Recently in The Southern Cross a letter to the editor was published entitled “Quiet Time For The Eucharist”. The letter writer explains the difficulty that individuals, such as the organist, who are engaged in assisting during Mass in some way, have with finding a moment for ‘quiet time’ during Mass.
In response to the letter someone then posted a comment on the newspapers website suggesting that the writer should practice ‘centering prayer’ as taught by Fr. Thomas Keating to achieve this ‘quiet time’.
I immediately felt the need to urgently warn readers against this advice for two reasons.
Firstly, the person, who recommended this ‘Centering Prayer’, has been involved in simulated Catholic Masses with so called ‘women’ priests. She is also an active member of the local dissident group “We Are All Church South Africa”, which is affiliated to the international dissident group “We Are Church”. They advocate the ordination of women in direct opposition to the clear and final teaching of the Magisterium. We Are All Church South Africa was banned by Archbishop Stephen Brislin from using Church premises in the Archdiocese of Cape Town.
Secondly, I am aware of Fr. Keating and Fr. Pennington’s teaching about ‘Centering Prayer’ from previous research, including the fact that the late Pope John Paul II had warned against this type of prayer.
I was planning to write a Blog post explaining the reasons, however, while doing my research for the Blog post, I came across a well-written article that has already set this out in some detail. So, instead of doing it all again, let me just point you in the right direction.
The article is by Margaret A. Feaster and is entitled “A Closer Look at Centering Prayer”. It’s long, but it leaves no doubt that this ‘centering prayer’ as taught by Fr. Thomas Keating and Fr. Basil Pennington is best left alone.