John Main Christian Meditation - WCCM

By means of the mantra we leave behind all passing images
and learn to rest in the infinity of God himself.
- John Main O.S.B.
 
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Christian Meditation
"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)

Fr. John Main, O.S.B.

"In the Christian tradition, the experience of prayer, the experience of meditation, is of unity, of oneness.
It is an experience that changes the whole of our perception of reality.
We see reality as a whole, unified by the basic energy of the cosmos, which is the energy of love.
This is the message of the truth that sets us free."
John Main O.S.B.,
Moment of Christ, p. 41.

Fr. John Main O.S.B. (1926 - 1982)
         Fr. John Main O.S.B. (1926 - 1982)

What is Christian Meditation?

 
The basis of the Prayer is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Deep within all of us dwells the Blessed Trinity.  At the depth of our being the Father continually loves the Son while the Son responds to the Father in love and prayer through the Holy Spirit.  In our Prayer of Meditation we desire to be part of the love and prayer of Jesus to the Father.  Rather than think up words or aspirations or images of our own, we wish to unite ourselves with the loving prayer going on continuously within us.  In this prayer we also seek to open ourselves completely to the Holy Spirit that He may bring about in us conversion, repentance and faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Christian Meditation is a prayer of Stillness.  The body and mind are completely silent and still.
"Be still and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10

In the stillness we bow in faith before the majesty of God who can reveal His unlimited love for us.
Meditation is a simple direct method of making us present to God in love.

Christian Meditation is a Prayer of Faith.  It is more important to experience its power in our lives than to try to understand or explain it.  It is unlike other forms of meditation with which you may be familiar.  Here there are no words, no thoughts, no concepts, no images.  We pray with Jesus dwelling within us.  It is no longer 'our' prayer for "we do not know how to pray." - Romans 8

There are currently over 2000 groups in over 115 countries
following John Main's teaching on Christian Meditation.

Quotes from Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy

1.  "Fr John Main recovered the ancient prayer tradition of meditation for our times in a frantic world searching for meaning and purpose. I warmly endorse this prayer which opens your heart to the Holy Spirit connecting us with the sacred within. It is this gift of holiness and wholeness that we must give to all our students and our teachers."
 
2.  "It is good that “Christian Meditation for Priests” - this contemporary resource for the spiritual and the contemplative life of Priests - is now online. I am grateful to the World Community for Christian Meditation for offering this much needed service to Priests. My hope and prayer is that it will be a channel of spiritual friendship for Priests world wide. The great challenges to priestly ministry today call us to come closer to Christ through a deeper embrace of the mystical spirit as taught from the first days of the Gospel through the Church’s rich contemplative tradition.  The teaching of Christian Meditation offers a way into this living tradition and has borne much fruit over the years. The contemplative journey united to the active ministry is a demanding challenge for Priests, Bishops and lay people – but it is as simple and true as Christ himself. It is also profound in its fruits both for the person who follows it and for those who serve with their ministry.
 

Quote from Lord Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury

"In practice, this might suggest that wherever initiatives are being taken to reach out in new ways to a lapsed Christian or post-Christian public, there should be serious work done on how such outreach can be grounded in some ecumenically shared contemplative practice.  In addition to the striking way in which Taizé has developed an international liturgical 'culture' accessible to a great variety of people, a network like the World Community for Christian Meditation, with its strong Benedictine roots and affiliations, has opened up fresh possibilities here.  What is more, this community has worked hard at making contemplative practice accessible to children and young people, and this needs the strongest possible encouragement.  Having seen at first hand - in Anglican schools in Britain - how warmly young children can respond to the invitation offered by meditation in this tradition, I believe its potential for introducing young people to the depths of our faith to be very great indeed.  And for those who have drifted away from the regular practice of sacramental faith, the rhythms and practices of Taizé or the WCCM are often a way back to this sacramental heart and hearth."
 
 

How to Meditate

  1. Sit down with your feet firmly on the ground, your hands resting on your knees, your back as straight as possible.

  2. Take some deep breaths or listen to some music.  This will help focus your attention.

  3. Close your eyes gently.  Begin to say in your heart (or in your mind) your prayer-word or mantra.
    The word we recommend is "MARANATHA" - "Come Lord." (This lovely Aramaic phrase is the earliest known prayer of a Christian community.)  Slowly, reverently and lovingly, say it as four distinct syllables - MA-RA-NA-THA.  Say it for the whole time of your meditation without any thought as to its meaning.  Say it in total faith and love - like St. Peter walking on the water.  You can also say "Jesus" or a phrase like "Come Holy Spirit" or "Be merciful to me a sinner."  However when you choose one, keep to it: do not replace it to suit a changing mood.

  4. Meditate every morning and evening for 20 - 30 minutes, each and every day of the year.

  5. Distractions will inevitably come; let them float past you.  As soon as you become aware of them, return gently to saying your mantra.  In this way you are choosing Jesus above the distraction.
Your prayer-word is a silent act of love and faith.  It is an expression of your desire to be united in the loving prayer of Jesus rather than following any thoughts or ideas of your own.  It is your way of leaving all behind, of following Jesus and of wanting only to do His will.
 
- Adapted from "A Brief Introduction to the Prayer of Christian Meditation" by the late Monsignor G.T. Fehily, P.P.
 
More about Fr. John:
In December of 2014 Radio Kerry aired a documentary
about Fr. John Main's roots in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Click on the following link to listen to the hour long podcast:

John Main and the Path to Silence
More information about Christian Meditation is available at the following websites:



Fr. John Main O.S.B. (1926 - 1982)


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