Is Centering Prayer an authentic spirituality?

Is centered prayer part of the new age movement? Is there a Father Keating involved in it and is he faithful to Church teachings?

Centering prayer is a spirituality that incorporates Eastern methods of meditation.

Authentic Catholic spirituality has as its goal, union with God. It fosters holiness in the individual.
There are many authentic spiritualities in the Church, but each, if it is truly authentic, will possess the following characteristics:

  1. It will be Christ centered and Trinitarian
  2. It will acknowledge the cross of Christ and suffering as a part of discipleship
  3. It will encourage an awareness of sin, a turning away from it, and a trust in God’s mercy
  4. It encourages a sacramental life, especially the Eucharist.
  5. It encourages a disposition of obedience to Church teaching
  6. It is Marian
  7. It looks beyond this world to eternity.

Centering prayer is a method or technique whose advocates claim will result in contemplation for those who use the method properly. This is why it is often confused with contemplation or contemplative prayer. But contemplative prayer is not something we do. It is something we receive, not because of a method we follow but because of the life we lead.

Contemplative prayer is a gift from God, and most often a result of a life that has grown faithful through prayer and reflection of God’s word, is moral, participates in the sacraments, and is obedient to Church teaching.

You can read more about the differences between centering prayer and contemplative prayer in the article Centering Prayer Meets the Vatican.

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