Sometimes living life in a big family does feel like a three-ring circus, but that's my life, and, all-in-all, I LOVE IT!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Contemplative Prayer

My brother-in-law Donald suggested I read Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton.  It is very deep.  Some parts are too deep for me.  It's about developing an approach towards 'centering prayer', going deep inside yourself to connect with God on a deeper level.  Allowing God to reveal Himself to you.  Instead of the constant plea and/or praise that entails a jumble of words from us to God, it's more about quieting the spirit to be open to receiving The Spirit.

It's also about developing a monastic spiritual life without having to join a monastery.  It's about being alone with the Holy Spirit even when you are with a crowd.  You don't have to be physically separated from others in order to achieve this.  But I think it is something that will be a challenge for me to achieve.  I am so easily distracted.
And since I live in this 'worldly' world and not a monastery, and since the life I live is far from cloistered, I don't hold out a lot of hope for myself achieving this goal.

I have to admit, I was a little depressed reading this book, knowing that I'll never realize that 'Oneness With God' that monks, and those that lead a life of prayer experience, because I'm just not all that spiritual.  So I went searching for articles on prayer that might help me.  I found something that I really connected with:
"There is no difference between scrubbing the floor and praying.  There is no difference between balancing your checkbook and praising God.  It's all the same energy from the same Source, and the only difference is how we use that energy.  Every moment is the same in God's Eyes, for every moment, every exertion of energy can be used to praise Him, and we waste those moments when we don't have Him front and center in EVERYTHING we do."

I know that it is a vocational calling to live the life of the religious.  But I think the secular life, while not fully immersed in the spiritual twenty-four/seven, can be a life that is Spirit-filled.


  1. Oh Eileen I've discussed this with friends at church before and my Pastor, prayer that is. What I have learned is this, talking to God while doing a chore is a prayer. Talking to God in your mind while driving is a prayer. Falling asleep mid-prayer (Something I often do) is still a prayer. My Pastor says that it really doesn't matter how we pray as God already knows what we want, just the fact that we talk to him, even if only in our mind, is prayer.
    I think I pray more while gardening than any other time and it's always in my mind. It's so quite and the thoughts just come to mind. I know he hears me. He hears us all. Love Di ♥

  2. I really like the quote you posted and I like the comment from Diana. That is how I basically live my life. I talk to God all day long as I'm doing all of the things I need to get done. Well not all day but when ever I hear, see, or think about something that I feel warrants his attention. I guess you could say my contact with God is non formal :>) But you know it works. God answers my prayers and listens all the time. Sometimes I don't see that right away but when I look back on something I do.
    I did start a post last night. I accidentally published it and then deleted it. It's back up now. In answer to your question we do celebrate Marti Gras and Paczki Day in our area. We have had family Marti Gras parties in the past and Anne will usually decorate her house. It seems like restaurants and bars are getting into the spirit these days. We always have a Paczki on Fat Tuesday. I get them these days from the Polish Cultural Center. I hope you have a meaningful journey through Lent. Many blessings to you and your family.
    Love, Carol

  3. I love reading your thoughts on this Eileen. You are a very spiritual person. I do believe we can have His spirit to be with us all of time. And I'm sure as a Mom and Grandma you pray all throughout the day like I do. I have no idea how parents raise kids without prayer.