Join us for centering prayer online via Zoom meetings on MONDAY evenings at 6:30 pm. Join us via a Zoom meeting online using the following instructions: Click

Meeting ID: 841 7806 2981
Dial direct (not from computer link) 1 669 900 6833

There has been a tradition of contemplative prayer at Mater Dolorosa and San Damiano retreats for many years. We currently offer Centering Prayer to retreatants and those interested in pursuing this ancient prayer form virtually on Monday evenings at 6:30 pm.
Centering prayer traces its roots back to the desert fathers, where John Cassian and others headed to the desert to unclutter their minds of worldly thoughts and focus their attention on God alone. The search for silence and solitude with God was a common thread in their austere lifestyles, and prayer forms that sought to release our worldly distractions from worship were practiced. In the thirteenth century, a spiritual classic was written taking these principles to a new level in a book called The Cloud of Unknowing. If you are a first time Centering Prayer visitor, please read this document beforehand which will tell you about the method.

The anonymous author of the book further defined what we have come to know as Centering Prayer; it is a detachment of the mind and our desires in prayer towards God. The book encouraged the reader to detach ourselves by purely consenting to God’s will in a movement of our heart; a desire and disposition of surrender. “Not My Will, But Yours Be Done” (Mark 14:36 and Luke 22:42) presents us to God with a prayer of the heart, not just of the mind. Centering prayer is often called the Prayer of Consent, as it represents our willingness to be open to God. A willingness that is without agenda or needs, just a desire to rest in God’s presence. The catechism has much to say on the topic of contemplative prayer forms, particularly as they can move a person from a “friendly disposition” in our prayer life to one of “intimacy with God,” illuminating other prayer forms we might be practicing in a new light. The sessions are led by Dr. Michael Cunningham OFS. Dr. Cunningham is a certified Centering Prayer instructor from Contemplative Outreach and will provide background, method, and practice. To register, please sign up with your email below.

Centering Prayer – Every Monday Evening

Sign up for Centering Prayer at 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm below. There is no charge for this event, but donations will support this ministry and the Franciscan Retreat San Damiano, in Danville, CA. Donate here.