Centering Prayer Groups "Be still and know that I am God " Psalm 46:10
Two interfaith Centering Prayer groups meet in the Parish Hall; one meets the first and third Mondays of each month from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and the second meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month from 6:00 p.m. to about 8:00 p.m. Time together consists of one twenty-minute silent prayer period (Centering Prayer) in the Chapel, followed by time in the Parish Hall for fellowship and faith sharing based on a selected spiritual practice, book, or DVD series. During the months of July, August and September a format of Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, and a second prayer period of Centering Prayer is used. There is no separate topic for group faith sharing during these months. (See Centering Prayer Groups' Calendar) Other practices explored include: Lectio Divina, which is prayer with scripture, the Forgiveness Prayer, the Welcoming Prayer, the Active Prayer and the transformative possibilities of the Enneagram. The vision of Contemplative Outreach speaks to our purpose as well: "We embrace the process of transformation in Christ, both in ourselves and in others, through the practice of Centering Prayer. (See Groups' Purpose and Faith Sharing Guidelines) All are welcome! Questions? Ask: Fr. Mark or Mike or Linda Smith
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name. Amen. From The Cloud of Unknowing, Prologue
From Sacred Breath, Forty Days of Centering Prayer, by J. David Muyskens
How good it is to center down! To sit quietly and see one's self pass by! The streets of our minds seethe with endless traffic; Our spirits resound with clashings, with noisy silences, While something deep within hungers and thirsts for the still moment and the resting lull. With full intensity we seek, ere the quiet passes, a fresh sense of order in our living; A direction, a strong purpose that will structure our confusion and bring meaning in our chaos. We look at ourselves in this waiting moment - the kinds of people we are. The questions persist: What are we doing with our lives? What are the motives that order our days? What is the end of our doings? Where are we trying to go? Where do we put the emphasis and where are our values focused? For what end do we make sacrifices? Where is my treasure and what do I love most in life? What do I hate most in life and to what am I true? Over and over the questions beat in upon the waiting moment. As we listen, floating up through all the jangling echoes of our turbulence, there is a sound of another kind - a deeper note which only the stillness of the heart makes clear. It moves directly to the core of our being. Our questions are answered, our spirits refreshed, and we move back into the traffic of our daily round with the peace of the Eternal in our step. How good it is to center down!