Shepherd of the Valley's Centering Prayer Group is a part of a network of communities in Contemplative Outreach San Diego. The intent of Contemplative Outreach is to foster the process of transformation in Christ through the practice of Centering Prayer.
In their own words, "Contemplative Outreach is a part of a worldwide spiritual network of individuals committed to living the contemplative dimension of the gospel in everyday life."
The root of prayer is interior silence. Though we may think of prayer as thoughts or feelings expressed in words, this is only one expression.
Intention and consent are at the heart of Centering Prayer. We have no human faculty to perceive this Mystery. Our experience in Centering Prayer is not limited to the felt presence of God but is rather a deepening of faith in God’s abiding presence.
Through a fidelity to the practice, Centering Prayer deepens to a method of surrender.
Centering Prayer as a discipline is designed to withdraw our attention from the ordinary flow of our thoughts. We tend to identify ourselves with that flow; but there is a deeper part of ourselves. This prayer opens our awareness to the spiritual level of our being. That level is not immediately evident to ordinary consciousness. Since we are not in immediate contact with that level, we have to do something to develop our awareness of it. It is the level of our being that makes us most human. The values that we find there are more delightful than the values that float along the surface of our psyche. We need to refresh ourselves at this deep level every day. Just as we need exercise, food, rest and sleep, so also we need moments of interior silence because they bring the deepest kind of refreshment.
To be a community which gathers together in the promised presence of God to support each other in our individual and communal quests to draw closer to God, to rest in God’s presence, and to consent to the transformation of our lives from small egos vying to enlarge ourselves into our true selves, vessels for the divine, and the incarnation of God’s presence on earth. Through this transformation, our hope is to be the embodiment of God’s love and grace for others without judgment or conditions, to all living creatures and to the earth itself.