Expert Answer Forum
Centering Prayer QUESTION from seandersson May 23, 2000 I am very interested in centering prayer and have read many books and listened to many tapes by Frs. Keating and Pennington on the subject. It seems to me that, as developed and taught by these two obviously wise men of prayer, the practice of centering prayer is nothing but the recovery of the practical insights into the contemplative life as developed by the early fathers of the church. Nevertheless, I have recently encountered some criticism and even admonition about centering prayer questioning its christian origin and even its orthodoxy. I am not a theologian but I find no substance in these criticisms. About eight days ago I posted this question (in the wrong forum,I think) and so, having laid the foundation above, please let me hear from you as to the magisterium's position, if any, on the practice of centering prayer. It is my understanding that a pope (perhaps our Holy Father John Paul II) has endorsed this movement. I look forward to hearing from you.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on June 17, 2000 Dear Mr. seandersson:
If you are the Mr. Andersson who posted this question on the Spiritual Warfare Forum, I answered this at that time. Please see my answer and the links I provided in the Spiritual Warfare Forum.
You conclusions about Centering prayer trying to re-capture practices of the early Fathers is right and wrong. Yes, Keating et al, are trying to re-capture the early Christian practices, but they hadn't the courage to do it properly. Instead they borrowed from non-Catholic Eastern philosophies and also from Jungian ideas (which are largely based on the occult).
Keating et al, are not wise, they are the opposite. A wise man does not try to steal gifts from God.
The higher levels of contemplation are a gift from God. It is gift not given to everyone.
Centering Prayer says to God: If you are going to give me the gift of contemplation, then I am going to steal it from you.
The magisterium and the Pope in NO WAY endorses the Centering Prayer movement.
I consider the Centering Prayer movement to be evil and avoided at all costs.
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