Is meditation sinful?


Is meditation sinful? I mostly hear about it when it’s associated with New Agey type of stuff. So is it sinful to practice this? Or is it not always a New Age thing where it would be OK if a Catholic were to practice this?


If wish to meditate upon the virtues of Our Lady or the greatness of God, by sitting silently in contemplation, that’s fine. If you wish to discover ‘inner peace’ or whatever, (:roll_eyes:) it could be dangerous and should be avoided.


I know that a lot of this “finding from within” nonsense pervades our culture today. Why is that? Why are people so convinced that they can find “inner strength and peace” or whatever from themselves? When we’re so flawed as humans, and the only one who can truly grant us strength and peace is God Himself. Why is this such a pervasive attitude our culture has taken that we can accomplish all this on our own?


It’s a little something called the heresy of modernism. :wink: Materialism and Catholicism can never coexist.

I hope your prayer life, perhaps accompanied by Christian meditation, helps you grow in holiness. God Bless!


I go into a meditative state sometimes during prayer.

Don’t see anything wrong with using it to gain a sense of peace in our busy modern world. I think you can gain an inner peace through silence and that’swhen you are more likely to hear God.


Or course not. Prayer can (maybe should be?) meditative, centering and a process of discovery of God, of self, of the world around. Good luck… happy praying…happy meditating.


No. Whenever I hear of an anxiety over certain words I find it best to get the definition clear first. According to the Oxford Concise Dictionary (apologies to Mr. Webster but Oxford is THE standard for English usage), to meditate means; mentally plan or design; exercise the mind in contemplation. In other words, to meditate is to think. We can feel uncertain about such things because, as you said, there is a connotation between one thing and something which we may find undesirable. New Agers do a lot of meditating, probably true. New Agers also pray. Need we abandon/avoid something because it is also practiced by those we deem to be off the right track? Again, no. :slight_smile:


Yes, but you weren’t “meditating” to start with though, you were praying. I get that you can fall into meditation while praying, but that’s a byproduct of praying. I’m talking about strictly “meditating” to clear your mind, relax, etc… And like I said before, when I hear of this mostly it’s associated with New Age stuff. Is it OK to solely meditate without any intention of praying?


If you mean clearing your mind and relaxing for a while- ‘getting away from it all’ if you will- then yes, absolutely.

If you mean it in the Buddhist sense, and have a special human-centred ethos about it, then most probably not.


To be clear, meditating is part of prayer for Catholics…

From the Rosary…

Let us pray. O God, Whose Only-Begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life: grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

If you are meditating as part of a New Age religion, Buddhism or some other form of religion, then, no a Catholic wouldn’t do that…

As far as meditating without intent to pray… to center and clear one’s mind, then I think the health benefits of that are pretty well documented as being positive.


Fine comment and this should almost be the automatic answer on the tip of our tongue for this.

I must say, the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy must work in a similar way, my opinion.


Maybe people are looking for the kingdom of God inside. Didn’t Jesus say

And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come? he answered them, and said: The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say: Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you. -Douay-Reims.


God dwells within, so going to the center of your being to be in the presence of God, you’ll find peace who is the source of peace.

Contemplative prayer is part of the Christian tradition going back to the 4th century mystics of the desert like Abba Issac and St John Cassian.

It’s known as Prayer of Quiet or Quiet Prayer(Centering Prayer).

The focus of Centering Prayer is to be in the presence of Christ, who is at the center of our being, Whatever happens in your soul is done through the grace of God.

All meditation has to do with the purpose of your meditation.
Unlike other forms of meditation, Christian Meditation is always on Jesus Christ.

Contemplative Prayer is how Christians grow closer toward union with God.



Another prayer discipline is called Lectio Divina which was started by a monk in the 12th century. This has 4 stages in the same session:

  • Reading a Bible passage
  • Praying
  • Meditation
  • Contemplation

As I understand it, Meditation is considered in this case to be thinking about what you have read but in Contemplation you give yourself over more deeply to God.

As others here have said, I think we have a spiritual need to get closer to God. The non-Christians have this same desire but try to fulfill it in the wrong way.


Christian meditation isn’t sinful, and it’s necessary for advancement on the interior life!


You need to do it the Catholic way. Check out the following links.

Good luck

  • Non-Christian meditation practices aim at emptying the mind.
  • Christian meditation engages the mind in prayer.

Wrong on both points



There are several different ways to pray, all of them good and useful, and also several definitions of the term meditation. In The Conferences of St. John Cassian, written in the fourth century, a way of prayer is recommended whereby we simply repeat a sacred word or phrase, like, “O God, incline to my aid; O Lord make haste to help me,” over and over, ignoring all other thoughts, no matter if we consider these thoughts good or bad. “Let the mind hold ceaselessly to this formula above all until it has been strengthened by constantly using and continually meditating upon it, and until it renounces and rejects the whole wealth and abundance of thoughts.” (from the 10th Conference, On Prayer). This does sound similar to non-Christian ways of mantra meditation, and does indeed give rise to the often misunderstood idea of “emptying the mind,” but this way of prayer is certainly not sinful.


I recommend that you meditate on the mysteries of the rosary.


How can something intended to give peace of mind be sinful? I am trying to find something like this now after my church has betrayed me and totally wrecked my inner peace. I have a stress rash, can’t sleep well, am anxious, can’t free my thoughts from the disgusting scandals…
I want to meditate daily.

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