Private Prayer: Meditation PDF Print E-mail

We dedicate at least half an hour daily to mental prayer. This time is established by the Constitutions of our English Benedictine Congregation and represents the inheritance of a rich tradition of mental and contemplative prayer. Some monks do this in the Chapel before the Holy Tabernacle, or another quiet place in the monastery. This prayer is an effort to come to know and love God, and through His grace enter into contemplative prayer. It is an especially focused time to pursue a goal of the monk, which is "prayer without ceasing." Guided by the Holy Spirit, we try to follow the ancient advice of the desert fathers to rid the mind of all distractions – everything that is not God – and focus on Him alone. To help focus the mind, it may be helpful to meditate on a holy word or verse: "God, come to my assistance; Lord, make haste to help me" (Psalm 70:1) or "Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" (Luke 18:13)