“Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10 NRSV).
Centering Prayer is about sitting in silence and doing some listening. In Centering Prayer, the contemplative accepts all the things that go through her/his mind and lets them go. By letting go, the individual is able to gradually be with God as the center of her/his being. It is a great way to end Lectio Divina (the prayerful reading of Scripture).
1 Samuel 3:10 is a perfect example of what Contemplative and Centering Prayer is. It happens when we take time from the business of life, and “incline the ears of your heart” to the God who is within. “Speak for your servant is listening.” We take some time in meditative silence to let go. Let go. Let go. What matters most is that we are listening for and to God as people who serve the Holy One.
God speaks in the heart that is craving love, acceptance and peace. We cannot, however, find those things without turning ourselves over to God. God speaks to the whole of our being. God knows us intimately. “For you created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:12). The Holy One who created every part of us, sees us a beautiful and holy being, to be recreated into the “new person(s) in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17-18).
“Listen, and incline the ear of your heart” (Prologue of The Rule of Saint Benedict).
Can you pray today by saying, “Speak, for your servant is listening”?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB