In the hustle and bustle of our world, we need to reclaim the practice of Christian meditation more than ever.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Sources to inspire your meditation
There are many. Scripture is one of the best, especially the Gospels and Psalms. Many saints have written about Christian meditation. St. Francis de Sales covers it in his “Introduction to the Devout Life.” This is one of the best sources because, unlike many other books of devotion up to that time, St. Francis wrote with laypeople in mind.
Steps for meditation
1. Recall yourself to the presence of God. St Francis de Sales emphasizes this point. Obviously, we’re always in God’s presence, but we often don’t think of it. You can do this anywhere, but some times and places are more suitable, such as Holy Hour.
2. Ask for the grace of prayer. Prayer is tough. You’re not guaranteed to pray well. Ask God to inspire you and make your prayer pleasing to Him.
3. Have the right intention. Your prayer should ultimately be for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. You can have other desires you want to offer up, but they are secondary.
4. Consider preparing for your meditation by spiritual reading. If you have time, take a moment to reflect after your meditation.
How to meditate
There are different methods. One is discursive prayer, where you work through certain points of meditation you prepared ahead of time (or that someone prepared for you).
You can meditate on the doctrines of the Church, especially as contained in the Creed. For example, “I believe in God, the Father almighty.” Use this as a basis to contemplate the fatherhood of God.
While working discursively through your meditation, form resolutions. For example, “Lord, help me to do better in approaching you as a child does their father.” This step helps you move from mere contemplation to action.
Always conclude your meditation with a prayer of thanksgiving to God.
Go ahead, give meditation a try! You’ll find that it brings you much peace, even as the world around you falls apart.