SA writes: “I was told that the Catholic Church does not approve of the use of labryinths for prayer. Yet I see so many priests and nuns engaged in and teaching this type of practice. When I tell other Catholics this is not a Catholic practice, but New Age, they say it is nobody’s business how they choose to pray. I have found confusing data regarding this matter. Would you please enlighten me?”
CF writes: “I started getting these emails and they seemed ok until I got this email from them. Since I was unfamiliar with the “Archangel Asrael, I looked it up and this archangel is the angel of death in Islam. I also found a disclaimer that was odd, claiming they were sending these daily messages for “entertainment only.” I have since unsubscribed. Just wanted your take on this as I think they want to send these to people who are true prayer warriors.”
DV writes: “What did the Pope mean when he said in the Letter to the Bishops on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation that body positions coupled with breathing and meditation could lead to a kind of mental schizophrenia which could also lead to psychic disturbances and, at times, to moral deviations. I would like a deeper understanding of what he was warning about.”
RG writes: “At my (Roman Catholic) church today, some women in the narthex were promoting a “prayer shawl ministry” and handed me a brochure promoting this website: http://www.shawlministry.com/. Overall, it sounded like a good idea – providing comforting prayer shawls for the homebound and hospitalized. I thought it odd that there was a reference to “applied Feminist Spirituality.” So when I went home, I checked out the website. There are a few troubling non-Christian things discussed there such as where they talk about “chakras” under Symbolism –> Aroma therapy. They also talk about a “mothering God” which sounds a bit New Age-like to me. By the way, they are willing to teach people how to knit and crochet, and I would like to learn (learned as child, but forgot). I just don’t want some New Age agenda pushed on me or to do anything contrary to my Christian faith. Would like your comments.”
Manifesting is all the rage these days. It’s about how to use your mind to will your goals into existence by using tools such as meditation, guided visualization, vision boards, and other rituals that many believe can make big things happen for anyone. Is this true, and is this something a Catholic should be get involved in?
N writes: “I recently came across a group of Catholics, who…spoke of Wim Hof and this breathing/meditation technique. I attempted internet searches to explore whether or not this has any spiritual grounding whatsoever, to no avail. (Also, truly, what sources does one trust nowadays?). Can you please provide me with any information? These techniques set off many alarms within yet without much knowledge I cannot speak on the topic.”
This article about a priest who dabbled in transcendental meditation for 18 years before coming back to the Faith, comes as a wake-up call to so many Christians who are casually introducing Eastern meditation techniques into their prayer lives. Many of these practices are not as innocent as they appear!
Many people are being misled into Centering Prayer after being told that St. Teresa of Avila and the Desert Fathers taught a version of it. This blog contains a few facts that will challenge these assertions.