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“Leighton Ford Promoting Roman Catholic Contemplative Mysticism”
by - David Cloud   
December 19th, 2014

Leighton Ford, Billy Graham's brother-in-law, is one of the many evangelicals who are promoting contemplative prayer. Consider his 2008 book The Attentive Life. He recommends mindless centering prayer whereby the practitioner repeats a sacred word or mantra and lets go of his thoughts. He recommends the writings and practices of Roman Catholics, including Ignatius Loyola, co-founder of the Jesuits, G.K. Chesterton, Julian of Norwich, Henri Nouwen, "Saint" Benedict, Mother Teresa, Gerald Hopkins, John Cassian, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton (who was a Buddhist and a Catholic monk), Hilary of Tours, and Catherine of Siena. Leighton Ford wrote the forward to Ruth Barton's 2008 contemplative book Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. He recommends The Music of Silence by David Steindl-Rast and Sharon Lebell. Steindl-Rast is not only a Catholic monk, laden down with Catholic heresies, he is a religious syncretist. Steindl-Rast says, "Envision the great religious traditions arranged on the circumference of a circle. At their mystical core they all say the same thing, but with different emphasis" ("Heroic Virtue," Gnosis, Summer 1992). Beginning in 1967, following the Second Vatican Council, Steindl-Rast became heavily involved with Catholic-Buddhist interfaith dialogue and studied under four Zen Buddhist masters. He came to believe that Catholics and Buddhists are communing with the same God and wrote The Ground We Share: Buddhist and Christian Practice. This was co-authored by Zen Buddhist Robert Aitken Roshi. Steindl-Rast is involved with the Network for Grateful Living, which is New Age organization dedicated to the goal of creating a new world through such things as contemplative mysticism, visualization, interfaith dialogue, environmentalism, developing an awareness of angels, and the Buddhist concept of flowing gratefully with the moment and being one with the "ground of Being." Leighton Ford and countless others who are playing around with contemplative prayer are swimming in the most dangerous spiritual waters imaginable.

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