Wednesday, October 7, 2009

III. The Meditation

"Once the preparation and the reading are finished, there follows the meditation. A person will meditate on those thoughts which have seemed particularly striking, seeking to penetrate into their meaning and to derive from them considerations that can convince the mind and move the will to act. If the subject allows it, one must use the help of the imagination to represent the subject in a living and striking image. St Teresa makes the suggestion to imagine Our Lord near us or within us, that we gaze upon Him while we speak to Him. She even advises one to make use of a holy card or picture.

At the beginning, the number of considerations will be rather large. A that time it is necessary to enlighten and instruct the mind and to persuade the soul. One must take care then not to abandon the meditation when there is only a slight movement of the will. If the mind is not sufficiently enlightened or convinced, there is danger that such a movement or emotion will only be superficial.

On the other hand, when the will is thoroughly moved, the work of the understanding must be suspended. To continue it would be study, or in any case, work unrelated to our purpose and harmful to prayer properly so called, because the only aim of meditation is to dispose the mind to contemplation and the will to resolutions and acts of love."

-- The Spirit and Prayer of Carmel by Fr François Jamart, ocd

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