Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Meaning of Prayer

The Catholic Times has selected the author of the Introduction to St. John of the Cross for recognition. The author has a doctorate in Spirituality, and besides teaching in the seminary is also the  pastor of a parish.

In an interview with the Catholic Times, the author said, " In the process of imitating Christ the  obstacles we face are personal faults, desires, attachments, the capital sins. Spirituality is detaching ourselves from these obstacles. We have to discern when and how we do this. We use the Scriptures and  Church teaching to achieve this goal.  Our Catholics have read the Scriptures with their heads, and now it is time," he stressed, "to examine how the words are to change our lives.  St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross show us how this is to be done."

The study of spirituality has not been a strong point of the Korean Church. The theologians of mystical theology talk about our feelings about God and those who have not experienced contemplative prayer find their words difficult to understand. These theologians are not only telling us how to approach God but how to get rid of everything that is preventing this union: when we go deep into meditation and rid ourselves of all desires, we can experience God. God gives us a taste, so to speak, for something more, a taste for extra- sensory phenomenon.

The author introduces us to a case in Korea concerning a woman who was said to have experienced  extraordinary phenomenon.  Most know that what she maintained was incorrect but few know why, this being the work of the mystical theologians.

To understand the mistaken notions about prayer and meditation, it is necessary for Christians to read and understand the books of these mystical theologians. 

Prayer, he concludes, "Is the changing of myself. However, many Christians believe that it is pestering God to do what they want. Before they despair in dealing with God, they should check to see if they have the correct understanding of prayer. The more I pray correctly the more I will be imitating Jesus and become like him."

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