Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dinner with Friends

On Wednesday night, two of my favorite people came over to have dinner. :)

Becca and Jess entered my life a little less than one year ago. We have formed our own "Titus 2" group. The three of us meet on a consistent basis to walk through life together and provide encouragement, accountability, and friendship. My role is supposed to be "mentor" (Yes, I know that is a scary thought for some of you out there.) However, these two incredible women have taught me so much themselves! It has been such a blessing to have them both in my life!

On Wednesday, we got together and prepared an amazing dinner: Lemon Grilled Salmon, Smashed Potatoes, Pan Fried Asparagus, Homemade Rolls, and Blackberry Cobbler! Jess was introduced to salmon, asparagus, and blackberry cobbler FOR THE FIRST TIME! Whoa, has she led a sheltered life when it comes to gourmet cuisine! Ha-ha! Anyway, you can judge by the plates - EVERYTHING WAS A HIT! We hope to make it a quarterly event!

Even the boys cleaned their plates!

After dinner we headed downstairs to do our book study. It was an AMAZING time together. God's presence was exhilarating! We had such a precious sharing time that I had to commemorate it on my BLOG!

Becca and Jess - May we never forget such a heartfelt evening! You both are precious to me!
Thank you for your friendship!


Scott Lyons said...

Robin, I've heard of Barton's Sacred Rhythms, but I'm not by any means familiar with this work or, honestly, any of her other books. So if what I'm about to say doesn't fit with what you know from your own reading of the book, don't pay any attention to me.

I've seen Barton linked with a practice called Centering Prayer. That being said, I'm not sure what they mean by it, but Centering Prayer is dangerous and is not an ancient practice of the Church. Lectio divina is not Centering Prayer, but a Meditative Prayer on the Scriptures. Centering Prayer is more of an emptying of yourself, or going within yourself in order to unite yourself (theoretically) to God. Lectio, on the other hand, is a wonderful meditation on the Scriptures - prayerful meditation through repetition of a certain phrase or verse.

Contemplative Prayer is sometimes used interchangeably with Centering Prayer, but it is altogether different. Contemplative Prayer is a gift from God that results from our meditation upon Him. It is not something we can be easily or quickly trained in, but is, again, a gift - a silent, loving gaze, Godward.

Make sure you know what is meant by Contemplative Prayer and Centering Prayer. They're not the same, and it is only Contemplative Prayer that is a discipline of the Church. And it is a gift, and not just another method of praying. If it is being taught as another method to pray, then it may just be Centering Prayer that is being taught.

Granted, you'll find plenty of religious in both the Catholic and Orthodox traditions who advocate Centering Prayer - contrary to the teaching of either Church - but it ought to be avoided. It leaves oneself too spiritually open to outside influences.

Scott Lyons said...

Robin, there's a link about how Buddhism and New Age (esp Transcendental Meditation - Centering Prayer) has detrimentally influenced many in Catholicism. If I run across anything a little more, uh, ecumenical, I'll pass it on. Maybe there's something about it on John Piper's site, Desiring God (

One other thought: The Church believes - this article prompted me to think of it - lex orandi, lex credendi, which, loosely translated, means, "the law of prayer is the law of belief," or how we pray-worship (liturgy) is how we believe. Our prayer-worship not only describes our belief, but it also shapes our belief. (And while it is more about our corporate prayer, perhaps, it is also true in our private prayer.)

Section 1124 of the Catechism says "The Church's faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles - whence the ancient saying: lex orandi, lex credendi ... The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays."