Sunday, November 26, 2006

contemplative prayer

I don't know what this movement is about and while I haven't found an "official" site to help me understand, I came across Contemplative Prayer Practices from Youth Specialties that seem to be a mix of good and bad - well mostly bad. I've listed the key points below along with a short "what does Rick think". The YS article contains links for further reading on each point.

  • Deep Breathing - oh oh; I'm all for advice like "get comfortable", "find a quiet place", etc. but this advice seems to go beyond simple help and more into something "spooky" ... don't get into it.
  • Lectio Divina - this is about sacred reading or meditation on the Word; GREAT! We could all stand to do more.
  • Ignatian Contemplative - stuff like visualizing the situation of Biblical text with you in it or take an event from your past and meditating on the actual event and then "what if" the Spirit were present; my advice, run don't walk from this one.
  • Labyrinths - this one is a journey to the center of a spiral pattern traced on the ground and journey back out again. While walking through the pathway in the labyrinth, participants are encouraged to ask God to speak to them in the walking; again, run don't walk away from this. I recommend a simple walk through your favorite garden spot.
  • Taizé - it's French - 'nough said!
  • Iona - accountability groups but with spookiness; leave it alone.
I'm bothered by this and especially since I am one of the uneducated that presumed YS was a mainstream group. Contemplative Prayer Practices is far from orthodoxy.

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Randy (no blog) said...

They tend to go overboard, but a good site to visit to learn about contemplative prayer is

rick said...

Thanks for the link ... there was some good info there but it sure was tough to weed through the bias and subsequent nastiness.

I'll hang on to it to do a little more digging. Clearly as the movement as generally described is trouble. That's unfortunate because the basic concept of contemplative prayer is good.