Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Weekday Readings



The Thirty-third Week of the Year, November 18 - 23, 2019
Monday   Luke 18.35-43
If we experience, like the blind man, that “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” then it is only because the Holy Spirit enables us.  The next step in the process of this enlightenment is to discern how God is enveloping us and then to respond with obedience.  The blind man knew he had to disobey the commands of the crowd telling him to be silent. He chose to be obedient to the call of Jesus.  The crowd demanded that he not cry out for mercy from Jesus.  He knew instinctively that he could not obey them.  He cried out even louder so his voice reached the ears of Jesus, "the Son of David."  More, the heart of the blind man with its faith reached into the heart of Jesus.  The Lord in response opens his sacred heart to him with all its power: "What do you want me to do for you?"  This Gospel event is the model for our prayer.  I look into the face of Christ in the wordless silence of my faith and hope.  He looks back at  me with the power of his omnipotent goodness.  All that I am is his.  All that is his is mine.  Here is the common ground of our mutual indwelling in the Spirit within the Father.  The whole Body of Christ and I are one in this communion of sharing the divine life.  The communion begins with something similar to this roadside encounter described in the Gospel.  We are joined in the spiritual space of heart and mind, faith and thanks, love and hope.  Nothing separates us.  All in all is Christ.  Lord is his Name: Jesus in the glory of the Father.  My prayer rests in Jesus’ heavenly enthronement.
Tuesday   Luke 19.1-10
"The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."  This is a statement of action with a definite object.  He seeks.  He saves.  It is not passive or academic.  My soul is the object of this action.  Christ will find me.  Christ will save me.  My prayer is the grace of Christ's seeking.  I pray because Jesus has first sought me out.  My prayer is my finally stopping so that I can be found.  My prayer is the opening of my soul to receive the grace that is the divine life.  My salvation is life.  I may seem to climb the tree on my own effort.  But it is Christ who sustains my ascent.  He is always there before me and with me in the ascent.  He looks up and finds me.  He calls me.  Prayer is the initial response.  My prayer reflects my repentance and my embrace of his salvation.  Ultimately, Christ seeks to stay with me: “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  Presence and work: Christ is presence and work—the presence of indwelling and the work of his saving redemption and sanctification.
Wednesday  Luke 19.11-27
There are two dimensions to this parable.  One, the faithful must choose to belong to the Kingdom.  They must be willing to receive Christ as their king and head.  "We do not want this man to rule over us."  However, Christ claims all in our relationship with him.  He is the Word by whom all things have been made.  Rejection of Christ results in a self-slaying.  To reject Christ deliberately is to reject the very core of one's being and humanity.  The second dimension of the parable is that the members of the Kingdom enter into a process of transformation through living fruitfully through the infused virtues of faith, hope and charity.  It is not possible to place these dynamic virtues in a napkin buried in the ground.  Each time I enter into prayer I enter into the dynamics of the Kingdom.  “Claim me Lord as your own.  Work in me the salvation that you have brought to humanity.”
Thursday   Luke 19.41-44 (Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary; meditation on the weekday Gospel.)

Negligence in fulfilling our disciplines of prayer elicits the same response from the Lord that he expressed over Jerusalem.  It is not the observance of a discipline of prayer that is of the essence.  It is what the observance brings us: the possibility of encountering Christ at the center of our hearts.  Prayer is the door into peace.  Prayer is the time of visitation.  Not only in prayer, of course, does this visitation happen.  Every event of our day, every person we meet, becomes occasions for the visitation and peace that come from the life of grace.  But we are concerned here about our prayer.  Silent, wordless prayer is the concentrated moment of our total dependence on God as the center.  All else is held in silence.  Prayer is the vigilance and watching so that we can receive the visitation of Christ.  Like Elizabeth who received Jesus in his totality in Mary's visit, so in prayer we are open to receive the fullness of the Mystery that still comes through Mary.
Friday   Luke 19.45-48
In all of its history, the Temple was never more the temple, the place of God's presence, than when the Son of God enters and takes possession of the Temple.  It is now indeed a house of prayer with the presence of Jesus, the Word made flesh, dwelling among us.  Let my prayer be one with the prayer of Jesus rising up to the Father in the Spirit.  Let my prayer be the deep silence of gazing upon the Beauty of God upon the holy face of Christ.  Let Christ purify me of all the greed and lust, the pride and resentment that pollute the temple of my soul.  Let all my life, each day, be a prayer.  Enter me as your temple, Lord Jesus, by the gift of your Spirit.
Saturday   Luke 20.27-40
Many times I have heard the warning that we should not try to live like angels.  Living in the Spirit of God does not mean that I am like an angel.  No, I have a body; I am my body as much as I am my soul.  My prayer then must live in the reality of my physical life and the limitations of my body and mind.  But that is not the whole picture.  The fullness of life with Christ includes our participation in the glory of his Kingdom now.  "You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Colossians 3.3)  Thus I seek the unknowing of simple prayer of the heart without seeking to live in the dimension of my imagination and the natural promptings of my inquisitive mind.  I will not entrap Jesus in that web of questioning.  That which is to be revealed on the last day is beyond me.  I rest in the power and reality of God's making all things new in Christ in the Kingdom on the last day.  I pray that I may be worthy of a place in the Kingdom.  Who am I that I should enter under your roof, O Lord?  You are Life, O Trinity, and fill me with that life now and into eternity.

 --William Fredrickson, Obl. Sec. OSB, D.Min.


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Fredrickson