The seed is the Word of God
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 17, 2012 (11B)
By Father Cusick
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New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
When you prayed in public last, did you make the sign of the cross, and did you look around to see if anyone noticed? When you witness in action to the Gospel by prayer you become the fertile soil in which the Kingdom takes root. Your witness to the Kingdom will be undeniable. Such is of the Kingdom of God which all may see and so find shelter under its spreading branches.
The seed is the Word of God. When the Word takes root the Kingdom grows. We are called upon receiving the Word to meditate upon it in prayer so that it way take root in us and bear fruit in joy and virtue. The Catechism teaches the principles of meditation.
"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. The required attentiveness is difficult to sustain. We are usually helped by books, and Christians do not want for them: the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season, writings of the spiritual fathers, works of spirituality, the great book of creation, and that of history--the page on which the 'today' of God is written. (CCC 2705)
"To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: 'Lord, what do you want me to do?" (CCC 2706)
There are as many and varied methods of meditation as there are spiritual masters. Christians owe it to themselves to develop the desire to meditate regularly, lest they come to resemble the three first kinds of soil in the parable of the sower.' (Mark 4:4-7, 15-19) But a method is only a guide; the important thing is to advance, with the Holy Spirit, along the one way of prayer: Christ Jesus. (CCC 2707)
The principles of Christian prayer rule out some Eastern forms of meditation, sometimes called 'centering prayer' which deny the Incarnational aspect of prayer in which Christ sanctifies the whole person, thoughts, words, and actions. All of one's gifts are to be used in authentic prayer, including mental reflection. To attempt to escape one's thoughts in prayer, to attempt to escape the self in any way, is to deny the offering of that gift to God in prayer.
"Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him." (CCC 2708)