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.

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.

Patrons of the World Community for Christian Meditation (As of 2019):

Patrons are individuals in the Community or society at large who support and endorse the mission of the WCCM.
1.  His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, Germany
2.  His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Westminster
3.  His Eminence Cardinal John Tong Hon, Hong Kong
4.  His Eminence Cardinal Sean Brady, N. Ireland
5.  The Most Rev. Paul Gallagher, Vatican
6.  The Most Rev. Christopher Prowse, Canberra
7.  Archbishop Jason Gordon of Port of Spain Trinidad
8.  RR. Dom Diego M. Rosa OSB, Congregation of Monte Oliveto
9.  Abbot Michelangelo Tiribili, Italy
10. Bishop Kallistos Ware, Oxford
11. The Rt. Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. Rowan Williams, Cambridge University
12. Jean Vanier, L' Arche
13. Professor Robert Kiely, Harvard University
14. Mary McAleese, Ireland
15. Dr. Balfour Mount, McGill University
16. Milo Coerper, Washington D.C.
17. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dharamsala
18. Paul Harris, Canada
19. Mother Mangalam, Malaysia
20. Margaret Rizza, Musician
21. Professor Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley, Professor Emeritus, Chicago University
22. Professor John Drew, Chancellor Emeritus, Regent’s University London

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.

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

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