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One of the keys to support ourselves during times of discernment is through prayer. That ability to be silent before God as a listener is as vital as picturing ourselves in the presence of a wise person. Ask a simple question at the start of prayer, “Loving One, what do you want me to do with my life?” Then, wait in silence to hear the response.
Asking a question similar to this one probably won’t be a one-time experience of asking and then hearing the response, because this (and others like it) is a profound question! It may take many times for us to hear, really tune in to how the response comes. In prayer and quiet time, we are preparing to receive something precious from the One who loves us.
Receptivity and openness, not attachment to a specific outcome, allows us to hear well. We may be surprised by how our response comes. It could be through an insight received during prayer, a seemingly accidental conversation with another person, going for a walk, fixing a meal, doing dishes, or taking a shower. The response may just show up and our heart will know “this is it.” If we don’t know the full answer to our question, we will know the next step to take.
Discerning is a journey, a pilgrimage, during which we discover clues along the paths we walk. We can feel joy and be assured that all the paths lead to the same end, connection with our God.
May you have patience and persistence walking this path,
Why is personal prayer so important? Watch this video.
El Camino de Escuchar
Una de las claves para sostenernos durante los tiempos de discernimiento es a través de la oración. Esa capacidad de guardar silencio ante Dios como oyente es tan vital como imaginarnos en presencia de una persona sabia. Haga una pregunta sencilla al comienzo de la oración: “Amado, ¿qué quieres que haga con mi vida?” Luego, espera en silencio para escuchar la respuesta.
Hacer esta pregunta probablemente no será una experiencia única de preguntar y luego escuchar la respuesta, ¡porque esta es una pregunta profunda! Puede que nos cueste muchas veces escuchar, realmente sintonizarnos en como llega la respuesta. En oración y en silencio, nos estamos preparando para recibir algo precioso de Aquel que nos ama. La receptividad y la sensibilidad, no el apego a un resultado específico, nos permite escuchar bien.
Nos puede sorprender cómo llega nuestra respuesta. Puede ser a través de una percepción recibida durante la oración, una conversación aparentemente accidental con otra persona, salir a caminar, preparar una comida, lavar los platos o tomar una ducha. La respuesta puede aparecer repentinamente y nuestro corazón sabrá que "esta es." Si no sabemos la respuesta completa a nuestra pregunta, sabremos el próximo paso a seguir.
Discernir es un viaje, un peregrinaje, durante el cual descubrimos señales a lo largo de los senderos que caminamos. Podemos sentir alegría y tener la seguridad de que nuestros caminos nos llevan al mismo fin, la conexión con nuestro Dios.
Que tengas paciencia y persistencia recorriendo el camino de escuchar,
¿Por qué es tan importante la oración personal? Vea.
Mary’s “yes” to the angel when told she was favored and chosen to bear the Son of God, inspires us by its simple consent and its leap of faith into an uncertain future. She knew she couldn’t fully know or understand what she was getting herself into. But Mary placed her trust in God.
None of us when discerning our future path knows for sure that this or that is the right choice for us because there is no way to know the unknown. It really is all about our willingness to trust that God loves us. In our love and trust, when we have done our best to listen to what the Holy Spirit has in mind for our lives, we step onto the path, continuing to trust in God’s love.
In these days of Advent waiting we can allow ourselves a little extra time to be still, to welcome silence into our lives. Silence is God’s best way to communicate. Our listening and really hearing is best done in silence too.
May you be still enough to hear the still, small whispers of God,
To jump start your listening: http://www.adriandominicans.org/BecomeaSister/EnteringtheLife.aspx
Centering prayer is an ancient prayer of inner awakening to divine presence in the silence of our being. In this prayer we gently let go of our thoughts, feelings, and anxious planning, and sink into that open space within ourselves where God dwells in hidden closeness. When I practice this prayer I feel somehow free from my personal story. I sense a joy in knowing that God’s presence extends far beyond my thoughts, feelings, and achievements, and resides in the depths of my soul soaring into eternity. This awareness of union with God is at the heart of the spiritual life.
How can sitting in the silence of centering prayer help us to respond effectively to various life situations? Clearly, we are not deliberating on our problems and searching for solid solutions during this prayer of silence. Centering prayer, however, trains us to separate from our thoughts and feelings and to wait for God’s wisdom and guidance rather than jumping to easy answers prematurely. As Albert Einstein once said, “no problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.” By learning to orient ourselves toward God in centering prayer, we learn to see our life situations from a new divine perspective. The direction we need to go becomes clear and we are emboldened to take loving action for the betterment of those around us.
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Adrian Dominican Sisters
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Get out your bell-bottoms and platform shoes, because DISCO is here!
Okay, so it's a little less dancing, a little more talking... Sisters Lorraine Réaume, OP, and Sara Fairbanks, OP, have a video series called DISCO (Discernment Conversations): Dancing with the questions of life!