+ Eastside Group-Mercy Center (Mercy Motherhouse) 1437 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14610
Meets 1st and 3rd Mondays from 1:30 to 3:00. The facilitator is Mary Jo Bender: phone (585) 732-1250 (C). Call ahead for directions inside the Mercy Center. (Please call the alternate facilitator, Terry Mirante (585) 377-5274 if unable to reach Mary Jo).
+ Rochester City- St. Monica’s Group meets Mondays weekly from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel at St. Monica’s Church Chapel, 831 Genesee St., Rochester, NY 14611. Facilitator: Marilyn Catherine 585-328-9369 (home) firstname.lastname@example.org OR Dorothy Siegel (585-880-5519 cel) for directions for parking and access to the Chapel.
+Westside Group (Spencerport) St John’s Evangelist Church, 55 Martha Street, Spencerport NY 14559 at Martha House across from the church. Meets every Tuesday 11:00 am-1:00 p.m. Call Tom Agness for information at 585-349-8286.
+Westside Group (Greece) 26 Old Meadow Drive, Rochester, NY 14626. (2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:00-5:00) Call Cheryl McElhatten for information at 585-749-9225
+Eastside Group-Church of the Assumption, 20 East Avenues, Fairport, NY 14450. Meets weekly in room 2 of the lower level beginning on 11/30/16 from 10 to 11. Call Janie Marini for information at 388-1492.
+Eastside Group-Mercy Center (Motherhouse) 1437 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14610. Meets every Wednesday from 1:15 until 2:00 on the 3rd floor. Call ahead: Jean Galofaro at 671-9557 (H) (585) 739-9430 (C) for detailed information.
Also in Western NY
+Friends in Christ UM Church, 25 Menard St., Fillmore, NY 14735. Meets 1st and 3rd Sunday at 7 p.m. Call Bruce Houden at 585-727-1670 for information
Father Thomas Keating On Balance
In general, the direction of contemplatives requires some special sensitivities. One of these is a particular alertness to maintaining a balance of inner and outer activities. A purely apophatic prayer may stagnate without some conceptual input through spiritual reading, liturgy, or listening to sermons or lectures that speak to the contemplative person’s state of prayer. There needs to be a balance of intellectual, affective and intuitive elements in prayer. Contemplative prayer frees us from attachment to the use of our faculties in going to God, not from their use. The right use of them disposes us for the gifts of wisdom, understanding and knowledge, which lead to contemplative prayer in the full sense of the term.
From Intimacy With God, p.82
Eight Ideas to Deepen Your Prayer by Dorothy Lindsay
Here are some suggestions for deepening your Centering Prayer:
1. The first step is to firmly establish two twenty -minute sessions everyday. Father Thomas tells us that it takes at least twenty minutes to “settle into the prayer. The first session is for maintenance and the second for deepening your prayer.”
2. Join a Centering Prayer group.
3.When you are ready, slowly increase the amount of time you pray by a few minutes in each session.
4. After you have established your practice, read or reread Open Mind, Open Heart.
5. Later, read or reread Invitation to Love.
6. When you are ready, read Intimacy with God. All three books are by Thomas Keating.
7. Consider attending a “Day for Centering Pray-ers.” You will get an idea of what a Centering Prayer retreat is like, share with others, and have a chance to learn or relearn some basic and ask questions. Check out the Mercy Spirituality Newsletter.
8. Go on a retreat. Retreats are designed to deepen your intimacy with God and to strengthen your practice.