And now, a little reductio ad absurdum for your listening and dancing pleasure in the ecumenical Emerging Church rebellion against Sola Scriptura from Apprising Ministries

Well ya see, Christianity Astray Today is running a piece online called “Benedictine Wisdom.” Does anyone even remember the Protestant Reformation actually happened? Yep, it sure did. Now, d’ya think there were any of those Benedictine monks ’round at that time; well, there were. And their “wisdom,” as well as that of other antibiblical mystical monastical orders, helped the Roman Catholic Church drift into such deep apostasy that God spewed it out of His mouth. And then, in their superior spirituality, those fools would go on to actually anthematize the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself.

Yeah, now there”s some real Benedictine wisdom for ya. Yet CT wants to take us back into the Dark Ages by romanticizing Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) comprising the very kinds of spiritual bondage that the Benedictine tradition contributed to in the first place. But for those who don’t know Lighthouse Trails Research is correct in that, “The Benedictine Order is a [Roman] Catholic order that includes contemplative prayer/meditation as part of their spirituality.” This is confirmed by “John, [who’s] blogging about [his] life as a Benedictine oblate of a Catholic monastery” and who informs us:

Benedictine oblates are “regular” people who live in the world with jobs and spouses, don’t wear special clothing, but who often practice Lectio Divina, for example, which is a commonly used method for contemplative prayer,… (Online source)

Poor John, he’s only with the Benedictines what in the world could he possibly know about any of this?! Why look-ee there; he up an’ sounds jus’ like one-a them there ig-nernt ODMs by sayin’ Lectio Divina is a “method for contemplative prayer.” O well; be that as it may, as an example of Benedictine contemplative spirituality we give you Dom John Main, OSB. Now Main is heralded by no less an authority than the Guru of Contemplation himself, Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic “Roshi” Richard Foster, as one of the “classic” writers featured in a book called Spiritual Classics (SC), which he edited along with Roman Catholic Emilie Griffin. 

Main’s “spiritual classic” in SC is actually a section on “The Meaning of Silence” i.e. transcendental meditation-lite from his book Moment of Christ: The Path of Meditation. In the introduction to SC we’re told that:

Dom John Main understood well the value of both silence and solitude… Always drawn to religion and the spiritual life, Main rediscovered meditation while living in the Far East… Influenced by the fifth-century writings of John Cassian, Main learned the ancient Christian discipline of the prayer of silence… In the following selection, an essay taken from his book Moments of Christ: The Path of Meditation, Father John is not just teaching us a style of praying… Silence is a path into the reality of the universe, where God is in charge and we are not,… (155, emphasis mine)

Meanwhile back at the CT ranch and their pretty piece lauding Benedictine CSM we are introduced to the “wisdom” on “prayer” i.e the discipline of the prayer of silence aka meditation by another Living Spiritual Teacher and Benedictine monkette Joan Chittisler. She also happens to be “the Executive Director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality.” But uh-oh, it seems Joan’s been a bit of a naughty girl; that’s ok for the contemplative though what with their personal silent hotline to God:

Today, over 100 women religious go public in their support of women’s ordination and Roy Bourgeois, the Maryknoll priest who was informed by the Vatican that he would be excommunicated if he did not recant his support of women’s ordination within 30 days… Among the signers are Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, who defied the Vatican in 2001 and spoke at the first Women’s Ordination Worldwide conference in Dublin;… (Online source

Ok, over at the Benetvision website under “retreats” we’re told that, “Erie Benedictine Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski will come to your area to lead a retreat using selected books by Joan Chittister, OSB”, one of which is In Pursuit of Peace: Praying the Rosary through the Psalms. O very nice; evangelicals encouraged to pray in mindless repitition, but not surprising though with the booklets of Marian Devotion available from Chittisler such as “Mary the Peacemaker.” But this is where the mainstream evangelical community is currently heading.

You see, Chittisler is quoted in the aforementioned CT piece telling us: “Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all,…” However, now you know the prayer she’s talking about is Contemplative/Centering Prayer as you can see by what these Benedictinesses tell us in this video here as well as what Chittisler tells us below in classic convoluted contemplativ-ese:

What does it mean to be spiritual, to be contemplative,… It asks us to go inside ourselves to clear out the debris of the heart… Contemplation leads us to see into the present with the eye of the soul so that we can see into the glimpse of heaven that each life carries within itself…

The contemplative is the seeker who can go down into the self, down the tunnel of emptiness, and find nothing but God in the center of life and call that everything. Most of all, the contemplative is the one who, looking at the world, sees nothing but the presence and activity of God everywhere, in everyone…

One prayer at a time,…little by little, one word, one moment of silence at a time, we come to know ourselves…  The contemplative prays in order, eventually, to fall into the presence of God, to learn to live in the presence of God, to absorb the presence of God within. The contemplative prays until wordlessness takes over and the presence is more palpable than ideas. One prayer at a time, the hard heart melts away, the satiated heart comes newly alive, the mind goes blank with enlightenment…and, eventually, to the silence that is everything. (Online source

I’ll close this now with the following quote from that CT piece extolling the wisdom of Roman Catholic Benedictine contemplative spirituality/mysticism and then ask an interesting question:

WE NEED, as St. Benedict insisted, to read whole books of Scripture from beginning to end, quietly working our way through a Gospel or an Old Testament prophet, willing to be surprised, resisting the temptation to exercise total control over what we read. Michael Casey, Wisdom from the Monastery (Online source)

Ah, that really sounds great; doesn’t it. But now here’s li’l question for you to meditate upon in your contemplation: Had there been no Protestant Reformers translating the Bible into the language of the people, some of whom were murdered on orders of Roman popes for that “crime,” um, just exactly how would you “read whole books of Scripture” when the Roman Catholic Church thought that only their super spiritual breed of holy men could understand it? O no lectio, huh…

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