October 24, 2007

Centering Prayer

Every Wednesday, the cathedral has a half hour or so of centering prayer. The space is wonderful, dark and still with smooth white walls, one candle burning and the morning light coming through a high stained glass window. This morning, a woman came in and sank down in her chair and said "Oh, yes." And her "yes" hung in the air and resonated in my soul and I felt "yes" too.
I am not very often quiet and almost never quiet in the company of others. There is something about a collective silence in a place that has known hundreds of them that soaks into your bones. I do not need to pray -- somehow the space and the silence pray with and for me. I will cherish this when I leave, when I am back home where my praying is filled with to-do lists and garbage trucks and the paper thumping against the front door. But for now, the prayers still linger within, my poor prayer and all those powerful ones of the other people, unknown to me, whose silence enfolded me this morning and continues to do that.

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