Q: I have been doing Centering Prayer for over five years now yet it never seems to get easier. It’s as if there is a part of me that just doesn’t want to do this. I can’t ever remember a time where I looked forward to the practice even though I do it every day twice a day. My question is this: why do I find this practice difficult? Is this normal and or should I just find a different one?
Fr. Carl: I think that your challenge comes from looking at Centering Prayer only as a practice rather than a prayer of raising one’s heart, mind and soul to the Lord.
When I was a child I took piano lessons and practiced daily for at least 40 minutes. I was very faithful to it but after a while it became a chore. On one occasion my dad took me to a piano recital by the world famous artist Arthur Rubinstein, and I fell in love with the music. My practice time was no longer a chore but an opportunity to make, in my mind, beautiful music. I no longer saw it as practicing notes but as playing music. What changed? My intention, my attitude, the awareness that I was part of something greater than myself.
Try to change your question to "why do I find my prayer difficult?" I look forward to hearing your answer.
Be safe. Blessings,