SadhanaOriental meditation and christian prayer

Other ways of praying

[1] St. Benedict’s prayer

 St. Benedict (note) cherished a three-step yet simple way of prayer using the Bible.  When his followers asked him how to pray, he said, “Prayer should be simple and pure,” and told them to pray in the following way.
The first step is lectio (reading).  You pick a part in the Bible.  Choose the part that you are attracted when you read.
 The second step is meditatio (meditation).  Appreciate words by using lips rather than thinking with your intelligence.  For example, appreciate “rivers of living water...” “rivers of living water...” by repeating the words with your lips.
 The third step is oratio (contemplative prayer).  In order to further enjoy the words that you appreciated in the previous step, talk in front of God.  For example, “How will the rivers of living water be used in my daily life?”
Stop praying when you are satisfied.  When you cannot focus, stop praying, select a different section in the Bible, and start over again.  Let’s try now.
Here, we use John 7: 37-40.  Read the section.
 After reading, see what part gets to your heart.
 If the part “Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink” has a fresh impression on you, then enjoy this part repeatedly.  “Anyone who thirsts...” “anyone who thirsts...” “come to me...” “come to me...”  As you repeat, you feel joy.  “Come to me and drink” “come to me and drink” “let anyone who thirsts...drink” “let anyone who thirsts...drink.”  Repeating the words, feel that you thirst.  Enjoying and experiencing the words in your heart means that you have the feeling, “I thirst, so I come to you.”  “Anyone who thirsts” “anyone who thirsts” “anyone who thirsts.”  Feel that you thirst.  This meditation is a combination of your lips and heart.  That is why it is easy.  “Thirsts” “thirsts” “thirsts.”  Feel that many people besides you thirst.  “Thirsts” “thirsts.”  Enjoy the words in your heart and keep doing it.  Your voice becomes lower.
 Now you enter the third step.  First, relish the silence.  God sees that you thirst.  You focus on that.  God cherishes you.  He loves you.  You are in front of God.  You talk to him, “I thirst.  My heart is open to you.  I want to know you more.  What should I do with this thirst?”  Wait for God’s reply.  “It’s good to thirst.  It is good not to be satisfied.”  You feel relieved.  “That is good.  I can receive many things from God.  Thank you.  God comes inside me.  Eternal life is inside me.”  When you are satisfied, end this prayer.
 When you pray in this way in your daily life, pick a part in the Bible that you like.

[Note] St. Benedict

 St. Benedict is a saint who lived in the 6th centruy.  He was born in a village close to Rome.  Since age 17, he prayed with young people in a cave in the mountains.  His prayers were often used in 6th to 12th centuries.   The Liturgy of the Hours was developed from this prayer.  He is the founder of the monastic community called the Order of Saint Benedict.


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