Centering Prayer

Bears wear face masks too!
May 14, 2020
Reflections through My Window
June 1, 2020

by Sister Ann Marie Emon

I have a dear friend, Joan Tuberty, OSF who lives her life with a deep understanding that there is a way of knowing God beyond words and intellectual knowing.  I have learned that what Joan experiences is called Centering Prayer.  Joan writes that silence is the language of the Spirit.  Centering Prayer is a way of coming to our own center and find the deep stillness that is there within us.  The Spirit dwells within our hearts and silence enables us to listen to the gentle movement and inspiration of the Spirit.

The core of this teaching is found in taking a word or short phrase and repeating it usually in our breathing.  This word or phrase is called “centering prayer.”  The guidelines are: 1) Come into God’s presence as consciously as you can.  2) Express your willingness to let go of thoughts so as to dwell in God’s presence.  3) Take up your “Sacred Word” repeating it slowly, returning to it when you become aware of thoughts. 4) As you complete your method of prayer (usually 20 minutes twice a day) say the “Our Father” slowly and with a grateful heart.

During these days of sheltering at home, perhaps we can go to our own center and pray what the psalmist encourages us to pray.  (Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 145)  Ed Hayes writes a beautiful prayer to use before your centering prayer.

A Prayer before Centering Prayer

Divine and Hidden Friend,

I often feel that I fail at prayer,

But, I rejoice that your Spirit

Prays ceaselessly in the cellar of my heart.

Grant me the grace to sit still

That I may hear the Spirit’s silent song,

Ever flowing like a river deep within, singing my love for you.

Singing my love for you.

Quiet my restless heart,

Calm my roving runaway mind

As now, in communion with all the earth

And her many-colored children

I enter into the song of love,

The prayer of stillness.

Amen.

Be still and know that I am God…Be still and know that I am…Be still and know… Be still…  (Psalm 46:10)

Sister Ann Marie Emon

Sr. Ann Marie Emon

“Once a teacher, always a teacher,” says Sr. Ann Marie Emon who spent many years in the education ministry teaching Junior High and High School in Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota. Today Sr. Ann Marie finds the time she ministers as a computer lab assistant at the Thomas Wernert Center very rewarding. The Center provides recovery and support for people with a mental illness.

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Sr Brigid O'Shea Merriman

Thank you, dear Annie for sharing your reflection on Centering Prayer. Just reading your article is soothing. Sent with my loving thoughts and prayers, Brigid

Sister Irie

Thank you Annie for sharing this beautiful prayer experience. I am ready to try it. I especially like the beginning prayer by Edward Hayes to put myself into a prayerful, quiet space.