Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Exodus 40; 16-21 Start Making that List

Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.
On the first day of the first month of the second year
the Dwelling was erected.
It was Moses who erected the Dwelling.
He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars,
and set up its columns.
He spread the tent over the Dwelling
and put the covering on top of the tent,
as the LORD had commanded him.
He took the commandments and put them in the ark;
he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it.
He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil,
thus screening off the ark of the commandments,
as the LORD had commanded him.

Gosh, I need to go to confession.
I haven’t murdered anyone recently, stolen anyone’s beloved pearls, or done anything especially terrible, but goodness gracious, I need to go to confession.

Recently I read a piece about envisioning our souls as glass, and any sin that we have committed is a smudge on that glass. I’ve also heard the comparison of our souls to a wedding dress.When  I get to the altar one day (hopefully! although I’m sure my mum will tell me to just get through college first), I’m going to have the most gorgeous wedding dress ever. And I certainly wouldn’t want any stain upon it.

So when we receive the Eucharist, we should envision ourselves in a wedding dress, approaching the altar. If you’re a guy, envision yourself in a gorgeous white tuxedo. But rewind the mental tape to about fifteen minutes before, when you’re standing in the bride or groom’s room, looking at yourself in the mirror one more time. “I,” you tell yourself, “look simply fantastic. This is the best day of my life.” And then imagine your bridesmaids or groomsmen enter the room and start throwing rotten tomatoes, moldy fruit, containers of old soup and yogurt, and all sorts of rotten and disgusting things at you. Your beautiful dress! Your gorgeous tux! The stains are accumulating and you duck but you can’t get rid of them. Suddenly, after five minutes of the onslaught, they suddenly drop the disgusting things and escort you out. You’re shell-shocked, but you walk down the aisle anyway. You cannot believe you’re going to enter a new life in this awful outfit.

That’s how most of us approach the altar to receive Jesus. We’re covered in weeks, months, or years of white lies, bits of stray gossip, and last month’s scandal, and yet we still receive Jesus, who is pure love.

Moses had it right when he enshrined the rules in the Ark of the Covenant. He held the rules sacred, even though he broke them. We should hold the rules sacred, too. We should remember “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods” when we begin to be jealous of how someone has the latest version of the iPhone or the latest and greatest new car. We should remember “Thou Shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain” when we say “Jesus!” or “God, I can’t believe he’d do that,” where the sacred name of Jesus takes the place of a curse word. Of course, we should not say curse words either. But perhaps using the name of God in the place of a curse word is worse.

Before confession, I always like to take fifteen minutes and write down a list. Rather than going into the confessional, citing three or four commandments, and then mumbling “and all the rest,” at the end, I like to examine each and every time that I can remember that I’ve talked bad about someone, cursed, or failed to honor my parents. Then I say a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit to help me remember each and every time I’ve failed to do right. And then, empowered with my list, I go to the chapel and stand in line.
I’ll be going to confession this week before Sunday mass. I want to be able to receive the Eucharist cleanly, with as few smudges or stains as possible. Because don’t we all want to try as hard as we can to be pure before our God?

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