Meditation: A Great Catholic Bonus by A K Whitehead
Is our primary objective in life to become like Jesus? Of course. How do we do it? Well, ask another one that will take less than fifty books to answer!
But there is an important way which can take us well down road. Moreover, it is a particular and integrated part of Catholic tradition: meditation.
Not any kind of meditation - and certainly none of kinds imported from eastern religions such as Hinduism. It is a Catholic traditional way hallowed by time and efforts of saints co-operating with God's graces. These include such people as Ignatius of Loyola, John of Cross, Therese of Avila and many others.
Meditating On What? One of greatest expressions of God's love for us is that he has provided for us a book which reveals much about himself, way to salvation and what he desires of each of us. Most of all, perhaps, there lies within it knowledge of how great is his personal love for each of us.
That book is, of course, Bible. Both Old and, especially New Testament are there entirely for our benefit. Indeed, in recent times Catholic Church has drawn attention on several major ocassion to importance of Scripture and of need for us to avail ourselves of it.
Thus, for example, Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation (promulgated by Pope Paul VI, 1965) stresses that ... Father who is in heaven meets his children with great love and speaks to them; and force and power in word of God is so great that it stands as support and energy of Church, strength of faith for her sons, food of soul, pure and everlasting source of spiritual life.
This latter point is of particular relevance here: Moreover, after Second Vatican Council Catholics have had made available to them several translations from original languages of Bible. For example, we have Jerusalem Bible, New Jerusalem Bible and New American Bible. For those who do develop a love of, and interest in Scripture, these are all available with explanatory footnotes and introductions to various books of Bible which put them in historical, cultural and spiritual context.
But it is sad that not many more Catholics seem to make use of what is available to them through Scripture. The saints mentioned above, and many, many others, spent time meditating on sacred word of God because it really did reveal God to them. This is especially important for Christians when meditating on New Testament. Indeed, Ignatius of Loyola especially has highlighted way in which we meet Jesus in a new way through gospels. God can reach out to us in different ways when we properly reflect on word he has given to us.