Last week, we left off starting our Carmelite style meditation. We had put ourselves into the presence of God and put forth some petitions/prayer intentions or what are traditionally called colloquies. So now we begin a conversation with God concerning our points. We are seeking three things as we ponder and reflect on our points: affections, colloquies, and resolutions.
Affections are short prayers from the heart like, “Lord I am sorry that I have offended you and I thank you for the blessings of __________ that you have given me…” or “Your will be done…” etc. We spoke of general intercessions or petitions at the beginning of the prayer time knowing that our effort in prayer is very valuable in the eyes of God and He will convert it to graces and consolations for those to whom we dedicate it. Now, however, as we go into the truly meditative part of our prayer time and begin to feel the affections arise out of our hearts, they will often bring us to realize our dependence on God and our needs for other graces that He alone can provide.
So this brings us to particular colloquies concerning our own spiritual needs e.g. greater confidence, help in stressful situations, graces to help you forgive someone etc. This is now pointing us toward actions and the ability to perform them, so we begin to make resolutions, which need to be specific: e.g. “stop gossiping with…” or “ not to lose patience with…” Once we have made a few resolutions, even one is enough for a day, then we move onto our conclusion where we want to thank God for the insights that He has given us during the meditation and our resolutions. Now we ask for the grace to keep them and we choose a special thought, motto, or short prayer to repeat during the day to keep us aware of our resolution and continue to ask for God’s grace to fulfill it. (to be continued)