A spiritual rule will enable you to approach your spiritual growth systematically. Because the rule is outlined and specific you will be able to measure and chart my growth. You will also be able to pinpoint areas that need improvement as well as spiritual areas where you excel. The spiritual disciplines I have studied and will discuss are as follows: Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer, Fasting, Prayer Walking, Centering Prayer, Spiritual Friendship, Examine and Journaling. Below is a brief explanation of the highlighted spiritual discipline.
The Centering Prayer
The Centering Prayer is defined by Adele Calhoun as “a form of contemplative prayer where the pray-er seeks to quiet scattered thoughts and desires in the still center of Christ’s presence.”[i] Centering Prayers can be traced back to Desert Hermits. But a detailed composition of The Centering Prayer can be traced back to the 14th century where an anonymous English mystic wrote a book called The Cloud of Unknowing. “The basic method promoted in The Cloud is to move beyond thinking into a place of utter stillness with the Lord.”[ii] The author of the cloud ties this type of prayer to the story of Jesus, Mary and Martha. He shows us in this story that Mary actually dropped all she was doing to be in total presence of Jesus. Unlike Martha, Mary actually stopped what she was doing to “bask” in Jesus’ love.[iii]
To perform the Centering Prayer:
Start out by finding a place where there is minimal amount of noise.
Next select a word that helps you regain your focus when your thoughts begin to race. The word could be a world that reminds you of God such as peace or love.
As you begin to meditate concentrate on clearing your thoughts, this will give a space where only the voice of God can exist. If your mind starts to race focus on your prayer word to tame your thoughts.