Wisdom Story #7: Open to God in Silence


Ask a Catholic Benedictine Sister for her wisdom, and she’s likely to tell you a story. Why?  Because wisdom comes through listening and being. This is the 7th story in our Wisdom Series.

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

(Centering Prayer) is a way of tuning in to a fuller level of realty that is always present and in which we are invited to participate. The fundamental disposition in Centering Prayer is opening to God. – Thomas Keating

One of the wisest decisions I ever made was to commit myself to daily Centering Prayer.

Spiritual disciplines of both the East and West recommend forms of silent prayer, from the Jesus Prayer (the Ancient Desert Monastics) to Centering Prayer (Merton, Keating) to the Prayer of Quiet (St. Teresa).

These forms of prayer help us enter divine union (once we make up our minds that such a level of union with God exists).

I have practiced Centering Prayer 2 times daily since the early 70s, and have found that one of its greatest gifts is the desire to live in the presence of God throughout the day.

The 2 times of Centering – morning and evening – are poles of grace, keeping me aware of the presence of God before me, with and behind me.

Despite the fact that I have practiced Centering for more than 40 years, I still feel like a beginner.  I know, however, that I am on first rung of the ladder of contemplative prayer that leads to union with God.

I am in relationship. I am centered. And yes, I do feel peace.

Centering Prayer is not just a method. It is true prayer.

If you want to pray, go to your room and there pray to your Father in secret. – Matthew 5:6

Centering Prayer is a prayer of faith, surrendering to God who is already with us. It is a matter of acting on the premise that God dwells within our hearts.

Learn more about Centering Prayer.


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