Two aspects of the readings struck me. First I have a great devotion to Mary. I have taken the St. Louis de Montfort Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I promise as Mary did to be the handmaid (slave) of the Lord. Through the hands of Mary I turn over everything I have into the hands of the Lord. That changes the center of where I dwell. It allows me to more easily approach centering prayer with Mary as my guide. Montfort says you need grace and Mary is full of Grace. Montfort says you need the Lord and the Lord is with Mary. Montfort says Mary is the “secret” that I need. I have found it to be so.
Secondly there is the wisdom in this reading of looking for what is true, beautiful, gracious, honorable and what is excellent in our family, friends, neighbors, country and planet because these are all aspects of the God we seek to find in centering prayer. I have difficulty doing this because I tend to be a negative, suspicious person. My first inclination is to criticize my family,friends, neighbors and country. Yet how can I possibly approach the God who is Love, by being so negative. Every time I say something negative, my wife mirrors it back at me because she cannot stand any of my negative comments. I struggle with this every day. It is amazing that I cannot get rid of this habit. I do it unconsciously. But in centering prayer I leave all of this behind. Instead of criticizing everything else, I must look at myself and how God sees me and forgives me.