e-book Gazing on the Gospels Year A: Meditations on the Lectionary readings

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It does not treat Scripture as text to be studied, but as the " Living Word ".

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The second movement in Lectio Divina thus involves meditating upon and pondering on the scriptural passage. When the passage is read, it is generally advised not to try to assign a meaning to it at first, but to wait for the action of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the mind, as the passage is pondered upon. The English word ponder comes from the Latin pondus which relates to the mental activity of weighing or considering.

To ponder on the passage that has been read, it is held lightly and gently considered from various angles. Again, the emphasis is not on analysis of the passage but to keep the mind open and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire a meaning for it. An example passage may be the statement by Jesus during the Last Supper in John : "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you".

An analytical approach would focus on why Jesus said that, the fact that it was said at the Last Supper, and the context within the biblical episode. Other theological analysis may follow, e. However, these theological analyses are generally avoided in Lectio Divina , where the focus is on Christ as the key that interprets the passage and relates it to the meditator.

So rather than "dissecting peace" in an analytical manner, the practitioner of Lectio Divina "enters peace" and shares the peace of Christ. The focus will thus be on achieving peace via a closer communion with God rather than a biblical analysis of the passage. Similar other passages may be "Abide in my love", "I am the Good Shepherd", etc. In the Christian tradition, prayer is understood as dialogue with God, that is, as loving conversation with God who has invited us into an embrace. The constitution Dei verbum which endorsed Lectio Divina for the general public, as well as in monastic settings, quoted Saint Ambrose on the importance of prayer in conjunction with Scripture reading and stated: [31] [32].

And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for "we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying. Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the importance of using Lectio Divina and prayers on Scripture as a guiding light and a source of direction and stated: [9] [31]. It should never be forgotten that the Word of God is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.


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Contemplation takes place in terms of silent prayer that expresses love for God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines contemplative prayer as "the hearing the Word of God" in an attentive mode. It states: [33]. Contemplative prayer is silence, the "symbol of the world to come" or "silent love. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus.

The role of the Holy Spirit in contemplative prayer has been emphasized by Christian spiritual writers for centuries. In the 12th century, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux compared the Holy Spirit to a kiss by the Eternal Father which allows the practitioner of contemplative prayer to experience union with God. From a theological perspective, God's grace is considered a principle, or cause, of contemplation, with its benefits delivered through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. While the Lectio Divina has been the key method of meditation and contemplation within the Benedictine , Cistercian and Carthusian orders, other Catholic religious orders have used other methods.

An example is another four-step approach, that by Saint Clare of Assisi shown in the table opposite, which is used by the Franciscan order. Saint Teresa of Avila 's method of "recollection" which uses book passages to keep focus during meditation has similarities to the way Lectio Divina uses a specific Scriptural passage as the centerpiece of a session of meditation and contemplation.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The four movements of Lectio Divina. Clockwise from top left: Lectio "read" ; Meditatio "meditate" ; Oratio "pray" ; Contemplatio "contemplate".

Lectionary Readings

People by era or century. Desert Fathers. Contemporary papal views. Aspects of meditation Orationis Formas , About this product Product Information Gaze on him Consider him Contemplate him As you desire to imitate him.


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This advice from St Clare of Assisi is the key to unlocking the door to the heart of Jesus' teaching. Her words provide a pattern of meditation that brings alive the Gospel reading for every Sunday in Year A of the Revised Common Lectionary. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. New New. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review.

Best Selling in Nonfiction See all. Permanent Record by Edward Snowden , Hardcover 1. Save on Nonfiction Trending price is based on prices over last 90 days. That in itself will resonate with many people, the undulating nature of human existence, the highs and the lows.

Our Christian faith does not shield us from the ups and downs. Jesus is in the wilderness and he is faced with temptations. We know from the Gospel writers that there were three temptations 1. To turn stone into bread. We might not be tempted to turn stones into bread, but bread is symbolic for the material stuff we need in life like food and money. Jesus was offered a short cut to possessing material blessing.

Reminiscent of creation all Jesus has to do is speak to create bread from stone. This is a temptation of human greed and Jesus was tempted by it and had to face that temptation and recognise it for the futility which is was. What good would it be to him to have all the wealth in the world, if he was not mindful of the need one day to give account?

Of course human greed is an age old temptation for material wealth. Jesus undersatands that wealth does not bring happiness in this life or the next. This was true then it is true now. Jesus knows about human greed and the dangers of it. There was the temptation for Jesus to conform to contemporary expectations but he will have none of it.

Jesus has turned away from any notion of kingship which seeks personal glory or satisfies his physical desires. Instead he has chosen the way of the servant, the path of peace, , , Acts As he emerges from the desert he goes to the synagogue at Nazareth and reads from the book of Isaiah a statement that will define him and his ministry.

Christians will not be surprised at all at the temptations. Jesus shows us what human nature is like and calls us to follow his example and be different. To seek to give rather than receive, to choose service rather than power. Jesus takes human tendencies to be selfish and stands them on their head and he tells us that if we really want to be happy in ourselves we must seek the welfare of others. The ability to think of others and consider the consequences of our greed, these are lessons which must be learned by everyone if we are ever to be able to live in peace with one another and creation.

We must learn to be different. This is what Lent is all about. Lent is a time when we are called to think through our inner values and attitudes. We seek to have the mind of Christ in the judgements which we are called to make. The passage today gives hope to all of those who face difficulty. Jesus went into the wilderness, but he did not go alone. Neither do we go alone as we walk in dangerous places. God is with us as we seek to walk in his ways. Our lives will be filled with many challenges, but we face those challenges not with the power of one, but with the strength of our Lord.

Lectionary Reflections: Years A, B and C [9780281065790]

In the passage from Luke, we see Jesus doing battle with the Devil. Jesus is tempted, challenged and made to engage in spiritual combat with evil possibilities. Our human lives too are a battleground, each one of us is conflicted, seemingly surrounded by beasts and angels, every one of us has weaknesses which expose us to the powers of evil. Biblical writers have used many different types of language and descriptions to describe this conflict.

Gazing on the Gospels Year A by Judith Dimond

The writer to the Ephesians speaks about having to put on the armour of God for battle, in Romans the apostle Paul tells us that whilst he wants to do good things, so often he ends up doing the bad things he doesn't want to do. Each one of us aspires to do great things, we are full of dreams and high ideas, yet so often we disappoint ourselves and don't meet up to our own expectations.

We really don't need to come to church to remind ourselves that we fall short of God's ideal, the truth is that we can't even hit our own low standards, let alone God's! How easy it is therefore to pile on the guilt at Lent. All the food we have consumed since New Year which we were going to stop eating. More importantly all the good ways in which we might have behaved to be better Christian people.

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We all know the error of our ways and so perhaps Lent should be more affirming. I have memories of sitting in draughty old Anglican churches reciting the confession which drums into the praying person just how dreadful they really are.

28 June 2019 Daily Bible Reading of Catholic Mass

Contrast this with the Jesus who lifts up the head of the woman caught in adultery and sets her free from her captors. Are these the words which our Lord would expect to be on the lips of his children?