Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina are Christian contemplative practices. These spiritual practices trace their roots back to the Desert Fathers (from the third century C.E.) as well as to the Benedictine leaders of this century, Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and John Main. As Cynthia Bourgeault puts it in her book, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, "there is a universal affirmation that this form of spiritual practice [intentional silence] is essential to spiritual awakening." In Lectio Divina, a short section of Scripture is read and reread, reflected upon in silence, and responded to by each individual, either silently or orally. In Centering Prayer, we simply sit silently in the presence of God. Thomas Keating describes the practice as giving "consent to God's presence and action within" (Open Mind, Open Heart, p. 139).
The group meets Wednesday afternoons in Room 13 from 4-5 PM. It is an ecumenical group, with members also from Grace Church. New members and visitors from First Church and from other traditions are always welcome. In our group we start with a slow and repeated reading of a psalm or other scripture, followed by silence and personal responses to the reading. Then we have about 20 minutes of silent Centering Prayer during which individuals may silently repeat a sacred word, seeking to connect with the sacred. No experience is needed to participate, and simple instructions are given each week. The group is run by the members who share leadership.
For more infomation, contact Betsy Howlett; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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