Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Weekday Readings


The Fifteenth Week of the Year

July 15 - 20, 2024

Matthew 10.34-11.1
"You are not worthy of me."  In prayer I must look into the face of Christ and be able to understand those words of Christ:  “You are not worthy of me.”  Jesus,  if I do not set You as the absolute of my life then I am not worthy of you.  The sword that cuts to the marrow of the bone is this absolute demand of Jesus upon my whole person and upon all the minutes and spaces of my life.  There is no peace without the sword of divine love cutting deep within me.  Each day it is relentless.  Each day, the cross.  Each day, the following after.  Yet there is no other way.  Jesus would be less than he is, if it were not this absolute surrender that God demands as creator and as the only source of all my being.  God would not love me if He were not the end for which I was created.  Holy Mary, pray for me that I become worthy of the promises of Christ.

Matthew 11.20-24
Confirmed modern secularists mock the hell and brimstone aspects of Scripture.  Avid Christians are mostly portrayed in the character of the fanatical Christian preacher ranting on about Sodom and Gomorrah and the terrible punishments God will visit upon sinners; or in the characterizations of small-minded, mean people who bring harm to others.  I would not want to be characterized as a fanatical fundamentalist.  Prayer must deal with the fact that God judges me, my society, all humanity.  I can expect an adverse judgment if my love for the Kingdom is not supreme.  Rather, now is the time to hear the warning of Christ and to plunge into the burning fire of Jesus' divine love and be consumed in it and be transformed in it and follow Him each day in grace.  Meanwhile, prayer is also the hope that in that day, all will come through the fire of judgment.  The sword of Christ, however, must not be disregarded because of a watered-down version of the Gospel.  Modern secularism must not be the standard of prayer and can not set the markers for the Christian revelation that flows from the Lord in his merciful judgment. 

Matthew 11.25-27
As soon as I seek in my prayer the mind of the little one who trusts in the absoluteness of God; and as soon as I do not allow one rook or cranny of my consciousness to be puffed up in modernity's skepticism toward the reality of  the Kingdom, then I begin to experience in my prayer the hidden mystery of the Kingdom.  This is the pleasure of the Father to reveal to me the Son and the Son reveals the Father.  And what a gift is given!  The Trinitarian life!  No one knows the Son but the Father.  No one knows the Father but the Son.  Into this intimacy of Presence I am called. What am I learning in my prayer?  Holy Spirit of the love-knowledge of the Father and the Son, come and teach and re-form me into the image of the Son.

Matthew 11.28-30
Four action words: come, take, learn and find.  Prayer is my participation in these actions of the Spirit.  When I pray I come into Christ.  When I pray my heart takes upon itself the gentle yoke of Christ and His Gospel.  When I pray the Spirit reveals and I learn the secrets of the Kingdom.  Finally prayer is finding as I open into God's life.  It is here that I take shelter in the heart of Jesus. This is the yoke and burden of Christ: The divine Presence.  Here is rest for my soul.  The burden on my back, the struggle and labor of living all become light and gentle in the humble and meek heart of Jesus.  Prayer then is about learning and finding, and taking the gentle yoke of Christ, leading to rest which is contemplative prayer, the state of final happiness which only the Father can give.

Matthew 12.1-8
Our prayer pushes past the rabbinical argument and brings us to the true purpose for the Sabbath: to adore the Lord of the Sabbath.  I want to dwell within the Presence which envelopes me.  The Temple is the Presence.  And the One who is greater than the physical Temple is here.  He in me and I in Him.  Here in God is where I wish to dwell—that is the essence contemplative prayer.  It is only in absolute adoration that the Savior will teach us that he desires mercy more than sacrifice and fidelity more than observance.  It is prayer that gives me courage like David to eat the bread of the presence because I am hungry and God is the bread of my soul's subsistence, nay more, of my life and love and freedom.  It is all consummated now within the mystery of the Holy Eucharist in the greater reality of the Church.

Matthew 12.14-21
This Gospel narrative demonstrates the path of hiddenness and withdrawal of Jesus.  He is a lamb among wolves but he is shrewd and prudent as a serpent.  His is not to be on the offensive but to be obedient to the Father.  Behold: my servant.  The Son becomes the Servant.  He gives his life for the victory of justice.  My prayer is a participation in this hidden way of redemption.  In my prayer I am the servant of the Kingdom and give myself for the redemption of all peoples in the oblation of prayer. “In Him the Gentiles will hope.”

William Fredrickson, OBLSB, D.Min.






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