It’s not just an ending for prayers.
Amen literally means “so be it” or “let it be.” We often use it to close our prayers.
- But what if we opened our prayers with amen?
- What if we met each morning with amen on our lips?
- What if we lived daily moments breathing in and out, amen and amen?
Listen to David Frenette explain this “so be it” attitude in The Path of Centering Prayer.
“If you asked me how you could meditate, how you should relate to God, how you might pray, I would whisper, ‘Amen.’ If I remember only one simple thing at the end of my own life, I hope it will be amen.”
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“After any petition or prayer, ‘amen’ is the so be it, the let it be that releases that prayer or petition into God, with a radical trust that nothing more needs to be said, nothing else needs to be done.”
We say amen to fully agree with . . .
- acknowledging God’s presence
- accepting his will
- believing his truths
“At some point, all contemplative practices end with the attitude of amen—so be it, let it be—radical consent to receiving God. That is the reward of the interiority, the secrecy, the living relationship with God of which Jesus spoke.”
Picture this imagery from Frenette. Our lives are feature films, and God is the background screen upon which these stories are held.
“God’s presence in awareness is like the cinema screen upon which all of a film’s images are projected. At the movies, we normally are quite caught up in its drama and not aware of the screen.
At the end of the movie, if we stay long enough, we will finally see the screen that was there all along, silently, secretly holding the film.
Similarly, at the end of your own movie, your own life’s story, you will experience the reality that silently, secretly held you throughout your whole life: God’s presence. Why not realize this presence during life? Then, you can be aware of God at the same time as you live your ordinary life. You can be at one with the screen and the movie at the same time.”
Unity with God involves opening our hands to receive what he gives, while releasing our grip on everything else.
“Contemplative practice is not something you do to find God. Contemplation involves being found by God.”
May it be so.
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Is it hard or easy for you to live amen? Please share in the comments.
- When “I don’t know” is good
- Use Your Hands to Touch a Heart