In this sermon, Osheta Moore offers a teaching on the practice of silence, or what she calls holy listening. Then, she offers a means for embracing this holy listening through the discipline of centering prayer.
Silence is intentionally homing in on the presence of God by turning away from the things in this world that distract us and overwhelm us. It is a way of shutting off the noise in order to pay attention to God’s voice. It is a way of quieting the noise so that we can hear our souls in the presence of God.
Being silent as a spiritual practice is a form of holy listening. It creates space in our lives to set aside the frenetic noise of common life so we can hear God’s still small voice. This can be done alone and in community. Osheta shared how she has experienced holy listening through spiritual friendships and under the guidance of a spiritual director.
Osheta closed the sermon with an introduction to the practice of centering prayer and led us through a centering prayer experience. This is a way to practice silence in a concrete way. There are four basic steps:
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- Choose a sacred word.
- Sit comfortably with eyes closed, settle yourself, and gently introduce your sacred word.
- When you become aware of other thoughts, gently return to your sacred word.
- At the end of your prayer time, remain still for a couple of minutes.