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We embrace the process of transformation in Christ, both in ourselves and in others, through the practice of Centering Prayer.

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Music During Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I once asked my prayer group if it was permissible to have a melody running through one's head while centering, and their answer was no.

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Centering Prayer
God's Unconditional Love and the Last Judgment
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I have one "very spiritually perplexing question" that our group is unable to answer... If God loves us unconditionally as Father Keating often makes explicit, then how are we to reconcile this with a "last judgment" that is referred to in the Bible.

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Contemplative Spirituality
Be Still and Know that I am God
Kathy Thomson
Voices of Community

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).  It was a verse I had long been familiar with, but what in the world did it mean? ...   The concept of being still and simply consenting to God’s presence and action within me was a foreign one.

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Centering Prayer
Eventide
Ceci LaDuca
Voices of Community

As I sit on my sofa
facing south
I hear the crickets,
little pinpricks of sound
in the night.

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Centering Prayer
Visiting San Quentin
Cherry Haisten
Voices of Community

The purpose of my visit was to introduce some of the “men in blue,” inmates in for the long haul, to the Welcoming Prayer. For ten years, George has been leading a Centering Prayer ministry begun at San Quentin by two Mercy sisters 25 years ago. George felt that the men with an established prayer practice were ready for Welcoming Prayer, an active practice that complements the other 23 hours of the day.

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Welcoming Prayer
Homecoming
Stephen M. Feely
Voices of Community

While seeking to clear my seeing,
so I could really know love,
be love, walk in the world in service to love,

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Centering Prayer
The Welcoming Prayer: Deepening Our Practice of Letting Go and Letting
Michael Erwin
Voices of Community

My name is Michael Erwin. I have been doing Centering Prayer on a daily basis for several years during my incarceration at San Quentin State Prison. I have found that Centering Prayer goes beyond all other forms of meditation that I have done in my life.

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Welcoming Prayer, Prison Ministry
Centering Prayer During Times of Unrest
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  Extreme injustices and inflicted cruelty are buried in people's lives.  When these experiences arise (often unexpectedly) as a response to the asking participation in one's own spiritual journey, it is advised to slow down the evacuation process.  How does this affect a daily Centering Prayer practice?  We cannot take away another's hurt or suffering.  When one can't even quiet to sit for Centering Prayer during these times of unrest, from the contemplative point of view, what can we suggest? 

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Centering Prayer
Conversations with God on My Spiritual Journey
Barbara Sullivan
Voices of Community

God is always speaking, but few times have I documented what He has showed me or told me. 
This was one of the times...

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Centering Prayer, The Practice of Contemplative Living
When you are in pain...
Fr. Carl Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

When you are in pain, can you still practice the Welcoming Prayer if you take pain pills and/or tranquilizers?

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Welcoming Prayer
O Ever Emerging Dawn in This My Dark Night ...
Bridget Robinson
Voices of Community

O Lighthouse on hill of tears and mist
    a clearing to the path that leads to the
    inner cloister of Love in which I hope to abide

 

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality, Spiritual Journey
I Checked the Timer
Mary Purcell
Voices of Community

Some years ago a dear friend gave me a lovely chiming meditation timer encased in a wooden pyramid. You set the timer for the length of time you want to center, press a button, and a tiny red light comes on...

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Centering Prayer
My daily practice...
Barbara Sullivan
Voices of Community

Breath for the spirit,
Meditation for the mind,

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Centering Prayer
By Grace We Are Christ
Fionnuala Quinn O.P.
Voices of Community

For a few months I have been sitting with this wonderful quotation from Basil Pennington’s book on Centering Prayer. "By grace we are Christ. Our relationship with God is that of Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit."

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Centering Prayer
Nothingness
Sydney S. Orr
Voices of Community

This place living in nothing is like my end,
my death,
and yet I truly feel it is more like the agony of my personality being a nothingness.

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
The Welcoming Prayer and "letting go of the desire for security, affection, and control."
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

I have a question about the Welcoming Prayer, related to "letting go of the desire for security, affection, and control." I say the prayer often during my daily encounters and frustrations and it brings great comfort and reminds me to "truly let go."

My question has to do with the conflict of letting go of these desires and yet setting future goals that include financial planning (security) and relationships (affection) that one would like to achieve in life. I truly believe God wants us to be happy and security and affection do include happiness. Can you please shed some like on this potential conflict?

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Welcoming Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
Posture and Breathing in Relation to Centering Prayer
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:   My impression is that some meditation practices have very specific guidance about physical technique such as posture, breathing etc. But Centering Prayer suggests fairly little except to have a comfortable upright posture (or lying down if you have back problems or are ill), the goal being to be relaxed but alert.  What accounts for the difference? I suspect it has something to do with Centering Prayer not being a concentrative or awareness method.

Maybe I'm asking because I'm less aware of mental/emotional thoughts in practice, and more aware of aches and pains. Maybe I'm asking because I can't believe that the method is so simple and that it is okay to trust it. "I should be working harder." I have been practicing Centering Prayer for  six  years or so.

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Centering Prayer
Holy Stone
Robert Brown
Voices of Community

On a visit to Ireland in June 2012, my wife and I visited Dingle, County Kerry. This Holy Stone, one of many on the Emerald Isle, sits in the street in front of a home.

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Centering Prayer
His Silent Valley
R.H. Burke
Voices of Community

It is another day in the Lord.
     I step from my room into the silence of the valley –
     an almost audible silence that is the language of God.

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Centering Prayer
It helps me remember ...
Barbara Kollenkark
Voices of Community

It can be a challenge to remember all those who have asked for our prayers. I wrote this poem 52 years ago while in the 5th grade, but continue to embrace it as I pray for others. It helps me remember . . .

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Centering Prayer
Jacalyn's Psalm
Jacalyn Smith
Voices of Community

You gave me unique awareness
at a very young age
Before I could walk
I knew I was different.
    ~Your Light upon my head

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Centering Prayer, Contemplative Spirituality
I wonder why so many clergy are not aware of contemplative prayer?
Fr. Carl J. Arico
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q:  I wonder why so many clergy are not aware of contemplative prayer?  Even if they are, why don’t they share it with their congregations?

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Centering Prayer
Bringing the World Together
Betty Voigt
Voices of Community

We were enveloped in the spiritual power of these saints (Kevin, Bridget, Columba, etc.) as we touched the stones and walked on the grounds of long-ago monasteries, churches, sculpted high crosses, and round towers. 

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Centering Prayer
In his book, Open Mind, Open Heart, Fr. Keating says that divine union is not a free ticket to happiness in this life...Can you please explain...
Fr. Carl
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q: In his book, Open Mind, Open Heart, Fr. Keating says that divine union is not a free ticket to happiness in this life; that some people are left with mental/emotional/physical issues that they "suffer for some unknown purpose for the good of the whole human family." Can you please explain what this means?

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Contemplative Spirituality
When I am Among the Trees
Carolyn Goddard
Voices of Community

When I am among the trees,


especially the willows and the honey locust,


equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,


they give off such hints of gladness. . .

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Centering Prayer, The Practice of Contemplative Living

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