St. Anthony – Monthly Meditation
By Deacon James Baker
It is virtuous to seek good spiritual direction and seek wise council in your spiritual life. Make time for prayer in the day. Set aside a specific time for prayer or spiritual reading. There are many fruitful methods in reading scripture like Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”), a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. Other methods are St. Ignatius’ method of Lord Teach Me to Pray or just reading the Gospels. Journaling after reading the Gospels is very good, writing down what comes to your mind. There are websites on the topic of prayer and spiritual reading at CatholicSpiritualDirection.org. Another fruitful practice is to learn about the lives of Saints and see how they practiced their faith.
Reading Scripture and having a prayer time will keep you close to Christ. Working on your own individual spirituality on a daily basis will strengthen you on your journey with Christ. It is best to have a Spiritual Director, who is like a sponsor in the AA program, someone who lives a spiritual life and has time to work with you. Spiritual Directors and Sponsors can help you spirituality to discern what God is telling you, how God is moving you in your heart. Spiritual Directors can help us discern Gods will for us in our lives. We all need help in this area and having a Spiritual Director can benefit you greatly. They bring to light the difference between our own human desire and Gods Will for us.
Working with a Spiritual Director can help you live a more faith filled life. You can have a deeper relationship with Christ our Savior. You can experience the peace of Christ he wishes for us all. It can help us reflect on what God has done in our lives and how he has moved us in our life. We can experience spiritual consolation which is a list of things we are grateful to have received.
We need each other, we need someone to talk with outside of prayer time to help us on our journey. We should not close ourselves off from each other, the closer we get to each other the closer we get to God.
In our meditation we use our imagination, and in prayer or reading we use our imagination. In the forethought of every action we take we use our imagination. When we use our imagination after reading a Gospel, we can put Jesus in the scene of the Gospel. In our imagination we can see Jesus guiding us and with us. Good Spiritual Direction will always direct you toward Jesus!
Deacon James Baker
St. Anthony Catholic Church