I ran across this news story about an effort by Jesuit Media Initiatives for a new podcast called ‘Pray-As-You-Go.’ This seems to be an efort by the all too common civilian clothes wearing Jesuits with the normal emphasis. Where only at the end of five pages of a a vision & mission statement does it finally gets around to the Catholic faith.
Now I am not a big fan of vision and mission statements anyway. They usually have little vision and miss the mission. Though I always thought a good short one for any Catholic institution that wanted one was "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation."
The podcast itself is daily and starts with bells followed by some music and then scripture with questions for reflection and a final reflection. The one I listened to was okay though the opening music went on for about five minutes out of a 12 minute podcast. These might be a good prayer podcast, though I think there are some better ones.
Regardless they had a section on the site for body exercises that had an mp3 file for it. Maybe it it just me, but I was laughing all through it. It has a sonorous British voice narrating it with background music It is oh so serious and started with.
Be aware of the crown of your head, feel it, sense it.
Don’t just think about it, don’t think with it.
Not thinking with your head leads to silliness like this. There is also one for Breathing exercises.
Breath, just breath.
Not particularly deep, not particularly shallow
Breath through the nostrils if you can.
Or the mouth if you can’t (good tip)
Whatever you do keep breathing (another good tip).
Wow that could be really dangerous if you don’t here the advice about keeping breathing. These two components are usually part of the centering prayer fad. Something that a reliable source such as Fr. Dubay doesn’t encourage. Not that part of it can’t be useful, but that its emphasis is often misused. Of course doing things like synchronizing something like the Jesus prayer or other prayer to your breathing are time tested and very good ways to meditate. The problem is much of these techniques are more akin to Buddhist practice of just emptying yourself without going to the next step of opening yourself to God’s still small voice.
But anyway take a listen to the referenced songs and see if you find them unintentionally funny or whether I am just plain wrong.