I have just come to the end of a two year spirituality course. Centering prayer is the method of prayer most strongly endorsed by the leaders of the course. My own formation has been in Ignatian spirituality – a very different lineage and method.
The immersion in the course taught me that both these systems are good. Both lead to encounter with God, both lead to deep inner transformation.
In a sense this is a pluralist view – there are many paths and all paths may be good.
But in recent weeks this has shifted to a more unitive position. For us as humanity to get a full sense of God the different paths are not simply good, they are necessary. I, as an individual, cannot walk all the paths. I will always favour one method over another, but for the glory of God to be revealed we need people to walk different paths. Between us we have the revelation of God.
For the whole to be revealed, I must be true to my path, you must be true to your path, and we must learn to have a conversation.
Diversity is necessary and we need to learn how to engage with deep curiosity about the gift the other has been given through following their path.
The symphony requires each instrument to be true to their part.