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The reception of the revelation. The Word who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Primary is the word of Scripture. Also may come from the sharing of others, one's reading, prayer, creation, everyday lived experience.


This involves primarily a repetition of the word of revelation or the word of life one has received. Not necessarily a single word, but may be a whole phrase or sentence. Is repeated over and over again, beginning with the lips. Thus the Psalms speak of one meditating with his lips. In time the repetition tends to interiorize and simplify the word, as its meaning is assimilated. For during this repetition the mind is not a vacuum. It receives the word more and more, enters into it more and more, assimilates it and appropriates it, until the mind is formed by the word and a person's whole being is a living response to the word. When the received word passes from the lips into the mind and then down into the heart through constant repetition, it produces in the one praying a loving, faith-filled response.

Repetition changes a notional assent into a real assent. As we receive the words of revelation into our mind, they are just so many notions or ideas, what we accept in faith. We do believe. But as we assimilate them through meditation, our whole being comes to respond to them. We move to a real assent. Our whole being, above all our heart, says: "Yes, this is so. This is the reality."


Next, again quite naturally, we turn to oratio, to prayer, to response. When God, the Father reveals himself and we really hear that revelation, the Word of Life, we respond with confident assent, with expressed need, with gratitude, with love. This response is prayer. And it bursts out more and more constantly as the reality of our assent deepens and we more fully perceive the revelation of Creator and creative Love in all that we encounter.

Our response grows. It is constantly nourished by illuminating grace. There are moments and seasons of special light. And it is at these times, which eventually become all times, that the Reality becomes so real to us that a word or movement of the heart can no longer adequately respond to it. Our whole being must say "yes".


This is contemplatio. It is a gift, a gift of the Light who is God. We can only open to it, in our God-given freedom, and express our desire to receive it by fidelity to lectio, meditatio and oratio - - oratio of the most delicate, open and receptive type. That is what Centering Prayer is.

The above instrument was used during our diaconal formation. Most of the materials used during those years were handouts, so I was unable to locate copyright information for this one.  When known, I have given credit to the authors. If you have information about the source of this document,
please contact me