Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Let us go to the next level of making prayer a part of our day. Hopefully, we are able to make time for a morning offertory and for evening prayers. Now let us try to make time for meditation. To begin, we can set aside 15 minutes for quiet time. Over time, we can begin to steadily increase this time. Like running, we might add 5 more minutes each week or two. Anywhere between a half hour and an hour is sufficient time for daily meditation. Our time for meditation might be done in the morning, over lunch break, after school or work, or before we go to bed. Make sure you aren’t doing something else and that you are free from distractions. Obviously a visit to the church is a great opportunity for this, but you might be able to develop a little “prayer nook” in your room or home with a crucifix or other holy images to help you focus on the Lord. Quiet is a crucial part but may not always be possible, especially if it is at home. The key is to make the time and allow the Lord to do the work. Meditation is prayer in silence in which we use the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season, writings of the spiritual fathers or saints, works of spirituality, or the mysteries of the Rosary to guide our conversation with God. In this talk with the Lord, we bring to Him our daily concerns and frustrations. We also ask Him, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” The Catechism reminds us: “There are as many and varied methods of meditation as there are spiritual masters. Christians owe it to themselves to develop the desire to meditate regularly. But a method is only a guide; the important thing is to advance, with the Holy Spirit, along the one way of prayer: “Christ Jesus.” The key is to be faithful and make time each day. Meditation leads to what is called Contemplation. Contemplation is being in the presence or union with the Lord, revealing to Him our hearts. In contemplation, we are like children in the arms of the Father, we gazed on the face of Christ, we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us and express His love silently through us to the Father. I will talk later in more detail about this type of prayer, in which the Lord prays through us. Over the next few weeks, I will give you some “methods” of meditation to help you.
In Jesus through Mary,
Fr. Adam Streitenberger