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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Americans Angry? They need this Antidote!

New York News

The best way to deal with anger and agitation in my opinion? Prayer! And a great prayer for soothing the agitated spirit is the rosary. The repetitive prayer is like background music for the mystery meditations.Research shows the impact on the brain which switches from the analytical centers to the area that experiences deep feelings. Much of the research has been done with Eastern meditation practices, but the danger with them is they aim at emptying out. The rosary (and all Christian prayer) aims at emptying (purification from sin and selfishness) only to create a space to fill up -- with the Holy Spirit. Who would start on a journey with a deliberately empty gas tank? The journey of life requires a tank continuously filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit!

The practice of Eastern meditation is fraught with danger as the Holy See warned in a 1989 Letter to the Bishops of the World:
With the present diffusion of eastern methods of meditation in the Christian world and in ecclesial communities, we find ourselves faced with a pointed renewal of an attempt, which is not free from dangers and errors, to fuse Christian meditation with that which is non-Christian. Proposals in this direction are numerous and radical to a greater or lesser extent. Some use eastern methods solely as a psycho-physical preparation for a truly Christian contemplation; others go further and, using different techniques, try to generate spiritual experiences similar to those described in the writings of certain Catholic mystics.13 Still others do not hesitate to place that absolute without image or concepts, which is proper to Buddhist theory,14 on the same level as the majesty of God revealed in Christ, which towers above finite reality. To this end, they make use of a "negative theology," which transcends every affirmation seeking to express what God is and denies that the things of this world can offer traces of the infinity of God. Thus they propose abandoning not only meditation on the salvific works accomplished in history by the God of the Old and New Covenant, but also the very idea of the One and Triune God, who is Love, in favor of an immersion "in the indeterminate abyss of the divinity."15 These and similar proposals to harmonize Christian meditation with eastern techniques need to have their contents and methods ever subjected to a thorough-going examination so as to avoid the danger of falling into syncretism.
The letter goes on to stress the means of moving toward union with God which is never our doing, but God's:
Without doubt, a Christian needs certain periods of retreat into solitude to be recollected and, in God's presence, rediscover his path. Nevertheless, given his character as a creature, and as a creature who knows that only in grace is he secure, his method of getting closer to God is not based on any technique in the strict sense of the word. That would contradict the spirit of childhood called for by the Gospel. Genuine Christian mysticism has nothing to do with technique: it is always a gift of God, and the one who benefits from it knows himself to be unworthy.
If you are practicing Eastern meditation techniques fused to your Christian prayer, you need to read the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. And may the rosary bring you peace of mind and heart.

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