Thursday, September 23, 2010


“You strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.” Jesus in Jesus of Nazareth. He was just a little…upset with certain Temple officials at the time. The allusion is similar to “you keep pointing out the speck in your neighbors eye while ignoring the four by four in your own.”

I was reading some reviews of The Shack on Amazon and came across a comment with the curious (to me) assertion that contemplative prayer was “unbiblical.” Googling the subject led to some interesting websites. I find this curious since the material I've read on praying the office style of prayer is all based on the Bible. Some may add a hymn or short piece for meditation but they all have at least one reading from each testament and a Psalm.Depending on the monastery or convent the prayer cycle might go through the all the Psalms in as little as two weeks or take up to a month. And Kathleen Norris comments in Cloister Walk that the Abbey (St. John’s I think) where she’s an oblate would go through whole books i.e. Jeremiah in the run up to Eastertide, at a time. Personally, I love contemplative prayer and the Desert Fathers were praying it before it was decided exactly what the Bible was. So, has anyone run into this and what is the basis for these opinions?

This started a discussion thread in the Creation Spirit community I joined a couple of months ago. There have been some good responses and I’ve learned a lot. Maybe more than I really wanted to.

I’ve had to take myself firmly in hand and decide that researching the critics is not only futile but depressing. Nothing that I or anyone else outside their communities will change their minds. I don’t really mind that we don’t agree on how to approach God/dess in prayer. It’s that they seem so…..bleak and joyless. Heck, the different authors don’t even agree among themselves. It’s an interesting and dare I say arrogant world they seem to inhabit. Two thousand years of tradition out the door. Forever seeking to correct the imperfections they perceive in everyone around them. But, it isn’t for me.

1 comment:

Lisa :-] said...

That is the problem with religion..."organized spirituality," if you will. Everyone knows exactly how it is supposed to be done (like they have a direct link to the Creator), and there is no room for anyone else's approach. I have to ask, if they know so much, why are they still struggling along in mundane lives just like the rest of us?!? Meh...