Q: “Someone who practices Centering Prayer in the morning, has to have a prayer to prevent his mind from being bombarded by thoughts during the rest of the day. What is your opinion?”
Fr. Carl: I have often thought that a modified guideline #3 (When engaged with your thoughts, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word) could be a powerful rule for life: “Whenever you become engaged with any disruptive thoughts in daily life ever so gently return to your Sacred Word or an Active Prayer sentence.“
A good resource would be the Contemplative Life Program booklet called “Active Prayer – Pray without Ceasing “. My own active prayer is, “Lord Jesus Christ, be my life breath.” I pray it regularly but most especially when I begin to notice that I am obsessing on a thought, event or whatever may be disrupting the flow of the day. I gently begin to pray my active prayer which lessens that attachment and clears the way to deal with what is happening in the here and now. If the thought continues I bring it to a prayer of discernment to find what I may have to deal with on a deeper level.
The active prayer practice coupled with the regular daily practice of Centering Prayer and the Welcoming Prayer are wonderful gifts opening one to living in the present moment – here and now.
I pray that this has been a help – let me know.
Blessings, Fr Carl