This weekend we had our first RCIA day retreat on prayer. We practiced several types of prayer. We began with an introduction learning about a nice acronym of the types of prayers: A.C.T.S.
Then we did some contemplative prayer. In this type of prayer, you read through a scripture passage (or anything really) several times, and enter into it imaginatively. The reading we had was the anointing of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. I imagined throwing a party where I invited Jesus. I invited everyone, even my friends that I hoped wouldn’t show up. Well, of course, they show up, and who does Jesus spend all his time talking to? The most annoying person at the party—chatty, attention hog, annoying. I learned in this first imaginative contemplation: be better friends with everyone, not just the cool kids.
We took lunch, and then did a “Spiritual Life Map.” I have a big map, and I was not alone.
We did more contemplative type prayer—Lectio Divina. In this type of prayer, we read through a passage slowly, focusing on a word or two. Listening to what God is speaking to us in the passage. There are four movements in this type of prayer:
- Read the passage. No judgment. Not slow. Not fast. This is the primer. Pick a word or phrase that pops out at you.
- Read it again. Listen. What is God saying to you?
- Read it again. Respond. What do you want to say to God?
- Read it again. What are you feeling? What do you need to do?
Then we did some prayer where you focus on one word or phrase for a while. We sat and we walked and repeated the phrase over and over in our minds. I repeated, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of God.”
The retreat was fun, but now, I’m tired.