Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB, received the Order of Canada May 25 for his work as a spiritual leader and founder of the World Community for Christian Meditation. MCpl Dany Veillette, Rideau Hall / Office of the Secretary to the Governor General of Canada

Head of Christian meditation community gets Order of Canada

  • May 30, 2012

OTTAWA - The head of the London-based World Community for Christian Meditation, Benedictine monk Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB,  was made an Officer of the Order of Canada May 25.

Freeman was recognized for “a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large” as an “an internationally recognized spiritual leader and proponent of peace and interfaith dialogue and understanding.”

Freeman said he was “astounded” and “honored” to be named, but he said he would receive the award “on behalf of the Canadian Christian meditation community.”

He said he sees a role for Christian meditation in the New Evangelization and hopes the Catholic Church will recognize the teaching of meditation and contemplative prayer as an evangelizing work, “because it’s bringing the fruits of the Spirit within the motivation of Christian faith to people in need.”

“And God knows the world is in need of these fruits of the Spirit,” he said. “In the same way in the past religious orders brought hospitals and education where there was none, I think today as Christians we can bring the healing of the soul, hope of the Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit.”

The Order of Canada citation described Freeman as regularly circling “the globe to introduce meditation as a means of inner transformation and connection between peoples and religions.”

“He works at all levels of society, engaging world leaders as well as the poor, and the organization has expanded to more than 100 countries,” it said.  

“A committed advocate of non-violence, he co-founded the Way of Peace gatherings, which bring together Buddhists and Christians, as well as those who have been on the violent ends of religious divides. In addition, he is a respected speaker and theologian.”

Freeman said he uses meditation as a way of opening up common ground with all religions.

“Interreligious dialogue is a very important part of our work as well.”

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