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Amen Corner - March 7, 2021

Amen Corner - March 7, 2021

Kathy Kuczka

Any authentic dialogue involves speaking and listening. One person speaks while another listens and vice-versa. If we view prayer as authentic dialogue, then prayer also involves both speaking and listening. We speak and expect God to listen. God, too, wants a turn to speak, but sometimes we are so busy talking that we forget to listen. The season of Lent encourages us to be quiet and still so that we can hear the voice of God, which oftentimes speaks softly. Our faith tradition offers many prayers that are meant to be spoken, but our tradition also offers forms of prayer that are designed to help us listen. Here are a few:

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina, which literally means “divine reading” in Latin, is a slow, prayerful, contemplative reading of scripture. Lectio Divina differs from the way we might read a book or a magazine. In the practice of Lectio Divina, we go to a quiet place. We choose a scripture passage and take our time to read and to ponder each word and phrase. We listen with the “ear of the heart” as if we were in a conversation with God and God was pointing out specific words or phrases. We ruminate on those words or phrases.  We allow them to interact with our thoughts and feelings and we savor the discovery of any image, insight, or understanding. This kind of reflective reading allows us to be changed by the word of God.


Centering Prayer

Like Lectio Divina, Centering Prayer is a form of contemplative prayer. Unlike Lectio Divina, which is more active and participatory, Centering Prayer is more passive and facilitates resting in the presence of God. Centering Prayer is intentional silence and offers a way to grow in intimacy with God, moving beyond conversation to communion.



Both Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer create a sacred space where we can be still and deepen our relationship with God. Retreats are yet another way to nurture and renew our inner selves. The Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers is offering retreats via zoom. For more information, go to Ignatius House, the Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, offers a variety of retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Single days of reflection, several of which are taking place during the season of Lent, are also offered. For more information, visit

All of these contemplative prayer experiences help us to delve deep into our souls where the Spirit of God is ever at work, transforming us. The silence cultivated in these experiences prompts us to listen attentively until the soft and gentle voice of God becomes loud and clear.


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