Here it is mid-Lent and I am recollecting my Lenten obligations and goals. It’s safe to say there have been a lot of distractions, but that’s life isn’t it? If one never gets beyond those things which detract from prayer, then one will probably never pray.
One thing that’s been helping is remembering the difference between meditation and contemplation. While I wish that every time the moment came for prayer I was ‘in the mood’ for prayer, and that I immediately entered into some sort of contemplative reverie and felt God’s peace flowing through me, that has simply not been happening of late. Meditation involves fixing our thoughts and concentration, filling our mind; contemplation is a gift from God which flows from meditation.
So I meditate on the holy mysteries, and consciously fill my mind with thoughts of Christ’s passion, of Mary’s sorrows, the mysteries of Scripture, the mysteries of the Faith. I’m occasionally led into a true sense of contemplation, but more often than not I’m undertaking a conscious act of the will to dwell upon, to fill my mind with, thoughts of Jesus Christ.
I’ll be following up with some of the fruits of those exercises.