Centering prayer and lectio divina – Wed. May 20 at 1:00 pm
Centering prayer only – Thurs. May 21 at 9:30 pm
Centering prayer and lectio divina – Fri. May22 at 4:00 pm
Though I have been reading the Daily Contemplative Prayer book every morning for more than 10 years now, I was so struck by the message this morning. It was about how our “practice” brings about in us the dismantling of the emotional programs that we create for ourselves. We create a whole array of behaviors in order to get security, power and control, love and esteem from other people and other “gods,” and our “practice” enables us GRADUALLY to find all those needs in God. We abide in a paradoxical dimension where we must die to our false self (the self with all these emotional programs and behaviors) and be GRAUALLY “born again” to a life in Christ where all those needs are met, a true fullness of LIFE. All this is basic, foundational understanding about what we are doing together in Praying the Scriptures. But what struck me so this morning was how Thomas Keating describes the “product” of our practice. He says, “The fruit of this purifying process is the freedom to decide what to do, without interference from the compulsions and fixations of the false self.” He notes how when we are under the power of the false self with its emotional programs, we are constantly frustrated and our afflictive emotions are set off: anger, grief, fear, pride, lust, greed, jealousy etc. But as the false self diminishes (through contemplation, beholding) our trust in God increases and we find peace, rest and energy to put to better purposes than satisfying our false self programs for happiness.
(JUST DO IT…..like mother used to tell us, “you will be glad you did.”)
Colossians 3:5, 9-10,12 NIV “Put to death…you old self with its practices and …put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator….Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Dig deep into this passage. It is well worth your time.
The PEACE and REST of CHRIST is with you!
CENTERING PRAYER AND LECTIO DIVINA-Wed. 1:00 pm
CENTERING PRAYER only – Thurs. 9:30 am
BIBLE STUDY – Thurs. 10:00 am
CENTERING PRAYER AND LECTIO DIVINA – Fri. 4:00 pm
Some more important words from Maggie Ross in “Silence.” “Many people who undertake the work of silence do not go beyond elementary meditation [or even come to give it a try…..MY WORDS]. One reason for this is that they perceive interior practice to be something exotic; they wish to make themselves something they are not (transformation), and when this does not prove to be the case, they become disillusioned and quit, instead of realizing that what they dismiss as “ordinary” contains in itself the goal that they seek. Another reason such people stall, and sometimes crash and burn as well, is that they are more interested in justifying who they think they are, or fantasizing who they might be, instead of becoming their own unique unfolding truth……”[by letting go… and that can be scary…MY WORDS]
20 minutes of silence……………listen to the silence. When you “hear” something else, acknowledge it and then return to listening to the silence. This may happen many times in the 20 minutes. Every time it happens you are re-consenting to the divine presence within…….and that is good.
Colossians 2:20,3:1-4 [As you meditate see if you can remove “time” and “space” from your considerations of the text]. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world?…….If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
CENTERING PRAYER AND LECTIO DIVINA – Wed. 5/6 at 1:00 pm
CENTERING PRAYER ONLY – Thurs. 5/7 at 9:30 am
CENTERING PRAYER AND LECTIO DIVINA – Fri. 5/8 at 4:00 pm
In her book “Silence,” the Anglican solitary Maggie Ross writes of Isaac of Nineveh, the 7th Century contemplative, that he “analyzed the insights of the desert with an acute sense of human psychology. The only demons are those that arise in the human heart, he remarks, commenting on a popular metaphor that too often became literalized and used as an excuse. True prayer, he says, begins only when we are no longer aware of praying. The mind is snatched.”
(there is nothing to do – simply behold the silence for 20 or 30 minutes. If your mind strays from that beholding, just acknowledge it and then return to your original intention)
Matt. 13:44-46 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.
Be at PEACE. The Spirit of JESUS the CHRIST dwells within you.
Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina – Wed. 4/29, 1:00 PM
Centering Prayer Only – Thurs. 4/30, 9:30 AM
Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina – Fri. 5/1, 4:00 pm
Thomas Keating teaches us in many places that the contemplative STATE is the purpose of our prayer practices; not “experiences”, however exotic or reassuring, but the permanent and abiding awareness of God.
Sit is silence and stillness where you will grow in your awareness of the divine presence within you.
Colossians 2:6-7 Live your whole life according to the Christ you have received, Jesus the Lord; be rooted in him and built on him and held firm by the faith you have been taught, and be full of thanksgiving.
The peace of Christ is with you. Amen