Join Us For An Evening of Contemplative Prayer
Sept 7-May 31, 2017
Ave Maria Center, St Clare Meeting Room
Just like the beams of the ceiling in our church leading to an apex, there are many ways that can lead us to our God: Daily Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Rosaries, Chaplets and many other special prayers and devotions, Eucharistic Adoration, Scripture meditations, Bible Studies, Prayer Groups, Choirs or spiritual music, spiritual books, retreats, etc. The list goes on and on. God can be found in many places in many ways. There is no one right way or wrong way to pray. If it leads you to God, then it’s right for you.
Contemplative prayer is just one of these prayer types. It consists of simply sitting quietly for a few minutes without distractions, meditating, and inviting Jesus to come into our hearts. It is being still with God. It is letting go of ourselves and just BEING with God. The psalmist even invites us: "Be still and know that I AM God." (Psalms 46:10)
Each week when our Contemplative Prayer Group meets, we first do intercessory prayer for all our needs and those of our loved ones. Then we do Lectio Divina prayer, reflecting on the coming Sunday's Gospel. The Gospel is then read three times. The first time, we pick a work or phrase that touches our hearts. The passage is repeated a second time while we imagine ourselves in the scene as an observer or an active participant. We then listen to the passage a third time and try to determine what the Holy Spirit is telling us.
This process breathes life into the Scriptures. If we spend time reflecting on the Gospel, it amazingly comes more alive Sunday at Mass. This reflection is also helpful for those in other ministries that use the Gospel readings by inviting the Holy Spirit to bring additional insight into what God is telling us.
Wrapping ourselves in God's love and mercy, we then listen briefly to some words of encouragement reminding us how to meditate and go to the chapel for our actual meditation. In our busy lives, we need some peaceful quiet time. In spending this time with God without distractions, we invite Jesus to come into our lives. In meditation, we just try to be present here and now, we try to let go of all that is not God and to be at home with God in a totally uncluttered and uncontrived way. We allow God to calm the storms that confront us in our daily lives, as he did with the apostles. Spending a little quiet time in His presence calms our inner seas and allows us to hear Him and grow in His love. Try being still and listening for a change.