In this busy world, many do not have time for “contemplative” prayer, yet it takes only one minute to enter into a profound prayer of love and union with God. Yes! Only one minute! How to do it?
Go into your room (Matthew 6:6) and just sit comfortably in front of your crucifix or in a quiet place. Turn off the television, the radio, the computer, and your cell phone. Turn them completely off.
Then, become aware of the presence of God (Psalm 105:4). The Holy Trinity dwells in your heart, that is in your spirit (John 14:23). Enter into the awareness that your heavenly Father is in you and you are in your heavenly Father. Open your heart to the Father’s unconditional love. Just listen. Without saying words or saying any vocal prayers. Just love God with your entire being. Open yourself to the Father’s eternal and tender love. Useless, obsessive, or even immoral thoughts or desires may come. Do not pay attention to them, just offer them to the Father, and if need be, think and say in your mind, Abba, Father (Galatians 4:6). Allow the Holy Spirit to inspire you, to move your freedom, to transform your mind, your will, into the image and likeness of Jesus, the Beloved Son. Just listen. Prayer is listening. Prayer is loving. Prayer is resting in the love of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Remain in this prayer of profound love and silence for one minute. That’s all it takes.
Just 2 min a day with the Gospels, and your life will change, says Francis
These are at least five benefits of this one-minute silent prayer.
1. You will acquire the habit of listening, for true prayer is listening to God (Psalm 81:13). You will learn to listen to God and in doing thus you will learn to listen to those around you, because your listening will become more intense, more focused.
2. You will become less anxious, less rigid, less nervous, less restless and less apprehensive, because you are not multi-tasking, you are not doing many things at once; you are just loving, just contemplating the crucifix, just being with and in God.
Is contemplation for everyone?
3. This silent prayer can cure you from falling into vocalism, which is when prayer becomes routine, and you are just repeating words (Matthew 6:7), and you do not seem to be able to stop saying prayers. People say many prayers to God, but vocalism prevents you from listening to God, from coming out of yourself, from forgetting yourself in order to pay attention to God alone (Psalm 62:1).
4. When you practice this one-minute silent prayer, you open yourself to the gift of contemplative prayer, to the action of the Holy Spirit in you. We do not create this contemplative prayer, we just become ready for it. God can then freely choose to grant us a special grace because we are ready. It is similar to pulling out weeds from the earth in order to plant seeds. The minute of silent prayer is the effort we make to listen, to love our Eternal Father, and God sees the ground of our hearts ready and responds. He plants the seed of unity and of greater love (Matthew 13:8, 23).
5) You will experience how this self-abandonment in total silence leads to greater faith, greater hope, and greater love, in short, to greater holiness, for as the saints have said, there is no sanctity without inner and external silence.
Effective prayers that take less than a second
There is just one warning: when practiced daily without fail, you will find it’s difficult to stop at just one minute. It will become such an experience of encounter, of silent love, and gradually you will want to spend more time in this intimate union with our Triune God. If this happens, you will be truly blessed, for you will have personally experienced the words of Psalm 62, “For God alone my soul waits in silence.”