Imagine, if you will, that a meal is set before you. It is well-balanced, nourishing, smells appetizing. There's just one little problem. You are aware that it contains just the smallest amount of poison. The amount of poison is really quite minuscule to the amount of the otherwise nourishing, healthy meal set before you. Would you take one tiny mouthful of that meal? I didn't think so, and neither would I.
I believe that is how the devil seduces faithful Catholics: to surround his temptations with things that are good and perhaps spiritually beneficial in and of themselves. We see this with the Medjugorgie apparitions; many conversions might well be happening, but the apparition is fomenting disobedience to the local bishop and the heresy of indifferentism. Today I was alerted to another manifestation of the devil slyly insinuating poison into a seemingly harmless publication.
I am referring to an article found in the Lent 2017 issue of the Word Among Us magazine. The analogy in my first paragraph applies with some adjustments. Owing to its rather questionable past relationship with the Archdiocese of Washington from events of over 20 years ago, I look askance upon the overall "health of that meal" in general. I may delve more into that in a future post, but for now I refer you to this Washington Post series from 1997 for some background. Normally I don't recommend anything from the Washington Post, but in this instance I can vouch for its accuracy owing to my own 20+ years affiliation with the Mother of God Community.
Ladies and gentlemen, "centering prayer" is fraught with spiritual danger. It arose in the 1970s as a misguided attempt to mish-mash Christian prayer with practices found in eastern pagan beliefs. The end result can leave the practitioner open to diabolical harassment. This link to Catholic Culture gives an excellent treatment of the topic of "centering prayer", detailing its history and precisely why it is dangerous and to be avoided. One interesting paragraph tells of its introduction at a large charismatic event. Those involved in the "charismatic renewal" tend to be susceptible to temptations that promise "experiences"; I speak as an ex-charismatic. It is worth noting that the Word Among Us magazine has its roots in the "charismatic renewal".
This magazine supposedly has "theological advisers". How such a serious error bypassed them baffles me - unless they just "rubber-stamp" their approval on these articles. At any rate, I'd suggest being very careful when reading this magazine.