Centering Prayer and Heartbeat

Q:  Rather than using a sacred word – or as well as using one – recently I have been  listening to my heart beat and find this helpful. Does this seem to you too”concentrative” when my aim is to be receptive?

A:  We have a book written primarily for children called Journey to the Heart, which is an introduction to Centering Prayer. A child’s heart plays a prominent role in the presentation. Your question made me wonder why the same approach couldn‚Äôt be used for adults. Perhaps we should add listening to one’s heartbeat as a sacred symbol of our consenting to God’s presence and action in our lives. Then we pray our sacred symbol – the heartbeat – only when we become engaged with any thoughts, images, commentaries, sounds, etc. Used in this way, the heartbeat as a sacred symbol would then be very receptive.

Thank you for this new insight.

– Fr. Carl.