Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cataphatic Prayer

A young minister I respect mentioned cataphatic prayer in passing, which caused me to Google it, which caused me to find a bunch of conservative sites complaining about it, which caused me to think there's probably something good and valuable about it.

Here's some background, from http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue83.htm

"Seeing is Believing promotes ???cataphatic prayer,???48 a version of mysticism that involves using mental images of the human imagination to supposedly help a person experience God more profoundly. The following is a definition of cataphatic prayer published in a Creighton University article:"

Another form of prayer, called cataphatic, honors and reverences images and feelings and goes through them to God. This form of prayer also has an ancient and well-attested history in the world of religions. Any sort of prayer that highlights the mediation of creation can be called cataphatic. So, praying before icons or images of saints; the mediation of sacraments and sacramentals; prayer out in creation - all these are cataphatic forms of prayer.49

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Creation and Destruction

A thought occurred to me this morning and figured I'd pop it in here because 1) it relates to spirituality in some ways and 2) none of my friends will see it because nobody reads this.

I've been participating in an online conference/webinar the past couple days and it's not as engaging as the same series has been in past years. But I've still really enjoyed it. Why? Because I'm working really hard to glean useful information from it. And that's a choice.

Being analytical is good -- it's an important (and, it seems at times, rare) skill. But the danger of "analysis" is that it turns to "criticism" (in the most negative sense of the word) no matter what you do.

I heard somewhere recently: It's harder to create than to destroy.

So, in the spirit of "appreciative inquiry" or keeping an "attitude of positive regard," let's make sure we're using our critical minds to improve the world around us -- and not to simply knock down what we don't like.