Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Weekday Readings



Twenty-fourth Week, September 16 - 21, 2019

Luke 7.1-10
We see the principle of cause and effect all around us.  I can see the results of my actions and words.  There is a cause and effect in military life: as in the Gospel today, the centurion commands his soldiers, and they do that he commands.  Faith is  experiencing and understanding the effects in my life that are caused by God's word above and beyond even what I can imagine or dream, beyond all my capabilities.  Only the power of God's gift in Christ and grace’s progressive process of healing could cause a real sharing in God's life.  That I invite the Lord into my life for healing is itself an effect caused by the power of Christ’s moving me.  Jesus comes at our invitation and his word heals.  In prayer I cooperate with grace and express the invitation to Jesus to possess me by giving over my consciousness and volition to his Spirit.  Jesus effects change in the deepest levels of my being.  “I, too, Lord, know how authority changes things.  Speak but the word and my soul shall be healed.  I am unworthy that you enter under my roof but come and dwell within me by the power of your Holy Spirit.  I will be quiet in that Presence and will not be afraid for you are with me.”
Luke 7.11-17
"Woman, do not weep."  Widows with dead children know the terrible pain of death.  These women have drunk deeply of the waters of bitterness.  It is to their hearts and to all hearts that feel deep loss that Jesus speaks the words, "Do not weep."  "Do not be afraid."  "Your brother will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."  "I am the resurrection."  "Do not weep."  Prayer is opening our hearts to the personal presence of Jesus who destroys death by his death.  Prayer is always directed to the healing of the human family afflicted by death.  Prayer begs for the redemption that is in Jesus.  In this deep experience of pain, prayer is willing to hear the words of Jesus, "Do not weep."  In our tears in the presence of Jesus in prayer we are washed through faith in a renewal of baptism.  Tears at our helplessness before the reality of death cleanse us from our self-reliance and turn us to God, the Holy Trinity., source of eternal life within the deepest levels of our soul.
Luke 7.31-35
Prayer develops a keen ear so we are able to attune ourselves to God's melodies.  We must know when to dance and when to weep.  In this way we become the children of wisdom.  Wisdom is the knowledge that comes from love.  The knowing of faith brings us to love that is beyond understanding.  Love creates in us a deeper understanding that God gives in the melodies of his revelation.  My ear must become responsive to the music of God.  In this present journey, in our life with God, more essential than seeing is hearing.  Obedience to the beat and rhythms of God's drama of redemption is our hearing in faith and the acceptance of the unseen.  Prayer is the practice of attuning oneself to the tones and melodies of God's singing in Christ through the Spirit.  The whole symphony plays out in the Church, essentially obedient and attuned to its Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit.  In that way, the Church is the rock and remains faithful in possessing the light of revelation although she suffers infidelity in individual members, both lay and ordained.
Luke 7.36-50
"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" so that we can experience God's forgiveness.  We are able to kneel before God and embrace his feet and wash them with our tears.  We can anoint the Son with the ointment of our love and prayer.  We can touch God in Jesus and feel within us the power of his making us new creatures.  The sinful woman knew what she was doing.  "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven."  She knew the Spirit of God and went directly to Jesus to offer her deepest repentance.  God received her prayer.  "Your sins are forgiven."  We arise embracing the humility of our condition to go deeper into Christ.  We go with him in the Spirit into the very bosom of the Father.  There we dwell, remade in the power of his Son's death and resurrection.  The process of prayer brings us peacefully to the feet of Jesus so he may renew us in forgiveness.
Luke 8.1-3
The Church is the gathering in of those who journey along with Jesus, receiving the good news of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus is the center of the Church enlightened with the doctrine of the good news, firm and ever relevant. Surrounding Jesus are the Apostles whose successors give the Church the order of charity by the governance of peace.  The Church is the gathering-in of all those who have been healed by Christ and who follow along his way.  No one really comes into the Church unless they first experience the healing of Jesus, not always physical healing but the healing of the soul, the casting out of the demons.  Life reigns.  It is the new life of union with the Triune God, the new life of a divine relationship.  Love motivates the work of the Church.  We give out of our abilities to the work—“we provide for the Church out of our means.”  The Church is the work of the Father, the ministry of the Son, and is the Spirit's gifts.  My deep, silent, solitary prayer is at the center of the Church fulfilling the work of the Kingdom.
Saturday (Feast of St Matthew, the Apostle; meditation is on weekday Gospel.)
Luke 8.4-15
Prayer is essential to the work of making the soil good and receptive to the Word of God.  "And as for that [seed] in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience."  I want to hold myself very receptive; I want to hear.  I don't want to talk.  I want to hear the Word; allow it into the soil.  I want to hold that Word fast.  I don't want the word to slip away.  I don't want to surround myself with a lot of ideas and discussions.  I want to hold the word simply, firmly, delicately, but fast in my soul.  I want to bring to the Word an honest heart.  I don't want any delusions or any fancy obfuscation of the simplicity and directness of the Word.  Finally I want the Word to be in a good heart.  I am good soil only because of sanctifying grace.  The heart that has the Holy Spirit at its center is the good heart, the heart remade, refashioned, enfleshed by the Spirit foretold by Ezekiel.  I am patient until the Day of the Lord when the work will be completed.  That's what my prayer is all about: God will accomplish all in His Kingdom.  I pray to forsake the road tread by men, the stony ground that has no soil for roots, briar patches of thorns that have almost bled me to death.  I walk in the garden of the good soil with my Beloved.  He has called me there, the eternal Word, Jesus my Savior, my Friend, my true Self.

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


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