Liturgical and personal prayer are essential to our vocation as Dominicans. It is said that day and night, at home or on the road St. Dominic was continuously at prayer.
“The celebration of the liturgy builds our community, it is the heart of our life and the sources of our unity.” (Constitutions #47C).
We seek God through personal prayer in silence, through retreats, Eucharistic adoration and reflection on scripture, among many other ways.
The Practice of Contemplative Prayer
Contemplative Prayer may be described as “prayer without words” or better as a loving attentive awareness of being in the presence of God.
What we suggest here is one way of approaching the actual exercise in contemplative prayer for those who would like a “starter”.
- Find time – 15 to 30 minutes each day, if possible. During this time you must try to be silent and quiet.
- In order to silence the mind and quiet the heart begin by taking a few deep breaths. Then repeat a short word or phrase or ejaculatory prayer (see some examples below).
- Gently but firmly let go or words and thoughts, cares, anxieties etc. Let go of thinking about God. We try to go beyond thinking.
- Practice being quiet, believing that you are in the presence of God. Relax in the silence of that Presence. Just Be!
- When distractions come (and they will), gently let go of them by returning to your word (mantra) or ejaculatory prayer of choice.
- Conclude by saying silently “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit”
- Try to develop the habit of saying an ejaculatory prayer or mantra during the day.
Some Prayers and Mantras
Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me
Be still and know that I am God.
Jesus, help me to live in your presence.
Jesus meet and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
Some one-word mantras: