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A Shift in Centering Prayer
Q: I have been doing Centering Prayer for many years. Have found it useful at 3:00AM when St. Teresa of Avila says Imagination is the fool of the House. This morning I sat in my chair and started with my sacred word Abba. Immediately I heard the voice of a man singing softly. The song was about angels. Shortly the words stopped and there was only tone. Also I felt very light of body. As I say I have been doing meditation and contemplation for about forty years and this is a first. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
A: Your dedication to the discipline of prayer builds up through the years - deepening your awareness of the presence of God and bringing up whatever you need to let go of to allow the Spirit to possess you more and more. The general rule of thumb of St John of the Cross is that whatever is coming up is going out, and the most important thing to remember is that it has already had an effect far beyond what you could imagine. Your sacred symbol for this prayer moved from a word to a tone - it is a gentle shift. It has done what was needed; gently return to your sacred word when you begin again and thank God for the release of whatever had to be let go off. There was a lightness of body which could be a sign of the release - your burden is not as heavy. I would celebrate and thank God for that gentle kiss. Remember the fruits of the prayer are really experienced outside of the prayer time. What has been changing in your life since that experience?
Blessings, Fr. Carl