Author Topic: Question about Contemplative Prayer  (Read 1165 times)

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Offline gregoryofnyssa

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Question about Contemplative Prayer
« on: January 09, 2009, 02:28:07 AM »
I am not new to the concept of contemplative prayer, but I am new to the serious practice of it.  I had a strange experience the other night while praying and I was hoping to get a little guidance about my experience and find out whether it is normal and trustworthy, or something else.

On this occasion quieting my mind was particularly difficult and after some time I began to get a little frustrated.  I eventually gave up the "effort" I was putting forth to find silence and resigned myself to my ignorance and inability.  As I expressed my openness to whatever God may have for me in this moment (rather than my own attempts to create something out of the moment), I felt an intense awareness that I was not alone.  I felt something that I have felt before in other prayerful scenarios which I believe to have been the presence of God.  But this was a little different.  It was strong, intense, and nearly oppressive.  I felt what I can only describe as heat overcoming me, like being under covers that are far too warm.  My nervous system seemed to come alive, but in such a strange way. 

After a few minutes of being in this state, I had to move and break the silence.  I had to get away; it was just too intense.  I opened my eyes and thought for a minute while prostrating on the ground, unsure of what to make of this experience.  I was hoping that someone here might have had a similar experience and would be able to explain to me what I should do.

It is my hope that it is the presence of God to which I need to acclimate myself through more prayer; it is my fear that this is some sort of distraction and that I did something odd mentally or physically to cause this experience to occur.   

Offline Salpy

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Re: Question about Contemplative Prayer
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 03:00:43 AM »
Welcome to the forum!

The only advice I can give is to talk to your priest about it.

Offline Jonny

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Re: Question about Contemplative Prayer
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 07:47:19 AM »
Welcome to this site!

God speaks to us in many different ways and I've experienced some very strange feelings and emotions during prayer but they've always been something deep rooted inside of me. I except that a necessary part of journeying towards God is knowing yourself and that through the sacraments and through Christs life death and resurrection we each have in us the mark of the Divine and we can find God at the heart of us more surely than we can find him in the clouds.

Anyway, to get back on topic I would say if you had an experience and you can put it down to a revelation of God through yourself, as in you reached further into your own being and found some spark of the Divine, then I would trust your experience. However if it appeared to you as if some external entity was manifesting to you then I would talk to a Priest, not because its suspicious or wrong but simply because it it something that we should all have guidance on.