Alternate pagan practices have infiltrated our holy Catholic Church. Because the evil one is a trickster and is “more subtle than any other creature that the LORD God had made” (Gen. 3:1, RSV), because he is “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44) and because “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (
Jenny! You're on fire with these articles! I love seeing another woman write like this, so straightforward in defense of the truth. Yes, authentic Christian prayer should always center on Christ, not on nothingness — that's a strange and spiritually dangerous idea. When we need a mental rest and don't want to focus on anything, we should go to Eucharistic adoration (if that isn't immediately possible, there are adoration live-streams — once I found simply imagining the consecrated host in front of me was helpful!) or else take a nap! Keep calling out the heresies going around!
Thoroughly hammered. Panentheism is the catchword for the slippery gravel which pitches us off the cliff. Such morphing of God into dusty oblivion has several similar proponents losing their grip on the Trinity.
I just finished writing "A Snarl Theology," the underpinning theology for considering God and our relationship to the animal kingdom. The discussion highlights the animal kingdom housed in the Ark and Peter's command to eat from all the animals on a dropped sheet. I attend to God's tumultuous and historical confirmation of our bond with creatures.
I aggressively distanced myself from the panentheists, and the more obvious heresy of pantheism. It's a tricky subject, animals in heaven. All kinds of rabbit holes! Genesis places them in the heavenly realm of Paradise, and in other imaged scenes throughout scripture. But it's not a settled theology, and codified.
Thank you for confirming my desire to hold off on the sketchy, misdirected teachings of Keating, and even Delia and Rohr.
Though they were well-intentioned the American Trappists went off the rails a bit in the second half of the XX century.
One of the problems I see with centering prayer and other eastern practices is that they rely solely on the effort of the individual whereas authentic Christian prayer relies on God who both inspires us and gives us the grace to pray. God is the beginning and end (telos) of our prayer, we are willing participants. Without God and His grace we can do nothing. Thus centering prayer is also an exercise in futility.
Just some thoughts from a fellow pilgrim.
Good article, Jenny. Thanks for mentioning my book. Keep up the good work!
The expanded use of the word ‘prayer’ is a problem, and can be misleading. Prayer is usually used for petitioning God. Spiritual practices and exercises should be labeled separately. When the word ‘prayer’ is applied to them, those who are not informed may believe that the questionable spiritual practice is an essential part of prayer.
Bravo, this has long needed to be said!! Thank you!!!!!!
Please pray for me Jason.
I'm a convert to the Catholic Church but I got led astray and duped by Richard Rohr and Thomas Keating..now I'm not sure what to do ....
I respectfully disagree with the author. Fr Keating is in Heaven and those of us who knew him and loved his teaching and practice remain grateful for his life and his life's work. (Bringing us closer to God and others in prayer during our time here on earth)
I should not have been surprised that such opinions as your's exist among Catholics. Fr. Keating surely was a special person. There are or were multitudes of "baby boomer" educated in Catholic schools who became discouraged by certain teachings and "rules" that made no sense. Abuse by some priests and by Catholic schools of Indigenous Americans is appalling. Contemporary "conservative" politics also entered Catholic media and community. You are not eager to address immoral personalities inside and outside the Church. God bless Dr. Keating helping some of us Catholics to experience God more deeply in our lives.