Centering Prayer – Sacred Time

Blog by Sr. Cathy Arnold, OP

Seeing the news with all the violence in the lives of so many people in our world today, or perhaps experiencing violence in our own lives or in the lives of those we love can be overwhelming.  And while we may be working hard for justice and peace in our world to help reduce this violence, we can sometimes lose hope and get discouraged.  I know I need times of silence and solitude to ground me in hope in the goodness of God and of people.  Centering prayer helps me to grow in trust of God and to manage my emotions, especially anger and sadness when things get tough.

Many of our Sisters and Associates practice centering prayer.  The focus is the desire to be in relationship with God and being present to God’s Spirit.  I first learned this practice from a book by John Main back in my first experience of religious life.  As an introvert who processes my life’s experiences within, I discovered that I love times in prayer when I am invited to let go of all my thoughts, to sit quietly, and to return to my meditative word, Jesus or mercy or whatever word brings me back to my center.  There are no shoulds or oughts, and if I find that I am distracted, I return to my word.  The intention of my prayer is to be fully present to the One who loves me and all.

Contemplative practices, such as centering prayer, are essential for us as Christians to ground us as we reach beyond ourselves in works of justice and mercy and to carry the pain of the people and Earth.  If you are interested in learning about this method of prayer, check out Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O. on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWvxwfN_CE).  He is a Trappist monk and priest, known as one of the architects of Centering Prayer, a contemporary method of Christian contemplative prayer.

Also, if you are interested in some time of prayer and reflection and are discerning your direction in life as a single woman 18-45, please consider coming to the Come and See weekend in Columbus March 9-11, 2018.  https://oppeace.org/blog/2018/02/09/come-see-retreat/

Posted in God Calling?, News

5 responses to “Centering Prayer – Sacred Time

  1. Cathy, Great testimony.
    This is an extraordinary prayer practice that has transformed the way I deal with life and the many challenges each day. The website, http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org has even more resources on Centering Prayer and other related practices.
    Blessings
    June

  2. I enjoyed your blog today. As a person who is not at all introverted, I struggle with figuring out how to get to my center. It seems nearly impossible. Therefore, I am eager to check out Fr. Thomas Keating on tube. Thanks for the direction.

  3. Thank you Cathy! Your reflection reminds me of Karl Rahner’s reflection that the Christian of the future will be a mystic or they will not exist. I have been thinking about this in relation to initial and ongoing formation.

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