Meditation vs. Prayer

An astute observer can’t help but notice that there is a trend in our society of turning things form religious to secular. I am not talking about an outright rejection of religious practices and norms, such as denouncing God and refusing to attend mass. What I mean is that we are taking religious acts and beliefs, and simply secularizing them.

A mild example of this trend is especially prevalent among young people who say they are spiritual, but not religious. A great priest at Boston College, Father Neenan, used to respond to students saying this by saying “I’m spiritual too, I drink scotch.” He had quite the sense of humor. But his point was that in order to be religious and truly follow God, you need to belong to a group (i.e. a church). You cannot go at it alone.

A more extreme, and possibly more common example of secularizing religious acts is the movement toward “meditation”. Outlets like the Huffington Post and other progressive publications have articles exposing the benefits of taking time to relax, think, and contemplate life. Feeling stressed? Meditate. Have a big event coming up and want to prepare? Mediate.

Growing up in a Catholic home, this advice sounded very familiar. The only difference is that instead of calling it mediation we called it prayer, and instead of naively thinking that the human mind can solve all of its problems on its own, we would admit that we needed God’s help.

So it appears that the “mediation” hype is just secularists trying to re-invent the wheel. Secularists can’t acknowledge that believing in God has benefits for humans, so instead they take habits of the faithful and give them a different name. Hopefully people will begin to realize that all that “meditating” they are doing is really just praying.


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