Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dangerous Centering Prayer Touted In Word Among Us Magazine

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.

Getting back to the Lent issue of this magazine, I refer you to the picture at the right.  The name of the article in question is "A Simple Plan", discussing how one might implement the three lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  The picture shows "different ways" to pray.  One of those "ways" (at the bottom of the highlighted list) is "centering prayer".

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.


  1. Matthew Kelly and a 'Lenten Journey' in one of our surrounding Parishes, listed 'Centering Prayer' as one of the topics covered. I do believe they also listed 'Reiki'. These are 'new age' and are flavored with the occult. VERY DANGEROUS and yes, I do believe there's more than 'just a drop' of poison involved. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read it in their bulletin. My thought was: 'They might as well be teaching us how to read Tarot Cards or the art of the Quija Board.' Needless to say, I will not be attending, and I would like to sound the alarm to poor ignorant Parishioners but how to reach them? This isn't even my 'official' Parish, but I happened to attend Mass there last Sunday because of timing and convenience. I was floored because this was a Parish in the past that had been pretty 'Traditional'. I know that our own Pastor has been seemingly preoccupied, distant, and troubled as of late, and I can only surmise that he is under pressure from our infamous Cardinal Cupich to take us in a strange, Non Catholic 'direction.' Please pray for us here in Chicago, and keep all of our Priests in daily PRAYER! They are truly in the trenches.

  2. Thanks for the heads up. Had no idea what they were taking about?

    Researching it sounds like a Yoga takeoff.

    Churches around Baltimore are passing this publication out like candy.

  3. thanks that is why I 'rescue' the old prayer books on ebay and spend the money to have them re-leathered Fr. Lasance books are treasures. when I pray them I realize how much has been stolen from us.

  4. Thanks for letting us know about this. I wrote a book on the dangers of Centering Prayer, Is Centering Prayer Catholic? (The answer is obviously "no.") Word Among Us should not be promoting what is essentially Eastern Meditation.

  5. So many people have gone over to these practices. Matthew Kelly books were given out by the dozens at our local parish. This entire Catholic experiment only goes to show that once you start innovations, it is impossible to limit them. You end up in a completely different place, like that "Telephone Game" kids used to play.


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