I have practiced Centering Prayer for many years, but the most profound changes in my attitudes were effected by the presence of Father Thomas and friendship with him. It set in motion an ongoing inner transformation that continues with a deepening understanding and practice of the Christian contemplative path.
I was familiar with The Spiritual Journey video series before, so last year with the participants of two Centering Prayer groups, we began studying the entire transcript, one conference per week, lasting ten months. Prompted by Father Thomas to ‘begin and pursue a serious investigation of our life history‘, invoking Christ, I committed to a deeper purification process. Coupled with pandemic solitude, losses and unsettling situations, early-acquired, deep seated emotions and traits readily became apparent. Taking notice of the body’s messages and mindful movement proved to be indispensable and integral to the healing in progress.
Embodying the Spiritual Journey has the support of Father Thomas, who observing the prayerful movements I showed him, saw them as ‘vestibules to Centering Prayer’. Accordingly, we begin the prayer sessions with the brief practice of being present, aware of the body as sacred vessel and expression of God’s creation. Grounding to the earth for support and aligning with gravity allows us to release muscular holding patterns, preparing us to let go of thoughts during prayer. And being conscious of our respiration opens us more to receive the Holy Spirit feeding the sacred fire in the cells of the body and giving rise to the life-energy. The response of praise and thanksgiving to God may take the form of contemplative movements.
Thus prepared, we enter into Centering Prayer, followed by Lectio Divina, and presently, reading from The Mystery of Christ. We discuss our interpretations of the readings, as well as share our experiences of applying the teachings to the everyday life situations.
I feel, in the troubling world situation, the urgent need to seek God more earnestly and cooperate with God to remove the obstacles in us to the flow of Divine Grace and thus be increasingly free to serve and uplift a bit the spirits of our suffering human family.
submitted by Ildiko Viczian