A Taste of Silence
by Conchitina S. Bernardo
My heart is not proud, Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
Like a child in its mother’s breast.
This beautiful psalm addresses our topic of HUMILITY as a means to contemplative prayer. One has to be truly humble in order to really pray. Not the self-denigrating kind of “humility” which is really laced with pride, but the true and basic, simple humility of self-forgetfulness while focusing on God. The beautiful little book on Contemplative Prayer by an anonymous monk, ‘The Cloud of Unknowing” says it clearly, as does this psalm: ” Everything you are thinking of is between you and God. And you are furthest from God when there is anything but God in your mind.” In other words uplifting thoughts and even theories no matter how sublime are really blocks to prayer. Only HUMILITY, in its most basic form can translate to prayer. “When you heart is not proud” as the psalm says, ” nor is it concerned with things too great for me, ” only then can you find your way to God. One prayer word and nothing else establishes your path. A “calm and quieted soul” becomes the venue to Contemplative Prayer. Then you rest in God, “like a child quieted in its mother’s breast.”
Verse 2 brings us to SILENCE .
Contemplation is all about silence, letting go of the clutter in the mind, internal dialogues, random insights. In Centering Prayer you simply rest in God, like a baby rests on its mother’s breasts. The silence brings about calm and peace, and eventually clarity of mind, helping you deal with daily life’s problems, leading to their resolution. It starts with the premise that God knows all your needs even before you ask for them. Just spend precious quiet time with Him.
Because this prayer is humble and down to earth, meaning uncluttered and simple, we begin to find God in everyday life events. The bible becomes a channel of conversation between you and God, and a relationship is initiated and eventually established and deepened.
Silence, Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina have become a pattern in the lives of the members of Contemplative Outreach Philippines (COP.) We are a community of people who meet weekly to pray together . We are true friends, bonded, and non-judgmental of one another . We are supportive and available. Our weekly COP group is a priceless gift.
We invite you to join us every Monday from 10 AM to 12 noon at St . Elizabeth room at the Convento of our Parish Church
Visit us at the Contemplative Outreach Philippines web site. Go to http://www.cophil.org.ph
As published in the March 19 issue of the Parish Bulletin.