Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Sunday Readings



Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Cycle A, July5, 2020
Readings: Zechariah 9:9-10; Romans 8:9, 11-13;
Matthew 11.25-30 
In this meditation, we enter into prayer following the process of Lectio Divina, invoking the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus our Savior and Lord that the words of this Gospel become as fire to penetrate our hearts and bring the divine presence into our deepest consciousness.
Read the Gospel text as for the first time, seeking to receive the words as they speak for themselves.
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.  All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (The Gospel Reading)
The Gospel text records a prayer from the heart of Jesus.  It is a Trinitarian prayer because it is the Son addressing His Father.  In Luke’s version, Jesus prays in the Holy Spirit.  The inner life of the Trinity  becomes visible in this Gospel vignette.  This Gospel Reading also evokes the spirit of St. John’s Gospel which concentrates on the relationship of the Father and the Son.  “Knowing” between the Father and Son and their sharing this knowing with the followers of Jesus is the content of true Catholic mystical contemplative life.
The reality of grace is present.  It is not our efforts and techniques that bring us into mystical union.  It is the gift of God—“and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  The call to grace is universal—Come to me all who are burdened.  In other words, the whole human race with its wounds and sufferings is called.  Jesus is the incarnation of the tenderness and mercy of God that has been revealed in the Old Testament and prophesized as being fulfilled in the Messiah who will come “Meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt…”(from the First Reading).
Read the Gospel text above, again; this time seeing its application to your life.
Growth in the contemplative life depends on humility. 
Each time I understand my powerlessness both in virtue and understanding then I am open to the movement of grace.  An almost insurmountable obstacle to the grace of Trinitarian union is a self-centered reliance on intellectuality and on a false sense of self-sophistication.  My labors and my burdens are not obstacles.  My sins that are repented of and rejected in the freedom of grace are not obstacles.  In fact that which crushes me to the ground can become the most effective means of coming to Jesus as Savior by the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The rest for our souls is what contemplative grace is in its simplicity.  St. Pope Gregory described contemplative union as rest, in Latin, “quies” or “vacatio” (the base word in English for vacation and for emptying as in vacant).  As the Spirit empties my self-dependence I find my roots in God, in the Trinitarian life.  Coming to Jesus with my burdens I find the rest and “vacation” of being in God beyond all the workings of imagination, commentaries, regrets, thoughts and imagined projects.
Oratio-Affective Prayer
Let us read the text again, this time allowing the Spirit to pray within us, forming the words that come from our heart.
Lord Jesus I rest in your Sacred Heart.  It is the Holy Spirit who brings me there.  And in your Love I find rest in the Father.  In the Father I leave all my burdens behind.  Let me rejoice in your love and meekness and humility.  Take all of me in faith and hope.  Faith takes all my doubts; hope takes all my memories and experiences; then, Jesus, in love I rest in the eternal knowing and loving within your Triune Life.
The Second Reading reminds us of being in the Spirit: you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Contemplatio-Prayer of the heart in silence.
Let us read the text again.  At the conclusion, we close our eyes and rest in the Holy Trinity.  Repeat the sacred word of your love commitment each time thoughts move you away from the resting in silence.  In fact, at any time in this “lectio” process, when you experience the movement to silence, follow it.


William Fredrickson, Obl. Secular OSB; D.Min.


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William Frederickson