstances. [Extract from The Path of Centering Prayer by David Frenette]
DATE: Saturday 15 November 2014 from 9am to lunch-time
VENUE: Belvedere Anglican Church, Knysna
PROGRAM: Includes instruction, the practice of centering prayer and lectio divina, and
MOVIE: A RISING TIDE OF SILENCE: The Life Story of Thomas Keating:
This movie provides us with a rare insight into the personal spiritual journey of Fr Thomas Keating. It gives an understanding of where and why he started on his journey, the hardships and setbacks he faced, including serious illness, difficult family relations, and how they impacted his spiritual development and relationship with God. The movie reveals a rich tapestry of a remarkable man who made centering prayer accessible to millions of people around the world.
Charge R40 per person (or a donation)
Books, tapes and CDs will be on sale
Newcomers to Centering Prayer are welcome
For more details please phone
Rev Colin Paine on 044 382 1239
Leela Verity on 044 533 0453