The Welcoming Prayer
To welcome and to let go is one of the most radically loving, faith-filled gestures we can make in each moment of each day. It is an open-hearted embrace of all that is in ourselves and in the world.
- Mary Mrozowksi
The Welcoming Prayer was created by Mary, a key figure in the development and popularization of the Centering Prayer movement. It is largely based on the teachings of Thomas Keating and her own experience of transformation, and also draws on the 17th century spiritual classic Abondonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade.
The method of the prayer involves noticed feelings, emotions, thoughts, sensations and commentaries in your body. The prayer introduces the welcoming of the divine indwelling into what you sense in your body by saying “Welcome.” Then the prayer follows with letting go statements which initiates bringing about real inner change to the false –self-system. All of the different formats provide for the experience to practice the prayer with specific guidance. With this experience and information provided, participants will be able to do the Welcoming Prayer on their own.
“To welcome and to let go is one of the most radically loving, faith-filled gestures we can make in each moment of each day. It is an open hearted embrace of all that is in ourselves and in the world.”
–Mary Mrozowski, Founding genius beind Welcoming Prayer
Mary herself traveled this path to the end; in fact, in some ways the last decade of her life was an increaingly go for broke experiment in just how far the Welcoming Prayer could take you.
On her long awaited trip to Sicily , her expectations were suddenly turned completely upside down when a car hurtling out of control ran up on the sidewalk, slammmed into her, and pinned her against a wall. In the midst of intense pain and a madose of confusion, she was able to keep saying, “Welcome pain, welcome pain, welcome pain,” and to recite unflappingly the litany, “ I let go my desire to change the pain.” Her calm was not only amazing but actually contagious: the crowd began to calm down.
- Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening and Director of the Contemplative Society
The Welcoming Prayer is a powerful path for connecting the inner consent of Centering Prayer with the outer requirement of unconditional presence in daily life.
3 Steps to the Welcoming Prayer: