Here’s an interesting article from the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal: David Harris, a former Baptist minister, next month will be ordained a Catholic priest.
What I found particularly enlightening was the role that mysticism, Thomas Merton, Cistercian monasticism, and especially contemplative prayer had to play in the Rev. Harris’ process of conversion.
One of the joys of being a convert to Catholicism is my deeply held belief that God’s grace flows abundantly everywhere — a person certainly does not have to become a Catholic in order to have that grace shower upon him or her. But likewise it doesn’t surprise me that Protestant clergy who are drawn to contemplative spirituality might also be called to enter the Catholic Church. Perhaps this is the beginning of a trend: the more Protestants learn to contemplate, the more of them will be enrolling in RCIA.
Perhaps those Protestants (mostly evangelicals) who are so blustering in their hostility to contemplation do so out of a deep-seated “fear” that God just might be using contemplation — and Catholicism — to further the work of salvation? Heaven forbid that God behave in ways contrary to their interpretation of scripture!
Okay, I’m being facetious here. But you get the drift.