Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Reflections on Finding God through Meditation – Centering Prayer and the Necessity of Prayer

Centering Prayer and the Necessity of Prayer

What is “centering prayer”? Can it lead to contemplation? Do I need to pray to be saved? Dan and Melissa discuss the necessity of prayer and answer these questions and more as they reflect on the book Finding God Through Meditation by St Peter of Alcántara.


Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • Is contemplation the same thing as centering prayer?
  • Can contemplation be attained or prepared for through the centering prayer method?
  • What does the Catholic Church say about centering prayer?
  • What’s wrong with the concept of “letting thoughts go”?
  • Is prayer necessary for salvation?
  • What does St Bonaventure say about prayer?
  • How do I become holy?
  • How does mental prayer help keep us on “the narrow way” to holiness?
  • Prayer as a means of keeping our spiritual vision clear.
  • Does a life of faith without prayer make any sense?


Print Friendly
Profile photo of Dan Burke

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, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. 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.

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!

  • Judy Silhan

    Sadly, so many people, as you said, are ill-informed, including an older Deacon friend, and others. Just because some teachings, like centering prayer, are presented and hailed as Catholic, many people falsely believe they are growing in their faith by joining these groups or learning these methods. If I did not constantly refer to Spiritual Direction and other magisterium based sites for information, such as Catholic Answers and others, I would fit right into your story about not knowing the difference between a carburetor and a fuel injection system. There are so many areas of our faith in which people are ill-informed and think distorted teachings are acceptable. My question is how, on earth, do these people, as you said, good and well intentioned people who are caught up in these different movements, priests who preach false teachings, etc., come to know the real and magisterial based truth? It seems that out of the billions of Catholics, very, very few actually know the truth, and seemingly some of these people, when you do present them with the truth, still prefer to be entrenched in the false ideas.

  • Jeanette

    Recently, my priest asked me to look into what is necessary to become a third order Carmelite. In searching on the internet, I came upon a Carmelite Spirituality Center site that stated they had different spiritual talks you could attend…one of them being Centering prayer. As Catholics, we need to be very careful in what we expose our minds to and I am very thankful to all the information from, Divine Intimacy Radio and Avila Institute that helps us discern the truth and keeps us from falling off that narrow spiritual path to Heaven. Very grateful for you!

  • Bro. Ignatius Mary

    I was almost ready to recommend this site until I saw the the Centering Prayer was promoted, or is it? I am confused. Perhaps you can clarify. Centering prayer really cannot be promoted as it is not Christian and can be dangerous. It is not something that any Catholic should practice:



    • LizEst

      Thank you, Bro. Ignatius Mary for your question and your concern. I hope you will listen to the show. When you do, you will find that Dan does not promote Centering Prayer. In fact, he counsels against it. We have plenty of posts on which warn people about the dangers of CP and also admonish folks not to practice it. is unapologetically Catholic.

      • Bro. Ignatius Mary

        Thank you.

Skip to toolbar