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Christian Meditation


Members of the worldwide ‘Christian Meditation Community’ pray according to a form which owes much to St John Cassian (360-435), whose spiritual writings influenced many, including St Benedict and his communities.

St John taught that everyone can pray. As worries and cares can overwhelm us, it is good to do something to quieten ourselves down before prayer. There are many ways to pray (1 Tim 2:1). We learn much from Jesus’ about prayer. It is good to lift our hearts to God in frequent short prayers, praying “briefly and often.” Pray alone with “closed doors…with sealed lips and in deep silence” to God who is “not the searcher of words, but the searcher of hearts.”

Fr John Main and Fr Laurence Freeman are modern teachers of this prayer form handed down through their Benedictine traditions.

How to Meditate

“Sit down.
Sit still and upright.
Close your eyes lightly.
Sit relaxed but alert.
Silently, interiorly begin to say a single word.
    We recommend the prayer-phrase ‘Maranatha’.
Recite it as four syllables of equal length.
Listen to it as you say it, gently, but continuously.
Do not think or imagine anything – spiritual or otherwise.
If thoughts and images come, these are distractions at the time of meditation,
so keep returning to simply saying the word.
Meditate each morning and evening for between twenty and thirty minutes.”

(From - Fr John Main, ‘Word Into Silence: A Manual for Christian Meditation’,
The World Community of Christian Meditation, Norwich:Canterbury Press, 2006, p xvii.)

More Information

The World Community of Christian Meditation Website (Click here to visit) for a worldwide community of people committed to a form of meditation which owes much to the Benedictine traditions. Fr John Main and Fr Laurence Freeman are well known teachers of meditation in this tradition.

Christian Meditation Australia (Click here to visit) Australian website for the community committed to meditation, which draws upon Benedictine traditions. Well known teachers include; Fr John Main and Fr Laurence Freeman and others.

Meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking. The required attentiveness is difficult to sustain. We are usually helped by books....: the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season, writings of the spiritual fathers, works of spirituality, the great book of creation, and that of history the page on which the "today" of God is written. (Catechism of the Catholic Church No 2705)

There are as many and varied methods of meditation as there are spiritual masters. Christians owe it to themselves to develop the desire to meditate regularly ...But a method is only a guide; the important thing is to advance, with the Holy Spirit, along the one way of prayer: Christ Jesus. (Catechism of the Catholic Church  No 2707)

Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire...to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church No 2708)