I am Catholic and was asked to join a Bible Study group. The book they are using is called “The Wisdom Jesus”, by Cynthia Bourgeault. The group of five is a mix of Catholics, Christians (a few were former Catholics). I thought that this would be interesting. However, we are on Chapter 5 and it goes into great detail about the Gospels of Thomas. There are 114 Legions that were supposed to be what Jesus said. However, some of them are very strange. The book goes on to talk about Centering Prayer and how to do it. I am feeling uncomfortable and much of what is being said goes way over my head. Is this a book and Centering Prayer accepted by the Catholic Church?
The Gospel of Thomas is a non-canonical Gospel. Most scholars believe it to be a work of a group of Gnostics or Manichaeans. Its dated anywhere from the 1st to 2nd century. It was also condemned by several early Church Bishops and was universally rejected by orthodox Christians.
Because this Gospel of Thomas has some sayings and parables in common with the 4 canonical Gospels it can be useful for historical purposes and advanced biblical studies. However I would not think it suitable to amateur Bible study groups.
As for Centering Prayer, I would be very cautious. I would recommend reading the Vatican’s Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of
Life: A Christian Reflection on the New Age.