Today the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II will be joined by members of the Poor Peoples Campaign to demand justice from the Trump Administration. My thoughts and prayers go with them because this administration has no respect for the poor or disadvantaged. We have seen in the deserts of the Southwest how they have criminalized compassion and, as a result, I do not expect Dr. Barber or the Poor Peoples Campaign to be welcomed with compassion. I offer this prayer for their safety and that closed hearts will be opened.
WE COME THIS DAY
We come this day to the Father, We come this day to the Son, We come to the Holy Spirit powerful; We come this day with God, We come this day with Christ, We come with the Spirit of love and kindness.
We come this day to open closed hearts to the Creator, We come this day to heal wounded hearts of hate and fear, We come this day to heal the blind, to see Jesus in our brother, our sister, We come this day to set the fire of holiness in each other. We come this day to shout God’s words of justice, mercy and compassion.
God, and Spirit, and Jesus, From the crown of our heads To the soles of our feet; We come with our reputation, We come with our testimony, We come to you, Jesus; Jesus, guide us, shelter us. AMEN
Over the years I have practiced many different types of
meditations. However, in the last year
or so my meditation time has become erratic, as a result so has my well-being. So
I recently began to meditate again, and being the crazy person I am, I volunteered
to lead a six-week Centering Prayer session at my church, Queen Anne Christian
Church. Which has me working really hard
to re‑integrate prayer into my daily schedule.
You would think that wouldn’t be hard for me as I am retired and haven’t
many obligations outside my home. I
should have plenty of time right. But never underestimate the power of
procrastination or the ability of a retired person to fill up their days. Besides,
I’ve done this before, this should be easy, right, NOT.
The process of Centering Prayer isn’t difficult, but it is
hard, and I know that’s a contradiction. I have learned it is harder to give up
control and enter into a meaningful and restful prayer time than it is to read
about it. There is a reason such prayers
are called “practice” because that is what you have to do. Our post‑modern
minds resist the act of sitting in silence and letting go of daily matters, it
wants to control our time, and it will fight back when we do practice a
meditative prayer. A minds rebellion takes the form of “monkey mind” or having the
inner voice inside of our head keep up a running chatter and we can’t get quiet
in order in meditator. This is where that annoying word “practice” comes in.
Practice is the only way shut down the chatter, when you finally
succeed then you will experience the quiet that allows you to ‘hear’, feel the
presence of God? One thing I do when I am
starting, or restarting, a new meditation practice is to limit the length of
time I meditate. Currently I am only meditating for 20 minutes at a time. Any
longer and I can’t keep day to day, mundane things from intruding. In centering
prayer, you select a word or short phrase, repeating it softly to help focus
the prayer and settle the mind. I admit to making good use of my centering word
in fact, when I first restarted my centering prayer, I think I spent the whole
20 minutes saying it and still the day’s trivia called to me.
One addition to my prayer time is helping me along. I am holding my Chihuahua’s as I meditate.
Their soft breathing /snores, and warm, soft bodies provides an extra barrier
to daily interruptions. I know many
can’t hold a pet, but, if you have a pet you can hold or have sit near you,
they are a comfort.
If you live with
someone they can, and often do, become an obstacle to meditative prayer. You need to spend in prayer should be a quiet
time, with no distractions. However, when there is someone else you need, or
wants, will intrude on your quiet time, especially when you have children. Husbands, wives, and children often don’t
understand why you want to sit in silence and have time alone for 20 or so
minutes. It is not just yourself who must work to enter into a rhythm of daily
prayer, your family also has to know about, understand and accept that for 20
or 30 minutes a day you are unavailable. That is, unless someone breaks a bone
or is bleeding, I end my meditation for those. We all have those events we
cannot nor should ignore and that is perfectly OK. After all prayer time isn’t something we have
to do, it something we want to do and enjoy while we do it. I have found that setting up a space designated
for my prayer/meditation time. I have a table,
candles, a chair with a soft blanket and a dog bed for my meditation partners.
It’s one of my favorite places.
Those are my struggles with centering prayer. I’m sure
others will experience different issues. I know many who struggle with “monkey
mind,” and I have troubles with monkey mind as well. Over time, with practice,
I have been able to somewhat quiet the babble in my head. It will happen for
you as well, just don’t dwell on it and realize that it is a normal response when
If any of you practice a contemplative spiritual practice or
are starting one, I send you my prayers for peace, silence, joy, and rest. May you find your moment with the Holy Spirit.