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Centering Prayer (i.e. Keating, Menninger, Herington)

June 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Centering Prayer, Church Documents, Dan Burke, Prayer

wolf_in_sheeps_clothingThough this blog is primarily dedicated to positive teachings the spiritual life, from time to time there are issues that must be addressed that are not so positive. For in your in-depth review, we have provided links to several articles that address the challenges with “Centering” prayer.

Though many attest that they have benefited from centering prayer (and have not necessarily sinned in so doing); those who were influenced by historic heresies often made the same positive claims (e.g. Quietism etc.). It is also clear that the fundamental desire of many who have fallen into Centering prayer is an honest search for a deeper relationship with Christ.

However, truth is not determined by experience and intention alone, but also by external objective reality – particularly when the magisterium of the Church has spoken on the matter. Accordingly we have also included links from the Vatican and other faithful sources.

If you desire to understand the truth, depth, and riches of a profound prayer life and relationship with Christ, see the books we recommend on this site regarding true Christian Contemplation and Meditation (i.e. The Better Part, Fire Within, The Fulfillment of All Desire, etc.). One thing to remember, if we accept the definitions and teaching of the Church and it's Saints and doctors on the matter, “Centering” prayer (whatever the claims or beliefs may be) is NOT the same as “Contemplation.”



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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Sharon

    I have been listening to Sharon Lee Giganti on Catholic Answers live speaking about the New Age. Her last programme was on centering prayer.

    Why has Fr Keating been permitted to teach this heresy and lead people to risk their salvation for these many years? Why has he not been reported to either his superiors or the CDF?

  • His servant SD

    I am a catholic. It is my understanding that we are to “be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect.” This implies in order for anyone to find their way back to God we HAVE to be morally perfect. In everything we do, say and think. Which means no anger, bad thoughts and that we love EVERYONE unconditionally. So wouldn’t blocking out the materialistic world completely for only a short period of time to focus all ones heart, mind and soul on God our creator to try and draw closer to Him, make sense? Jesus said that “For where your treasure is, the also will your heart be.” So ask yourself this, what do you think about the vast majority of your waking time and that is your treasure. If God is not what you think of the majority of time then …well you get the point. So I ask the question again, how is it a bad thing to meditate on our Father? Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be given you besides.
    May God bless you and the love of Jesus Christ forever be in your hearts.

    • Dear Dave. I don’t want to make any wrong assumptions. Based on your response it doesn’t seem likely that you read the post, the links or anything else on the blog. Have I misjudged the situation? Did you read the post or the links? Have you read the blog on the topic of meditation and prayer? Sincerely

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