Christian Contemplative Spirituality is rooted in the ancient tradition of prayer. Prayer, in this sense is the response to the human yearning for God, an attending to this desire by yielding to the divine indwelling.
“Prayer is the absence of thought”, says Evagrius. The cultivation of a regular prayer life in which this relationship with Christ is nurtured is, like any relationship, a commitment.
It is out of this relationship that we move towards communion – a sharing that is beyond thought, word, emotion or idea, and in so doing, transforms us into the life God has intended us to be. You fully You. It is this dancing with God, that we become the hands and eyes and heart of God in the world.
The Desert Mothers and Fathers of the first centuries of the Church forged this rich tradition. The Jesus Prayer, Christian Meditation and Centering Prayer are all accessible methods of participation.
Centering Prayer is a receptive, deep 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.
The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the Indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ. The effects of Centering Prayer are ecclesial, as the prayer tends to build communities of faith and bond the members together in mutual friendship and love.
To learn more about Centering Prayer visit www.contemplativeoutreach.org
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