Good Evening, God
What an incredible morning — our monthly Morning of Prayer! A gathering via Zoom of people from several islands — Oahu, Hawaii, Maui and Australia. (Anyone who wants more information can go to Contemplative Outreach of Hawaii and sign up for the monthly newsletter and links to ongoing Centering Groups.
Gathering together to sit in silence. Gathering together to sit in Centering Prayer. Gathering together to consent to Your Indwelling Spirits presence and action within us. Actually, one 20 minute period is devoted to Welcoming You.
I was struck, God, by how YOU the omnipresent and all powerful seem to want to be ASKED to come into our very innermost beings. Just as Jesus tells us in Revelations 3:20, “I stand at the door and knock . . “. I never cease to marvel at Your restraint and gentleness. Waiting for us to dimly sense we are missing something essential.
Just a fun aside, I think of the line in My Fair Lady where Alfred P. Doolittle tells the professor, “I’m willing to tell you; I’m wanting to tell you; I’m waiting to tell you.” That feels like what Your Holy Spirit might be saying!
In Centering Prayer each participant is encouraged to pick a “sacred word” — an ordinary word that is deemed sacred because it is a symbol of our intention to consent to the presence and action of Your Indwelling Spirit within us. And, when our minds wander off into fascinating or frightening thoughts, we are encouraged to gently return to the sacred word.
The point isn’t that we wander. The point is that we are welcomed back. It is the inverse of the way we have been raised. We do not lose points for losing focus. We are given points for returning! Of course! Little children learning to walk fall down. The joy is in their getting up and trying again.