centering prayer

sorry guys if i post this in the wrong forum…

i have a question: next week in my parish there is a kind of seminar given by a woman who is certified on centering prayer and the RCIA teacher is inviting eveyone to come to hear her. the teacher states that this centering prayer is promoted by the CC. it is of great help to Catholics who want to deepen their Spiritual life with God.

what is your opinion on centering prayer? my parish is of Franciscan order.

thanks for your advice. God bless you all…

I’ve heard it’s neo-pagan junk, on par with the Enneagram. Anyone else? :knight2:

I don’t know much about it but here is an article preaching its dangers.
It seems to use eastern religion techniques of Zen. Personally I’d stay away from it. I think we already have good methods of praying with meditation, the rosary comes to mind right off. I used to meditate using a zen technique called zazen when I was away from the church. While it was very relaxing it didn’t bring me closer to God the way prayer, adoration and the rosary have. I now use my sitting mat(zabuton) from meditation to kneel on while I pray :slight_smile: I would tell you to stay away from anything that wasn’t taught in our church. We already have all the right ways for prayerful meditation. Another point I’d make is I’ve overcome more sins using a devote prayer life in a short period of time than I did ever using zen. Zen don’t give you grace. JMHO

but i dont understand why it says that is promoted by the CC. why is the CC promoting such a thing?

I’d seriously question that it is. Just because a priest, nun or church says it is doesn’t necessarily mean its true. I know alot about zen and believe me they don’t worship God at all. They don’t even preach about a supreme being at all. Why would we incorporate zen techniques in our prayer. It don’t make sense. Again JMO

is there any comment from the Vatican on this issue, do you know?

Check out that link in the reply above, it’s an excellent start.

apparently this woman is a spiritual director trained at the “Audire school for spiritual direction”, a three year program. she is also a graduate in theology at Saint Leo University. i am just wonder what is going on here? why are the Franciscans involved on this?

My first question is, does the school where this woman obtained her credentials have a solid basis in the Catholic educational tradition? Is it even Catholic at all? This isn’t really the most important question though, because as the old saying goes “even Satan could quote scripture”.

Why are the Franciscans involved? I can’t answer that. I think the most charitable attitude would in fact be not to attempt an answer, but rather simply ask whether the practices being offered are consonant with the Catholic Faith, or endanger it. If they endanger it, refuse them and move on - always being charitable to those who are misguided, and praying for them.

And ourselves! There but for the grace of God go we, after all.

I’m not being smart here but if you want to pray and meditate to get in touch with God say the rosary daily. It will change your life. Your meditating on each mystery.

oh no. i have no intention of going to this thing. i am confused about the parish that i go to being a promoter of something false. that is all. and i would like to know more about this and your taken on this.


The best and worst will all be tricked into believing lies. I would like to think that if your RCIA director were to research this “centering prayer” method, learn about it in light of the Faith and really understand it, they would not be promoting it at all.

Wisdom…I understand, this is a good place to find out about stuff your unsure about. Glad to hear your not going. I was happy to share my past mistakes with you.

First…“centering prayer” is not “taught” by the CC…it is not in the Catechism (CCC).

Second, which of the saints (anyone of those whom the Church has officially declared are in Heaven in the Beatific vision by their canonization)…teaches “centering prayer”?..not one that I have ever heard of or read about.

Third…read what Father Thomas Dubay SM…(one of the very best spiritual directors and retreat masters in the Universal Church today)…says (emphasis all mine) about centering prayer in his book Prayer Primer (Ignatius Press).

“10. Scripture says not a word about techniques for prayer, not a word about the oriental or centering ways to empty the mind. Rather our Christian meditation aims at filling our minds and hearts with pondering God’s word in the books of creation and revelation…lead the beginner to something better, namely, to drinking the goodness and beauty of God in a wordless way.” (pg 73)

Here is the “non-sugarcoated” answer by Father Dubay:

9. "What do you think of centering prayer? It has been widely promoted and also attacked. Do you thing it is helpful?"

The simple answer to your question is** No**. ** I do not.** Rather it is** more of a hindrance****…first**…one should** beware of techniques for emptying the mind** to prepare it for contemplation. This is** unnatural**. Our minds are made to be filled, not emptied. Nowehere does Scripture advise this. Rather the beginner is told to fill his mind by pondering the word of God day and night (Ps 1: 1-2). … Secondly, it is an illusion to think that techniques can produce immersion in God. He is not one to be manipulated…And** thirdly**, emptying methods can** frustrate** both the **beginner who needs input on which to reflect **and the advanced person ho needs freedom from human efforts to be able to receive the light and love God wishes to communicate." (pgs 155-156)

God bless those who teach and think that centering prayer is “good” and “helpful”…but even without Father Dubay’s wise counsel…my gut is always suspicious of the “gnostic approachs” to “problems”…i.e., we have found a new secret that solves your personal inadequacies.

I am a believer in “spiritual progress” that requires more “heavy lifting” and “discipline” (e.g., a firmer resolve to be obedient to Holy Spirit’s quiet but clear inspirations for me to be more faithful/loving to God, my neighbor and my vocation (husband/father)…to be more obedient to my Bishop and the all of the Church’s teachings (on faith and morals)…to fight my sinfulness especially the sins I make excuses for or dismiss as just my personality or style… to spend more time praying and reading/studying the saints…and especially more time on my knees (in Confession and at Holy Mass/Holy Eucharist) begging God for his mercy and the graces for healing and conversion.

Or as we say in the Marine Corps (now retired) when exercising and training…"***…pain is just a sign of weakness leaving your body***"…I really believe that there is a significant parallel to to this axiom in our spiritual journey…with Christ…to the Father!

Pax Christi

Here’s a sticky from the spirituality forum on centering prayer, with lots of links to answer your questions.

CAF Sticky: Centering Prayer

thank you much for your imput. God bless.

loll, no. are you kidding me? read more about it – like actual books about it by Thomas Keating before you make that ignorant comment.

Just because it involves contemplative prayer does not mean it is radical and Buddhist and we’re all horrible Catholics for partaking. That’s just foolish and naive.

Thomas Keating, the founder of centering prayer is a Cistercian priest. He’s a leader within the Catholic church for his progressive thoughts and old school Catholics are just freaking out. That’s all. I’m suprised you found a CC that promotes it, I always figured most CC were too scared to step outside the 2nd century boundaries.

So what you’re saying is that even though this “method” has more in common with pagan religions than millenia of Catholic prayer traditions, I need to read the works of its inventor (and place myself at risk of spiritual confusion) to report what I’ve heard?

That rather than trust the well educated and spiritually formidable priests whose judgement I accept, I must take it upon myself?

No thanks. I’ll stick to Catholic prayer.

i dont know but, i talked to one of the guys at Church and he said that he went one time, he told me that it did not feel right. he would not go again.

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