To the Editor:
I would like to thank Father Ron Rolheiser for a great article on contemplative prayer (Oct. 20), which in the Catholic tradition, has been promoted by Trappist Father Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach as “centering prayer” for the last 30 years. Centering prayer was developed using a contemplative classic, “The Cloud of Unknowing.” It was a delving into the long Catholic tradition of contemplation that is represented in the canonized saints of our church, the most well-known being St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.
What brought about the development of centering prayer? Fr. Keating and his monks noticed the number of young people looking outside the Catholic tradition for spiritual growth when we have such treasures in our own history and teaching. The huge difference between centering prayer and other forms of meditation is the intention set each time we do this prayer: we consent to God’s presence and action within us. Centering prayer is the development of a relationship with God, and the necessary time “to be alone with The One who we know loves us.”
Marie Howard brought centering prayer to our diocese in the 1990s, and it has been sustained here by a wonderful group of practitioners. We have an organization that teaches and supports centering prayer in this area called Eastern Iowa Contemplative Outreach. There are 15 prayer groups in the diocese and Quad-City region, as well as groups in Maquoketa and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
You can find information at our website https://sites.google.com/
site/easterniowaco1/ or by contacting me at (563)-349-4645 or jensen
To the Editor: