Daily Meditations

How to Pray

I think the one thing the Church should do is teach people how to pray. Contemplative prayer in particular can give people back their birthright as children of God (inherently connected to and created by God). That is the only way to know your birthright experientially.

Prayer is not something you do; it’s finally something you are whenever you collapse back into the very Ground of your being. Unfortunately, we flee into our minds instead—to create and defend our separateness and our specialness. The mind concocts an identity for itself based on our race, our country, our shape, our color, our religion, etc.—the very things which are passing and accidental and not essential. These are the very things that are going to die when we die; you might say we fight wars precisely because we don’t pray.

~Adapted from Richard Rohr, Healing Our Violence Through the Journey of Centering Prayer (CD)


One good thing that silence and waiting has taught me is that our lives are always usable by God. We need not always be effective, but only transparent and vulnerable. Then we are instruments, no matter what we do. Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform, or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing.

God takes it from there, and there is not much point in comparing who is better, right, higher or lower, or supposedly saved. We are all partial images slowly coming into focus, as long as we allow and filter the Light and Love of God, which longs to shine through us—as us!

~Adapted from Richard Rohr, Contemplation in Action


The simplest spiritual discipline is some degree of solitude and silence. But it’s the hardest, because none of us want to be with someone we don’t love. Besides that, we invariably feel bored with ourselves, and all of our loneliness comes to the surface.

We won’t have the courage to go into that terrifying place without Love to protect us and lead us, without the light and love of God overriding our own self-doubt. Such silence is the most spacious and empowering technique in the world, yet it’s not a technique at all. It’s precisely the refusal of all technique.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Radical Grace: Daily Meditations


In order to understand contemplation and the contemplative mind, we need to talk about our true self in God. This is the only self that has ever existed, and the only self that contemplates reality in its first and final big frame. The small, false self can only “calculate”—with itself as the reference point. As if it were! The work of religion is to get you to know who you are and always have been: “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). From this vantage point of love and union alone is spiritual knowing possible.

You came from God and will return to God. Your deepest DNA is divine. You are already a spiritual being—the much more difficult question is how to be human! That is what we have yet to learn. I believe that’s why Jesus came as a human being: he didn’t come to teach us how to go to heaven but to teach us how to be simple, loving human beings here on this earth.

~Adapted from Richard Rohr, Gospel Call to Compassionate Action and Contemplative Prayer (CD)