Christian meditation....Practical help - Part Two
Christian meditation....Practical help - Part Two
The following are some themed contemplation points, which you could spend a few minutes meditating on each one, before moving on, learning to slow down, a quiet time, a quiet space, an intimate time with God.
Presence of God
In the silence of my innermost being,
in the fragments of my yearned-for wholeness,
can I hear the whispers of God's presence?
Can I remember when I felt God's nearness?
When we walked together and I let myself be embraced by God's love.
God is not foreign to my freedom.
Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,
gently nudging me towards all that is good.
I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally,
I can afford to be honest about how I am.
How has the last day been, and how do I feel now?
I share my feelings openly with the Lord.
God speaks to each one of us individually.
I need to listen to hear what he is saying to me.
Read the text a few times, then listen.
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
What are you saying to me, Lord?
What is stirring in me as I pray?
Am I consoled, troubled, left cold?
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side,
and share my feelings with him.
Finish with a prayer of thanksgiving and praise, for the enriching time you have spent with God, deepening your personal relationship with Him!
Christ Is the Answer
Today, look on all things as if God were speaking to you in every moment.
Luke 20: 27-40
Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her." Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive." Then some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well." For they no longer dared to ask him another question.
Introductory Prayer: Holy Spirit, enlighten my mind and heart with the virtue of faith. I want to see my life in the true light of faith that comes from friendship with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, bless me with the virtue of hope. Never allow me to fall into despair or even into disappointment, since our Lord has defeated sin and death, opening the gates of heaven for me. Inflame my heart with a passionate love for my Lord and for my neighbour. Set it ablaze, and through me inflame the hearts of many for the Truth that sets man free to do the will of the Father.
Lord Jesus, help me to see more clearly what it means to be a child of God, a child of the resurrection.
1. Simple and Constant Conversation Today we see some Sadduccees asking Christ an important question about heaven. Christ teaches us that once we are in heaven, things will be considerably different than they are here on earth. This is a beautiful example how we can converse with Christ. We simply need to ask him questions: questions about our faith, about difficulties we may be having with certain relationships, about career changes etc... The answers we receive may not be what we were expecting or hoping for, but what is important is that we engage Christ in conversation every day and that we seek to please him in everything we do.
2. Union with Christ reminds us that he and the Father are the God of the living. He gave us our life; we lost it. He became man, suffered, died, and rose on the third day that we might have a new life — a life in and with God, now and for all eternity. Our ultimate marriage will be in heaven, as we will be one with God as Jesus is.
3. Participation in the Life of God When God reveals his mysteries to us, we participate in his life. God has made us, so we would pursue him, so we would listen to him, so we would understand him, so we would crave the things of God. Is not that a mystery unto itself? We have a God who wants to speak with us constantly about the things of heaven! This reality, this inestimable gift, should move us to share with others the Good News.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, through your death and resurrection and my baptism, you have made me a child of God. Help me to appreciate more fully this day and what it means to be a child of God. Grant me the grace to live in accord with this gift of gifts.
Resolution: Today I will look on all things as if God were speaking to me in every moment.
Contemplation of Jesus' final times on this earth
Jesus is condemned to death
Jesus, you stand all alone before Pilate. Nobody speaks up for you. Nobody helps defend you. You devoted your entire life to helping others, listening to the smallest ones, caring for those who were ignored by others. They don't seem to remember that as they prepare to put you to death.
As a child, sometimes I feel alone. Sometimes I feel that others don't stand up for me and defend me when I am afraid. Sometimes I don't feel like I am treated fairly, especially if I am scolded or corrected.
As an adult, sometimes I feel abandoned and afraid as well. Sometimes I too, feel like I am treated unfairly or blamed for things unfairly. I have a hard time when people criticize me at home or at work.
Help me be grateful for what you did for me. Help me to accept criticism and unfairness as you did, and not complain. Help me pray for those who have hurt me.
Jesus carries His cross
Jesus, as you accepted your cross, you knew you would carry it to your death on Calvary. You knew it wouldn't be easy, but you accepted it and carried it just the same.
As a child, sometimes I don't like the problems that come my way. Sometimes I try to get others to take care of them or solve them for me. Sometimes I become upset and crabby when I'm asked to do even the smallest thing to help others.
As an adult I sometimes feel like I'm not appreciated. Sometimes I feel as if I accept more responsibility that I need to. I can feel sorry for myself, even though the crosses others carry are much larger than my own. In my self-pity, I don't reach out to help.
Lord take away my apathy and turn it into empathy to help others...
Jesus falls the first time
Jesus, the cross you have been carrying is very heavy. You are becoming weak and almost ready to faint, and you fall down. Nobody seems to want to help you. The soldiers are interested in getting home, so they yell at you and try to get you up and moving again.
As a child, sometimes I start to do something, but then get tired of it. I hurry to get finished and sometimes don't do my work well. Sometimes I don't pay attention to what I should be doing. When things get hard for me, sometimes I give up.
As an adult, I sometimes put things off. I give up too easily, and sometimes don't do my work as well as I know I can.
Lord help me to pick myself up whenever i fall, that Your Grace is sufficient for me...
Jesus meets his mother
Jesus, you feel so alone with all those people yelling and screaming at you. You don't like the words they are saying about you, and you look for a friendly face in the crowd. You see your mother. She can't make the hurting stop, but it helps to see that she is on your side, that she is suffering with you. She does understand and care.
As a child, sometimes I feel like too many things are going on. Sometimes other kids pick on me and call me names. I need to look around me for a friendly face, and for the help I need. I need to share my troubles with those who truly care about me.
As an adult I sometimes feel overwhelmed by many things. Life is so competitive, and I worry so much about my future and those who have some control over it. I need to remember that being an adult does not mean having to solve every problem all by myself. I need to look around me for a friendly face, for the help I need.
Lord by Your Strength i carry on each day i fall...
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross
Jesus, the soldiers are becoming impatient. This is taking longer than they wanted it to. They are afraid you won't make it to the hill where you will be crucified. As you grow weaker, they grab a man out of the crowd and make him help carry your cross. He was just watching what was happening, but all of a sudden he is helping you carry your cross.
As a child, sometimes I see people who need my help. Sometimes I pretend not to hear when my parents call me. I disappear when I know others could use my help.
As an adult, sometimes I try to do as little as I can and still get by. Others might need my help, but I ignore their needs. Even when I'm asked to help, I sometimes claim to be too busy.
Lord let me accept help off others, and in turn help others in their needs...
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Jesus, suddenly a woman comes out of the crowd. Her name is Veronica. You can see how she cares for you as she takes a cloth and begins to wipe the blood and sweat from your face. She can't do much, but she offers what little help she can.
As a child, sometimes I know someone could use a little help and understanding. They may be picked on or teased by others, or just sad or lonely. Sometimes I feel bad that others don't step in to help, but I don't help either.
As an adult, I notice the needs around me. Sometimes my own family members crave my attention, and I don't even seem to notice. Sometimes a co-worker, friend, or family member could use help or understanding, but I don't reach out to help lest I be criticized, or that they demand more of me than I'd like to give.
Lord may my Faith in You be deep rooted...
Jesus falls the second time
This is the second time you have fallen on the road. As the cross grows heavier and heavier it becomes more difficult to get up. But you continue to struggle and try until you're up and walking again. You don't give up.
As a child, sometimes things get me down. Others seem to find things easier to do or to learn. Each time I fail, I find it harder to keep trying.
As an adult, sometimes I think I should know more than I do. I become impatient with myself and find it hard to believe in myself when I fail. It is easy to despair over small things, and sometimes I do.
Lord help me when things seem difficult for me. Even when it's hard, help me get up and keep trying as you did. Help me do my best without comparing myself with others...
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
Jesus, as you carry your cross you see a group of women along the road. As you pass by you see they are sad. You stop to spend a moment with them, to offer them some encouragement. Although you are have been abandoned by your friends and are in pain, you stop and try to help them.
As a child, sometimes I think a lot about myself. I think about what I want and would like people to spend their lives pleasing me.
As an adult, sometimes I act like a child. I become so absorbed in myself and what I'd like that I forget about the needs of others. I take them for granted, and often ignore their needs.
Lord help me think more about others. Help me remembers that others have problems, too. Help me respond to them even when I'm busy or preoccupied with my own problems...
Jesus falls a third time
Jesus, your journey has been long. You fall again, beneath your cross. You know your journey is coming to an end. You struggle and struggle. You get up and keep going.
As a child, sometimes I fail time and time again. I find it hard to get along with my sisters and brothers, sometimes I'm not honest, sometimes I'm lazy. I'm tempted to stop trying. It's just too hard sometimes.
As an adult, I often feel I should have conquered my weaknesses by now. I become discouraged when I'm confronted by the same problems over and over again. Sometimes I get weary. When I have health problems, I can become discouraged and depressed.
Lord help me think of the cross you carried. Help me continue to hope that I can make the changes in my life I need to. You didn't give up. I can have the strength to get up again as well...
Jesus clothes are taken away
The soldiers notice you have something of value. They remove your cloak and throw dice for it. Your wounds are torn open once again. Some of the people in the crowd make fun of you. They tease you and challenge you to perform a miracle for them to see. They're not aware that you'll perform the greatest miracle of all!
As a child, sometimes I'm tempted to repeat stories I know are unclean and disrespectful. I sometimes try to act grown up by using crude and bad words.
As an adult, sometimes I repeat stories that are disrespectful of others. I can entertain thoughts that are not clean. Sometimes I give the young people around me a bad example to follow.
Lord help me to keep myself pure and clean. Help me say things that build up the people around me. Help me overcome worldly desires that I may become more like Jesus. Help me set a good example for others to follow...
Jesus is nailed to the cross
You are stretched out on the cross you have carried so far. The soldiers take big nails and drive them into your hands and feet. You feel abandoned by the people you loved so much. People seem to have gone mad. You have done nothing but good, yet they drive nails through your hands and feet.
As a child, sometimes I hurt others. Sometimes I join with friends and decide not to like another. We gang up against another and cause them hurt and pain. Sometimes I say or do hurtful things to my brothers and sisters. I can wonder what they'd think about themselves if they believed everything I told them about themselves.
As and adult, sometimes I discriminate against others. Even without thinking, I judge others because of their color, intelligence, income level or name. I forget that I am to live as a brother or sister to all people. Sometimes I use harsh words when I speak to my children and family members. I can find it easy to look for something that isn't very important and make it very important.
Lord help me look again at the people around me. Help me see the hurt and pain I have caused in others. Be with me to help me make amends for the harm I have done...
Jesus dies on the cross
As Jesus hung on the cross, he forgave the soldiers who had crucified him, and prayed for his mother and friends. Jesus wanted all of us to be able to live forever with God, so he gave all he had for us.
Jesus, let me take a few moments now to consider your love for me. Help me thank you for your willingness to go to your death for me. Help me express my love for you!
My Jesus, how You hung in agony, and then died for me... let me die before I sin, and if I live, live for Your Love and faithful service.....Amen
I had this sent to me this week, and found it really spoke to me, hope in reading this, it gives others reassurance, with God and in God
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Coming or Going by Lou Lotz
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. (v. 8)
"The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in." That's good news for those of us who are so busy we don't know whether we're coming or going.
Sometimes "going out" can be frightening. Going out into a storm. Going off to college. Going to the hospital. Going into the army. Going off to war.
We worry over the "going out" of life,
but greater than our fear is our faith:
The Lord will watch over our "going out."
Somehow "coming in" sounds more reassuring than "going out." When we come into the world, it is an occasion of great joy. When we comeback to church after a long absence, it is a cause for celebration.When we come in from the storm, we are dry and warm. Children are always happy to come home from school. I dearly love my job, but it always feels good to come home from work.
The Lord watches over our"coming in." "Blessed shall you be when you come in," says Deuteronomy, "and blessed shall you be when you go out" (28:6).
Whether we come or go,succeed or fail, win or lose, live or die, God is with us. What an assuring thought!
Lord, watch over my going out and my coming in.