Taking an online catechesis class and they have a link to centering prayer...help!



I am a little freaked out and wondering what I should do. I am taking an online catechesis class on prayer and just noticed in a few weeks we have a lesson on contemplation and meditation. One of the links they encourage us to look at is contemplativeoutreach.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_practices_centering
I know I have heard many a things about Father Thomas Keating on the radio show. I don't know if this is the same thing they have talked about. If so....how should I proceed? I do not want others to be led astray by him.

Please help!!! Or even let me know who I should contact. I was going to post on the 'Ask an Apologist' but I saw that not all questions get answered.



Sorry, just noticed the ban on Centering prayer. I don’t know if that includes something against centering prayer. I am sorry if I did something wrong. I just don’t know what I shoud say. I read some of the anti-centering prayer stuff to my cradle catholic hubby and he didn’t see anything horribly wrong.
Again, I am really sorry I posted something banned. I have email my Deacon for further advice.


It’s ok, I would be freaked out too. That website also talks about something called “welcoming prayer” which sounds similarly Eastern/New Age. I wish I could help but I don’t know. Emailing your deacon sounds like a good idea. If you have the contact info for the people who are running the class, you could also contact them about it. They may be genuinely unaware that these practices are not Catholic. God bless. :slight_smile:


About welcoming prayer - it’s a beautiful prayer and totally Christian. It consists of noticing when you’re about to have your buttons pushed, when you’re experiencing negative emotions; being aware of the emotion; welcoming the Holy Spirit into the situation; letting go of your own desires for power, approval, security, and change and again welcoming the Holy Spirit in - giving the reigns to GOD instead of your distraught false self.

Third, you do not have to practice these forms of prayer. Nor do these forms of prayer exclude other forms. God never forces - so no need to freak out. :slight_smile: I hope that helps.


Here is a link to review all you need to know on these topics including links from the Vatican and Catholic Answers on the New Age movement and other spiritual corruptions that have found their way into Catholic circles.


The key is to lean heavily on the definitions of prayer found in the Catechism and within the writings of the spiritual Doctors of the Church. Many well intentioned Catholics will defend, and/or be apathetic to practices that are contrary to the teachings of the Church. Often this is because they are unaware of the teachings of the Church and the spiritual dangers of certain practices that sound good when wrapped in Catholic terminology, but really still retain the spiritual poison within them.

Blessings to on you in your search for Him.


Sadly, I emailed my 'teacher' in the class regarding it and she did not see any reason why anyone would not be 'into' it. I was disappointed that she wouldn't even consider the resources I sent her and take it to the higher level. I sent many things that EWTN and Catholic Answers had said and wrote (with podcast links). I just kept hearing negative things. I know I am not going to get involved in it, at least while it is so disputed. However, I worry about others in the classes who may not spend all their free time listening to CAL!!! :) I tried to see about deleting this topic, as after I wrote it I realized that it is banned. However, I couldn't figure out how to do that. Oh well...


It’s sad that people feel a need to look outside the Church for devotions when there are SO many amazing ones in the Church that are spiritually safe :frowning:


I have been in a similar situation as yours, both as the plantee and the planted. You have planted a ‘seed’ that may take root. It was a verbal ‘seed’ someone sent my way that brought me back into the faith, eventually. You need to nourish that seed you planted with prayer for your teacher and leave the rest to Jesus. What else is there to do? What you did was courageous but *you *can’t make it happen. Jesus can! Pray! The power of prayer is awesome!

More informative links can be found here.



[quote="Monica4316, post:7, topic:182712"]
It's sad that people feel a need to look outside the Church for devotions when there are SO many amazing ones in the Church that are spiritually safe :(


I agree - completely incomprehensible. It is like scrounging around in the garbage of a restaurant when the King himself has prepared a feast for us inside...


what is the problem? just ignore the problematic link and use the resources to more orthodox prayer. is the rest of the content orthodox and worthwhile? is the link provided as part of mandatory instruction for the course or just as a resource for those who are interested.


It is an ‘Optional Reading’. However, my worry is that someone who doesn’t listen to Catholic Radio and read very orthodox book and go to a very orthodox parish, may get led astray. It is the little things that can eventually take people away from the one, true Church. Since it is a class on catechesis, it is geared for people who are going out into our world to teach the faith. I just feel that we should be getting 100% Magesterium approved, orthodox teaching.
Yes, I planted a seed. Hopefully it will grow. This is the second class where this has been brought up in a completely positive light. No warnings or anything. That is my worry.


Since we're not supposed to be discussing CP practices here, I think the best recommendation is that you personally stick to noncontroversial traditional prayer practices, and recommend the same to any other students with whom you might interact (For example, "Hey, have you read Ascent of Mount Carmel/Way of a Pilgrim/Introduction to the Devout Life? It's great!").


I can understand some of the personal concerns about Centering Prayer expressed in this thread, however I am having trouble seeing the concern/threat expressed by anyone of authority in the Church. The letter “On Some Aspects of Christian Meditation” did not address Centering Prayer specifically, though it could have, and to think that the warnings voiced there implicate Centering Prayer specifically does not seem very accurate to me and may even suggest a misinformed reading of the letter.

I certainly do want to know if Centering Prayer is in fact “officially” warned against and if there is any real threat or danger in praying this way. And if this is the case, does anyone know of any formal disciplining or censoring of Fr. Thomas Keating, who I understand to be a currently ordained priest, monk, long-time Abbot of a Trappist community and in good standing with the Church.


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