Joseph Ratzinger - Aspects of Christian Meditation

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By Thomas V. Mirus. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

“All the aspirations which the prayer of other religions expresses are fulfilled in the reality of Christianity beyond all measure.”

This ecclesial document was written in 1989 by the then-Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, who would later become Pope Benedict XVI.

Ratzinger was responding to a surge of popular interest in forms of Eastern spirituality—including such methods as Zen, yoga, and so-called transcendental meditation—which had led to an uncritical adoption by some Christians of methods of prayer incompatible with Christian worship.

The fascination with Eastern methods continues today, with the ongoing popularity of yoga and the re-branding of Buddhist meditation under the guise of “mindfulness”. The same vigilance that prompted Ratzinger in 1989 would seem to be called for once more, that Christians may carefully distinguish that which is authentically Christian from that which is not.

Ratzinger’s is a masterful and accessible treatment on fundamentals of Christian prayer. Though he addresses the letter to bishops, one does not have to be a theologian or mystic to be spiritually edified — and have one's prayer enriched — by what he writes.

Notes

Aspects of Christian Meditation Full text: https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19891015_meditazione-cristiana_en.html

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Theme music: 2 Part Invention, composed by Mark Christopher Brandt, performed by Thomas Mirus. ©️2019 Heart of the Lion Publishing Co./BMI. All rights reserved.

62 episodes