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Mary, Model of Meditation

Today, as we celebrate the Queenship of Mary, I thought I would offer you the following excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday Audience last week, in which he continued his series of reflections on prayer, which truly is the lifeblood of all vocations in Christ:

“Today, I do not wish to speak about the whole journey of faith, but only about a small aspect of the life of prayer, which is a life of contact with God; namely, about meditation. And what is meditation? It means to ‘remember’ all that God has done and not to forget all His benefits (cf. Psalm 103:2b). Often, we see only the negative things. We also need to remember the good things, the gifts that God has given us; we need to be attentive to the positive signs that come from God, and remember these. Therefore, we are speaking about a kind of prayer that the Christian tradition calls ‘mental prayer.’ We are more familiar with vocal prayer, and naturally the mind and heart must also be present in this prayer, but today we are speaking about a meditation that consists not in words but in our mind making contact with the heart of God.

“And here Mary is a true model. The Evangelist Luke repeats numerous times that Mary, for her part, ‘kept all these things, pondering them in her heart’ (2:19; cf. 2:51). She keeps them; she does not forget. She is attentive to all that the Lord has said and done to her, and she ponders; that is, she makes contact with diverse things–she dwells deeply upon them in her heart. Read the rest of this entry »

Food for Discernment This Lent

I was just browsing through www.vocation.com, one of the finest vocation sites that I’ve visited lately, and discovered a “Discernment Library,” with vocation-related meditations that are sorted by Gospel passage, liturgical year, and theme.

One way to more deeply enter the Church’s liturgy this Lenten season would be to take the time to use the weekly meditations on the Gospel, which contain thought-provoking (and prayer-provoking!) reflection questions at the end.

Here is a short excerpt from the meditation for the First Sunday of Lent:

“There are two dimensions to life: our life here that depends completely on ‘bread’ and our life in eternity, for which we need another food, ‘the Father’s will.’ So bread alone will not suffice, at times it will have to be set aside for the food that gives eternal life. We have to learn to set our hearts on eternal life, so as to use every moment of this life to take another step toward it and not away from it, often giving up material goods for spiritual goods, like when we fast and do penance in Lent. If we continually look at Christ we will never be afraid to leave anything behind to follow after him.”

But first things first. Have you gotten your ashes yet?