IV. Meditation
(Little Catechism of the Life of Prayer, 2.9, 4.1-9)

"Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart." (Luke 2.19)

Cherishing The Word

A mental sketch behind closed eyes,
May help the mind focus in prayer;
Lest it wander or fanaticize,
Or drift aimlessly unaware.

The mind ponders, discursively,
The text, as words are etched within;
Assisted by its imagery,
And led by the Spirit therein.

The heart maintains a loving gaze,
Upon the Indwelling Divine,
With gratitude welling to praise --
A bloom basking in bright sunshine.

The heart treasures the precious word:
Plumbing depths of its mystery,
Sprouting the seed as it is stirred --
Rooting it in its history.

The cherished Word spreads its roots deep;
Nurtured with love in hearts that keep.

"It is called recollection because the soul collects together all the faculties and enters within itself to be with its God. Its Divine Master comes more speedily to teach it, and to grant it the Prayer of Quiet, than in any other way. For, hidden there within itself, it can think about the Passion, and picture the Son, and offer Him to the Father, without wearying the mind by going to seek Him on Mount Calvary, or in the Garden, or at the Column. Those who are able to shut themselves up in this way within this little Heaven of the soul, wherein dwells the Maker of Heaven and earth, and who have formed the habit of looking at nothing and staying in no place which will distract these outward senses, may be sure that they are walking on an excellent road, and will come without fail to drink of the water of the fountain, for they will journey a long way in a short time." (St. Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, chapter 28)

Holy Spirit, help my heart to cherish the Word of God in the depths of my being, to nurture it with love, and to ponder it with a loving gaze that penetrates the depths of its mystery. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2007