Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 5, 2008
Talbot’s tools for meditation
By LASHA MORNINGSTAR
WCR News Editor
Prayer is a powerful practice to communicate with God, Jesus, Mother Mary, the saints, angels . . .
But too often one does not know how to pray, relying on a few muttered words or worse still, not praying at all because they are not sure of how to do it.
John Michael Talbot draws on his years of prayerfulness to pass on these words of guidance.
- Go into a quiet place.
- Slow the body down. Slow the breathing down. Slow your thoughts down. Slow your emotions down.
"And then just be."
"As St. Theresa said, 'I look at him and he looks at me.'"
Some put up a prayer card or icon to focus upon. "Those tools are very helpful for people," says Talbot.
As with all communication, it must be practised regularly.
"You have to set aside a time," says Talbot. "And you have to set aside a place, even if it is just a corner of your house and just be still. Keep that appointment as seriously as you would with someone in your business life."
As the restorative power of prayer enters your life, many seek to learn more.
"If people take this journey inward very seriously, a spiritual director is very helpful," says Talbot.
"Find a monk. Go to a Benedictine Abbey and find a monk, Franciscan or Dominican friary and find a monk. The Ignatius tradition is also very good when it is used rightly. Many Jesuits are good spiritual directors."
Should these guides not be available, Talbot suggests reading Scripture and the lives of the saints.
Having a guide can become crucial when treading the spiritual path. "You can go into this solitude and lose your way," he says.
A responsible spiritual director reflects things back to the person to aid him or her.
"They don't try to push us around or shove us in this direction or that by undue influence. They will just try and mirror things back to us."