Q: I have a question regarding the active prayer practice. I’m practicing Centering Prayer for about 2 years and the active prayer for several months. Sometimes, the active prayer comes up during Centering Prayer. How should I handle that? Let it happen or treat the active prayer sentence just as another thought and return to the sacred word?”
Yes, treat the active prayer as a thought when it surfaces during your Centering Prayer period. So when you find yourself engaged return ever so gently to the sacred symbol.
The wisdom is to keep the different prayer practices separate – this is not a hard and fast ‘rule ‘ but it seems in time each practice has its own energy – and that spiritual energy is weaken if you mix and match. But in the end the Holy Spirit will guide you.
For years my Active Prayer has been, ‘Lord Jesus Christ be my life’s breath’. It has become so part of me that there are times I do not even know that I am ‘saying’ it. Here is a quote from CO website.
“The great advantage of this practice is that it eventually becomes a “tape” similar to the “tapes” that accompany one’s upsetting emotions. When this occurs, the aspiration has the remarkable effect of erasing the old tapes, thus providing a neutral zone in which common sense or the Spirit of God can suggest what should be done.”
I hope this is a help – let me know.
Blessings, Fr Carl?