Q: I tried Centering Prayer for some time but reached a point where during my prayer time I was constantly assailed by profane words, words I assiduously avoid in my life. It reached a point where my prayer time became so distressing I gave it up. Any comment please?
A: Who knows what goes on deep within? Your whole life you have “assiduously avoided” profanity, perhaps giving it an energy far beyond their worth. Of course they will be coming up in your prayer; you have made them an important symbol of your worth and invested pride in being able to avoid them. In a case like this, what does the HOLY SPIRIT do? Puts them before you when you are entering in your prayer space to remind you of how powerless you really are. However in Centering Prayer, as I have said many times, “what is coming up is going out.” Welcome the profanity and in the humiliation that you experience, receive the gift of humility, aware that all good is the work of the Holy Spirit. Please return to the prayer – it is the key to your freedom in The Lord.