Strive after Meditation and Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Ignatian prayer word cloud

Strive after Meditation and Prayer

My attentions have been elsewhere during the past few weeks, and I have not written any blog posts. Moreover, I have not kept up with my regular Lenten prayer and meditation. Dear Lord, forgive me. I have kept up with exercise, and with being faithful to my congregation. Thank You for the assistance I have received there! But, I have not been as diligent in writing blog posts…

Getting back in the swing of things, I read the next few pages in this wonderful little book. I met St. Therese of Lisieux in Father Gallagher’s writing. St. Therese grappled with the writings of the Apostle Paul: most specifically, 1 Corinthians.

She became discouraged, and bent to prayer to make sense of chapters 12 and 13. Oh, Lord, she so wanted to discern something from You, God, so she prayed with unerring spiritual instinct. “Her attentive and faith-filled reading of the Scripture renders its content profoundly present to Therese and prepares the subsequent steps in her prayer.” [1]

She continued the reading, pondered the truths, her understanding grew, and the answer was clear. “The richness of such pondering is strikingly evident in Therese’s experience, God’s grace mingles with human reflection, and the heart finds answers to its longings.” [2]

Oh, how much joy, consolation and fulfillment Therese found! As she specifically pondered 1 Corinthians 13, she came to realize that the answer was charity—love. Through the Scriptures, God spoke to Therese’s heart. In a similar way, God can speak to our hearts as well. Moreover, Therese responded from her heart. We are offered the opportunity to respond from our hearts, as well. What a wonderful opportunity!

Therese did not lay out a step-by-step, pray-by-numbers approach. Yet, if we follow the arc of her prayer, “first calling to mind the truths in the text, then pondering them, then embracing them,” [3] this movement will become a natural, ongoing process. This is a wonderful template for meditative prayer.

Dear Lord, this is a wonderful way of praying, and so simple! Help me to keep it in mind, and use this way of prayer and meditation to become closer to You. Thank You, God, for the gifts we have of the writings of the saints and other learned people who have written down their insights on prayer and meditation. Help me—help us to hearken and follow these wise words. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers. Amen.

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er


[1] Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture, Timothy M. Gallagher, OVM (United States of America: Crossroad Publishing, 2008), 31.

[2] Ibid, 32.

[3] Ibid.