We have discussed Lectio Divina before and its four steps of: Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio, and Contempaltio. You can review this method on “formed.org”. If you haven’t yet logged in, you do so by:
• Going to: http//formed.org
• Click on the “Register”
• Enter Parish Access Code: 7ZC8WK
Once you are in the site, go to the top left corner and click on “Study” then “Bible Studies” then Lectio and then the box “Lectio Prayer”.
The Carmelite method is a little different, St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Avila taught their monks and nuns about a remote preparation and a proximate preparation. The remote preparation is a way of life in which in the midst of our normal occupations we try to maintain contact with God and a habitual presence with Him. We do this by trying to do His Will in all things, seeking in all we do, no matter how small or insignificant to please Him, and we lift our minds and hearts to Him with frequent short, feverous prayers, e.g. “Jesus, Mary Mother help” or “Sacrament Most Holy, Sacrament Divine all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.” These are just two examples and we can invent our own.
The proximate preparation is very much like the “lectio” phase of “lectio divina” where we take up scripture or a good spiritual book and begin reading. I read slowly with devotion and recollection pondering the words and when something really stands out to me, I write it down. That is what we call a “point of meditation”. It is good to have 2 to 5 of these. Even after I have written my points I can read the passage once again to get a better feel for the whole. The points should offer us a truth that we will penetrate with reflection, order to draw from it a deeper conviction of God’s love for us. Next week we will look at the other steps in making a Carmelite Meditation.