A REFLECTION FOR CENTERING PRAYER
Here we sit, in readiness for some time alone with God. Still in community, but not disturbing each other, rather respecting and enjoying each other’s space and time.
Rather like getting ready for a special treat, but one you know everyone else is going to receive as well.
We are all lined up to enter our unique, secret room, where God awaits us in silence, for some alone time together. That most special sacramental union, where all the emptiness is filled with prayer and grace, darkness and silence, love and warmth, presence and intention.
The secret room is still some distance from me. I walk through a field of others towards a lighted house where my secret room awaits.
Normally, I would bring others with me, and drop them off at the door to be welcomed by the owner, but this time I walk alone, as this now is my time to enter. Silently moving through a field of others, perhaps waiting their turn now, or for me to help them. Regardless, I have to walk on and answer this call. This is our time.
The noise of the world begins to quieten down, just the act of moving seems to make the sound dim itself. A rather strange yet wonderful feeling begins to erupt inside me. Perhaps this is grace, as I respond to the call.
Then, suddenly, I am at the door. It is slightly opened, enough for me to see, but the light which was so bright before is now just enough for me to see my way in. The room seems filled with darkness, yet is wonderfully inviting. A divine darkness which calls my entry. A seat is located in the middle of the room, a room which seems to defy size, I cannot tell if it is large or small.
I take the seat; as I relax the door closes tightly, with that reassuring thud which means I am safe.
A small chair, empty before, awaited me,
A chair of love, designed to support me, comfort me, for you to surround me, relax me.
But most of all to sit with you.
Alone in the divine darkness,
As the last parts of the other world are separated by the closing door,
Eyelids close and my heart opens to you.
As I breathe deeply and say my sacred word, the air rises and falls in my lungs, as if a symphony of mind and body. The word seems to open me up and blood rushes to my heart for another circular motion, soothing and calming me.
While eyes are closed I notice a brightness in each breath, beaming through these closed eyes, in this dark room. The rises and fall of the light matched the beat of the word, which matches the beat of the heart.
Now, all three in unison, feel good, but they are distracting me. Causing me to be attentive to the consolation of their movement. I must let them go by. Like passing cars, I let them go by and relax once more in the peace which is the presence of God. The presence of love divine.
I am again listening to the silence which will be our companion in this room of love.
Moving slowly, with eyes gently closed,
The door is closed once more,
This time bolted, to avoid distractions,
And noise from the outside world.
Now seated, the emptiness seems to engulf me,
As a divine darkness descends like a cloak,
Sealing me off,
So I may concentrate on nothing.
Except the breath of life and its source.