From:                              40 Day Contemplative Lenten Challenge <mail@flocknote.com>

Sent:                               Sunday, February 28, 2021 2:00 AM

To:                                   Karen Benson

Subject:                          Day 12: February 28, 2021

 

Feb. 28th  Second Sunday of Lent  Link to Daily Readings Gen 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 PS 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19 Rom 8:31b-34 Mt 17:5 Mk 9:2-10 Resource Links:  Introduction to 40 Day Contemplative Lenten Challenge Fasting...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 28th 

Second Sunday of Lent 

 

Link to Daily Readings

Gen 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18

PS 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19

Rom 8:31b-34

Mt 17:5

Mk 9:2-10

 

 

PRESENCE OF GOD – Jesus Alone. Your presence is sufficient for me.

 

MEDITAT...N –  St. Francis De Sales told us, “In prayer we must not seek the consolations of God, but the God of consolations.” 

 

While Jesus enjoyed the Glory of the Beatific Vision, he kept it hidden from others most of his life. On Mount Tabor Peter, James and John were given a glimpse of Christ’s Glory. The disciples had recently learned of His Passion, and that glimpse, that consolation, may have been granted to reassure their faith. God may choose to provide us with beautiful consolations and ecstatic spiritual experiences; however, these consolations should never be the goal of our prayers. Experiences come and go. When the vision on Mount Tabor disappeared, the disciples were left with Jesus alone. That was, and is always, enough. 

 

Prayer, and particularly silent prayer, purifies us by inching us along the path from “glory to glory” (2 Cor 3,18) until God’s Grace eventually transforms us. God may grant consolations along the way or He may not. Either way, Christ alone is enough. Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen informs us in his book Divine Intimacy, that “God does not console us for our entertainment but rather for our encouragement, for our strengthening, for the increase of our generosity in suffering for love of Him. The vision disappeared; the Apostles raised their eyes and saw nothing ‘nisei solum Jesum,’ save Jesus alone, and with Jesus alone, they came down from the mountain... The time has come to repeat, ‘Jesus Alone,’ to come down from Tabor with Him, and to follow Him with the Apostles even to Calvary, where He will suffer, abandoned not only by men, but even by His Father.”

 

SUGGESTED SILENT PRAYER and ACCOMPANYING COLLOQUY

Father Thomas Keating, while commenting on the insights of Saint John of the Cross, told us “Silence is God’s first language”. When our mind is quiet, “deep calls to deep” as the psalmist says (Ps 42:7). When you attempt to quiet your mind and rest your attention on God, if all you experience is your noisy mind, you may want to try the following twist on the Teresian prayer practice offered earlier in this challenge.

 

Sit comfortably in a quiet place and set a timer for at least twenty minutes. Close your eyes and let yourself become still and calm. Ask Jesus for help. Let Him know you can’t do this without Him. Look around inside yourself. Notice the chair pushing against you. Feel your feet and the floor. Notice your breath, but don’t try to alter it. Just notice the sensations as the lungs and the belly fill and then empty. 

 

When you are ready, stay with the sensations but also add in a short prayer. Maybe you would like to use “Jesus alone”. Synchronize the prayer with your breath. As you breath in (while still noticing the internal sensations) say silently to yourself, “Jesus”, and then as you exhale say, “alone”. Say the prayer slowly and silently to yourself so it coincides with the rhythm of your breath. Notice the Stillness surrounding the sensations. Notice the Stillness surrounding the words of the prayer. Faintly remember somewhere in the back of your mind that Stillness is God’s presence in which we live and move and have our being. Continue is this manner until the timer goes off, using all of your mental faculties to concentrate entirely on the internal sensations, the prayer’s words as they form in your mind, and the surrounding Stillness.

 

Every time you notice your attention drifts from the prayer practice, don’t get down on yourself. Just apologize to Jesus for leaving Him and ask for help to disregard the worldly things that drug you away from Him. If gifted with consolations, thank Jesus and ask they might help you stay longer in His presence. If pain and suffering arise you can try to ease them by shifting your position, but also ask Jesus for the strength to bear the pain and the courage to follow Him to Calvary. Always continue the prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent by Deacon Joe Mills

 

 

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