I am reading all I
can about the process...as well as doing it twice daily.. I have
examined closely the "contemplative attitudes" such as
opening/gentleness/simplicity etc.... is it ok ,i.e. is it part of
the prayer, to refresh the memory of the 8 contemplative attitudes
at the front end of the process? I have been reading some books
about Centering Prayer and in particular one by David Frenette. He
alludes to eight contemplative attitudes in contemplation per se.
By front end I mean
before I actually start my meditation, and go back to them in the
meditation itself...is this still silence I guess is the question?
Or is it
better/expected to just sit in silence...I am not actively 'asking'
God for anything...just sitting in the attitudes, and initially
going through them.
A: I also appreciate the insights in David Frenette’s
book, The Paths of Centering Prayer. The eight contemplative
attitudes that David underlines -- opening to God, consent,
simplicity, gentleness, letting go, resting, embracing, integrating
prayer and life -- all make for a wonderful examination of the
intention and attention that we bring to our life. They help
renewing our relationship with our God.
In the context of Centering Prayer they can act as bookends to
your practice; they are also the fruits of the prayer. If you find
yourself introducing them during your Centering Prayer practice,
remember that during the prayer, we ever so gently let thoughts come
and go, even good thoughts. I suggest that you keep your Centering
Prayer period in the embrace of the silence of simply consenting to
God’s presence and action. A rule of the thumb is simply to avoid
mixing and matching within the prayer. Trust the process.
Blessings, Fr Carl.
(From CO e-News
Bulletin, February 2019)