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Mysticism vs Contemplative Prayer

What do you know about prayer and the interior, spiritual life?

If you truly love God and are called according to His purposes, prayer needs to become an integral part of your spirituality. Prayer, in its simplest form, is simply communicating with God. Many, if not most Christians, only pray in times of need or distress. No. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that sort of prayer. However, scripture tells us to pray continually, “without ceasing.” Years ago, in my Catholic spiritual formation, I was introduced to a form of “contemplative prayer,” which, for myself, turned into a lifelong means of turning my thoughts upward and outward to our Lord. As a Christian, I’ve never been comfortable with the terms “MEDITATION” and MYSTICISM.” These terms bring to mind all sorts of imagery of Eastern religious mumbo jumbo. Indeed, as I mentioned in my book “Authentic Faith,” many modern catholic “Mystics” have actually embraced a syncretism of Eastern thought into their religious life. Yes, mental prayer or meditation may be a prerequisite for Christian Contemplative prayer, but our Christian focus must always be. outward and upward. Unlike mysticism, Christians must seek power from above, not from any other source, including within ourselves. Our so-called inner voice can be deceptive. The uninitiated and unwary can easily fall into error. Our adversary is quite adept at twisting scripture to suit his nefarious agenda. In seeking the contemplative life we must become as wise as that serpent who tempted Eve in the garden and Christ in the wilderness — lest we ourselves be led astray. My sisters and brothers, whether you’re simply seeking to follow Jesus to the best of your ability, or diving into the spiritual life, studying what it means to have an authentic faith is essential. Without a faith that’s grounded in our historic truths, you’re at risk for following the wisdom of this age — which is little more than the whisperings of the father of lies. <>

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