Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Contemplative prayer Experience

I have found the practice of contemplative prayer soothing, peaceful, and prayer that offers affection. Thomas Keating recommends two 20 minute sessions daily. I practice one in the afternoon. Is this a struggle, contemplative prayer? Is this a wrestling match? It is hospitality, acceptance, reception of Christ. It is surrender.

Two poems, one an introduction to the other.

Affection Treasured...

by Peter Menkin

This yearning need,

by grace is affection treasured,

acceptance satisfying. I am a man of faults.

You enlarge my heart by presence,

moving me to accept the other. The other.

You Almighty are other.

Each day prayers are offered,

and study goes on: reading books on spiritual matters.

It is the prayer that helps, mostly.

The books instruct, in so many ways.

The connection is living the life in the Way.

Struggle sometimes to be friend to neighbor;

love brings me strength and a wisdom,

offering a perfection. You are love, known.

I lift up my heart to You.

I open my heart to you. I wait.

Silence. You are love, unknown.

Now I must hush. I must hush.

The ongoing Conversation
By Peter Menkin

God's presence,
communicates silence, making
things seen and unseen:
prayerful notices. These conversations
continue reverently.

How soothing to listen: the Yes.

Be awake in spirit and mind
during the engagement with God.
The fiery envelopment
elicited within, enjoined
to others in a rising embrace
by unknowable vastness.

A moment to be aware
of God's presence.

Thank you for taking the time to read these new poems. The second is a revise of an older poem from 2000. The first is brand new, hot off the press.

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