Saturday, 17 February 2018

Centering Prayer, with Cynthia Bourgeault 1

IT WAS LIBERATING to me to read this book. I am usually very critical in all I read but I find so little to fault here in the deep, practical pages of Cynthia.

A few things that may alarm conservative evangelicals: this book will not be judgemental toward other faiths but will attempt (in my view, successfully) to situate contemplative prayer firmly within the Christian tradition. Secondly, Cynthia manages to anticipate worries about this alternative approach without a defensive tone and without portraying centering prayer as the be-all-and-end-all of prayer. And she will certainly not advocate a babbling word-loaded time of prayer ("pummel my spirit with Truth").

I will shortly provide a summary of her book, itself a summary of her own message summary that she provides at the end of her book. But first, it's really worth pointing out the necessity of this summary. You know how some books basically divulge their message in a nutshell and slowly unpack that nutshell for the rest of the book? I don't know about you, but I don't always feel very motivated to finish that kind of book. Every single chapter of Cynthia's book brings something fresh, is loaded with humorous stories and is instilled via a non-professional and accessible style and vocabulary. The irony is that some of her own summary points at the end do overlap, which gives me a small sense of purpose for my following post on this book: provide an even more condensed summary. Coming Soon, as they say! (here)

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