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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Entering into Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative prayer is best begun under the Sign of the Cross. This physical action together with the words that recall our baptism opens access to the heart of God and protects from irrational powers that would otherwise oppose this holy effort. The words of this simple prayer orient me to the Holy of Holies—Father, Son and Holy Spirit whose life bears me up and carries me into the Sanctuary not made by human hands. The gesture puts me under the banner of Crucified love, and reveals the spiritual Seal of my heart. As the Sign is traced on my body, my spirit bows before the Presence of the Lord. My awareness is filled, and my heart stilled. Now I am ready to wait upon the Word.

As the Presence of God dawns in my heart, the light of truth shines on its labyrinthian ways. The still small voice of conscience cries out and this prayer allows it to echo until compunction. Finally, my feet find the firmness needed to bear the weight of my soul.

Contemplative prayer accessed by the Cross suffers the truth and discovers the humility of God. His gentle kindness calms storms of wrath and self-pity. The warmth of His love ignites the heart—and the words of the Word resound in great canticles—for He calls me to stand before His Face.

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