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Word into Silence

A manual for Christian meditation

JOHN MAIN OSB


’’The simplest way to answer the question ‘How do we pray?’ can be found in St Paul’s statement: ‘We do not even know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit prays within us.’ The Christian has been given freedom from all problematical questions about prayer by the revelation that what he calls ‘his prayer’ is nothing less than an entry into the prayer-experience of Jesus himself, the Spirit, the bond of union with the Father. All our seeking for secret knowledge, hidden ways or teaching has been rendered unnecessary because the ultimate secret has been revealed: ‘the secret is this – Christ in you’. When we understand that the centre of prayer is in Christ not ourselves, then we can ask ‘How?’ and receive a useful answer…. The tradition of Christian meditation is a simple and, above all, practical response to this question.” (pg x-xi)
 
 
Monastary without Walls

The Spiritual Letters of JOHN MAIN OSB

“The difficulty [for] modern people is that the interior silence necessary for deep prayer is so foreign to contemporary culture. We are accustomed to regarding prayer as talking to God, thinking about God, or imagining God or the historical Jesus with many variations on these mental activities. It is hard for us to see prayer as being with God. With so much mental activity, we forget that the essence of prayer is silence, stillness, and awe in the presence of God…. So often when we talk to God we are talking about ourselves – help me to do this, to be that. However altruistic the intention behind this may be, the very structure of the language keeps us as the centre of our own consciousness…. It is to avoid this collapse into ourselves and to stay alert and awake that we meditate. In meditation, God the mystery is always at the centre. As we move into union with that centre, we come to know God by the divine light. The name of this movement is love and the experience of it is a progressive loss of self and self-consciousness.” (pg 24-25)
 
 
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