Contemplative practices facilitate and deepen our relationship with God. They are an opportunity to invite the Indwelling Presence into everything we do. Contemplative practices give us the eyes to see and the ears to hear God calling us to the banquet.
Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.
Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer — verbal, mental or affective prayer — into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.
The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the Indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ. The effects of Centering Prayer are ecclesial, as the prayer tends to build communities of faith and bond the members together in mutual friendship and love.
Lectio Divina, literally meaning “divine reading,” is an ancient practice of praying the scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the practitioner listens to the text of the Bible with the “ear of the heart,” as if he or she is in conversation with God, and God is suggesting the topics for discussion. The method of Lectio Divina includes moments of reading (lectio), reflecting on (meditatio), responding to (oratio) and resting in (contemplatio) the Word of God with the aim of nourishing and deepening one’s relationship with the Divine.
Like Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina cultivates contemplative prayer. Unlike Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina is a participatory, active practice that uses thoughts, images and insights to enter into a conversation with God. Lectio Divina also is distinguished from reading the Bible for edification or encouragement, Bible study, and praying the scriptures in common, which are all useful but separate practices.
Download a Lectio Divina Brochure
The Welcoming Prayer is a method of actively letting go of thoughts and feelings that support the false-self system. It helps to dismantle the emotional programs of the false-self system and to heal the wounds of a lifetime by addressing them where they are stored – in the body. The method of the Welcoming Prayer includes noticing the feelings, emotions, thoughts and sensations in your body, welcoming them, and then letting them go. Practicing the Welcoming Prayer offers one the opportunity to make choices free of the false-self system — responding instead of reacting to the present moment.
The purpose of the Welcoming Prayer is to deepen one’s relationship with God through consenting to God’s presence and action in the ordinary activities of daily life. In this way, the Welcoming Prayer supports all forms of prayer, like Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina, which share the purpose of growing in relationship with God through consenting to His presence and action.
Welcoming Prayer Brochure