Wasn’t quite sure where to put this, but it seems to relate strongly to Eastern Catholic practice, so I thought I’d try it here.
I was reading about St. Gregory Palamas and how he taught hesychasm as a means of getting closer to God, and his Western Catholic contemporaries apparently objected to this on the basis that philosophy was supposed to be how one got closer to God (??? which seems to me to be a particularly limited and rather bone-headed view, and one that doesn’t work for me at all, but then again I never liked philosophy and am a bear of little brain in that regard). Over time this view has changed, as shown by people like St. Pope JPII affirming the teaching and the holiness of St. Gregory Palamas.
However, I would think that Western Catholic Saints like St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and huge numbers of Western Catholic mystics were practicing forms of prayer that could at least be seen as comparable to hesychasm, long before St. Pope JPII made his pronouncement. I don’t think St. Teresa and St. John arrived at their experiences of God via long philosophical trains of thought. Am I missing something, if so what?
As a side note, other than hesychasm, did St. Gregory Palamas have any differences with the Catholic Church? I read somewhere that he did, but I can’t find a good source confirming that or providing details. I know he is currently a saint of the Catholic Church via Ukrainian Catholic and Melkite churches and I am not out to challenge that, I just can’t figure out what other than this prayer form was controversial about him in the first place.
I hope there is nothing offensive to ECs in this topic/ post; if so, please understand that it’s not intentional. I am just mystified about all this alleged past controversy which in my mind should not have even occurred.