We recently had a question from a member of our GracePlace community who is concerned about an upcoming retreat at her parish, which will teach a method of prayer known as Visio Divina, and wondered if this is another New Age prayer gimmick.
JB writes: “What can you say on this topic. I heard a recent story of a young woman climbing through various states of consciousness and actually going to India and connecting with a guru who teaches this. Has something to do with oneness and after these encounters with even relatives such as dead grandparents etc. there’s an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness and peace. What can you tell me about this?”
C asks: “What are the Church’s teachings about speaking in tongues? I have to admit that I was thrown for a loop while reading a book by Fr. George Montague about The Holy Spirit when he talked about speaking in tongues as though it is normal. Is this true? I am in RCIA, so still learning about the church.”
LC writes: “I was a little disappointed to learn that eastern meditation is not recommended for Christians. I felt that the last one I did by Deepak Chopra led me to the Daniel fast which ultimately changed my life. I started this new meditation challenge also by Deepak Chopra and instead of saying the Hindu mantra, I meditate on the actual phrase. For example “I am a radiant and spiritual being.” Is that such a bad thing if I also incorporate prayer in my life and keep Christianity first?”
BW writes: “The August issue of Maryknoll Magazine highlights an article on a nun who practices Zazen from the Zen religion and shows her sitting in the classic yoga position. I could not find any information on Zazen and hope you can provide some information on this that I can send to the Maryknoll Magazine priests and editors to enlighten them on this subject.”
AL writes: “What is Sozo prayer and is it okay for Catholics to use it?”
MB asks: “I saw an advertisement for transcendental meditation in a church bulletin. What is it and is it acceptable by the Catholic Church?”