Entering Into The Silence….. ( Prayer Part IV)

Entering into the silence….. ( Prayer Part IV)

We are now going to enter into the second area of prayer, namely meditative prayer.

Not everyone is comfortable, or practiced, or possibly desirous of dabbling in meditative prayer. Lets see what is waiting for us in the Catechism on the subject of Meditative prayer.

“Meditation is above all a quest . The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life , in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking.” CCC #2705

The point of meditative prayer moved from the vocal to the mental,and spritual prayer. The Holy Rosary is a great example of the fusion between vocal prayer and meditative prayer. It is also a great teaching tool for all the versions on prayer on whole, and even like a tour guide,if you will, through all the different versions of prayer. For now lets look at the first parts.

Many who begin the practice of saying the Rosary will concentrate on the individual prayers, insuring that they are saying the right prayers and on the right beads. This becomes more important when one is reciting the Rosary when in communion or in choir with others. If your new to this form of prayer, I would encourage you by saying first that in all of my experiences in praying the Rosary it is inevitable that someone will “loose their place ” in the counting of which bead they are on leaving the rest to wonder if they had lost a bead or if the person leading the prayer had missed a bead somewhere along the line.

It only becomes important if you begin this practice in choir with others, or if your asked to lead a decade of the Rosary, and you find that you need to track where you are in the progression of the prayers or if indeed you are the one who is counting the beads to insure that you have recited the correct prayer.

But lets back track a bit. If this is not part of your prayer life, and you find that you need a little spiritual workout, then I can recommend that this is a good place to start.

The first part of the physical act of prayer, reciting the prayers, tracking where you are, fingering through the beads, basically the mental and physical part of learning the prayer routine is part of the physical parts of the prayers and the initial part of the learning of the first part of the prayer.

Once past the discipline of HOW the prayer is done, then you move to the intial prayer mode. Vocal prayer. The part where you recite the prayers and are in a point of comfort with what your actually saying, or what it is that these prayers mean.

The prayer moves from the physical to the spiritual act of prayer.

At some point in the practice of the Rosary, you move from the act of praying where you have become comfortable enough with the prayers that you can begin to move beyond the vocal prayer to the meditiational prayer. Each decade has assigned to it a Mystery and a meditative passage or thought, or spiritual practice. These meditiations add a new dimension to the prayer.

For instance, in the sorrowful mysteries, The Passion of our Lord, which has attached to it the meditation on “long suffering”, this mystery has many different flavors in it, not unlike the daily readings. These mysteries, like scriptural readings also have different flavors or facets, that reflect differently for each person according to where they are on their own personal journeys.

These meditations then move from the concept of the meditation into the actual prayer that we seek.  Like many other forms of prayer this takes practice and work. Its not something that just happens for most.

I also want to admonish you that if this does not come easily for you that you are not alone. Different people pray differently, and everyone has a particular style of prayer that they feel most comfortable with. The same thing applies to ones service to God, and their own particular ministries.

The Carmelites have a contemplative charism. The Dominicans have an active apostolate and charism. The Franciscans are right smack in the middle. We are both Contemplative and Active in our charism. This is why there are so many different ministries, orders and avenues of service within the church. Our journey to God is individual and as different as each person is.

This does not however mean that we should not work at each of the avenues of prayer.

Until next time….

May God give you the gift of His peace !


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