“Personal development has taken the place that the Church does not occupy”

“Personal development has taken the place that the Church does not occupy”

What do you think the meditative frenzy of our contemporaries reveals?

A thirst for interiority in a world that tramples it (frantic pace of life, galloping materialism, invasion of screens, etc.). I often deal with patients who need less psychotherapy than guidance to better be and live better. Their quest not being religious, they turn to a psychologist or to personal development. This movement born in the 1970s in the United States offers a wide range of tools: meditation, management of emotions, self-knowledge… It has partly taken the place that the Church does not occupy.

Why did the Church miss the boat, in your opinion?

Because she couldn’t distinguish the registers. Today’s man rejects moral observance or obedience to a God, to which he reduces the Church. Let’s join him where he is! In addition to the confessional dimension, the Christian tradition is rich in matters of wisdom of life and vision of man. The Desert Fathers, these first monks of Christianity who knew how to unify the psychological and the spiritual, are reliable guides in this. Sobriety, harmony with Creation, fraternity, everything is already there! And of course an ongoing meditative practice.

Is this not reducing Christianity to simple humanism?

What it is up to us to create are the conditions for an encounter with Christ. God lives in the heart of man, so we can find him by diving into his interiority. Christians can further accompany this path of the secular quest for inner balance – of which the success of mindfulness meditation is one face -, towards spiritual growth which leads to Him who is Life. Christian heritage is a mine for all!

Author of Take care of your soul, (Re)live from the inside And Deep life, Ed. of the Deer.

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