Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer by M. Basil Pennington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the third edition of this little volume of essays that focus on the practice and history of the ‘Centering Prayer’ that sprang to life in the late 1970s among various monastic and religious communities in the United States of America.
Yet the ‘Centering Prayer’ was not something new or innovative but rather a journeying back to the more ancient practices of the Church. In journeying back to these early sources, those responsible for recapturing this spiritual practice were giving life to the spirit of the Second Vatican Council for returning to those sources to renew and invigorate the life of the Church in the current epoch. The reclaiming of these sources, as one of the essays points out, provides an ‘antidote’ to much of what happened in the 13th and 14th centuries concerning the misunderstanding and suspicion of “contemplative prayer” and a favouring of “mental prayer”.
While those seeking to embrace the practice of ‘Centering Prayer’ will not find too much in this book to assist in starting that journey, there is enough to whet the appetite and encourage the seeker to continue the journey. For the practitioner who is already praying with this method, this volume will help provide some background to the method while also providing guidance to more resources to help deepen both their practice and their understanding.
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