A Hebrew Catholic Perspective
Just To Recall
This paper has one, sole purpose: not so much to pass on more information, as to help you put into practice a simple daily routine which makes space for a little Scripture Meditation. Hopefully you can attend a parish or private “Workshop” as we call it — Phase 1 in our model. Gradually week by week, little by little, we come to know our Lord so much better by taking time out to reflect on His Teaching. We give “Teaching” a capital ‘T’ because that is what the word Torah means. The Torah is commonly called the Five Books of Moses, recording God’s Teaching His spoken word for His people. The Gospels, (in fact the whole New Testament) form the Teaching of Yeshua — Jesus our Messiah. He declared that He did not come to destroy, annul, or replace the Teaching: i.e. the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfil what they pointed towards. And this He has done to honour God and restore humanity to union with God.
What we refer to as “Scripture Meditation” is a response to Jesus Messiah and our way of learning how to know, love and serve Him better — as well as to help others do the same. Jesus Christ is our Torah — the Word of God — and we are His disciples, commissioned through our baptism and confirmation to bear testimony of the Lord, throughout the whole world.
Now, the Practical Realities
We strongly recommend you “do” a little workshop (Phase 1) each week, if you can ― alone or in a group. It is the engagement with the Divine Word which develops a robust association with God through Christ our Lord. Out of our “wrestling” with the Divine Text we save some “spiritual seeds” which we hold in heart and soul for times when we can turn to them and quietly remember the treasure they contain, and “feed” on them.
Some of us live lives which enable an orderly time to be set for doing this. Some of us, especially if there are children or elderly members of the family to attend to, will barely find five minutes to themselves. We recommend the practice of quietly seeking out moments of spiritual stillness when we can ― however poorly in our estimation ― spend even just seconds turning consciously to the Lord. We can be walking between offices, going up in an elevator, walking back from the shops, even hanging the washing out. As a special treat we might even have 10 to 15 minutes in the evening which suddenly seem to come from nowhere, and we can sit quietly to be with God. Let′s learn to find these little moments where the Lord makes them available.
Remember the Word and Rest!
Meditation is not a complicated formula or affair. It is a simple practice God′s people have carried out since “Isaac went out to meditate in the field at eventide”. (Genesis 24: 63).
Either from your last Lectio Divina Scripture Reflection (whenever that was) ― or from any which produced little seed thoughts for your reflection ― take something of the Lord to mind and heart and let its presence absorb you. Simply Remember and Rest in the Word.
This time, hopefully each day, thus becomes our meditation. Other articles in this collection on meditation will help with “what to do” with our seed thought. In essence, we simply remain still and silent in its presence, and let its inner truth reside in us. This enables us to feed spiritually on our Lord Jesus Christ, blessed be His Holy Name.
We may have only 60 seconds at our disposal ― or five minutes or even ten. We just rejoice at being able to be present to our Lord spiritually and REST in Him as He invited us to do.
We have met people who feel uncomfortable with our “low key” approach, preferring a more distinct perhaps sophisticated methodology. We do not comment on other schools of meditation and contain our efforts within the approach outlined in these pages.
St Paul of the Cross, one of the greatest teachers of spiritual life, was so very emphatic in the importance of everyone being encouraged to spend time in meditation whether it was beholding a crucifix or reflecting on Sacred Scripture. In this way his efforts were very consistent with the long-established tradition in the Church of practising the Presence of God. And this is a continuation of the ancient Jewish tradition of acknowledging God′s presence and place in our lives.
The old adage still packs a bit of a punch “You can′t give what you haven′t got!” As disciples of Jesus Messiah, tasked with bearing witness to Him in all parts of our society ― even to the “end of the earth”, we need to take practical steps to grow in our knowledge of and relationship with Him. His school, i.e. life as members of His Body, the Church, will make demands of us, but these will also bring genuine rewards, and these our Lord demonstrated consistently to His first disciples. Most importantly we will grow, as disciples of His school, equipped to represent Him wherever we are! It is then we will be able to give what we have indeed got, Jesus Messiah ― Jesus Christ the Word ― Christ our Torah for the whole world.