Method of Meditation
Method of Meditation

Private Prayer

I. Preparation

As a remote preparation try to remain conscious of God as you go about your daily schedule. Frequently remind yourself of this truth: God is everywhere and is very interested in your welfare.

At the beginning of the mediation make a deliberate act of faith regarding God’s presence. Ask him for pardon of any faults. Ask for help to make a good meditation. Add a prayer to our blessed Mother and other favorite saints for this assistance.

II. Consideration

Read for a few minutes from the Bible or other spiritual book. Ask yourself: What have I read? What does it teach me? How have I acted in regard to this till now? What shall I do about it in the future?

Since the advantage of meditation is not so much in the thinking as in the praying that it leads to, it is important to devote the greater part of meditation to affections (Short prayers from the heart), petitions (requests help from God), and resolutions (practical plans for changing your life, with God’s help).

Affections: “Lord, I am sorry for having offended you,” “Thank you for the blessings you have given me,” “I want to love you above all things.” “I praise you, Lord!” “Your will be done!” “I place my trust in you.”

Petitions: Ask for whatever you need: for example, forgiveness of sins, greater confidence helps in a stressful situation, specific graces to forgive someone, to be more patient, to die a good death.

Resolutions: Make them short and specific: for example, to stop gossiping with…, to be kind to …, not to lose patience with…, to be faithful to times of prayer.

III. Conclusion

(1) Thank God for the insights and graces gained during this meditation,(2) repeat your resolutions,(3) ask for help to keep your resolutions, and (4) choose some special thought or short prayer to carry with you during the day.

Further Suggestions for Meditative Prayer

1. Do not do all the talking yourself. Stop now and then to listen to the Lord. The inspirations he gives on occasion are wordless insights or sentiments that you “hear” in your heart.
2. Do not try to feel the acts of love and another affections you express; they are acts of your will, and usually do not spill over into felt emotions. If you experience dissatisfaction because your mind keeps wandering, have patience with yourself. Enduring this inability to pray is a valuable part of your prayer.
3. If you are drawn at times to thinking about or “Looking” silently at God – or you become vaguely aware of his presence – simply go along that way. But if you find your mind wandering, return to expressing affections such as love, praise, sorrow. Some people maintain this simple focus on God by slowly repeating a phrase – for example, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” – or a single word such as “God” or “Jesus.”

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