Prayer + meditation question


#1

Hi everyone,

I’m going through a time of having some doubts about my faith and I would appreciate an answer to this question.

A lot of times I’ve heard people say that the main thing with prayer is that it changes you - your heart, helps you to forgive, become a more loving person, a more virtuous person. That has been my experience I suppose, which is great. But isn’t it true that there are other techniques which have the reputation for doing the same thing? Buddhist meditation comes to mind. And yet nobody says that God had anything to do with the good results people get from meditating.

Couldn’t you just say these are two different ways of expressing the same thing, that the good results of prayer come from focusing your mind on loving and positive thoughts and on what we want to achieve, which naturally makes us move in that direction? God doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with that process.

I mean this question with the greatest of respect… looking forward to getting some helpful replies. Thank you :thumbsup:


#2

No, because God has everything to do with the process of sanctification. On our own, we can do nothing to love God and neighbor more. Any improvement in ourselves is a grace from God.


#3

The difference between Christian meditation and Buddhist meditation is the former is Christ centered the latter has no focus on God.

The reason that Christian meditation helps one in virtue and love is not because of what we say or think in our prayers but due to the transformation we received from being with God, the person of Jesus, the love himself. 

Won’t you agree one will be influenced by the person one respects, loves and spends time with? When we spend time with Jesus, the Perfect, the Beloved, we are bound to be influenced by Him.

Buddhist meditation does help a person in virtue to certain degree. However, the Buddhist theory is using one’s own efforts, strength, and will power to work. As a limited human being, one can only achieve to certain degree by his own strength. Whereas a Christ centered Christian, he is counting on God’s grace that is unlimited, as long as he has the will to receive and to respond.

Buddhist theory for self improvement is like operating a laptop computer with battery without plugging in to the electric outlet. Sooner or later the battery will run out. Christian way is like to operate the laptop computer by plugging in to the source of electricity. The laptop will constantly be charged. This is just an analogy. Hope it helps.


#4

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