My Thoughts on 27/07/2021

In the last few weeks I have been rediscovering and practising the prayer of silence. This began with my listening to an audio book written and read by Laurence Freeman entitled “Light Within”. In this he gives the essence of the Benedictine John Mains teaching on how the meditate.

John Main talks about the sort of silence that is needed for meditation. He says that in order to enter into the holy and mysterious communion with the Word of God dwelling within us we must first have the courage to become more and more silent. We cannot come to know God by thinking about him. “We know that God is intimately with us and we know all that He is infinitely beyond us. It is only through deep and liberating silence that we can reconcile the polarities of the mysterious paradox”. We are encouraged to achieving a stage of alert stillness in our mind and heart. This is not the stillness of sleep but rather of totally awakened concentration.

He gives practical hints on how to sit and breathe. It is easy enough to sit still he says, but the real task of this type of mediation is to achieve harmony of body, mind and spirit. He then encourages us to use a mediation word. He suggests the word “Maranatha” which is the Aramaic word meaning “Come Lord. Come Lord Jesus.”. In the the book “the Cloud of Unknowing” the anonymous English author recommends the repetition of a little word. John Main suggests praying twice a day, ideally early morning and early evening. This should be between 20 and 30 minutes.

This is just one way of doing Silent Prayer. Remember it isn’t the only way of praying.

Canon Father Anthony
Canon Father AnthonyParish Priest