The practice of meditation is an ancient form of prayer deeply rooted in Christian tradition. This prayer of silence is "the place where direct contact with Christ can occur . . . once the distractions of the modern world have been quieted and the mind has been stilled. St. Jerome's Meditation Group practices meditation in the tradition of St. Benedict, Thursdays, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. in the Upper Room, next to the Senior Center.
Meditation is not something new to the Christian experience and tradition. However, many Christians have lost touch with this ancient tradition of prayer. Meditation involves coming to a stillness of spirit and a stillness of body. The extraordinary thing is that, in spite of all the distractions of the modern world, this silence is perfectly possible for all of us. To attain this silence and stillness, we have to devote time, energy and love.
The way to set out on this pilgrimage is to recite a short phrase, a word that today is commonly called a mantra. The mantra is simply a means of turning our attention beyond ourselves, a method of drawing us away from our own thoughts and concerns. The real work of meitation is to attain harmony of body, mind, and spirit. This is the aim given us by the psalmist in Scripture: "Be still and know that I am God."
St. Paul wrote (Rom. 8:26) that "we do not know how to pray, but the spirit prays within us." What this means in the language of our own day is that before we can pray, we first have to learn to become still, to become attentive. Only then can we enter into loving awareness of the Spirit of Jesus deep within our heart.
Meditation, known also as contemplative prayer, is the prayer of silence, the place where direct contact with Christ can occur, once the never ceasing activity of the mind has been stilled. In meditation we go beyond words, thoughts, and images into the presence of God within.
St. John of the Cross says, "God is the center of my soul." Julian of Norwich says, "God is the still point at my center." Meditation is this daily pilgrimage to one's own center. It is an inner journey of silence, stillness and simplicity, and is the missing contemplative dimension of much Christian life today.
"The all important aim in Christiain Meditation is to allow God's mysterious presence within us to become more and more not only a reality, but the reality which gives meaning, shape, and purpose to everything we do, to everything we are. . . ." John Main OSB
For more information on meditation and St. Jerome's Meditation Group, contact parishioner Tom Lenert.Looking for Christ? Is it difficult to hear Him amidst the noise and distrations of daily living? Weekly meditation group in the Benedictine tradition.