For thirty years, Fr. Thomas Keating
, OCSO, has been reclaiming the Christian meditative tradition that he calls Centering Prayer.
It takes its roots from a number of sources: the ancient prayer practices of the Christian contemplative heritage, notably the Fathers and Mothers of the Desert; Lectio Divina, (praying the scriptures); The Cloud of Unknowing
; St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. With his fellow Trappist monks, Fr. William Meninger and Fr. Basil Pennington, and through his organization, Contemplative Outreach, Thomas Keating has shown that contemporary Christianity can be an enlivening, mystical experience, both free of dogma and deeply personal.
The fundamental transformation of Centering Prayer occurs when you enter what Thomas Keating calls "the inner room," a concept taken from Matthew 6:6 ("But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you"—NIV.) When you enter the room, God, acting as a divine therapist, begins to peel away the layers of emotional programming that have kept you from intimacy with God and uncovers the authentic self that has been hidden or repressed. All of the resistances, pathologies, and prejudices you have about the divine and your own self are lovingly removed, leaving you able to enjoy what Paul the Apostle calls "the fruits and gifts of the Spirit."
Lantern has (through its co-owners, myself and Gene Gollogly) been working with Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach for nearly twenty years, and Lantern has now published so many works by Fr. Thomas and about Centering Prayer that this blog would simply be too long to mention them all. We invite you to visit our religion page
to read more about each of them.
For more on Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach, click here